Here’s how to prevent your bike from being stolen: Winnipeg bike shop owner

Winnipeggers in need of a new bike or a tune-up may be wise to act sooner rather than later, as global supply chain issues have one local bicycle shop planning well into next year. Diana Foxall/Global News

Cycling season is around the corner, and that means more chances for bikes to be stolen.

The City of Winnipeg announced it was bringing its bike registry online on Monday, and as of 9 a.m. Tuesday, 116 people had uploaded their bike’s information to the database.

It’s a good idea to also have a strong lock if you plan to park your bike outside for any amount of time.

Tim Woodcock, owner of Woodcock Cycle Works, said he recommends a sturdy U-shaped lock.

“If you spend more on a bicycle, then you should probably spend more on the lock,” he said.

“But ideally, the U-locks — they’re D-style locks — are your safest bet.”

READ MORE: Winnipeg cyclists able to register bikes online and view city routes

Woodcock said you do get what you pay for when it comes to bike locks — the higher the cost, likely the better the lock.

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“The lower end ones usually use a carbon steel — so it’s easier to cut through, sometimes [it] isn’t hardened,” he said. “Also the internal mechanisms that actually hold the clamp in are really important. So your highest levels will clamp on both sides of where the U goes in, whereas your lower-end locks will only clamp at one end.”

“So the benefit of the dual one is even if they were to cut through there with a grinder or something, they wouldn’t be able to open the lock up at all — they’d have to grind both sides off — so it’s going to be a lot slower, harder for them to get through the lock.”

He also recommended taking off the front wheel and attaching it to the back wheel when threading the lock through. So that means the lock is going through both wheels, the bike frame and whatever the bike is being locked to — typically a strong rack.

READ MORE: Kelowna man cycling across Canada has bike stolen in Winnipeg

“Really, the lock’s only as good as what you’re locking it to,” Woodcock said, noting he tries to discourage people from locking their bikes to street signs or poles, which can be easily pulled out of the ground by cunning thieves who then walk away with the bike and lock intact.

“With some of these locks, they’ll come with a cable as well as the U-lock,” he said. “A lot of bikes nowadays will have quick-release wheels so the wheel can easily be taken off, then you want to lock it to the side of the bike, and you always want to make sure you lock the front, the back wheel and especially the frame all together.”

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Locking simply the front wheel to the rack isn’t enough — Woodcock said it’s easy to separate the front wheel from the frame and leave the lock untouched.

READ MORE: Winnipeg bike theft showing no signs of slowing

But if cyclists aren’t comfortable taking the wheel off and strapping it to everything else that’s going to be locked up, he encourages a second lock or a cable to anchor the front wheel to the frame.

And while Woodcock admits some cables can be cut, he said better quality ones feature better weaving that makes it hard for wire cutters to effectively shear through the cable.

“A lot of times if you lock your bike up with a good lock and a cable and everything’s locked secure, they’ll usually walk past the bike and go to someone who hasn’t locked their bike up,” Woodcock said.

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