WNYC radio host Brian Lehrer, who I listen to every morning, recently had
his bike stolen. In a way it's not a big deal, since thousands of New
Yorkers have their bikes stolen every year, but this one was different -
this one was personal.
You see, Brian Lehrer is one of the city's treasures. He's without
question the finest journalist in New York City. His wisdom, good humor
and patience make his show beloved by people of all creeds, colors and
political persuasions. It's not just "good listening," it's informative,
topical, and always entertaining.
So New Yorkers as a whole were offended when Our Brian's bike was stolen.
Maybe more than he himself was.
True to form, though, he turned lemons into lemonade by doing a show the
following week on the best bike locks, calling on experts as well as
regular New Yorkers to throw in their two cents about which ones work
best, and which do not.
It's a sad fact that most bike locks can be cut rather easily and quickly
by a skilled thief. All it takes is a bolt cutter and, literally, less
than three seconds when nobody's looking. Or sometimes you can do it in
front of a crowd, and nobody will be brave or decent enough to step up
and say anything. Sad, sad part of the culture.
Anyway, as I mentioned most bike locks can be disposed of rather easily
by a skilled thief. Even if you string the chain through both the front
and rear tires, the frame and then around a secure pole, all it takes is
one bolt cut in the correct place and they're off with your bike. That's
why it's important to do your due dilligence and do some research on
which bike locks work best.
Of course the best known name is the Kryptonite, which introduced U-locks
thirty-five years ago and still produce some of the best today. The
Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit U-lock ranks incredibly highly in
terms of its durability and difficulty to cut through. It's nearly two
centimeters of solid, tempered steel make it the sturdiest of its kind on
the market. As far as traditional bike locks go, this one is tough to
The one problem with it is that, since it's so small, you can only lock
your frame to another object and have no room for locking the tires as
well. For this reason, you might want to pair your U-lock with a
chain/lock combo as well. Sure, it's a couple of extra pounds to carry,
but the redundant security would make almost any thief think twice, then
three times, and then finally move on for bike locks that are less