This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Locking Skewers

         I've heard mention of locking skewers over the past few years and never thought much about them.  After all, I live in the midwest, in a small town and people are more likely to just snatch and grab an unlocked bike than steal components.  As a rule I have always run a cable through the front wheel and frame and around a post or tree (my favorite).   That provides enough security since it's just plain hard to remove the rear wheel when the rest 'is locked up.  Recently I have been a little more concerned since I have been using ring locks which prevent the casual snatch but don't protect the front wheel.  The real motivator for me has been the Abus Bordo, which is a wonderful piece of security made of steel plates,but I feel is just a few inches short of convenient.  As you can see from the photo, you really need to attach the bike to just the right sized pole for it to reach all the way through the front wheel and frame.  Even removing the water bottle will leave me a little short in most cases.
   With that in mind I looked for locking skewers.  I looked at a couple and decided to give the VO a try on the Hunqapillar because of the simplicity, and the fact that I always carry tools with me on the Hunq.   What I like is that these are secured with a special allen key.
It has a hollow end to match a protrusion in the middle of the locking nut.  Installation is easy, simply replace the existing quick release with the new one

and tighten it finger tight to hold the wheel in place.  

Then give it a few turns with the special allen key to tighten it down.  The wheel can't be removed by hand because the skewer will simply rotate in the nut until the key holds it in place.  A solid allen key won't fit so the wheels are reasonably safe.
    Of course nothing will stop a professional, but this will deter most and having the wheel reasonably secured makes it a lot easier to lock the bike to an object

without having to be inconvenienced too much. It might be wise to attach the key to your keychain but  I intend to carry the key in the tool kit because if I travel to a higher crime area, I don't leave anything on my bike to be taken.   Now I need to find somebody who makes one just for the front wheel alone to install on my townie's with IGH.

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