How to Lock Your Nice Bike Up at Work

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Introduction: How to Lock Your Nice Bike Up at Work

About: I like to tinker with just about anything, sometimes it works out in the end. Have fun looking at the projects, try tearing something open and let me know how it goes. cheers, -Joe

The weather is nice, so I have been mountain biking before work. The trails are empty, the world hasn't caught up with you yet and beat you down, so you have no excuses not to ride...

This presents a challenge in that I can't bring my bike in to the office.

This instructable will show you how to lock your nice bike up at a bike rack with a little bit more security than you might use for your commuter bike.

Step 1: Parts

I will assume you already commute to work regularly by bike... I leave a Kryptonite NY chain lock at work on the rack outside.

I will bring with me in my camelback(actually a deuter bag but who cares...) a Kryptonite NY lock and two cables.

I use the short kryptonite cable for the seat, and a 6 foot long cable for the front wheel.

Step 2: Secure the Front Wheel

Make a loop through the front wheel with the cable lock.

Step 3: Secure the Fork

Take the cable that you just looped through the front wheel and go through the fork crown and arch, this will deter people from stealing you nice front shock.

Step 4: Secure the Frame

Loop the cable through the front triangle of the frame.

Step 5: Secure the Seat

Seats are expensive these days. So we'll loop a cable through the seat rails, this will help to deter people from stealing you seat and post.

Step 6: Coming Together Now...

Now run the long cable from the frame/fork/front wheel through your rear wheel and to the U-Lock that connect the rear triangle to the bike rack.

Before you lock it, put the end of the small cable from your seat on this U-Lock too.

Step 7: Chain Lock

Now I put the New York Chain Lock through the rear wheel, rear triangle and main triangle of the bike and then secure that to the bike rack.

Step 8: Double Check

Double check everything and laugh how your bike looks like Pee-Wee Hermans...


Remember, any lock can be broken if they want it bad enough. But you have now made it more difficult and they cannot ride away on it unless they break two different kind of locks.

Be sure to lock it to a bike rack or something very sturdy. Make sure what you are locking it too is not the weak link.

Good luck and happy riding!

-Joe

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    45 Comments

    I'm suprised they even bothered. The whole bike couldn't be worth more than $150. I've bent crank arms on bikes like that just by climbing a hill.

    Which also explains the super-cheap lock that could barely withstand a pair of wire cutters.

    Nice instructable.

    However, that's a lot of gear to be hauling around on a "play ride." I always, always carry a combination lock in case I want to dip into a convenience store or some place for refreshment or a snack. Previously, I've been paranoid about someone simply riding off on my unsecured bike. No one would even give it a second glance.

    Now, I can put a lock through a disk brake. It won't prevent someone from picking the bike up and carrying it off, but it'd look a little weird to passersby. It would prevent some little thug kid from simply jumping on and riding off. Also, if I catch him trying to carry it off I could run the little upstanding citizen down. If he's riding it, I have no hope in catching him.

    I had the same problem with my bike being stolen, so what we did was went down to the hardware store, looked at the different thicknesses of chain, and asked which ones had to be cut on the floor mounted chain cutter with a four foot arm on it.  We got about enough chain that I can easily drape it over one shoulder and have another foot or so leftover.  Works great with one of those fully shielded Titanium Master locks.  With that lock, there's only room for two links side by side between the shielding.

    I take that chain, loop it through the front tire, cross it over, then through the frame, cross it over again, and then through the back tire and around the back tire and back around the frame again, with the post being looped around somewhere in between the frame and the tires.  "If" (big if) they can cut the chain or the lock, then they can have the bike, in my thinking.  The Master lock itself leaves no room for pry bars or anything, and the chain took a grown man with a floor mounted chain cutter a significant effort to cut.  Not exactly something that would be cut with the bolt cutters most thieves carry around here.

    If you are biking to reduce your carbon footprint those automated things don't help. Unless they are solar powered, which I doubt they are. Cool anyway.

