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Best Type Of Bike Lock?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by pbar, 21 Mar 2008.

  1. pbar

    pbar New Member

    After a new bike lock, and just after opinions on what to get. Browsing through my Argos catalogue show 3 main types - thick clunky chain covered in a rubbery plastic, or the thin long coiled up wire type, or the U shaped one.
    I can't help thinking that those U shaped one's are a little limiting as there isn't as much freedom to lock the bike up to some railings, lamposts and stuff, and the thin coiled wire type seem too easy to cut through. This leaves the think clunky chain type which I'm favouring at the moment.
  2. Mister Paul

    Mister Paul Legendary Member

    Sheldon Brown recommends getting a small D-lock and locking the bike up through the back wheel between seat- and chain-stays to something.

    His argument about using a small one is that it's harder to get something into the loop to try to break it, and it's easier to carry.

    I've got this one. It's gold rated, comes with a cable which you can hoop around the wheels, and was pretty cheap-

  3. Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    D-locks (as they are known) are generally much more secure than a cable lock and come in varying lengths up to at least 30cms so you may be able to find one that is long enough for your needs.

    Or as Mr Paul suggests go for a D-lock that comes with a cable and get the best of both worlds.

    If you have an expensive bike and/or live in a high crime area I would invest in a decent lock (£30+). Abus and Kryptonite locks generally do well in tests.

    Cheaper locks should only be seen as a deterrent against opportunistic thefts as knowledgeable and well equipped thieves can cut through cheap locks in seconds. But depending on the value of your bike and where you are planning to leave it a cheap lock may be good enough.

    It is also worth noting that it can be easier for thieves to attack longer locks as they can move them around to get them into the most vulnerable position to be attacked, so don't buy one longer than you need.
  4. ufkacbln

    ufkacbln Guest

  5. ufkacbln

    ufkacbln Guest

  6. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    Check out some of the on-line bike shops - loads of locks available - I use two 'gold' standard locks - a U lock through the rear of the frame round one end of a sheffield stand - filled with the reat wheel and spokes so no bottle jacks can get in, and then a 5kg chain through the front of the frame and front wheel.
  7. RedBike

    RedBike New Member

    Beside the road
    Ring your insurance company. They will have a list of approved locks. Unless you're using an approved lock you probably wont be insured.

    As above, you will probably need a Lock that is rated as Sold Secure gold; and some way of locking everything (ie the wheels/saddle) to the frame.
  8. punkypossum

    punkypossum Donut Devil

    I got the same one, it's pretty good and not disastrously heavy...
  9. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    York, UK
    I have a bog standard D-lock, probably came from Halfords originally, I can't remember, and I've hardly ever had trouble finding things to lock my bike to with it. With railings I sometimes have to feed the bars through the railings to get close enough, but most drainpipes work fine - you maybe have to let the front wheel swing round a bit to accomodate the width of the bars. The better 'filled' your lock is, the better, as others have said - less space for leverage. Carry a cable extension as well, like Mr Paul, and you're covered for most eventualities - if really necessary, you can use the D-lock as a padlock on the cable, and loop the cable round your solid object.

    Also, remember to park your bike somewhere nice and public if you can, preferably among a lot of other bikes in a rack - and you'll certainly have no trouble locking to a rack with a D lock. Bikes hidden away in dark corners or alleys give a thief lots of time to work on them unobserved.

    There is a theory that says you should spend at least 10% of the value of your bike on a lock, so get the best you can afford.
  10. dubman

    dubman Über Member

    there is a free lock in this month's mtb rider :thumbsup:
  11. Twenty Inch

    Twenty Inch New Member

    Behind a desk
    CTC mag recently did an analysis of locks and theft. "Gold" "silver" and so on locks are rated against attack with hacksaw, screwdriver, putty knife, nail file, Swiss Army knife tweezers and eyebrow curlers. Well, not quite, but they are NOT tested against the tools that a thief uses. Why not? Because thieves use heavy duty bolt croppers and stubby hydraulic jacks which can break through anything. The longest duration against attack in the CTC tests was 42 seconds. The organisation that provides this "gold" standard is under investigation by trading standards for basically hoodwinking the motorcycling and cycling public.

    So where does that leave us? Well, several pointers.

    Don't lock a decent bike in public - use a crappy hack or disguise your bike well.

    Lock it next to a nicer one - a thief will take that.

    Use several locks.

    Leave as little space in your D-lock as possible. This makes it difficult to get a stubby in.

    If you can leave your lock at work, then get a great big chain and padlock.

    If you are locking your bike in a garage at home, install a ground anchor and lock it to that.

    But really, if an equipped thief has tools and time, you won't stop him nicking your bike.
  12. OP

    pbar New Member

    Thanks for all the advice, appreciate it.
    A D lock and a chain it is then. Then most scenarios will be covered and, one way or the other, I'll always use both.
  13. wafflycat

    wafflycat New Member

    middle of Norfolk
    As pointed out, the thing is there's no lock that can guarantee to make your bike theft-proof from a thief determined to have *your* bike. But most thefts are opportunistic, so the key is to make your bike less attractive to the opportunistic thief. More than one lock is, IMO, the best way to go - plus removal of stuff such as lights, computer when you park up your bike, also if there's bikes that are unlocked, a thief will go for the easy target before the more difficult one. It's also been pointed out that you need to check with your insurance company as to what lock is required in order that you are covered. This is true. I'll add in check with the insurance company *how* and *where* they expect the bike to be locked e.g. to an 'immovable object' is a common one.
  14. RedBike

    RedBike New Member

    Beside the road
    Most insurance companies have quite a few stipulations. For example mine isn't covered if I leave it in a public place for more than 12hours or if the bike (or any bit of the bike) is stolen without the lock(s) being compromised.
  15. davidwalton

    davidwalton New Member

    and mine isn't covered if at a school, Uni, etc, unless locked within a locked room.