Bike Locking Case #3

25 11 2010

Surly LHT secured for a few hours...

Here I have locked up my Surly LHT while I had dinner downtown.  Chain lock secures frame to bike rack and a mid-grade cable secures both wheels to the chain.  I’ve pulled my lights and covered my Brooks with a saddle condom due to rain.  I realized afterwards I’d be better off with a plastic shopping bag on the saddle so it looked more ghetto. I was away from the bike for several hours while I ate and then went to a pub.  My trusty steed was right where I left her when I got back…=-)

This is my medium security setup.  The next step up would be a heavier chain and/or two separate chain locks to really discourage a thief.  It helps that this bike is relatively unremarkable looking so as to not attract too much attention in the first place.



4 responses

25 11 2010
Val Garou

Hey Vik,

I’ve been looking at that chain lock down at the LBS, but ultimately the padlock feels cheesy to me. Why do you like it over a U-lock?



25 11 2010

Hola Val – I bought my chain/lock many years ago so I can’t speak to what is being sold right now, but my lock is quite burly and I would trust it for those mid-level locking missions that are somewhere between 5mins where I can see the bike and overnight in the ghetto. I have a Planet Bike heavy duty chain with mini u-lock that is far stronger, but also so heavy I rarely use it away from home or my truck.

I’ve never liked u-locks. They are heavy and hard to carry. My sense is that the heavier duty u-locks would be more secure than this chain & lock, but heavier. I would equate this chain and lock to a medium duty u-lock. I find this chain & lock fits nicely in any bag and isn’t very heavy. It also looks burly which may disuade thief’s from even bothering – although the chain itself is fairly lightweight material and may not survive a determined attack long.

Of course all of this is a bit of a guess as I have never done the research to see which lock would be harder to defeat for a thief.

OTOH – I’ve used this chain & lock successfully all these years with no issues so it’s appropriate for my area and bikes.

I would just close saying that although we often focus on the locks and locking techniques in reality the places you choose to lock up your bike and your bike itself relative to what is attractive in the area plays a bike role in addition to the crime rate in the area. My bikes tend to be on the odd side so they are probably not at the top of a bike thief’s priority list.

26 11 2010

Wise words Vik,

I lock my LHT in a similar manner when at University, cable through both wheels and onto a D-lock arounf frame and lockable-object. I typically use a D-lock as i have a mount on the pannier rack to carry it (tubus rack), never found chains preferable as you have to have a bag to carry it in and D-locks are bike mountable.

No commuting on the singlespeed CrossCheck and only use a Kryptonite mini-D without cable as wheels are bolted and the lock is smaller/lighter.

As for locking location, if i can lock my bike near other bikes, mostly because they tend to be poorly locked and therefore much more ‘nickable’ than mine. Another consideration with location is liklehood of vandalism, there are some location in the City where your bike probably wont get nicked but will almost certainally have its wheels kicked in, stupid kids!

(i should point out if i see someone locking there bike in a manner that is likely to get it stolen i will help them out with a few pointers, im not evil ;0)

26 11 2010

@Rich – my dislike for the U-luck [aka D-lock] is just a personal thing. I know there are great ones available. I bought one and tried to love it, but ended up giving it away. I always have a bag with me for small errands I’m running or even just bike tools and a wind breaker so the chain isn’t hard for me to carry. Plus if possible I ride my Bike Friday Tikit and I don’t bother with a lock at all.

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