Over the coming months, this blog will cover everything from Altor’s patented joint design and the CIA’s Cold War appetite for Grade 5 titanium to National Bike Summit and customer stories about how Altor has enabled lighter, more carefree bicycle travel. For our first post, we offer a back-to-basics refresher on how to lock your bike. Your lock, after all, is only as good as your lock-up technique.
You might think it’s obvious how to lock a bike properly, but a lot people get it wrong. Don’t be one of them. Below are a few pointers to help keep your bike secure.
Lock your bike in a spot that is well lit and has foot traffic
You want someone to notice if someone is milling around your bike. Well lit and moderate to high foot traffic helps keep eyes on your bike which makes it difficult for a would-be thief to take a power tool to your lock, bike or rack.
Lock your bike to something immobile and sturdy.
Check that bolts on the rack/etc. are present and tight and that everything is structurally sound. Make sure that the bike/lock combo can’t be lifted up, off, and away. The below is a bike rack that was uprooted in Washington DC.
Lock both your bike frame and at least one wheel.
It is often possible to get a lock around rack, rear wheel, and seat tube. The rear wheel is more expensive to replace than the front wheel, so if you’re only going to secure one, secure the rear. The Altor APEX Ti has the ability to be locked together to create a larger circumference to help you secure more of your bike.
Properly locked up bike with frame and back wheel locked up:
Use a lock that won't be cut quickly
Cable locks can be - and are - cut very quickly & quietly with bolt cutters. Like in our first tip, make it difficult for a would-be thief to steal your bike. You want a thief to feel like it is too much effort to steal your bike.
Keep your lock well above the ground.
Thieves are known to use sledgehammers to break racks, poles or other objects to get your bike. They can get away with this if they are in the shadows or not in well lit location. Underground places are filled with shadows and lights can be tampered with, so lock above ground.
Orient your lock’s keyhole downward.
A silent way to steal a bike is to pick the lock. Orienting the keyhole of your lock downward makes picking trickier.
Deter twist attacks.
Thieves have been known to repurpose scaffolding poles and the like as instruments of theft. Threading a pole through a lock and twisting until breakage is only appealing, though, if the first thing the lock touches when twisted is the rack rather than the bike frame. Take this into consideration when positioning your lock.
No lock is a 100% guaranteed against bike theft. The key is to get a good lock and deploy techniques that make the costs of stealing your bike too great for the effort. Lock smart, cyclists.