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  1. #1
    '05 NUEser EJ123's Avatar
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    How do I make my bike 'college proof'?

    I'm going to college this fall and I'll be taking my loki, since the campus is big. Anyways, what all do I need so my bike is incapable (to an extent of course) of being stolen or having parts stolen?

    As of now, the seat clamp is a bolt style and not quick release. However the wheels are quick release. Is there anything beyond a bolt I can use? Also what lock(s) do I need? The campus (virginia tech) has a ton of little bicycle parking slots..you know what I mean...and I'll have to leave my bike there overnight with the other bikes. I just worry because I don't think a lot of bikes will look at well attractive to steal as mine would, considering the disc brakes and 120mm fork, deore xt rear d. Yikes.

    Any ideas are appreciated!
    Gras.

  2. #2
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    Price Point sells replacement bolts (locking skewers, or something like that?) for wheel QR's.

    Get a pair of good U-locks, and a chain or fat cable, so you can lock each wheel and use the chain/cable to secure the bike to an anchor point.

    A bit of camo, here and there -- duct tape on the XT logo, ride in the rain and don't wash it, and check this out....

    Get some thin clear plastic, cut it to fit around the frame tubes, use a little scotch tape to hold it in place so you can put duct tape over the plastic. Protects and camo's the frame all at once....

  3. #3
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I was up at a local college campus recently. My observation: Every bike on campus is a $50 bike. That's the simple way. If you have good bike, keep it in your dorm room or whereever and use it for long rides. And use your $50 walmart bike to ride around campus, to sit in the rain, etc.

    (Just noticed- you're in this area- that was North Texas in Denton that I was at- anyway, go look around at the college of your choice and see what other people do.)
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  4. #4
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Get a beater.

  5. #5
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    Beater.

  6. #6
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    3rd the beater. I had an old beat up 3spd I rode for 4 years in college that I never locked and it never got stolen. It did live indoors at night however.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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  7. #7
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    "since the campus is big"

    Unless your campus is 10-20 miles in size, get a beater and lose the worry.

  8. #8
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    I'd start by determining the actual probability of bike theft on campus. You might be surprised at how little theft may be occuring (http://www.police.vt.edu/bike%20safe...e%20Saftey.htm)

    Otherwise just execute a reasonable lockup plan.

  9. #9
    Senior Member alhedges's Avatar
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    1. Beater is good.

    2. If not 1, electrician's tape for concealment is good.

    3. When I was in school, some organized bike thieves would come to campus with trucks during spring break or christmas break and steal a lot of bikes then. So even if you normally leave your bike locked outside, make sure to keep it in your room during holidays.

    4. Like dobber said, try to see how much actual bike theft there is on your campus/in the town. While $150 in locks is never the wrong answer, exactly, it's often overkill for those numerous locations where pretty much only unlocked bikes are ever stolen.

    5. But sometimes people will steal saddles or wheels with QRs more as an act of vandalism than because there is any real value to a used seat. (Remind me again...why do saddles even have QRs?).

  10. #10
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Always park next to a better-looking bike with a flimsier-looking lock. As a UCLA student, I always rode beaters to and around campus, and secured them with heavy chains. My favorite stealth beater was a full Reynolds 531 1960 Capo with an ugly blotchy paint job.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  11. #11
    Just a girl on a bike... SpaceNerd's Avatar
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    At ASU we say "Cheap bike, Expensive Lock" and it's very true. I have to agree with everybody else who said get a beater. I bought a cheap 60 dollar walmart bike (i'm not proud of it haha) that I ride to/from class. It looks like crap and is completly devoid of quick releases right off the rack so nobody even looks twice at it. That would be your best bet. I keep my good bike in my bedroom but I live in bedroom per person aparment style housing so that might be more doable for me than for you. If you really must put your good bike on a rack buy a good quality U-lock AND a chain style lock. That way you can run the chain through the tires as well as the U-lock to the rack. Also, expect for your paint to get scrached up. People have no respect for bikes on the rack and will often lock their bikes in the same slot (on one bike per slot racks no less) and in some more interesting cases right to your bike. That's what happens here but we have more students than we have space for which makes the racks pretty crowded so it may be quite different at your school.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mezza's Avatar
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    Paint it pink and write the words 'Gay bike' on it.

    There, steal-proof.
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  13. #13
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mezza View Post
    Paint it pink and write the words 'Gay bike' on it.
    Depends on the folks in the general vicinity.

    That said, may I add my own support for a beater. I would never venture to park any single one of the MTB's in your signature or profile overnight on any bike rack, let alone for 5 minutes.

    Something similar to the following (singlespeeded K-Mart Huffy Tectra Lite w/lots of nicks and scrapes) should suffice:



    Add some grease stains over any white portions of the frame to make it look worse.

    Fit a medium-sized U-lock through the crankset and thread it around the nearest convenient frame tube or tubes that you can get it over. Bonus points for getting it through the crankset, seattube, and rear wheel. Put a second lock up on the front wheel, affix it to the object of choice with a heavy loop of chain-link and a stainless lock. As John E. said, try to park this monstrosity next to something nicer or far less protected then your machine.

    P.S.: Stick ball bearings in allen key recesses with glue. Prevents anyone from trying to loosen your bars for a "prank."

