Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Bikes, trikes, personal mobility and getting to/from the event - this is the place to discuss general transportation issues.
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melodiousdirge
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Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by melodiousdirge » Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:27 am

I take my trike everywhere on Playa. Half the time I walk and just pull it behind me, but that beast comes everywhere (with my water and food and layers, so I never have to go back to camp unless I want to). Locking it up every time I stop to look at something SUCKS, but I know the drill, so I lock it up. Wearing gloves, being less than sober, and fiddling with keys and a dust-caked U-lock is really not ideal. I've also used a combination lock, which is smarter because there are no keys to lose, but it has its own issues: uncoil, unlock, relock, set combo, etc. Rather inconvenient

I know I've seen a bicycle with a lock installed on the down tube - it was just a shackle, not unlike a handcuff that when closed locked the front wheel in place. Brilliant! Where do I get one? I also considered (since just locking the front wheel doesn't really make it too hard to move a trike, in fact you can just pick up the front wheel and walk with it quite easily) something that would immobilize the back wheels (much more of a pain to move any great distance). Some kind of shackle, or a pin through the spokes into the basket would work.

Does anyone have a brilliant solution or a link to a product that's easy to deal with in an altered state, not annoying to lock and unlock hundreds of times in a week, and copes with the dust without getting jammed up and difficult to use?
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by melodiousdirge » Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:32 am

Ah; this is what I was thinking of (hopefully decommodification rules allow me to post links in answer to a specific request, even if the request was my own??)



Unfortunately most of those are for bikes equipped with road tires, not mountain bike tires, and definitely not 4" fatbike tires.

Anyone know of something similar that would work on a fat tire?
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by maladroit » Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:42 am

The easiest, smallest (and funniest) bike lock is a hex key to loosen the stem before you walk away.

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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by melodiousdirge » Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:45 am

maladroit wrote:The easiest, smallest (and funniest) bike lock is a hex key to loosen the stem before you walk away.
Nice! Still be kind of a pain in the ass to reset the alignment and height every time, but definitely effective and funny at the same time.
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by Lonesomebri » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:05 am

Well, this will be of no help to you, but I usually just wrap the cable thru a wheel without even opening the lock, making the cable visible. And the lock has a combo, but I marked the combo numbers with a sharpie. The people taking bikes are too drunk to figure any of that out. I figure that 99.9% of bike thefts are drunk people far from where ever they want to go, maybe after loosing their own bike. They aren't hunting out fancy bikes, figuring out how to remove locks, or whatever, just looking for a convenient bike they can sit on and roll away on without hassle. I've talked to these people out in deep playa, their eyes darting around, explaining how they need to get back to camp. Any sign of cable or lock and their eyes dart along to the next bike. I seriously doubt many locks or cables are cut or that anyone picks up a locked bike to walk it somewhere. But then there are always acceptations...
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by melodiousdirge » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:14 am

Lonesomebri wrote:just looking for a convenient bike they can sit on and roll away on without hassle.
Oh I agree, and that's why I'm comfortable just locking the front tire of my trike most of the time, even though if someone wanted it, they could just pick up the front wheel and walk away. In fact one night this year I lost my keys (luckily while the trike was NOT locked) and so I "locked" it up with a cable and a carabiner wherever I went. I think i'd even be satisfied with an easy to perform, but difficult to figure out mechanical disabling of the trike, like a pin through a sprocket or something that your average joyrider wouldn't bother to figure out, but that would be quick and easy to do/undo at each stop.
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by FIGJAM » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:53 am

In your first post is the answer.

Get some handcuffs!!!

One cuff on the frame, the other around the tire!!! 8)
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by melodiousdirge » Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:05 pm

FIGJAM wrote:In your first post is the answer.

Get some handcuffs!!!

One cuff on the frame, the other around the tire!!! 8)
You know that's actually really not a bad idea. I might need some oversized shackles to go around the 4" tire... or I guess I could just lock it to the spokes. Hmm. The only problem I can see is the ratcheting mechanism in standard handcuffs, along with the small keys might not survive too long in the dust, but those might be surmountable problems.

Then I could also introduce my bike as my bitch, whom I lead about and handcuff when left alone.
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by FIGJAM » Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:14 pm

Well, the locking mechanisms on county jail cuffs get more of a workout than ANY lock, and do fine for years.

I keep my spare keys, church key, and ID on a long sturdy lanyard around my neck. 8)
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by melodiousdirge » Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:20 pm

FIGJAM wrote:church key
I feel like there's a reference here that I'm missing.

