This post may well be something you’ve not given an enormous amount of thought to. Many of my friends keep their bikes locked inside their houses, which in turn have burglar alarms and many roadies never leave their bikes more than a few feet away on a ride, even at a cafe stop.
However, if you do any commuting on a bike or sometimes want to ride to the shops or to a pub/meeting, you’re going to need a good lock. Also even if you live in a “safe” area, as I do, there is a lot to be said in having good locks for your bikes at home.
I know I’m not the only cyclist who can say I have a bike worth more than my car. My car has deadlocks and a burglar alarm. My bike does not, so again I think locks are essential.
Many years ago, I worked in the car alarm business and one of things we knew then was that an alarm was simply a deterent. They were a good deterent to the opportunist thief who would typically look for an easier target if they saw you had an alarm (i.e. the next car that didn’t), especially if they could tell it was a quality alarm. However, determined/professional thieves will still strike regardless of alarm/lock – so it makes sense to have appropriate protection for your prized possessions. I believe this logic also applies to locks – they’re deterent and a great one but no guarantee.
I had been thinking about locks for a while as I wanted to use my Kinesis for more things in my life but I didn’t have a suitable lock. My Kinesis is my do everything bike (http://girodilento.com/kinesis-tk3-review/). I train on it, I commute on it, I want to ride it to the shops, I ride it to the park with my kids, it’s always my first choice. Fortunately when I commute I can keep the bike in the office, literally about 10 feet from my desk.
What I didn’t have though was a lock I could use for riding to the shops or for going out to meet friends in the evenings (usually to talk about bikes) or for an occasional trip to a train station.
Recently I was fortunate enough to spend some time talking to the guys from Kryptonite locks, who kindly helped me choose a product from their range that suits my circumstances.
Kryptonite helpfully have the graphic below to assess the level of security you need:
In my case, as I said earlier, I believe I live somewhere relatively safe and I don’t intend leaving my bike unattended for too long at a time. So in reality I don’t need level 10 security. I probably do need level 7-8 though.
The guys from Kryptonite recommended a U-lock as they’re strong and versatile. Due to my quick release wheels, they also recommended a looped flex cable for securing my wheels too. In fact they’ve been good enough to send me Evolution Mini-7 with a 4 foot Flex looped cable to try and try it I will.
The Evolution Mini-7 is rated 7 out of 10 for security, so it should be about spot-on for my needs. I hope so anyway because I’d be gutted to lose my bike! It’s certainly a better lock than I’ve ever owned before, so I’m confident I should be fine.
Kyptonite locks are also independently test in the UK by Sold Secure and they rate this particular lock as a Silver rating.
If you register your lock when you buy it, Kryptonite also offer a monetary amount that they’ll pay out if you use their lock correctly and your bike still gets stolen, which is some additional peace of mind.
Another good feature is that if you register the keys for your lock, Kryptonite will replace them if you lose them. It’s something I worry about with small keys – what happens if you can’t find them, so this has particular appeal to me.
So I’m now all set for when I’m out and about. Although obviously, I’ll lock the bike TO something when I’ve actually left my house 🙂
If you want to look at what to use at home, you should be considering something like the Stronghold Anchor (below) which can be bolted to a concrete floor. If not the floor you need to anchor your bikes to something structural.
If you then combine it with a chain such as the Kryptonite New York Legend chain and New York Padlock (rated a maximum 10 on the security scale), you’ve got both a strong deterrent and quite a big job for a thief to cut through the chain!
Again it’s only a deterent but it’s a pretty compelling one I think you’ll agree.
Many of us spend a lot of money on our bikes and wheels and a few hundred pounds to buy a selection of high security locks should be right up there with a bike fit to me.
I’ll report back in time on how I get on with my own lock and thanks for reading.
For more information on Kryptonite Locks, you can visit http://www.kryptonitelock.com/
Update: I had an interesting comment on my Facebook page after posting a link to this, which suggested that locking a good bike up won’t stop someone with an Allen key stripping expensive parts off the bike. This is a good point and to be frank, not something I’d considered. Someone determined with the right cutting equipment could probably still cut the chain too. It’s a deterrent after all and not a guarantee and if you are going to leave a good bike somewhere, make it as visible as possible but appreciate there is still some risk involved.