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RE: [rootsradicals] mounting lights, locking up

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  • Tone
    Liz, 1) Lights I put my Planet Bike Light on my Seat post. I actually mount it on the stoker bar I attached to my seat post, but before I had the stoker bar I
    Message 1 of 79 , Oct 5, 2009

      1) Lights
      I put my Planet Bike Light on my Seat post. I actually mount it on the
      stoker bar I attached to my seat post, but before I had the stoker bar I
      connected my light to the seat post. If you really want to get a light on
      your rack you could always make your own mounts using either a hose clamp
      or zip-ties and maybe a L-plate bracket from a hardware store.
      However what I prefer to do, particularly when I am hauling long or bulky
      loads, is to use the belt-clip connection on my light and clip the light
      to whatever straps are extending back the longest or sticking out the
      furthest. Just make sure those straps are not swinging/hanging loose in
      the wind or you might loose your light. Usually I try to always have a
      bike light on the seat post as well, so the light on the cargo load is a
      second light to make sure drivers can see the odd configuration of my
      bike set up, which they would probably never expect.

      2) Locks
      I consider myself to be kind of an expert on bike locks. I use to work as
      a full time bike messenger for many years in New York City and was an
      active member of the NY Bike Messenger Association. I traveled around the
      world for numerous bike messenger-related events & competitions as well,
      so I have gotten bike security perspectives from many fellow
      international messengers. Also, I have a very amateur interest in
      lock-picking. I have written on the subject many times on a number of
      bike forums including this one. You would very likely be able to find one
      of my many posts with extensive information on the subject in the
      archives, but I will try to keep this one brief.
      What I use is a 3’ long Kryptonite chain with those “quadra-link” shaped
      links. I do not use the standard lock, which usually comes with the
      chain. Instead I purchase a few key-matched store-front-gate type
      padlocks, like those made by “American Locks”, “Master Lock”, or
      “Multi-Loc”. Make sure the lock you buy has an hour-glass shaped plate
      over the key-entry. This reduces the chance of someone drilling out the
      lock cylinder because a drill would get caught up in the shape of the
      hour-glass plate.
      I use the 3’ chain and lock to secure my front wheel and frame to
      whatever immovable fixed object is available, like a sign-post, tree, or
      railing. I should mention I ride a Big Dummy which has “Aerospoke” brand
      5-spoke poly-carbon fiber wheels. The pair of those wheels alone is about
      as expensive as the bare Big Dummy frame. I even had those wheels when I
      worked as a messenger in NYC and never had anything stolen off my bike.
      For the rear wheel I do something special, but very simple. I buy a cheap
      $3 or so mini padlock, which fits around the rear wheel’s quick release
      lever and the frame of the bike. To protect the frame from the lock
      scraping as well as prevent rattling, I slide on some rubber tubing (like
      the kind you usually see nurses use to constrict people’s arms in order
      to find veins) around the U-bolt of the lock. The lock allows me to still
      disengage the rear wheel to fix a flat etc. with relative ease. I should
      mention though, if you are riding in snowy, wet, gritty, and/or dirty
      conditions you should definitely put come kind of cap or cover over the
      key-hole entrance. Getting a flat on your real wheels sucks even more
      when you have to go through hell just to unlock your rear wheel because
      there is dirt stuck up in the mini-lock. Fortunately the mini-lock is
      only $3 and I learned my lesson while at home on a day off rather than
      while riding on the job, so I just cut the lock off.

      I can tell you right now both the chain and the mini-lock, or any bike
      securing method can be defeated within a half-minute by a pro thief using
      a cordless battery powered grinder or cut-off wheel. How do I know? When
      I was with the NYBMA we had a program running where I would salvage
      abandoned chains locked up around the city with permission from the
      sanitation department (after the police directed me to sanitation because
      they supposedly did not have authority over removing abandoned bicycles &
      locks even though the police regularly cut free and confiscated bikes in
      proximity to Critical Mass rides or other rallies). Anyway, the liberated
      chains would then be sold at very low cost or freely given to low-income
      bike messengers. Meanwhile the location where the chain previously
      existed would be free of eye sore and further chain rust stains.
      The way I/we conducted the program…While riding all over New York as a
      courier I kept a list of suspected abandoned chains compiled by me and
      submissions from other messengers. I would not log them in until I
      personally visited the chain and slipped a zip-tie through the lock and
      chain. If the lock was still in its spot after six non-winter months with
      the zip-tie unbroken, which obviously indicated the lock was never
      unlocked /moved/replaced, then I would return with my Dewalt cordless
      grinder and cut the lock on the chain. It should be noted that even
      though I accumulated a list of over two dozen “six-month” chains and had
      more potentials, I only harvested about half a dozen chains. Also, I
      tried to only choose locks, which looked older, weathered and thus more
      certainly abandoned.
      From stopping my bike to the start of pedaling it took about 30 seconds.
      So with that in mind, NO LOCK is invincible. Even without a powered
      grinder I can explain how a much less sophisticated opportunistic thief
      can easily defeat a number of locks including just about any U-lock with
      a piece of wood or a cable lock with any multi-tool. I will not get into
      that right now because I have written quite a lot already and I KNOW I
      already posted in depth explanations on this list in the past.
      By the way, avoid locks with cylindrical keys… in case you are not
      already aware of the BIC pen trick. J

      Ride safe… and park secure,
    • jonthelam
      Thanks Tone. I get the idea. Looks like your lock is one of those standard brass ones.
      Message 79 of 79 , Oct 13, 2009
        Thanks Tone. I get the idea. Looks like your lock is one of those standard brass ones.

