Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Locking my Brompton



While I love the fact I can take my Brompton everywhere at times it is just not convenient and so I also carry a lock. The downside is the stronger the lock the heavier it is. But only a problem if you use a messenger bag rather than a Brompton bag as you are carrying that extra weight on your back.

I use an Abus Varedo D lock that is 300mm in length. It does come smaller but I got this size to ensure that it will get around the bike wheel and a post. The lock slips into the Timbuk 2 messenger bag and off I go. I choose this lock because it has a security rating and while no lock is unbreakable my insurance company would not be happy if I didn’t attempt to have adequate protection for the Brompton. There are locks with a higher rating but these are too heavy to carry around.

I always lock my bike to a metal post. I avoid those tiny D shaped wheel park posts that are still around some public buildings. They only allow you to lock the wheel to the post. They also don’t support the bike which can be knocked over. I will look for a bike stand and although there has been an increase in Central London there are not enough. In the absence of a bike stand or metal railing I will lock the bike to a tall road sign. I am not overjoyed about this as someone who is very agile and strong could slide the bike up and off the sign.

I have never left the bike locked up outside late at night.

12 comments:

Velorution said...

You should consider the Abus Bordo Granit; you can strap its case on the Brompton frame and it is rated 15.

http://www.velorution.biz/shop/abus-bordo-granit-x-plus/?s=bordo&st=shopp

Anonymous said...

That's a good idea, although I would need to get insurance before I was happy doing this. One only need visit (or hear about) Brick Lane in order to see why.

Cycling in Heels said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cycling in Heels said...

Velorution thank you for the suggestion, however it doesn’t help me for the following reasons.

1. It is not clear where on the frame this lock can be fixed without hindering the folding & carrying system of the Brompton.
2. I personally don’t need a maximum level lock. I have enough protection with a level 9 lock. Getting a more secure lock doesn’t give me any extra benefits. In the end if in doubt I just take the bike with me.
3. The lock you suggest is twice the price of the Varedo lock.
4. The lock you suggest is considerably heavier than carrying a Varedo. The Borodo Granit X Plus weighs 1.625 kg (3llbs 9 oz) versus the Varedo 1.193 kg or 2 lbs 10oz. This will add an additional 3.5lbs in weight to the Brompton. I carry my bike a lot (while transferring on public transport) and this is extra weight on the bike I don’t need. At least with the Varedo it is tucked away in my bag which is on my back. And as we know I don’t have to use or carry a lock at all with the Brompton.

wee folding bike said...

You can fit the Abus carrier on the left hand side of the main frame tube and offset the bit on the lock which fits into the carrier. The lock then sits to the side of the main tube.

Not locking it and taking it with you all the time is better.

Cycling in Heels said...

Thanks for the info. I would still prefer not to carry 3.5 extra pounds of bike.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I have to admit it. I do find your shoes rather fetching. I'm just not used to seeing Brogues on women. Leave something for the men ;)

poppy said...

I see that you have the brompton eazy wheels. Do you think they work well? Some forumers have mentioned that they don't work particularly well and the bicycle topple easily when dragged. Just wondering what your experience is like.

Cycling in Heels said...

Hi Poppy

I think that you have also sent me an email which I have replied to. But in case you are different reader here is what I have just sent on the subject of Eazy wheels

Brompton bikes without a rear rack come with two small rollers on the rear frame. If you get a rear rack there are two small rollers at the back. You can see in this link the rear rack with the standard rollers. Two on the frame and two on the rack.

http://www.brompton.co.uk/image_window.asp?i=/images/bikepartoptions/big/Version_R.jpg&a=Version%20R%20%28mudguards%20and%20rear%20rack%29

These are the roller wheels you should switch for Eazy Wheels which are larger and have taken me over all kinds of surfaces when I have been pushing or dragging the bike. To be clear you will need four Eazy wheels as you will be replacing the rollers on the frame and the rack.

I guess that Brompton gives you the option of not having Eazy wheels if you want to keep the bike as simple and light as possible. Don’t worry the wheels are not heavy but some owners do worry about every gramme or ounce and so don’t have the rack or Eazy Wheels.

I have never had a problem with the bike falling over when using the Eazy wheels and I consider them an essential item on my bike.

Best wishes

Nimeus said...

When I bought my Brompton, I also bought an Abus lock which is attached to the frame. The lock folds open like an accordion.

Suzy said...

I just hang my D-lock on the handlebars. I am a bit concerned that it might pull the handlebars to one side maybe over time, but I try to balance it with my handbag looped over the other side! I have a front pannier but sometimes handbags don't fit inside and I can't be bothered keep changing it over all the time. I have a photo... Thank you for your blog, it inspired me to buy a sage green brompton :)

Cycling in Heels said...

I occasionally put a handbag over the handle bars too, but it only works for certain size bags. Thank you for your 'thank you'.