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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 02-06-06, 06:55 PM   #1
yendor28
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Bike Security - Ultimate

Hi,

I know this topic has been done to death but I am just so frustrated with it all. This is the biggest obstacle for my car free lifestyle. The fact that I cannot go and just park my bike like many.

How can motorbikes do it?

Right now I use the Kryptonite U-lock.

I have a $1600 good bike I ride everywhere but if I need to go somewhere risky I use my single gear old school warrior eg. the beach.

This is so annoying as I have this awesome bike but cannot use it due to the fear of theft.

Please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 02-06-06, 07:05 PM   #2
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spray paint your 1600 bike poop brown and camo green... nobody would like it... lol .
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Old 02-06-06, 08:24 PM   #3
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How do motorbikes do it? They weigh far too much to carry away, they're registered and have VINs like cars, they require a key (or hotwiring) to start, and they have several different options, often built into the thing, to keep them from being driven away without consent. Not really anything you can use on a bicycle.

Where are you located? What types of places do you go that are so risky to leave your bike locked up?
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Old 02-06-06, 08:57 PM   #4
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Yeah, I have the same problem, and no good solutions. One of my bikes is worth $1400 or so, and I don't want to see it stolen. If I commute on that bike, I always either bring it inside with me, or lock it in a super visible place. Most of the time though, I use my old beater (which works just fine) to commute and don't worry about theft.
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Old 02-06-06, 10:38 PM   #5
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That's what my 3 speed is for.
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Old 02-06-06, 10:48 PM   #6
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I have a Trek 520 I bought for touring. Shortly after I bought the touring bike, I got rid of my car. I then bought a 1975 (as old as I am) banana yellow Schwinn Le Tour for running errands, getting groceries, etc. I usually lock it up with a U-lock and a cable lock.
Aside from locking it up, I have a renter's insurance policy that covers all of my possessions regardless of the location that they are stolen from. To be honest, I do not know that I would have taken out an insurance policy if it did not cover the bike in this fashion (don't really have anything else worth worrying about). I'm pretty sure you could take out a separate insurance policy on just your bike if you really wanted to. When I go on a loaded tour this summer, I will have my stuff in storage with no apartment to so my renter's insurance will be done. I'm not sure it would be worth it to take out a policy on just my bike though. I've never really read anything about anyone's bike being stolen while touring.
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Old 02-07-06, 02:10 AM   #7
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I had my 3000 dollar bike stolen already from level 3 underground with security cameras and all. Time taken 60 seconds or less.

No insurance no compensation NADA!

I just want to go to normal places like everyone else. Eg. I go shopping, or to dinner at night time. Beach, Movies etc.

Good points about the motorbike. What else can we do?

Multiple locks?
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Old 02-07-06, 02:38 AM   #8
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All locks can be defeated. It just takes someone with knowledge, right tools and opportunity. Multiple locks may help, but there's no point in adding several similar locks (as they can be defeated with the same tool). In addition to U-lock you could use a decent chain locked with a good padlock, for example.

Basically the idea is to make the next bike more attractive to the thief in comparison to yours. If you have a very nice and expensive bike that may turn out to be difficult. Not to mention the weight of the hardware you would have to haul with you...

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Old 02-07-06, 04:10 AM   #9
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I will essentially echo others here. Get a cheaper bike for riding around. $1600 would be too much for me for a beater. It doesn't mean that you have to ride something ****ty, but anything that's new and neat looking will be attractive. I for instance like the look of the old skinny steel frames, so I like how my bike looks, even though it looks "old". Also keeping it single speed helps deter thieves, I think. You should be able to get nice used roadies for $2-300 at your LBS.

Oh and, I heard that you can insure your bike against theft on your renter's (or homeowner's) insurance. I still have to look into that.
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Old 02-07-06, 10:10 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by iBarna
You should be able to get nice used roadies for $2-300 at your LBS.
Or go to the thrift store, spend like $10 and maybe as much as $50 fixing it up. My daily use bike I actually got for free - someone had cleaned out their garage, and put it and another one on the curb with the trash, with a "Free" sign on it. I grabbed them quick before the trash man came! I spent I think $40 for a new freewheel/cassette and chain, and it was ready to go!
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Old 02-07-06, 10:23 AM   #11
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Luckily I can park in the underground parking where the execs hide their cars.
**knocks on wood*** so far no reports of missing anything. Though I have been known to bring my bik einto the bank etc, as I leave my lock at work. Someone says something I ask if it's in the way as it's worth more than my car and I'll be gone in a couple minutes.....most I find are surprisingly agreeable. I hear ya about the movies and such. I get all twitchy thinkin my baby is locked up outside for a couple hours.
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Old 02-07-06, 12:03 PM   #12
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I think it's just a fact of life that in most of the U.S., a $1600 bike can't be safely left on a public street.

There are wonderful bikes out there for $200 that will be no more than a minute slower than a $1600 bike when you're riding several miles. Accept that a $1600 bike is almost useless for everyday transportation and move on.

Unless everywhere you go, you can have your bike next to you.
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Old 02-07-06, 12:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerewa
I think it's just a fact of life that in most of the U.S., a $1600 bike can't be safely left on a public street.

There are wonderful bikes out there for $200 that will be no more than a minute slower than a $1600 bike when you're riding several miles. Accept that a $1600 bike is almost useless for everyday transportation and move on.

Unless everywhere you go, you can have your bike next to you.
Agreed

In fact, a $200.00 dollar bike should not be locked to a bike rack with rusted Roadmasters. A good functional $200.00 dollar bicycle shoud be hidden far away from the bike rack. That is how I've managed to avoid theft.
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Old 02-07-06, 12:40 PM   #14
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Unfortunate that we need to modify our behavior regarding hiding a decent bike as opposed to being able to "know" it'll be there when you get back. Same goes for the 85,000$ Mercedes.
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Old 02-07-06, 09:11 PM   #15
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You could always do what I did - move to a small town. People around here leave their Treks, Xtracycles, Specializeds, etc unlocked all the time. If someone stole a bike here, they couldn't ride it in town.
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Old 02-07-06, 10:35 PM   #16
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I have this problem too, 7 years ago i bought a $1700 titanium cross bike. but lately i've gotten heavily into utility cycling and now I have to park on the street all the time. So i thought, should i sell it before it gets stolen? nah, why lose all that money for a bike i still love to ride?
So i bought a used $300 cross bike that I use for trips when i need to park. Ironically it's the one that gets used 85% of the time. If i could do it again, i probably wouldn't have bought the more expensive bike, cuz it's just not compatible with utility cycling.
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Old 02-08-06, 12:49 AM   #17
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Anyone ever have their bike stolen when locked with a mini U-lock? It seems to me that unless someone is willing to risk using a noisy attention getting grinder to cut through the lock that it would be pretty hard to break. When I park my bike at the gym (in bike theft heavy San Francisco) 95% of the bikes are crappy beat up mountain bikes or hybrids that I would never ride. My fixed gear bike looks like a million bucks next to that crowd (it would cost about $1000 retail to replace it) but so far no one has stolen it.

The thing is, if you like bikes, why should you have to ride a crappy bike everyday?
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Old 02-08-06, 07:26 AM   #18
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Seems the motorcycle has an ignition system and a steering lock to contend with as well many put mini locks on the front or rear wheel. Maybe as electronics and power systems get better we'll get bio metric based static energy systems. Thumb print switches to deactivate a possible static charge similar to a taser. Was in a William Gibson book.
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Old 02-08-06, 01:30 PM   #19
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Don't worry. I never get tired on my discovery of the most liberating bikes since I learned to ride one. It is the folding/separating bicycles. These are the most theft resistant bikes you will ever come across. Never mind the well intentioned, yet inaccurate claims of "uglifing" your valued bike. No matter what you do to bikes, if they are ridable, they are attractive to theives. They would probably not be stopped by passing crowds of people since no one wants to risk their necks over "just a bike."
The best lock is YOU period! Don't fall into a false sense of trusting locks, other people, watching through a open window, etc. Been there, done that, does not work in most cases. Since I purchase my first folder, I have never been so free! And they don't cost a king's ramson. A good dependable one starts at the same point as a non folder does.
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Old 02-08-06, 02:41 PM   #20
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If I know I will have to lock up for a long time I ride my ladies 5 speed Columbia that was given to me as a gift. It would win an "Ugliest bike in the world" competition.
I lock it with a Kryptonite NY lock and a Mini or a cable or all of them.
When I was locking it up a guy walking by said
"That lock is worth a lot more than that bike, why bother? " That's what it looks like.
A lot of trouble for a very low benefit. Nothing is ever a sure thing, and we have no control over a lot of things. But I can control how my locked bike looks, and how I lock it up. That's about all that is possible. I will be mad if it gets taken, but then I use the $10 Ross ten speed. If that gets stolen I use the $10 Schwinn continental.
It's easy around here to get rideable free bikes from the trash and cheap bikes at yard sales.
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Old 02-10-06, 09:10 AM   #21
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The thing is, if you like bikes, why should you have to ride a crappy bike everyday?
My opinion, and disagree with it if you want, is that a bike is not crappy just because its resale value is only $30. I think people in our society want to have 'the best' and be seen with 'the best'... hence luxury SUVs, houses so huge that you don't know what to do with all the space- but from a comfort, fun, and function standpoint there's nothing better about more expensive bikes unless you convince yourself there is. (and also the extra weight of an inexpensive bike could lose you a race, if you were actually using it for a race.)
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Old 02-10-06, 09:21 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thor29
Anyone ever have their bike stolen when locked with a mini U-lock? It seems to me that unless someone is willing to risk using a noisy attention getting grinder to cut through the lock that it would be pretty hard to break. When I park my bike at the gym (in bike theft heavy San Francisco) 95% of the bikes are crappy beat up mountain bikes or hybrids that I would never ride. My fixed gear bike looks like a million bucks next to that crowd (it would cost about $1000 retail to replace it) but so far no one has stolen it.

The thing is, if you like bikes, why should you have to ride a crappy bike everyday?
I don't lust after an expensive commuter bike because I have nicer bikes in the stable at home. I have my commuter, which is cheap, but I've never described it as crappy. Then I have my "good" bikes, which are used for anything but commuting...i.e. hard tail mtn bike, single speed mtn bike, cyclocross/road bike, and soon, a road "racing" bike, for racing. As a wiser forum member once said, "the correct number of bikes to own = n +1, where n is the number of bikes one currently owns"
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Old 02-10-06, 01:15 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cerewa
but from a comfort, fun, and function standpoint there's nothing better about more expensive bikes unless you convince yourself there is.
I must completely disagree ...to a point. I agree with you about peoples' desire to have the best in our society. Hardly the peoples' fault though, that's how our society works. As for the gear, however, in every sport the levels of gear from say Walmat to high-end completely serve a purpose. A 200$ MTB is fine for going about town a getting a few things, maybe even commuting. Are you going to take on the mountains and an intermediate/expert level run with that? The brakes won't stop it in the mud, the rims would be destroyed after an afternoon, and you could more than likely break the frame off a couple good airs. A strong rider can wreck a low end wheel in no time, but someone who take their time and doesn't push....it might last years. This low-end gear is designed to introduce people to a new sport. If they get better and 'out grow'/destroy the gear, they upgrade. Same with skateboards, skis/snowboards, running shoes and all the performance clothing that goes along with it. You don't go out an buy your 11 year old a 300$ pro setup, you get a 30$ setup and let him thrash it. I've not skated a novice setup in over 20 years, as I'd destroy it in a day based on my abilities. The gear increases in quality and performance capability as it does in price. Otherwise it's a rip off and doesn't sell at all. I'm not a weight weenie but I like to be able to put my energy to the road more efficiently than if I were pedaling a tank.

That being said after 5 years of daily riding I actually need to get a couple parts for my mid range bike 1200$ new i think it was.... I bought it a year old for a deal. Wore the Kool Stop down to the mounting pins and is now grinding the rim. If I'd had cheap rims I would have had to replace both at least once in this time. These will be the first parts I've had to buy for my ride. I'd never have gotten that mileage or performance from a 200$ bike. It simply does not suit my needs. Nor does a 5000$ titanium racing machine. Too much bike for what I need.
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Old 02-10-06, 11:17 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtn Mike
As a wiser forum member once said, "the correct number of bikes to own = n +1, where n is the number of bikes one currently owns"
This applies well to many interests.

"How many X do you really need?"

"Just one more."
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Old 02-11-06, 11:53 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by TRaffic Jammer
That being said after 5 years of daily riding I actually need to get a couple parts for my mid range bike 1200$ new i think it was.... I bought it a year old for a deal. Wore the Kool Stop down to the mounting pins and is now grinding the rim. If I'd had cheap rims I would have had to replace both at least once in this time.
Do I understand you correctly? You spent $1200 for a bike, then balk at spending $6 for a set of brake pads? You know it only takes about 15 minutes to change brake pads?

Any bike will last if you do the routine maintenence. By not changing your pads, you not only risk the rims but even your own life. Get 'em changed!
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