Keeping your bike out of the hands of thieves is easy if you follow these three steps.
Step 1: Choose your bike locks wisely
In London, you need two bike locks. This secures your front wheel, your rear wheel and your bike frame. Thieves will typically not have the tools required to break through two different types of lock.
I’ve always relied on a Kryptonite New York 3000 D-lock as my primary defence against thieves. It’s heavy to carry around but its been well tested by cycling magazines and regularly tops their list of recommended locks. Equally good is the Abus Granit X Plus which provides the same security but weighs around a 1/4 less.
There are some newer options such as the Knog Strongman shown in the image above. We’ve not yet tested this on London Cyclist but it has some excellent features such as scratch protection for your bike frame and double dead-lock which means even if the thief cuts one side of the lock, they’ll need to cut the other before getting to your bike. However, the Strongman only has a 13mm shackle compared to the 16/18mm shackle on the New York locks.
Many people balk at the price of these bike locks, but when you consider they will last you many years and that it’s much cheaper than replacing a bike, you start to see the value.
The primary bike lock should always be complement by a secondary lock. We’ve listed some of the best options here.
Step 2: Don’t make this mistake
In the video above Casey Neistat uses his Kryptonite Evolution Mini to lock his bike through the stem, instead of the frame. As he’s in a haste he makes the error of locking his bike by a component that can easily be removed. A more classic version of this error is someone who locks their bike only through their front wheel. The thief then comes along, removes the front wheel and walks away with the bike in seconds.
Don’t make this error or any of these common mistakes:
- Don’t place your bike lock near the ground where it will be easier to leverage for attack
- Don’t lock your bike to any object that it can be lifted over (This includes sign posts where the sign could easily be removed)
- Don’t lock your bike to old victorian railings that can be easily broken
For more horror stories take a read of:
Step 3: Secure your components
A common story you hear is of how a cyclist returned to their bike to find that a thief had stolen their handlebars or saddle. The best way to prevent this is to use lockable components. There are a few options out there but Pinhead is the most common.
Read more about how to prevent your bike from getting attacked by piranha’s.