Bike Boom and Bike Theft

Spot checks on local bike shops, distributors, and industry insiders confirms yes there is indeed a bike boom. There’s also a subsequent increase in bike theft. If you’re not as lucky as the owner of the Silver Eagle (whose bike was lost and found), what do you do to protect your bike?

For my road/urban bikes, I treat them like a suitcase handcuffed to my wrist. They don’t leave my side. For Bettie, it would take a very determined crackhead to walk off with her. I use a u-lock through the front wheel and a cable lock from the frame to a nearby solid object.

What do you do to lock up your bike?


remove the front wheel and lock through the frame, back wheel and removed front wheel.

Kryptonite Kryptolok 2 mini u-lock through the front wheel, frame and a bike rack or street sign.

No quick release anythings.

Also usually try to park it next to a Gary Fisher or Cannondale…Plenty of those to go around in Wicker Park.

Of course should mention when I travel with the Brompton or Dahons, they fold up and come with me.

kryptonite new yorker chain to solid object and a mini u-lock wheel to frame.

Just a U-lock, usually through the front wheel and frame, but I guess I’ve upgraded the rear wheel to the point of being more valuable than the dyno.

It’s been hex key skewers and bolt-on for a while, but now it looks like the time for Pitlocks.

I’ve been wanting to try disc-brake locks on Bettie. It’s the same ones that motorcycles use and I think they’d fit the Juicy discs

a U-lock thru the frame and the rear wheel and a cable thru the front that attaches to the U-lock.

@ DL
I’m rather concerned that you’re using a cable lock as your main lock. :o You do realize that any joker with a truck can pop that in a second, toss poor Bettie in the back, and attack the U-lock leisurely back at the “lair” right? 
Cable locks don’t have anti-theft guarantees.  U-locks do. 

As for the disc brake lock; that’s really not going to do you much good. Noting what I just said above, bicycle rotors are easy to remove and cheap to replace.  I’ve seen prices as low as $14 for one that will fit your Juicy just fine should they decide to use your brakes.  Though chances are they’ll just sell the untraceable parts on eBay or trade them.  The disc brake locks (stapler type) are much more effective on motorcycles mainly due to the mass of the bike.

As for me, I use a U-lock through the frame and rear wheel to the solid object (filling the U as much as possible) with a separate keyed cable lock for the front wheel, again through the frame to the solid object.

The beater bike gets a u-lock through front wheel, frame, and bike ring.  The nice folding bike gets folded in half with Kryptonite chain lock through both wheels, frame, and bike ring.  The quick-release seat gets tossed in the bag when I go inside.

Both go in our apartment at night and only are left on the street for a matter of a few hours at most.

I use a U-Lock through the rear wheel (in the rear triangle) and fixed object (usually a pole, like a parking meter). I then use a relatively thick cable lock through the front wheel and frame (and usually through my seat as well).  Both my front and rear wheels are bolted (as is my seatpost), but not with hex or pitlocks ones (my next purchase, likely).


Appreciate the concern, I’m running the u-lock, through the front wheel, and fork. With the rake and disc on one side, options are limited. The rear wheel isn’t going to come off without the proper wrenches.

Is a pitlock, the lock I talking about attached through the disc brake vent holes?

Mini u-lock through frame and front wheel, attached to rack.  Cable through the rear wheel and my helmet.

I don’t leave my bike anywhere other than at my work bike parking/shower facility (weekdays when I commute).  I use an OnGuard Bulldog mini u-lock with a cable to secure it to a bike rack at the place.  When I go riding on weekends I don’t let my bike leave my possession.  I can’t afford a new bike and I ain’t losing this one to some jackass thief.

I use Sheldon Brown’s method. 
This includes using:

1)A Mini-u-lock (I use a OnGuard Bulldog Mini)to lock up the rear tire to a bike rack. The lock is placed in the frame’s rear triangle.

2)A cable lock that locks up the front wheel to the frame. I’d like a u-lock for this too but I haven’t gotten around to buying another one.



Ok, with Bettie 2.0 being a Big Dummy (solid frame not a bolt together Xtracycle) you can still do the “Sheldon” or as I like to call it “Modified Sheldon”
(locking the rear wheel plus a stay or two depending on configuration) which I advocate for the same reasons as on my friend’s site. 

