Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-02-13, 04:28 PM   #1
illusiumd
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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?
illusiumd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-13, 05:45 PM   #2
gerv 
In the right lane
 
gerv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Des Moines
Bikes: 1974 Huffy 3 speed
Posts: 9,531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
gerv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-13, 05:52 PM   #3
JohnJ80
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Minnesota
Bikes: N+1=5
Posts: 2,740
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
JohnJ80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-13, 08:51 PM   #4
WMcCready
Senior Member
 
WMcCready's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Greater Chicago Area
Bikes: Surly-LHT & KM,Schwinn-Cimarron, High Sierra, Cross-Fit,World, Marin Kentfield,Soma Saga
Posts: 74
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Not Safe, get a reliable second bike to ride, and a back up bike.
WMcCready is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-13, 10:13 PM   #5
bragi
bragi
 
bragi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: seattle, WA
Bikes: LHT
Posts: 2,911
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
bragi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-13, 11:28 PM   #6
rms13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Santa Clarita, CA
Bikes:
Posts: 5,936
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(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.
rms13 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-13, 07:50 AM   #7
illusiumd
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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?
illusiumd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-13, 08:02 AM   #8
kmv2
Senior Member
 
kmv2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Bikes: Bianchi circa late 1980s, Surly Cross Check, Kona Blast
Posts: 705
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
kmv2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-13, 08:08 AM   #9
MRT2
Senior Member
 
MRT2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Bikes: 2012 Salsa Casseroll, 1997 Bianchi Advantage, 1994 Trek 930.
Posts: 4,026
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(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.
MRT2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-13, 08:52 AM   #10
majwell
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Chicago
Bikes: 2006 Kona Jake, 2011 Trek Cronus CX
Posts: 50
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
majwell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-13, 10:14 AM   #11
Steely Dan
born again cyclist
 
Steely Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chicago
Bikes: I have five of brikes
Posts: 2,015
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
Steely Dan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-13, 10:23 AM   #12
CJ C
Senior Member
 
CJ C's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chicago
Bikes: Wally World Huffy Cranbrook Cruiser (with siily wicker front basket)
Posts: 930
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
CJ C is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-13, 11:55 AM   #13
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 18,086
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
With a Folding Bike you have the possibility to bring it in With you.
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-13, 01:00 PM   #14
Leebo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: North of Boston
Bikes: Kona Dawg, Surly 1x1, Karate Monkey, Rockhopper, Crosscheck , Burley Runabout,
Posts: 3,541
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just tie your german shepard to the seat post while you run in for coffee.
Leebo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-13, 01:20 PM   #15
J.C. Koto
apocryphal sobriquet
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Star City, NE
Bikes: 2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker "The Truckerino"
Posts: 1,068
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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?!
J.C. Koto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-13, 01:53 PM   #16
jr59
Senior Member
 
jr59's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: the 904, Jax fl
Bikes:
Posts: 2,286
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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!
jr59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-13, 03:21 PM   #17
illusiumd
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Bikes:
Posts: 279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
illusiumd is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:39 AM.