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Old 09-21-10, 06:39 PM   #1
4hmom
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Do you lock your bike at every stop when shopping?

My daughter and I did some bike errands today. Her bike was in the shop so we walked to the bus stop with my bike, put it on the bus (our buses have front carriers for bikes), bussed to the bike shop and picked up her bike. Then we biked together to the clinic for a flu shot, errands at the drugstore and the bank and then home. We didn't lock up at the bike store since we could see right out the window there but we used a wrap around combination lock everywhere else. I like my bike and don't want anyone making off with it and hers had just had some major work done-new seat, new tire, new rack, new bottle cage, tune up so even though its not new its an investment and replacing a stolen bike would be expensive so matter the value of the one you have.

Just wondering if other people lock up whenever they go into a store or business.
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Old 09-21-10, 07:07 PM   #2
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If my bike is going to be out of my sight or I'm going to be at some place for a long time, I lock it up. But then I live in a smaller city in Southern Wisconsin, so I don't think I have to worry too much. (Ah, those famous last words.) ;-)
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Old 09-21-10, 07:24 PM   #3
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There is a bike theft ring in the Denver Metro area - they know high-end bikes, and they steal them. My son's new bike was stolen in the 70's when he was a kid, and, yes, I lock my bike unless I know I am going to be watching it.
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Old 09-21-10, 09:54 PM   #4
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There is a bike theft ring in the Denver Metro area - they know high-end bikes, and they steal them. My son's new bike was stolen in the 70's when he was a kid, and, yes, I lock my bike unless I know I am going to be watching it.
Might be Denver cops. A few years ago, Denver was world famous for their police department that was big time in the burglary business. Not enough of them ended up in prison.
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Old 09-22-10, 06:12 AM   #5
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Might be Denver cops. A few years ago, Denver was world famous for their police department that was big time in the burglary business. Not enough of them ended up in prison.
That was in the 1960's - more than a "few" years ago. However, the Denver PD still has a way to go. Quick with their guns, and they cover for each other behind the "wall of blue" extremely well. The manager of safety just quit after 2 months, etc., etc. Continuous upset and unrest.
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Old 09-22-10, 07:37 AM   #6
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I've lost one bike this year, I'm not going to lose another one. Even if it is in sight, but I'm moving away from it a few feet, I'll lock it up.
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Old 09-22-10, 07:41 AM   #7
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... we used a wrap around combination lock everywhere else.
Combination locks are incredibly easy to open. Nothing is thief-proof, but you'd be better off with a cable and padlock or a U-lock.

And yes, I lock my bikes up.
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Old 09-22-10, 07:43 AM   #8
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Just an addendum.

I know of no lock that will stop a determined bike thief. Some claim to do so, but it is unlikely that most, if not all, of the bike locks out there are totally secure. I view a lock as a deterrent to someone doing a "snatch and grab" - just riding away on the bike that is sitting there for the taking.
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Old 09-22-10, 09:22 AM   #9
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Just an addendum.

I know of no lock that will stop a determined bike thief. Some claim to do so, but it is unlikely that most, if not all, of the bike locks out there are totally secure. I view a lock as a deterrent to someone doing a "snatch and grab" - just riding away on the bike that is sitting there for the taking.
I agree, determined and properly-equipped thieves can break any lock on the market in less than five minutes - and for most locks, a lot less than that. But I can open a combination bike lock that I have never seen before in less than two minutes with my bare hands, and I could teach you the trick in less than five.
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Old 09-22-10, 09:26 AM   #10
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i always lock up. it's simply easier to lock it than to replace it. and, if it does get stolen anyway, it'll be easier on my mind to know i wasn't a complete fool (if still just a bit naive); i wonder if using a lock makes it easier to make a post-theft insurance claim? our bikes are technically covered under our renters insurance.
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Old 09-22-10, 09:31 AM   #11
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I agree, determined and properly-equipped thieves can break any lock on the market in less than five minutes - and for most locks, a lot less than that. But I can open a combination bike lock that I have never seen before in less than two minutes with my bare hands, and I could teach you the trick in less than five.
That would have been a good trick to know all the times I forgot the combinations to my lockers in school.
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Old 09-22-10, 05:57 PM   #12
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I view a lock as a deterrent to someone doing a "snatch and grab" - just riding away on the bike that is sitting there for the taking.
Around here there are a lot more of those than the determined professional sort. Locking is a bet on the probability of one of those snatch-n-grabbers passing by and wanting a bike at the moment yours is unattended and available.

