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Old 03-09-11, 12:15 AM   #1
terribad16
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What Should I do about the New Trek?

Hey everyone, i just recently bought a Trek 3 series. It's a great bike on the trails, and has been my commuter for about a week now. I want to start riding it to school, but im afraid of it getting stolen. I already know about getting rid of quick releases, and locking up both wheels and the frame, but after looking around at some of the other bikes on campus ive noticed it is one of the nicer looking ones. Defiantly not the nicest one, but it's up there. I'm just afraid of it becoming a target. Should I just take off the brand names, or spray paint the whole thing to make it look older? Any suggestions to keep my bike mine are welcome.

Thanks...
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Old 03-09-11, 12:27 AM   #2
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DON'T RUIN THE BIKE!!! I lock my bike with one wire lock and it has never gotten touched by anyone(Besides my friend who deflated my tires as a joke).
And i am not bragging, but I have one of the most expensive bikes at school: a Cannondale CAAD9 and no one even looks at it (One kid has a full Trek carbon bike with Dura Ace grupo and he doesn't even lock his bike!)

Just use one U lock and one normal wire lock and it should never get stolen.

Do you mind letting us know where you live?(city)
It lets us know what kind of area you are dealing with.

Last edited by fishymamba; 03-09-11 at 12:30 AM.
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Old 03-09-11, 03:00 AM   #3
terribad16
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Alright, well the u-lock and wire lock have been what I've been using. And I REALLY didn't wanna ruin it since I think it looks so great, but Ive just read about so many doing it so I wanted to see if it was a good idea. And I live in San Antonio, Texas... I've never see anyone taking a bike, and I've never heard of it happening, but I'm sure that doesn't mean no ones bike has ever been stolen. But I have no idea if it's a common thing around here or not.
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Old 03-09-11, 03:25 AM   #4
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Buy a cheaper bike. Seriously. If someone wants your bike, there's NOTHING you can do to stop them.
Angle grinders cut through the beefiest chains and U locks in under a minute, bolt cutters work on most locks.
Wire locks can be cut in a split second with tin snips.

The only way to improve your odds is to have the best locked bike locked near more expensive and less secured bikes.

Another route is to cosmetically damage everything so they're worth nothing to a thief.
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Old 03-09-11, 05:28 AM   #5
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You might want to see if there are any more secure parking options available on campus. I pay $5 a month for indoor parking in a bike cage that requires a key card to open. The bike cage is under the gym building fairly close to the changing rooms.
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Old 03-09-11, 06:57 AM   #6
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Lock it in high-traffic areas, especially ones frequented by campus security. Don't leave it locked outside overnight if you can at all avoid it. Lock it near other (probably less secure) bikes. Asking campus security how much of a problem bike theft is might get you a little peace of mind if it's really not a problem; of course, it might have the opposite effect.

Think about those specific nicer bikes, how well they're locked, and how long you've been seeing them around. If they've been around for a while with mediocre locking, your bike probably isn't at much risk.
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Old 03-09-11, 07:01 AM   #7
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Your bike will get stolen some time in your life. It is a material object, people covet them and want to steal them. This is a simple fact of life. If you are not willing to ride your bike for fear of it being stolen, you might as well sell it and take public transit. Don't get me wrong, there are many many things you can do to lower the odds of bike theft, but the fact of the matter is that one day you will slip up and someone will take advantage. The first bike I ever had stolen was a 22 year old beater bike, it was a moment of stupidity. I thought I am only going to be inside for 5 minutes, I'll just loop the cable lock around the top tube; besides who wants to steal this old clunker. I was wrong, someone cut my lock and stole my bike.

My surly cross check was stolen from a bike rack on campus last year, I was just running into my office and back out so I relaxed on my normal absurd locking technique. That was all it took, I let my guard down and someone stole my bike.

The point of all this rambling is that unless you are both lucky and very careful, your bike will be stolen. The question is are you willing to ride a bike that is not your ideal commuter simply to reduce the impact of that theft, or is your trek good enough to make your commute better?
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Old 03-09-11, 07:42 AM   #8
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I vote for not ruining/painting/concealing the bike just to keep it from being stolen.

If you value the aesthetics of the bike then just make sure you lock up in a highly visible area with the methods others have described. A U-Lock and a cable lock should be sufficient deterrent without weighing you down with too much lock.

