Bicycle U Locks, Chain Locks, & Cable Locks – Nothin To Laugh At?

Bike locks aren’t too sophisticated where I live. If a good manila rope doesn’t work, we have other ways to keep our bikes safe.

Mount Shasta Bike Lock

Taking advantage of the relatively low mental capacities of our citizens, I’ll often just turn my bike upside down when I leave it in the bike rack. The thieves in our area have a hard time identifying it as being a bike when it’s been turned over. They aren’t interested in a bike frame with wheels on top of it.

There's A Bike Hiding In This Picture!

But I know that most of you don’t have it so easy.

Here’s a run-down of the types of bike locks…from most secure to least secure.

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An Irreverent Bicycle U Lock Review


The U lock’s the top of the line bicycle lock. The Kryptonite company has chosen to offer models named after America’s premier city, New York.

They offer the New York LS, the New York STD (both the Chlamydia and Gonorrhea models), and the lock named for that endearing New York phrase, “Fahgettaboudit”.

What a contrast…

In Mount Shasta, we have the ‘hemp-rope lock’ and the ‘rope a dope’ upside-down technique. In New York, they’ve named their bike locks after sexually transmitted diseases, and an Emerald State insult. And some people still don’t think the USA has a culture gap?

The U-lock is offered in a variety of thicknesses, with the ‘Fahgettaboudit’ model featuring 18mm of hardened MAX-Performance steel.


I found out that not only is the hardness of the steel a consideration, but so is the size of the ‘U’ part. Apparently, if the opening is too big the bike thief will get out his crowbar and twist the lock into submission. Additionally, small ‘U’ dimensions don’t allow enough room to get a hydraulic jack into.

The hydraulic jack technique surprised me, but I really shouldn’t discount Yankee ingenuity.

Along this same theme, the best U-locks will put the key-way in the center of the cross member instead of on one end. Better to resist a wrecking bar, my little beauty!

The top of the line models offer double deadbolt mechanisms for further ‘thwarting’ power.

I don’t know what they do about those lock picking sets that no one’s supposed to have.

When all else fails, the top of the line locks have theft insurance. There are a few details that have to be followed to qualify, but it’s probably worth it when in a high crime area.

If a junkie does succeed in injecting the value of your bike into his arm, you’ll get some money for your loss.

What’s A Caterpillar Tractor Have To Do With A Bicycle Chain Lock Review?

Next down the ladder of bike security are the chain locks. Of course there is a vast range of quality in the chains.

Some thick, some thin.

Some long, some short.

Some heavy, and some heavier.

And there is a choice in length of chain. It’s probably best to only get a chain for as long as is really needed so that there isn’t enough length for a thief to grab onto it with a Caterpillar front-end loader.

The security of the lock part of the chain lock is obviously proportional to the amount of money you spend.

And then there is the trump card…the high end chains have anti-theft protection. I’m trying to get the manufacturers to also provide coverage for three chiropractic visits to undue the trauma these heavy rascals dish out when they’re worn around the neck. Of course the redemption coupons would only be redeemed in my office.

The Humble Cable Lock At The Bottom Of The Bicycle Locks Review Food Chain

Cable locks aren’t as secure as the ‘where do I store this thing?’ U lock or the ‘I’ll crush you into the ground with my sheer weight’ chain lock. But they do have a purpose.

If your city doesn’t have enough aggressive thieves in it to get a bike lock named after itself (‘Hey, That’s My Bike!’ vs.‘Fahgettaboudit’), a mere cable lock may be enough deterrent to keep your bike secure. I guess cable locks are vulnerable to cutters, hacksaws, and who knows what else. But they’ll keep away the casual thief.

Get An Adequate Bicycle Lock

I’ve had a bit of fun writing about the various bicycle locks, but there’s ABSOLUTELY nothing amusing about getting your bike stolen. If you’ve gotten this far in the article, do yourself a favor and consider this my prod to get a lock from someplace like Performance Bike that’ll satisfy your bike security needs. Who knows, if we reduce the bike theft problem, we may find our streets more crowded with bikes than with cars.

And that’s a good thing.

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