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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 08-23-10, 08:05 PM   #1
diff
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Locking your bike.

Locked up my bike today downtown, came back about 30 minutes later and I see the fate of the bike next to mine. Mine is the silver/black specialized. Would of been the 3rd bike from the left, now its the 2nd.

I have a kryptonite mini, and that is exactly how I always lock my bike. (You probably can't see from the angle, but just through the back tire, and then a cable to get the front wheel) It's not big enough to get through the frame and the tire, think I should start putting it through the frame? And use the cable to get both tires? You would need an electric saw, or chainsaw to get through a rim, and that same tool can cut the ulock I think. But get paranoid.

Btw, that cable laying on the ground is the same cable I use for my wheel. Maybe should just get another ulock and lock the front wheel to the frame.

Thanks.
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Last edited by diff; 08-23-10 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 08-23-10, 08:29 PM   #2
aley
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Around the rear wheel is just about useless, unless it's around the rear rim (not just the spokes, naturally) inside the rear triangle - then it's just about as secure as around both the wheel and the frame. The only downside to just getting the rear wheel inside the triangle is that a thief might not realize that it's actually secure, and yank on it hard enough to bend your rim. But I suppose that getting your bike damaged is a danger any time you lock it in public.
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Old 08-23-10, 08:32 PM   #3
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Did the thief leave the cable lock >

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Old 08-23-10, 09:09 PM   #4
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It's in the triangle. Not just the rim They would have to cut through my rim. Just though the rim would be silly.

Yeah, they left it. This was done in broad daylight. That was right around noon and that bike was there when I locked mine up. Downtown chicago right in front of union station.
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Old 08-23-10, 09:16 PM   #5
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If you want maximum security, then what you should get is a hardened steel chain + a Ulock. Of course, the chain will probably weigh 7lbs, and the Ulock 3lbs, so you are looking at 10 extra pounds that you have to carry.

There is a definite trade off between security and weight. It sounds as though you are in a neighborhood where bike theft is pretty rampant (judging by the number of bikes on display), so in this case I would recommend tightening up your security.

Another thing you can do is take the front wheel and seat off if you are going in to work and will be away from your bike for a few hours. Very few thieves will try to steal a bike without a seat and front wheel, because he can't easily 'flip' it on craigslist.
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Old 08-23-10, 10:37 PM   #6
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To the OP: you probably did not pay attention, but I wonder if the victim had locked his bike with the cable alone.
Strange that there appears to be a single wheel locked to the rack with a U-lock, just next to the leftmost bike? That wheel doesn't seem to belong to any bikes there?
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Old 08-23-10, 10:58 PM   #7
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They were sharing a ulock and the bike that was stolen had the cable securing his frame.

If you look closely, you can see the other side if the cable still in the ulock. And if you look just left of the bottom if the tire, you can see the other end of the cable, then follow it up and you can see it still in the ulock.

I will upload the original pic to a webserver, so you can see it better. One sec.

Here is the full pic, taken with a cell phone, so not that clear, but clear enough.

http://67.202.107.232/20100823_001.jpg

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Old 08-24-10, 01:55 AM   #8
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The mistake here was locking just the front wheel with the u-lock, while the frame (and rear wheel) were secured by a wimpy cable.

Unless your front wheel is more expensive than it looks, I think you are fine. A thief might clip your cable to steal the front wheel, but most want nearly-complete bikes. With a good U-lock around the tire and rim and thru the rear triangle, the valuable rear wheel and frame are secure.

But yeah, a second small U-lock would be a more secure way to lock the front wheel to the frame. It might even be faster, if messing with that cable takes you as much time as it does for me. That may make up for the precious seconds of time you will lose with an extra pound of weight on your bike. ;-)
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Old 08-24-10, 02:13 AM   #9
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To OP, I really cannot think of a better proof that your current locking strategy works as it's supposed to. Your bike was the very next one in the rack, it even had similar cable, and the thief chose to work on the other bike. Odds are the other bike is more expensive than your front wheel.

The only real risk I see is the thief could have grabbed your front wheel too, just to make the bike he stole rideable again. Have you considered locking skewers (Pinhead, Pitlock, what have you) instead of a separate lock for front wheel?

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Old 08-24-10, 06:13 AM   #10
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If you put the U-lock around the rear rim between the chain stays and seat stays, it's as good as putting it around a frame tube... sometimes convenient
when you have a tight fit.
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Old 08-24-10, 06:29 AM   #11
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You know the old joke about the two guys camping, and they hear a huge bear snuffling through their campsite in the middle of the night? One guy leans up and starts to put his shoes on. The second guy whispers, "What are you thinking? You can't out run that bear!" The first guy whispers back, "I don't have to out run the bear, I just have to outrun you."

1) Don't have the nicest bike in the rack!
2) Lock up more securely than the other bikes!
3) Lock up in the middle of the rack between other bikes rather than the end (less room for the thief to work/get leverage).
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Old 08-24-10, 09:04 AM   #12
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It sounds like your locking mechanism is adequate. A motivated person could saw through the rim or break the u-lock, but I don't think that's a huge concern. Having the frame included in the u-lock makes it look more secure, which might deter thieves, but the tradeoff is a bigger U, which might be easier to get break.

I lost my cable a couple months ago, and have left the front wheel completely unlocked ever since. I'm not too bothered about it (worst case scenario is a new wheel, and I have access to buy my parts at wholesale prices), but more importantly, no one seems particularly interested in taking a wheel by itself.
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