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I have had a couple of bicycles stolen from me and in both incidents, the bike wasn’t locked up.
All that to say – you’d be an idiot (like me) to not lock your bicycle when you’re not riding it. This means if you plan to ride your bike to work or the grocery store or wherever you absolutely must carry a bike lock with you to use once you get to your destination. A locked bike reduces the chances of it getting stolen tremendously.
With that said you may be wondering, “Where do I put my bike lock while riding?” The best places to put your bike lock while riding are either inside a backpack, inside a pannier, on your person, or attached to your bike frame.
In the rest of this article, I’ll explain in more detail how you can use these methods of carrying your lock while bicycling to work.
Bag or Pannier
This is by the far the easiest and most common way to store a lock while riding your bike. It doesn’t matter what type of lock you’re using (chain, u-lock, etc.), because as long as you have a backpack, bag, or pannier large enough you can just throw it in there.
My wife has a basic coil chain lock that she uses to lock her bike up while commuting around town. She places it in her pannier whenever it’s not in use, and it works quite well.
One of the downsides of this method is that it is easier to misplace your lock. Where do you place your lock once you’re back home? If you don’t need to use the lock at your residence, where does it go? Will you always store it in the pannier or backpack?
Once we bought an entire new lock, because we lost a lock this way. The lock turned up three months later in a backpack that we had previously used. If you’re prone to misplacing things you may want to rethink storing your lock in this fashion.
But in regards to storing your lock in a pannier/bag while riding? This is an easy way to accomplish that.
If you’re utilizing a U-Lock there are different U-Lock holders that can store your lock in style while riding. Check out our article on Bike U-Lock Holders here.
Coil or Lock around the Bike Frame
The second option is to secure your lock around your bike frame. If you’ve got a cable or chain lock you can wrap it around the top bar of the frame. A U-lock can be locked around the seat post or handlebar.
Get creative with it.
I’ve got a BMX bike that I ride around town that I use a coil lock with. Before taking off for a ride, I’ll wrap the lock around my frame and secure it tightly.
Does it look aesthetically pleasing? Not really.
Can it jiggle and move while riding? Sometimes.
But does it stay with me while I am pedaling?
One of the downsides of this method is depending on where you secure the lock around the frame it can get in the way of your knees or legs while pedaling. This method is really only best when you don’t want to ride with a bag or pannier. While not ideal – it does get the job done.
U-Lock Bike Mount Holder
If you’re utilizing a U-Lock than purchasing a mount for it is imperative. I love the look of a U-lock attached properly to a bike. It has a neat streamlined aesthetic to it. Plus it makes it easy to get when it is time to lock your bicycle up. You can check out a variety of Bike U-Lock Mounts Here.
There are mounts that can store your U-lock off of the top frame or even off of your seat post. Choose a mount that will fit your bicycle and your style.
Get fancy with a Chain
While neither the most comfortable it can be the most convenient to wear a large bike chain around neck and shoulder like a sash. Imagine you’ve just won a beauty pageant except instead of a sash it’s a massive chain. In some areas where there’s a high amount of bike theft, bicyclists use a massive chain to deter thieves. A thieve is going to need some heavy-duty tools to cut through a thick chain.
Some bike couriers choose to carry their chain this way, because they are constantly getting on and off their bicycle. They can nab their chain from off their neck and lock their back within a matter of moments.
While it may not be the most comfortable way of riding it can be the best method if you’re going to be getting on and off your bike in a short interval of time.
Two Locks are Better than One
Bicycle theft will always be a problem and so you’ll want to keep your bike safe with at least one, but preferably two locks. You don’t want any thief to consider stealing your bike, because it is doubly secure. Carrying these locks doesn’t need to be a chore if you choose the right method of attaching them to your bike while riding.
Get Creative with Storage
There’s no right or wrong way to store a lock while pedaling around. Really you should choose a method that works best for you and your bike. If none of these options are viable than get creative and figure out what works for you.
It doesn’t really matter how you do it as long as it’s not incredibly uncomfortable and gets the job done. The most important thing is that you have a bike lock with you to use once you finally arrive at your destination.
What about you? How do you go about storing your bike lock when you are cruising around town? Do you use one of the methods used above or do you have a fancy trick that you discovered? Share your ideas and thoughts in the comments below!