Introduction: Where to Hide a Bicycle Lock's Key

Picture of Where to Hide a Bicycle Lock's Key

I recently bought a used bicycle that came with a standard coiled locking cable and key.   For the most part I don't foresee using the lock much as I don't need a bike for my daily commute.   I'd like to put the key on my key chain, but I never know which car I'll be using to transport my bike, and the darn key fobs are too big to have both car keys on one key chain.

So I got the great idea of hiding the key on my bicycle so if I ever happen to need to lockup my bike, then I wouldn't forget the key at home.   I found a great spot right away when I turned the bike upside down. 

Quick and easy and free!  Took me longer to take photos than to put this together.


- Key (to hide)
- Wine bottle cork (mine is synthetic)
- Drill or Awl
- Dremel (Optional. If you need to shave sides off a house key, etc.)

Step 1: Drilling

Picture of Drilling

Drill a couple holes next to each other in the center of the small end of the cork.  Don't go all the way through and the holes don't need to be perfect.

Got this beauty of hand drill from my in laws stuffed garage.  It doesn't get much use and I was glad it worked well with my Croc-vise.

Step 2: Inserting One

Picture of Inserting One

Shove the key into the cork.  Fit should be snug, but since the key side will always be up when in use, no big deal if loose.

Step 3: Inserting Two

Picture of Inserting Two

Push the cork into the fork.  I didn't push too hard and there is enough exposed cork material that I can unplug without much effort. 

Step 4: Ender

Yeah, this is a Walmart special bike, but I think it's a sharp looking bike and I got it for next to nothing off of Craigslist.  Found out after the fact it got great reviews and rides great.  It came with the free lock and key, so glad I will now be able to use it when I need it.

Oh, this should work for any kind of key.  This would be a great spot to hide an spare house key.  You will probably want to shave down the sides of the key with a Dremel to get it to fit.

2/2 Addendum: A couple bike repair men commented that water is mostly liking going to make it's way inside the fork's pipe when the bike ever gets wet and the key will rust.  If my bike ever gets well, I'll probably just try and remember to remove the cork/key until the bike drys.  Then again the next time I get the Dremel out, I'll probably carve 3 or 4 drainage grooves down the length of the cork itself. Will upload a photo if I do.


Ludwig Von Mech (author)2012-02-02

Ah, doesn't "I never know which car I'll be using to transport my bike" kind of defeat the purpose of even having a bike? Now you are burning even more gas hauling around the extra weight of a bike...and how many cars do you even have? Holey Crumpits, Batman-Just make another key already.

jjay9 (author)Ludwig Von Mech2015-06-04

a little late but i also agree :)

georion (author)2012-05-18

Idont think the bike repairmen were all that brilliant--i dont think you need to 2 worry about the key rusting --Great idea--LOVE it !!!

onyxchopper (author)2012-04-06

nowhere does it say he leaves the key on the bike when it is locked up,only that this is used so that the key is readily available in the instance that he goes for a ride. i personally have a set of keys for my bike with a clip for a velcro strap/ seat stay while riding and my belt loop while its locked up...

Paracord Ninja (author)2012-04-02

do u live in lebanon OH?

digimancer (author)2012-02-02

Sweet, thanks for the info on how to easily steal a bike ;) I will look here from now on!

On a side note, my MTB mud guards mount here... So inside the seat post would be a better option...

sconner1 (author)digimancer2012-02-04

Until your seat gets stolen.

digimancer (author)sconner12012-02-04

lol I NEVER leave my seat attached... The post was $60 and the saddle was $125.

vincent7520 (author)2012-02-04

I don't get it !
Where to hide the corkscrew ???…
If you keep the corkscrew in your pocket you might as well take the key. No ?
Ah, but then you cannot open a bottle with a key !!!…
Finally you're idea is not that bad !!!…
Cheers and LOL …

drawkcab (author)2012-02-02

Or just have a brass key made!

mightywombat (author)drawkcab2012-02-02

Just as a point of information, most (I'd say nearly 99% of) modern keys are made of brass already. If it looks silver it's just nickel plated brass. Look at the cut edge and see what color it is. It should be... well, brassy - either bright gold or dull medium brown. If it's still silver, then you have one of the vast minority of keys.

Narlo11 (author)mightywombat2012-02-03

Well then 90% of my new ones are minority. Both new house locks are not brass or the 2 I just had cut. The only ones I have that are, are these outdoor Master locks. 2 of the 8 keys are brass. Maybe its a regional thing.

mightywombat (author)Narlo112012-02-03

I know that some Master Lock keys are steel, and it can be tricky to find places to get them copied. In the US most house and car keys are brass, though some antique keys are made out of steel, or possibly a zinc alloy. I know that in the UK many apartment or house keys are in this old-fashioned bit and barrel style, but I believe even those are still made of brass.

ginger20037 (author)2012-02-03

looks like we use the same kind of vise! lol

rangerweavere (author)2012-02-01

just a heads up! due to the cork being in side the stem on the front fork you may have excess water build up when and if the bike was to get wet and this would cause rust and damage that could in the future cost a good amount of money to repair and or replace..... this is coming the bike repair man himself

But how will water get in? if the cork fits in the steerer tube of the fork it's creating a seal....and the top where the stem and top cap is sealed....I don't see how water would get inside....not to mention most modern headsets have a rubber seal to prevent such things

water collects on the headset bolt and works it was down and the rubber seal isnt always installed but usually thrown away before the bike is put together.

kage_no_mozaiku (author)2012-02-02

its a nice thought and an interesting idea. although wearing it on a dog tag chain is a bit more practical since you can have it on you almost all the time.

desmondtheredx (author)2012-02-02

now that i know this. if i see anyone with that on their bike i know what to do

ak08820 (author)2012-02-02

I have a fannypack that I carry whenever I ride. I use it as a handlebar bag and all the bike related items are stored in that bag, so I put the key with small garage door opener in there.

jaxpaboo (author)2012-02-02

Thanks for the bike repair man tips about water getting inside of the fork stem. I'm make an edit to include this warning.

robotmaker (author)2012-02-02

another really good spot to hide a key is under the seat.can aways find a spot or make a hidden metal box with a magnet,like uses for hidding cars under the wheel in a car,dollar store has them for $1

robotmaker (author)2012-02-02

there is a problem with that idea,i work with my dad at a bike shop and water will get in a cause problems,plus not always is there a place to put a cork in
best idea that works for me is a water bottle ,with top lid with a magnet or clip glued to it,very easy to make, no water problems causing rust,plus it made right you still can use the water bottle to drink from,and no one can see you replace or get the key

wxa1 (author)2012-02-02

it is a bit boring~maybe someday you will find your bike is still there but your key has gone

frenzy (author)2012-02-01

I like this idea, but it would make me too uneasy to do with my own bicycle. But i also live in the Bay Area where cable locks are a joke

Good Instructable!

l8nite (author)2012-01-30

cool idea, thanks for sharing

kjemielity (author)2012-01-30

great,if i could just FIND the key to get

sherrycayheyhey (author)2012-01-30

Love the Croc-vise lol.

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