STOP THAT THIEF!
There is nothing worse than finding a badly mangled chain lock resting where your pride-n-joy once stood. It's happened to all of us. The resulting feeling is outrage, disbelief, anger, fear, suspicion, despair, helplessness, and the distinct unpleasant feeling of personal violation.
No one wants to be a victim, and no one wants their property to be stolen. Yet, everyone has had something stolen from them at some point in life. A bicycle is one of the more popular items since it is frequently left outside and is easy to turn into quick cash. "But how did that thief manage to cut through my chain lock? I just spent $70 on that new lock and they still managed to cut through it!"
Any lock - including heavy-duty chain locks can be cut. Given the right tools and the right amount of time, an experienced thief can easily cut/break/mangle any type of bicycle lock.
Would you like to know how they do it?
One of the most popular tools used by bike thieves is the portable angle-grinder. It's basically an electric cut-off saw which can be positioned at any angle to grind through most types of steel alloys. Here is a demonstrating of the tool a standard OnGuard U-Lock.
So why bother with a big lock if a thief is going to make a quick cut?
A bicycle thief doesn't want to spend a lot of time trying to cut through a lock. But if you think a lot of sparks and grinding noises might deter a thief from attempting to steal your e-bike, take a look at the following video. In many urban settings, people just don't pay attention to what might be a crime in progress.
If you can't prevent a thief from cutting through your lock, what can you do to protect your property? Here are a few secrets from those of us who've had to learn the hard way.
The first thing to do is to first acknowledge that none of us are truly "preventing" a determined thief from doing anything. Instead, think of your strategy as "deterring" a thief. It's all part of the act of conveying "Hey Mr. Thief, if you really want this bike, you are going to have to spend a LOT of time, and deal with a lot of NOISE to succeed".
Notice the word "NOISE"? It is an important part of this deterrent strategy. It's strongly recommended that you add an audible alarm as part of your security kit. One of our favorites is the spoke/rotor motion-sensing alarm lock. You can lock this little gadget onto any wheel spoke or disc-bake rotor - which in itself deters the thief from actually riding off with the bike. The alarm senses motion. If the bike is jiggled or moved, the alarm will fire off a deafening 120db siren which is definitely going to attract attention. The great thing about this device is that once it senses motion, it activates a warning sound. If the motion continues beyond 5 seconds, the alarm is triggered. If the motion stops within 1 minute, the alarm resets itself. This way you don't have to worry about an accidental trigger making the alarm sound off for hours and hours annoying neighbors and businesses while you are away.
For the main locking setup - we recommend a combo lock system of one U-Lock with cable, + one chain lock. You should avoid cable locks if you are in an area where bicycle theft is common (such as NYC). The U-Lock should be fastened through your rear-wheel and the center-tube (seat tube) of your bike. If you have enough room to get the U-Lock around a post (as well as your seat tube and rear wheel) then by all means! Avoid placing the lock anywhere near the ground, or on the top tube. If you fasten near the ground, a thief can easily smash the lock using the ground as the backdrop. If on the top tube, a thief can pick up the bike and twist it around thus breaking the lock. Try and keep the lock difficult to reach and fastened around rear wheel and seat tube.
With your second "chain" lock such as the ABUS 7210 Chain Lock, you should fasten around your front tire, frame, and then something solid like a post cemented in the ground. Do not trust a tree. We've seen thieves cut down trees to lift a bike. If you choose a street sign, make sure the sign is firmly cemented. We've seen thieves shaking the sign back and forth until it loosened itself from the cement and then pulled the sign out of the ground to free the locked bike from the sign.
Finally, don't assume a thief needs to pedal away in order to steal your bike. There are lots of thieves who drive around in vans or pickups just looking for opportunities. They don't need to remove all of the locks to ride away because they can throw the bike (with locks) into the back of their truck and take care of sawing through noisy locks later. The best places to park your bike and secure it to a post are in areas where there is lots of traffic and lots of congestion. If it's difficult for you to get in to retrieve the bike, it's difficult for the bicycle thief to get in and out.
At Voltaire Cycles, we take bike security very seriously.The brands we most recommend to our clients are ABUS and Kryptonite. We recommend ABUS because it is one of the oldest and most respected lock manufacturers in the industry. If you don't want to carry around 2 locks and a lock-alarm system, then consider the new ABUS Bordo 6000A folding alarm lock.
This is a GREAT time to secure your bike. Use ABUS2021 for 10% discount on all Voltaire Cycles Abus locks and alarm-locks.