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  1. #1
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    Locking technique

    For everybody's information, seen in Portland Craigslist today:

    Bike Thief

    Hello

    My bike (all black track bike) was victim to an attempted theft this morning in front of the business building on Portland State University between 8-10am. It was locked with a kryptonite mini U lock. It looks like the theif was attempting to use my bike as leverage to break the lock but instead he just bent and destroyed my frame, fork, and front wheel. So my lock did the job but he destroyed my bike anyways. This took place in an very busy area. so if you saw anything please let me know. i saw on here that there was another bike theft on PSU today so if you are on campus a lot keep your eye open for someone scouting the bike racks.

    Any info would be appreciated
    Thanks
    Jared

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    Real Human Being wild animals's Avatar
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    sounds like a good reason to spend extra on a nice chain lock. that really blows.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by wild animals
    sounds like a good reason to spend extra on a nice chain lock. that really blows.
    Sheldon's lock strategy is designed to prevent thieves from using your frame as leverage to break the lock. Take a look at the link.

  5. #5
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    Al frame?
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
    Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
    2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
    1996 Birdy, Recommend.
    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Locking the bike at two points would also inhibit using the frame as leverage. In fact, two decent locks probably would inhibit them bothering to try, unless they're exceptionally desparate or stupid (or unless they're just out to vandalize what they can't steal). one way to do that Another method would be to use one lock down low and the other up high, if you can only lock to one post.

  7. #7
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    Sorry to hear about the damage to your bike. There are a lot of rotten people in the world.

    Place your lock around your rear wheel, directly behind the seat tube and lock to a thick, beefy steel post set in concrete. NEVER (repeat...NEVER) put a u-lock around the seat tube or any other part of your frame. A dumb crook will attempt to use the frame of your bike as a lever to snap the u-lock. That "lift and twist" method works when a flimsy Wal-Mart lock is on a 40 pound Wal-Mart bike. But, when a Kryptonite or OnGuard u-lock is on a high quality frame, the frame will twist and bend.

  8. #8
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    NEVER (repeat...NEVER) put a u-lock around the seat tube or any other part of your frame. A dumb crook will attempt to use the frame of your bike as a lever to snap the u-lock.
    And a smart crook can use the lock to break your rear rim, then nip through your tire with a small diagonal cutter, if that's all that the lock's holding. Sorry, but homie is gonna keep locking his frame. In two places.


    Lift & twist this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    For everybody's information, seen in Portland Craigslist today:

    Bike Thief

    Hello

    My bike (all black track bike) was victim to an attempted theft this morning in front of the business building on Portland State University between 8-10am.
    I stopped reading at this point.

    I would never have put the bicycle in front of a business (A university to boot!) in full view. You must take the time to hide the bicycle in a place where no one is looking or would be difficult to find. The only time my bicycles have been attacked was when I left them in full view or attached to bike racks.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon
    And a smart crook can use the lock to break your rear rim, then nip through your tire with a small diagonal cutter, if that's all that the lock's holding. Sorry, but homie is gonna keep locking his frame. In two places.


    Lift & twist this.
    There has NEVER been a proven, documented case of a bike being stolen where a "gold" rated u-lock was correctly fastened around the rear wheel and a beefy steel pole set in concrete. And, the reason is simple: doing so, with the tools that "street" crooks carry and use, takes far more time and effort than any crook is willing to invest...especially given that 95% of the bikes on the street are incorrectly locked, or use cable locks, Master lock "pretend" u-locks, or a locked to flimsy racks that come apart with a few seconds of effort.

    Try this: correctly lock a bike using the Sheldon Brown method to a parking meter in your city. Then, try to steal that bike using portable, non-power tools. You are in for a long, sweaty afternoon of hard work. When you are done, you will have ruined the rear wheel. You will have to walk down the street, carrying your loot. And, no pawn shop in town would buy such a bike. Sweaty work, CARRY the bike down the street, and then not find a pawn shop to buy it? Three reasons the Sheldon Brown method has never failed out on the streets.

