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How to Lock a Bike Seat

Bicyclists don’t always lock their bike seats, also called saddles, to their bikes. You might wonder why anyone would steal a bike seat, but as the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition puts it, thieves steal seats “to sell to someone who has a bicycle without a seat!” Whether you carry an extra lock for your seat or incorporate your seat into your existing locking system, in high theft areas, it’s essential to lock up your saddle or take it with you.

Main Cable Lock Solution

  1. Run your cable through the rear wheel of your bike and up through the rails of your saddle. Cross the cable through your frame.

  2. Pass one looped end of the cable through the other and hook this loop into your U-lock, if available. Lock the U-lock to your front wheel, frame and an unmovable object.

  3. Lock the cable around the front wheel and an unmovable object, if you do not have a U-lock. If your cable is not long enough to lock each element in its place and still attach it to a bike rack or other object, remove the front wheel or seat post and place it parallel to the rear wheel before locking.

Alternative Solutions

  1. Pass a cable, wire or chain through the saddle rails. This can be a bike seat leash, a length of bike chain or a thick, strong cable tie.

  2. Bring the ends of the cable or chain down under the seat stays.

  3. Use your key or combination lock to lock the looped cable ends together. For a cable tie, zip the free end through the pawl and pull it tight. If you are using a chain, remove any excess chain length with the chain breaker tool. Link the ends of the chain together in the chain breaker tool and screw the chain pin back into place.

    Tip

    Expert bicyclist Sheldon Brown suggests using at least two locks to thwart thieves. Use one chain or cable lock passed through the frame, wheels and saddle and one U-lock to attach the frame and/or rear wheel to an unmovable object. In lower crime areas, instead of locking your saddle with one of the above methods, replace the quick release on the seat tube with an Allen-head bolt and nut. The nut and bolt require tools to loosen and diminish the likelihood of theft, especially when you lock your bike in a high visibility area.

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Things Needed

  • Bike cable
  • U-lock
  • Cable tie
  • Bike chain
  • Chain tool
  • Bike seat leash

About the Author

Erica Leigh has been writing and editing professionally since 2005, contributing to a technology and education nonprofit, renewable energy companies and various websites. Leigh holds bachelor's degrees in anthropology and linguistics from the University of Washington.

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