Do you fear leaving your bike far away from you? Or do you fear having your bike hooked up to your car bike rack? Locking your bike is one of the best ways to ensure it remains safe and that it does not get stolen. The safety of bikes is made possible through a tool called a bike lock.
A bike lock is a safety mechanism that is used to reduce the chances of bicycle theft. They function by simply fastening one of the wheels or locking the bicycle to a firmly fixed object such as a tree or a metal rack.
When considering locking your bike, there are several safety issues that you should consider. When purchasing your bicycle lock, do not purchase the quick-release levers; additionally, do not lock it on the seat post when locking your bike. Why should you avoid this? The two locking features mentioned above create a security vulnerability because they allow the saddle and wheel to come off quickly.
For a bike to be truly safe when locked, the easily removable components need to be secured since these parts are vulnerable to theft and ideally cost more than a bicycle chain. The most sensible ways of locking a bike are closing these parts in addition to the frame or taking the most vulnerable bicycle parts such as quick-release front wheels away from the bicycle.
How effective are bicycle locks? A bicycle lock is only effective when you have fastened them to secure objects. Sucker poles create such an illusion of safety. A bicycle owner looking to secure their bike quickly will often find a sucker pole to be a very secure structure; however, this is not the case. These poles are easily dismantled, making them a security and safety risk.
Best locks for your bike safety
Many bike theft cases go unreported, and the number of those bicycle theft cases reported are in the hundreds of thousands. Theft is only prevalent in environments that the thief’s feel enabled. In this case, by failing to fasten and lock your bike, you are one of the individuals who are allowing the thieves and encouraging their behavior. Do not be worried; there is a silver lining.
The upside to this situation is that companies are working tirelessly to develop bike locks to safely secure your bike, be it on objects such as trees or bicycle racks. Different bike lock types provide an extra level of security. Let us discuss the four central car locks to enable you to select your next or first bike lock.
Lightweight locks have different designs, with some design s being more robust than others. Some of these designs can be in the form of a hiplook Z Lok, simple cable or a zip tie design with an Ottolock Cinch. This type of lock is easy for thieves to cut using hand tools such as bolt cutters and tin snips. Lightweight locks are ideal when you only need to secure your bicycle for a short period, like the time it would take you to pop in and out of a store.
Chain Bike Locks
Chain locks are the second most secure type of bicycle locks after U-locks. The material used to make the chains is hardened steel, while the shackle is also very durable. A chain lock resists cuts from store chains; however, the chain is no match to a pair of bolt cutters.
The second advantage to chain locks is that they can be long enough to secure the bike’s frame as well as the two wheels while at the same time increasing the diameter of the tree or post. Additionally, these locks can be fit around the waist, making them very portable and a reminder whenever you get off your bike not to forget to lock it up.
In the U.K, this type of lock is called the D-Lock. U-Locks are the most vital type of locks that a bike owner can use to secure their bicycle. This type of lock is so solid but susceptible to power tools. With improved security comes improved costs; the lock is Havier than all the other locks.
This kind of lock is ideal when leaving your bicycle unattended for long hours since hand tools are no match to the lock’s strength. These locks can have a double deadbolt design, which means that the U-shape is completely detachable; hence, when it comes to cutting, a thief needs to cut both sides of the lock, a process that will technically take a long time.
Folding locks have a closes resemblance to chain and cable locks. The device is relatively very portable since its retractable mechanism makes it small when crumped up together. They provide a medium level of security since some are susceptible to wire cutters, bolt cutters and power drills. Like chains, they allow you to lock your bike on objects too big for U-Locks or D-locks.
Securing a Bike on a Car Bike Rack
Do you own a small-town car? Town cars designed to take up the list of spaces means that there is no enough space in the back to fit most bicycles. However, with bike racks travelling by your bike to a hiking destination has become very easy. Placing your bike on the car bike rack is not enough to ensure that the cycle will not be stollen. It would help if you fastened your bike to the frame to ensure that it is safe. The methods to securing a bicycle on a car bike rack are;
Tow Hitch or Tow Loop Method
A tow hitch method of securing a bike on a car bike rack is probably the best and most expensive method. The technique might prove costly since it may require you to invest in an external tow hitch mechanism.
Is an external tow hitch too expensive? If this is the case, then there is some good news; you can still use this method by simply identifying the loop or hook that sticks out directly underneath the back bumper.
The use of this loop or hook is simple since all you need is a strong cord or durable strip that is long enough for you to loo[ around your bike and through the tow loop to hold your bike in place.
If you want to use your tow hitch, the same method is used. First, you have to your cord to the tow hitch or secure the cable with a padlock.
When securing the bike cord with the parts under the vehicle, be careful not to hook the cable to anything that can be moved, pulled, or broken since this will get your bike stolen as well as leave you with huge repair bills.
Passive Strap Method
It is the second method that you can use to securing your bicycle. This method is pretty much more straightforward than the previous method. The technique requires a passive lock strap or a trunk lock strap.
The passive strap method is relatively cheap, and it does not provide total security for your bicycle. The passive straps are long cables made of thin material that enables you to fasten your bike to the back of the car by looping the cord around the cycle.
The straps are designed with a stubbed end that is fixed inside the car through the trunk, which results in the locking effect of your bike. You can also use this method to fasten bicycles to the roof of the vehicle, and the only difference is that the trap that initially went into the trunk now goes through the passenger doors, and the rack sits at the top of the vehicle.
How to prevent theft of bike on a car rack
Not all bikes on car racks are safe. There are several precautionary actions to ensure our bike is safe.
Lock the Bike Rack to the Car
Some of the lock types mentioned above can be sued to secure your bike rack on your car safely. Bike racks are almost as expensive as bikes. Before mounting your bike on the car rack, ensure that the frame is tightly and firmly fixed on the car
Lock your Bike
Locking your bike is an essential way to prevent theft. A sound lock system is what is needed in this situation. If possibly get more than one lock to and do not forget to lock the most vulnerable parts of your bicycle
Buy quality lock
As mentioned above, U-locks are the most secure type o lock. Faulty or weak locks will not go a long way in ensuring your bicycle remains safe.
Be observant of surroundings.
Every situation directly involves your personal safety same case as having your bike on the back of the car. You need to be conscious of your surroundings, especially when it happens behind the vehicle. Additionally, be particularly careful when buying locks or bike car racks from online dealers to endure you are not scammed. These safety tools, as mentioned above, can prove to be quite expensive.
Whichever way you decide to secure your bike, keep in mind the quality of rack and bike lock you are purchasing. Additionally, make sure to be mindful of your surroundings, especially when you have your bicycle hooked to your car’s back.