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    Protect Your Bike from Theft: How to Choose a Good Bicycle Lock

    By on Last modified: October 12, 2022

    It’s hardly surprising that cycling is becoming more and more popular. It’s a fun, affordable, and environmentally friendly way to travel around the city. And compared to a car, a bike will get you to your chosen destination a lot faster during rush hours and when there’s a traffic jam.

    Sadly, the number of cyclists is not the only statistic that is increasing. Bicycle theft has grown frighteningly fast; according to research, almost half of all bikers who are active have had their bikes stolen.

    bike locks
    Source: bikeportland.org

    This trend needs to be changed. The first step in preventing bike theft is to have a strong lock, even though it might seem obvious. You can easily shop for bicycle locks online available in a range of styles, dimensions, and prices. But as a general rule, you get what you pay for: more robust materials and construction costs more than less expensive alternatives.

    So, What Is the Best Bike Lock?

    It’s important to have a lock that’s “up to the task”. How and where you lock your bike will determine which kind of lock works best. The lock’s specifications will likely differ depending on whether you’re locking it overnight outside a railway station in the middle of a metropolis or against a table 5 meters away while you sip your coffee.

    That said, there are several different kinds of bicycle locks online and in brick-and-mortar stores, and each has advantages and disadvantages. Let’s check them out.

    U-Locks

    U-locks, often referred to as D-locks, are generally seen to be the most secure. They are composed of hardened steel that can compete with handheld angle grinders for strength. Due to their fixed size and shape, these are also the heaviest locks and may limit what you may lock your bike to.

    Cable and Chain Locks

    Cable locks provide you with the flexibility to thread through intricate frames and around larger anchor points. However, be careful when shopping because bolt cutters can quickly cut through thinner cables. Another good choice is a chain lock, but as always, you get what you pay for. A chain from a hardware store and its lock won’t hold up well against a hacksaw or bolt cutters.

    cable lock
    Source: forbes.com

    Choose bike-specific locks from trusted manufacturers like Abus, Zefal, or Kryptonite; these locks not only feature harder steel for the chain links and shackle, but they also have a sleeve that is intended to get caught in a saw’s teeth, making them more difficult to cut. They give flexibility to the lock’s fit and are very heavy, but they provide a tonne of security.

    Folding Locks

    Because they are lightweight, compact, and made of materials that are difficult to cut, folding locks have grown to be a popular choice for commuters. They also enable you to lock your bike to objects that are unusually shaped or have a huge circumference, such as a tree or signpost.

    However, the pins that make this capability possible are the folding lock’s downfall. They can be broken with a tiny power drill, making your folding lock unusable.

    Alarm Locks

    In addition to conventional bike locks, manufacturers have recently begun to release “smart” locks with built-in technologies like alarms. Abus is one such brand, and its 770A SmartX lock will emit a 100-decibel warning if tampering is detected. In addition, it has Bluetooth, which substitutes your smartphone for the key, and Sold Secure Gold security (15/15 on Abus’ internal rating).

    Having a variety of locks is recommended since this will double or triple the time a thief must spend to steal your bike, which will act as a significant deterrent.

    How to Use a Bicycle Lock Correctly

    Even the most secure D-Lock won’t help you if you don’t utilise it properly. Lock your bike in accordance with its worth because no two bike racks, signs, or trees are the same. Passing the lock through the frame comes first, followed by the back and front wheels.

    locked bike
    Source: biketoworkday.us

    Consider using a second lock to connect the wheels to the frame and a primary lock to secure the frame (and maybe the rear wheel) to the rack if you plan to lock your bike in a location where bike theft is a problem.

    You should always get a lock that just barely clears the tubing on your bike and whatever you’re securing it to in order to reduce the amount of leverage a potential thief can generate. You should also try to run the lock through as many bike parts as you can. In order to make the lock difficult to access, it’s best to place it as near the bottom bracket as you can.

    Consider the item that your bike will be secured to as well. Could a robber lift your bike when it is locked to that pole or traffic sign? Or cut that slender tree in half? Always consider how challenging it would be for someone to remove your bike while the lock was still in place.

    To Sum Up

    Unlocked and incorrectly locked bicycles are both simple targets for theft. It’s crucial to carry out the task of locking your bike correctly each and every time.

    It’s not impossible to steal a secure bike; it’s just so challenging that few thieves will bother. By perseverance and creativity, nearly any security mechanism can be defeated eventually. But there comes a point where it simply isn’t worth it.