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Bike Lock Buying Guide

By Annette 1 year ago2 Comments

Consider…

What is your level of risk?

This is all about the environment you predominately want to lock your bike up in.  For example; central city vs local dairy.  All day/night vs quick stop.  Lots of people vs isolated.  High crime rate vs low crime rate.  Also be aware the more unique or expensive looking your bike is the more likely it will be a target for crime.  Theives will look for the “easiest” steal so how are the bikes around yours locked up?  Start by matching a type of bike lock to your situation.

What security rating do you need?

Bike locks are not created equally some are just deterrents for an opportunistic thief.  Meaning if it’s locked to something someone can’t grab it and ride away (it is estimated that 85% of bike theft is opportunistic), other locks are made to make breaking them difficult even with all the right tools.   Locks have security ratings from 9 (high) to 1 (low) or a star rating, 5 stars (high), 1 star (low).  Generally the thicker the cable/steel the harder it is to cut so the better the rating – starting with highly rated chain locks, then U-Locks, dropping down to cable locks.

Read more at Bike Lock Security Ratings 

How important is your bike?

Is your bike integral to your daily life, is it how you move around your town or city getting to work/school/shopping.  If this is true invest in a quality lock.  Your bike is valuable (this is about your disposable income and how “costly” it would be to replace not the monetary value of the bike).  If this is true invest in a quality lock.  Have you invested a lot of time and/or money into your bike?  If this is true invest in a quality lock.  Buying a quality bike lock may involve saving up for something slightly over your immediate budget.  It may also involve you making a decision to use a higher security rated bike lock than the environment calls for because you want to have the lock that will be most difficult to break.

Locking 1 bike vs a group of bikes

Is this lock for a group of bikes?   For example; to take on a family ride, use on the car bike rack or at the end of a group ride while you explore/socialise further?  If so, you need length.  You will also need length if you often find yourself in situations where the “fixed object” you choose to lock your bike to wasn’t designed for this or the bike racks seem to always be full… power poles, trees, fence posts… a U-lock simply won’t work.

Read more at The Best Way to Lock a Bike , Bike Locks for Family or Group Riding

Does it need to be portable?

If you are buying a lock to use in only one location e.g. at work or at home and you don’t need it to be used elsewhere the highest security rated locks are chain locks.  These locks are heavy.  If your lock needs to be portable it also needs to be lightweight and you need to think through how you are going to carry it with you.

Read more at Types of Bike Locks

Key vs Combination?

Bike locks are opened in a couple of different ways, either by using keys that you must carry with you or by entering a sequence of numbers into a combination barrel.  Both systems can be broken into, it depends on the skill set of the thief.  Also, this may not be where they choose to attack your lock if they have cutting tools.  So this decision comes down to personnel choice &/or the personality of the person using the lock (how many keys do you think your teenage boy could lose?)…is it easier to carry keys or remember a code?

Best Use

Determine what your greatest needs are or the most frequently occuring way you would use a bike lock.  Perhaps more than one lock would be the answer &/or more than one type of lock.  Please read The Best Way to Lock a Bike so you fully understand how to get the best out of a bike lock.

goRide’s BIKE LOCK Solutions

Security Rating

Portability

Other Features

Bike Lock

Braided cable steel.  Quick stops, low crime areas, people around

Small, extremely lightweight, designed to be carried in a pocket

Good length (1m), retractable, combination, great kids scooter option

Braided cable steel.  Med to low theft risk

Coiled for easy attachment to bike, lightweight.

Combination, 1.5m coiled length, anti-scratch coating, kid friendly

Sold Secure Silver, hardened steel, double deadlock. High risk areas or valuable bike

Easy to fit into a bag but best carried on the bike

Key, vinyl coated

Braided steel cable with Sold Secure Silver D-Lock.  Multiple bikes in isolated or med to low risk areas

D-Lock with pouch, cable around bike or in bag

Key padlock, length (2.2m) designed for multiple bikes

Steel core security tie. Low risk areas, quick stops

Very lightweight & portable

Convenient, re-usable, multi-use deterrant. 420mm long. Great for securing helmet to bike.

Make your purchase a success…

Best Use

I’ve said this above and it’s a really important part of deterring a thief.  Use your lock the way it was designed to be used, securing your bike in the best possible way. Learn more at The Best Way to Use a Bike Lock

Cleaning

Wipe down your lock with a damp cloth to remove grit, dust, dirt & rust then apply a wax lubricant to lock pins, dead-bolts, shackles and cylinders.  This should be done every couple of months or whenever you think there is a need.  Make sure the lubricant has a TEFLON base and once you have lubed move all the parts to make sure the lubricant has spread to where it needs to go.

Storage

You can only use a lock if you have it with you when you need it so store it in the same place as your bike helmet, bike lights, tools and bike cleaning kit.  This means that when you’re heading out in a rush you won’t be held up by searching for a lock.  It also means that every one in the family knows where to find the locks.

…so you and your family can SMILE when you ride.

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2 Comments

  • Matt says:

    Cable locks and the like are fine if your bicycle is in sight and you are only looking for something to slow the thief down. To leave your bike out of sight for short term (= 3 hrs) you need a good secure bicycle stand and at least a sturdy U lock of a good standard – Kryptonite or Abus U Locks at the top of their range provide excellent protection. The guide is always to spend 10% or more of your bicycle price on decent locks – you need to secure both wheels and the frame to the stand. A great option is to combine the U lock with another type, such as a chain lock – see the guides on the BIkes Welcome website – the Auckland pages area has a simple PDF you can download as a great 1 pager on how to lock your bike. Great site and good thinking – wish you both the very best.

    • Annette says:

      Hi Matt,
      thanks for your great comments and the awesome work that Bikes Welcome is doing around the country.

      Regards
      Annette

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