Everything important gets a carabiner that gets clipped to one of like 10000 D-rings I have on almost everything I wear out there (this leads to frequent and sometimes lengthy searches of my person for the correct carabiner for the item I need). I have no idea how I lost the keys - probably fumbling with them or didn't clip the carabiner properly and it fell off. I guess a lanyard would be safer in that you don't need to detach them to use them... though if I had a lanyard it would likely be clipped to my belt along with every other damn strap and dangly piece of crap I carry around out there, and could get caught and yanked off.
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by gaminwench » Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:43 pm

a church key is a bottle opener. 8)

My bike's decorations have been on it for years; I 'lock' it with a bungee around the front tire and the frame.
It looks neither desirable, nor anonymous.

I love my playa bike (70's Schwinn).
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by maladroit » Mon Sep 21, 2015 12:58 pm

With a trike, you have enough room to weld a lag screw to a battery powered impact driver and a remote keyfob. Walk away, click the remote and your trike screws itself to the playa.

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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by melodiousdirge » Mon Sep 21, 2015 1:00 pm

gaminwench wrote:a church key is a bottle opener. 8)

My bike's decorations have been on it for years; I 'lock' it with a bungee around the front tire and the frame.
It looks neither desirable, nor anonymous.

I love my playa bike (70's Schwinn).
Yeah one thing I have going for me as well is that my trike is pretty recognizable, but any old wastoid could still hop on and ride home and I'd never see it again.

Random thought - damn it would be a very playa-esque solution to carry a big ass anchor in the basket and just drop that shit on the playa whenever I stop. Probably effective against 90% of bike thieves out there. "What the... why wont this... a fucking ANCHOR? Ok screw this."
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by melodiousdirge » Mon Sep 21, 2015 1:00 pm

maladroit wrote:With a trike, you have enough room to weld a lag screw to a battery powered impact driver and a remote keyfob. Walk away, click the remote and your trike screws itself to the playa.
You and I need to be better friends. I was just thinking, quite literally, exactly the same thing, minus the remote key fob.
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by skippy3k » Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:22 pm

You may come back to your bike to find your trike drilled a lag bolt through a hippies foot as he was standing there admiring your ride. Funny/not funny.
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by mudpuppy000 » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:09 pm

The lock I have comes with a bracket sort of like this one:

Image

All I do is unlock the cable, wrap it through the front wheel and then back around. EZ.

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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by maladroit » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:23 pm

skippy3k wrote:You may come back to your bike to find your trike drilled a lag bolt through a hippies foot as he was standing there admiring your ride. Funny/not funny.
While they're waiting for me to finish watching Thunderdome and come back to un-screw their foot, they can read the back of their ticket!

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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by melodiousdirge » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:40 pm

skippy3k wrote:You may come back to your bike to find your trike drilled a lag bolt through a hippies foot as he was standing there admiring your ride. Funny/not funny.
No I think definitely funny, except for the hippy blood on my nice lag bolt.
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by melodiousdirge » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:43 pm

mudpuppy000 wrote:The lock I have comes with a bracket sort of like this one
Definitely an improvement over my $10 fumbly ass u-lock, but I want pushbutton ease of use. I think cumulatively, I probably wasted several hours dicking around with bike locks this year. It's already too short dammit.
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by theCryptofishist » Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:06 pm

I love the term "church key", and have for a long while. I imagine a bunch of snarky jokes about the door to heaven.
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by melodiousdirge » Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:21 pm

gaminwench wrote:a church key is a bottle opener.
Thank you - I knew it had to be something like that!
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by pretty_monster » Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:45 pm

I have a standard bike lock (the coiled plastic covered cable thingy) and wear the key around my neck on double chains at all times. ALL TIMES. (it's also got the keys for the padlock on my basket.) I wrap it through the spokes and around the frame and lock it. easy peasy.
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by SnowBlind » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:06 pm

Melodiousdirge, the locks you referred to are quite common in Germany, and probably elsewhere in Europe. They are commonly known as 'Speichenschloss', which translates to 'Spoke-Lock'.

There is a simple variant which just slides sideways into the spokes (http://s28.photobucket.com/user/182grad ... 1.jpg.html), though if not mounted right, they can simply be turned out of the spokes way. (Though, if a bungy cord or similar will prevent theft at BM, then so will those).

The more elaborate variant is the one you describe, which goes around the spokes full circle (http://afterbuy.bensontools.de/3793.JPG). They are very convenient as it takes only seconds to lock and unlock them.

