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Old 08-03-09, 09:29 AM   #1
Pezzle
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Security in the Big Apple...

I'm working on getting into school up in NYC. If all goes well, I'll be accepted for Fall 2010 as a transfer student to SVA. I definitely want to take my bike up there, so I'm not always spending all my money on MetroCards (wasn't 'tokens' just easier to say?). Plus, exercise wouldn't hurt.

Not that the dorm I'd most likely be in would be too far away, but other buildings and dorms are scattered down to Ludlow and up to 28th (galleries, admin/counseling offices etc) so I figure "Why not my bike?"

I need the best security I can get. Even as B&T, I hang out in the West Village a lot (4th and 6th Ave, Bleecker etc), and I'm unsure as to how bad bike theft can get there. I am considering the NYFU U-Lock from Kryptonite to lock my back wheel and frame to a rack or pole, and I'm having my quick releases changed to hex bolts, except maybe the front wheel. While I may not make a lot, money is no object to me when it comes to safety and security so I am willing to spend for the best I can buy...

So how do you feel about the NYFU U Lock and the Kryptonite chains? Do the chains need different padlocks than the Kryptonite-supplied ones? Also, has anyone here heard of Pinhead bike security systems and how do you feel about those?
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Old 08-03-09, 09:59 AM   #2
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I've been doing research too, as I'm going to school in Atlanta in a week. I haven't started using all of it yet, but my current security gear consists of:

OnGuard Brute 5001 STD U-lock for the frame/wheel
Kryptonite Kryptoflex cable for securing a wheel and seat
Velo Orange anti-theft skewers for my wheels(http://www.velo-orange.com/voansk.html)
My bike already has a hex bolt for my seat instead of a quick release
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Old 08-03-09, 10:12 AM   #3
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I'd never leave a bike I care about in the streets of NYC.
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Old 08-03-09, 10:25 AM   #4
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Good video....but, Did you see the thickness of the chain they kept using ???

The Krypto NYC chain would require much bigger bolt cutters, much longer time sawing away, and longer grinding.

Not that i'd be perfectly calm knowing my bike is chained up with that chain or similar size, but the example of chain they used, I'd only blame myself for having it stolen for not getting a thicker/better quality one.
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Old 08-03-09, 10:29 AM   #5
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Good video....but, Did you see the thickness of the chain they kept using ???

The Krypto NYC chain would require much bigger bolt cutters, much longer time sawing away, and longer grinding.

Not that i'd be perfectly calm knowing my bike is chained up with that chain or similar size, but the example of chain they used, I'd only blame myself for having it stolen for not getting a thicker/better quality one.
Other bits of your bike can get stolen, aside from the entire thing, too. Too many times have I seen a bike with a missing component, abandoned. What I don't get is how I've never seen a bike thief in action. They must be really good at what they do!
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Old 08-03-09, 10:32 AM   #6
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Well I know they don't give a damn, ha ha. I just wish they'd have done that with




instead of




Ha ha, this is going to be me:

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Old 08-03-09, 10:47 AM   #7
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Abus and Krypto chains take under a minute with an angle grinder and decent cut-off wheel. No locks will stop a nice bike from being stolen, but they'll discourage theft for cheaper bikes.
Edit: Here's a 200+ dollar ABUS chain being cut in 30 seconds. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7bBzWjPEAw
Moral? Don't lock up bikes worth more then a few hundred outside.

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Old 08-03-09, 10:53 AM   #8
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No lock will protect your bike in NYC. If it is nice and you don't want to lose it, don't leave it outside. I've not had a bike stolen but I've had both the best Kryptonite u-lock and the thickest chain stolen in the span of a few weeks while leaving them locked to a bike rack. I was using both simultaneously to keep my commuter mine. People will steal anything if it is just left on the street.

I'm getting a folding bike as soon as my funds recover from my long vacation. Sure I could get a beater, but with a folding bike I have the peace of mind of having the bike by my side everywhere and not having to carry 20 pounds of locks. Plus a Brompton in British racing green sounds nice.
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Old 08-03-09, 12:20 PM   #9
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For me, money was a contributing factor though, so I didn't go all out. For skewers, I've read that pitlocks perform much better than pinheads (and all branded variants). I've also heard really good things about the NYFU, but it is massive and doesn't include a mounting bracket
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Old 08-03-09, 12:31 PM   #10
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BTW, I solved the problem by getting a folder.
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Old 08-03-09, 12:46 PM   #11
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Holy crap, you guys make it sound like bike thieves w/ angle grinders are a dime a dozen here. For the most part, bike theft is a crime of opportunity. Using a krypto/abus/onguard chain and U-lock combo is fine for locking up around NYC. Just be careful of what you lock to. For ex., don't lock to the horizontal scaffolding bars since all u need to remove them is a wrench. Also, use an old bike chain wrapped in old inner tube to lock your saddle to the bike. And if you really want to be vigilant, fill in the hex bolts w/ solder or wax.

