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Old 08-13-09, 11:17 AM   #1
nixietink
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Davis bike theft?

Hi everyone.

I am moving to Davis next month and am really concerned about bike theft. I plan to use my bike to commute to campus, to run errands, and to enjoy the town. I will be living off campus with my bike inside my apartment.

I have 2 options. A friend of mine is willing to sell me his 06 Trek 4300 that he put probably 10 miles on for about $200. The thing is bright yellow. I was thinking about uglifying it and getting a top of the line U-lock and cable. My 2nd option is to get a crappy Clist bike and just bear it...Obviously I want to go with option 1.

With a city that has THAT many bikes and is relatively safe, how prominent is it? Any other tips/advice?
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Old 08-13-09, 11:42 AM   #2
kyle16
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as far as I know, there have been bike thefts quite a bit. My ex gf that graduated from there got her bike stolen while it was locked up. A couple of her friends had the same thing happen to them.

I make the suggestion of getting the cheapest bike you are willing to ride. It is all completely flat, so it is not hard to push your bike around there.

Getting a really good lock is key also. If theirs really want to get the bike, they will, but let them go for someone else's because yours is too much of a pain to steal.
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Old 08-13-09, 11:43 AM   #3
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Just as long as your bike isn't super nice and you've a decent lock or two, your bike should be okay. Just don't leave any bike parked at any secluded place over night. The campus police seems to auction off abandoned bikes every year, so you can get one of those too.
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Old 08-13-09, 12:18 PM   #4
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A 4300 is not going to be a problem. Most bikes are taken due to poor or nonexistent locking. When I went to school here several years ago, I had a $600 GT mountain bike and it was never messed with. I even locked it outside of my apartment for an extended period of time.

I would suggest getting locking skewers though. And if you're planning a night out at the bars, lock your bike as far from them as possible. I don't know how many bikes I see that get kicked and beaten into terrible shapes by drunken assailants.
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Old 08-13-09, 01:37 PM   #5
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remove all your quick-releases (wheels, seat post) and remove big-brand names from frame and components.

Also, remove under-seat tool bags and accessories that can be bagged quickly.

There's like a 30-second window needed to steal bikes and accessories.
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Old 08-13-09, 02:08 PM   #6
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I would suggest getting locking skewers though. And if you're planning a night out at the bars, lock your bike as far from them as possible. I don't know how many bikes I see that get kicked and beaten into terrible shapes by drunken assailants.
Better yet, leave your bike at home. Had friends who got DUIs in Davis riding bikes home from bars & parties when hammered. Not a good idea.
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Old 08-13-09, 05:30 PM   #7
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Get a nice bike for recreational riding. Go to the bike auction and buy a beat up but functioning bike for commuting around town and campus. A functioning bike can be had for between $10-$50. More if you want a nicer one.

http://taps.ucdavis.edu/bicycle/auctions/
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Old 08-13-09, 06:21 PM   #8
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Wow, they must really have it down to a science if, scarcely 2 months away, they can say that they'll have over 400 bikes up for auction. Do they already have that many lying around, or do they round up however many they need immediately before the auction?


The suggestions to this point have been sound, especially the ones about ditching QRs, or getting locking ones, and I'm willing to bet that getting an eyesore with a bone dry chain, and rotting tires (single speed coaster with fenders) is probably your best bet for not getting it messed with. For the few bux to replace the tires/tubes, and whatever oil you can get out of the Bike Barn, you'd save yourself from walking around at least.

It's good to read that miscreants haven't changed a whole lot from one generation to the next.
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Old 08-13-09, 07:25 PM   #9
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Most of my friends are UCD grads and many of them ride bikes (I think it might be the law there...) and as far as I can remember, none of them ever had their bike tampered with. One of them even lived in a bad part of town and commuted to work (on campus). She never had any issues. Just be careful when locking your bike and leaving it unattended for long periods of time, as you would anyplace else.

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That's so cool! Sent the link to a friend who would like to get her freakishly talk 5th grade daughter a new bike but doesn't want to spend big bucks. Thanks for sharing the link.
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Old 08-13-09, 09:54 PM   #10
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A 4300 is not going to be a problem.
I'd think the "4300" part of the name would be less a problem than the very-recognizable "Trek" name, at least if the purpose of a theft would be for resale.

