Locking Your Bicycle 101


You’d think that selecting a lock and using it to keep your bike safe would be a fairly basic thing, but there’s a lot more to it.  The crew over at Kryptonite are taking it upon themselves to make sure that cyclists make informed decisions with their bike security, and we’re here to help push the message.

Depending on where you live, bike security can take on a whole new meaning.  I recently met some people from England who had their high end bikes taken from their house in the middle of the night…while they were in bed.  I many places, folks are having to resort to drastic methods, even going as far as installing a home security system to notify of any unwelcome intruders. While something like a Safemart home security system can easily deter a would-be bike burglar, sometimes it can be as simple as a good bike lock.

Making the Right Lock Choice

As you probably know, there are a lot of different options out there when it comes to selecting a lock. Chains, U-locks, cables, and a whole variety of combinations….but how do you select the option that is best for you and your cycling needs?

Kryptonite came up with this super helpful graphic that makes purchasing the right lock a piece of cake for any cyclist, no matter where you’re located and what the situation is:

Making informed decisions is a huge part of the bike security challenge. “Knowing is half the battle” – G.I. Joe


So once you determine what level of security you need for your lock, you can head over to the Kryptonite website and browse the options based on the degree you need.  The Kryptonite bicycle lock product page has a navigation panel on the left side with each of the various security categories.

How to Lock Your Bicycle

There is a lot of great information on the Kryptonite website explaining proper locking techniques for each of the different styles of lock.  Click here for details on Chain, U-lock, and cable locking techniques.

In addition to this, we’d like to leave you with a few more all-around helpful bicycle security tips:

  1. Always lock your bike, especially at home. This includes your garage, patio, yard, college residence hall, apartment building, when carrying on a car rack, etc.
  2. Lock your bike in a well-lit area where there are other bikes.
  3. Do not lock your bike in the same location all the time.
  4. Make sure your bike cannot be lifted over the object it is locked to.
  5. Create a snug fit with wheels and frame so that there is little space in the u-portion of the u-lock for a thief’s tools.
  6. Do not lock your bike to itself – front wheel or rear wheel to frame.
  7. Always position your u-lock with keyway facing down..
  8. If you’re only locking one wheel, it is recommended that you capture the rear wheel as part of your lock-up. Replacement cost for the rear wheel can be up to double the cost of the front wheel.
Enjoy Your Ride

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51 Responses to “ Locking Your Bicycle 101 ”

  1. bikeboy999 on December 14, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    mid level is fine

  2. Leo Smith on December 14, 2012 at 12:49 am

    I need a good lock cause daughters roommates bike just got stolen !

  3. michael o brien on December 13, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    level 10

  4. Jordan Gray on December 13, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    live and work in SF, 10 town!

  5. Allan Bailuk on December 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    At the moment bike is on indoor trainer, come spring if its not in the garage I have at least 1 foot clipped in.

  6. Kimstrong on December 13, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    I’m a 9-10, mostly when leaving the bike on the car rack on the days I commute home and for errands.

  7. Larry Myers on December 13, 2012 at 10:08 am

    I am in a 9-10 area personally, and since I do not have a good lock, I never leave my bike alone

  8. Jon Wasserman on December 13, 2012 at 12:49 am

    I never leave my bike alone in public & lock up all(9) my bikes at home w/ multiple locks

  9. Sandy on December 12, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    I won’t leave my bike all alone for long!

  10. Julie Starling on December 12, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Mostly 7-8 to 9-10 I don’t want to lose my ride, so I double lock a Kryptonite U lock for the frame and a Kryptonite cable for the tires. I want to try this new lock!

  11. Bob Fiedler on December 12, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    7-8, I ride to work in our downtown area. It stays out side the hospital where I am a nurse for about 13hrs at a time

  12. Christa on December 12, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    9-10 metro area. Would never leave it out at night!

  13. Nick Andrew on December 12, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    I’m a 9-10 every time.. short or long stops, living in the middle of a major city means taking care of your bike.. cleaning it, maintaining it, and locking it.

  14. Matthew Blackburn on December 12, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    9-10 and I would never leave the bike outside overnight.

  15. Bob Burpee on December 12, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Realistically I’m a 7-8, but I prefer 9-10 even if it means carrying a little more weight.

  16. Iris W. on December 12, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Metro area, for sure.

  17. Jun Z on December 12, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Metropolitan area

  18. Ramon on December 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    I’m on a bike commute every day to a University campus, so I’m a solid 9-10. Furthermore, there’s no reason to get anything but a solid U-lock with a high anti-theft guarantee (for your rear wheel and frame) AND another lock to use (for your front wheel and frame).

    And a good demo of how to physically lock up your bike would be good. Try this: http://sites.uci.edu/bikeuci/security/parking/

  19. sara walfoort on December 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Mostly I am a 7-8, but as the previous poster noted, why take the chance? There may be times when I am a 9-10.

