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  1. #1
    vol
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    How common/uncommon that thieves steal the gadgets on your bike (not the bike)?

    I'm not talking about thieves stealing your bike, or the seat, derailleur or bike parts. I'm talking about the "accessories" or gadgets you put on your bike, such as an expensive headlight, bells/horns, mirrors, baskets, etc... Do you have them and if so do you worry if you park your bike for some extended period of time?

  2. #2
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    If I'm gonna leave my baby parked outside while downtown, I take my lights with me.

    I once got a backscratcher stolen off my bike, but still don't take those in with me. I had a seat and seatpost yanked once while in college. All but one of my bikes have non-QR seatpost clamp now.

    Around my neighborhood I typically leave all my lights on the bike. Still taking a chance, but things are generally mellow 'round here.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  3. #3
    Senior Member bhop's Avatar
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    It's not common for me because I take everything off when I lock it, and lock my saddle too.

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    Nothing recently. But many years ago in college we had a number of such thefts. One time the bottle generator was stolen from my Varsity and another time someone cut all the cables and stole the handlebars/stem/brake levers. And my wife's bike had all 4 wingnuts stolen from the wheels.

  5. #5
    Noobie of the year :) MijnWraak's Avatar
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    Been leaving my front and rear light on my bike parked out in the open on the bike rack at Wal-Mart everyday for the past 2 months now. It's at the corner of the building, and yet nobody has touched anything on it. Must live in a good town I guess (well, it's far from the bad parts )

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    I've actually learned to adjust to this as I was originally more trustworthy and would leave my lights and helmet out. Well, two helmets and who knows how many lights later I've started carrying these things with me. I'm not sure how common it is everywhere as I've mainly commuted in San Diego, but it seems to be prevalent here as I rarely see anyone leave lights and things like that out in the open.

  7. #7
    Senior Member katcorot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhop View Post
    It's not common for me because I take everything off when I lock it, and lock my saddle too.
    +1
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  8. #8
    Senior Member KD5NRH's Avatar
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    One advantage of the car culture is that most of the places I leave the bike are a parking lot depth away from the road and any passersby not going into the same store. My everyday commute (all lighted streets) lights are all Bell except for the BikeBrightz which uses zipties to mount, so not much to lose if the thief doesn't have a way to cut the zipties or unbolt the allen-head headlight mount. If I'm just going into a store, I generally just wear the helmet and gloves in with me, pocket the computer and garage door opener, (and the tac-light if I've got it mounted) and try to leave the bike in full, easy view of the door.

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    Just about the only thing I leave behind is my water bottle. My seat post is quick release too, but I haven't had a problem yet. I'm sure one day I'll come down from my office and it'll be gone. No great loss. Maybe I'll do the chain wrapped in inner tube thing that a lot of people do to keep it anchored.

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    It kinda depends on when/where I am leaving the bike even temporarily. If there's a front window to the store in a friendly area and I can see the bike, I generally leave stuff on & haven't lost anything. On the university campus where I was teaching, I took it all off, including the saddle, and still lost a front wheel when some a** cut the cable (I had a U-lock on the frame/rear wheel).

    It also depends on what bike I'm riding. The trashy Wally Worlder/grocery store run, little on it of value - lock, leave and shop without a worry or care. The 10 mile run into downtown to the credit union located in a dicey urban setting on my preferred ride, I take it all (including the saddle) inside after triple-locking the world and setting a guard dog beside it. The convenience store quick stop on the daily ride - 99% of the time, I grab the cycle computer and the handlebar bag & run inside while keeping an eye on it through the window.

  11. #11
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    I've never worried about it, the stuff on my bike isn't worth that much and I live in a pretty safe area. I have a $10 speedometer from Wal-Mart. My lights are nothing special. My AirZound is cheap. I have a trunk bag and panniers filled with stuff. If I had to take that stuff off everytime, I'd have less stuff on my bike. Even though I know its wrong, I only have a cable lock for my bike. I keep meaning to get a u-lock.. the problem is most of the places I park I have to tether my bike to a light pole with a big cement based, which is why i carry a 9' (I think, maybe it's only 6').
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacster View Post
    Just about the only thing I leave behind is my water bottle.
    I stopped doing that when I came back to the bike and found that a passing bird had scored a direct hit on the top of the water bottle.
    Riding the Ohio MS Central Ohio Challenge tour, July 12th.

  13. #13
    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    A couple of months ago some low-life stole the Campy QR skewers off my daughter's bike. It happened in Los Angeles (why am I not surprised?)

    I did a quick check in eBay and realized the reason why they stole the QR: those things go for a lot of money. Who would have guessed.

    In more that 30 years of riding I've never had anything stolen from my bike.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Sundance89's Avatar
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    I always take everything with me including my Kleen Kanteens. I think of it as common sense to do so. With my utility bike I have 3 permanently mounted Wald baskets. Aside from being very functional, they're theft proof. I keep a backpack in one basket. It doubles for extra carrying capacity if needed and a way to quickly dump my bike accessories into and carry around.

