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You can't be with your bike at all times. Therefore,  you'll have leave it unattended once and a while. Read on for some info on the different type and style of bicycle locks and other tips to ensure your bike's safety.

Bike locks vary, how to pick the right one for your bicycles safety

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

You can’t be with your bike at all times. Therefore,  you’ll have leave it unattended once and a while. That doesn’t mean you can’t take precautions to protect it. Read on for some info on the different type and style of bicycle locks and other tips to ensure your bike’s safety.

Types of Bike Locks

Not all situations require the same level of security. Also, there isn’t a lock in existence that a motivated person can’t get through.  Therefore, there are many different types of locks for different situations. Picking the right lock should dissuade a potential thief from even trying to take your bike.

U-Lock

The strongest bike locks are U-locks. They consist of a steel bar, bent in a ‘U’ shape, that fits into a straight locking mechanism. These locks are also resistant to bolt cutters and hacksaws, and a potential thief would need a lot of uninterrupted time and loud tools to get through one. Many U-locks offer an insurance program where the lock manufacturer will pay you to replace your bike if it is stolen. All you have to do is register your bike.

 

Chains

Chain locks are also popular. While some chains can be cut with bolt cutters, some versions rival the strongest U-locks in durability. Chains use hardened steel links and padlocks to keep your bike secure, and offer a lot of flexibility in what you can lock your bike to. Look for versions that have some sort of covering over the chain (either rubber or fabric), because it goes a long way in protecting the finish of your bicycle.

Cables

The least secure lock is a cable lock. Cable locks use steel cables with built in key or combination mechanisms to secure your bike. These locks are great for stopping someone from grabbing your bike and running off with it. But if a thief is prepared and motivated, they can cut through these locks in a few seconds. However, cables do offer the greatest flexibility in what you can lock your bike to.

How to Lock

Location, Location, Location

First and foremost: Lock your bike in a secure location. The ideal location is in plain sight with a lot of traffic. The more conspicuous a thief needs to be stealing your bike, the lower the chance is of them trying to take it. And always remember to lock your bike to something secure. For example, a parking meter might look secure, but if an industrious thief has removed the hardware that secures the meter to the post, they can quickly slide your bicycle and lock up the post and be on their way. So search for immovable objects like a bike rack that’s bolted to the ground.

lock it up rack booby trap

This bike rack was cut and taped back together by a bike thief. Be sure what you lock to is secure.

Protect Your Bike Parts

Bikes are built with quick-release wheels and seats. It’s fine to lock the frame, but a thief might just take a front or rear wheel if available. If you are using a cable or chain, lace it through both wheels, the frame, and whatever you’re locking the bike to. If you’re using a U-lock, then remove the front wheel and place it next to the rear wheel. Then capture both wheels and the frame when you lock it up. Many manufacturers make component-specific locks that secure your wheels or seat to the bicycle frame.

Lock it up Frame and QR lock

Frame locks, and locks that replace your wheel’s quick-release levers are common on commuter bicycles

If you follow these tips then you’ll be on your way to making sure your bike isn’t stolen, and it’ll be one less thing for you to worry about.

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My ABUS U-Lock Review

Tyler Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

Granit X-Plus 540 U lock

Parts that come with ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U lock

If you are looking for a secure way to attach your cherished investment to a bike rack, fence, or sign post; checkout the ABUS line of U-Locks. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been testing both the Granit X-Plus 540 and the Granit X-Plus U54 Mini. Both U-Locks are somewhat new to the market and as I have found are top of the line and worth the price.

ABUS U54 Mini

ABUS Granit U54 Mini U lock

My first thought when receiving these locks for review was their weight! The X-Plus 540 weighs 3.20 pounds, while the U54 Mini weighs 2.70 pounds. It could be caused by the “13mm temper hardened steel”, but regardless, these locks are tanks! After my review of these bike locks, I wouldn’t feel safe with some of the other U-Locks that I have looked at. They feel light and breakable. The extra weight of these ABUS locks was a small trade off in knowing that when I return to my bike, it will be ready to go.

IMG_20140807_192239_889There are a number of different ways in using both these ABUS U-Locks. For me, I found it best to lock the bike through the back tire and bike frame. My front tire was still vulnerable, but the back wheel and frame were secured. I found that the U54 Mini also had a wide enough build, that the back tire and frame could easily be locked, in most cases, like the X-Plus 540 model.

IMG_20140807_192213_840

If you’re someone that primarily goes on long distance rides, or pedals around on the weekends, I’d suggest purchasing the U54 Mini vs. the Granit X-Plus 540. The primary reason for this is its size; the U54 Mini is smaller and lighter making it easier to transport. With the Granit X-Plus 540 mounted on my Red Line road bike, I was not able to utilize my second water bottle cage. For someone biking long distance, making room for extra water storage will be priority over this mounted U-Lock. However, if theft is a major concern, the Granit X-Plus 540 is the way to go.

ABUS U lock key

ABUS U lock key

ABUS key LED light

ABUS key LED light

Both of these ABUS locks come with two sets of keys. What’s nice is both sets of keys have an LED light at the end. This makes it easy to lock/unlock while riding in dark conditions. Personally, I’ve used this LED light more as a light on my keychain than just for my bike. The battery is also very easy to exchange. It takes one coin cell battery that just slides out from the back of the key. Along with the keys, a code card comes with these lock. If I were to lose or break both keys, ABUS will be able to make new ones just by receiving the code on the card.

All ABUS locks feature industry leading corrosion resistance – perfect for wet, rainy and snowy climates. The keyhole itself has a metal cover that opens from the middle when pushed on by the key. This will secure water and road grime from entering the lock. 

