Yesterday’s article about how to protect your bike from thieves turned out to be so popular, I’ve decided to post up a follow-up piece with some video showing how best to protect your precious bike.
The videos illustrate the best way to secure your bike and – worryingly – show some cylinder locks can be broken in seconds using nothing more than a common biro.
Best locks for your bike
Locks come in all shapes and sizes – chains, cables, armoured locks and the like. U-locks are often found to be the best, although cheap ones can be next to worthless, and easily sawn through or broken (see video below).
Priced at around £65, the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini Lock (see review) is an unbelievably tough mini U-lock that I’d recommend to anyone trying to protect a decent bike. It’s easily one of the toughest mo’fos out there, but be sure to use it with a second lock or tough cable.
If you’re using two two locks, make sure they’re DIFFERENT ones (say, a cable lock and a U-lock). Each kind of lock can take different kinds of tools to break, and that may be enough of a pain to put off potential thieves.
As a general rule of thumb, look to spend between 10-20% of the value of your bike on locks. That may seem a lot but anything less may prove a false economy. Cheap U-locks can be sawn apart easily, and cheap cables won’t last seconds against even casual thieves.
Note that a lot of lock manufacturers offer compensation schemes if the bike lock is broken, but in reality you have to jump through so many hoops to try to get the dosh you’ll probably give up.
Here’s a useful general video guide to locking your bike, courtesy of PC Ian MacPherson from the Metropolitan Police:
And here’s a video showing you how not to lock up your trusty steed.
Cracking a lock with a pen
Next up is a video showing how many bicycle U-locks (D-locks/shackle locks) that come with a round cylinder type key can easily be unlocked with a Bic pen.
Note that Kryptonite – one of the most popular U-Lock manufacturers – changed their design from a tubular-key to an I-key in 2004 to prevent the pen trick, but if you’re using an old lock it may be worth replacing it for one with the new design.
Read part one of the story: Here’s what happens when you don’t lock your bike properly outside Brixton tube