  20. Joshua Mitchell on December 12, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I’m in the suburbs… rarely leave it outside long. 4-6. Been wanting something like this though…

  21. Scott Johnsen on December 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    According to the chart, I’m a 4 – 6. But why take the chance???

  22. Jed Gunn on December 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Inner-city Philadelphia. 9-10, probably more. Caught a kid trying to steal my bike just a few days ago. I need something more than just a u-lock. I’ve been double locking it everywhere I go.

  23. Heather Brandon on December 12, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    9-10 Ultimate security… I bike to college to save $$ (5 kiddos, can’t afford a parking permit LOL)

  24. Fabian James on December 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I am a 7-8, but sometimes a 9-10 if I have to lock my bike overnight

  25. Kyle Crawford on December 12, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Urban area, shady neighborhoods, working third shift, I need 9-10 ultimate security. I am not having another stolen bike..

  26. Chris Marian on December 12, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I guess I’d need a 9-10 ultimate security for my college campus…kids these days 😛

  27. Regina Deloria on December 12, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    i would definately need a 7-10 range lock for the area i live in! thanks for the opportunity to get one of these bad boys! 🙂

  28. Steve Marchitelli on December 12, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Most of my riding is along the city bike trails. I tend to pull off and park near some of the busier shopping and attraction areas though, so that probably puts me in the 9-10 range.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on December 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm

      Congratulations Steve, you were selected as the winner of our Kryptonite Integrated Mini Chain giveaway. Please send your mailing address to us at darryl@lovingthebike.com and we’ll get that out to you.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on December 18, 2012 at 8:34 am

      @facebook-614161413:disqus We haven’t heard from you. Please send us your contact information so we can get your Kryptonite Lock to you.

  29. Joshua Kramer on December 12, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I’m a 4-6 through 7-8 level. not much bike stealing going on around these parts but you can never be too safe.

  30. Kendall Hill on December 12, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    What with working downtown, and running errands during lunch, high to ultimate security 7-10 would fit the bill.

  31. Nick on December 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    9-10 here.

  32. John Fry on December 12, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Looks like I’m in the 7-10 zone.

  33. Nicholas George on December 12, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I just wanna win!!!

  34. Ashley on December 12, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Since I ride in all sorts of places, I would be 9-10. I live in the ‘burbs and don’t usually leave my bike unattended for long, but I do want to start touring a bit and would have to leave the bike out overnight in more popular areas.

  35. Sylvia Lewis-Havard on December 12, 2012 at 11:34 am

    This lock looks amazing. I’m in the 7-8 Metropolitan all-day, with some quick stops on campus. Campus is the worst.

  36. Grace on December 12, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I’d be a 7-8 in a my metro area. These locks are awesome!

  37. franko on December 12, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Because I lock my bike up overnight on my patio I need a 9-10, but because I had a bike stolen 2 years ago I’d never choose anything less than that anyways. The only silver lining is that 1 of the 2 locks on the stolen bike was a NY Noose and I like to think that it gave the theif fits as they tried to get it off.

  38. Chris M. on December 12, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I can get away with moderate security despite being in a major metro area (DC) generally, as my bike is in a limited access, monitored, underground garage

  39. Henry Wong on December 12, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Quick Stop in NYC: 9-10!

  40. Jim Percy on December 12, 2012 at 10:31 am

    According to the chart i would be a 4-6 moderate. As I don;t like to leave the bike unattended long. But they did not factor in paranoia which would probably put me at a 9-10 ultimate.

  41. Murr on December 12, 2012 at 10:07 am

    I normally ride to my college campus and leave my bike all day, so my security level is a 9-10…..yikes!

  42. Tess Hohman on December 12, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Combo suburbs/college campus for me, so I’ll say 7-8. great gift idea!! thx for posting.

  43. Aaronthestrong on December 12, 2012 at 9:37 am

    I love my bikes far too much to ever consider my security need not the max! Being a regular commuting, a nice bike lock is important to me, and I don’t have a nice one right now! Hoping for a Christmas present!

  44. Nicholas tuck on December 12, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Major metro too. Ultimate security needs. Yep, already on the xmas list. Let’s see if Kryptonite can be santa clause 🙂

  45. Debra Serrins on December 12, 2012 at 9:20 am

    It looks like I need moderate security. Confession: I don’t have a working lock right now so I just never get off the bike unless it’s in the garage.

  46. Martha Alejandrina Boyd on December 12, 2012 at 9:19 am

    I would need a Major Metro Area Lock 9-10!

    Dear Santa……….

  47. Randy on December 12, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Good info, about half of it I do, will have to remember the rest. I would say for me I require Moderate to High security. The bike is in the garage at home or hidden at work. But there are many times I stop for lunch / snacks while out and don’t properly lock up the bike. The minute it takes to lock it, is about what it would take for someone to take it.

  48. Marjie N Michael on December 12, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Looks like I need a 9-10 -Michael

  49. Mike Neifert on December 12, 2012 at 8:21 am

    I live in a small town, so I just need something for those quick stops.

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