Just DON'T EVER leave it just hang out. If it sits in one spot too long, the less opportunity the theif has to consider your bike a target the better. No "just real quick" moments and you should be fine.
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Old 03-09-11, 07:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by terribad16 View Post
I've never see anyone taking a bike, and I've never heard of it happening, but I'm sure that doesn't mean no ones bike has ever been stolen. But I have no idea if it's a common thing around here or not.

you need information as to whether thefts are common as opposed to reading about "so many doing it". If this anxiety is too great then it sounds like you can't afford to lose the bike and should think of a beater using the same locks.
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Old 03-09-11, 10:07 AM   #10
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I follow the Sheldon Brown technique of removing the front wheel and U-Locking it through the rear triangle and through the rear wheel to a rack or immovable post. Also simultaneously using a cable lock if I'm in a suspicious neighborhood. The idea being that a thief would have to use two different types of tools to defeat both different types of locks.

Also, I run an old piece of bicycle chain through the seatstays and throught the rails of the seat (I cover the chain with a section of old innertube so as not to booger up the finish of the bike). That keeps someone from ripping off my Brooks saddle.

Finally, I use a quickly-removable handlebar bag, into which goes the control head of my cyclocomputer, as well as my headlight and rear blinkie. the handlebar bag goes with me.

The thinking behind all of this is, first, to make your bike harder to steal than the one next to it, and second, to eliminate the opportunity to snatch anything that is quickly removable.
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Old 03-09-11, 10:23 AM   #11
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Your bikes isn't that expensive in the grand scheme of things although I am sure it was a big purchase. Thsi isn't a $1000+ bike or more you are leaving out there. In a few months or even right now bikes lie this will be selling on Craigslist for $250 or so. I think you have 2 basic options.

1. Lock it up well according to what has been suggested so far. Spend a decent chunk of money on a good lock.
2. Buy a beater bike. This could easily cost half of what a new bike would cost (could also be just $50) depending on a number of factors so this might not really help you and it could also still get stolen.

Bottom line is do what you can to ride this bike or any bike more that makes you happy and not worry about your bike.
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Old 03-09-11, 02:34 PM   #12
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Simply put, most thefts are crimes of opportunity. I would replace any quick releases with pitlocks or something similar. I would also get a decent ulock and a cable or chain lock.

Remember, whatever you do is a deterrent and not a guarantee. If a thief wants your bike they will get. What you have to do is make it as difficult as possible for them to do so.

1. Carry a lock and use it
2. Lock your bike to something solid and/or immovable
3. Lock your bike in a well traveled and visible area
4. Lock your bike up properly
5. Try not to be predictable in your routine as to when, where, and how long you lock your bike

Using a beater bike is a deterrent. Camouflaging your bike is a deterrent. Locking your bike is a deterrent. Using a combination of approaches is a deterrent.
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Old 03-09-11, 03:18 PM   #13
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Risk of bike theft is greatly overstated most places, I think. Lock up properly and you should be fine...most bike theft is a crime of opportunity - bikes either not properly locked up, or locked up with cable only.

For peace of mind, you can insure the bike. I pay about $14/month to insure my two newer bikes (for a combined value of $3500). It's fairly expensive, compared to the rest of my homeowner policy, but if my bikes get stolen once every 20 years I come out even. And if they don't get stolen at all, it's not like it was a life-changing amount of money.

edit:
Just checked MSRP on the 3-series. None of the them are exactly high end bikes. They're fine bikes, but not of the quality that are sought out by discriminating professional thieves. They're cheap enough that most homeowner or tenant contents policies probably include coverage...mine covers bikes up to $1000 per bike without paying extra.

Last edited by neil; 03-09-11 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 03-09-11, 03:53 PM   #14
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If you're talking about a college/university campus, I'd get a cheap bike that you can afford to lose, and leave the nice one at home for longer training/pleasure rides. Bike theft is rampant at nearly every college/university in larger cities. Even here in Victoria BC (mostly a very congenial place to live) bikes are even being stolen out of bike lockers. If a thief wants your bike, it will be gone.
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Old 03-09-11, 04:41 PM   #15
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U-locks seem to scare off college bike thieves better than cables.

I use locking wheel skewers (rather than nutted axles) on my commuter so I don't have to bother locking the wheels each time I park. I just lock the frame to the rack using the U-lock.