If it's a lark theft and joyride, yeah, it's going to be all about the lock(s).
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Old 08-13-09, 11:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by t4mv View Post
Wow, they must really have it down to a science if, scarcely 2 months away, they can say that they'll have over 400 bikes up for auction. Do they already have that many lying around, or do they round up however many they need immediately before the auction?


The suggestions to this point have been sound, especially the ones about ditching QRs, or getting locking ones, and I'm willing to bet that getting an eyesore with a bone dry chain, and rotting tires (single speed coaster with fenders) is probably your best bet for not getting it messed with. For the few bux to replace the tires/tubes, and whatever oil you can get out of the Bike Barn, you'd save yourself from walking around at least.

It's good to read that miscreants haven't changed a whole lot from one generation to the next.
TAPS drives around campus and flags parked bikes every so often then in the middle of the night after a few weeks, cuts them off the racks, piles them 6ft high in the back of a pickup and stores them for sale.

Most bike theft in Davis recently has been of fixies and parts of fixies. Dont get a fixie.
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Old 08-14-09, 12:50 AM   #12
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Yeah. If you have a good lock, a 4300 probably won't be messed with. A lot of older road bikes are left around with decent locks and they aren't messed with.

Fixies and nice road bikes are the most hit up. And a LOT of them got stolen... =\
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Old 08-14-09, 10:50 AM   #13
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Wow, they must really have it down to a science if, scarcely 2 months away, they can say that they'll have over 400 bikes up for auction. Do they already have that many lying around, or do they round up however many they need immediately before the auction?
I've talked to the TAPS bike director and the story is TAPS is required to keep bikes for 3 years before they are allowed to sell them at auction. This is so anyone that had their bike impounded has an opportunity to claim it. So, there is always a stockpile of bikes to sell. Some of the bikes get sold many times over as they are bought, used, abandoned, impounded and sold again.

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One of them even lived in a bad part of town and commuted to work (on campus). She never had any issues. Just be careful when locking your bike and leaving it unattended for long periods of time, as you would anyplace else.
That's funny as there really isn't a "bad" part of town in Davis. It may be "bad" compared to the rest of the town but it's nothing compared to other communities.
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Old 08-17-09, 04:18 PM   #14
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I had one bike stolen while there. Make sure that you have a decent lock and lock the bike to something difficult to move (tree/pole/bolted down bike rack/etc). Most students with nicer road or mountain bikes kept them inside to avoid this. Like others have said, remove any quick release skewers/seat post clamps and you'll be fine. Bike lights are another thing to make sure to take with you whenever you park outside.
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Old 08-17-09, 08:06 PM   #15
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That's funny as there really isn't a "bad" part of town in Davis. It may be "bad" compared to the rest of the town but it's nothing compared to other communities.
Seriously, the neighborhood was not great at all. Trailer trash. Quite literally, actually. But it was cheap and what she could afford on her research job pay. I seem to remember a story regarding her boyfriend's bike rack being stolen off his car too.

Of course, it's nowhere near as bad as where I live now. I'm currently in the market for a road bike and unfortunately have to rule out some models because it's not safe here to ride a red or blue bike. Sad world I live in.
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Old 08-19-09, 01:40 AM   #16
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youll be fine. just follow the basics.

lock properly
secure all qr components
dont leave it out overnight
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Old 08-19-09, 09:01 AM   #17
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Seriously, the neighborhood was not great at all. Trailer trash. Quite literally, actually. But it was cheap and what she could afford on her research job pay. I seem to remember a story regarding her boyfriend's bike rack being stolen off his car too.
Ahhh...I think I know where you're talking about..by the train tracks? Was she in the apartments near the trailer park or actually in the trailer park?
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Old 08-19-09, 07:07 PM   #18
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Ahhh...I think I know where you're talking about..by the train tracks? Was she in the apartments near the trailer park or actually in the trailer park?
Actually in a trailer park for a while, "south" of 80. She lived in an apartment for a while as well, but I think it was closer to Mace. I remember her talking about it not being all that safe at night. It's been probably 5 years since she lived in Davis.
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