Whether you are a daily commuter or ride your bike a few times in a week, it is essential to properly secure your bike with a bicycle U lock or other type of bike lock, when leaving it unattended. If you don’t, you are less likely to find your bike there when you return.
When it comes to locking a bike, there are very few ways on how you can lock the bike. However, if you don’t lock the bike properly, it is likely to draw the attention of thieves. Between a locked and an unlocked bike, the latter will always be the primary target of thieves. So, make sure to lock your bike while leaving it attended.
Now, while locking a bike is not rocket science, you must know the right way to lock your bike so that no one can steal it, at least not without drawing some attention. To help you along the way, we have compiled a detailed guide on the do's and don’ts of locking a bike.
First things first; you need to buy the right kind of bike lock for your bike. The market is stacked with various types of bike locks such as bicycle U lock, combination bike lock, cable lock, chain lock, etc. Each of these bike locks have pros & cons of their own and picking the right type of bike lock mainly depends on your requirements.
For instance, if you usually lock your bike indoors or in a secured parking space, a regular cable lock or the best combination bike lock will do the job. However, if you park your bike in a relatively crowded place, where bike theft is too common, you’ll need to invest in a sturdy U lock for your bike.
As compared to cable and chain locks, U locks are comparatively more secure. In majority of the cases, thieves don’t even try to steal a bike that’s locked with a U lock. So, if you park your bike in a bad neighborhood, make sure to lock your bike with a bicycle U lock.
The only disadvantage of carrying U locks is that they are difficult to carry around. Their size and shape makes it strenuous for riders to keep them in small backpacks. So, if you plan on using a U lock, you may have to say goodbye to your regular small-sized backpack.
Now, that you have bought the right bike lock, it’s time to understand how to lock your bike so that it’ll draw the least attention from thieves.
Here are a couple of tips that you should remember while locking your bike.
Instead of locking your bike with benches and straight poles, try to lock it with a solid object that has a loopy structure (such as a dedicated bike post). This will prevent the thief from lifting the bike over the object. You should also not lock your bike with tree branches as someone could simply cut off the branch and ride away with your bike. In short, choose the object wisely if you want your bike to be there when you return.
Even though it may sound a bit surprising, but locking your bike in a crowded place if far safer than locking it in an isolated place. The reason being anyone can ride away with your bike if it is parked in a distant place. In a busy street, there are pedestrians and that’s why a thief won’t steal bike from such a location. An isolated place, on the other hand, is the easiest for a thief to steal the bike. In fact, if there are few people around, the thief will take his time and easily break the lock without drawing attention.
While locking your bike with the best combination bike lock, look for areas that are completely secured. A place that comes under the coverage area of a security camera is perfect for locking the bike. This way even if someone steals your bike, you’ll have an identity of the thief and it’ll become much easier to track him down.
If you want your bike to be the last target for a thief, use multiple locks to completely secure it. One U lock should be used to lock the bike frame with an immovable object. The second lock should lock the front wheel with the frame.
And, finally a third lock to lock the rear wheel with the frame. Keep in mind that locking the wheels is as essential as locking the frame itself otherwise someone would simply remove the wheels and walk away. When it comes to locking the wheels, you don’t need an expensive U lock as the best combination bike lock or a cable lock would be enough to do the job.
While you can lock your bike any way you want, it is imperative to use the best techniques to make your bike the last target of every thief. The above-mentioned tips will help you lock your bike most effectively and keep it secured all the time. However, the important thing is to buy the best type of bike lock so that no one could break it.
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