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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 04-05-07, 11:35 AM   #1
PIZZ
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Thief-Proof a Bike in NYC!?!

I started commuting recently into NYC. I have contemplated locking up by bicycle during the week near the train station where I work. Anyone have advice on how i can lock it overnight in the big bad city? I want to take every precaution possible. I'm planning on riding a fairly good bike...
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Old 04-05-07, 11:37 AM   #2
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I'm planning on riding a fairly good bike...
You'd better have alternate transportation lined up for the trip home.
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Old 04-05-07, 11:44 AM   #3
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Old 04-05-07, 11:46 AM   #4
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Remove the wheels, seat post and seat, the handlebars, derailleurs, fork, brakes, and cranks. Bring them back and forth, probably no one will steal the frame if you use three or four U-Bolts on it.

Or get a folding bike and bring it with you.
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Old 04-05-07, 11:50 AM   #5
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No. no, no.... like this....


Oh, btw, where do you park your bike?
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Old 04-05-07, 12:01 PM   #6
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It's not the theafs you have to worry about, it's the thieves...

Consider using a beater bike w/out quick releases and a good lock or two instead of your nice bike. Even if you deter a thief or two you've still got to contend with random vandals or cars and trucks with a mind to taco your wheels for no good reason.
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Old 04-05-07, 12:15 PM   #7
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I talked to a guy at my old bldg. that rode a beater he found in the garbage. He locks his bike up at the PA when he goes home and leaves it there overnight and the weekends. He uses it to ride from the PA to work. Never had a problem w/ it being stolen and if it was, he didn't care since it was free.
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Old 04-05-07, 01:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PIZZ
I started commuting recently into NYC. I have contemplated locking up by bicycle during the week near the train station where I work. Anyone have advice on how i can lock it overnight in the big bad city? I want to take every precaution possible. I'm planning on riding a fairly good bike...
Even a cheap bike can get stripped in NYC, and an expensive one doubly so.

Look for a beater on craigslist. To theftproof your new beater:
Connect the seat to the seatstays with a loop of old chain.
Once you've got the fit dialed in, a put a dab of epoxy and a ball bearing into the head of every hex bolt.
Either use a chain lock long enough to lock up both wheels and the frame to some solid object, or two u-locks, one for the rear wheel/frame to some object, and another for the front wheel.
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Old 04-05-07, 01:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PIZZ
I'm planning on riding a fairly good bike...
Bad idea. As others here have said, the best prevention is locking up something so crappy that no one will want to bother stealing it.

Also a tip I think I saw on the Kryptonite website - use two kinds of locks, a D-shaped bar lock and a cable lock. A thief with the right equipment can break any lock, but these two kinds of locks require different tools and methods to break them, so fewer thieves will be fully equipped or will take the time.

Of course make sure frame, both wheels and seat are secured.
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Old 04-05-07, 03:35 PM   #10
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In NYC it's not a matter of if, but when, really.

Get a folder. Bromptons fold to a tiny, train-friendly size though the ride quality and components can't touch Dahon, Swift, BikeFriday, etc.
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Old 04-05-07, 07:05 PM   #11
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If you're working overnight(?) (or anytime), try to bring it in the building with you. If they won't let you use the regular elevator, maybe you can use the freight elevator or the stairs.

There may be indoor bike parking close enough to your work:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/bikeped/bikepark.html

I know there are more sites than that, such as 4 Times Sq.




If you have to lock outside, yeah, get a beater bike or make your bike look like ****: rattle can it, scratch the names of the components, wrap the frame in tape.

Search the forums. This has been covered 1,000 times before.
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Old 04-05-07, 07:23 PM   #12
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A Brompton is a pricey, but near-perfect solultion for multimodal commutes or for when there is no secure parking outside of the office. It rides pretty well and folds fast and compact. Or get a beater. Leaving a good bike locked outside is a bad idea. Locked outside in NYC - doubly so. Locked outside in NYC at a train station - just begging to have it stolen and/or stripped.

Depending on where you work, you could get away at storing the bike right by your side at your workplace. Lots of folks on here do. But then lots of places this won't fly.
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Old 04-05-07, 07:53 PM   #13
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Ya I think a beater is the way to go here. I may just get a beater and spray the whole thing down with an anti-rust spray paint. maybe spend a couple extra bucks on a pair of decent wheels..

has anyone experienced major wear from leaving your bike outdoors through all weather conditions? I';m thinking the Rust inhibitor paint might save the bike from falling apart outside...
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Old 04-05-07, 07:56 PM   #14
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Smear the entire bike with vomit and/or feces.

I think that's pretty much the only definite solution.
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Old 04-05-07, 07:58 PM   #15
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actually I thought about that...
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Old 04-05-07, 08:14 PM   #16
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A Ross Eurotour with a U-lock and a cable or chain for the wheels will likely be left alone. If you are locking it up in manhattan, you're obviously taking your chances. In Brooklyn, locking up to wrought iron works.

Covering the bike in electrical tape will hide the frame from discerning eyes, but if they spot the 105 cranks and shifters... the gig is up.

Beater is the way to go. The lock should cost 3x the bike. I lockmy bike up with a Master Combo lock and 1/4" cable while I run in a store for a coffee or bag of cat food. Beyond that, you take your chances.

Steel bikes and parts (bearings) weather poorly, obviously. Any bike will not appreciate year round outdoor storage. All the sensitive parts are exposed to rain and salt, afterall.
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Old 04-05-07, 08:15 PM   #17
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PIZZ... On the MNRR lines there are bike locker boxs at some of the stations. The box is fully enclosed with a lock also on the outer door. I don't know what the cost is for the box however. It really depends on which station you are coming ing from.
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Old 04-09-07, 01:13 AM   #18
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If you have to lock it over night, at least try and lock it in different places. Leaving the same bike in the same place night after night or on some other regular schedule makes it too easy for the thieves to case the bike and/or come up with a strategy/tools to take/strip it.
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Old 04-09-07, 01:51 AM   #19
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Get a folder!
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Old 04-09-07, 04:20 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by loserflame
Remove the brakes. At least that way, when it DOES get stolen, the theif will go careening into a car or something. Karma is a biotch.
Here's something I wonder about. Some people cite one of the reasons they ride a fixed gear bike is that it's less attractive to thieves. Especially a fixie with no handbrakes, since if they've never ridden FG before, they'll have a hard time riding away on the bike.

But, aren't fixies in? Aren't they potentially just as likely to be stolen, as more people become familiar with how to ride them?
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Old 04-09-07, 05:00 PM   #21
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Here's something I wonder about. Some people cite one of the reasons they ride a fixed gear bike is that it's less attractive to thieves. Especially a fixie with no handbrakes, since if they've never ridden FG before, they'll have a hard time riding away on the bike.

But, aren't fixies in? Aren't they potentially just as likely to be stolen, as more people become familiar with how to ride them?
And like you said, they're "in." Making them popular. Would that make a thief more likely to steal them?
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Old 04-09-07, 05:08 PM   #22
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powercranks?
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Old 04-10-07, 01:49 PM   #23
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Get a good cable + U lock. Or one of those massive locks if weight is not a problem.

Make sure the bike is locked and what you lock it to cannot be dismantled.

Take the seatpost and perhaps skewers with you.

Register with the Police.

Hide or engrave your name on the bike.
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