    You can make the statement that minimizing land usage is far more effective than a solar array. Increased urban density allows for lower transportation fuel costs. Using a bike is very low fuel cost. So I'm going to say that this little garage beats the silicon off an array anyday. Carbon emissions isn't all about where the power is made. That's the way we see it in America. Much of the Western world sees it as where the energy not be used. That is, conservation. Your better off with a mid-level fuel efficient car if you combine trips, keep the speed down, go easy on the throttle than you are with a hybrid. Keep in mind that they both use the same amount of tires and other consumables. The rest is about stop and go traffic, a basic level of planning and decreasing errands into a single trip if possible.

    Thank you! very informative. I don't drive any kind of car but, i never thought about that.

    Thanks for the compliment. The simple (and most profitable) story that is sold to us is that if everyone used a Prius the world would be a wonderful place. Would it help? Sure. But there is a reality that Americans have been taught not to like. And that is to use a bit less and use a bit more thoughtfully. There are several other policies that aren't as obvious, but energy rebates are huge winners. Things like rebates on insulating your house, or buying new A/Cs or more efficient refrigerators, etc. You measure the amount of energy saved by the number of power plants you do not have to build for 20 years. No one likes power plants near their homes. The programs are simple, cheap and cheerful...the manufacturers get money for me buying a new A/C, I get money back from the government and save cash on my utilities as well (which also stimulates the economy too) and the power companies get credit as if they had actually built a new plant. They get a slice of the rebate twice.

    There are some very interesting comments about this subject. I can give you my experience from living in both the UK and the US.

    In the UK I had a town bike (basically the kind of bike you might see in Amsterdam.) These are not the hottest of bikes, but very useful for running about, gathering shopping or the like. They are fitted with fenders and a rack as standard. If you are really lucky, they will also include a full chain guard for the hub shifter. Do not underestimate the usefullness of a fully enclosed chain guard. It saves you TONS of time in maintenance and cleaning dirty trouser cuffs.

    Amsterdam Type Bikes

    Mine was by giant, and was much cheaper than the Gazelles (by about 1/2) and came with all of the options.

    Basically, they are comfortable and not too popular for the bike stealing types. I found mine to be an excellent purchase and quickly racked up 2,000 carefree miles in a year.

    In the UK (well, in York at least) bike racks were plentiful and close to your destination. It was easy to zip into a shop and get what you wanted.

    In the US, it is a bit different. Bike racks are rare. The distance to shops are far greater.

    Deciding Factors:

    Ease of Use:
    I think the thing I found most important is convenience of the locking mechanism. This can be measured in weight, ease of deployment and ease of storage.

    I too have a Kryptonite uber chain. I rarely used it as it is incredibly bulky and takes a bit of fumbling around to deploy.

    However, the Kryptonite New Yorker 3000 U lock has been very good to me. It is very easy to deploy it. With a bit of time, I could lock my bike in 5 seconds flat. It was also easy to store.

    Ease of Transport:
    Again, the amorphic shape and high weight of the NY Chain is a great negative.

    The NY 3000 was in comparison a feather weight.

    The winner in the UK is the New Yorker 3000 U Lock. I could quickly deploy it without fiddling about.

    In the US:
    It's a draw. The chain does have the ability to wrap around non-rack structures easier. However, you can find a place to lock up with the New Yorker U Lock if you are remotely creative.

    I think the thing that is most important is how likely you will actually lock the bike properly. If it is an amazing pain in the arse, you are less likely to bike.

    For me, the weight, difficult to store nature, and long time to lock was the deciding factor. I had actually had carried both of them on my bike. The chain was stolen one day (because I did not use it and left it in the bike panniers.) I wasn't particularly upset to see it go. The U Lock never missed a beat.

    dont make your bike look like fort knox tho. if people see it and laugh cos its so over protected, they will just kick it to bits instead, leaving you with a very well secured hunk of twisted metal. ive had it done. i had a combi-lock trough the back whell, frame, seat, and front wheel and round the bike post, then a D lock securing the back wheel and frame to the post as well. admittedly it was half 2 in the morning when i returned to it, but it was still a loooooong trek home carrying what was left of my bike. (my ride was 13 miles to a city centre, so i had a 13 mile walk back as there were no buses running at half 2)

    6 replies

    Well, I've seen similar. You must be in the UK. The spelling of centre is a clue. But more importantly I have never seen a bike kicked in any other place in the world. I lived in Glasgow for a while and it seemed like a hobby for the yobs. The loved to kick in rims. The British Police are too nice. American cops would of tazed them well and good.

