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Locking my bike in NYC

In the spirit of the Great Move of ‘09 and my plan to commute by bike in the big city, I have been looking about online for bike locking tips and, as can happen during intensive internet usage, I began to get a little freaked out and, well, obsessive.



This Hal fellow drills the idea of two locks into your head, so, it seems that, since he’s in NYC and I’m going to be in NYC, I should take his advice.

Two and a half bikes have been stolen from me in two different cities over the past five years (.5 bikes per year average… which might be really good considering how much I use my bike to get around). These bikes were only stolen when left in the same place for a considerable amount of time, so, after getting a new bike and lock in 2003, I began change up my bike locking locations and keep my bike indoors when possible. So far, this has been working, but I’ve been living in Austin and Fort Worth. I’m moving to New York City, a place whose name is used to market some really expensive and really heavy bike locks.

I have a Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboutit (which I picked up because of this article) that weighs 6 pounds and considered getting a Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain with Disc Lock to as my second lock. Then I found this at bikeforums.net:

Now if your going to go the DIY route, look for the following chains:

Medium Security: Grade 70, 3/8″ link, yellow dichromate coated transport chain.

http://www.bareco.com.au/pics/genrlpic/g37a.jpg

High security: Grade 70, 1/2″ or 5/8″ link, yellow dichromate coated transport chain

Extreme high security: Grade 100 proof tested , 5/8″ links overhead lifting chain ,25% stronger than grade 80, and extremely difficult to get a bolt cutter head around the links.

if i can carry around 4 feet of 1/2″ chain, with a 3lb shrouded padlock, anyone can carry the standard 3/8″ link chain around….

Hmm… Do it myself? I had already spent $90 on a nice Kryptonite New York Lock, so did I really need to spend $120 more to supplement it? If no bike lock is theft proof and the two locks are really just a deterrent and some people suggest using a cable lock then maybe if I just made my own and used it with the Fahgettaboudit mini u-lock it would be just as good, if not better, than a measly cable? I hit the hardware store, spent $38, and got this:

Lock and Chain

Its 4 feet of super thick chain graded for towing wrapped in an old mountain bike tube and a solid steel Master Lock. It seems that some people on the bike forums think that square or hexagonal links are harder to cut. The chain cutter guy at the store had to cut the chain link twice to get it apart, so this chain seemed sufficiently difficult to break.. that is until I found this video of people stealing bikes in London that shows a guy with HUGE bolt cutters breaking a Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain:

and this Bike biz article concerning above video.

However, ITV London showed how, with big cutting tools, pro thieves can cut almost any lock.

And then there is this video showing guys stealing bikes in the middle of busy NYC without anyone caring. The guy even plugs in a grinder and dons protective gear to tear through a chain and no one seems to notice:

Since my bike will probably get stolen no matter what I do, i’ve already found a replacement lock: the Mul-T-Lock 4′ Security Chain and C10 Padlock with Protector. After perusing the Mul-T-Lock website I am beginning to think this is the best chain with lock combo on the market, although I have no idea how heavy it is.

Mul-T-Lock Chain and Padlock

Author: mimi

Category: life stories

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