For locking strategies, check what Sheldon says and replace "cable" w/ "chain": Sheldon says lock that **** up.
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Old 08-03-09, 01:36 PM   #12
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I've been cycling in NYC all of my life. Bicycle theft is real here and it sucks. Most bike thefts are a crime of opportunity. So don't give those bastages the opportunity to steal your bike.

Get a Kryptonite NYFU u-lock and a Kryptonite NY series chain. Yes, I said both! And you'll want to have a seat lock installed or use a cable lock to lock that down.

Having two different types of locks on one bike twarts most attempts at theft. Only the most well-prepared, pro thief with a LOT of time on his hands will even have a shot at taking your bike.

Now that you have the best u-lock and the best chain on the market, locking technique is critical!

1. Pick a busy, highly visible spot with other bikes locked to the same bike rack.

2. DO NOT PARK YOUR BIKE IN THE SAME EXACT SPOT EVERY DAY!! Mix it up.

3. Lock your bike next to more expensive bikes that aren't as well protected.

4. Place the locks OFF THE GROUND and as high up as you can on the bike/rack.

5. Take up as much slack as possible as to not leave lots of space for thieves to use their tools.

6. Run the chain through the rear wheel, the frame and around the bike rack then the u-lock through the front wheel and the frame -- if you can fit the bike rack into the u-lock along with the front wheel and frame, that's even better!

7. Take off any lights, cycle computers or anything else that can be easily stolen.

8. Check on your bike throughout the day, like during a lunch break or between classes. You might even want to move your bike to another spot.

9. NEVER LEAVE YOUR BIKE LONGER THAN IT TAKES TO BREAK THE LOCKS!!

^^^ There is no such thing as a theft-proof lock! Not even a Kryptonite NYFU lock! All locks do is buy you time. If you do as I stated above and get both the Kryptonite NY u-lock and chain you've bought yourself a good deal of time but it hasn't bought you an eternity! Check on your bike frequently.

If you can, bring your bike inside with you and no matter what you do please, please do NOT leave your bike locked up outside overnight. You've just given the thief more than enough time and the cover of darkness to work on breaking your locks. If you lock your bike up outside at night, do not be pissed when it's not there in the morning or parts are stolen off of it by morning.

My last bit of advice is ride a "beater" or "uglify" a nice bike. The less attractive the bike is the less it's worth to the thief. It's harder for them to fence the bike if it's ugly or looks seriously beat up.

Personally, I ride a folding bike that I take with me inside 99.9999% of the time. I also own a full-sized bike that's a vintage (nearly 30 years old) beater. It rides like a dream, though you wouldn't know it from just glancing at it. I use a Kryptonite Evolution Mini u-lock and a Krytonite Kryptoflex 4' cable. (I have a "trick" back. Weight and bulk were of major concern for me so I choose a slightly lighter weight lock.) Both of my bikes are bought inside at night and I never, ever leave either locked longer than it takes to break the locks.

Best of luck to you and your bike.

Last edited by KitN; 08-03-09 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 08-03-09, 01:59 PM   #13
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BTW, I solved the problem by getting a folder.
+1

I don't even need a lock for my folder. I just take it in everywhere I go. No one has denied me entrance to any building or store that I've gone into so far. Just walk in with it under my arm and act normal. I sometimes even leave it folded down near the entrance, away from being tripped over and within eye-shot. Never had a problem.

Folder kick a$$ as theft prevention!
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Old 08-03-09, 04:19 PM   #14
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The two serious locking alternatives are a D used in such a way that there is no room for a bottlejack to go through it - perhaps a good mini-D - or a top end chain (heavy). The Fahgettaboudit Mini is supposed to be a great mini-D, but a reasonable chain and a reasonable D might be better, on the principle that few thieves bother carrying tools for both.

Good article: http://cycle.standard.co.uk/2009/02/...e-thieves.html

Amusing and useful video: http://www.streetfilms.org/archives/...-bike-locking/

Worst of all, people cutting through the frame to grab a bike for the components: this is more a problem with bikes with high end components obviously! You can either keep your bike's gear very generic or ruin its resale value - deface logos with a dremel, dribble epoxy on rims and spray them - badly - with awful colours, write "Not for sale!" in permanent marker, etc. To reduce the resale value of a frame, spray or brush it with crappy paint - ideally in a distinctive pattern - and put lots of stickers on - thieves won't want to spend time removing them.

None of this is guaranteed - the idea is to make the effort-reward ratio such that a thief gets a better return for his time by walking ten minutes and finding a bike whose lock he can break in ten seconds instead of ten minutes, which will sell for $200 on ebay broken for parts, not $50, or which wouldn't need an hour devoted to sticker removal.
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Old 08-03-09, 04:29 PM   #15
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I know Hal. He's done work on my bike at Bicycle Habitat. I run into him all the time on the streets too. Most recently I ran into him, shirtless, coming from the beach just this Saturday.

He's very bike knowledgeable but "different" to say the least.
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Old 08-03-09, 06:43 PM   #16
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Check out the "Hal Grades your Bike Locking" at Streetfilms.org, take a lesson and relax.
http://www.streetfilms.org/archives/...final-warning/

Lock both wheels and chain the seat.
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Old 08-03-09, 07:08 PM   #17
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Check out the "Hal Grades your Bike Locking" at Streetfilms.org, take a lesson and relax.
http://www.streetfilms.org/archives/...final-warning/

Lock both wheels and chain the seat.
Again, I LOL @ Hal's comments: ex. "Lock Faerie". He's funny in a twisted way but he's right about proper locking.
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Old 08-04-09, 03:41 PM   #18
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Well my bike is worth about $400.00, Raleigh Detour 4.0 probably not a lot and the most expensive swapped out part is a Terry Liberator X saddle that I haven't even put on yet. I hadn't even thought to ask the administration if bicycles are allowed to be secured inside the dorm building with security (with the wheels properly U-Locked or Chained to the frame!) at the front desk. I have yet to tour the actual campus facilities - calling to schedule that soon. Just a 22 dollar round trip ticket away from NY Penn Station,

Perhaps they'd allow me to bring my bike inside the buildings. Hell, I wonder if there is reasonably (lol it's nyc) priced public bike parking like they have for cars?

I mean since I have to ride back and forth to jersey occasionally to see my boyfriend etc I was considering getting a motorbike (studying for my license) but then I wouldn't get all this awesome exercise.
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Old 08-04-09, 04:18 PM   #19
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Lots of students ride so there should be some bike racks. Thieves see a bike jumble and they look for the easy pickings (unsecured wheels, saddles, blinkies, etc.) Make yours the hardest to steal and they'll most likely leave your bike alone.
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Old 08-10-09, 08:42 PM   #20
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Alright, I will be taking a tour of the campus in a few weeks. However, I am definitely considering a folding bike as was mentioned in this thread for big apple commuting. I am looking into the company Dahon, and I like their "Jack" model A LOT.



While getting an NYFU-Lock will be cheaper, after all the security upgrades for my current hybrid it might be half of a payment for a nice folder. If it seems unlikely that I could bring my bike inside of the dorm facilities for the evening, or even inside during a 4 hour life drawing session after dark, I don't know if I'd trust any lock even if it's only on 21st street.
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Old 08-10-09, 09:03 PM   #21
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Every once in a while someone will post on NYC bike blogs about their $1000 plus bike getting stolen. I am always amazed they leave them outside at all.

Buy a beater or a folder. Make sure anything left outside looks like crap.

Most common bike I see locked up outside are Huffy MTB used for food delivery in NYC. If you have to lock up outside and have some mechanical ability get a Huffy and park it in front of restaurants.

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Old 08-11-09, 08:47 AM   #22
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If you're eyeing a folding bike, check out B fold and NYCE bikes. They specialize in folders. That Dahon Jack seems pretty big and cumbersome. A smaller folder might be easier to manage.
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Old 08-11-09, 10:54 AM   #23
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Just buy a $50 bike (likely also stolen by a drug addict) from Craigslist. Ride it. Lock it. If stolen, buy it again from the same drug addict in Craigslist. No heartache that way. A nice shiny bike even with a nice shiny lock is not obstacle to a determined thief.
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Old 08-11-09, 11:33 AM   #24
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If you're eyeing a folding bike, check out B fold and NYCE bikes. They specialize in folders. That Dahon Jack seems pretty big and cumbersome. A smaller folder might be easier to manage.
Thats kind of why I liked the Jack, though. It has 26" wheels and looks like it'd handle in a similar fashion to a standard bicycle. I am wary of the smaller wheels of some of the other folding bikes. It's only 28 lbs anyway Problem is i'm considered an Athena, and I'm right at the maximum weight limit right now!
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Old 08-11-09, 11:34 AM   #25
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The problem with the Dahon Jack is that it doesn't fold up very small - it's great for putting in a car trunk, but it's not the kind of thing you can fold up and carry into restaurants and shops.
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