    There are some very interesting comments about this subject. I can give you my experience from living in both the UK and the US.

    In the UK I had a town bike (basically the kind of bike you might see in Amsterdam.) These are not the hottest of bikes, but very useful for running about, gathering shopping or the like. They are fitted with fenders and a rack as standard. If you are really lucky, they will also include a full chain guard for the hub shifter. Do not underestimate the usefullness of a fully enclosed chain guard. It saves you TONS of time in maintenance and cleaning dirty trouser cuffs.

    Amsterdam Type Bikes

    Mine was by giant, and was much cheaper than the Gazelles (by about 1/2) and came with all of the options.

    Basically, they are comfortable and not too popular for the bike stealing types. I found mine to be an excellent purchase and quickly racked up 2,000 carefree miles in a year.

    In the UK (well, in York at least) bike racks were plentiful and close to your destination. It was easy to zip into a shop and get what you wanted.

    In the US, it is a bit different. Bike racks are rare. The distance to shops are far greater.

    Deciding Factors:

    Ease of Use:
    I think the thing I found most important is convenience of the locking mechanism. This can be measured in weight, ease of deployment and ease of storage.

    I too have a Kryptonite uber chain. I rarely used it as it is incredibly bulky and takes a bit of fumbling around to deploy.

    However, the Kryptonite New Yorker 3000 U lock has been very good to me. It is very easy to deploy it. With a bit of time, I could lock my bike in 5 seconds flat. It was also easy to store.

    Ease of Transport:
    Again, the amorphic shape and high weight of the NY Chain is a great negative.

    The NY 3000 was in comparison a feather weight.

    The winner in the UK is the New Yorker 3000 U Lock. I could quickly deploy it without fiddling about.

    In the US:
    It's a draw. The chain does have the ability to wrap around non-rack structures easier. However, you can find a place to lock up with the New Yorker U Lock if you are remotely creative.

    I think the thing that is most important is how likely you will actually lock the bike properly. If it is an amazing pain in the arse, you are less likely to bike.

    For me, the weight, difficult to store nature, and long time to lock was the deciding factor. I had actually had carried both of them on my bike. The chain was stolen one day (because I did not use it and left it in the bike panniers.) I wasn't particularly upset to see it go. The U Lock never missed a beat.

    lol they need to be tazerd

    agreed. other police forces in europe are trained like the army, and look like they would have no problem with clobbering you. ours look like hi-viz jokes. theyve gone too far with the "make the police look approachable". they should be kitted out like the SAS and have no problem with handing out beatings instead of ASBO's. words on paper do nothing, broken ribs make them remember.

    I don't know if I'd go that far. Being of both cultures I would say that it is more of a British thing. The British are a resourceful lot when it comes to violence. From my experience there are those who revel in it. (Beware of Newcastle on a weekend night, or any night for that matter.) I really don't think any amount of arrest or police beatings would cure that. It just seems like violence is a part of the casual culture. Don't get me wrong, the US is soaked in the stuff but it is different. In the US it simmers under a lid. When things get violent in the US, they get real bad fast. You are actually more likely to be a victim of a violent crime in the UK than in the US (yes, that is correct.) However, you are more likely to be murdered in the US. Take your knocks in the UK, or beware the ultimate crime in the US. That said, murder is fairly rare in the US. Keep in mind the US is the size of the EU with a similar number of citizens and even more diversity.

    I see it happening all the time in Montreal (Canada).

    The only way to stop your bike being taken is to get the lock \ chain as high away from the ground as possible when locking the bike. When cutting quality chains like these it is impossible to cut them using both handles of the bolt cutter unless your the terminator, one handle must be placed on the floor an the other needs all your body weight bouncing on it to cut the chain. Keep the lock / chain away from the floor and higher up the bike and it stops theifs being able to do this. Disk locks and such wont stop the man with the van!

    1 reply

    An even better way to lower the chances of your bike being taken is to get one of those U-locks for motorcycle front wheels; I saw one on YouTube where it has a super loud alarm(goes off for 45 seconds) if it's touched and not disarmed within 10 seconds. It's good to have if you work near where your bike is locked up, since you can hear it (hopefully lol). But eh, it might be expensive..