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I just got a brand new bike. I keep it in the garage, but my wife has a habit of leaving the garage door up. Right now, there's nothing in my garage that I can really lock the bike to.

How can I keep the bike at my house instead of in the hands of a thief?

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You might educate your Wife on the personal safety issues of leaving the door open, it makes it easier for burglars to enter the house, or worse some other type of thug that waits in the bedroom for her to come home. –  Moab Jul 5 '11 at 22:18
    
hmmm, put the bike in the house?!? It'll thank you for it. –  dotjoe Jul 25 '12 at 15:18
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8 Answers 8

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Try a floor or Wall anchor system, then lock the bike to that.

http://lockitt.com/lockdown.htm

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Logical and to the point. It wouldn't even be costly to have a welding shop fabricate a hard core metal anchor. And since this is only for home use and not mobile use, one could find a nice length of heavy chain and a heavy duty lock that would surely deter thieves away from the bike. At that point the thieves would probably find the house door more interesting. -- Or maybe some of the other stuff in the garage that isn't bolted down. -- ;~) –  user313 Jul 6 '11 at 1:32
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It's actually cheaper to buy a couple of expanding bolts and drill them into the concrete with a chain on each, then hammer the bolt heads so they can't be unscrewed and lock the chain ends together. A real bastard also glues the thread & prefills the hole with concrete-compatible glue, and uses expensive hardend chain. While there's some value in a cover like the ones advertised, the gap between "I can defeat a chain" and "I can defeat the bolt head but not the cap or chain" is very narrow. I have the welder, but I just use bolts, it's not worth fabricating something more complex –  Мסž Jul 6 '11 at 2:23
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Personally I would park the bike in the bedroom, when the wife complains, inform her she is not closing the garage door, if she is smart she will get the hint, if not, maybe get a different wife. –  Moab Jul 6 '11 at 2:47
    
@Moz - Even better. Just saying that this question just needs logic and not dissertations. Solid anchor plus solid locking = solution. -- Or, the wife needs to keep the door closed. -- –  user313 Jul 6 '11 at 2:57
    
@wdypdx22: agree on the logic requirement. –  Мסž Jul 7 '11 at 3:13
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Following the standard lock advice makes sense: Spend money on a good, secure lock; feed the lock through the wheels; et cetera. You'll want to follow much the same advice in these questions:

...with the additional wrinkle that you get to control the environment where you're locking up, essentially that you can decide what you lock the bike to, as opposed to when you lock up in a public area and have to find a good lockup location.

If you live in a very safe neighborhood, you'll want to scale back some of this appropriately.

Bike Parking Racks

This is probably the most secure option. Get yourself a small, sturdy rack and attach it to the floor by drilling pilot holes in the (assumedly) concrete floor and bolting the rack there. There are several varieties, including metal racks (your best bet) and small bollard-type racks. (That last is the sort you see on sidewalks, essentially a post with loops in it to feed the locks through.)

See:

You can also make your own rack, either by building an entire rack (practical if you have several bikes) or simply screwing heavy-duty eyelets into the floor and running a cable lock through it. (Not as convenient, but certainly a cheap, reasonably secure option. As others have indicated here, there are products available to install the latter.)

Locking to Existing Stuff

Not necessarily a promising option in this case, but perhaps there are a few things that have been overlooked here:

If a bike rack isn't in the cards (as above), people often can also lock to garage shelving or other permenantly mounted stuff. This is less convenient and messier than a rack, but this can work. One has to make sure that whatever they lock to is securely attached to the garage, or, at the least, extremely heavy and clumsy to move.

In this case, there's nothing to lock to... I assume that means this means there's certainly nothing obvious, like shelving or furniture. Have you taken a look for unused pipes or sturdy shelf bracket? Are there any fittings on the walls that could be used for this?

Do you have anything you store in the garage that's very large and heavy, like a dresser or a headboardor a tool bench? I've seen people lock bikes to cinder blocks... and nothing else; you want something that would be prohibitively difficult to move.

Ask yourself what else you store in the garage. Unused boiler? A potbellied stove you haven't gotten around to installing? A broken car? All of these space-wasters are hard to walk away with, and can make for great impromptu bike anchors.


Overall, I think the eyelet installed in the floor (or wall) is the best solution here.

It's worth mentioning some general advice here: I've seen bikes locked to other bikes and nothing else. I've even seen bikes locked so that the wheels can't turn, but one could pick up the bike and carry it away. A determined bike thief can even pick up a bunch of bikes locked to each other and toss them all in a van.