    Yup, there are power tools that can rapidly cut parking meters, "$100 locks, and a rear wheel. But (thank goodness) those are not the sort of tools street crooks carry and use.

  11. #11
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    The problem is that in a lot of places, bike racks are the only place to park. On UT campus here, a bike that isn't parked in a bike rack (for example locked to a rail or a tree) gets swooped on, lock cut off, and impounded by their PD in minutes, so there isn't much choice in the matter -- the bike rack or walking.

    Another problem with the single lock method is the fact that without locking skewers and a bike parked in a very theft-prone area (Austin where I live used to be on Kryptonite's top 10 list for a number of years), a thief will look at a bike that has a rear wheel locked... pop the QR on the front wheel and be off with that as a consolation prize. A similar thing happens with seatposts. With locking skewers, one Sold Secure gold-rated U-lock is good, but without, two locks are a must, in order to come back to a bike that has both wheels still present.

    In areas where bike theft isn't such an industry, a single lock is adequate, perhaps with a cable to go through the wheel and seatpost.
    Last edited by mlts22; 10-19-06 at 03:49 PM.

  12. #12
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon
    Locking the bike at two points would also inhibit using the frame as leverage. In fact, two decent locks probably would inhibit them bothering to try, unless they're exceptionally desparate or stupid (or unless they're just out to vandalize what they can't steal). one way to do that Another method would be to use one lock down low and the other up high, if you can only lock to one post.


    Another good one! One lock low and one lock high, if you can't find two posts! Then you can't twist the bike around one lock. Most excellent. I'm going to do that tomorrow.

    You are now officially nominated for the first annual "Golden Corgi" award.
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    Last edited by 2manybikes; 10-19-06 at 04:16 PM.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  13. #13
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    There has NEVER been a proven, documented case of a bike being stolen where a "gold" rated u-lock was correctly fastened around the rear wheel and a beefy steel pole set in concrete.
    You have studied the records of every bike theft in the world, then? An impressive feat.

    Oh, and if you want to break an aluminum wheel rim in seconds, shoot, let me count the ways... here's one easy one:

    (edit: image removed to keep from helping thieves with a no-brainer method)

  14. #14
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    What do all of the folks who brag about how easy it is to steal a bike that uses the "Sheldon Brown" method have in common? None of them have actually attempted the "feat" that they claim is so easy.

    Over the past month or so, five or six different guys have bragged that they think they can defeat the Sheldon Brown method in just a few seconds. None of them have actually documented that they have ever done so.

    Okay, braggers. Let's see your results. Lock up a bike CORRECTLY using the Sheldon Brown method, with a "gold" rated u-lock around the rear wheel and around a beefy steel pole set in concrete, such as a parking meter.

    Then, attack that bike using the portable tools that real-world crooks use. And, in the real world, crooks use portable tools that can be concealed under a jacket, or in a messenger bag, not tools that weigh fifty pounds, or that are five feet long, or that require access to 1000 watts of electricity.

    Put your results on video and post the video. What we are gonna see is eight, ten or twelve minutes of sweaty effort. And a ruined rear wheel. And, a bike that can no longer be ridden, nor will any pawn shop be interested in buying it.

    Ten minutes of sweaty effort. A ruined rear wheel. A bike that is unrideable and that can not be easily resold or pawned. Four reasons that the "Sheldon Brown" method works in the real world, as opposed to the imaginary world where people brag about stuff they THINK they can do.

  15. #15
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    What do all of the folks who brag about how easy it is to steal a bike that uses the "Sheldon Brown" method have in common? None of them have actually attempted the "feat" that they claim is so easy.

    Over the past month or so, five or six different guys have bragged that they think they can defeat the Sheldon Brown method in just a few seconds. None of them have actually documented that they have ever done so.

    Okay, braggers. Let's see your results. Lock up a bike CORRECTLY using the Sheldon Brown method, with a "gold" rated u-lock around the rear wheel and around a beefy steel pole set in concrete, such as a parking meter.

    Then, attack that bike using the portable tools that real-world crooks use. And, in the real world, crooks use portable tools that can be concealed under a jacket, or in a messenger bag, not tools that weigh fifty pounds, or that are five feet long, or that require access to 1000 watts of electricity.

