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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 03-12-14, 04:45 PM   #1
gaucho777
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How safe are "Bike Cages" in underground parking lots?

I am about to move offices at the end of next month. My new office is located in downtown Oakland, CA. It is part of a multi-story office building. Rough guess: 800 employees spread out over 10 floors, of with my company will occupy 1.5 floors. No bikes are allowed inside the building; instead, they offer free bike parking in a "bike cage" within an underground parking lot. The bike cage has a simple pad-lock on the outside, and there are racks inside the cage for locking up your bike. In theory, only employees at the building will have access to the bike cage, but it is a big building. There is an attendant at the entrance/ext to the parking lot, but I can't rely on him to constantly keep an eye on the bike cage. It is probably unlikely that a bike thief would wander into the underground lot, but other employees with bike cage access may have relatively secluded access to the rest of the bikes within the cage. Anyone have experience with similar "bike cages"? How comfortable would you feel with this arrangement? I'm concerned about both theft and incidental damage.

I have quite a few vintage bikes which I like to rotate. None of my potential commuter bikes are exceedingly expensive by modern standards, but they are attractive IMHO and dear to me. This is a sample of the type of bike I might leave in the cage:

Cilo Pacer (Campy & TA drivetrain)


Nishiki Competition (recently restored. not too valuable, but in excellent condition)


Park Pre Road bike (teenage race bike; Full Dura-Ace 7400, so probably best left at home)


'74 Peugeot UE-8 with upgrades:
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Old 03-12-14, 05:00 PM   #2
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I'm Confused.. no pictures of the bike cage in question , or was this just about showing the bikes you own?
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Old 03-12-14, 05:12 PM   #3
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why can't you lock it up in the bike cage........
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Old 03-12-14, 05:16 PM   #4
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I would ask the security of the building how many bikes have been reported stolen in the last few years. Assuming the bike cage is used that may give you a "feel good" on the security. Possibly you could call the local police as well but I don't know if they would be able to answer.
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Old 03-12-14, 05:16 PM   #5
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I'm Confused.. no pictures of the bike cage in question , or was this just about showing the bikes you own?
I think he's showing the bikes he doesn't want stolen.
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Old 03-12-14, 05:23 PM   #6
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I'm Confused.. no pictures of the bike cage in question , or was this just about showing the bikes you own?
I don't have any pictures of the bike cage. We haven't move offices yet, and I didn't think to take any photos of the cage the one time I toured the new space. I thought it would be helpful to show the type of bike I may park in the cage.

I know people hate seeing bikes on cycling-related forums, so my apologies for that.

Last edited by gaucho777; 03-12-14 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 03-12-14, 05:28 PM   #7
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why can't you lock it up in the bike cage........
I can. Maybe I'm just paranoid. At my current office, my bike sits next to my desk. I almost never leave any of my bikes out of sight for very long, and I'm concerned that other people who use the bike cage may decide they like my bike better than theirs, or leave the cage open, or...
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Old 03-12-14, 05:37 PM   #8
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Buy two locks. A big heavy duty chain lock and a sturdy u lock, look at kryptonite & on guard. Don't cheap out on locks, Use them both the lock your bike up properly. Leave the heavy locks in the cage so you don't have to carry them.

If a thief comes in with a angle grinder to cut the kryptonite off, hopefully the security will hear him.
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Old 03-12-14, 05:43 PM   #9
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maybe run your own security camera on the cage.

get more craptastic bikes as Chum .. insure it at a collectable rate.

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-13-14 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 03-12-14, 06:03 PM   #10
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Ask the security guard about theft. Whatever his answer, get the Kryptonite NY chain and leave it in the cage (it's too heavy to carry everyday).
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Old 03-12-14, 06:45 PM   #11
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Buy two locks. A big heavy duty chain lock and a sturdy u lock, look at kryptonite & on guard. Don't cheap out on locks, Use them both the lock your bike up properly. Leave the heavy locks in the cage so you don't have to carry them.

If a thief comes in with a angle grinder to cut the kryptonite off, hopefully the security will hear him.
Great idea. That was if a thief does show up he's going to take the easy pickings and leave yours along. Hopefully.
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Old 03-12-14, 09:22 PM   #12
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I know people hate seeing bikes on cycling-related forums, so my apologies for that.
Thank you for your contribution to my new signature.
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Old 03-13-14, 06:47 AM   #13
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I think he's showing the bikes he doesn't want stolen.

