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Dispatches from The Daily Rider

I don’t want my bike to get stolen

We don’t want your bike to get stolen either. Which is why you’ll notice a lack of cable locks in our shop and a focus on keeping your bike and accessories secure. 

Let’s take a look at what we can do to make your bike as theft-proof as possible.


Street Parking or Garage?


Before we get to locks and locking accessories, let’s talk about parking your bike on the street. Many restaurants and retail establishments dissuade customers from bringing bikes inside so there’s a possibility that your Yuba is going to have to take dinner al fresco. See if there’s a possibility of bike parking in a nearby garage (required by law in DC) as it is more secure and weather protected than street parking. 

If you’re parking on the street, you may notice a variety of bike racks and fixtures for affixing your fixie. The quality and security of these vary greatly. Ring racks are ubiquitous in DC and are decent security (when correctly installed) and provide simple locking options. Place your bike with your non-drive side (the side without the gears on it) next to the rack. This makes it easier for the next person to use the rack without entangling their bike in yours.


No Rack? What now?


Don’t lock to trees (for their health and your bike’s security) and choose street furniture carefully. Street signs are fine as long as the bike and lock can’t be lifted up and over the top if the sign is missing. Locking to a uniformed police officer is a safe method, but always ask for permission before doing so. Less safe spaces and structures are chain link fences (easily cut) and anything wood (same deal). A good rule to follow is to always lock to something that is harder to defeat than your lock.

We’re going to assume that you already have a good quality U-lock or link lock (like the fine Abus Bordo pictured above), that is long enough to get through both your frame and the fixture you’re locking to. 

Lock through your frame and back wheel or use the “Sheldon” method by going through the rear wheel inside the rear triangle of the frame. Now, attach your second lock.

Wait. Second lock?

Yes. Here’s the thing with wheels. They’re what make your bike move and they’re really easily stolen on most bikes. If you have quick release wheels, consider the new Abus Nutfix wheel locks or a similar solution from Pitlock.



The Pitlock locking skewer will protect your wheels, saddle, and other accessories from disappearing 
The Abus NutFix skewer is a keyless solution

You can also use a second lock to attach between the front wheel and frame. This solution may seem extreme, but you might consider it if you lock up in high theft areas (Metro stations, nightlife destinations) to improve your chances. 


Take some photos


Of course, all of these things can be defeated, so take a moment right now to take a photo of your serial number (its probably underneath your bottom bracket) and store it somewhere safe. As long as we’re talking about preventative measures, register your bike on BikeIndex today. Its free, and an open source solution accessible to anyone with an interest in preventing bike theft. Some pictures of your bike and any distinctive markings or stickers can be posted here as well. 


Reading this too late and your bike has disappeared? We have a post for you as well. 


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