Originally Posted by NerpAngel
Hello everyone, I just wanted to start a thread asking you all what some of you use for locking up your bikes if you ever ride to city places. See I'm a college student up in Washington and I plan on riding my bike to classes some days, to the store every once and a while, etc... For those of you who lock up your bikes, what exactly do you do to feel safe? Maybe just wrap a cable around your bike to a bike rack or do you have some crazy gps locking tracking system? I know I love my bike just as much as the next person, and I'm sure there's people out there that would love to steal it. (Maybe I'm being paranoid
OK people here's the thing. I have "some close friends" who know a LOT about locking systems, esp. for bikes. I am probably the person to come to for advice on this topic. Or at least, many of my friends are.
Bike lock types:
Standard Master Lock and Chain:
Bolt cutters make these useless. Bolt cutters are readily available.
Master Lock and Braided Cable:
more resistant to bolt cutters, esp. if you have a specialized lock for this purpose. DO NOT LOSE KEYS FOR THIS TYPE OF LOCK!
Braided Steel Cable with Rotating Cylinder Style Combination ("barrel style):
Very resistant to all but the most determined and repetitive operation of bolt cutters. HOWEVER: A quick, hard blow from a hammer, right on the numbers, will cause this type of lock to spring open.
Rotating style Combination with clear plastic cover over a thin chain:
I laugh whenever I see these. Makes theft more fun than simply not locking the bike up. These combination locks can EASILY and QUICKLY be de-coded with minimal hand effort. They can also be grasped in a person's hand, yanked good and hard, and broken. Congratulations. You just donated your bicycle to a person in "need."
Handcuff-style (about 60-80 bucks at a good bike store):
These are fantastic. Better brands come with a bicycle-replacement policy if they fail or someone gets it open or broken. The only downside is that these types of locks are very limited in the ways that you can apply them to your bicycle or other objects. You need something to lock it to that fits into the cuff piece.
"Python" style locks:
These locks work by a frictional system, which holds a loop of braided steel cable together. I do not recommend these, but only because I have seen one wear out, and no longer hold tightly to the loose cable end. However, if this was an isolated incident, this lock style offers a great array of options for use, and is available in various lengths to suit your individual need.
"U" style locks
These hardened locks are almost impenetrable. Bolt cutters (unless very long-handled, and operated by a very strong person, and containing VERY hardened teeth) hacksaws, hammers, and maybe even bullets
have shown no way to break or force these open. However, clever use of an automobile service jack can force them open over an extended time and a good amount of work.
So, long story short, if someone clever wants your bike, they're gonna get it. The trick is to anticipate their ambition, park in an area with easier targets, and if you're gonna lose your baby, make 'em work for it at least.
And when you see that fool riding your s**t around, clothesline that fool off of it, kick him in a strategic area, and ride off, reunited with your love. That's my advice, anyway. Or you could always rig up some electric fencing: