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  1. #1
    Senior Member tligman's Avatar
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    My bike was not stolen this morning. Also - suggestions for secure car transport?

    ...but damn did I think it was when I got outside.

    I never leave my bike outside. Never. Except that last night my son and I made plans to drive down the hill by work so we could get to our after work group ride without first climbing "the big hill" and I was going to put it in my garage space (apartment building) but then a neighbor was parked in the wrong spot so they blocked my access and it was late (after 11pm) and I don't even know if that neighbor was home and on and on, so I just backed up so that the bikes were pressed into the hedge along the side of the fence at the edge of the shared driveway. And it was only going to be a couple of hours before we had to get up and leave and they were locked to the rack and blah blah blah. Never again.

    I got out to leave and saw my car and all of the blood drained from my face. I dropped the bags i was carrying and ran over.

    Some absolute low-life cut the straps. My bike. My baby. Gone. Oh, and my son's cheap 10-speed too. But I've been putting money into gear for my bike while I shop for a decent replacement for him... more than $100 in just the last few days even. My baby.

    I called the police and they said they'd send someone, and I started looking around to see if I could figure out what happened. On the other side of my building, which nobody has any business being in at all (I know the guy whose apartment faces it even), there's a fire escape and down in the basement access for that was a huge pile of trash that I didn't remember seeing... and... something shiny?

    My bike and my son's bike, still cable locked to the car carrier, were in the fire escape covered for the jerk to come back and finish the job. So we rode into work today, taking our sweet time and appreciating our bikes that much more for the close call we had.

    I had no idea how much I loved my bike until I thought it was gone forever.

    So how do I attach my bikes to my car so that I won't be afraid to leave it parked to run in to grab dinner somewhere? I've been thinking that the nylon webbing straps looked weak, but it was just nothing to cut. Is there anything I can do that's harder? I can't really put a roof rack on my convertible and I want something I can transfer from car to car (thinking of getting rid of mine and often transfer the rack to my gf's car or a co-worker's to go for rides).

    Help me protect my baby (who apparently needs a name now)?

  2. #2
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    Well, I have a roof rack that locks to top of my car. The bike carrier is locked to the roof rack and the bike carrier has a locking quick release to lock the fork in place. If I am going to grab a bite I get the cable lock out and lock the frame and rear wheel to the bike carrier and put a ulock on the frame, rear wheel and crank arm. I don't leave it out too long this way just for quick meals and restroom breaks but I feel a little more secure. I also try to keep it in sight.

    I also have a similar setup with a rear hitch rack that locks to the hitch and has tray type bike carriers that lock the bikes by the same quick release clamp. So even with the convertible a 2" reciever hitch will mount one of these racks.

    The racks are Thule and the bike carriers are Yakima.
    Last edited by cyclist2000; 08-11-10 at 03:00 PM.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

  3. #3
    Senior Member tligman's Avatar
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    too bad they don't make roof racks for convertibles how is the rack secured to the car?

  4. #4
    Senior Member pablosnazzy's Avatar
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    first off, i'm glad you got your bikes back!

    have you thought about a hitch rack? that can't be taken easily from your car, and you can then lock the bikes to the hitch rack. as far as regular trunk racks go, i don't think there is a way to secure them to the car, unless you weld or rivet or otherwise permanently make the rack part of the trunk.

  5. #5
    Senior Member tligman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pablosnazzy View Post
    first off, i'm glad you got your bikes back!

    have you thought about a hitch rack? that can't be taken easily from your car, and you can then lock the bikes to the hitch rack. as far as regular trunk racks go, i don't think there is a way to secure them to the car, unless you weld or rivet or otherwise permanently make the rack part of the trunk.
    I have thought about it, but I'm balking at the expense. I'm seriously moving towards the idea of a car-free lifestyle (okay, car free suplemented by CityWheels to pick up my son from his mother's once a week) and don't want to spend $150 to put a hitch on the car that I might sell. On top of that, my rack spends almost as much time on my girlfriend's toyota echo as it does on my own car... did spend. damn that sucks... anyway, I definitely don't want to pay to also put a hitch on hers... or on the CityWheels car... I've been thinking about this for awhile and I'm seriously disappointed that there are so few choices in carriers.

    Also, I'm glad I got them back too! thanks!

  6. #6
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    Take the wheels off and put it in the trunk.

  7. #7
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    So how do I attach my bikes to my car so that I won't be afraid to leave it parked to run in to grab dinner somewhere?
    This is what I do:

    LomaToBonny 010..jpg

    The thick cable goes through the tow attachment point under the car, and is U-locked to the frames. You can add another cable through the wheels if you want.

    Sometimes I worry that the loop will hook something in the road at high speed, but that's probably pretty unlikely.
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  8. #8
    Senior Member tligman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zizka View Post
    Take the wheels off and put it in the trunk.
    Heh, that would have been easier before I put the fenders on, but I still ride a 22.5" bike and have a convertible. nowhere near enough trunk space. I can't even get it in the back seat without putting the top down

  9. #9
    Senior Member tligman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    This is what I do:

    LomaToBonny 010..jpg

    The thick cable goes through the tow attachment point under the car, and is U-locked to the frames. You can add another cable through the wheels if you want.
    Good idea... I'll have to see if I have someplace under the car I can attach to... and maybe get a glowing neon cable so they don't cut the rack webbing...

  10. #10
    Allez means go. bengreen79's Avatar
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    So did you stakeout the area where they got dumped?

  11. #11
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    The carriers we bought for the police cars are a trailer-hitch type, solidly bolted to the vehicle. In addition, they had a hole in the horizontal piece of a perfect size for a U-lock....

    The strap-on carriers are definitely not secure. We had an expensive track bike "walk" from a rooftop carrier a few years back.

  12. #12
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    Yakima has a hitch lock too
    hitchlock
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

  13. #13
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tligman View Post
    too bad they don't make roof racks for convertibles how is the rack secured to the car?
    My roof rack is secured to the rain gutters and clamps have locks on the knobs.

    The hitch rack is connected with a lockable threaded bolt, but I don't see it on the thule site any longer my rack is quite a few years old. Yakima has a hitch lock that would work as well.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

  14. #14
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    I took my car/ bike rack on a 6500 mile loop around the west and central states 5 years ago. I like mom+pop motels.
    I used 2 keyed padlocks and a medium cable. My car (and most cars) had 2 u loops that are used when pulling or being towed.
    One end around the frame and the other under the bumper. Easy. I rode around the cities.

    Plus a bunch of ropes to tie it all up. I think it was my cheap Raleigh anyway.
    Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 08-11-10 at 09:08 PM.

  15. #15
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    We used a long cable lock that went through the frames/wheels of the bikes and also around the car's bumper. One time we left the car and bikes parked at a museum in Chicago and a potential thief apparently didn't notice the cable. When we got back the bungie cords securing the bikes to the rack had all been cut and the bikes had been pulled partially off the rack until the cable stopped them. Fortunately the thief didn't have tools to cut through the cable.

  16. #16
    Senior Member KD5NRH's Avatar
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    Get a long piece of heavy cable from the hardware store and a couple of crimp splices to put loops on the ends. Loop through a couple of large objects that will still fit through your bike frames and crimp. When you want to lock up a bit better, run one object through the frames, open the trunk enough to toss both objects in, and lock the car up. Not exactly super security, but it beats the heck out of the nylon straps.

    You did go ahead and do a complete police report, right? Don't want to get proned out on the pavement for stealing your own bike if they're not aware you've recovered it. I know it's happened with cars before that the owner finds it, hops in to take it home, and gets to experience a felony stop. Besides, documenting these things helps when you want more frequent patrols in the area.

  17. #17
    Senior Member tligman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
    The carriers we bought for the police cars are a trailer-hitch type, solidly bolted to the vehicle. In addition, they had a hole in the horizontal piece of a perfect size for a U-lock....

    The strap-on carriers are definitely not secure. We had an expensive track bike "walk" from a rooftop carrier a few years back.
    That's some serious audacity to steal a bike from a police car...

    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    We used a long cable lock that went through the frames/wheels of the bikes and also around the car's bumper. One time we left the car and bikes parked at a museum in Chicago and a potential thief apparently didn't notice the cable. When we got back the bungie cords securing the bikes to the rack had all been cut and the bikes had been pulled partially off the rack until the cable stopped them. Fortunately the thief didn't have tools to cut through the cable.
    glad they didn't get your bikes!

    Quote Originally Posted by KD5NRH View Post
    Get a long piece of heavy cable from the hardware store and a couple of crimp splices to put loops on the ends. Loop through a couple of large objects that will still fit through your bike frames and crimp. When you want to lock up a bit better, run one object through the frames, open the trunk enough to toss both objects in, and lock the car up. Not exactly super security, but it beats the heck out of the nylon straps.

    You did go ahead and do a complete police report, right? Don't want to get proned out on the pavement for stealing your own bike if they're not aware you've recovered it. I know it's happened with cars before that the owner finds it, hops in to take it home, and gets to experience a felony stop. Besides, documenting these things helps when you want more frequent patrols in the area.
    I'm not sure my trunk lid would close around a heavy cable... at least not without breaking the mostly water-tight seal. I wanted to fill out a complete police report, but since I found the bikes before the officer got there (by almost 2 minutes), he told me there was nothing he could do. I pointed out that it was vandalism and destruction of my property, and he just shrugged. Even though the response time was good, it did sort of feel like he thought it was my own fault for leaving it locked up outside...

    I'm wondering now if I can find a length of sturdy steel chain to encase in an inner tube and attach to the damaged bike rack parts -- cut everything to the right sizes for my car and make it that much harder to remove from the car. And also if that would be worth it...

  18. #18
    Senior Member KD5NRH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tligman View Post
    I'm not sure my trunk lid would close around a heavy cable... at least not without breaking the mostly water-tight seal. I wanted to fill out a complete police report, but since I found the bikes before the officer got there (by almost 2 minutes), he told me there was nothing he could do. I pointed out that it was vandalism and destruction of my property, and he just shrugged. Even though the response time was good, it did sort of feel like he thought it was my own fault for leaving it locked up outside...
    I'd definitely be calling the chief, and maybe the city council over that one. How the cop feels about your property being destroyed is irrelevant. If nothing else, there should be a report taken for any potential insurance claim (some car insurance might consider the rack to be "part of or securely mounted to the vehicle") and to ensure that crime reporting stats for the area are kept correctly. After all, if there's less crime, you don't need so darn many cops, do you?

    I'm wondering now if I can find a length of sturdy steel chain to encase in an inner tube and attach to the damaged bike rack parts -- cut everything to the right sizes for my car and make it that much harder to remove from the car. And also if that would be worth it...
    I might look into bolting the rack to the car itself at that point. Then again, I don't worry one bit about resale value since I rarely let go of a car until it's bound for the scrapyard.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    I have a trunk rack for my toyota. I can reach under my bumper and loop a cable through the steel bumper support and then lock it securely.

  20. #20
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    Using two different locks can be a good idea.

  21. #21
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    The roof rack I used to have was not secure, but it came with a long cable with balls on each end. You could thread this cable through the bikes and close the doors on the ends of the cable. The balls prevented the cable from being pulled out from the doors. Not proof against cutters but better than nothing.

  22. #22
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    a cable lock thru the door will get you a busted window. than the creep will open the door and/or open the trunk with the pushbutton in the glovebox or the lever on the floor. as if a glass window is any deterrent to a thief.

  23. #23
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    Glad your bikes are still well.

    I use something similar to this http://www.fishertools.com/browse.php?id=33&sub_id=191 but I do have towing loops under my bumper to wind them through. Many construction security cables are coated and pliable for obvious reasons, so it works well outside with bare hands......unlike the old raw cable days. What I use has loops on the end insted of locks, so they are cheaper, and I need a seperate lock for it, I just can't find the brand name at the moment. Someone else may have it.

    EDIT--found it http://www.bikebone.com/page/BBSC/PROD/BC/LK001210
    Last edited by AmericanMade; 08-12-10 at 02:00 PM.

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