How should I be locking my bike?

Nyphur Posts: 8
edited May 2011 in MTB beginners
Hi all.

Having enjoyed commuting on a borrowed ratty bike, I bought myself a Carrera Kraken yesterday, based in part to the advice I saw given to others on BikeRadar.

Whilst I am (at this stage) barely capable of riding down a canal path without fear (well, not quite, but you get the idea), I would very much like to hang on to my bike, and not have it nicked.

While I understand that you should always buy the best lock you can afford (and be prpepared to have ANY lock defeated if you leave the bike long enough in a bad enough area!), I don't really know how to lock a bike up properly. The bike I was using just had a D-Lock chucked through the frame, and around anything that was near which looked solid. However, with the Kraken having quick-release wheels, I'm realising this isn't suitable. I've seen a few posts suggesting a good quality D lock to go through the frame and back tyre to something solid, and a cable to go through the front tyre to something solid too.

Does anyone have any other advice/comments for me, or any recommendations for a decent set-up? I realise my bike costs peanuts in comparison to what some of you ride, but still, it's mine - and I don't want anyone to steal it!

Thanks in advance :)


  • chedabob
    chedabob Posts: 1,133
    Whatever your insurance asks for. You can get a Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 off Amazon for £32 which is Sold Secure Gold. Doesn't mean shit but most insurers want it.

    I have a super cheap cable lock through my front wheel and through the fork crown if I can be bothered. I go by the theory that nobody is going to bother cutting a lock for a wheel. If you've fitted the D-lock through the frame well they shouldn't be able to lift the bike far enough to get the wheel out of the slots.
  • stubs
    stubs Posts: 5,001
    What chedabob says about buying whatever the insurance people want. If someone really really wants your bike you will never stop them just slow them down a bit and hope they go for an easier option.

    Buy any lock with a "Sold Secure Gold" logo on it. Halfords were doing a good deal on a D lock and cable combo a while back might still have it. The cable had loops at either end which could be looped round a wheel then through the D. If your worried about the QRs you can replace them with locking axles one brand to look for is called Pinhead they have a special key to undo them.

    Make sure you lock it to something solid, I once locked my commuter bike to a street sign went into a shop and came out to find the street sign on its side and a van driving round the corner. The sign just lifted out of the hole, why they wanted an old hardtail worth less than the lock I'll never know.
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • stubs
    stubs Posts: 5,001
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
  • bails87
    bails87 Posts: 12,998
    I use a Kryptonite New York 'Fahgettaboudit' Mini D-lock around the seat tube, back wheel and the railings where I lock my bike. And an Abus Steel-O-Flex Granit through the front wheel, main triangle and the railings. I get 1 'post' of the railings through the NY and 2 through the Abus.

    It's an expensive pair of locks, but it's for locking up an expensive bike. It's actually my road bike, I'm not sure if the Mini would fit around the seat tube and wheel of a MTB, but they do a normal sized one too. I chose the small one becuase it means there's virtually no room to get any tools in the lock to try to force it open.

    -try to use two different types of lock. If they've got the tools to break one then they might be able to steal a wheel, but most of the bike will still be there. Carrying the tools to break two serious locks of different types is a lot of hassle.

    -Lock your bike in a sensible place. If somewhere is too busy maybe no-one will notice someone smashing a lock due to all the other 'commotion'. Obviously if it's in a really quiet place then a thief can work in peace.

    -Make your bike look like a lot of effort to steal. If it's being nicked by a crackhead who's just going to sell it for £20 to the first person he spots, he'll just want an easy steal. If you make any other bikes look like they're easier to take, you make yours safer. Not very nice, but true.

    -Try not to leave your locks in the same place/out in the open. E.g. if you cycle to work, maybe take your locks into the office or lock them somewhere just inside the door, so you can walk in with your bike, get your locks and walk back out. This stops people either sabotaging your locks (superglue in the chamber, etc), or learning how to pick/break them when they're left out overnight.

    Paranoid, moi? :wink:

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • nozzac
    nozzac Posts: 408
    The way most good D-locks are broken is using bottle jacks. So the important thing is to lock it in a way that means they cannot get the nose of the jack into the D. So for most applications the mini-D locks are great because you can fill the space with the frame and thing you're locking to.

    The way most chains are broken is with bolt croppers. Only the best chains are cropper proof. But the way you get the leverage with the croppers to cut a good chain means you need the chain on the floor. So lock it so you keep it off the ground. This also stops the use of chisel and hammer.
  • Nyphur
    Nyphur Posts: 8
    Thanks for the advice everyone. Just the sort of comments I was looking for.

    I'll be checking into what spec lock our house insurer (under which family bikes are covered) requires tomorrow and will obviously buy at least their minimum requirement. I've heard good things about those Kryptonite "New York" locks, and will definitely check them out.

    Regarding where to leave the bike, I hadn't even considered that there could be somewhere "too busy" to leave a bike - I will bear this in mind when I lock it up. I always try to leave it somewhere which is within sight of CCTV, even f there isn't a camera pointed directly at it. Who knows, maybe it helps, maybe it doesn't.

    The QR is a concern I must admit. Thanks for link to Pinhead comp's -I will take a look there. [ETA - Just bought the 2 part wheel kit from Pinhead - thanks for the tip!]

    Thanks again.
  • Deputy Dawg
    Deputy Dawg Posts: 428
    This is a good read to give you an idea of what locks to buy & whats best avoided.
    Statistically, Six Out Of Seven Dwarves Aren't Happy
  • Nyphur
    Nyphur Posts: 8
    Thanks for the link.
    On the basis of the article I bought this today:

    Halfords Magnum Plus Mini (rebadged OnGuard Brute Mini 5112) [18mm]

    Despite the current price being £49.99, They had it incorrectly marked up at £32.99, so a good deal was had :)
  • Deputy Dawg
    Deputy Dawg Posts: 428
    So long as its large enough to go through your frame, rear wheel & whatever its being locked to it should work nicely. ;)
    Statistically, Six Out Of Seven Dwarves Aren't Happy
  • Nyphur
    Nyphur Posts: 8
    Its *just* big enough to go round the frame and the locking posts in town Until my pinhead locks turn up, I am running a cable (came with the D lock) through the front wheell, and using a separate D lock for the rear wheel/frame. Seems to be a decent enough set up until the pinheads arrive.

    Thanks for all the help