You may have a Gold Standard lock, but if you don’t know how to secure your bike correctly, it’s pretty pointless. Now you have the right lock, it’s essential you know how to use it.
While a good lock will help keep your bike secure, it still won’t be enough of a deterrent to a bike thief if it’s used incorrectly. You may think ‘how hard can it be to lock a bicycle up securely?’ but you’ll be surprised how many people get it wrong. When locking your bike, there are a few basic principles you must follow, which we explain here in our top five bike lock tips.
1. Lock your bike to something secure
This catches so many cyclists out. Always make sure you attach your bike to something that can’t be moved, lifted or easily broken. A scaffolding pole may require a hefty chain saw to cut through it, but it only needs a couple of tools to loosen the joint and lift the pole up altogether. Mesh fencing looks big and bold, but a pair of wire cutters would break through it within moments. Remember, your bike is only secure as what you are attaching it to.
Don’t lock your bike down a darkly lit road – you are simply inviting a thief to try and take it. Secure it in a well-lit area, where people are constantly passing. If you can, keep an eye out for CCTV and lock it close by.
3. Efficient locking
Lock the frame, front and back wheel to the object you have secured it to. If you only have one lock, remove the front wheel, and then lock both together with the frame. Ensure the U lock is securely fastened. Don’t leave it hanging loose between the bike and the object you have locked it to as this will allow the thief more manoeuvrability in and around your bike to create enough leverage to force open the lock.
4. Two different locks are better than one
The word ‘different’ is the important factor here. Two different types of locks mean that thief will need to use two different types of tools to prise them open. While it is possible, it’s highly unlikely a thief with have a number of high-end tools with them. One U lock and a chain lock is a worthy opponent for any bike thief.
5. Remove accessories
If you can, take all accessories with you. A bicycle is far less appealing without lights and wheels attached to it. A lot of thieves steal bikes and literally ride off on them. Remove the seat post too, and it makes it incredibly hard for a thief to take off. Remember if you’re worried, you can get insurance cover for your cycling accessories. Now you know how best to use the lock, find out more about how to buy the best bike lock.