    On my commuter bike I use a Timbuk 2 pannier/messenger bag that quickly removes as well. So the routine to get off my bike, lock it up and go is a fast and well rehearsed one.

  15. #15
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    I'm probably too trusting...I typically leave some things on the bike as long as I'm not leaving it for long. The only thing I've lost was a frame pump...which I think was more a mischief thing than someone wanting the pump that badly.

  16. #16
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    I've yet to have anything stolen off my bike. I always take my good lights (2 Blackburn Fleas, and a PB Superflash) with me, so they haven't had a chance to get stolen. I do leave my 2 Knog lights on my bike all the time, because they were cheap and I'm too lazy to take them off too.... so far no ones touched them. When I got a wedge saddle bag for my flat kit I was a bit apprehensive to leave it on the bike, but taking it off seemed sorta silly too so I've been leaving it. No one's touched that either, though I won't be surprised if one day it's missing, or at least tossed on the ground when the thief realizes there's nothing in there worth anything. Generally I take my helmet with me, not because I'm afraid of it being stolen, I'm afraid of someone putting something in/on it as a prank.

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    I was going in to buy some shampoo it took maybe 2 minutes to find it and buy it, by the time I was outside someone had the nerve to steal my $10 wedge pack.

  18. #18
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    I modify the accessories (like lights) to require substantial tools in order to remove them.

    I wrapped the quick release of my bar-mounted NiteRider headlamp with several heavy duty tie-wraps that would require a bit of work with a knife or cutters. My rear lamp is bolted on to the rack and difficult to remove, and its wire is threaded and tie wrapped through the rack. My battery is buried in a pocket in my bag and wrapped in cloth.

    I mostly park in suburbs and rarely repeatedly in the same place when I go downtown. I would take my lights with me if I commuted in NYC.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
    A couple of months ago some low-life stole the Campy QR skewers off my daughter's bike. It happened in Los Angeles (why am I not surprised?)

    I did a quick check in eBay and realized the reason why they stole the QR: those things go for a lot of money. Who would have guessed.

    In more that 30 years of riding I've never had anything stolen from my bike.
    30 years ago I had someone steal the Campy dustcaps off both pedals. They were expensive to replace then but now they are even harder to find.
    Last edited by MKahrl; 08-26-10 at 10:36 AM. Reason: sp.

  20. #20
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I don't even lock my bike, and nobody's ever even touched it as far as I know.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  21. #21
    Senior Member travelmama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    If I'm gonna leave my baby parked outside while downtown, I take my lights with me.

    I once got a backscratcher stolen off my bike, but still don't take those in with me. I had a seat and seatpost yanked once while in college. All but one of my bikes have non-QR seatpost clamp now.

    Around my neighborhood I typically leave all my lights on the bike. Still taking a chance, but things are generally mellow 'round here.
    Now that is petty. I don't always take my accessories in with me because I am in and out too fast to be bothered. No one has stolen anything off my bike thus far and frankly, I don't know if most people would know where to start.
    Two Wheels One Love

  22. #22
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    I used to leave a mini pump attached to my bike. At the time I parked outside at home, and inside at work. The pump went missing one night.

    Since then, the pump migrated into the panniers, which I normally take off the bike when I go inside. If I park outdoors, I remove everything that's quick release from the bike, occasionally leaving a water bottle, or a pannier with rain gear if I'm just popping into a store. In my office parking lot, I often leave the lights attached. On tours, I frequently leave all my gear and accessories unattended (bike secured by cable only), but that's usually low crime rural areas. That one pump remains the only thing I've ever had stolen.

    So, it depends on your neighbourhood. But generally, I'd say that in a city, if you park outdoors with accessories attached frequently, you will eventually have something stolen. It might be small and insignificant, but it'll catch you some day.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    Nothing recently. But many years ago in college we had a number of such thefts. One time the bottle generator was stolen from my Varsity and another time someone cut all the cables and stole the handlebars/stem/brake levers. And my wife's bike had all 4 wingnuts stolen from the wheels.


    Thank you for redoubling my commitment never to lock my new road bike up. It doesn't need a lock, because I don't leave it unattended in public. I got carbon brake levers, after freezing my hands on days when my gloves were already soaked, and even I'm not cynical enough to have thought of this.

    As for my commuter bike, I lock it up at work, but there's a bike downstairs with carbon handle bars, locked to the same rack. Here, I leave the computer, lights, and saddle bag. There's a restaurant I enjoy in a mixed part of town, where I'd at least expect some crime, so I take the lights and such in with me. It depends a lot on the neighborhood I'm going to lock the bike up in.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  24. #24
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    I once had someone steal my saddle bag while I was at the library (when I used to commute to White Plains). Right now where I live things are pretty good (although it depends on the part of town).

    I keep my saddle bag, flashlight holders, PB rack blinkie, and frame pump attached to my bike. However, now that college is back in session, I think I'll start taking things off.
    lil brown bat wrote:
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  25. #25
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Nobody has messed with my bike yet. My daughter rode her bike to school quite a bit during her senior year at high school. Her bike was usually the only one in the rack. Someone stole her cheap headlight. I bought another one for her, and it wasn't a problem again.
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