You may be a trusting person. I mean that in the sense of having a universal trust in what is right. Justice and faith in your fellow humans to intervene when an injustice has occurred. But statistically, you may be overly relying on this trust and are at risk for a disheartening change of view. Why tempt fate or be dependent on others for the security of your two-wheeled store of value? With individual proclamations on the importance of self-reliance becoming commonplace, a dependence on your neighbor to protect your gear is akin to asking a fellow rider for water on a group ride because you don’t want to carry the weight. To this end, we have some suggestions for upping your bike security game with some recent innovations that make solving this quandary easier than carrying 10 pounds of steel chain.
A sight almost worse than an outright theft is finding a frame locked securely where left, but naked, and picked clean of any quickly removable components and wheels. To prevent such a disaster, HEXLOX has used Kickstarter to successfully develop, launch and ship their component security system. The design centers around a magnetic insert that slips inside the bolt, preventing insertion of an Allen wrench to loosen the bolt. An included key engages the insert and allows quick removal. The bolt can then be loosened using standard tools. The kit includes both wheel skewer inserts as well as inserts for your stem, saddle and seat-post. They also offer a HEXLOX for threaded axle setups.
ABUS, NutFix Component Security
Along the same line as component security, ABUS, the German lock authority, released the NutFix earlier this year with solid reviews across the interwebs . The system replaces the wheel axle or quick-release with a threaded axle and bolt mechanism that only releases when the bike is laid down horizontally. When the bike is locked in a vertical position, the caps cannot be disengaged. A 15mm wrench is required to loosen the nut securing the wheel that is enclosed by the locking cap when engaged. They also offer solutions for replacing seatpost bolts with a NutFix bolt.
Whole Bike Security
As important as it is to secure wheels, saddles and stems, the effort is futile if the bike frame isn’t itself secured or immobilized. The Hiplok Z LOK is a delightfully secure zip tie that is surprisingly robust. It won’t stop a tool carrying criminal, but for events, train cars, coffee shops, or vehicle bike racks, the Z LOK is an excellent deterrent against tempting a morally bankrupt individual. The steel-encased plastic strip measures at 17 inches, and the pack includes two strips weighing at a paltry 20 grams per strip.
Rocky Mounts Hendrix
Moving up the security spectrum, RockyMounts, the long-time maker of bullet-proof vehicle racks released the Hendrix ($70), a flat-folding lock that compliments their other line of U-Locks and cable locks. The hardened steel is wrapped in rubber and folds to just larger than a deck of cards. It includes a clean and stealth water bottle cage mounting bracket that contains the lock with rubber straps. Mixed with component security, the combination offers a formidable combination of protection perfect for touring, bike overnights or adventures that will include off-bike exploration.
The first step for bike security is realizing that it doesn’t have to be an inconvenience or a compromise. By locking up your gear, you’re also ensuring your trust in humanity will remain intact – a win for all of us.