Whether you own an expensive electronic bike or e-bike that you would like to protect against thieves, or you commute to work on a bicycle every day, you have reached the right page. Knowing how to keep your precious bike safe from the hands of criminals is a hot topic that you should find the right answers to. According to FBI data in 2018, more than 130,000 people reported their bikes were stolen. The number, however, are even higher sine lots of people refuse to file a report when their bikes go missing. The reason? The very small percentage of solved bike theft cases, the inconvenience of having to call the police and fill in all the paperwork, the lack of confidence that they will ever get back their bikes, and so on. If you want to avoid having to file your own stolen bike complaint, especially if you own a state-of-the-art electronic bike or a race bike you have paid thousands on, read on. You will learn why bicycle locks and padlocks are good ideas, how to shop for the best ones, and what else you could do to increase security on your bike.
An opportunist thief will usually take less than a full minute to grab a parked bike in the street and take off with it, provided no locks and padlocks are protecting it. The sturdier and more efficient these locks, the bigger the lock picking hassle will become, and the more likely they are to give up. While even the simplest lock could deter a potential thief in the street, as no one wants to be caught or seen tampering with a lock in broad daylight, locked bikes do get stolen too. Usually, standard or poor quality locks are more inviting for property criminals, whereas a branded lock with enhanced security features made of hard to saw materials will trigger opposite results. Let us take a look at a few of the most popular and efficient locks you could consider for better bicycle security no matter where you are.
A U-lock for your bike that is made from hardened steel can usually only be picked with the help of noisy and bulky power tools that is hard to ignore by passers-by. Accordingly, very few thieves will dare to get near a bike protected with a heavy and sturdy U-lock they can recognize from a distance. While more on the pricier side, these locks are an investment worth making for obvious reasons. The Kryptonite New York STD model, for instance, comes with a double deadbolt that needs to be cut twice in order to unlock. Its shackles also measure 16 millimeters and the anti-twisting option make it one of the best alternative on the market right now. This bike lock is sold with brackets that need to be used to mount the lock. The mounting bracket comes with straps made of nylon that need to be used to tie the lock to the bike’s frames. It gives bike owners more than just one mounting option.
These options are suitable for bike owners who need to commute on a regular basis as they are rather inconspicuous due to their small size and non-bulky design once they are folded. While a few folded bike lock models can be cut using a bolt cutter or power drills, there are sturdier options and they are also dependable if your bike is not compatible with a U-lock. You can also use this lock on several bicycles at once, thanks to the securing loops you can tie to the frames of the bicycle.
Providing about the same protection as a U-lock, chain locks work best when they are made of steel and when their shackles can withstand picking attempts. A large bicycle chain can effectively be used to lock up the frames and wheels, together with the diameter of trees and posts used for parking the bikes. The best bike chains are those that offer you the convenience of carrying the chain around your waist. Chains can usually git waist diameters ranging from 26 to 44 inches. Look for a bicycle chain that is manufactured with hardened steel of at least 6 millimeters and see that the shackles are wide enough to serve their purpose.
You can find several different lightweight locks for bikes and some of them feature a zip tie mechanism. They are known for offering less security, so they are more suitable for running quick errands on a bike and temporary parking rather than long-term storage. Some of these zip tie models have plastic steel cores.
Buying the right lock for your bike is only part of the solution. Remember to always take your lock or padlock along and use it. One rule of thumb is to lock according to the value you are looking at. In other words, focus on the bike’s frame first, as this is the most expensive part, then move on to securing the rear wheel followed by the wheel in the front. A frame that has not been locked is a lot more likely to be stolen, while a bike that has both wheels locked to the frame with cable or chain locks, U-locks, or something similar will look less appealing for thieves. You could also opt for other security devices that could increase bike security such as disc detainer locks or laser-cut slot sliders. Make sure to talk to an expert locksmith that will assist you with your decision and help you fit a more complex bike lock, replace a missing key or repair a broken lock mechanism and recommend additional bicycle security solutions.