How To Lock Your Bike In Town | GMBN Tech’s Guide To Urban Bike Security

How To Lock Your Bike In Town | GMBN Tech’s Guide To Urban Bike Security


– Having your mountain bike
stolen is about the worst thing that can happen to any
of us mountain bikers and if you’re going to lock
your bike up in public, you better make sure it
is really, really secure. Now, we’re going to show
you just how vulnerable the mountain bike is and
we’re going to show you how to make your bike as
secure and safe as possible. (whooshing) (knife sharpening sound) Even when your bike is
locked up, it is not safe. Any lock can technically be broken, whether that’s cut, smashed,
picked or prised open. And really the key to
your bike getting nicked is how easy you leave it
open for a thief to take. So, I’m going to try something out here. I’m actually going to
try and steal my own bike just to prove a point to you. Let’s see how that goes. You might wonder why I’m
wearing a bright, yellow vest and not wearing, say, a dark, inconspicuous-looking hooded top. Well, my theory is thieves don’t care. Blatancy is the best policy. They go straight up to whatever they want and they take it. So, well, I thought I’d
try and do the same thing. (quirky music) (whistles) So the coast is fairly clear to go in and blatantly steal my own bike. Oh, well, that was fairly easy and no one even looked twice to be honest. All right, so, little bit of a disclaimer: I used a really cheap,
nasty lock to do this and the bolt croppers,
they’re good for an 8 mm bolt. You could probably do a 12 with these with a bit of hard work. But the point is, I just
wanted to demonstrate I could just walk up and take my bike no one paid any attention, whatever. Of course, there’s different
situations for this and you might’ve seen Casey
Neistat, on his YouTube channel, making a lot more noise and
still drawing no attention. But I just want to emphasize the point, it’s about taking a bike in public. So whatever you do, you
got to lock it up properly. So let’s go back to studio and have a look at some proper locks before we show you how to use them. (upbeat music) Now, step one to keeping
your bike safe, clearly, is by investing in a decent quality lock. Now, you got to think how
much your bike is worth. If it’s something that you really love, then you want to take care of it. So, a couple hundred quid on
a lock, relatively speaking, isn’t a lot of money to spend. But you could spend 10 quid on a lock. That’s entirely up to you. I would always spend
the most amount possible and get the best possible lock,
if not get multiple locks. But I’m just going to take
you through some of the styles of locks available in the market and what they’re good at and
what they’re not good at. So, first up, let’s look
at the classic D lock. So these are really
familiar as bicycle locks, taking the profile of a D, basically, if you put it on the side. This particular one is made by ABUS. We’ve got a selection
here, you might notice, by different brands. We’ve got some Kryptonite locks we’ve got some ABUS locks and we’ve also got some Hiploks. Each of them have their own quirks and their own sort of individuality that’s going to suit
different types of user. Now, this is Granit,
this is super heavy duty. It’s a really heavy lock. Excellent for locking your
bike absolutely anywhere, corrosion resistant, all that stuff. But the problem is it’s extremely heavy. It’s not the sort of lock you’re going to want to mount on your bike and you really don’t want to
carry this around in your bag. So these are things you do
need to take into account with any type of lock. This, perhaps, would be best based for, you could use it at home,
although we always say that chain locks are
better at home, really, ’cause you can do more with them. These might be good, perhaps, if you lock your bike up
somewhere permanent every day like a train station, for
example, if you’re a commuter or if you have a bike rack at your office or your place of work, for example. You can leave these outside because they’re corrosion resistant and, generally, nothing is
going to phase a lock like this. And you might also notice
something particularly with this lock, the Granit,
has a square profile to it so the square profile does
make it extremely cut resistant because you have to
cut through both sides, you can’t just cut through one and then twist your way free. That said, if you even cut
through something that thick, you’re a bit of a hero because that is an insanely
strong type of lock. But, D locks do come in much
smaller sizes like these. Now, the good thing about smaller sizes is they are very portable. This one actually has a belt clip on it. It’s by Hiplok, company
specialized in wearable locks, so it’s quite a cool concept. This is also a highly secure lock. It’s rated Sold Secure Gold, so basically the highest
rating you can get for a lock. A very secure shack on
that, it’s nice and thick. And, to a degree, actually, a
smaller size shackle like this although it’s harder to use on a bike depending where you lock your bike up, it’s actually more resistant
