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  1. #1
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    Securing an expensive bike in the open (during a bathroom break, etc)

    Obviously having a friend around would be the best solution, but if you're out by yourself and nature calls/screams/wails, what is the best advice or device for preventing bicycle theft?

    I wouldn't want to be carrying a hefty lock around, so I generally have a brightly colored wire-lock when I'm out on my Dahon. As long as someone cannot just jump on my averagely priced bike and speed off, I'm okay with the minuscule risk of someone pulling out a bolt cutter.

    However, it's far harder to ignore the consequences when it's a US$2,000 Bromptons or Bike Friday. Ideally it needs to have a loud alarm and some form of light chain to secure it to a fixed post.

    What would you guys recommend?

  2. #2
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    This seems much less of a problem with folding bikes; I've never used a toilet with a cubicle so small a brompton wouldn't fit. On the other hand, it's a rare moment when you find one large enough for a road bike.
    2008 Mezzo D9
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  3. #3
    Senior Member RoadTire's Avatar
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    My rides are suburban / rural-ish so can usually lock my bike inside a SuperAmerica or Holiday station just by asking. Otherwise I pull off the MUP into the bushes when no one is around. Except for the mosquitoes. I hate mosquitoes when I'm all hot and sweaty.
    FB4K - Free Bikes 4 Kidz. This fall 5000 bikes have been donated and we will have them all set to go by Dec 6. That's 5000 kids getting bicycles for Christmas, just in the Twin Cities.

  4. #4
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    Well, ideally I'm think an annoying motion-sensor alarm and a bike lock. I'm sure a smart, prepared thief can nullify those measures, but then again, nothing is foolproof.

    I'm just preparing for the rare few times when a toilet break is unavoidable and I absolutely need to (the toilet simply cannot accommodate the bike) leave the Bromptons on the outside.

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    I'll look and see if I can ride to a spot where someone couldn't walk or even run there before I'm done. I'll then leave the bike unsecured while I go in. Works when I'm using outhouses out on riding trails.
    A ride on a bike is not a walk in the park

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    I've never locked my Brompton, but I carry a small lock that will be better than nothing, "just in case".

    They say a good thief can defeat any lock, but I am trying to prevent the unskilled opportunist from making off with my bike. I actually purchased the lock for a tandem and have used it half a dozen times, locking the bike within eyesight while my wife and I enjoyed a beer break. I use a very light compact arrangment that would not offer much resistance to a skilled thief. I use a short cable that is sold for the purpose of securing a saddle to an otherwise locked bike. Search for OnGuard Akita 5045 Bicycle Security Cable if this link doesn't work:

    http://www.amazon.com/OnGuard-Akita-.../dp/B000FL4YGK

    Then I lock it with one of those little luggage combination locks - three dials with numbers from 0-9.

    If you had a "bathroom emergency" you could fold your bike, which would also help discourage the thief, I would think, and lock it. Maybe you could also slip the little black cloak over it that many Brompton owners, myself included, carry. No matter what you do, you could always do more, but hopefully what you will do will be easy enough to be practical.

    Alternatively you can do as many tri-athletes and just urinate as you ride.

  7. #7
    Rogue Cyclist RaleighSport's Avatar
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    If we're talking a brief bathroom break, I'd think a light cable/combination lock would be fine.. no lock is foolproof after all.
    "Seriously is what I want to be, so I put on spandex and show off my gear, my junk, my thing, yes my ding-a-ling."

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    Senior Member okane's Avatar
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    QR front wheel?

    Take it (wheel) in with you for a "bathroom emergency" I'd still want a ccble lock for what's left outside!!! Most likely bike won't be unattended that long.

  9. #9
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    I have a Abus Folding link lock in the top of the top tube waterbottle cage mounts ..
    Bike Friday pocket Llama , heavy rider option has a front triangle ..

    and a Steel chain [Abus, too] that I can Hang from the handlebars of my Brompton..


    and where and when it is will matter .. Bike tour in Copenhagen , someone was working to strip parts
    while I took a Whiz.. as it was a quick Pee, all they had time to do was steal the rear brake mounting bolts..

