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How to lock your bike

In this post we are going to look at keeping your bike secured and safe for your return.

No one wants to loose their bike, not only is there the financial cost, but for most of us there is a considerable emotional investment in their bikes.  This guide will cover both securing the bike, and making sure all the parts are still there.  The one thing worse than loosing the bike, is to have essential components stripped off, like a saddle.

Don't let your bike end up like this.
Always ensure the frame and wheels are secured.

What do I need to lock my bike? This depends on your circumstances, if you live in a relatively safe area, you could get away with a simple light chain.  However I would always start with a D-Lock.  The D-lock, such as the Kyrptonite New York Lock, is designed to resist all manner of attacks, its long enough to attach both wheels and frame to a solid object, and its highly visible, thieves know to steer clear an move on to a softer target.

You should also invest in a flexi cable, this will be used to loop through components that you don’t want to loose.

Recommended Investment:  The recommended amount to spend on a lock depends on the value of your bike, there is no point in spending $100 on a bike worth $200.  You should be looking at spending roughly 10% of the value of the bike on the locks.

The most important component to lock is the frame, too many folks have returned to find their front wheel still safely locked up and the rest of the bike long gone. Your expensive spangly new lock may not be enough in itself though, if you have quick release wheels or seat you’ll need to secure them too. A popular way to achieve this is to use a security cable with an eyelet in each end. These are easily looped through wheels, saddle, forks etc before being secured using your D lock as the ‘padlock’.

  • Always lock your bike! It only takes a few seconds to ride off on a bike, leaving it for any length of time, even if ‘just nipping in’ to a shop is inviting disaster.
  • Always lock your bike to something. Don’t return to find it gone, lock and all.
  • Always lock your bike to something substantial, a plastic drain-pipe will not do.
  • Always lock it in a busy place, not up a dark back alley away from view where thieves can work undisturbed.
  • Always try to lock it near other bikes. If there’s a more attractive bike than yours, yours will be overlooked.
If you bike is higher value, you should consider fitting more that one D-Ring lock, preferably of a different style to the first.  If a thief has a technique to crack one style, it would not take long to break through both.

The idea is to put as many barriers as possible between your bike and the pond life who would steal it. A good lock is just stage one, a secondary lock of a different type requires that they carry two different types of lock breaking tool, unlikely. Replace any quick release skewers with Allen keys or dedicated security bolts.

This bit can be painful, but cover up the brand names, get out the tape cover everything up, if the bike cannot be sold its is of no value to thieves, and again they will move on to a different target

And if the worst comes to the worst make sure your bike is covered by theft insurance. Most household policies will cover bikes as ‘named items’ (call and check) but if your bike exceeds their limit of a few hundred quid you’ll be better off with dedicated cycle insurance. Check the back pages of the bike magazines or join one of the big national cycling clubs.

Here is a step by step guide to securing your bike:

Step 1 – Find a fixed object, ensure the bike cannot be lifeed off.  Chainring facing out

Step 2 – Remove your front wheel and place it by your rear wheel
Step 3 – Place u-lock shackle around the immovable object and through both seat stays (if frame will allow) and the two wheels.If using a short U-Lock capturing one seat stay and the rim is an acceptable lock-up.

For additional security, recommends using a double-looped cable with your u-lock. Place the u-lock shackle around the pole, your bike frame and through your rear wheel. Loop a cable around your front wheel, bike frame and onto your u-lock shackle. Two security devices equal more protection and more time for a thief to have to work!

See Below for my reviews of bike Locks:

High End $100 or less:
Kryptonite Black 18mm New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock

Mid Range $50 or less:
Kryptonite Series 2 Lock –

Other Options:
Kryptonite KryptoFlex 3Double Loop Security Cable

Pinhead Bicycle Locking Skewer Set, 3 Pack


Finally a guide to the level of security you should use.


Visit our other guides:

Guide to used components

Folding Bike Reviews