Let’s face it…
If you’re a bike commuter, then chances are that you’ve had trouble securing your bike. To make matters worse, the most effective bike locks are often big and bulky, so they aren’t easy to carry around. The combination of both problems will likely have you wondering where to put your bike lock when riding?!
It’s a valid question, too – with the recent upsurge in bike theft, it’s more important than ever to keep your bicycle safe while traveling. In this article, we’ll share some tips on where we’ve found are the best places to keep your bike lock so that it won’t get in the way of enjoying a ride.
Best Places to Keep Your Bike Lock While Riding
Depending on the type of lock you own, the best place to store it would be using the mount on the bike. Most locks would typically come with a mount to store your lock on the frame. If your lock doesn’t come with a lock mount, the next best places to carry it while riding is in a backpack, in a bike rack or basket, over your handlebar, or you could simply leave it at your destination.
Before I tell you the best place to keep your bicycle lock while riding, you first need to be aware of the different types of locks. Knowing the different types will allow you to identify which place is the best for carrying that type of lock.
What are the different types of bike locks?
D Locks/U Lock – this is a heavy-duty and strong lock that can be wrapped around the bike frame.
Folding Locks – these are another popular types of locks that are usually easy to put in a backpack or bag.
Cable Lock – these are lightweight, flexible steel cables often used for securing bikes. They wrap up easily to store in your pocket or bag when not needed.
Chain Lock – these also come in heavyweight and lightweight versions that have been around for ages.
Where to Put Lock When Riding
I’ll go over my experience and preferences and also share a few pros and cons about each carrying method.
From my experience, here is the best place to put your bicycle while riding:
- On a Mount
- In a Backpack
- Over your Handlebar
- On your Seatpost
- In a Bike Rack/Basket/Pannier bag
- Fastened Between your Belt
- Secured at your Destination
Putting your bike lock in one of those locations is ideal because it will be with you and out of sight from thieves. But there are benefits and downsides to each situation. So we’ll go through each:
On a Mount
Why is it better to carry your bike lock in a lock mount on your bicycle?
A bike mounts for the lock is best because it will be securely attached to your bicycle and next to you at all times. Keeping it on your bicycle while riding will also allow you to quickly remove it from the mount to quickly lock your bike up. This is a much faster method, and it also makes your bike look more stylish.
There are a number of bike lock mounts you can get for your D-lock. In most cases, your lock should already include a mount. If not, you can either buy a D-lock mount or buy a higher quality D lock.
In a Backpack
Carrying your bike lock in a bike messenger bag or waterproof backpack is an easy way to keep it close when you’re out on a ride. It also lessens the likelihood of losing or forgetting where you placed it. Having the lock in your backpack also reduces the clutter on your bike if you don’t like having things all over.
Furthermore, if you have a lock that is heavy, it can be less of a burden to wear the weight on your back.
Over your Handlebar
Carrying your bike lock over your handlebar makes it easy to lock your bike up. This position also makes it easier to remove the lock if you need to make a quick stop, like grabbing something from inside of an establishment or entering into public transportation.
While carrying the lock over the handlebar isn’t my preferred method since it can cause damage to the bike. It is much easier to reach in times where you are making quick stops.
Strapped to your Seatpost
You can carry your bike lock on your Seatpost using velcro to strap it under your seat and around the Seatpost. Carrying it like this is an easy way that doesn’t hamper your ability to ride the bike. Furthermore, it’s an easy way to carry your bike lock on the seat post without using a basket.
In a Bike Rack/Basket/Pannier bag
If you want to make sure that your lock is always with you and don’t mind the occasional misplacement, then carrying it in a bike basket or pannier is a great way to go.
This way, your lock will always be with you and ready to go. You don’t have to worry about it falling off or having extra weight on your back while riding your bicycle around.
Fastened Between your Belt
This method only works with certain types of bike locks and is also highly dependent on the weight of the lock. With this method, all you need to do is slip the lock between your belt, or if you have a backpack, clip the lock between your chest strap.
Secured at your Destination
Leaving the lock at your destination will free up the excess weight you’d be carrying around in all the other methods. This option is suitable if you have a secure destination or something that you can secure the lock around so the lock can’t remove it. Furthermore, it can be done with most types of locks.
Can you lock a bike anywhere?
You may be able to lock a bike anywhere, but it is much safer for the riders and their bikes if they can find somewhere secure. Some of the most popular places where people choose to lock a bike are on bike parking stands, railings, or parking meters, making it harder to steal the bike. However, you always want to check the security of the place you plan to leave your bike.
I’d highly suggest that you avoid places that are known hotspots for bike thieves.
Is it legal to lock a bike to a sign?
Most bicycle laws state that bikes should not be locked to anything in the public right of way. So if you lock your bike to a sign, it is considered an obstruction and illegal depending on where it is located.