Bike theft has become an obsession across the Internet. When it comes to locking up bikes, every tech and gadget website, athletic blog, and online store practically stages a nuclear war to test out the best of the best. And we’re not talking a 300-word list of “Bike Lock Dos and Don’ts.” We’re talking an extensively-researched, multiple-part, investigative article that tests the top bike locks against their ultimate enemy: the thieves themselves.
Eric Hansen over at Tested, was able to convince two self-proclaimed, anonymous bike thieves to really go to town on some of the most expensive, durable bike locks. The thieves, “Bug Eye” and “Jimmy,” were kind enough to lend a red-hand.
Right off the bat, Hansen proclaims that for the price, the durability, and the general intimidation factor, the $40 Kryptonite U-lock and cable, when properly used, is the best bike lock out there for bikes costing under $1K. Then he describes the hours spent watching professional thieves try (and in many cases, succeed) to break apart the strongest locks in the business — it’s a cringeworthy read if you own any of the locks they tested.
According to Bug Eye and Jimmy, professional thieves will go to great length to scout out nice, expensive bikes, especially when particular models are requested by “clients.” In other words, don’t spend $5,000 on a custom-made road bike and lock it to the same “No Parking” sign every day. If your bike is less expensive, though, you may be able to avoid the attention of the most determined bike thieves.
Regardless of which bike lock you choose, one of the most important tactics to keep your bike safe is to lock up properly. The Sheldon technique comes highly recommended by bike experts, as the U-Lock should wrap around the frame, through the back wheel, and securely to a stationary object. For extra peace of mind, bikers can use a cable to additionally lock the front tire to the frame and stationary object, and then take any beloved bike seats, baskets, bells, or other accessories with them inside.
A trusty bike lock, some common sense, and a little luck can help you avoid the worst of the Ladri Di Biciclette, so that your life can resemble an old, depressing Italian movie a little less every day.