Want to Keep Your Bike Safe? Check Your Lock Twice
More than 1.5 million bikes are stolen each year, according to the National Bike Registry. In order to avoid becoming part of this statistic, it is important to know the different kinds of locks that we can use. It is also a good idea to take note of various tips in keeping our bikes safe and secure.
Different Kinds of Locks for Your Bike
The are different kinds of locks that you can use to make sure that your bike is safe from thieving riders. You can choose from cable locks, chain locks, locking skewers, and U-locks.
Among the different kinds of locks, cable locks are very adaptable and versatile. They are often used in combination with U-locks, and contain keyed locks with combinations. Cable locks come in many different designs, with some having armored coating and even sliding sizing.
However, using a cable lock on its own is only suitable for areas with a low crime rate. This is because most bolt cutters are capable of cutting through them. If you are planning to use cable locks, you might want to consider using it in combination with other kinds of locks.
Chain locks, on the other hand, are actually good even for areas with high crime rates. The material used in designing chain locks is generally tough and resistant to chisels and hacksaws. Like cable locks, it is also a wise idea to combine a chain lock with a strong padlock, as some thieves could still cut through the strongest chains.
Like the chain lock, locking skewers are also ideal for areas with high crime rates. This is because they can disable the bike’s quick release feature, making it more difficult for thieves to steal. Although locking skewers are not hard to install, you will need to use a wrench that is especially designed for them.
Meanwhile, U-locks are considered as effective deterrents and are used by a lot of bike owners. It has a locking mechanism that is bulky and resistant to chisels and hammers. As the name suggests, U-locks are shaped like a horseshoe and come in different sizes.
The U-lock works by being placed around the bike and leaving as little gap as possible, making it hard for thieves to steal it. The smaller U-locks can attach the bike frame and one wheel to a fixed object, whereas the bigger U-locks can attach the frame and both wheels to the object.
Keyed Locks and Combination Locks
Regardless of the type of lock that you use, using a keyed lock adds extra protection. Keyed locks are either flat or cylindrical in shape. Notably, most cable locks, chain locks, and U-locks also come with a keyed lock mechanism.
Typically, keyed locks come with two or more keys, so you can have a backup in case you misplace one copy. If you happen to lose all your keys, then do not worry since most makers of bike locks have a replacement program available.
Aside from keyed locks, you may opt to use a combination lock instead. This way, you do not have to worry about carrying and losing keys; just be sure to memorize the number code. Most cable locks come with a combination lock mechanism.
Tips for Keeping Your Bike Safe
Other than using different kinds of locks, here are some useful tips for keeping your bike safe:
Keep Your Bike Locked All the Time
As simple as this may sound, some people do not lock their bikes all the time, thinking that it might be safe to leave it unlocked on their porches or in their backyards. Remember that thieves could be anywhere, even in places that you consider safe.
Remember to lock your bike wherever you go, even if it will just be for a minute. A minute is all a thief needs, even if you are just out on a quick errand. Develop the habit of keeping your bike locked at all times, and you will eventually do it automatically.
Lock Your Bike to a fixed Object
When you lock your bike, look for the strongest, fixed object that you can possibly find. A small tree or signpost can still be cut down, so look for something thicker and stronger. Avoid locking your bike in dark areas and few people, as this would make it easier to steal.
If Possible, Take Removable Items with You.
Even if your frame is tightly locked, remember that thieves might still be able to take other parts of your bike such as your lights, seats, and pumps. If possible, take these things with you if you will be gone for a long time and you are in a high-crime area.
Avoid Using Cable Locks Only.
As discussed earlier, it is not a good idea to rely solely on cable locks. Use it together with a keyed lock or a combination lock to add extra protection.
Small U-locks are Better Than Bigger Ones
Using a smaller U-lock, you are actually decreasing the possibility of a thief using the gap as leverage for prying it open. Besides, a smaller U-lock is also lighter and easier to carry around.
Utilize Multiple Locks
Whether you are using a cable lock, U-lock, chain lock, or locking skewers, consider utilizing multiple locking mechanisms all at once. The more locks you use, the safer your bike will be.
By being familiar with the different types of locks and following the tips presented here, you can make sure that your bike is always safe and secure. In addition, be sure to check your lock twice, thrice, or even several times! When it comes to protecting your bike, remember that it is better to be safe than sorry.