Lakeside Bicycles Buyers Guide to Bicycle locks:
Having your bicycle stolen is a real risk that you need to be aware of and take measures to prevent. Bikes are targeted by thieves because they're relatively easy to steal and sell. This is abetted because many people don't take even basic steps to protect their bicycles.
In fact, law enforcement statistics in most areas worldwide show that the vast majority of stolen bikes weren't even locked. This includes those that are reported stolen from yards, garages, front porches and other spots at home where people believe their bikes to be safe.
The first rule of safeguarding your bicycle is getting a good lock and always using it. The good news is that Lakeside Bicycles is there to help!
We have a wide selection of locks to keep your bike yours!
Here are the 3 main bicycle lock types with some pros and cons for each. We strive to keep the best and latest in bike security in stock, so check with us if you're looking for something other than shown here. If we don't have it, we can get it for you quick.
U-Locks come in a variety of sizes and are usually made of steel covered with vinyl to protect your bike's finish. To use a U-lock, the crossbar is unlocked and removed and the "U" fits around an immovable object (like the bike-parking rack) and the bike frame and rear and front wheels (you need to remove the front wheel and put it next to the rear wheel). Then you lock the crossbar in place on the "U" to lock your bike.
It's difficult for thieves to violate U-locks. Still, you may wish to use a cable or chain lock along with a U-lock so that you can leave the front wheel in place and secure it with the cable/chain. Also, having 2 different type locks means the thief has to work harder to steal your bike and will usually choose an easier one to try to steal.
U-locks can usually be carried on the bicycle with a special holder sometimes included with the lock. They also fit in a pack. Note that the small U-locks are usually used with chain locks, usually (see next section).
Chain Locks are comprised of steel links and usually covered with a nylon or vinyl sleeve to protect your bike's finish. They can include a built-in or separate padlock, combination lock or mini U-lock.
Chain locks are longer (up to six feet) than U-locks so they reach further and can be easier to get around certain bicycles and objects commonly locked to. Longer models will reach around both wheels so you don't have to remove your front wheel.
Because of the heavy and many links, chain locks are usually heavier than U-locks. There are models with specially shaped and nearly unbreakable links for super security. Chain locks can be carried in a pack. Sometimes you can wear them over your shoulder and across your chest or as a belt.
Cable Locks come in almost unlimited lengths and thicknesses. They're made of coiled wire and can include a built-in or separate padlock or combination lock. They're usually covered in vinyl to protect your bike.
Cable locks are longer than U-locks (We can get cables up to 30 feet long) so they reach further and can be easier to get around certain bicycles and objects. Longer models will reach around both wheels (or even a small house) so you don't have to remove your front wheel.
Cable locks are among the lightest locks and they are usually self-coiling making them easy to carry in a pack (you can also hang them from your bicycle. Note that even the thickest cable locks do not provide as much security as U and chain locks so they are best used in safer areas, more as a deterrent than for serious protection.
Tips on locking your bicycle
To protect your precious two-wheeler from theft, you need to realize that bike thieves are quick, sneaky, resourceful and always on the lookout for easy bikes to grab. Leaving your bike unlocked is the biggest mistake you can make.
Every cyclist needs a good bike lock for whenever they leave their bicycle unattended. Assume that a thief is out there looking for bikes to steal and make sure yours is safe.
Every time you park your bike, lock it. And, if people can see in your yard or shed, lock your bicycle to something there, too, so that it's safe. And don't forget to lock it to your bike rack on your car when you're carrying it that way, too (even bikes inside cars and trucks can get stolen, so hide them with a blanket and/or lock them, as well).
When you secure your bicycle properly with a bike lock, thieves will think twice. A bicycle that's locked up right is difficult to steal and even the most well-equipped bike thieves will target something easier to reduce their chances of getting caught in the act of trying to steal your bike.
To protect your bike fully, you need to secure the frame and both wheels to an immovable object with a quality bicycle lock. How you do this depends on your bicycle type, what objects you lock to most of the time, and how risky it is where you leave your bicycle locked/parked.
We carry a wide selection of quality bicycle locks and can help you keep your bikes safe. Let us know where you park your bike and we can help you choose the right type of bike lock for securing it and show you the best way to use it, too.
Often, all that's needed is a single cable, chain or U-lock. In some cases, it maybe be important or simply more convenient to carry and secure your bike with 2 locks. If you have to park in an area where lots of bicycles have been stolen, we can recommend our most secure locks, which are designed by security experts at the lock companies to withstand almost anything the thieves can come up with.
Bicycles getting stolen is as important an issue to us as it is to you. Please ask if you have any questions about bike locks, locking or bike safety and we'll be happy to help anyway we can.