to a lot of the methods that thieves might use to cut in. Little bottle jacks that
go into lever locks apart, you’re not really going to
get one in a lock like this. So, provided you can use this on your bike and where you lock your bike, it could be a good idea for you. So you can get some compact other options in new locks as well. This one from Kryptonite, for example, also has an extension on it. So, it just goes to show you can use this in a slightly different way despite the fact it’s quite small. So it has the benefit of a bigger lock in a smaller, more compact size. You also get some options that
come with cable extensions. Now, this is a fantastic idea. In an ideal world, you want
to be locking your mainframe to the object and, preferably, if you can link your wheels in in any way, it stops you having to
remove them from the bike. So, basically, you can increase
the protection you have by locking more of your bike. Now, here we have some solutions for those that travel light with,
basically, want a compact set up. So these are folding
locks and, like all locks, you get these in different standards. So this one is actually
quite a lightweight one. Very light, you can fit
this inside your back even in your pocket and it gives you quite a
good amount of security. But they do make incredibly
heavy duty versions of the same thing as well which are very strong, very effective and, because of the shapes of them, you’re not limited to
where you can lock a bike which, of course, is something we’re going to get to later in the video and that’s actually very important. You need to know the
capabilities of a lock. Now, I’ve got some lighter
options here as well before we go on to chain locks. Now, by no means should you be using something like these on their own. These are good to tear in. They’re great for using, for example, on the bike rack of your car to make sure your bike is locked to it. These particular ones
are essentially metal locking cable ties. I actually carry a couple
of these permanently, just on my bag, on my daily to work because they can be very useful for those little coffee stops. Certainly only in places
where you can see your bike, you can touch your bike, you just might cast your
eye away for a second. But, don’t ever take a
lightweight lock like this or even this little combo
lock here from ABUS, don’t take that as an alternative
to a properly secure lock. These are just a little
extra you can carry when you’re out riding just as a little deterrent,
but deterrent is the key there. Now, of course, there’s chain locks. Now these things weigh an absolute ton. They’re so strong, they’re
made of toughened steel, they have locking mechanisms
that are pick proof, they’re acid proof, they’re
just about everything proof. But the penalty you have for
carrying a lock like this is they weigh a ton. Even in a rucksack they swing
around all over the place so you have to consider
where you use them. This is why I recommend
chain locks for using at home or perhaps in a more permanent basis, like you would do with something like the heavier duty D locks. But, there is a halfway house. Now, Hiplok make chain locks that you can actually wear like a belt. They do them in different ratings. This is a lighter duty one,
this meets Sold Secure Silver. But they also have a heavy
duty one, like a Gold standard. This is a seriously heavy piece of kit, but the locking mechanism itself you can actually wear
it like a belt buckle and actually clip this
thing around your waist. It has reflective detailing on it so you can ride your bike
with that around your waist and, admittedly, it’s a heavy lock but once it’s on your waist,
it’s surprisingly manageable. And, actually, the reassurance you get of having a heavy duty chain is great and you’re also not limited
in where you use it. So, if you lock your bike
up in a variety of places, perhaps a chain lock is
a good option for you. Now, despite what level
of protection you’ve got in terms of a lock, the place you pick to lock up your bike is just as important. Now, for example, just coming
into a little alleyway here, you might think a place
like this is quite good. You’ve got a nice, secure railing here you can lock your bike to. But a problem with this is
it’s off the beaten track, so this would give any opportunist thief the chance to get to work on your lock. If you’ve got a high quality lock, they’re going to be using angle grinders, anything that makes a bit of noise. So if you’re making it easier for them by not being in a public eye, that is not a good look. So, let’s have a look
at some other examples of places to avoid. Okay, so, there’s plenty
of bike loops here a lot of people use this
place for locking a bike and you might think it’s
actually a really good place to lock a bike. But you’d be completely wrong. This is actually a really
bad place to lock a bike and a reason for that,
there’s so many bikes here, it’s a real easy place for a chancer thief to come along and have a go at your bike and just blend in with what’s going on. The latest thing we’re
