I’ve recently moved to a big city, and not just a big city, but one notorious for bike theft. I consider myself pretty good at locking bikes, but after hearing reports of how bad the theft problem is, I’ve had to up the ante, particularly since I don’t own a car and on a student budget I won’t be replacing my bike any time soon. Fortunately, I was able to substantially increase my bike’s security for under five bucks and very little extra time. Here’s how you can make your bike more theft proof.

I picked up this idea from a bike I saw chained up one day. Your bike may be well locked, but some accessories can still be vulnerable. A simple hose clamp works wonders to fix this. At the local hardware store I was able to pick up a handful for $1.49 a piece. In the picture, the rack is clamped to the seat stay, or the thin, down-slopping tube. I used them to clamp my rack as well as my frame pump to the frame. This makes the frame pump a little less convenient to use but I also don’t worry about having to replace it if it’s stolen. BikeHacks also suggests that once you find your idea seat post height, you affix a clamp flush to the tube so that you can easily slid the seat in and out when you park. This makes it more convenient to return your seat to it’s original height if you own a quick release and are constantly taking your seat out and putting it back in.

If constantly removing and replacing your seat is too much of a hassle, I simply asked the local bike co-op for an old chain and tube. Snake the chain through the tube to prevent the chain from scratching your bike or spreading grease everywhere. Run the tube/chain through the bottom of your seat and part of the frame. Using your chain tool, remove the extra links and join the chain back together. Now you don’t have to worry about locking up your saddle or removing it whenever you enter a building.

Photo Credit: Murray Corp