Mounted ABUS U lock

ABUS U lock mounted on Red Line road bike

The X-Plus 540 also included a convenient mounting bracket that could be placed in a number of spots. For me, the best place was right under the top cross bar. Unfortunately, the instructions to this mounting bracket were in German. Looking at the pictures and guessing what parts go where, I ended up mounting the lock and to my surprise, the lock flew off my bike while riding!

Luckily there were YouTube videos that walked me through the proper way in mounting this lock. Once this lock is properly mounted (you will have to physically unlock the lock in order to remove it from the mount) it will not fall off your bike. This assures the lock is secured safely on the bike, as a 3 pound lock doesn’t feel too good on the foot!

ABUS U 54 Mini

Bianchi road bike with ABUS 54 mini

With the X-Plus U54 Mini, there was no mounting bracket, so I had to be creative and search for a place to store it while riding. If you’re someone that carries a backpack or rides with a luggage rack bag or pannier, storing the lock there will be the easiest. Otherwise, I locked it under my bike seat as it was resting on the back seat post bag.

ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U lock

ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U lock

More on the ABUS’ Granit X-Plus 540:
The ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 has a 15/15 security rating, and is ideal for urban areas. If you need a secure safeguard when making stops where you have to leave your bike, the X-Plus 540 provides strong protection with a patented 13mm temper hardened steel square, parabolic shackle, and a double bolting shackle/lock body.

With its patented ABUS Power Cell technology your bicycle investment will be provided the highest protection against hitting and pulling attacks. Plus, the 540 features the most advanced technology available for lock picking prevention with the X-Plus Key cylinder in a U-Lock.

ABUS U lock

Commuter using ABUS U54 Mini

More on the ABUS’ the Granit X-Plus U54 Mini:
The U54 Mini features the most advanced technology (the same as the U540) but in a short shackle version. The lock retains the wide profile of its full size siblings in the Granit X-Plus U lock family, making it ideal for use in cities that have reinforced parking meters available for bike parking and where a narrow shackle profile won’t fit.

The lock is double bolting, meaning that if any thief attacks the lock with a grinder will have to make two cuts, as opposed to one cut for other brands whose locks are single-bolting.

All in all, I’m a fan of these ABUS U-Locks and would suggest purchasing one of these two models. Suggested retail price of the Granit X-Plus 540 is $149.99 for the 9” shackle, and $159.99 for the 11” shackle. Suggested retail price of the Granit X-Plus U54 Mini is $109.00. Yes, they’re heavier and a bit more expensive than many other U-locks on the market, but the trade-off is security.

Be sure to visit your local bike shop to find these products to safeguard your bicycle investment! Or, for more on ABUS bike locks, visit: Keeping Your Bicycle Safe With ABUS Bike Locks.

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Keeping Your Bicycle Safe With ABUS Bike Locks

Tyler Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com  

With thousands of bicycles stolen each year, what are you doing to ensure your bicycle’s safety?

20140123-FS8A0220-2The most important aspect of a safe and secured bike is having a reliable bike lock. Securely locking it in a well lit – high traffic area and having photo(s) along with your bike’s serial number, and information on where it was purchased on file.

 Here we found ABUS, a long time industry leader in security, with numerous products to protect your equipment when you are not riding. Here are a few ABUS Bike Locks:

01_111617_540_160 HB230_aGranit X-Plus 540

The ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 has a 15/15 security rating, and is ideal for urban areas. If you need protection on high quality bicycles, the 540 provides strong protection with a patented 13mm temper hardened steel square, parabolic shackle, and a double bolting shackle/lock body.

With its patented ABUS Power Cell technology providing the highest protection against hitting and pulling attacks, and the X-Plus Key cylinder offering extremely high protection from lock picking- the 540 features the most advanced technology available in a U-Lock.

Granit X-Plus U54 Mini Processed with VSCOcam with k2 preset

The U54 Mini features the most advanced technology (the same as the U540) but in a short shackle version. The lock retains the wide profile of its full size siblings in the Granit X-Plus U lock family, making it ideal for use in cities that have reinforced parking meters available for bike parking and where a narrow shackle profile won’t fit.

The lock is double bolting, meaning that any thief attacking the lock with a grinder will have to make two cuts, as opposed to one cut for other brands whose locks are single-bolting.

uGrip Bordo 5700 uGripBordo5700_IMG_3741

Designed in a range of 5 bright colors (black, orange, blue, lime, and pink) the new uGrip Bordo is the perfect locking solution for suburban or low-theft risk locking needs.

An updated, rotating lock body and “snap” closure make the uGrip tremendously easy to use. The rattle-free carrying case mounts quickly to the bike by using the provided Velcro straps, or can be screwed directly into the bottle cage mounts, making transportation incredibly easy. A one-touch button frees the lock from its pouch and a color-coded link and lock body make it simpler to identify the locking side of this lock.

The uGrip Bordo can also be ordered “keyed” with specific coil cables via special order.

Ultimateultimatestd 420

Made of high quality, temper hardened steel; the Ultimate 420 has a slightly narrower inner width and lock body than the beefier Super Ultimate. The 14mm shackle double bolts into the lock body for robust protection against cutting and torsion attacks.

All ABUS locks feature industry leading corrosion resistance-perfect for wet, rainy, and snowy climates!

Check with your local bike shop for these models and other product to safeguard your bicycle investment.

PennCycle_728x90aIt’s also a smart idea to register your bicycle through the Minneapolis Police Department or the city you live in. Then, if your bicycle gets taken, call your local precinct and make a formal report. Be sure to include color, manufacturer, model, serial number, or any other identifiable features.

 Pictures and information provided by Joan Hanscom,  ABUS Marketing and PR Manager