Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    69
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Is a new Surly safe in Chicago?

    I'm looking at investing in a Surly Long Haul Tracker. If I have a tough Ulock and cable, can I safely lock this bike up outside from time to time? (I'll keep it indoors at night) Is it just going to be an absolute target if locked up outside?

  2. #2
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Des Moines
    My Bikes
    1974 Huffy 3 speed
    Posts
    9,277
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A locked bike is never safe anywhere. Part of the reason is the lack interest in apprehending these thieves (while stealing a car will net you a long time behind bars).

    Think about getting some sort of insurance for your bike. Some umbrella policies will cover bicycle theft.

    But overall you shouldn't let theft deter you. It'll happen, you'll accept your loss and move on. Photographer Bill Cunningham has lost over 17 bikes in his long cycling career in NYC. His strategy was to always buy used bikes.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Minnesota
    My Bikes
    N+1=4
    Posts
    1,525
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Get good locks, learn how to use them and then get a good insurance policy.

    If you're worried about it, get a top end U lock and get a top end cable lock. Locking it that way requires two sets of equipment to steal it. Then park your bike near other bikes that are easier to steal.

    J.

  4. #4
    Senior Member WMcCready's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Greater Chicago Area
    My Bikes
    Surly-LHT & KM, Ross 1K, Schwinn-World, Cimmaron, High Sieria, Giant Rincon, Marin Kentfield,Soma Saga
    Posts
    64
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Not Safe, get a reliable second bike to ride, and a back up bike.
    Mcpedlpwr

  5. #5
    bragi bragi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    LHT
    Posts
    2,841
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by illusiumd View Post
    I'm looking at investing in a Surly Long Haul Tracker. If I have a tough Ulock and cable, can I safely lock this bike up outside from time to time? (I'll keep it indoors at night) Is it just going to be an absolute target if locked up outside?
    Prudence is always a good idea; paranoia just takes the fun out of it. As mentioned, no bike is ever safe. It's probably OK to lock it up during the day or evening for an hour or three in a well-traveled, well-lit area. It might get stolen anyway. But that's no reason not to go out and enjoy the bike; why have a nice bike if you're too afraid of bike thieves to use it?

    I have an LHT, it's the only bike I own, and I ride it almost everywhere I go: to work, to buy food, to socialize around town on weekends. I lock it up inside at work (12-14 hours is a long time), but otherwise I use a sturdy, higher-end U lock in highly visible areas. I never lock it outside overnight, I'm extra careful if I have to go to the university, and I'm not ashamed to move the bike if I feel uncomfortable about a given location. But I use it. If my bike ever gets stolen, I'll be furious and heartbroken, but then I'll make an insurance claim, get another decent bike, and keep riding.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Glendale, CA
    My Bikes
    2013 Giant TCR Advanced SL4, 1989 Centurion Ironman Master Dave Scott
    Posts
    2,620
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bragi View Post
    Prudence is always a good idea; paranoia just takes the fun out of it. As mentioned, no bike is ever safe. It's probably OK to lock it up during the day or evening for an hour or three in a well-traveled, well-lit area. It might get stolen anyway. But that's no reason not to go out and enjoy the bike; why have a nice bike if you're too afraid of bike thieves to use it?

    I have an LHT, it's the only bike I own, and I ride it almost everywhere I go: to work, to buy food, to socialize around town on weekends. I lock it up inside at work (12-14 hours is a long time), but otherwise I use a sturdy, higher-end U lock in highly visible areas. I never lock it outside overnight, I'm extra careful if I have to go to the university, and I'm not ashamed to move the bike if I feel uncomfortable about a given location. But I use it. If my bike ever gets stolen, I'll be furious and heartbroken, but then I'll make an insurance claim, get another decent bike, and keep riding.
    I feel the same way about my shiny new CC. I wouldn't leave it overnight, I park inside at work and at my house but I will leave it for up to an hour outside while I am eating or shopping. I use my bike for 99% of my transportation now. I have a second bike that is a $200 single speed with cheap components that is just not as fun to ride. I will use the cheap bike if I'm going someplace at night where I don't feel comfortable locking up but otherwise I'll ride the CC because I spent a lot of money on it and I am going to ride it and enjoy it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    69
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the insights folks! I'm looking for another one cause the other night my poor MTB was stolen. (I mean seriously - a beat up 6 year-old Trek 4500?) Now that I'm looking around, I'm noticing how few if any nice bikes I see locked up anywhere I would potentially lock my bike up. You sure don't see any new bikes, that's for sure. I'm starting to understand the obsession with fixed gear and beat-up old road bikes in my neighborhood. I'm wondering if it would be better to invest in roughed up frame plus some new components?

  8. #8
    Senior Member kmv2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    My Bikes
    Bianchi circa late 1980s, Surly Cross Check, Kona Blast
    Posts
    695
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Had to lock mine overnight in Rotterdam once, no issues. Kryptonite cable & U-lock, seatpost, saddle bag, etc removed.
    Its not "safe", but I'd say the harder it is to break your lock, the easier everything around it looks to a potential thief.

  9. #9
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    My Bikes
    2012 Salsa Casseroll, 1997 Bianchi Advantage, 1994 Trek 930.
    Posts
    2,259
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This is a tough one. I have seen some videos on youtube showing how thieves can defeat the best locks inside a minute, quite frequently in seconds. It is a shame, but really, no bike is really safe. A lock is a deterrent for joyriders and unsophisticated thieves, just looking for crimes of opportunity. Seems like the next step towards making cities bike friendly is to provide more secure bike parking options.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    My Bikes
    2006 Kona Jake, 2011 Trek Cronus CX
    Posts
    50
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    So I have been riding my fairly nice bike (kona jake) around Chicago for 6 years and have locked it all over, including work where bikes do get stolen even though it is one of the busiest pedestrian streets in the whole city. These are the rules I have followed that have worked out pretty well so far:

    - Buy a good lock, I have a kryptonite fahgettaboudit (if your lock is beefy it will hopefully deter someone as there may be easier ones around, not sure which one you have)


    - Always lock to a proper bike rack or something more immobile or harder to cut than your lock (sign posts are BAD), also always check the rack is properly secured to the cement


    - Try to lock with other bikes, if you have a good (better than most) lock and lock it with other bikes they may not target you


    - Do not leave your bike overnight, anywhere, there are better parts of Chicago, but thieves are everywhere and will steal a bike if it is quick even with many people around.


    - Properly lock your bike, triple check you did, I know smart people who missed their frame just once by mistake and their bike was gone. You can also use 2 u-locks instead of lock and cable, I don't but people do.


    It is true, if they want it, they will get it but you can reduce your chances by making it harder and more time consuming to do so. They usually look for quicker bikes to steal even if they are not as fancy. Leaving your bike overnight will give them time to work on your lock so don't let them.

  11. #11
    born again cyclist Steely Dan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Chicago
    My Bikes
    --------------------------- - 2007 Dahon Speed P8 folder ------- - 2010 Motobecane leChampion SL Ti - 2011 Scott SUB 10
    Posts
    1,805
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    as others have mentioned, there's no such thing as "safe" when it comes to leaving a bike unattended and locked-up on the street, ESPECIALLY in chicago, a city notorious for bike theft. there are lots of good and reasonable precautions you can take to hopefully increase the odds of not having your bike stolen, as pointed out by other posters in this thread, but make no mistake, "safe" is an illusion. you could go out and get the best u-lock on the market and a heavy steel chain to boot, and a professional chicago bike thief might just angle grind his way right through that stuff in a minute or less the very first time you lock your bike up. or you could ride your bike for a decade with that locking system and be fine.

    it's all luck.

    the best thing you can do to bring yourself good luck in chicago, especially with a nicer bike with an attention grabbing brand, is to minimize the amount of time you leave your bike left unattended out on the street. if i were you, i would be begging and pleading with my employer to find an off-street bike parking solution so that my LHT wasn't sitting out on the street for hours and hours on end each and every workday.
    The first rule: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

  12. #12
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Chicago
    My Bikes
    Wally World Huffy Cranbrook Cruiser (with siily wicker front basket)
    Posts
    930
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It depends on where in Chicago and for how long. (never overnight). I am lucky I work in a good area and our parking lot is secure(ish) but even then I use a ulock and a cable lock when i take my road bike. Also when taking my road bike I will only do a stop where I am in an out for only 20min maximum. Now if i take my $75 normal commute bike I lock it anywhere and dont worry about it. Still never overnight.

  13. #13
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    3,176
    Mentioned
    46 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    With a Folding Bike you have the possibility to bring it in With you.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    North of Boston
    My Bikes
    Kona Dawg, Surly 1x1, Karate Monkey, Rockhopper, Crosscheck , Burley Runabout,
    Posts
    2,115
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just tie your german shepard to the seat post while you run in for coffee.

  15. #15
    apocryphal sobriquet J.C. Koto's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Star City, NE
    My Bikes
    2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker "The Truckerino"
    Posts
    902
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
    Just tie your german shepard to the seat post while you run in for coffee.
    Yeah, well, what happens when some jerk steals the dog?!

  16. #16
    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    the 904, Jax fl
    Posts
    2,202
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You might get run over by a car on the street too.
    Or a dog may run you into some rollerbladers on the MUP.

    I mean really, of course some thief could come along and see it and want to steal it.
    If they really want it, it's theirs. No lock will stop all.

    But, if you use some common knowledge and lock your bike well. (not overnight)
    I think you may be able to risk it. If still worried, remove the decals, and rattle can it an UGLY color!
    It wont look near as good, but will ride the same, and be safer! BUT, STILL LOCK IT UP GOOD!
    Gravity hates us all, but it hates me more than thin people!

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    69
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
    Just tie your german shepard to the seat post while you run in for coffee.
    Funny you mention that. When I first moved here I left my dog outside a liquor store while I got some smokes and when I came out this dude was really upset saying how dogs get stolen and sold into dog fighting rings... never did that again.

    Good advice here, thanks so much.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •