Bike Locking Tips

Between the great weather and less-than great public transit options – more people are biking in D.C. than ever before. While this means more bikes are taking advantage of our bike lanes and trails, it also inevitably means an uptick in stolen bikes.

Learn the best steps to take to make sure your bike isn’t stolen.

1. Your bike should be more secure than the bike parked next to it.


While you may not be able to 100% secure your bike, you can make your bike the least accessible target for a bike thief.

2. Never lock your bike to anything that it can be lifted over.


This could be a street sign or hydrant. And make sure the object you lock your bike to is fixed to the ground.

3. Never rely on a cable lock to secure your bike.

Lock3Cable locks can be cut in seconds with compact size bolt cutters.

4. The smaller the U-lock, the better.


Not only is it lighter to carry around, the smaller size gives the thief less room to mount a leverage-based attack on the lock (i.e. pry it open with a crowbar).

5. Use multiple locking mechanisms.


With one U-lock, there is no possible way to secure all the components on your bike that a thief might steal. Use a cable lock to secure your front wheel to the frame while a U-lock secures your rear wheel and frame to a fixed object.



Use a second U-lock to secure your front wheel to the frame.


locking skewers (1)

Use locking skewers to secure your wheels and a bolt-on seat clamp to replace a quick-release seatpost.

6. Lock your bike the right way.


The primary component in this strategy is a mini U-lock. This U-lock goes through the back wheel (inside the rear triangle of the frame), securing the bike to something solid. It’s impossible to pull the frame away from the wheel when the lock is positioned in the triangle of the bike frame. Another strategy is to use a larger U-lock to lock both the rear wheel and the frame.

7. Know the BAD ways to lock your bike and avoid them.

Frame only: If you lock your frame only, you risk your wheels being stolen – especially if you have quick release wheels. Always lock both your frame and wheels.



Wheel only: If you lock your wheels only, and not your frame, your risk your frame being removed from the locked wheel. Always lock both your frame and wheels.



Post only: There are many ways to secure your seat – security bolts, chains, removing the post all together – but no matter what, don’t rely on your seat to secure your entire bike. If someone is able to remove your seat post when locked like the photo above, your bike is long gone.

*Never leave anything on your bike that can be easily removed, such as lights and saddle bags.

Colin’s Cross Country Bike Journey

Our friend Colin O’Laughlin is riding his bike across the country and you can follow him. His blog is titled “Me, My Bike and a Camera.” When asked why he is doing this, Colin simply wrote:

“at 28 years of age, I am realizing that I am not getting any younger. I will never get 28 back. Now is as good a time as any for me to make this dream a reality. and what better way is there to see this country than by bike? What better way is there to see, smell, feel, breathe, taste and experience every inch of this country than by bike? I can’t think of another.

You can follow Colin’s blog at ( Enjoy!










Yoga Instructor Profile: Amy Rizzotto

Amy Rizzotto

Meet Amy, one of The Bike Rack’s Sunday yoga instructors! We host yoga for cyclists every Sunday at 6pm at our Logan Circle location. Join us!

Amy Rizzotto is a yoga instructor, certified nutrition coach, healthy living blogger and wellness entrepreneur. Amy has always had a knack for business and a passion for work-life balance. A yogi for 12 years and outdoor exercise enthusiast all her life, Amy turned her healthy hobbies into a career in 2014 after four years in global philanthropy and fundraising. She is certified in Mindful Yoga Therapy for PTSD, Rocket Yoga, Budokon Yoga, Power Yoga and Sports Nutrition.

A little more than two years ago, a friend of Amy’s and a fellow yoga teacher came to her with the idea to open a studio in the Park View/Petworth neighborhood. After months of planning, they opened Yoga Heights inviting everyone at every level and every budget to join in their yoga community.

Amy found running her own business and sharing in the responsibilities of the studio an exciting challenge and change of after having worked in a more formal office environment for years. Maintaining a healthy personal work-life balance comes easy to Amy and she loves knowing that she is helping others achieve that in their own way.

