Tuesday, October 13, 2009

iMD: locking up your bike guide.

in san jose, bike theft is a really common problem. even here, ive seen some really poorly locked bikes. mark from sjf and imd put up a guide to properly locking a bike:

"A lot of people come into the shop asking questions about the proper way to lock up a bike. This post is just about locking your wheels and frame.

If you were to own just one lock, it should be a U-lock. They’re quite sturdy, and can easily be thrown in your back pocket or backpack. Heavy duty chains are also excellent choices, but they can be a bit more cumbersome.

The thing to remember when locking up is that your lock is only as strong as its weakest point. For instance, if you have an unbreakable lock securing your bike to a thin wood post, your lock would prove worthless. All the thieves would have to do is snap the wood and take your bike.

The Sheldon Brown (RIP) method of locking up is one of the most popular and secure ways to lock up your frame and rear wheel. You lock your rear wheel with a U-lock to an immovable object through the rear triangle. There is no way you can steal the bike without busting the lock and/or rear wheel.

If you treasure your front wheel more, you can lock your wheel and frame to an immovable object as such:

The best way to lock up is to have multiple locks. If you have a cable along with a U-lock, you can loop the cable through a wheel and secure it with a U-lock; just make sure the frame is also locked.

The best way to protect your bike from thieves is to have it by your side at all times. But that is obviously unrealistic.

So when you do have to lock up, make sure it is a place where you can keep an eye on it. It is generally not a good idea to lock up at a movie theater, while watching The Watchmen. You’re giving thieves 3 hours to steal your bike.

Don’t lock up your bike at the same time and place on a daily basis. You wouldn’t take your girlfriend to P.F Chang’s at 12 in the afternoon every Tuesday and Thursday would you? Yeah, treat your bike like your girlfriend..only better. Switch things up so thieves don’t know your schedule.

Remember these tips are just for when you need to lock up for a short period of time. All a thief needs are tools and time. Ride safe and stay vigilant."

good stuff mark! lets hope we see more people properly locking up. here are some more things:

-chain tenioners are a really good way to make sure people dont jack your rear. the longer it takes for someone to get parts off the better chance you have to catch them in the act or better chance of someone looking away from stealing it.

-if you can, take off your front wheel. sure you'll look like that kid who had the removeable steering wheel off his jdm integra in high school, but hey, less to steal.

-get a damn good lock. that lock you got in '96 that has a number combinations isnt going to cut it. big chains are good. a big beefy u lock is good. a beefy mini u lock with a chain; awesome.

-register your bike with local pd. yeah, youll have a wierd ass sticker on the seat tube, but that's the worst they can do. and it'll be in a database so that if it does pop up on craigslist or whatnot, they can seriously arrest the perp.

-know your vin number. if it does go missing, and someone happens to be selling in on craigslist you have evidence and stuff.

-keep your bike with you. like mark said, keep it CLOSE.


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