Who is a town rider? Anyone that commutes to work by bike, people who use their bikes around town for errands/as transport, kids who ride to school/activities… This covers a big chunk of the bike riding population. Read on to discover what the best kind of bike locks for town riding are.
Town Rider Environment
Town riders are locking bikes up in busy urban environments during the day, that generally translate to medium to high crime areas at night time. Town riders will have a good choice of ‘fixed’ objects to choose from. There are usually a good selection of bike racks in most down town areas, along with sign posts and power poles. Avoid locking your bike to a wire fence that can be easily cut.
Standard bike rack
City planners are now using circle or inverted U racks
Signposts, a pole, or power poles all make good fixed object choices
Best Locks for Town Riders
Portability is an important element for town riders as is ease of use. Choose a lock that can be quickly pulled out of a bag/pocket or off your bike. Most town riders will be making relatively quick stops, the exception here is commute riders spending a part or full day at work.
A small, lightweight, retractable lock will give you the ultimate in portability. These types of locks fit into pockets (75mm x 75mm x 20mm). Extending in length up to 0.9m which will be more than you need for most town ‘fixed’ objects. Ideal for quick stops to deter a grab it and ride it across town kind of thief.
Be aware that these locks have a low security rating and although they are made from braided steel this is not very thick so can be easily cut with a tool. Not recommended for medium to high crime areas or long stops.
Coiled locks will give you a slightly higher security rating – usually low to mid – and they are generally 1 to 1.2m long. Great for carrying on your bike as they easily coil around the frame or seat post. They give you good flexibility when choosing your ‘fixed’ object and can lock more than one bike at a time.
Be aware that coiled locks can be a challenge to pull out straight – anything over 10mm in diameter – and thread through and around a lot of things.
U-Locks will give you the greatest security rating (read more about security ratings here) and they are generally small and portable but not always lightweight. U-Locks are designed for one bike, one small ‘fixed’ object locking. See The Best Way to Use a Bike Lock.
Be aware that because they are so small you need to understand the best way to use them and you will be challenged if the bike racks are full to find a ‘fixed’ object that it will fit around.
get Safe and goRide – Bike Locks for Town Riders
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