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1988 Shattuck Ave.
(between University Ave.
and Berkeley Way)
|Annex: 510 843-4763
1961 Shattuck Ave.
(on the east side of
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Sunday 11am - 6pm
How To Lock A Bike
It's something that we hear all too often at the shop; someone is looking for a bike because their last one was stolen. The Bay Area is a great place to be a cyclist- As commuters we enjoy one of the most active bicycle communities anywhere. The weather is ideal for year-round cycling. We are in the middle of so much beauty that it would take a committed lifetime to see it all.
Unfortunately, the Bay Area is among the worst areas worldwide for bike theft- Over 4 billion bikes are stolen every month in Berkeley alone. The average time of ownership of a bike before it is stolen is only 17 minutes. Compared to other industries, bike theft has grown to such an extent that it rivals the software industry. Luckily there is good news. It seems that over 60% of all bicycles stolen in Berkeley are unlocked at the time of theft. Of the remaining 40%, only 2% were stolen while using a U-lock. (OK now - this statistic is true)
Note: The two photos to the below illustrate a method of locking that does not involve locking the frame. By passing the U-lock though the rear wheel at a point inside the rear triangle of the frame, and through the front wheel and a parking meter your frame becomes secure. Somebody could undo the quick-release of the rear wheel and disengage the wheel from the frame, but they could not pull it through the small space of the rear triangle to steal your bike. This method makes it easier for you to lock your front wheel to the rest of your bike with the u-lock, and not have to rely on a lower security cable. The only drawback to this method is that it is possible for a thief to saw completely through your rear wheel and remove the U-lock taking your frame but not your wheels-one of which gets destroyed in the process. Use this method only in an area with a steady flow of foot traffic.
As we all found out last September, all it takes is one lock-breaking genius to throw our whole cycling world into disarray. Tools-of-the-bike theft-trade range from old car jacks to Bic ball point pen barrels, so in this town it's good to know a few of their tricks in order to keep them from stealing your bike.
Cable locks are not very secure. Thin ones can be snipped in one or two bites with a basic cutter, and the thick ones (which do look impressive) can be cut with a hacksaw in about 60 seconds. Don't count on 'em to keep your stuff from being swiped.
If you have an older Kryptonite lock with the cylinder shaped lock mechanism you need to get it upgraded to the new standard.
All U-locks are not created equal. Some are wide, some narrow. Our experience suggests that the narrow locks are harder to break (can't fit a jack inside 'em) than the wider ones. Also, get a case-hardened lock. The locks that aren't case-hardened can be hacksawed through with relative ease. Even among Kryptonite locks there are varying security ratings.
This means both wheels and the frame to a stout post or rack, Every Time you lock it. Wheels are quick to swipe and are expensive items to have to replace--- a rear wheel with tire, tube & gears can run $80-to-$200. Yow!! (Bolt-on axles, hose clamps & allen-key quick-releases barely add a few seconds to a thief's job, so they're mostly just a nuisance for when
you have to remove your wheel...)
Kryptonite Evolution Mini 9 specs:
- 13mm MAX-Performance steel shackle resists bolt cutters and leverage attacks
- Reinforced cuff over crossbar and cylinder for added security
- Improved high security, disc-style cyclinder
- High security Bent Foot(TM)design
- Center keyway defends against leverage attacks
- Anti-rattle bumpers reduce noise during transport
- Rotating dustcover protects cylinder
- Includes versatile EZ Mount transportation bracket
- 3 keys - one lighted with high intensity bulb & replaceable battery
SKU - 997948
3.25" x 9.5" (8.3cm x 24.1cm)
The best method is to put the U-lock through the rear wheel, front wheel , AND the frame and through some immoveable object (like a parking meter).
Don't screw up and lock the wheel without locking the frame, or you'll come back to find 2 wheels locked up and the rest of your bike gone!!
The best way to secure your front wheel is to remove it from the fork, put it next to the rear wheel, then put the lock through all three (front wheel, rear wheel, and post; see above right). With a little practice this will take about a minute, so it's worth learning.
If you can't take your front wheel off, (or you're in too much of a hurry), you are left to trust the security of a cable. We see 'em cut only on rare occasions, so it's way better than not locking your wheel at all!! You can also buy a small cable to lash your seat to the frame, or replace that quick release with an allen or hex bolt, to keep the seat and post from being easily swiped.
In our notoriously bad area for bike theft, it's not a bad idea to make a nice bike look ugly, or even downright unsanitary! It can be painful to have to resort to this method but if it keeps your bike from being stolen it's worth it!!
A heavy dose of car wax followed by an application of water-based (latex) house paint is a good place to start. The wax keeps the paint from really sticking, so you can clean it off with hot soap 'n water if you get too sick of it!! Light colors look filthy in about 4 minutes and will peel off in gross-looking scabs. EEW!! Find some awful wallpaper and cut strips to apply to the tubes of your frame-be sure to make it "wrinkly" as an added deterrent. Tie a filthy rag around the handlebars, but don't get too artistic, or it might attract too much attention. Also, resist doing a "nice clean paint job of flat grey" or the like--you could end up making your $300 bike look like a $1,000 bike!!
None of these methods will fool a sophisticated thief, so ya still gotta LOCK IT RIGHT!