Locks And How To Lock
All locks can be broken, but a sturdy lock and good locking strategy will greatly reduce the risk of your ride being singled out by thieves. You have to make it hard for them!
Types Of locks and alarms
Key Or Combination
Keyed locks use either flat keys or cylindrical keys. Cylindrical keys got a bad reputation in years past when it was discovered some locks of this style could be picked by a ballpoint pen. Newer models have solved that problem so now either style is equally effective.
Keyed bike locks usually come with at least 2 keys so you’ll have a backup. Most bike lock makers have a key replacement program if you lose your keys.
Keyed locking mechanisms are found on most U-locks and some cable and chain locks.
Combination locks are convenient because you don’t have to remember to carry a key with you or worry about losing keys, but you do have to remember a code.
Cable locks typically use a combination locking mechanism.
This widely used lock style is an excellent deterrent. The bulky locking mechanism resists hammers, chisels and the like. Its horseshoe shape can limit leveraging—provided it's not way oversized. The goal is to reduce the amount of space in which a thief can insert a crowbar and leverage enough oomph to pop it apart.
U-locks come in various sizes. Your goal is to size the lock so that it goes around the things you’re locking with as little gap left as possible. Small to medium models lock one wheel and your frame to a fixed object. Large models lock both wheels and your frame to a fixed object.
These are versatile and adaptable but generally offer less theft deterrence than U-locks. Bolt cutters are able to cut through most cable locks. On their own, they may be suitable for low-crime areas. Elsewhere, they are a good choice to use in combination with a U-lock to secure easily removed parts. Many have integral combination or key locks; others require a separate padlock. Some feature sliding sizing or an armored coating. A few newer models feature stylish designs or build-in motion alarms.
Tough enough for high-crime areas, these bike locks use a specially designed chain link that resists hacksaws or chisels and makes the chain tough to leverage. Be sure to invest in a padlock that's just as sturdy—thieves can easily cut through thin locks, no matter how sturdy the chain. The downside? Chains are heavy and bulky, so they are best for stationary uses.
Folding locks are considered medium security locks, tougher than cable locks but no as secure as U-locks. The steel bars are thinner than most U-lock shackles. And the pins that hold the bars together provide another vulnerability that we don’t find in U-locks.
They are a good compromise when U-locks are not an option as they fold into a nice little rectangle that can easily be mounted on your frame or kept in a pouch
Disc Brake Rotor Lock
The disk lock is a widely used anti-theft system on motorcycles as they are very easy to use. They are quick to fit and remove, do not take up too much space or weigh very much. However, they do have some security limitations which are important to know, so that they can be put to best possible use.
In addition to the mechanical protection, the disk lock can offer an additional electronic protection, eg. a siren. As always the first critical factor is the choice of a good quality product. However, the real risk of disc locks is that – regardless of their quality – they can be bypassed by removing the disc from the wheel so that this can turn even if the disc lock is still in place. The ease with which the disc lock can be bypassed therefore depends on the difficulty with which one can separate the disk from the wheel.
Also, they do nothing to prevent your scooter or bicycle from being carried away.
Brake Lever Lock
This lock is similar to the disc rotor lock in function and level of security. It locks the brake lever in place to engage the brakes, making it impossible to push away the scooter or bicycle.
Equally, they do nothing to prevent your scooter or bicycle from being carried away.
Not really anti-theft devices but will help you get back your ride after it has been stolen. Great idea that has not really become mainstream yet due to prohibitive costs and limited functionality.
These alarms can be a useful additional layer of security. They commonly trigger when detecting motion (eg. a thief pushing away your ride) and emit a loud noticeable sound. Most are hardwired to the battery and should be concealed in a hard to reach space. Arming and disarming is done by remote control.
Downside: Not helpful when there is nobody around to notice the sound.
Remember, no lock is 100% safe but they do minimise the risk by a fair bit when used smartly! The safest way is to simply keep your ride in sight or ask a friend to look out for it while you are away.