Here's my everyday commuting bike, which is always locked up outside. Living in San Francisco, in a smaller two-bedroom, second-floor flat, space is precious. And the stairs are a challenge for an aging cyclist toting a heavier hybrid bike. Everyday. I'm also puzzled why my wife's six bikes are all safely in the flat, while I have only one at home, two at my office, and this "Always Outdoors" commuting bike. But that's another story...
As I discuss on my Bike Commuting Tips website, securing a bicycle is always a process of weighing the risks, bicycle value, budgetary issues, security options, and convenience. For me, this is the way I do it for my everyday "Always Outdoors" commuting bike. I use two locks, a heavy OnGuard Beast Chain Lockand a Kryptonite Evolution LS U-Lock.
I've been using this combination for two years, with (knock-wood) no problems. I've had a wheel skewer stolen (now replaced with locking skewers), and left a light on that vanished. But my bike has always been there. Vandalism has been an anxiety, but again (knock-wood) no problems. Both my home and my office are in quieter, low-risk areas of San Francisco, but I also ride all over the city to less safe neighborhoods.
I carry these two locks, which are very secure but also heavy, in some Wald rear folding baskets. Some cyclists who use a heavy chain are slim enough to carry it around their waists; but sadly not me. See comment on aging cyclist above. Some companies, such as Chicago-based Wig are even starting to create accessories for heavy chains.
This heavy lock combo probably isn't necessary for every cyclist. And no lock is totally secure. But if parking your bicycle outside is your only option, it can be done.
Image: Paul Dorn.
Visit: Avoiding the Bicycle Thief, Slate Magazine, 04.18.06
Visit: Bike Theft Real, Preventable, Bike Commute Tips Blog
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site