/ Bike locks for The Netherlands

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bedspring on 14 May 2018


my plans for cycling in the Netherlands are going well. When I mention I am of to the Netherlands cycling people say, a, a great place for a first trip.

b, plan your route around the wind.

c, Lock your bike as bike theft is a huge thing in the Netherlands

My bike is an Old Peugeot non suspension mountain bike worth about £30 so other than inconvenience, I am not that fussed. However my wifes is a Commencal MTB which cost £700, so more of a target.

Can anyone recommend locks please, not too heavy, easy to use and I am thinking up to £50, please. Thanks in advance for any tips. Just noted an Article on Bike Packing, I will read that. Cheers

Post edited at 07:48
gethin_allen on 14 May 2018
In reply to bedspring:

Annoyingly, if its not heavy its probably not good. 

tjin - on 14 May 2018

Against professional thieves, nothing is gonna work.

For thieves that are trying to make some money quickly or people too lazy to grab their own bikes; general advise is to use two different kinds of locks and attach the bike to something attached to the earth. 


bedspring on 14 May 2018
In reply to bedspring:

Thanks for the replies. Heavy , but makes sense. The two locks thing seems recurring in advice I have come across. Would three locks between us work well, or is two each the way ahead?


In reply to bedspring:

Bike theft is big in the cities but much less so in the villages and countryside. Most Dutch bikes have the back wheel lock system which everyone uses. All this does is put a bar through that back wheel but it doesn't lock the bike to anything solid in the ground. Some of these have extension cables to attached to racks. So the Dutch themselves tend not to use really big or extensive locks.

In cities your best bet is to use the vast bike parks outside stations where there are cameras and also millions of other bikes to lose yours in the crowd. Another relatively recent development is the boom in e-bikes which are rapidly overtaking normal bikes as targets so your bike may not be as desirable as you think relative to the €3000 e-bikes. 

Another factor to realise is that bikes are stolen for the local market and your bike will be different. This may make it less of a target. My wife's very dutch bike was once stolen and then discarded 20m further on at the Uni here in Sheffield simply because it was different to all the other bikes the thieves were going for at that moment.

Basically the message here is don't be too paranoid about it. A bit of common sense should keep you safe.


Mike Peacock on 14 May 2018
In reply to bedspring:

I'm in Sweden where bike theft is common. My preferred combination is a U-lock to go round the frame and anchor the bike to something, then a lock-chain to lock the frame to the front wheel, then a cheap cable lock round the back wheel. As Gethin suggests, if it isn't heavy, it probably isn't great. You have to aim to make stealing the bike too much effort, so the thief will go for an easier target instead.

bedspring on 14 May 2018
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

thanks for that.
Makes sense. We are going to go North from Rotterdam and see how it goes. We have booked friends accomodation in Den Hagg and Harleem which I guess will be city type places, so on our guard more. But afterwards we are going to wing it but hopefully a bit more rural.

Like you say common sense, it gets you a long way.

gethin_allen on 14 May 2018
In reply to Mike Peacock:

"...You have to aim to make stealing the bike too much effort, so the thief will go for an easier target instead...."


Locking my bike outside work (a university and a favourite target of local scumbags) I'd regularly see people locking relatively expensive bikes with £5 cable locks. Occasionally I'd recommend to them that they buy a good lock because I've seen loads of bikes stolen in the area but the usual response was that of indifference. After a while I gave up and just considered it an insurance policy on my own bike which was far less attractive than theirs and better locked.

The whole thing is rather annoying though. On a recent 3 day tour I was riding a 8.5 kg bike with about 4-5 kg luggage and a 2.5 kg lock, making the lock over 15% of the overall weight. It would cost me thousands to shave that much weight off the bike.


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