Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Best Commuting Bike: a Clunker

Abus Locks U 54 Standard KF Granit X Plus Bike Lock
This will save your bike
Never underestimate the power of having nothing to lose, and then locking it up as if you had everything to lose. As always I use my Abus Granite X Plus 54, a $188 lock that costs more than my clunker commuting bike, a Trek 850.

The most dangerous place to lock, based on experience, is at MRT stations. I had my bike stolen in a matter of hours at Tampines MRT - a Wheeler that had a really nice cushy fork. Nonetheless, that taught me never to use a cheapskate lock - the ubiquitious cable lock.

Here's an experiment: parking the Trek commuting clunker bike at Kovan MRT from 9am to 7pm.

Clunker commuting bike, Kovan MRT, 9am
It's worrying, but Kovan MRT is better than most in a sense that it has a U shaped bike stand, which means you can lock both the front wheel and rear wheel - the best way you can lock your wheels and bike, especially if it's quick-release.

After work, I came back and it's still there!

Still here! Kovan MRT, 7pm
I really love this mode of transport as unfortunately, I don't have the patience to take the bus unlike Lui Tuck Yew. By commuting by bike to MRT stations, it keeps me away from the abhorrent buses. Buses are unreliable, slow and can have mutable schedules based on traffic situations.

Trains, on the other hand, are the best form of public transport, they are fast, no-nonsense, and on time. All I know is that biking to MRTs is the best way right now if you don't want to take a connecting bus ride.

Don't underestimate a clunker with a seriously beefy lock! I bought this lock a few years ago and it still is with me, and so are the various bikes which I have locked outside.


  1. I used to commute in Dallas, from our apartment in Garland to my office on the west side of town. As I started in early afternoon, the train ride (station was a 10 mile ride from home) to downtown was relaxing and comfortable, as the train was mostly empty at the time. The trip back wasn't as pleasant, later at night, with some less-than-savory characters evidently living on the train. I caught one lifting the flap on my messenger bag as I looked out the window (I saw his reflection) and stopped him before he could slip his hand all the way in. I bought a small pickup truck after that. While I appreciated the low cost of that mode of transport (thanks, fellow taxpayers), I just don't care to be cooped up in a cattle car full of strangers whose intentions are entirely unknown to me.

  2. Hi, you lost the bike in broad daylight? I am considering cycling to MRT to go for work every morning and lock the bike there until I return from work around 7pm.

  3. If you don't spend enough on your lock, your bike will be gone in less than an hour! I had my bike stolen at Tampines in a matter of hours, but I used a $2 lock. Now I use my $100+ two-set lock and it has been pretty good so far. YMMV.

    1. Ok. Next time I will break your bike and steal your $100 lock !! ; )