I had a thief chew half-way through a cable lock at college one night, but he gave up or fled before finishing.

If the cost of replacing your bike won't ruin your life, save what you would pay in insurance premiums in the bank and instead daydream about your NEXT bike.

FWIW my bike is a 1983 Trek 500 road bike. Been commuting on it since the 1980s. Still looks nice enough to steal. Lock it, but don't sweat it.

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Old 03-09-11, 09:25 PM   #16
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Hey, Terribad, I live in San Antonio too. Just so you know, bikes do get stolen here. I have heard of it and have friends whose bikes were stolen.

Biggest thing, use a high quality lock like an OnGuard or Krypotonite and a thick multibraided cable and ALWAYS lock it. Even when its just a minute or two, lock the bike. Here is something to keep in mind. When locking your bike, lock it the way you would if you were forced to leave it outside overnight.

Another thing I do is lock the bike as close to the door or visible through the door as possible. If I have to lock it to a park bench or bolted down trashcan frame, I will.
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Old 03-09-11, 10:00 PM   #17
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Alright, well thanks for all the advice everyone. do most of yall use the holder that attaches to the bike to hold your u-locks? or do you carry them with you in a bag or what?
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Old 03-09-11, 10:23 PM   #18
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You can also krazy glue some ball bearings into the bolts for things like the stem and seat. easily undone with acetone. stops some guy with an allen key from snagging your parts
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Old 03-10-11, 12:22 AM   #19
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Keep in mind motivation.
People are going to steal a bike they can use.
So a bike w/ brake shifters & clipless pedals is going to stand out in the hood and be useless to your average thief.
and as for pawning... to a pawn shop, a bike is a bike.
Actually, a $1000 bike has less value than a Kmart special.

Last edited by Wuz; 03-10-11 at 12:22 AM. Reason: typos :(
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Old 03-10-11, 08:45 AM   #20
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Keep in mind motivation.
People are going to steal a bike they can use.
So a bike w/ brake shifters & clipless pedals is going to stand out in the hood and be useless to your average thief.
and as for pawning... to a pawn shop, a bike is a bike.
Actually, a $1000 bike has less value than a Kmart special.
It's not about pawn shops anymore and it's no longer average thiefs, a lot of stolen bikes end up on ebay these days and ebay doesn't care about serial numbers.
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Old 03-10-11, 08:48 AM   #21
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I had a cheapo mountain bike during college that I rode to class only when I was really running behind. I left it in the bike rack unlocked at the dorms, not really caring if it ever got stolen. Twice... I was walking to class and I heard the signature squeaking of my own bike come up behind me. Both times someone had grabbed it from the rack and rode it right on past me, and both time I was able to jog quickly enough to see where they parked outside the campus buildings. I had a bright green cable lock that was wrapped around the frame which I used to lock it to the rack they dropped it in, went to class and picked the bike up later in the evening. I don't know why, but that was incredibly satisfying.
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Old 03-10-11, 08:49 AM   #22
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Alright, well thanks for all the advice everyone. do most of yall use the holder that attaches to the bike to hold your u-locks? or do you carry them with you in a bag or what?
Mine lives in my trunk bag. It's just a matter of what works and is comfortable for you.
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Old 03-12-11, 09:22 AM   #23
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Alright, well thanks for all the advice everyone. do most of yall use the holder that attaches to the bike to hold your u-locks? or do you carry them with you in a bag or what?
Here are some good ideas for carrying your u-lock: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...o-Carry-U-Lock I use a heavy chain/mini u-lock to supplement my main u-lock. I've heard a rule of thumb that you should spend 10% of the bike's original purchase price on locks. Not bad advice, IMHO. As others have said, no lock is 100% impervious to a determined, well-equipped thief, but I like to make my bike look like it would take a lot of time and be very conspicuous to any theft attempt. My hope is that the thief will move onto an easier target.

Instead of ruining the finish on your new bike, you could slap on some cool bike-specific stickers that appeal to you, like these: http://peacesupplies.org/Bike-Sticke...-products.html (thanks, AdamDZ)
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Old 03-12-11, 09:42 AM   #24
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I leave my ulock attached to the bikerack on campus. When I first started commuting to school I chained my bike to the rack outside the campus police station. Now I try to use the busiest rack on campus. I figure I would be harder for some one to whip out a hacksaw and go unnoticed
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