In the older days I remember that frame locks were soldered onto the frame, but today they seem to be just screwed onto it (example film of installation can be found here).

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Doesn't this open for the possibility that someone just unmounts the lock and removes the wheel? (And then takes the wheel to his shop where the lock could be forced and then the wheel combined with another bike that was stolen because the owner only secured the rear wheel to a fixed object)

It doesn't look like the screws becomes covered when the lock is locked.

I assume that the thief would not like to force the lock at site and that the bike frame and front wheel is locked to a fixed object (using a separate lock). The purpose of the lock would then be mainly to counteract someone stealing the rear wheel.

  • 1
    You should probably clarify (e.g. with a picture) what you mean by such locks. But if they're the ones I think you mean (screwed the the seat stays passing through the back wheel) then: (i) they're inherently a low-security product intended to deter casual bike thieves; and (ii) the screws are normally covered by the locking bar when locked -- it wouldn't be easy to remove them.
    – Chris H
    Jul 17, 2017 at 12:35
  • @ChrisH My question is mainly because I'm concerned with the actual usefulness of this product at all. I assume that maybe it could be useful if you combine it with another lock that secures the frame and front wheel to a fixed object. That way it would mainly function as a constraint for someone who is trying to steal the rear wheel. The question is if it does a descent job even for that.
    – skyking
    Jul 17, 2017 at 13:09
  • 2
    Whats safe depends a lot on the place you live. In NYC, probably don't want to use something like that. When I was in Europe a few weeks ago, every bike I saw could be stolen with a small multitool cause of how poorly they were locked up. But they weren't being stolen.
    – Batman
    Jul 17, 2017 at 14:44
  • Note you can also get framelocks like this with an extra hole on the side which fits a pin which gets locked as well, e.g. theurbancyclist.co.nz/collections/axa/products/…. In that case the bike/rear wheel can also be locked to a fixed object, with the same lock basically.
    – stijn
    Jul 17, 2017 at 18:31
  • @stijn Except if that is voulnerable to the described attack it won't help much. If the thief unmounts the lock and wheel he can just carry the rest of the cycle away and you will only meet a lone rearwheel with lock when you return.
    – skyking
    Jul 18, 2017 at 5:01

3 Answers 3


They are not any less secure than the old style where they are built into the frame. Even if you were to undo the screws, they would still be a solid ring around your wheel, and would prevent the bike from being ridden as it would come into contact with the seat stays, chain stays, and ground as the wheel went around. However, in general, these types of locks aren't very secure as they are highly susceptible to the "pick it up and walk/drive away" method of theft. Once the thief has the bike in their own garage, the lock can easily be cut with basic tools like a hacksaw or a grinder/dremel with a cut-off disk

  • My assumption was that the bike is secured to a fixed object. The attack in mind is something like "pick up and walk away", but only for the rear wheel. I've seen rear wheels secured to a fixed object with the rest of the bike missing (I'm assuming that it has been taken by a thief that is now lacking a rear wheel to get a complete product).
    – skyking
    Jul 17, 2017 at 13:19
  • 1
    You are probably better off just securing the rear wheel and frame with a u-lock or other highly secure lock and using a cable lock on the less valuable front wheel.
    – Kibbee
    Jul 17, 2017 at 14:14
  • @skyking The thief, in that case, probably stole a rear wheel from a different bike, which is why bikes that aren't locked to a solid object are a problem for everyone. Feb 13, 2019 at 16:59

Especially on a heavy bike (and bikes that have the mounting holes for such a lock normally are heavy) these provide some deterrent against casual theftr of the entire bike, as they make the bike unrideable. My wife's e-bike has one just like this, for example; that's a 30+kg step-through so walking off with it or even pushing it with the back wheel off the ground is out of the question. They're sometimes called "cafe locks" based on the typical use case of popping into a busy pavement cafe leaving the bike outside.

They do provide some security for the rear wheel -- more than a nutted axle (which is often sufficient deterrent) and much more than a quick release. However if you already have quick release skewers there are secure replacements for them that are lighter, at least as secure, and will fit a wider range of bikes.

The attachment to the frame is supposed to be done in such a way that the screw heads are covered by the lock bar when the lock is closed, thus they can't simply be unscrewed. They're not very secure though: a drill from the other end of the screw would make short work of it, among other ways to defeat the lock with tools. At that point the back wheel may be removed quite easily, depending on frame clearances (it might take a bit of jiggling. This is OK given that it's a low security product in the first place.

If you're going to carry a D-lock as well, passing it round both (chain/seat) stays and through the back wheel, to something solid, will provide more security than this lock.

  • I was considering using a D-lock as well, but pass it through the frame and front wheel instead. I'd suppose that if you pass it through the rear wheel then the frame lock doesn't add much since the D-lock already locks what the frame lock is supposed to lock.
    – skyking
    Jul 17, 2017 at 13:27
  • Depending on your frame and the bike rack it can actually be quite hard to get a D lock through the frame and front wheel. Front wheels are less stealable (lower value) than rear wheels, and a cable is often a good way to secure them. I use a cable with its own lock, others use a cable with loops on the end, locked by the D lock.I also have security skewers.
    – Chris H
    Jul 17, 2017 at 13:30

When used with a chain it will not make any difference if the lock is unscrewed it still can't be removed from the bike. Without a chain the thief would have to cut through the lock or your rim and tyre.

  • I'm not sure what you mean. How does the presence or absence of a chain affect removing the kind of lock? Feb 13, 2019 at 20:40
  • Chain to post through frame to frame lock means even if they can unscrew the lock they would not be able to take the bike
    – Rob Probin
    Feb 16, 2019 at 9:50

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