        --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "Tone" <tone@...> wrote:
        > Johnny/Jon,
        > You are in luck, somewhat that is. I managed to find some photos ¡§of¡¨
        > the mini lock I used on my old Xtracycled bike¡¦s rear quick release. I
        > say somewhat because the original subject matter in the photos is focused
        > on some of the FreeRadical frame failures I had. I sent variations of
        > these photos to Xtracycle to initiate the guarantee & replacement of the
        > frame.
        > PLEASE NOTE: To everyone viewing the photos you MUST understand I have
        > been considered a heavy duty user and abuser of my Xtracycle. I worked as
        > a full time cargo bike messenger in NYC, but most of the stresses I
        > really put on the Xtracycle were from personal use while hauling
        > heavy/bulky loads, as you might have seen in photos I have posted links
        > to. From what I have been told by the awesome folks at Xtracycle, at the
        > time of my FreeRadical failure(s) there had only been two other
        > ¡§people¡¨ with broken frames¡K those tested by Xtracycle and those
        > belonging to the ¡§Riding the Spine¡¨ crew. According to my
        > understanding, the Spine guys did/do bike touring & camping trips on
        > remote rough mountain jungle terrain from the Southern tip of South
        > America all the way to Alaska. Clearly Riding the Spine are extreme users
        > as well. Also from what I know, around the time of my second FreeRadical
        > replacement Xtracycle had already implemented reinforcement to the
        > joint-area prone to cracks in the production run of FreeRadicals at that
        > time. Therefore any prospective Xtracycle buyers should not worry
        > themselves about purchasing a FreeRadical. Besides, in all my dealings
        > with the Xtracycle folks they have been more than accommodating with the
        > utmost customer service and response in their guarantees and
        > replacements. If I lived on the West Coast I get the vibe I would be
        > hanging with them!
        > With that being said I will get on with the photos, which unfortunately
        > were all taken after dark due to coming home from working as a messenger
        > all day.
        > This is a photo taken with out the FreeLoaders from the perspective of
        > being just above the right end of the Rear Step.
        > http://www.cranksgiving.net/xs/QRMiniLock-Rear.jpg
        > You can see main body of the mini lock, which is the brass rectangular
        > shape behind/beneath the left drop-out. The U-bolt of the lock is barely
        > visible to the left of the top edge of the hub. However, the metal part
        > of the bolt is hidden within the black rubber tube/hose I mentioned
        > earlier, which is used to prevent rattling and scratches.
        > This is basically the same photo except it is without using a flash, so
        > there are slightly less harsh shadows cast, but I did have to manipulate
        > the image to make it easier to read:
        > http://www.cranksgiving.net/xs/QRMiniLock-RearNoFlash.jpg
        > This photo was taken with the FreeLoaders on between the rear post of the
        > left V-Rack and the tire:
        > http://www.cranksgiving.net/xs/QRMiniLock-FreeLoaders.jpg
        > It is particularly difficult to make out the lock in this photo because
        > the only light is coming from the flash. The rubber-hosed U-bolt of the
        > lock is the black triangle above the quick release ¡§nut¡¨, while the
        > black slender rectangle extending below it is the lock body.
        > This photo was taken from the gear side of the FreeRadical looking
        > through the wheels:
        > http://www.cranksgiving.net/xs/QRMiniLock-Gears.jpg
        > Here we have part of the quick release lever visible almost along the
        > right edge and above the middle of the image. You can see how it has been
        > locked at almost a 45 degree angle to the ground or FreeRadical tubing
        > below it. Just to the left of the QR lever you can once again see the
        > black rubber tube padding the U-bolt of the mini lock. It is a bit
        > difficult to tell apart from the gray of the supposedly ¡§black¡¨ color
        > of my carbon-fiber Aerospokes, which have lightened in color from fading
        > over time and the build-up of dirt, grit, and exhaust.
        > The final photo I have is a close up from just below the quick release:
        > http://www.cranksgiving.net/xs/QRMiniLock-UpLever.jpg
        > Unfortunately the flash blinds most of the lock, but you can definitely
        > see the QR nut, part of its lever, the lock body, and a section of the
        > U-bolt without rubber tubing on it.
        > I hope these photos were at least somewhat useful. ļ
        > Ride safe and secure,
        > _TONE_
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