We've already covered which locks to go for when securing your bike (in a blog post you can find here), so now we're going to cover how to lock you bike up in the city. We're going to go over the basics of how to properly secure your bike, as well as explaining what to look for when choosing somewhere to lock your bike up, to ensure your bike is as safe as possible.
Locking your bike up: the basics
Firstly you want to make sure that your bike is attached in a way that means no-one can walk away with it. For the utmost security, we recommend using two locks. One strong main lock to attach the bike to whatever you're locked it up against and a secondary lock to stop the bike from being rolled away. Ideally, this would mean that both your front and rear wheels are locked to the frame and your frame is attached to a solid object.
How you do this is largely dependant on what locks you have. Below we'll break down some of the options you have with common lock types.
You should start by locking your frame to a solid object, as well as one of your wheels if possible. If you have a D lock, try to wrap your lock around your seat tube and rear wheel, otherwise lock around your frame at the join below your seat collar so that the lock goes around as many tubes as possible.
If you have a Bordo or a chain lock, try to wrap around your lock around both your frame and front/rear wheel, depending if you're got a wheel lock or not.
Regardless of what type of lock you have, the first priority should be to fix your frame in place and secondly to secure one of your wheels as well if possible.
This lock isn't absolutely necessary but is good to have in addition as stops the bike from being rolled bike away and also secures one of your wheels.
A secondary lock we fit to many of our e-bikes is a wheel lock, which goes through the spokes meaning that the bike can't be rolled away without the wheel getting seriously damaged. These are usually fitted on the rear, so make sure to have your frame locked to a solid object and ideally your front wheel locked as well.
Other common secondary locks are cable locks or a resuable zip ties, which are not very strong but act as a good barrier to stop someone from walking away with your front wheel. You can use these either on the front or rear wheel depending on how you've set up your primary lock.
What to lock your bike up against
Another important thing to consider is what you're locking your bike up against. There are often limited places to put your bike and they can vary significantly in terms of security, so below we'll cover a few things to look out for when choosing a spot.
The main things to consider are how the object is attached to the ground and whether you could remove both the bike and lock from the given object.
We often see is people locking their bikes up against street posts. This is not ideal, as some of street posts can be pulled out of the ground without any tools, allowing someone to easily slide your bike under the removed post. Another thing we've seen is people wrapping their locks around parking meters, making it fairly easy for someone to lift your bike up over the meter and head off with it.
Both these examples highlight situations when having a secondary lock would be helpful as they would stop these bikes being ridden away.
Make sure that the object your attaching your bike to is a solid metal object that is bolted or securely fixed to the ground, as a high quality lock won't help if the object you're attaching it to is flimsy. Some good examples of things to attach to are public bike racks, street lights (if you can get your lock around them) or a solid fence or tree guard.
To conclude this post, I want to reiterate that no matter how cautious you are when locking your bike there is no way to make yourself completely immune from getting your bike stolen. With the right tools and enough persistance you can get through any lock. However, the more thoroughly you lock your bike up, the less likely you are to have someone target your bike in particular.
The best way to protect you bike from being stolen is by following the instructions above, having a good quality lock and minimising the amount of time you have it out on the street. When at home, always store your bike inside and out of sight, ideally locked up in a garage that is also secured.
You can read more tips about locking up your bike and get more tips about cycling in Wellington using the link below: