DIY bike lock bracket

15 March 2009, 3:10 pm

My new U-lock came with a bracket, but it didn’t work very well. I was inspired by this DIY Bike Lock Holder at instructables.com, but this mount would not work for my lock — the key is inserted into the crosspiece. With a little thought I came up with an inexpensive variation that holds one of the arms of the U-lock and provides access to the keyhole.

Materials:
photo of materials
photo of materials

  • A short length of pipe (at least 1 1/2″ wide)
  • At least enough 3/4″ wooden dowel to cut 4 1″ pieces
  • 2 worm-drive hose clamps. These need to be big enough to go around your frame, the pipe, and the dowel assembly — about 3″ diameter
  • 2 1″ or 1 1/8″ brads
  • (optional) primer and paint to match your frame

Tools:

photo of tools
photo of vise
photo of box

  • Hammer
  • Saw (I used a power saw with a small-tooth blade for plywood; a hand saw would work fine)
  • SAFETY GOGGLES! Very important when using the saw.
  • Gloves
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Sandpaper
  • Vise (very handy if you have one, but you could probably do without)
  • Box (for painting in)

Step 1:
Measure and cut 4 1″ lengths of dowel. Sand off any burrs.

cut dowel segments

Step 2:

Attach two of the dowel pieces to each other with one of the brads. Repeat.

Don’t hit too hard, “love taps” are less likely to split the dowel. It’s also best to drive the brad through the center. If you use a vise, don’t over tighten it, or you may flake off bits of the dowel. I found it easiest to set a dowel piece in the vise, and tap the brad until the tip just starts to emerge through the other side.

making a dowel assembly

Then remove the first piece from the vise, insert the second piece, tighten, and drive the brad into the second piece.

making a dowel assembly

Your completed dowel assemblies are spacers that will provide some clearance for your lock. They’ll also make the pipe stay parallel with your frame. This project is forgiving if you didn’t measure your dowels to exactly 1″.

completed spacers

Step 3:

If you’re painting, put your spacers and pipe in the box. Prime and paint. Follow the instructions on your paint for number of coats, drying time, etc. A thin coat of the Krylon I used dried in about 10 minutes and set up in about an hour.

ready to paint

Step 4:

The final step is easier to do than to describe.

Hold a spacer and the pipe under the frame, and thread a clamp around them. Tighten the clamp just enough that you can let go, slide the spacer between the frame and the other end of the pipe, and thread the second clamp around them. Slide the bracket along the frame to find a location that gives good clearance to insert the “U” of the lock from one side, and to secure the crosspiece on the other. Tighten the clamps to secure the bracket. Don’t overtighten the clamps, or you may pull your spacers apart.

completed bracket with lock inserted

One comment on “DIY bike lock bracket”

  1. Terri

    That’s quite cool!

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