My girlfriend bought me a new saddle. Needless to say its beautiful. Brooks B17 Special in dark green leather with copper rivets. Easily one of the best additions to my bike, but unfortunately one of the easiest parts to steal as well.
I can’t imagine locking my bike up only to come back five minutes later to find my saddle jacked. Unthinkable and yet very probable. I would estimate a good thief could remove my saddle in under two minutes with the right tool. And who am I kidding, the right tool is no more than an allen key.
So heres the problem; I’ve done a ton of research looking for the right way to protect my saddle from theft and everything has come up short.
Here are the options I’ve come up with so far:
Buy a Quick Release
It sounds great: inexpensive, easy to install, and secure.. at first. Lock up your bike and bring your seat post and saddle with you. And then you realize all of the random times when you just want to ride out to go shopping or something. Then what? Take your saddle into every store. As if carrying around a 12 pound Kryptonite lock wasn’t enough, now I get to carry my saddle everywhere I go after I lock up. Not to mention if you forget you have that quick release. Leave it on the street once, and a three year old child could be walking away with your saddle in under 30 seconds.
Lock it up with an old bike chain
One word. Ugly. I know its the most effective way to lock up a saddle, and most bike stores will even do it for free.
But seriously, you couldn’t pay me enough to put that on my bike. Besides, the distance from the saddle to the seat stays is way too long to even think about making an old chain look cool. Simplicity is an art. One wrong part could ruin the entire dream and thats why its out of the question.
Buy a Removable Flex Cable
Fail. They will cut it in a minute. Two more minutes and the seat is gone.
Yikes, clever idea, who would ever think to steal some crappy seat wrapped in an old plastic bag. And its weather proof too, albeit terrible looking. Unfortunately it can’t be trusted at all, even when combined with any of the other options aforementioned.
Buy a set of Locking Skewers
At first I thought this was the best option out of all of them. Totally invisible and pretty difficult to work with for the majority of bike thieves. Plus the set will lock both my wheels and possibly my headset- A great bonus considering I only lock my front wheel usually. However, a bit more research shows just how poor the locking skewers really are. For one, I read that a universal wrench could probably unscrew even the best of locking skewers. Moreover, the set only locks the seat post. Bleeh. Did OnGuard or Pinhead or any other lock company not realize there is another bolt attaching the saddle to the seat post? How is that possible? Whether a thief unscrews the saddle or the seat post with the saddle, they still win. And I still lose. It might look like a deterrent, but I definitely don’t trust it.
Keep your nice saddle on your desk at home and just ride around with the $20 one that hurts Your Butt on every bump.
Doesn’t sound very fun but looks like the only option for now…