My reasoning lies in the fact that the two most expensive parts on many bikes tend to be the frame (duh) and the rear wheel.  (Fancy suspension forks can be another matter)  Using your method as I understand it by just locking the front wheel to the frame with the u-lock and the securing the bike to your fixed object with a cable you’ve got a problem.  A jobber in a truck whips out a two foot bolt cutter and suddenly Joe Redneck’s got hisself a fancy bike truck.  In my opinion, having done this for a while, you’d be better off securing the frame & rear wheel with a good U-lock or NY type chain (it’s an Xtracycle the weight won’t hurt) and then cabling the front wheel to the frame and (if possible) the fixed object.

Moving on I’m not quite following you on the connection between “disc locks” like this or this and Pitlocks .
  Pitlock makes devices such as locking skewers, things to secure headsets, and locking bolts for V-style brakes.  Last I checked they don’t make anything that goes through the vent holes on a rotor (which would still be useless on a bicycle).



I follow and note that I’m u-locking through the fork and wheel. I didn’t know what a pitlock was—the purpose of the disc lock is for immobilizing the bike, for a walk-away theft. Also note that I’m not locking Bettie all day, this is into the store. Yes, it can happen that fast, but I’m not going to extreme measures and great advice.

mini-Ulock frame to solid object & to kryptonite cable for both wheels

All of our bikes spend the night in the basement. My bike, the Land Shark, spends most of the day in a closet here at the office.
When traveling, we lock the bikes to the spare tire rack on the Jeep Liberty.
When going to do errands, Kryptonite cable lock.
We live in small town USA, so I don’t need that big chainlock stuff.
When I go to the library with my daughter, I leave the Salsa Mamacita and the attached Trail-A-Bike outside the doors. People in Hartland know us all to well as the dad and little girl who ride a “unique tandem”

Bikes rool!
Bike theft should be punishable by pulling toenails.

@ DL

Fork and wheel?  Unless I’m mistaken, (considering a stock fork) that pretty much means that if the guy flips the QR (or busts out a ratchet with bolt ons) the whole U-lock scheme is rendered moot.  I still say it would be better to cable the wheel to the frame, which would do a fine job in it’s own right on the immobilization front. 

I do completely understand that you’re talking about a “quick stop” but considering that you’re already taking the time to bust out the U-lock wouldn’t it be better to use it in a manner that will do some good?  It’s kinda like only locking the doorknob when the deadbolt is right above it.

Going to immobilization, disc locks really aren’t meant for bicycles.  As you probably know, bicycle rotors are quite thin in comparison to motorcycle rotors.  I don’t know that I would bother with them in this application simply due to the potential of tweaking the rotor. (Not to mention having to deal with that dragging sound that’s part and parcel to an untrue rotor).

I do have another suggestion on the immobilization front that might be up your alley, and as a bonus (since I know you use discs) it will give you a use for the canti studs on the Dummy.  The AXA Basta Click 3 Booster will give you immobilization in the form of a mounted “euro-style” lock. 

Should you feel it necessary to use such a device, I’d suggest mounting it with a pair of appropriately sized security Torx bolts (the ones with the pin in the middle) after ensuring that the studs were either welded or threaded in with red loctite.  If you wanted to go really over the top you could use the Pitlock V-brake locking bolts from the link I gave above.


If I’m going in a store with nice roomy cart and I’m only grabbing a few things(like at the local walmart) I’ll wheel my bike inside to the cart area, fold her up and haul her in the cart while I do my shopping(I use the kiddy seat to hold items because I use a backpack for carrying things. If I’m in the downtown area(which i haven’t had to do yet) where there aren’t carts, and the stores are really tiny, I will fold it in half and use a couple ulocks through the folded layers of the frame and rear tire(and the frame and front tire and the handlebars which I can lower to the frame).

Then I’d hook up the seat to my helmet and the frame with a chain lock.

Not that anyone would really want to steal my folded bike. When its all set up its a vintage beauty, but when folded, it looks like a bunch of semi rusted bike parts that made it through a trash compactor xD

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