    Put your results on video and post the video. What we are gonna see is eight, ten or twelve minutes of sweaty effort. And a ruined rear wheel. And, a bike that can no longer be ridden, nor will any pawn shop be interested in buying it.

    Ten minutes of sweaty effort. A ruined rear wheel. A bike that is unrideable and that can not be easily resold or pawned. Four reasons that the "Sheldon Brown" method works in the real world, as opposed to the imaginary world where people brag about stuff they THINK they can do.
    What a horrible thing for cyclists all over the world.

    That's making a training video for a crook. That's the same reason I don't want to share with you what I know about defeating locks. It does not help cyclists to show how to defeat any kind of locking method in public. And you asking someone to take up the "challenge" is a horrible thing to do for cyclists, some one may call you on it and do it. Then some one who wants to steal a bike but does not know how may decide to give it a try when they see it done. I have all the spare parts and tools to do it with. But I'm not going to display how to steal a bike in the forums just because you don't know how. Sheldon Brown comes in the thread to clarify that he is making it difficult but not impossible and you still don't understand.

    For the record, I'm in that group of guys that knows how to defeat that.

    For the record, I am not so stupid that I am going to display how to do it to the world just because you don't understand. I don't care if you go to your grave thinking I am wrong.

    I am not going to prove you wrong by making an idiot out of myself and increasing the level of stolen bikes all over the world. Do you understand that this forum is searchable by google? Who knows how many people will see this?

    Anyone who has worked in the metal working trade of any kind, a machine shop, or is a welder, is loosing respect for you. And anyone who has built a wheel. Or a bike shop employee that cuts wheels apart for the trash, or to save a good rim, or a good hub, from a damaged wheel.

    Don't you live in the city of Houston? Just go to a tool room, a machine shop, a metal fabrication place, a welding shop, or the fire dept. and talk to them about it if you really care. These kinds of places are all over the place. It's almost as easy to do that as it is to read the lock tests in Cycling Plus magazine.

    Get an old wheel from a bike shop and some tools and do it for yourself, but don't tell everyone about it. Don't post it for the world.

    Think about what's good for all cyclists. Think of how many people are looking at this.

    Go learn more in person about cutting metal and tools. But don't post it on the internet, and for cyclists everywhere stop asking someone to make a movie about stealing a bike.

    Please stop challenging everyone to make a video on how to steal a bike.

    We all make mistakes, I make plenty. I would consider it the act of a wise, responsible, humble, person if you went back and deleted your own post about this challenge. If you do, I will always support you if someone gives you a hard time about deleting your own post or changing your mind. It's the right thing to do.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  16. #16
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Complete this sentence: a chain is only as strong as __ _____ ___.

    As a bicycle mechanic who routinely breaks up wheels and cuts tires before throwing them out (which doesn't take ten minutes of "sweaty effort," btw), I'm not satisfied with packing along two good locks and then making an aluminum wheel rim and a tire the weak point in my locking strategy. I think that two locks securing the frame and wheels at two points has higher deterrence factor to prevent an attempt in the first place (which is what we really want, right?), and is more likely to prevent the attempt from succeeding if they do attempt a theft. That's what I'm going to keep doing when I have to leave my bike in public.

    And with thieves stealing quick-release skewers, blinkies, bags, lights and computers, I don't buy the line about how the bike is worth nothing to them with a ruined rear wheel. Ask some of BikeForums' NYC commuters about the lengths they have to go to.

    If you want to take different risks using a different technique than I do, I really have no issue with that. It's your bike, do whatever you like. I do think you need to be more objective about other locking techniques, however, instead of trying to tell us all that there's just one correct way to lock a bike, namely yours.


    Food for thought... oh noes, how will I get through the Velox rim tape and the folding tire without a scissors?!

    (the kicker: this rim broke by itself, the user was riding it at the time)
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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon
    Food for thought... oh noes, how will I get through the Velox rim tape and the folding tire without a scissors?!

