How To: Protect your bike when you stop on a ride

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You’re out on a ride and have to drop in a store to get some supplies, coffee or lunch. You don’t have your heavy duty lock and you can’t bring your bike inside. Here’s some really cool tips on how to protect your bike from thieves.

Video courtesy of Global Cycling Network.

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About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • Ray says:

    If someone wants the bike, none of this is stopping them. Wheels fall off? Less to carry (and you know they’re snapping the rear D, slamming your fork into concrete, and dragging the frame on the ground while destroying the unattached rims in the process of trying to ride off; not gently catching it and running away). Chain not on or jammed? It still rolls. Strapped with a helmet? That’s not doing anything. This is especially true with one of the fancy bikes they showed in the video.

    Then again, I’m in NY, where your locks weigh more than the bike, and they’ll still take your seat and water bottle when you run into the bathroom.

  • joey says:

    QR seatpost equals decent deterrent from theft. Take saddle off and bring with you. A nice little F you to any would be bike snatchers is to release brake caliper (only valid for Roadies but still satisfying know that the prick is probably in the hospital after being in too much of a hurry with your whip). But if you are riding that nice a roadie you can afford one of those dinky pocket locks, and all in all ANY bike lock can be broken, dependent upon desire of thief.

  • Odahey Poundage says:

    I would never leave the bike where you couldn’t see it and get back to it in seconds. I lived in SF for 10 years and always did the same safety measures. When I had quick releases I would undo them. That way if they picked the bike up the tires would fall out. Sometimes I undid the brakes, but I would want the brakes to grab if QR were undone. Last thing, I would change all the shifting. Put front derailleur into different ring and rear cassette the same. Or just drop the chain all together. Locks only give you time. The better the lock the more time. I felt my measures would give me enough time to get back to my bike and get busy on the thief. Lots of places let you bring bike in with you and that was always preferred.

  • George says:

    If the business you plan to patronize won’t let you bring your bike in with you, don’t spend any money there. Conversely, if there is one that goes out of its way to accommodate you, let your cycling community know. At the midway point on one of our popular riding routes, there are two convenience stores we can stop at to refill bottles, purchase a cold sports drink, etc. One of the stores lets us roll our bikes in, use the restroom, has friendly staff and all that. The other one doesn’t. Even though their prices are a tad higher, guess which one of the two always gets our business?

  • Bruce W says:

    The thief cut my cable lock and rode off so quckly that people 10 feet away could do nothing more than yell security at the mall. I was inside the store less than 3 minutes. Security was on the scene before me. If you are not on your bike, there is no protecting it.

    • Brian Leach says:

      The thief cut your CABLE lock. There are ways to protect your bike. Your last sentence hints that there’s nothing we can do to protect our bikes. We can definitely start by using proper locks.

  • Chris N says:

    I grabbed one of these – nice & light and easy to carry on my roadie
    http://tigrlock.com/

  • Jack says:

    I gave a 12″ stainless steel fishing leader and a very small padlock I often carry with me, weighs about an ounce and is a good lock for these kinds of situations.

  • David says:

    I take my front wheel off, and flip the bike upside down making it conscious and unridable

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