Because Amy is self-employed, she is able to take on fun classes like the one she occasionally teaches at The Bike Rack! She says that the Sunday night classes are always so lovely. People come in with such laid-back attitudes and a sense of adventure. As a cyclist, Amy has  fun planning sequences that will suit the cyclist’s body. Amy has been a great addition to our Sunday night yoga class at The Bike Rack. Her energy combined with her sense of calm and her teaching expertise come together for an amazing class.

Thanks Amy for being part of The Bike Rack family!


#OptOutside for Black Friday


On Friday, November 27th The Bike Rack will close both our Logan Circle and Brookland locations. We are joining REI and many other companies by shutting our doors for the day and encouraging our staff and customers to #OptOutside.

We’ll be spending time with our families and taking our bikes out on the trails and roads.

The Bike Rack will open again on Saturday, November 28th for #SmallBusinessSaturday. We know that our success is directly related to our customers. Without you, we’d be nothing! So for one day only, we are thanking you by taking 25%-50% off all bikes.

We hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving and we will see you on Saturday, Nov. 28th!

A Guide to Transporting the Kids

Transporting the kids via bicycle has increased in popularity among DC urbanites. We are taking a look at various various types of carriers and bikes available and the pros and cons of each.

Functions to Consider

  • Adaptability

    Will your bike grow and evolve as your family does? Your child may be in a child seat now, but that will change sooner than you think. Choosing a bike that will grow and adapt with your family will mean avoiding Craigslist to sell your toddler carrier so you can replace it with a young child hauler in the near future. This way, you can easily sell the accessories (e.g. the child bike seat) and keep the bike.

  • Ride-ability

    Whether you are an experienced rider or not, some of the solutions below are far from the typical bicycle experience. For example, while some riders appreciate a cargo bike for the low center of gravity and ability to see kids in front of them, others feel that any hill can feel like pedaling a boat up a mountain.

  • Park-ability

    If you do not have a garage or other accessible bike storage (no carrying these up three flights of stairs), some of the options below may create a challenge. The width and length of the different designs will also be factors in your ability to find parking and secure your bike.

Types and Examples of Kid Haulers

Child Seat

child bike seat bike trailer

If you have a standard bicycle and are looking for a way to carry a child on it, this is an affordable option. Smaller children (up to about 38 lbs) can fit in a front mounted bike seat, while bigger children can remain in a rear seat for a bit longer (until about 48 lbs).

Pros: Fits standard bicycle. Gets younger children on bikes earlier. Can be combined with other types of bikes, such as cargo bikes.

Cons: Child may outgrow before they are ready to ride their own bike in traffic conditions. Also, other gear carrying capacity is limited, such as a backpack on the rider that can encroach on the passenger’s space. When a rear child seat is used on a standard bicycle, the bike can become “back heavy” and throw off the balance and steering. Finally, standard kickstands can be difficult (and potentially dangerous) to load and unload a child.

Bicycle Extensions

Bike trailers, Tandem attachments and Cargo-conversion kits are all designed to use an existing bike, increasing its capacity to carry cargo and/or kids. If you need to use an existing bike, this may be another affordable option. However, as they are designed to adapt to existing bicycles, there can be some performance trade offs compared with bikes designed specifically for this purpose.

Bike Trailer

child bike seat, bike trailer
A Bike Trailer is towed behind the bike with a hitch. Two children can fit in most bike trailers.

Pros: Affords some weather protection for passengers. Children do not need to balance. Fits to standard bicycle. Proponents like the fact that, should the bike fall, the bike trailer is a separate piece (though a roll-over is still possible).

Cons: Trailers are longer, heavier, and harder to maneuver. The additional resistance of two extra wheels makes the pedaling experience sluggish. No additional cargo space.

Some feel that since the bike trailer is lower and behind the bike, it presents safety hazards for the riders, and results in a feeling of separation from the passengers for conversation, observation, etc. Either way, the view for the passengers in the bike trailer is less than ideal, as they are low to the ground and often behind plastic windows (which can become scratched, degrade from UV exposure, and trap heat on summer days.) Combining a bike trailer with helmets can also be an issue of comfort, as the additional bulk behind the head may contact the back of the bike trailer, pushing the child’s head forward to an uncomfortable or unsafe position.

