How to Lock Bike To Bike Parking Rack Properly

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Businesses have started realizing that bikers make up a good number of their customers.

Little wonder we are beginning to see more businesses setting up a bike parking rack/stand for their customers.

Come to think of it, riding a bike to a café, a restaurant, a mall, school or even a business establishment is becoming more popular than it used to be.

There are many reasons more people are embracing using bike than riding their cars.

At least, with a bike, you won’t have to worry about gas or big parking spaces that car drivers always have to wrestle for.

Since you will be seeing more bike parking racks and stands outside businesses, it’s important that you know how to lock your bike to it to prevent theft.

But first, let’s check out the 3 major types of parking racks/stand you are more likely to come across.

3 Major Types of Bike Parking Rack/Stand

Sheffield Stands

Sheffield Stands

You will find Sheffield parking stand in many public places than any other type of bike stand. This type of stand can accommodate different types of bike.

With Sheffield stands, you can run your U-lock through your bike frame to secure it.

Two-Tier Racks

Two-Tier Racks

This rack is named two-tier because it comes with upper and lower tier. With such tiers, one rack can take more than one bike at a time. Two-tier racks are usually used at train stations or anywhere that calls for high-density bike parking. You can either secure your bike to the lower or upper tier.

The lower tier comes with a locking bar that you can feed your U-lock through the frame. If you choose to use the upper tier, you will have to first lower the upper tray to be able to access the locking bar.

Vertical and Semi Vertical Racks

Vertical and Semi Vertical Racks

It is very common to find vertical and semi-vertical racks in both residential and office buildings. They come in different types of designs. However, most of them only allow you to lock your bike’s rear or front wheel with a U-lock. That means that you may have to use a chain to lock other parts of the bike if you need to.

Now that you know the popular types of bike parking racks, let’s get down to the business of the day.

How to Lock Your Bike to a Bike Parking Rack

How to Lock Bike To Bike Parking Rack

Lock with a Secured Lock

One thing you don’t want to joke with is the kind of lock you use in locking your bike to a bike parking rack. There are a lot of locks ranging from thin to thick sturdy locks. For the safety of your bike, you should only go for strong locks.

Your best option would be a U-lock. It is a hardened metal bike lock that is shaped like a U or D. This type of lock allows you to lock your bike frame and one wheel to a parking rack. In terms of security, they are the best because they cannot be cut easily. In such public bike parking places, thieves will prefer to go for bikes with thinner locks that those with U or D lock.

Use More Than One Lock

You have locked your bike with a U-lock, right? But you still need to lock it with another lock. Your rear wheel and other parts of your bike need to be secured too. This is why you should use another lock like a chain or a cable lock to secure them. Nothing deters a thief from stealing a bike like a bike that has been secured multiple times.

Knowing that he or she could be caught while cutting all the locks can discourage such a thief from making an attempt. Plus, if your bike comes with a quick-release feature, then use it to remove your front wheel. You can either take the wheel inside with you or lock it to the parking rack and rear wheel.

Choose an Immovable Bike Parking Rack

An immovable bike parking rack will always be safer than a short tree, pole or other things that can be removed. For instance, some trees can be cut down and the thief will gain access to your bike. A solid bike parking rack which you will find in many public places will always be your best option to safely secure your bike while outdoors.

Tips to Safely Secure Your Bike to a Parking Rack

To further help you double up your bike security, here are sometips that you can use:

Invest in a Good Lock

Although good bike locks like U or D locks can be quite expensive, you should consider going for these types of locks. When you think about it, it’s cheaper to spend some money on a good lock than buying a new bike when your bike is stolen.

Lock both Wheels and Frame

Don’t just lock your bike frame to a bike parking rack. Make sure that your wheels are covered too. You can achieve this when you make use of multiple locks when locking your bike.

Ensure the Lock is Tight Enough

You should give no room for space when locking your bike. This is why you must run the chain lock severally across your bike frame and wheels to make it harder for someone to cut through it. If you are making use of a U or D lock, make sure that you minimize the space as well.

Take Your Bike Accessories Along

To make your bike unattractive to a thief, you should take whatever part you can take along with you. This means that if you can take the bike seat, one wheel or other accessories you can lay hold of, please do so.

Park at a Conspicuous Place

When parking and locking your bike, make sure the place you choose is visible enough. Some good spots to park are at the entrance of a store, office or a restaurant. Such places have foot traffic with great lights that can ward off a thief. If the facility offers bike parking garage, ensure that it has strong bike parking rack that you can lock your bike to.

Park Near CCTV Cameras

It is very common to find CCTV cameras in many establishments. These cameras were installed to take record of every activity going on inside and outside such establishment. Therefore, it’s a great idea to park your bike where it can be captured by the camera. Should anything happen to your bike, you can at least ask to see clips of what happened from the camera. The police can also use it to trace who may have gotten away with your bike.

Choose Steel and Durable Structures as Alternatives

If the place you are doesn’t have a bike parking rack, you should only lock your bike to strong, steel or durable structures. Structures like gates, fences, strong trees, poles are good options. Just make sure that whichever structure you choose is rooted to the ground or wall.

Go With a Cheaper Bike

If you are running a short errand and you have two bikes, you should go with the cheaper bike. That way, thieves may not be so interested in stealing it if it won’t fetch them much money. You can then reserve your expensive bike for cycling events and outings with friends and family.

Individualize Your Bike

You can set your bike apart by adding some unique flair to it. Painting your bike with very bright color or adding some unique element to it will make it stand out. A bike that stands out is not always very attractive to thieves because such bikes easily attract attention.


There are a lot of thieves looking for any given opportunity to make away with a bike. One minute is enough for them to carry out their aim. And once they get hold of your bike, they can flee the scene very fast that you might not be successful chasing after them on foot. At no point should you leave your bike unattended. Even if you only need to make a quick stop at a shop, ensure you lock your bike to a bike parking rack or an immovable strong object.

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Jeff Phillips Racktutor
About the author

Jeff Phillips is the able founder of In his professional life, he has been offering Paintless Dent Repair and Hail Repair services in North Texas since 1990. He is the owner of DentMasters. He is still passionate about outdoor adventures with his family, bikes and cars. So he has first-hand experience on bike racks. He is regularly testing suitable racks for his upcoming trip. His aim is to create a user-friendly free website where bikers can easily read bike rack informations without any hassle.

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