This article is from the archive of our partner .

If you're a bicycle enthusiast in the Chicago area and don't want your bike to get stolen, you're better off not using any lock at all than you are using a cable lock.

That's according to the Chicago Sun-Times, which used data from the city's stolen bike registry. In 2013, 33 percent of stolen bikes had a cable lock, compared to 27 percent with no lock at all. (A security chain was on just 2 percent of thefts, a U-lock was on 11 percent, and "other" was on 28 percent. And yes, this adds up to 101 percent because I did some rounding off.) That's out of 1,154 stolen bikes. 

The city's official website, on the other hand, claims that "most bike thefts are due to unlocked or improperly locked bikes." It recommends always locking your bike, even if you're just leaving it for one second. But it's not keen on those cable locks, recommending using a "high-quality U-lock or chain. For added security, use both."

And definitely make sure you're locking your bike to a secure spot and not one of those "sucker poles"  DNAinfo reports that gangs of Chicago bike thieves have been using.


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to