09 January 2012

how to/how not to lock up your bike

 "auxiliary cable" mistake
It never ceases to amaze me how often you can spot an improperly locked up bicycle in NYC... or the remnants of a bicycle theft. I spotted that cut Kryptonite cable above in SoHo right after hearing about the same thing happened in Union Square from a friend.

I love this video from Streetfilms in which Hal from Bicycle Habitat does a hilarious -- and very good job -- at running through how to properly lock up. He's been a bike mechanic in NYC since the 70's and knows all the tricks of the trade including one of my favorites, strategically epoxying ball bearings...

Hal Grades Your Bike Locking 3: The Final Warning!


  1. I've been doing a lot of research on how to lock up my bike lately. I need to invest in some really good locks, especially since I'm shipping my Flying Pigeon 9,000 miles home!

    Thanks for sharing this video, I shared it with my Slow Biking group here in Singapore.

  2. After losing my last bike to theft, despite what I considered reasonable precautions and beyond, I changed tactics, and now I am the proud owner of a folding bike. This, of course, is not 100% theft-proof, but it's a lot harder to break into my apartment or office building, where I now keep my bike, than to cut through a lock on the street.

  3. Wow! thanks for posting that vid. That is so fantastic. I think he'd give me an A, though I remove my front wheel and lock it to the side of the frame with the U-lock (see below about cable lock security)

    Two anecdotes, if I may:

    1) While attending art school in Portland, ME, I once stole a friend's new (to her) mountain bike for her. I found it just outside the school, U-locked by the front wheel to a light pole. I popped the front QR and carried the bike into her studio space.

    2) I worked the floor at a bike store this summer. It's amazing the folks who think $30 is too much to pay for a lock to secure their at least $300 bike. They want to opt for the cable locks. I tell them that they are low security locks and that one of the things I learned at the shops I've worked at is how to cut most cable locks in minutes (legally from known owners who lose their combos).

    Most opt for U-Locks but often the phrase "Well, we're in VT not NYC" comes up :)

    @Chris: Exactly! My main rule is: unless I can't possibly avoid it, my bike is either under me, locked in the back of my Outback or in the same building I am.


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