I'm sure none of those would be stolen. What day are you riding the UO-8?

Marc
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Old 03-13-14, 07:34 AM   #14
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With 800 people in the building, I might suspect that a percentage of them might be capable of theft. I'd lock it up with the same attention to detail I'd pay if it were locked up on the street.
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Old 03-13-14, 07:38 AM   #15
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The incidental damage is what I would be worried about.
Lots of bikes . . . Close quarters. If humans are involved, a few of them are not going to have the same respect for your stuff you do. Just the way it is.
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Old 03-13-14, 07:43 AM   #16
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I'm for talking to security too. One question to ask is if the bike cage is monitored via video cameras. If so how good are they. Yrs ago I had a bike stolen right under the security cameras at a local college. The thieves knew that the cameras didn't work well after the sun set. The guard showed me the video. My bike was there when the sun set. After that we couldn't tell.

One more thing to worry about is ex-employees. I'm sure they are required to turn in their keys when they quit but that doesn't stop them from making copies while they have them.
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Old 03-13-14, 01:13 PM   #17
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I used to work in a building in downtown SF that didn't allow bikes in, but had a bike rack, not even a cage, in the parking garage.

I was very skeptical of the safety, but there was a garage security guard stationed right near the bike rack and he said no bikes have ever been stolen on his watch. Surprisingly a handful of the bikes were not even locked up. I figured if I locked my bike with even a decent lock it would likely be passed over by a potential thief for easier targets.
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Old 03-15-14, 02:39 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
I don't have any pictures of the bike cage. We haven't move offices yet, and I didn't think to take any photos of the cage the one time I toured the new space. I thought it would be helpful to show the type of bike I may park in the cage.

I know people hate seeing bikes on cycling-related forums, so my apologies for that.
Nice! Don't worry about Fietsbob, he's a curmedgeon.

I work at a hospital where we have a couple of cages. Since they remodeled the further away cage and everyone realized that their codes and keys could get them into the closer cage everyone has been using that one. Still, even full, on nice weather weekdays, there are probably only about 20 people that use it. Since I figured they were all co-workers and fellow commuters I used to leave my bike unlocked in the cage, until after about two years of no problems, someone stole my water bottle! I took heed and ferried in an old u-lock that I use to lock my bike to the rack.

I was very glad I started locking up in the cage because a few weeks later a Urban Outdoorsman used something to cut through the thin steel mesh of the cage so that he could reach in and open the door handle. I think he may have actually cut through the side of the cage with bolt cutters, because the bike that he tried to steal (our security caught him in the bushes nearby with it) was only secured with a hardware store chain.

As always, it's about being harder to steal than the bike next to you (or the bikes around you). If you're worried about it, bring in two u-locks (or a u-lock and a good chain with its own lock) and leave them there. As long as someone else is locked up with only one, it won't be worth it to go after your bike.
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Old 03-15-14, 07:01 AM   #19
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I know people hate seeing bikes on cycling-related forums, so my apologies for that.
It's about time someone realized that. Darn bike porn - it's everywhere!!
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Old 03-15-14, 10:02 AM   #20
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I think the real problem is that he doesn't want to give up on being able to gaze at his... classic kinetic sculpture art works... to relieve his stress during office hours.

I especially like the Peugeot with all the shiny chrome...
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Old 03-15-14, 01:12 PM   #21
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Thanks for all the input and suggestions everyone!
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Old 03-15-14, 03:53 PM   #22
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Bike Cage Design

@ Lane Comm.college downtown Eugene I Saw a Bike cage made out of chainlink fence material

and a bunch of steel posts set in concrete,

each bike had its own vertical hanging place with a triangular floor plan./\/\/\/\/\/\/\

your Padlock closed the door .
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Old 03-17-14, 05:11 AM   #23
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@ Lane Comm.college downtown Eugene I Saw a Bike cage made out of chainlink fence material

and a bunch of steel posts set in concrete,

each bike had its own vertical hanging place with a triangular floor plan./\/\/\/\/\/\/\

your Padlock closed the door .
The hospital downtown has similar bike cages, the chainlink is all patched in places, so I think they've had thefts too.
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Old 03-17-14, 08:47 AM   #24
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Thanks for the Local update, moved away from there 17 years ago , do miss seeing friends there.

thinking the substitution of steel plate for the chain link would do a lot ..
the vertical individual cycle storage , does appeal to the use of space concept, well ..
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