Skip to content

Lock ‘em up

on March 17, 2009

As a follow-up on my “missing pieces” post with photos of bikes with stolen parts, I’m dedicating this post to poorly locked bikes. I can’t believe how many bikes I’ve seen that aren’t locked up well. The biggest offenders are people who lock just the wheel.

The Missing Link Bicycle Co-op reports on their website (with clever statistics) that, “Unfortunately, the Bay Area is among the worst areas worldwide for bike theft — over 4 billion bikes are stolen every month in Berkeley alone. The average time of ownership of a bike before it is stolen is only 17 minutes. Compared to other industries, bike theft has grown to such an extent that it rivals the software industry. Luckily there is good news. It seems that over 60 percent of all bicycles stolen in Berkeley are unlocked at the time of theft. Of the remaining 40 percent, only 2 percent were stolen while using a U-lock. (OK now — this statistic is true).”

To see a good step-by-step on locking your bike, check out this page of the Missing Link’s site.

Here are a few photos of bad lock jobs I took:


Even though the wheel isn’t quick release, it would still be easy to unscrew those bolts, leave the wheel and take the frame


Again… Also, that cable and lock look pretty cuttable


Another one. Poor use of the Kryptonite lock…


  1. Karen Rizzo on March 18, 2009 at 8:40 am

    dkerr, Karen from Kryptonite here..Too bad you have to write a piece like this but really glad you feel the obligation to do so! In our experience, the number one and two reasons bikes are stolen are because they aren’t locked, or because they are locked incorrectly. Hopefully your words will help keep more people and their bikes together.

  2. a on March 18, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Another good site talking about locking up:

  3. yost on March 21, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    i really like the purple roadmaster one… it looks like the thought process was, “oh, i’ll just thread it between the fork and the axle… that’ll be just like going through the frame!”

  4. […] thieves can just slip the lock through the gap. I guess the take-away is, be sure your lock works, always lock properly and beware of stickers. Filed Under: Blogs, Keeping It Wheel This entry was written by Dara […]

Oakland North welcomes comments from our readers, but we ask users to keep all discussion civil and on-topic. Comments post automatically without review from our staff, but we reserve the right to delete material that is libelous, a personal attack, or spam. We request that commenters consistently use the same login name. Comments from the same user posted under multiple aliases may be deleted. Oakland North assumes no liability for comments posted to the site and no endorsement is implied; commenters are solely responsible for their own content.

Photo by Basil D Soufi
Oakland North

Oakland North is an online news service produced by students at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and covering Oakland, California. Our goals are to improve local coverage, innovate with digital media, and listen to you–about the issues that concern you and the reporting you’d like to see in your community. Please send news tips to:

Latest Posts

Scroll To Top