Five Newfangled Locks To Help Thwart Bike Theft

Hidden below the front carrier bag of this bike is a u-lock that magically integrates into the bike frame, from j. dunn on Vimeo.

Bike theft is on the rise, at least in the U.K. where a 22% uptick was registered this year - in the U.S. nationwide statistics are harder to come by. If you are one of the people that has already suffered the terrible sinking feeling of stepping out onto the street and doing a double-take as your brain frantically tries to compute where your beloved bike is, statistics don't even matter. The idea of a theft-proof bike keeps cropping up again and again in fancy futuristic concept bike. In the hear and now, U-locks are still the top of the security heap, but trying new forms and combining a u-lock with some of these other solutions may keep your bike from being an easy mark.

Photo of the Abus chain lock via Abus.

1. Avoid the Sinking Feeling of the Quick-Cut Cable

Cable locks - the reasons some of us love them is that they are lightweight. U-locks, definitely superior security, tend to be very heavy. Now there's a breed of link plate locks that combine a bit of the flexibility of cable with security closer (though not equal to) a u-lock. It won't protect against the committed thief, but this lock provides flexibility in a "café stop" lock for about $55.

Knog lock photo via 2010 Knog catalog.

2. A New U-Lock, or is that a D-lock?

Not available till the turn of the new year, this solid steel u-lock seen over at the Urban Velo site after the recent Interbike 2009 show will be coming in 2010 from the Australian bike accessory design company Knog. The "plated hardened steel" according to Knog's catalog has an electronic key that doesn't require batteries. There's also an inner rim of silicon that protects the bike's finish. Priced at approximately $150.

O-lock overkill? This bright orange bike snapped in Amsterdam has double duty o-lock plus massive chain lock for double back wheel protection.

3. And Then There's the O-Lock

European urban cyclists always wonder why the o-locks that are standard equipment on city bikes here are few and far between in the U.S. Theories vary, with the main one being that the locks are seen as partially useless as the thief can simply pick up your bike and dump into into the back of a truck. However, if you combine an o-lock at the back, which is very convenient and easy to deploy, plus a small, study u-lock such as the $35 OnGuard Bulldog to lock your frame to a post, at least you give a thief a lot of work to carry off your ride.

Five Bike Locks continues on page 2.

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