Rando Lock…

17 04 2011

Mini-lock from MEC...

I don’t want to carry a proper bike lock on a brevet for the few times I am off the bike, but I do feel a bit nervous leaving an expensive bike on the street unlocked while I’m inside a cafe getting food/drink and using the washroom. I decided to use one of these small cable locks folks generally employed for locking luggage or ski/snowboards. They are cheap and light with a combination so there are no keys to lose. They won’t stop a professional bike thief, but they will prevent someone from impulsively riding away with your trusty stead. Since the lock is small and the cable so thin I can stealth lock my bike so the thief doesn’t realize it’s locked and hopefully falls flat on his face when he tries to ride away.

At least you can't easily ride away...

This solution might also be useful for the bike commuter who can store their bike inside at work and might want to stop for some milk or a coffee on the way home. No point in bothering with a heavy lock for a 3min stop – in most neighbourhoods anyways!


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9 responses

17 04 2011
yackrr
17 04 2011
thelazyrando

The ring lock looks heavy, complex and a hassle to install remove. Not what I am going for. I want simple light and something I can leave at home when I don’t need it. I can also throw the cable lock in the bag of another bike if I want it for a specific ride.

17 04 2011
Mike

I have a thin combo cable lock. A bit thicker than yours, works well for coffee stop or if I need to get in somewhere and I don’t have eyes on the bike.

17 04 2011
CLWBseattle

There are times I’m in a coffee shop and my bike is outside within view but still susceptable to someone jumping on it and riding away before I could get to him. (are there female bike thieves? I just don’t think there are:). I too don’t want to carry a heavy lock so I use a small piece of string, a shoelace would work fine, and tie it with a quick square knot to prevent the wheel from turning, and keep it as “hidden” as possible. Weighs a few grams, costs nothing, and would almost certainly give me an extra 10-20 seconds, which is all I’d need.

17 04 2011
Ben

I got a similar little combo cable lock for randonneuring. It weighs very little and doesn’t need a key. I’ve had it for three brevets now and I’ve never even been tempted to use it. All of the brevets were well attended and I never felt reluctant to leave my bike unlocked, even when it was out of sight. It’s amazing how much my fear of leaving my bike unlocked abates when I leave Vancouver.

I’ll probably use my lock on permanents and training rides, though. It’s good to have for peace of mind, even though a stout pair of scissors would probably take care of my cheesy cable.

17 04 2011
bikeboy999

Hey Vik,

A few years back on a Tom Barrone Niagara ride there was a guy who used a laptop cable lock. Made/sold by targus, it has a 110db alarm that gives the user comfort as well. As for the shoe string, if you do not want to carry any thing to heavy. Use a padlock through the chain rings. Bike not ride able but some one could still boost it since it is not locked to anything.

17 04 2011
bikeboy999
18 04 2011
TenSpeed

At stops, I take off my helmet, set it on top of the front wheel, and click the straps through the spokes and fork. If I’m staying a bit longer (coffee stop), I’ll click a carabiner or three onto the chainrings or disc rotors (if the bike has them). Cheap, simple, effective.

18 04 2011
thelazyrando

@TenSpeed – I put the helmet straps through my front wheel as well if I have no lock. That’s sort of where the idea for a small cable lock came from.

I’ve read of two bikes snatched from GDR racers during rest or food stops. One had a SPOT beacon on it so the owner simply tracked the thief down and called the cops! I’ll be getting a SPOT beacon for my iPhone and will be using it for my GF to track me on rides.

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