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I have a pair of recumbents and I have difficulties locking them safely when I have to park them in the street for long period of time. The conventional wisdom is to use a U-lock to attach the frame to a strong fixed point. With a recumbent this is very difficult because:

  1. the width of the seat will move the frame away from fixed points,
  2. the frame itself sometimes has no closed loop like the diamond frame of upright bicycles.

On my Nazca Pionneer there is a small closed loop on the rear stays so I manage to secure it with a foldable lock. This is weaker than a U-lock but it is the best I came up with. But on my Challenge Seiran SL, which has no secure point, I am still looking for a safe way to lock it.

How do you manage this?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Have you tried one of these?

http://www.treefortbikes.com/product/333222381361/144/Abus-Bordo-85cm-Granit-X.html?gclid=COPRr6H2prQCFQtxQgodRSYA5g

Feed it through the wheel, through the chain, and back over your frame. No self respecting thief would take the time to try and untangle it without being caught.

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Actually that is what I use. Though I fear that untangling this might be fast. For one thing removing the wheel and opening the chain and the front bome can be done in a couple of minutes, from there sliding out the main tube should doable. If not then removing the front fork should be a couple of minutes more. And even then this is saying you can’t pretend for more security than the Bordo gives you. For my upright bike I sleep better since I fitted it with a U-lock. –  kmkaplan Dec 19 '12 at 17:03

Those of us with small budgets head to Walmart and get this Kryptonite U-Lock - http://www.walmart.com/search/search-ng.do?search_query=kryptonite+u-lock&ic=16_0 - because it's about the cheapest (~$11) Class 5 lock there is. Not the best Kryptonite by a long shot, but the name itself has some deterrent effect. Add a Kryptonite 7' x 10mm cable - http://www.treefortbikes.com/cat/0/1170/Cable-Locks.html (~$16 shipped) and you have most of what you need to make a thief move on to another bike or trike. That 7' cable is enough to thread through a couple of wheels and the ($200!) seat frame. I live in a frowzy Florida town, not NYC, but we have bike thieves here, too, and I rather like my Spike recumbent trike -- and the only place I have to park it is a fenced-in carport that isn't highly secure except for the fact that it is guarded by Terri the Terrorist Terrier, an alert and barky guard dog. W00F!

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Have a suitably skilled person braze or graft an eyelet onto the frame, of sufficient diameter to accommodate a good U-lock of sufficient length to enable you to secure the frame to a bike rack. (IMO, all recumbents should be offered with such a feature as standard.)

Secure any relatively removable parts of the bike by threading a good chain through them and locking that, too, with the U-lock.

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You could get some Pitlocks or other secured skewers, and then use a standard U-Lock/Folding lock on your rear stays. I'm not sure if Pitlocks fit a recumbant properly or if you want to trust your entire bike to them (rather than just the wheels) but it would probably be OK. Also, you could use a U-Lock between the seat and the front fork (possibly with some security bolts instead of standard allen key bolts). Something in that position would probably be quite difficult to remove.

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