How to properly lock up a bike

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What's the best way to lock up a bike? And what kind of lock do you need? Steve Madden, editor of Bicycling Magazine, shows the proper way to lock up a bike.

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  • Steve Madden

    Steve Madden Editor-in-Chief of Bicycling and Mountain Bike Magazines Steve Madden is the Editor-in-Chief of Bicycling and Mountain Bike magazines. He was also a reporter and columnist for Fortune, staff writer for M, and Editor and Publisher of Cornell. more about this expert »

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How to properly lock up a bike
  • One lock is good. Two locks are better.
  • Always lock your bike to something sturdy and solid, like a fence, bike rack, or tall tree. Make sure it’s something that’s tall enough that the bike can’t be lifted over it (like a parking meter.)
  • A U-lock is great for securing your frame. Make sure it’s nice and tight.
  • For the second — run a cable (or chain) through the rear tire and again through the frame.
  • Secure both ends together with a padlock or key lock. Always test the lock to make sure it’s secure.
  • If you have a quick release front wheel — pop it off and take it with you. If you can’t take the wheel with you, run the cable through the front wheel as well.
Transcript Hi I’m Steve Madden with howdini.com and I’m here to tell you there’s no bigger bummer then having a sweet bicycle, locking it up some place, coming back out and having it stolen. So today I’m here to talk about everything you need to know to secure your bicycle, and make sure the thieves don’t get it. Because there is no bigger bummer then losing your ride.

Almost four percent of all theft in the United States in bicycle related. You don’t want to become a statistic so I’m going to show you how to lock up your bike properly. One lock is good two locks are better. I’m going to use this kryptonite u-lock, use this to wrap around the frame. Make sure that the frame is secured. Lock up nice and tight to the frame. Okay. So now the frame is locked to s nice sturdy fence. You always want to pick something that is sturdy and solid, and your not going to be able to life the bike up and over. Like if you pick a single street pole or something like that. Ingenious thefts that they are might want to lift it up and over. You don’t want to become a victim that way.

The second thing you want to do is take the cable, and I run the cable through the spokes of the rear wheel, and again around the frame. Come in wide around the frame, got lots of length to play with here. There we go. Then always test the lock to make sure that it’s actually secured. This one is good; I’m good to go. I’m on my way. What about the front wheel? If you have a quick release on it like I have on this Turrizzo. So I’m just going to pop it off and it’s coming with me. One last thing for an enterprising thief to be worried about is taking the wheel with you. If you’re going to a meeting or something where you’re worried about not wanting to walk in with a wheel, run the cable thorough both wheels. But safer is always better. So that’s it, that’s what you need to know to make sure your bike is still there when you get back. Use the u-lock, use the cable lock, use a chain lock, but make sure you use a lock. For howdini.com I’m Steve Madden.  

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