Frame real estate is very limited. On the surface, it may look like your options for mounting your u-lock with the bracket it came with are too. Here’s a pro-tip for mounting your u-lock you may have missed.
I’ve noticed over the years that many people don’t realize their u-locks can be mounted not just inside the frame of their bike, but to the side of it as well.
The metal rail on the shackle (the “U” portion) of most u-locks is adjustable with an allen wrench. This means you can mount your lock to the side of your frame or seat post if you rotate the rail 90°, and rotate the bracket attached to your frame 90°.
Your mileage may vary depending on the size of your lock and where you mount it. You’ll want to take care that it doesn’t interfere with your pedaling, but this can be a useful option if you have one or more water bottles mounted to your frame, or your only option if you ride a step-through frame!
I hear the skeptical reader now, “The stock brackets that come with u-locks are crap! Why in the hell would I use something that will wear out so quickly?”
I’ve been using the bracket that came with my Kryptonite u-lock nearly every day for the past 6 years. I’ve ridden almost 10,000 miles in that time. How is this possible? Use your thumbs!
The temptation is to hold the lock in one hand from the far side of the shackle, and slide it into the bracket with a strong downward motion. This is difficult, and puts lots of stress on the bracket.
Instead, gently set the rail into the channel on the bracket, then put your thumbs on top of the lock, your fingers under the bracket, and squeeze them together until the lock clicks into the bracket.
To remove the lock, press the release lever down with your thumb and gently rock the lock back and forth while slightly lifting up (or out of the bracket), and it will pop out just as easily.