Riding your bike is awesome, but every once in a while you have to leave it behind so you can get something non-ridey done. Locking up and walking away can be stressful (especially with all of those ‘what ifs’ dancing around in your head) and there’s nothing worse than finding your bike missing when you return. Luckily, locking up smart can help prevent the heartache! In today’s post let’s talk picking the right lock for your situation!
Just stopping for a couple minutes? Bike’s never going to leave your sight? When all it’d take to catch and stop a thief is standing up and saying “hey, that’s my ride” – you’re in a low-risk situation.
If you’re sitting outside at the café, grabbing a bacon-wrapped dog from the cart, or refilling your bottle at the park, all you need to do is slow down would-be thieves long enough for you to step in. In those situations, a café or cable lock is perfect. Light enough that you never stress about bringing it with you, and enough of a hassle that thieves won’t be able to just hop on and ride off before you can catch ‘em.
In a low-risk situation, consider the Hiplok FLX or the Hiplok Pop. They won’t stop someone with a bolt cutter, but as long as you’re close enough to keep tool wielding peeps in check, they’ll stop those crimes of opportunity that’re so common in the bike world.
Stopping in the suburbs? Going to be away from your ride for a couple hours? In that case, you’ll want something a bit beefier.
Lower foot-traffic outside of the city can mean less thieves around to eye your bike, but it also means fewer eyes keeping people honest. If your bike will be out of your sight for a couple hours, you really want something that’ll deter tooled-theives and make your bike less appealing than the next one on the rack.
In these situations, consider a mid-level U-lock, like the Kryptonite 12, or a hardened steel chain, like the Hiplok Original. And don’t forget to lock both wheels and your frame (and any super valuable components as well). A second cable or chain lock makes that a breeze and will encourage any envious eyes to move on to an easier target.
Live in the city? Leaving your bike locked up all day while you’re at work? Those are what we’d consider high-risk situations. The best way to keep your bike safe in those scenarios is a heavy-duty lock.
You want something that’s been tested to stand up to attacks, so look for the Sold Secure Gold rating, like on the Hiplok DXC and Gold. Or opt for a risk-ready lock with available insurance in case anything happens, like the Kryptonite Messenger Mini or the Messenger Chain and Molly.
Be sure to lock up both wheels and the frame again, although here you’ll definitely want to opt for a chain lock as your second, or even 2 U-locks to just go all out. Just don’t forget to protect your components too because that fancy stem and bars is worth some amount of drugs to a crook, maybe just less than your whole bike.
The upside to using two different types of locks is that it means professional thieves will need two methods of liberating your bike (and will often just move to a softer target). The upside to using a pair of U-locks is that they’re both super secure and ideally using two will prevent any sort of “twisting” attacks against the bike as a whole. If you’re torn between the two options, just check out what other bikes in your city are doing. And pay special attention to any stripped bikes, lonely locked up wheels, etc… for some good tips on what not to do in your hood.
Once you’ve got your defenses picked out, read up on how to use your locks effectively, and then ride on! All that work is worth it when you come back to find your bike right where you left it.