The use of the bicycle as a daily means of transport implies taking a series of measures to avoid the risk of theft, especially in large cities. The padlocks are safety elements that help us fix the bicycle and its components when we leave it parked on the street or in places where we can not control it.
How to choose the bicycle lock?
You have to take into account a number of factors before choosing your lock:
- Parking areas: before buying a lock you have to take into account the areas where you usually park your bicycle, if you usually do it in one place, like work, or in different places. This will help you choose the size of the padlock. A padlock that is large enough to secure your bike more easily, but it is not advisable to use one too bulky, since it can be easier to cut or manipulate. You should also make sure it is strong enough so that it does not break or cut easily.
- Value of the bicycle: it is usually not recommended to anchor competitive or excessively valuable bicycles in the streets. Carbon bicycles, for example, are more fragile and will never withstand the weight of a padlock. We must also bear in mind that, in the case of cheaper bicycles that are usually left on the street, if we look for the maximum security padlock, it is likely that its value exceeds the cost of the bicycle itself. Obviously every bicycle is valuable enough to be secured with a padlock, but in most cases the padlock works as a deterrent and in no case is it infallible. This means that, in the event of any attempted robbery, the quality of the padlock can only make it possible for thieves to take more or less time to steal the vehicle. So, another option that we can consider to travel around the cities is the fact of investing in a type of bicycle that we can always carry with us like folding bicycles .
- Type of padlock: there are numerous types depending on the level of security and the mechanism they have to close. Some options include a thin cable lock, which is flexible and long, being easy to secure to various objects. However it is the least safe and easy to cut option. Another option is that of a thick cable lock, it is less flexible and possibly more difficult to tie, but stronger and with a greater deterrent effect. Another alternative is a chain lock, which is rigid and strong, but a bit rough and heavy. Another padlock is the one that has a U shape, which is very strong and difficult to break. This is the most frequent and one of the most recommended because of its reliability and resistance, as well as its versatility and maneuverability since it is good for small structures such as a pole or a bicycle rack.
Consider also the integrity of the lock mechanism. If you have a strong cable, but a cheap plastic lock, imagine how easy it would be to break the lock and take the bike. A strong metal padlock is a suitable option.
Do not forget that you will have to load the padlock, unless you use it and keep it in one place. Take into account the size and storage options of the bicycle when buying it.
Also note the simplicity of the lock mechanism. Most come with a combination of security or with a lock.
How to use the bicycle lock?
When you buy a padlock remember that you must first secure the frame with the front wheel. Many bicycles today use wheels that are easier to remove. If you secure only the wheels, a thief could keep the rest of the bicycle. If you only insure the frame, they could steal the wheels, which can be very expensive.
If your only option is a chain lock and you are in an area of ??high crime or you think there is a high probability that your bike is stolen, consider using two locks to make it more difficult to steal and to act as a deterrent. You can use the safety lock locks to block saddle and wheels , these consist of three axles (two for the wheels and others for the saddle) that open and close with a key that you can keep or carry with you on your key chain, if you need to remove the wheel in case of a puncture, etc.
Finally, verify that the padlock you buy has some form of insurance against theft or monetary guarantee. It is also recommended that you write down and keep your bike's frame number (you will find it on the bottom of the bottom bracket) and register it with the police. If you put some type of identification will also be easier to recover if it is stolen.
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