How to secure a bike on a porch?
January 10, 2008 8:43 PM   Subscribe

How to cheaply secure a bike on an unlocked porch?

My girlfriend is considering moving into an apartment where the only place to store her bike is on the back porch. The porch can't be locked (because other residents need to use it). There aren't any secure structures on the porch that the bike can be locked to.

I imagine that if we could get something sturdy onto the porch that is too unwieldy for one person to carry, we could lock it to that with a good bike lock, but I'm not sure what this object would be or where to find it (this is in Boston).

Any suggestions?
posted by justkevin to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Is there no room for her bike inside her apartment? I have a small apartment but still bring my bikes inside.
posted by smich at 8:45 PM on January 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: See this previous question, and my answer. It's inexpensive if you're competent to do some fairly basic installation yourself. There are other answers in that thread, but my suggestion is the Krypotonite Stronghold. I guess she may need permission from the landlord to drill into the porch.
posted by cushie at 8:49 PM on January 10, 2008

Best answer: Seconding the Stronghold. If that isn't an option get a large bucket and some quickset cement and cement a good quality u-bolt or perhaps a length of quality chain into it. You can then lock to that making the deal pretty unwieldy to walk off with. Also make sure your gf locks her bike securely paying special attention to locking the wheels to the frame.

Don't think for a second that the bike is safe because it is on the back porch. An unsecured bike will always be stolen, no matter where it is. Thieves will go into basements, garages and even shimmy up poles if they think they can get an unsecured bike.
posted by wfrgms at 9:00 PM on January 10, 2008

Response by poster: Cushie: Thanks for the suggestions and the pointer to the previous question. I believe this porch is a wooden structure, which eliminates most of the suggestions relating to drilling anchors into concrete.
posted by justkevin at 9:03 PM on January 10, 2008

Get an indoor bike rack that doubles as a kind of art work.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:04 PM on January 10, 2008

So, it's a deck with no rails that opens up to the apartment complex?
posted by Pants! at 9:05 PM on January 10, 2008

Response by poster: I think it's more of an enclosed porch, with walls and windows and a door, but nothing that the bike can be anchored to (like a railing, radiator or pipes).
posted by justkevin at 9:10 PM on January 10, 2008

Could she put big eyelets in the roof of the porch and somehow hoist her bike up out of arm's reach somewhat with some pulley mechanism? Barring that, is there a way she could do this inside the stairwell of her house or some other place indoors?
posted by jessamyn at 9:21 PM on January 10, 2008

That bike needs to go inside to be safe. Either that or leash it and a Doberman to the porch.
posted by caddis at 2:51 AM on January 11, 2008

Put it inside. Hang it from the ceiling with hooks (you can buy hooks which screw in at Home Depot or whereever).

Otherwise, you can't secure it cheaply. You can buy an expensive kryptonite lock (the New York lock, for ~$100) and lock the frame and both wheels together, but someone could feasibly still walk off with the whole thing.
posted by beerbajay at 5:25 AM on January 11, 2008

I would second keeping the bike inside. You can get a wall-mounted rack that doesn't take up much room. Or even a simple hook device (but if you're strapped for space, this leaves too much bike sticking out). Or, if your ceiling is high enough, the funky pulley system.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 6:32 AM on January 11, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions to store the bike indoors-- but for the particular apartment in question, it doesn't look like this is an option. She rides almost every day and would have to carry the bike up two flights of narrow stairs.

If the bike can't be stored safely on the porch, she'll just have to look for another apartment.
posted by justkevin at 7:17 AM on January 11, 2008

It's hardly a bulletproof solution, but securing a small locking tab/ubolt to the wooden surface with security screws might work for a bit. But security screws can be undone, given the right tools. Alternatively, if you can get under the floor surface but it's inconvenient, you can use something like a u-bolt with no exposed fastening method.

The attachment method doesn't have to be unassailable, just more inconvenient than attacking the cable or the lock (both of which can be defeated fairly easily, especially given time). The fact that it's right next to a living area might help you.

Of course, you may not be allowed to drill into stuff if you don't own it (but I suggest that the resulting holes would be pretty easy to hide).
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:24 AM on January 11, 2008

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