Just as some locks are better than others, some ways of locking up your bike are better than others. Here’s our quick guide to the Do and Don’ts of securing your bicycle.
DO buy the best lock that you can afford. Ideally you actually could do with two locks: a U-lock and a cable lock. We’ll explain why shortly.
DON’T think “any lock is better than no lock”. Using a weedy lock will probably just make you complacent about where and how you lock your bike. And one day you’ll arrive back to find that your bike isn’t there anymore.
DO have a look at your bike and spot any components that can be removed without tools (seatpost, wheels for example). Either take them with you while you go shopping or while you’re at work, or think about replacing the quick release fixings with bolted versions instead.
DON’T carry around your heavy U-lock if you only ever use it in the same place when you get to your workplace. Leave it locked to the post/gate/whatever while you’re not there.
Having said that, DO think about not locking your bike in the same place all time. It increases the chances of thieves spotting it and monitoring it.
DON’T lock your bike in quiet public spaces. Thieves like quiet places to work. Try to lock your bike in spots that have plenty of pedestrian traffic.
DO buy a U-lock that can fit around what you need it fit around but don’t automatically go for a whopping one. We think it’s best to go for U-lock that’s just long enough to pass through your rear wheel, chainstay or seat tube and the lamppost (or whatever is you anchor on to). Keeping things compact mean there isn’t room for thieves to use leverage bars to break open the U-lock.
DON’T forget to lock your front wheel. Either remove it and take it with you. Or remove it and lock it against your rear wheel/frame/lamppost.
Or keep it it in the bike and use another lock to lock it to the frame and/or another adjacent lamppost or railing etc.
DO buy a second lock to lock up your front wheel. By all means go for another U-lock if you’re prepared to lug it around but we reckon a decent cable lock is the better ‘real world’ solution really.
Front wheels aren’t worth enough on their own for most thieves to bother with lock-breaking for.
DON’T lock your bike to something that it can be lifted over or off.
DO lock your bike next other less-well-secured bikes. Make your bike the least appealing prospect to thieves.
DON’T think any CCTV is a deterrent. It possibly won’t be functional and if it is the footage will no doubt be useless.