hearing at GMBN and GMBN Tech is that thieves are taking the place of would be delivery riders, so they’ve got a big delivery bag and they’re coming to places like this, they’re bending down to
simulate unlocking a bike but they’re actually having
a go at it with bolt croppers or whatever they have and then they just ride
away on the said bike. Like I say, blatancy is the best policy. That’s exactly what thieves do. Now, again, just to emphasize other areas that are questionable
to lock your bike up, train station’s a great example. Sometimes you’re forced to do that. If you’re going to have to lock your bike up near a train station, one
of those mass ranks of bikes, make sure it can be near
CCTV where it can be seen. Now, you really want,
basically, any opportunist thief to have the least chance of
getting to work on your bike. Basically, you want to make
them nick somebody else’s bike, not your bike. That’s the name of the game. When locking bikes up in town centers, there is one final thing
you want to be aware of and that’s locking your bike up, if you’re locking it up for
an evening, for example, near anywhere where there’s
rowdy sorts of nightlife. Now, we’ve all seen bikes at
some point have been locked up and they’ve been trampled
on, the wheels buckled, that’s because, unfortunately,
they’re in a bad place. It’s not the owner’s
fault, it’s the nightlife and the rowdiness and all that stuff. So just be sensible about
where you lock your bike up. Now, right where I’m stood here is actually a pretty good place. So you’ve got a nice, solid railing, which means there’s multiple
points to lock your bike to. You can get it nice and
close by lifting the bars over that railing. It’s right near a main road,
so there’s constant traffic, which is going to put off a thief and, as you can probably see behind me, there’s plenty of people walking around. So it’s definitely a good
contender for locking a bike up. Let’s have a quick look at
the options and the styles and the way that you would lock a bike up. And I’m going to use
this as a great example. Wherever your lock your bike
up, there’s a lot of options with the locks that you pick
and how you can use them. Nice secure railing, I’ve got the D lock going around the railing,
looping around the back wheel inside the rear triangle of the bike. That is key because of the fact it can’t be removed from the bike. I’ve also got an
additional security cable, that’s a Kryptonite one, I’ve got that looped around the fork and the front wheel, back
onto itself and onto the lock. So that is the bike really
quite secure at this location. I’ve got a handlebar
just resting over the top so it’s nice and tight up against it. So, hopefully, no one will mess with that. Now, if you don’t happen to
have an extension cable with you but you do have a nice,
big, lengthy lock like that, I’m going to show you a cool
little trick that I like to use just to add an extra layer of security. Now, this doesn’t always
work and you can annoy people if you do this in certain places, but this railing works quite well for it. Lifting the bike over the railing so it’s actually hanging, basically, over the height of a car over a road and using a lock to secure it there in the same way you would
on the pavement side. But the fact that the bike is on the other side of the railing makes it much harder to work on. If it’s hard to work on, it’s going to take time to steal the bike and it’s far less likely to be worked on. So it’s a nice little hack
that I like to use quite often. Now, bike loop like this is purpose built for locking a bike to and this one is actually
in a perfect place. It’s a fairly busy area, there’s lots of public seating everywhere, lots of people enjoying coffees
and sandwiches and the like. So it’s really a bad place for a thief to spend any amount of
time working on the bike. He’s going to be seen, or
she’s going to be seen, nicking the bike. So, this is a great place. But a few things you need to bear in mind. Obviously, you’ve got your lock, so, a smaller lock like this will actually do the job perfectly here. You have to make sure
you lock your bike up in a way it’s not going
to accidentally slide and remove your paint work. Now, I like to rest mine on the crank. Just, for example, if
I lift mine back here, it’s actually got the weight of the bike on the pedal and the crank and I can put the lock around it and hold it to the post so it’s going to be pretty secure. But, again, your front wheel
will still be vulnerable. It’s up to you if you want to chance that or if you want to connect it to the bike using an extension lock. If you get to a post like this
and the only available room is the other side of one
that’s already being used, have a little look and a
bit of a think about it. Look at the style of bike. If it’s an old clunker
like this thing here, look how it’s been locked
and how it’s treated. Are they likely to let
their bike slip onto yours or not take good care of
yours when they unlock theirs? It is something definitely
worth considering. The bike on the other side I
wouldn’t feel too bad about. It’s a Trek by the looks of it, it’s got Kryptonite lock on it and it’s got an extension cable, which suggests that the owner of that bike cares about their bike and they might, hopefully,
