It can be a little worrying to leave a bike unattended. It can sometimes feel that, even locked up, your bicycle is a vulnerable target for a well-prepared thief. A good lock can be a major deterrent, but choosing the right spot to lock your bike up and locking it properly are just as important. Whether you are securing your bike near your workplace, by a shop, at a café or by a restaurant during a night out, locking your bike up well will go a long way to making sure it doesn’t disappear while you aren’t looking.

How you lock your bike up is just as important as the lock you use.

Securing your bike can seem pretty straightforward, but there may be things you have been overlooking. Here are five tips that Kryptonite recommends for locking up your bike properly:

Choose a well lit and high-foot-traffic area to lock up

Locking your bike in a well lit, high traffic area with bike racks is ideal.

Leaving your bike in an area where there are a lot of people can deter thieves. An attempted theft in a high-foot-traffic area would have to be done in the open with many eyes around to see. If you lock your bike in a secluded or poorly lit area, you are giving a would-be thief an opportunity to operate unseen, which may be bad news for the security of your bike, even with a heavy-duty lock.

Lock up to something sturdy that can’t be moved or snipped easily

Thin fences make your bike an easy target.

You want to make absolutely sure that you lock your bike to something secure, that it cannot easily be cut. A thief can take care of even a sturdy lock if he can get the bike and lock home with him. Don’t affix your bike to thin metal fences or trees because both can be cut easier than your lock. Make sure the objects can’t be moved. You should even give a dedicated post-and-ring a wiggle. The footing on some posts can come loose over time. Don’t lock to a pole so short that a thief can simply lift the bike and lock right off.

Get the lock around the frame tightly

A tight fit doesn’t give much room for a thief to manoeuvre with tools.

Making sure your lock fits around your frame, wheel and what you are locking up to is important. The lock shouldn’t be too loose. If it’s tight around your bike, it’s harder for a thief to manoeuvre tools into the small spaces or to get a lever within the lock. Kryptonite has a line-up of locks that give you options to ensure you get the right size.

Don’t leave it in the way or on private property

Don’t lock your bike up where it’ll be in the way

There are certain places that may seem like good places to lock up, but are actually spots you shouldn’t leave your bike. In the ideal world, your destination will always have bike racks. But there are times where it’s a struggle to find a good place to leave your bike. Make sure you don’t lock your bike to fences and posts on private property. Also, don’t block entrances or the sidewalk after you’ve secured your ride. Gas pipes on the side of buildings are also just a bad idea to lock to.

Choose the right lock

Kryptonite makes U-locks, chains, folding locks and cable locks at varying security levels to secure your bike, all with their own set of pros and cons. While the value of your bike is an important factor when considering the level of security you may need, the main factors to consider are; what environment are you locking up in, and how long will you be leaving your bike unattended. While there’s certainly some wiggle room, and everyone has different needs, Kryptonite has developed a great chart to help in the decision process.