    -Kurt

  14. #14
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    Why would you leave it overnight? There's no reason to do that...

  15. #15
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    One thing as well to factor in. Find proof of sale of your bike, or something that can prove the bike is yours beyond a doubt. If a bike is stolen and recovered, the local PD will demand proof before they release the bike back to you. Same thing if you encounter a college campus (like UT's here in Austin) which will impound all bikes unless they are registered. Make sure said proof is more than just a handwritten paper. Bonus points if its notarized or on legal stationary.

    Have all your bikes registered with some bike theft database, like the National Bike Registry. This may not help much, but it least gives evidence the bike was in your possession.

    I also recommend the beater bike. A low-end Kona, Gary Fisher, Trek, or other non X-Mart bike is well made and will serve you well. Don't lock up something on campus that will break your heart if its not there, or mostly there the next day. Even with the best of protection, there will be thieves willing to come by with an Allen head wrench and yank off a derailleur if the bike is good enough, and people are that desperate.

    Buy either Pitlocks, Pinhead locking skewers, or at least the Allen head skewers that Nashbar sells for $10 or so. These will at least protect your wheels from being ripped off. I recommend the upper end Pitlock set that locks both wheels, the stem bolt, the brakes (if they are cantis), and of course the seatpost. Make sure to grease them well.

    Now the big thing that separates your bike from becoming a crackhead's fix: The bike lock. Cable locks may look beefy with thick cable gauges... but don't be fooled. They are easily cut by most bolt cutters. Chains cut from a hardware store may look good too... but remember, if it was cut by a hardware store machine, it will be cut again by a thief's tools just as quickly.

    Get a good quality U-lock (look for Sold Secure Gold or Silver), either Kryptonite, Abus, or Onguard (Kryptonite and upper-end Abus locks are top notch quality, but Onguard stuff has improved a lot.) If you have the ability to leave a lock on the rack, consider purchasing a security chain lock to leave there, so you can double-lock your bike, but only need to carry one lock.

    Locking technique. Sheldon Brown's is a good technique, especially if you have locking wheel skewers. mechBgon's use of two locks is also good. Use whatever technique works for you.

  16. #16
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Beater! I used a rusty looking old bike with a rusty basket on it for some of my college commute. Hardly had to lock it. Inside it was in good mechanical shape, but the exterior just looked like heck. Parked next to other bikes it was the least attractive bike out there.

  17. #17
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Put one of your business cards or a piece of paper with your contact data down the seat tube. This may help if you ever need to prove ownership at a police auction.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
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  18. #18
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alhedges View Post
    But sometimes people will steal saddles or wheels with QRs more as an act of vandalism than because there is any real value to a used seat. (Remind me again...why do saddles even have QRs?).
    I wear different shoes with my commuter depending on the task and distance... different shoes have different thickness soles... requiring adjustment.

    My MTB is ridden on and off road... off road I tend to lower the seat for better weight shifting, on road I want it fast, thus higher.

    Not everyone does this, but there are two reasons for you. My road bike has a fixed bolt... I never change it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobber View Post
    I'd start by determining the actual probability of bike theft on campus. You might be surprised at how little theft may be occuring (http://www.police.vt.edu/bike%20safe...e%20Saftey.htm)
    There is nothing on that page that indicates the frequency of of bicycle theft (at VT or anywhere else). Anyway, campus security departments are not well-known for reporting incidents publicly.

    ==============

    Quote Originally Posted by mlts22 View Post
    One thing as well to factor in. Find proof of sale of your bike, or something that can prove the bike is yours beyond a doubt. If a bike is stolen and recovered, the local PD will demand proof before they release the bike back to you.
    Quote Originally Posted by John E View Post
    Put one of your business cards or a piece of paper with your contact data down the seat tube. This may help if you ever need to prove ownership at a police auction.
    While these are good recommendations, it's unlikely that these will really do much to recover your bicycle.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 05-19-08 at 01:13 PM.

  20. #20
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    Go to the thrift store, get a rusty but solid bike. This works two fold. First off you won't be crying in a few years when living outside has destroyed your bike, and if it is stolen you won't cry then either. Plus like others have said it will be easy to make it the least attractive bike on the rack. If you can; take it inside with you. Oh and by a good lock. I would consider a U lock and a cable. I prefer the U lock but it is not always doable. If possible use them together. Finally make sure you get as much of the bike as possible in the lock/locks.

  21. #21
    '05 NUEser EJ123's Avatar
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    I'll just get one U lock for the frame. Replace the QR skewers and run two cables on each wheel, heh. So 3 locks.

  22. #22
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    If you buy or build a beater, make it an old-looking road bike. Drop bars and downtube shifters seem to say "steal me" less than flat bars or brifters. Replace any hardware possible with torx screws. These use a star-shaped key instead of an allen, screwdriver, or external wrench, and nothing else works on them. These can be used for your bottle cage, rack, lights, even front derailleur. The advice about electricians tape, etc., are also good. I believe there might be a Torx-fitting skewer set somewhere, too.

  23. #23
    Peace, Love, Bikes
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    +1000 on cheap bike, expensive lock

    Find the kid that brought the $500 + Trek to campus with a $20 walmart lock. Always park next to him.
    Andrew

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