care about yours. So, just take that into
account when you’re actually locking yours up, but
the same rules apply. Go for the maximum security you can. In this case, I could use
the Hiplok no problem, I could use the Kryptonite D lock or I could go whole hog and
use that crazy ABUS lock but that’s a heavier thing to lug around. Got to have what suits you. But, as far as places to lock a bike go, this is a great location. (bike wheels whirring) Now, something I’ve not touched
on too far in this video yet is the way that thieves break locks. There’s various different ways. The common ones are
picking a lock mechanism but, thankfully, most locks these days, certainly the Gold Secure ones,
are pretty much pick proof. At least to the point of
getting your bike away quickly, it’s a job that takes a bit of time. The next one is they can freeze them and smash them with a hammer but a really heavy duty
shackle in the lock is going to resist that quite a lot. Which leaves three other options: using a bottle jack, a bottle jack is only used in
a case of some sort of D lock, in which case you
couldn’t get one in there, ’cause that’s a compact lock, so therefore that compact
lock with the extension is a great idea for urban environments. The bigger a U lock is, or a D lock is, the bigger problem you could
have with that sort of attack. The other ones, of
course, are bolt croppers, bolt croppers are not going to come close to something like that. You’re going to need massive
ones and an enormous guy to be able to actually cut through that. Bolt croppers, really,
will only do cables. Although they do, as you’ve seen earlier, make a cable look like
a bit of butter, really. So be cautious if you’re
using that sort of stuff. Now, the final type, of course, will be an angle grinder attack. So, any angle grinder
attack is likely to happen when they need to get
a good purchase on it. So, doing it on the top tube there, that’s not a good place for it. So if you were to use something
like a heavy duty chain, make sure the chain at any
point isn’t near the ground. You want it to be as high up as possible. If it’s on the ground, they’ve
got somewhere to work on it. The same thing, really,
applies with being able to use big cutters and croppers. You need to use a lot
of leverage with them, sometimes you’ll have
one arm on the ground and the other arm pushing down on it. So just take into
account where the lock is when you actually lock it on your bike. (quirky music) So you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t got a lock on my bike, but I’m just having a
cheeky mid-ride coffee and I’ve got my Garmin bike alarm on and the cool thing about that is it means that if anyone
does tamper with the bike, then, hopefully, the
alarm’s going to go off and it’s going to stop me. Chris! It’s not even an e-bike, mate. Well, there you go,
that’s pretty effective. I’m just going to turn
it off from the app. Here and there, you’re
just going to have to stop and take a chance. So what I’ve done is
flip my bike upside down and changed it into hard gear, basically, so what happens is, if
someone gets on the bike and goes to pedal away, it’s- Chris! What- That happens. What are you doing, mate? It’s an e-bike. Bring it back. Those EMBN boys, they’re just desperate for a proper mountain
bike, what can I say? (bike wheels whirring) So absolute last resort if you
want that cheeky coffee stop, I actually used my helmet
as a bit of a lock. So what I’ve done, I’ve just
put it round my back wheels. If someone moves it, it’s going to skid and they’re not really
going to go very far. – Ugh! So unfair, God, I just
want one of these bikes without a motor or a battery! – Just go back to EMBN, go on! And let that be a lesson to ya. But on a serious note,
don’t use any of these. Don’t rely on these things. What you really need is a good, solid lock and lock your bike up properly. Well there you go, I’ve
just proved the point that wherever you lock your bike up, it is not invincible, but
you can minimize the risks by using a really good selection of locks, locking it up sensibly and choosing where you lock up your bike. Hopefully that has been helpful for you. For a couple more videos
along the same lines, click over here if you want to see how to install a ground anchor, which, in my opinion,
absolutely essential for home. And click up there for all
the sort of home security tips you can imagine. CCTV, insurance, all of that stuff. Hopefully you found
this video entertaining. At least, hopefully, some
good information for you. So, give us a thumbs up and make sure you click
that subscribe button and, of course, the little
notification bell, too, so you get a notification
every time we put a video up. Right, I’m off to work. See you later. (beep) So I flipped my bike upside
down, changed it into a gear, so basically, if someone
gets on it, basically, the gears are all going to
mess up, he’s not going to- (bike wheels whirring) Chris! Chris! – Ugh, so unfair, Doddy! – It’s not even an e-bike, mate! (angry grunting) (laughs)