    Folding Bike ? bad Neighborhood? ( since homeless people need one, there will be no public Loo)
    fold it and bring it in with you..

  10. #10
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    One other thought is the classic locking approach is to use a small U-lock - the smaller size leaves less room for leverage so it is harder to open w/crowbar and simply lock your back tire. The frame can't be taken unless the lock is defeated or the rear tire is sawn through. I almost never ride my brompton without the t-bag and keeping a small lighter weight u-lock in there really wouldn't be much of a burden.

    And as fietbob points out, where and when matters. I was in Barcelona and there was a 9/11 celebration. It had nothing to do with the 9/11 tragedy that Americans think of but rather, was a celebration of when Catalonians lost a war. Here we celebrate when we win - there, they celebrate when they lose. But getting to the point, in addition to the enclosed port-a-potties they had some open four sided pylon-like urinals lined up along the edge of the plaza. Just walk up, unzip and go, as the crowd walks by. I didn't really have to go to the bathroom, but felt that I should force the issue just so that I could "enjoy" that weird experience. It would be easy to keep an eye on a bike in that circumstance.

    I am in a rambling mood so I will go on to say that Barcelona is an incredible city to visit as a cyclist - judged by some to be one of the top ten cities in the world for cycling. They have an outstanding bike sharing program for citizens (I don't think visitors can use it) and an excellent network of bike lanes and separated paths that is well maintained and growing. With their robust mass transit system it is heaven for folders. It is worth adding to your "to do" list, if you can swing it.

  11. #11
    Idealistic Troublemaker bjorke's Avatar
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    I take the bike in, it's rarely a big deal.
    My Cycling Log: http://www.endomondo.com/profile/202754 BikeForums Cycling Team on Endomondo: http://www.endomondo.com/teams/1747411

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDiamonDog View Post

    I am in a rambling mood so I will go on to say that Barcelona is an incredible city to visit as a cyclist - judged by some to be one of the top ten cities in the world for cycling. They have an outstanding bike sharing program for citizens (I don't think visitors can use it) and an excellent network of bike lanes and separated paths that is well maintained and growing. With their robust mass transit system it is heaven for folders. It is worth adding to your "to do" list, if you can swing it.
    My wife has been to Barcelona but not me. That said, I guess it might happen one day - when my daughter is old enough to ride securely on a kiddie seat. Till then, I doubt we will have the opportunity for such an adventure

  13. #13
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    I might dismantle the wheel the first few times to be extra safe, but I'm sure by the 4th or 5th time I'd be sick of it and just chain the body to a lamppost or something.

    lol a bike is supposed to be for convenience not the other way round. I just hope I don't regret my words XD

    Wondering if there's a good, small motion-detector alarm that will sound when someone tries to move the bike. Particularly in Singapore, it might attract sufficient attention to scare away the nogoodnik.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Winfried's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keyven View Post
    Obviously having a friend around would be the best solution, but if you're out by yourself and nature calls/screams/wails, what is the best advice or device for preventing bicycle theft?
    Get a mini U lock just big enough to secure the frame to a bike rack or lamp post. It's good enough to lock a bike for a quick stop, ie. not at work where it'll stand there every day for everyone to see.

  15. #15
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    Bringing the bike in is the best idea. If you can't do that, maybe flipping any release latches and shifting into the highest gear would be enough to discourage the opportunist.

  16. #16
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    Hi all. One idea to share would be to put the bike in its lowest gear and remove the seat. It's almost impossible to ride off as proven when a riding mate's mountain was a the point of changing it's ownership. We had ducked into a burger to buy a drink and someone tried making off with the bike over to find herself (yes, it's a her) almost falling off the bike before abandoning it by the kerb. Tried and tested I would say though I have not tried it with my foldie.

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