The price on the link you supplied ($60) is utterly ridiculous. I am not sure how much shipping would add, but you can buy them for less than 10 Euro from Amazon Germany, and there are some for less than 5 Euro on ebay.de.


http://www.ebay.de/bhp/speichenschloss

If you look at the Amazon one, then 'Rahmenschloss' (Frame-Lock) or 'Ringschloss' (Ring-Lock) are also good search terms, though I would think that Speichenschloss is the most common term.

I think bikes sold in Europe usually have a mounting plate already that you simply screw the lock against. Most bikes sold in the US don't have that, but I am sure it doesn't take much to mount it anyway.

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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by Ratty » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:36 pm

I own a bike in thailand. It has that lock built on. (They all do.) The whole bike cost $65.
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by Elderberry » Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:30 am

Lonesomebri wrote:Well, this will be of no help to you, but I usually just wrap the cable thru a wheel without even opening the lock, making the cable visible. And the lock has a combo, but I marked the combo numbers with a sharpie. The people taking bikes are too drunk to figure any of that out. I figure that 99.9% of bike thefts are drunk people far from where ever they want to go, maybe after loosing their own bike. They aren't hunting out fancy bikes, figuring out how to remove locks, or whatever, just looking for a convenient bike they can sit on and roll away on without hassle. I've talked to these people out in deep playa, their eyes darting around, explaining how they need to get back to camp. Any sign of cable or lock and their eyes dart along to the next bike. I seriously doubt many locks or cables are cut or that anyone picks up a locked bike to walk it somewhere. But then there are always acceptations...
Totally agree. I bought a $5.00 combination lock from Walmart that you can't even change the combination on. I just attach it to the front wheel. (Though I do actually open the lock, but I only move one of the numbers so it's really easy to open again.)
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by melodiousdirge » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:06 pm

pretty_monster wrote:I have a standard bike lock (the coiled plastic covered cable thingy) and wear the key around my neck on double chains at all times. ALL TIMES. (it's also got the keys for the padlock on my basket.) I wrap it through the spokes and around the frame and lock it. easy peasy.
Smart - I do something similar with mine; the carabiner can fail, but I usually keep a backup set clipped to the underside of the trike basket. The real trick wasn't the losing of keys though, mostly just the fumbling around like a clumsy idiot most of the time. It only amounts to maybe 30 seconds, but when you're stopping every 5 minutes it gets annoying.
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by melodiousdirge » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:09 pm

SnowBlind wrote:There is a simple variant which just slides sideways into the spokes (http://s28.photobucket.com/user/182grad ... 1.jpg.html)
Now we're talking! My trike's basket is really more of a solid wooden trunk. I think if I put a big deadbolt mounted to the trunk, a simple key turn would immobilize the trike by sticking the deadbolt through the spokes. Hmmm. I like.
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by Jackass » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:11 pm

Just put a padlock through one of the cut outs in the front sprocket, the forward half, so that you grab the sprocket and chain. Can't get more that half of a turn without the sprocket and chain departing thus binding. Spokes are too delicate (somewhat).
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by melodiousdirge » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:28 pm

Jackass wrote:Just put a padlock through one of the cut outs in the front sprocket, the forward half, so that you grab the sprocket and chain. Can't get more that half of a turn without the sprocket and chain departing thus binding. Spokes are too delicate (somewhat).
That would WORK, and thank you for the suggestion, but I'm 100% certain I would spring that boobytrap on myself about 50 times over the course of the week.

[Edit - oh wait, I thought you meant put the lock through so it would knock the chain off when it came around. That's an interesting thought... I wonder though if a guy put an honest effort into pedaling if he might fuck up the chain though in that arrangement]

My trike has 5-spoke cast plastic wheels, so the spokes aren't as fragile as you might be thinking. It would definitely be a bummer to lock your spokes up and come back to a bunch of bent spokes.

If a guy had a fancy-ass mountain bike out there (inadvisable, obvi) with hydraulic brakes, you could just install a line lock to lock the brakes on when you walk away. On the other hand a fancy ass mountain bike like that would be worth a lot and only weigh about 30lbs, so it wouldn't be much of a theft deterrent.
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Re: Playa Bike Locks (Is there a better solution?)

Post by caffeineslinger » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:45 pm

Does your bike have a hand break? If so squeeze the break and put a pin in a pre-drilled hole to keep it in that position. They'll probably just think it seized up.

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