Does any of this sound familiar to you? You and your significant other move to a brand new city. There are tons of people and after a while, the hassle of owning a car and driving in congested traffic is getting too much to take. You opt to sell your car and pick up a brand new bike! Surely this method of transportation will be a lot less headache, and will be cheaper, too, right?
Well, you are correct in assuming that ditching your vehicle and picking up a bike for your only mode of transportation is going to be a lot cheaper, but recently, there has been an epidemic of bike thieves in big cities just waiting to steal your new prized possession.
I personally have lost a bike through theft before. Many people assume they are safe because they are using a bike lock. The simple fact of the matter is that not all bike locks are created equal, and most of them are downright garbage. This is how a lot of bikes are stolen. Another huge reason for losing your bike is thinking that you will only be in a certain store for a minute, what is the worst that can happen? In that 5 minutes it takes you to run in and grab your pizza, you could come out and your bike is nowhere to be seen. So what are you to do?
First, you will need a bike lock. There is no way around this. Picking the correct bike lock is another chore all together. A website named Fit Clarity mentioned that you need to get a bike lock that is made out of hardened steel. I took this to heart and set out to test if these were really worth the price you pay for them.
I got out some tools from the garage, a hammer, a crow bar, a hacksaw, and some bolt cutters. I figured that each of these would be a possible tool that a thief may use. I then took one of my old bikes and used an old chain bike lock, and a new hardened steel bike lock and attempted to break through them.
A hammer is probably the simplest tool in a thief’s arsenal so I gave that a try first. Hardened steel I was not able to break through in any short period of time. The cheap chain lock I was able to smash through in 3 minutes flat. Not bad if I was trying to steal the bike.
However, using all the tools, I was not able to get through the hardened steel at all in the 30 minutes I gave myself. Not bad!
The top 3 things to look for when buying a new bike lock
1: You want security! This means you are going to need to pay some extra money and get a bike lock that is made out of hardened steel. Chain locks will not cut it. I would suggest you take a look at some of the U locks on the market. Kryptonite makes some great products that they say are “unbreakable”.
2: Portability is going to be a big one. You will need to bring your bike lock around with you as you cycle through town. Some locks are going to be over 5 pounds which are cumbersome and get in the way. A lot of units though, will only weigh 1 to 2 pounds and after a few days of throwing it in your backpack, you will not notice a difference.
3: Finally, you want something of value. Sure, you could get a 10 dollar lock, or a 100 dollar lock. If you remember to buy a lock made out of the correct material, from a brand that is trusted, and is easy to carry around, it is hard to go wrong.
Please keep in mind that you should be locking your bike correctly! That means that you should lock the inner bike stem through your tire and removing your front tire, aligning it side by side with your rear tire, and closing the lock. Taking precautions is the easiest way to stay multiple steps ahead. Ride safe out there!