The “modified” Sheldon Brown Bike Locking Strategy

Sheldon Brown’s Lock Strategy is often referred to as a preferred method for ease and security. It involves using a mini u-lock to lock the rear wheel to a bike rack between the rear triangle of the bike frame. This accomplishes two things, it secures the rear wheel (2nd most expensive part of the bike) and the frame cannot be stolen unless the rear wheel is completely sawed through. See Sheldon’s page for detail.

In real world situations I’d say it’s not likely a thief is going to saw through your rear wheel, but as this Youtube video shows, it can be done quite quickly. My main gripe about his method is that visually, it doesn’t look as secure as it could.

Lastly, Sheldon’s method does not secure the front wheel. This isn’t a significant issue if your front wheel is bolt on, but most bikes these days use quick release wheels. Sheldon’s method leaves your front wheel vulnerable.

As such, this is my modification of the Sheldon Brown Locking Strategy.

Modified Sheldon Brown Lock Strategy

Modified Sheldon Brown Lock Strategy

This shows an OnGuard mini u-lock securing the rear wheel and frame (via one chain stay). The front wheel is secured using a 4′ accessory cable. It is locked to a 2″ pipe, the same diameter tubing used for most bike racks. If you lock your bike like this, chances are it’s going to be the most securely locked bike on the rack. Now, cables can be cut using a hand tool in less than 30 seconds, but I feel comfortable saying that many thieves will not cut a cable just to steal a front wheel, unless your front wheel is really nice. If it is, I suggest an additional u-lock for the front wheel. Alternatively you can purchase a long shackle u-lock, remove the front wheel if quick release, and place it next to the rear wheel and secure it with the u-lock. The Kryptonite Evo lock is also very popular.┬áIf you plan to carry an additional u-lock for the front wheel and weight is a concern, consider the lightweight Palmy u-lock.

To prevent quick release seat theft, remove the seat from the bike and thread the cable coming from the front wheel through the seat rail before looping it into the u-lock. Alternatively, affix a seat leash.

ASU about to shaft College Avenue bicyclists?

Word on the street is that redevelopment of the large ASU owned parcel on College Avenue between 5th Street and University Drive, includes elevation plans that show complete REMOVAL of bike lanes from College Avenue running the entire stretch between 5th Street and University (the north end campus entrance).

Approval of these plans by Tempe would be a major blow to the horde of cyclists, many of which are students, that use College Avenue to access ASU campus after de-boarding the METRO light rail at 5th and College. This outright removal of bicycle infrastructure contradicts the Bicycle Friendly Community designation Tempe has held for many years. The city is listed as a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) by the League of American Bicyclists.

To add insult to injury, there’s talk of ASU placing signage requiring bicyclists to dismount at the entrance to campus at College/University and walk their bicycle, but it is unclear whether this means a ban of cycling on the ASU Mall and if so, whether it would only be the main North/South Mall, the East/West walkways as well, or all pedestrian areas campus-wide?

I’ll be presenting this to the Tempe Bicycle Action Group board for immediate advocacy action.

What kind of bicycle tools do I need?

I see this question posed on various bicycle related sites on a regular basis. I have answered it more than once. Therefore, I decided to put together a document which provides a comprehensive listing of tools based on “must have”, “nice to have” and categorized by type of work needing to be performed.

Bike Tool Recommendations [PDF]