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  1. #1
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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...

  2. #2
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PIZZ
    I'm planning on riding a fairly good bike...
    You'd better have alternate transportation lined up for the trip home.

  3. #3
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    Destroyer of Wheels Air's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Air
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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.

  5. #5
    Winter commuting mode Tequila Joe's Avatar
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    No. no, no.... like this....


    Oh, btw, where do you park your bike?

  6. #6
    Bubba Ho-Tep's BFF sukram's Avatar
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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.
    - meb

  7. #7
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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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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  8. #8
    spinspinspinspin fatbat's Avatar
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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.
    a radar blip, an empty clip, post-nasal drip, and kung fu grip

  9. #9
    Senior Member sekaijin's Avatar
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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.

  10. #10
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
    I do not want to be associated with the kind of riders that come through my neck of the woods on weekends, dressed in superhero costumes
    Do they wear capes?
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  11. #11
    zippy
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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.

  12. #12
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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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.

  13. #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...

  14. #14
    Senior Member robo's Avatar
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    Smear the entire bike with vomit and/or feces.

    I think that's pretty much the only definite solution.

  15. #15
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    actually I thought about that...

  16. #16
    Steel Frame BrooklynRider's Avatar
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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.

  17. #17
    Senior Member dmac49's Avatar
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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.

  18. #18
    Ride. drroebuck's Avatar
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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.
    "IS IT NOT ABSURD, is it not a disgrace to the inventive age we live in,
    to see a man obliged to employ, in order to get through the street,
    a great vehicle as large almost as a house?
    So let us have the velocipedes."
    --New York Times, 1867 ________________________ The Velocipedia.

  19. #19
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Get a folder!

  20. #20
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    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.

  21. #21
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    Quote 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?

  22. #22
    M_S
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECDkeys
    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?

  23. #23
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    powercranks?

  24. #24
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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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    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

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