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Cyclist locks both wheels … and has frame (and everything else) nicked

How not to secure your bike - and a link to our advice on how to do it properly

Many of you reading this - perhaps most of you - will know that gut-wrenching feeling when you return to where you locked up your bike and it's gone.

Far fewer, we imagine, will have returned to find both wheels still there, but everything else stolen.

But that's what happened to one poor cyclist who left their bike round the back of Bath Spa station, with a D-lock securing one wheel to the stand and a cable securing the other wheel ... but sadly, not the frame.

So all the thief had to do was loosen the quick-release skewers, lift the frame - and everything else - of the wheels, and make good their escape.

Besides the obvious lesson of learning how to secure your bike properly - see the link to our tips below - there's another perhaps less obvious one, which is that seasoned bike thieves can spot an opportunity for easy pickings a mile off.

> Beginner's guide to bike security—how to stop bike thieves and protect your bike

Hands up who's never seen a lone wheel locked to a bike stand or railing, as in this example we spotted right by the main entrance of Waterloo Station a few years back?

Wheel from stolen bike © Simon MacMichael.JPG

 

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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13 comments

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simonmb | 721 posts | 6 years ago
0 likes

We know that locks aren't the problem here - people are. Copenhagen: chain and rusty padlock. I'm sure bikes get stolen, but it's not something anyone obsesses over because it's not a significant concern. In CPH, folks leave their babies in pushchairs outside shops while they're inside. What a world we live in.

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simonmb replied to simonmb | 721 posts | 6 years ago
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.

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brooksby | 12197 posts | 6 years ago
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Got to say, though, it's very very common to see a big chunky d-lock and a wheel all by themselves...

(Has anyone noticed the locking method which uses sympathetic magic, where the cyclist locks a big heavy d-lock to the Sheffield stand but not actually to their bike...?)

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brooksby | 12197 posts | 6 years ago
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In the bike store at work, where I'm leaving the bike all day, I use a d-lock on the rear wheel/frame/stand and a separate cable lock on front wheel/frame/stand.

Outside, I have a mini d-lock on the frame/bike stand and an extender cable through both wheels and the frame and back to the d-lock.

 I also have security skewers (the pentagonal ones, as I couldn't afford proper Pitlocks at the time).

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vonhelmet | 1636 posts | 6 years ago
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We have these at work and they're excellent:

http://www.cyclepods.co.uk/cycle-storage-products/streetpods/

Fromt wheel is surrounded by the rack so you can't get that off. The metal rail has a small loop for your d lock where it will go through your rear wheel and your frame. It's a really good design.

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daturaman | 50 posts | 6 years ago
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I just have one Kryptonite New York lock that goes through the back wheel and frame, but this is in a secure underground bike shed at work. If it was outside I'd use another d lock for the front wheel and a cable through the saddle. I rarely see a bike that has the minimum of frame and back wheel secured.

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Bentrider | 149 posts | 6 years ago
1 like

Your bike doesn't need to be particularly well locked; just better than the bike next to yours!

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don simon fbpe | 3234 posts | 6 years ago
1 like

That's actually funny, obviously not for the victim, but... smiley

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Mungecrundle | 3022 posts | 6 years ago
7 likes

Rim brakes! That's his problem.

If he had been using disc brakes then the improved modulation might have made locking both wheels less likely.

I'll get my coat..

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Jackson | 496 posts | 6 years ago
3 likes

Locking both wheels and the frame is the bare minimum in London.
I've had the front wheel taken one time I forgot to lock it.
Had the saddle and seat post once.
Had the handlebars, stem and both brakes another time.
Note this is off a piece of crap steel fixie that cost me about £100. It's had more than that spent on Wiggle replacing parts nicked off it, God knows what the junkies/kids do with the bits. Unless it's one guy slowly building up a bike.

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bogbrush | 60 posts | 6 years ago
0 likes

D lock through front and frame for quick stops in busy areas. Anything longer and the front wheel comes off and one D lock goes through all 3

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KevM | 47 posts | 6 years ago
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For me it's a d-lock through the rear wheel and frame and through the rack as well with a cable round the front wheel, through the frame again and through a different section of the rack then into the d.

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STATO | 595 posts | 6 years ago
2 likes

Dlock on the front, cable for back wheel, a guy does that outside our office every day. People have no clue what they are doing most of the time, it worries me how they make it through the week.

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