Cargo-bike conversion kits

This is another decent choice if you are on a budget and already have a suitable bike for the conversion.

Pros: Uses an existing bike and extends its capacity to haul kids and gear.

Cons: Two piece frame can feel unstable under load. The parts on the doner bike may be incompatible with the attachment, making for higher project cost than anticipated.

Many people report that the “two-piece frame” (the original bike and the extension) can be a bit wobbly in its handling under heavy load.

Cargo/Utility Bicycles

big dummy
Unlike recreational bikes adapted with accessories, cargo bicycles were designed as utility vehicles and are well suited for carrying children. While just now beginning to gain recognition in North America, cargo bikes have long been popular in Europe, Africa and Asia. Where Cargo Bikes excel beyond the child seat/trailer/tandem equipped configurations above is in their ability to haul your gear in addition to your children. They have even been dubbed “The New Station Wagon” and “The New Mini-Van” by The Wall Street Journal and Outside Magazine, respectively.

I use my cargo bikes as a primary mode of transport — I ride them everywhere. Cargo bikes give me the ability to go about daily business on my bike while providing the flexibility to stop at the store when I’m out and about and pickup (a lot of) groceries or a kid or just about anything as needed.”

Kid’s Bikes

Children’s bikes are measured by their wheel size, not frame size. The best indication of which size is right for your child is how comfortable he or she feels on the bike.

The most common wheel sizes are 12″, 16″, 20″ and 24″. Make sure that your child can stand over the top tube of the bike with both feet planted on the ground. He or she should feel comfortable and in control of the bike at all times.

It is not recommended that you buy a bike that is too large for a child and then have him or her “grow into it.” Doing so can set the child back in terms of riding skills and confidence. A properly sized bike will be easier for kids to handle, less dangerous and a lot more fun. And don’t forget the helmet!

Balance Bikes

Balance bikes are bikes in their simplest form – no pedals or chain, just wheels and a frame. As children walk or coast along on their balance bikes, their feet act as their brakes. A balance bike helps teach two to five-year-olds how to coordinate steering and balance. The better they get, the easier their transition to pedaling.

Training Wheel Bikes

Bikes with training wheels can give children the confidence boost needed so kids can start riding on their own. Once the confidence is there, the training wheels can be removed. These are single-speed bicycles with coaster brakes (the kind you simply peddle backward to engage), though some models have an additional rear brake controlled by a hand lever.

Trailer Bikes

A trailer bike allows your child to pedal and feel independent, though he or she is still relying on you for balance and control. This single-wheel bike attaches either to your seat post or on a rear rack so it can pivot for turning. A trailer bike is generally good for four to seven-year-olds. It also allows you to cycle farther than your child’s stamina might otherwise allow.

Kids’ Road Bikes

Once your child is ready for their own 2-wheeler, make sure to avoid the common mistake of buying a road bike that they will “grow into.” Doing so can set your child back a few years.

Kids’ road bikes range from bikes with flat bars and upright riding positions to small versions of adult road bikes that put your child in a more aerodynamic riding position. If your child will be cruising around the neighborhood or riding to school, a flat-bar road bike is a good choice. If you have a budding racer on your hands and you want to go on fast family rides, consider a drop-bar style road bike.

Kids’ Mountain Bikes

To accommodate the shorter legs of children, kids’ mountain bikes typically have 24″ wheels, compared to the larger 26″, 27.5″ and 29″ wheels found on adult bikes. Most are less-expensive versions of adult bikes with simpler components and only front suspension forks rather than full suspension. Suspension forks absorb bumps in the trail, which helps reduce hand and arm fatigue when riding. Generally speaking, kids’ mountain bikes suit children ages 10 to 13, but this depends more on the size of the child than the age. Younger/smaller children can get started biking with 20″ wheels.

If your curious about child carriers and bikes, stop by either of our locations and talk with a sales rep!