Lock it or Lose it!

I was writing the N+1 volumes (not yet published – due from tomorrow!) and started going off an a mad tangent (I know, shocker, right?) about locks, it got a bit wordy (who, me?) and so it’s become another post!

As an introduction, I’ve had 3 bikes stolen. my Azonic, my second Sidekick and my Scott.

At this point I think it’s important to point out that I don’t skimp on locks. Plural. I spent good money on decent brands – Even the Scott, who was the first stolen, was locked up with a couple of decent locks, to immovable objects, frame and wheels, in highly visible places. My parents think i’m cursed!

Clearly the previous locks weren’t up to scratch. So now i’ve spent a ludicrous amount on some very serious locks and security. I’ve managed to lock bikes up in London and not have them nicked so they seem to work as a deterrent. They are of course still insured!

All of our bikes have datatags and datadots, all the components are marked and we have Hexlox on all the important bits. They are also registered on BikeRegister – The national (UK) database of bikes.


Hexlox magnetically block bolt holes to defeat part stealing! ^


If someone really wants your bike, they’ll take it, no matter how many locks you’ve got on it.

I’ve been asked by a customer at a previous shop to cut off a D lock. We’d sold him the bike, he had proof of ownership of bike and lock, plus the manager knew him.

The lock was a reputable brand (rhymes with trip tonight)… but picture it. Sunday, midday, clear skies, warm weather, outside the King’s Head in York, river boats going past, with a battery powered angle grinder cutting off a lock.

I had on a navy polo shirt and black shorts and a pair of safety glasses. Did ANYBODY question me, at all? Noise, sparks, cutting off a lock. Not one person even queried it. It surprised me how fast an angle grinder will go through a lock. Less than one minute total, for both sides…

This wasn’t a diamond cutting disc, nor an industrial angle grinder. The lock wasn’t a top of the range lock, but I still expected it to hold up a little better and I certainly expected somebody – anybody – to challenge, or at least question me!

When I said serious locks for our bikes, think Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini / Abus 37/55 Padlock & Chain / Litelock / Abus Granit X-Plus 540. They all cost a lot of money and they all have a significant weight penalty (less so the Litelock but 1kg on an 8 kg bike is a lot!).

One tip is to use different styles of lock, from different manufacturers – it means a potential thief has to carry more tools to defeat them, the more types and makes, the more difficult. Sad to say, but a well secured bike often means the miscreant will pass it by…in favour of some other saps poor bike. Don’t be the poor sap!

There have been a few attempts at devising an electronic system of locking or securing bikes, but, electronics on a bike, can you imagine it?!?

I do wonder if a Shimano Di2 battery could be used to power a lightweight tracking chip…? Any inventor types listening?? SRAM etap with tracking…hmmmm?

Chris out.

5 thoughts on “Lock it or Lose it!

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