Sometimes I think of the wide-eyed, one-eyed, cross-eyed army dragging one leg behind them closer and closer to my prized bike as if they were the undead working tirelessly to pick clean the fresh meat and all the dried up carcasses that line the streets here in San Francisco. Organized bicycle crime is here to stay and so are the hoards of cycling enthusiasts (who are increasing in number every day). What to do? Let go of the nagging worry that something horrible will happen to your bike every time you are out enjoying the city we live in. There are simple and affordable ways to do just this.
The $15 Abus Saddle Chain Lock is a relatively new-ish idea that has been put to patent and has had little competition. The basic idea is that when a zombie comes out of the brutal dark corner of punishment to swoop your brand new Brooks for pennies on the dollar you can have it locked straight to your frame. The only way to access the saddle would be to cut the saddle chain or the frame.
Kryptonite locks have a long history dating back to the 70’s and have really ramped their product line up for the aggressive and high-theft urban areas. While they do have higher security, heavier, and more intense locking systems than the two I want to highlight, the $71 Evolution Series 4 1055 Mini Chain and the $40 Kryptolok Series 2 Mini 7, these are the most manageable and comfortable to navigate the city with.
Pinhead Locks are probably the most innovative and functional locking devices that can transform a bike from a vulnerable little kitten into a quiet confident lion. Their product line includes small intuitive locking mechanisms to secure your tank: front and rear wheel locking skewers, headset lock, seat lock, and their patented and unique multicombination key. They offer a few cool separate options and a few package combos. Just to wet the whistle on prices their Stem and Fork Lock goes for $40 while the big Security-Pack 4 goes for $80 (incl. front & rear wheel skewers, seatpost, stem and fork, and the multicombo key). Most people stick to the $55 Security-Pack 2 (includes just the locking wheel skewers). Pinhead products are the secret to a safe bicycle IN CONJUNCTION with a secure lock.
A side note on safety and theft; buy lights that are easy-on easy-off. Knog Blinders are great lights with USB charging capabilities, bright as hell, and come right off with ease. The other cool thing about them is that they don’t have a stupid black collar that has to stay on your handlebars wasting space even when you are not using them.
I have never lived in a city where bike theft was so rampant and the topic of so much conversation amongst friends and colleagues. The question still remains; Why are so many bikes and bike parts stolen everyday when the resale return to the thief is marginal at best? Those who are looking for a “free lunch” can do so with ease, explains our friend Rohin Dhar, author of “What Happens to Stolen Bicycles” on Pricenomics.com. Dhar goes a bit further by saying that while bikes are not very lucrative for resale, thieves can take refuge in the fact that there is little to no risk of consequence so the couple of bucks they do get is easy and doesn’t include the fear of big punishments. A simple cost-benefit analysis fleshes out why bike thieves are so ferocious. He also discusses resources. Officers will not be taken off of a homicide case to be reassigned to a bike theft case. It just won’t happen. However, a few companies continue to put out great options to keep thieves at bay, and they are worth looking into, because at the end of the day the safety of our bicycles are in our own hands. So get yourself a good locking set up and rest assured that you will have your bike for a long time.