A lot of people come into the shop asking questions about the proper way to lock up a bike. This post is just about locking your wheels and frame.
If you were to own just one lock, it should be a U-lock. They’re quite sturdy, and can easily be thrown in your back pocket or backpack. Heavy duty chains are also excellent choices, but they can be a bit more cumbersome.
The thing to remember when locking up is that your lock is only as strong as its weakest point. For instance, if you have an unbreakable lock securing your bike to a thin wood post, your lock would prove worthless. All the thieves would have to do is snap the wood and take your bike.
The Sheldon Brown (RIP) method of locking up is one of the most popular and secure ways to lock up your frame and rear wheel. You lock your rear wheel with a U-lock to an immovable object through the rear triangle. There is no way you can steal the bike without busting the lock and/or rear wheel.
If you treasure your front wheel more, you can lock your wheel and frame to an immovable object as such:
The best way to lock up is to have multiple locks. If you have a cable along with a U-lock, you can loop the cable through a wheel and secure it with a U-lock; just make sure the frame is also locked.
The best way to protect your bike from thieves is to have it by your side at all times. But that is obviously unrealistic.
So when you do have to lock up, make sure it is a place where you can keep an eye on it. It is generally not a good idea to lock up at a movie theater, while watching The Watchmen. You’re giving thieves 3 hours to steal your bike.
Don’t lock up your bike at the same time and place on a daily basis. You wouldn’t take your girlfriend to P.F Chang’s at 12 in the afternoon every Tuesday and Thursday would you? Yeah, treat your bike like your girlfriend..only better. Switch things up so thieves don’t know your schedule.
Remember these tips are just for when you need to lock up for a short period of time. All a thief needs are tools and time. Ride safe and stay vigilant.