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Old 04-06-07, 09:22 PM   #1
CordellB
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Giants, theft, locks, paranoia?

I'm torn between the Giant FCR 3 and FCR 2; I want the FCR 2, but when I think about it I realize I rarely see bikes with low-count spokes locked up in public. Is it just me, or does this make it a more obvious target for thieves? Or would it make a difference at all?

I'm currently riding a rusty and scratched Raleigh Escaladeur Hybrid with about 25,000 km on it, so I don't fret at all when I walk away from it locked with an old Kryptonite U-lock, but I haven't even bought a new bike and I feel intense anxiety about theft.

If I put a good lock (e.g., Kryptonite Evolution or even the NY Mini Fahgettaboudit) on a nice new bike like an FCR 2, park it wisely in public areas, maybe add locking skewers to the hubs and seat mount (to avoid carrying a chain), what are the chances of it being stolen? I tend to be in the east end, Beaches, some on Queen St. E. around Logan (Jimmie Simpson rec centre), plus I cycle to work at Bayview and York Mills. I do find myself in the Annex sometimes, and on the U of T campus. With one of these excellent locks how much do I need to sweat?

And what about painting a new bike to make it distinctive, even ugly? How much impact does this have on its attractiveness to thieves?

Thanks for any insight!
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Old 04-07-07, 06:40 AM   #2
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I think any bike that one could sell for a quick $100 would be attractive to theives.

Do you ride mostly to get around or do you ride simply for the sake of riding. You could keep your cheap bike to get around town, and you could use the new one for just riding when you don't lock it up.

When I lock one of my nicer bikes I usually use 2 u locks and a heavy chain, and if it is a place I go often I will leave the locks on the rack and just carry a good one with me.

If a theif really wants your bike they will try to get it no matter how it is locked, and if the parts are nice they will take the parts off of it.
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Old 04-07-07, 07:12 AM   #3
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I read a study a few years ago regarding full wrap fenders and bike theft. If I recall correctly, putting full wrap fenders on your bike reduces theft by 70%. Suddenly your nice bike looks nerdy and your common thief will avoid it thinking that there will be no decent return for his/her time and effort. There is no real protection against the proffessional bike thief: if they want it they will generally get it. As for your choice of bike...go with the FCR 2 as you will come to appreciate the carbon fibre fork.
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Old 04-07-07, 08:48 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. Interesting Dave-Dave about the fenders; I hope it's true, because I do intend to transfer the fenders from my old bike to the new, as I ride in almost all weather.

What I'm really trying to do is assess risk. Is the FCR 3 less likely to be stolen than the FCR 2? I'm not thinking about replacement cost, just the total risk. I'd get a lock with anti-theft replacement insurance (the Evolution offers $2000, more than the value of either bike), so it's more an issue of inconvience.

Also wondering about the anti-theft deal. Anyone have experience making a claim, and if so, were there snags? Can anyone point me to statistics about these locks in Toronto or elsewhere? I wonder how many bikes that are locked properly with a couple of Evolutions and/or NYFUs actually do get stolen. Everyone tells me a bike theft story, but I've never until now thought to ask about the details of the lock they were using and how exactly the bike was secured.
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Old 04-07-07, 09:21 PM   #5
ken cummings
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On those theft insurance claims read the papers carefully, several times, and make a list of all the requirements. Carry them out. Save all the papers and a photo of the bike and the sales receipt for both bike and lock. If your local gendarmes care at all register it with them. Register the lock and bike with the lock company as soon as you buy the lock, as in that very day.

If there is any way an insurance company can weasel out of a claim . . .
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Old 04-09-07, 01:32 AM   #6
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I think those theft protection claims offered by the likes of Kryptonite et al. are not nearly as great as people seem to think.

They are not an insurance coverage!

At most they will help to cover some of the deductible you'll pay an insurance company and will help on the deductible (in your case) of insuring a bike of up to a $2000 in value. If you have the Fahgettaboudit lock, Kryptonite will help pay the deductible of having up to $5000 insurance on a bike.

Also, the lock companies only cover you for a year or two. I guess in their grand wisdom they figure your bike won't get stolen if you've owned it for four years. So much for confidence in their product. Damn lawyers.

Look into it as ken cummings says.

One more thing - get the bike you want and don't let the scumbag POS thieves affect your bike of choice.

Last edited by rINGrING; 04-09-07 at 01:39 AM.
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Old 04-09-07, 09:28 PM   #7
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Thanks to everybody for more insight.

I'm on President's Choice insurance, with its "disappearing deductible," which goes down 20% every year you make no claim. While this is nice (it's at $600 now), it goes back up to $1000 when you do make a claim. If the lock company pays the deductible (rather than paying for the bike), I'm screwed in that I start at square one with it back at $1000.

Another bike I have in mind is the Kona Dew. I have yet to see anyone on this forum say a bad thing about Kona's bikes, and this one's well-priced. I'm going to take it for a test-ride tomorrow and see.

It seems to me that bikes locked up with one of those high-end rigs almost never get lifted, and adding a good cable lock to the front wheel (or removing it and locking it with the U-lock) will keep that secure as well.
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