How to Lock Your Bike Properly

how to lock your bike

Now that you’ve invested in the bike of your dreams, it’s time to protect your investment. One of the most menacing threats to your new ride may be the threat of thievery. With the right locking strategy, though, you can set your mind to rest.

Types of Locks


This style of lock is widely used and for good reason. It boasts a bulky and sturdy locking mechanism that is tough to break with hammers or chisels, and its horseshoe shape makes leveraging quite challenging. When picking a U-lock the key is the right size—you want to minimize the amount of space in which a crowbar could be inserted and leveraged with enough muscle to pop it apart.

Cable Locks

Cable locks are an attractive option due to their versatility and adaptability, but will not offer the same level of protection as a U-lock. They allow you to creatively secure your bike to various posts and objects, and when combined with a U-lock, the cable lock can be a powerful tool of protection for securing easily removed parts.

Chain Locks

Chains are incredibly sturdy and will resist both hacksaws and chisels. However, they’re also weighty and bulky, so are not likely something you want to be carrying around with you. However, for stationary uses in high crime areas, they can be quite effective.

Wheel/Seat Skewers

You may love the quick release feature on your seatpost and wheel—but so will thieves. Locking skewers are made to disable that feature, making your favorite parts harder to nab. Skewers are not particularly difficult to install, but you’re going to need a special wrench that comes with the skewer.

What we recommend

There is power in numbers! Our recommendation would be to use both a cable lock and a U-lock to secure your bike. Most thieves will carry the tools to target one type of lock—the presence of both may be enough to deter a potential theft. Follow the steps below and rest in the knowledge that your bike is secure!

  1. Choose a well-lit, highly trafficked spot to park your bike. All the better if there are other bikes parked there as well!
  2. Pull the cable through both wheels and secure it around a bike rack or another closed loop stand (posts allow thieves to just lift up the bike while locked).
  3. Place the U-lock around the same secure rack, and then pass it around your rear wheel rim. If the lock will reach, you can wrap it around the frame of your seat tube as well, but even if that is not possible, the bike cannot be stolen by removing the rear wheel. Remember, a smaller U-lock is better!
  4. Take all removable gear off the bike (lights, pumps, accessories, etc).