Also, additional security can be had by simply hiding the bike so it's not as visible, perhaps behind a bench or a car or a shelf. Keep that in mind when you pick a lockup location in the garage.

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Your bike needs to be out of view. Any one who can easily see your bike will have an opportunity to steal it. The oppotunity to have your bike stolen depends on your neighbourhood and the value of your bike.

If that's not an option find yourself a hook that you can securely attach to either the garage floor or wall and secure your bike with a lock.

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The replacement business for bike-light-brackets is part driven by people that get their bikes stolen to have the lights left behind. A large chunk of these bikes come from bikes stolen from garden sheds and garages. The jaundiced view of sheds and garages is that they act as convenient collection places for thieves. There is also the problem of people finding that the hacksaw on the workbench in the garage has been used to liberate the bicycle(s).

Insurance is also part of the picture. A bike in the garage is sometimes covered with household contents insurance. However, insurance companies tend to take a dim view if doors, windows and garage doors are left open - basically they don't pay up.

Whether or not you have insurance is neither here or there - you want your bike, not a cheque to buy a new one with. @Moab has the correct answer - a big bracket to bolt into the wall or floor.

There are other customers for these brackets - motorbike owners. As such the brackets are variously approved by insurance ratings agencies. The German 'Abus' brand make a song and dance about this for their products.

My recommendation is that you get a wall bracket rather than a floor bracket and that you position it at the height you need to get a 300mm D-lock through it, your back wheel and down-tube. In effect you secure your bike as well as you would if it were on the street, locked up to railings. For your other bikes you can chain together more D-Locks (if you are paranoid) or get one big long loop of hardened cable and hook that through the D-Lock and everything else.

Here is the Abus Granit, widely available from bicycle shops and motorbike shops:

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And here it is in close-up:

enter image description here

If you do not have too many masonry drills knocking about then you can get one from a hire shop.

Although expensive, peace of mind is priceless. If you have insurance then there maybe a reduced premium too.

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Why should a wall bracket be preferred over a floor bracket? –  sharptooth Jul 12 '11 at 10:03
    
Easier to get the D-lock to reach to it. However, that is a UK view where houses are made of brick and stone rather than wood and sticky-backed-plastic. Clearly, a garage might have a concrete floor and wooden walls, here you would need the floor option. –  ʍǝɥʇɐɯ Jul 12 '11 at 10:18
    
"D-lock through it, your back wheel and down-tube" - Surely you mean "back wheel and seat-tube"? –  James Bradbury Dec 6 '12 at 12:12
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Depends on where you live, of course. Around here you could leave the bike in the garage with the door open for months, with only a small chance of it being stolen.

But, assuming you won't be changing your wife's behavior, and you need to be reasonably secure, the simplest thing to do is to screw a large eye bolt (or two) into the framing in the garage. (Drill a pilot hole first.) Use that and a heavy padlock-able cable or chain to secure the bike. The eye bolt can't be unscrewed while the bike's locked to it (at least not without picking the bike up and twisting it around repeatedly, which small possibility can be prevented by using two eye bolts rather than one). The eye bolt can be removed by prying it out of the wall or sawing away the stud where it's secured, but that takes time and tools the thief likely isn't carrying. Of course, it can also be cut with a bolt cutter, but it takes a fairly substantial one, and a LOT of muscle (if you use a heavy enough eye bolt) -- so the bolt is about as secure as the cables/chains you'll be using.

Also, throw a tarp over the bike, or (better) set up some sort of camouflage (a pile of boxes or such) to hide it.

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These two wall mounted racks from Cyclehoop have the advantage of being bothe secure and visually pleasing, to y way of thinking at least. They have several designs of racks, storage and accessories for bicycles. No affiliation here, just FTR. Enjoy!

Cycle Hoop Wall Mounted Rack

Cycle Hoop Wall Mounted Rack

Cycle Hoop Wall Anchor

Cycle Hoop Wall Anchor

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how about an automatic garage door opener? I have it on good authority that they automatically close the door too with just a push of a button. Do you think that would get her to close it up after she left?

The real issue here is the garage left open. Worst case, the thief goes inside, closes the door to be discrete, and uses your own tools to break into the house.

Failing that, I'd consider hardware store concrete anchors into the slab to secure the bike. I'd be the one avoiding anything from the bike catalog myself because I have my own welder and abrasive cutoff grinder

Another sneaky tip. Is there any way you can start a project like maybe boat building that would force your wife's car to be parked outside?

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You can buy a timed automatic garage door closer. Protectrix or Magicloser. Ridiculously simple to install in 5-10 minutes. $60-80.

May still want to lock it down but solves the problem of carelessness in closing the door

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