How to prevent your bike from falling over (especially when loaded)

I hate to see bikes locked up on poles in cities that fallen over and now are lying down on the floor creating an obstacle for pedestrians. I hate it even more when my loaded bike is falling over while I am eating a sandwitch or talking to a friend while taking a rest. I found a way to easily fix this. Using a piece of an old road bike inner tube you can tie down the front brake making the front wheel immobile (if this wheel rolls, then the bike will fall over -even a strong bike stand won’t stop it). By having the front wheel brake activated the bike becomes immovable even on inclined planes. This way you eliminate all the forces that make the bike too unstable for the stand to control. With this quick and easy technique you can leave your bike on a tree or a wall without having to worry about it.


13 Comments Add yours

  1. capejohn says:

    It’s such an obvious technique once someone says it out loud

  2. Mike says:

    I am a little jealous that you can use this solution, I have another solution that is considerably heavier but also provides security, a frame lock πŸ˜‰

    1. Bicyclosis says:

      ‘Considerably’ πŸ˜› Do you take a frame lock with you when you travel?

      1. Mike says:

        I think I never drove a bike without frame lock and the good thing about a frame lock is that it is relative safe, easy to carry and you never forget it.

        Not needing a lock means the risk of the bike getting stolen is low and and/or there are other bikes that are more interesting. All good signs.

        NB: The lock is ~600 gram

      2. Bicyclosis says:

        Aha, I see. I am usually around the bike when it comes to touring, so I usually don’t need a lock. In urban cycling I carry around a 4 kg chain lock for my old beat up commuter (definition of overkill). I should probably start thinking about buying a 600 gram one πŸ˜€

      3. Mike says:

        A frame lock is good to have but one drawback is that you cannot attach your bike to something solid, so thieves can still lift your bike and put it in the trunk of a truck.

        You can a cable or a chain that attaches to the frame lock and can be used to attach it to something solid. But if the lock is cracked open, that cable or chain is also lose so I am using a frame lock and a relative light separate chain in areas with high (perceived) risk.

      4. Bicyclosis says:

        Would you consider using a beat up old bike for commuting with a good chain? I think this is the easiest method. Where do you live by the way?

      5. Mike says:

        I had old bikes for years and always have been using only a frame lock, only one time my bike was stolen near a railway station.

        In the country I am living I am cycling almost every day > 15 km and that means sun, wind, rain, and sometimes snow and salt. I love maintaining bikes but do not love the cleaning part especially the chain and the derailleur. That made me buying a belt driven bike which I really love but it was new as there were no second-hand belt drives then. Since then I am using on some places (railway station bicycle parking for example) the combination of a frame lock and a lite chain lock.

        I do not have a “old bike for commuting” as I better like cycling 25 minutes relaxed, carrying an additional chain, then cycling less relaxed without chain.

        On obvious solution is to paint your bike such that nobody wants him but that is a bit too far for me, I guess I just have to wait till the bike gets older.

      6. Bicyclosis says:

        Never had one with belt instead of chain! So many things in this life you don’t have time or money to try πŸ™‚
        I understand your argument though, you must enjoy riding your everyday bike. I happen to enjoy my Greek Donkey very much! (you can see it in ‘my humble bikes’) πŸ™‚

  3. Fhil says:

    What a good idea. When I make your “trouser strap” I will try it with this idea and perhaps it will work as a “parking brake”?!
    Thanks for your good and inexpensive ideas. πŸ™‚
    While reading the comments from Mike about oily chain, may I suggest instead of oiling a chain, wax it in hot melt wax. I use this method after reading some research on chain lubrication and how wax is more effective as a lubricant for chains as well as keeping the chain clean.
    I use and old 12cm cast iron pot and melt about 5-10cm of a candle and add chain for about 5 minutes. I do this outside for safety and also because the chain needs to be hooked out of the hot wax while still fluid and let the chain cool.

    1. Bicyclosis says:

      Good idea about the strap! Interesting idea about the wax! Does it work? Can you make the candle drip on the chain instead?

      1. Fhil says:

        My experience with wax is good. I can’t compare it to an oiled chain as I’ve only used wax. I can’t find the link for the chain lubrication study but their findings were positive for wax in comparison to high grade oils.
        The chain needs to be hot so the wax seeps between the rollers and pins as well as between the plates.
        I try to avoid using oil on exposed surfaces because it remains fluid and gravity and the elements carry it away. I use wax or boiled linseed oil in these situations as they form a coating that is more resilient although linseed oil needs more regular applications.

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