    (the kicker: this rim broke by itself, the user was riding it at the time)
    velox is food? I'll break it for you! WOOF.
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  18. #18
    Good Afternoon! SamHouston's Avatar
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    mechbegon, dutret & others continually focus on the material deficiency of the wheel itself. Sure it can be broken, easily & quickly, I pointed that out in my first post in the last thread about this. The method has great deterrent value in the fact that it disables the bike to defeat the lock. That's something most opportunist thieves & capital gain thieves will find a serious detractor when they've got the tools on hand to take a complete bike.

    Now I'll argue with you pointlessly over how easy it would be to cut a rim with boltcutters if you'd like...nevermind that there is an easier way that I've already pointed out. What we really want to know is how many times you'll repeat it.

  19. #19
    Good Afternoon! SamHouston's Avatar
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    After all, if the first concession anyone who "knows" about such things is willing to make goes something like this;

    "Any lock can be defeated w/ the right tools"

    Shouldn't they follow that line of reasoning along to locate some other deterrent? For instance, a method that "steals" back what they're trying to steal from you, all the while making their action more apparant after the fact?

    Make all the videos you want, thieves won't like the Sheldon method even if they know allllll about it.

  20. #20
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamHouston
    After all, if the first concession anyone who "knows" about such things is willing to make goes something like this;

    "Any lock can be defeated w/ the right tools"

    Shouldn't they follow that line of reasoning along to locate some other deterrent? For instance, a method that "steals" back what they're trying to steal from you, all the while making their action more apparant after the fact?
    If you refer to the first post in the thread, you can see that the risk of ruining a whole bike did not stop thieves from attempting to steal the bike. They were evidently willing to trash it pretty badly in hopes of carrying off what was left. People over in Commuting are sometimes discussing filling in their hex-key fittings with epoxy to deter the theft of their derailleurs and whatnot, so a whole bike with a dead rear wheel (but everything else intact) might have more value to the thieves than you think.

    Make all the videos you want, thieves won't like the Sheldon method even if they know allllll about it.
    I don't think they'll like the mechBgon method either I can't speak for any bike thieves, but I'd expect dual-point locking of the frame and both wheels to solidly-anchored objects to have a strong deterrence factor on sight. And it appears to me that it would also inhibit lift-&-twist attacks, since the bike (or *cough* the rear wheel) can no longer be pivoted on one lock. Given that I take two locks along anyway, as Alan himself advocates quite frequently, that's how I'm going to use them. If your method is secure, then I think mine is moreso.

    velox is food? I'll break it for you! WOOF.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston

    Put your results on video and post the video. What we are gonna see is eight, ten or twelve minutes of sweaty effort. And a ruined rear wheel. And, a bike that can no longer be ridden, nor will any pawn shop be interested in buying it.

    Ten minutes of sweaty effort. A ruined rear wheel. A bike that is unrideable and that can not be easily resold or pawned. Four reasons that the "Sheldon Brown" method works in the real world, as opposed to the imaginary world where people brag about stuff they THINK they can do.

    You asked for it.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZbklkFuFk-4
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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  22. #22
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    It's very simple folks. Two boys are running away from a bear and one says, theres no way we can run faster than that bear, and the other says, well, I only have to run faster than you actually.

    I figure as long as my locking strategy is better than the next guys, my bike will be the number 2 choice all things being equal. With all the bikes hardly locked at all out there I don't worry too much but then again I don't lockup anywhere near a campus either.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho
    As he said, thieves don't carry power tools. They carry bolt cutters to cut cable locks.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    As he said, thieves don't carry power tools. They carry bolt cutters to cut cable locks.
    Hmm, so he has done a statistical study and determined that a thief has never carried a power tool? Well these guys in the video did and nobody even looked twice at them.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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  25. #25
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho
    Hmm, so he has done a statistical study and determined that a thief has never carried a power tool? Well these guys in the video did and nobody even looked twice at them.
    Good point, didn't one guy offer advice too? If you very very obvious people are not very suspicious.
    Plus non cyclists don't think about bikes much, nothing like we do.
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