Or, paraphrasing Ernest Hemingway in the Old Man And The Sea, it's good to lock up to avoid tempting someone who could go either way on stealing your stuff.
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Old 09-22-10, 06:01 PM   #13
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I lock up my bike everywhere I go. Just gives me peace of mind and I can just enjoy what I'm doing.
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Old 09-22-10, 07:38 PM   #14
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I get a little too careless sometimes, and I've been lucky. I need to tighten up with my self-discipline.

One of my best friends is a locksmith in northern Colorado. I've ridden shotgun with him in his service van as he's gone out on calls. Safes at supermarkets. People locked out of their cars and trucks (I recall one FedEx driver locked out of the cab of his semi-tractor), big-time safes at medical marijuana dispensaries, locks at airports and government offices. I'm always amazed how easy it is for someone who knows what he's doing to get into virtually anything, anywhere.

Locks are for honest people. They just keep out the people who wouldn't ordinarily take your stuff. Someone who really wants it is going to get it.

So my strategy is to have a really nice bike, but to leave the factory stickers all skinned up, looking nasty. Hopefully, a thief would prefer a bike with higher "curb appeal" than mine.

And I'm getting better at locking her up wherever I go.
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Old 09-24-10, 07:10 PM   #15
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Do I lock up my bike every time?

Yes, Yes, Yes.

There's no guarantee that it won't be stolen but I'm not making it easy for them.
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Old 09-24-10, 07:39 PM   #16
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I've lost one bike this year, I'm not going to lose another one. Even if it is in sight, but I'm moving away from it a few feet, I'll lock it up.
Good thing to do. We had several bike thefts recently at coffee shops frequented by cycling clubs. A one-day old Trek Madone was stolen with the owner less than five feet away. Owner gave chase but wasn't in time. The thief was dressed up in cycling clothes so no one had paid much attention as he checked out the bikes and he was gone around a corner before others could hop on their bikes to pursue.
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Old 09-25-10, 07:41 AM   #17
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Which makes it obvious that a lock is mandatory for all of us. But I keep wondering if anyone out there is working on a GPS locator device, hidden inside carbon bars, seatpost or somewhere on the bike, where it will work like a LoJack on a car. A guy needs a fighting chance against slimeball bike thieves.

I'm beginning to respect the guys who used to hang horse thieves.
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Old 09-25-10, 07:43 AM   #18
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Of course I do.
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Old 09-26-10, 07:51 AM   #19
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I saw a pair of white shoes that a Montana judge had made out of the skin of a convicted horse thief. Old George Parrot stole one too many horses, got hanged and became shoes and a briefcase for the judge. I like the old justice system better than the current one... It just seemed more sensible somehow!
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Old 09-27-10, 08:02 AM   #20
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And if someone hops on your bike while you're watching through the bikeshop window?
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Old 09-27-10, 12:37 PM   #21
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I lock it up always when touring.

If I am running errands I always lock it up.

If I am doning my fitness ride, I don't bring a lock since I don't plan on stopping anywhere.
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Old 10-09-10, 10:48 PM   #22
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Even if you are sitting in a cafe or shop or park, looking at the bike, you need to at least lock the wheel. Put a cable or U-lock around the wheel, in the rear triangle, or use an "O-lock" (which goes thru the spokes) like they use in Europe. Otherwise, even the most opportunistic thief can hop on the bike and ride off faster than you can chase them.

If the bike will be out of my sight for more than 30 seconds I also lock the bike to an object. For very short, mid-day trips, or in low-crime areas, or with an old crappy bike, a cable lock is okay. But around here, thieves carry short bolt cutters or shears which can be hidden in a bag or jacket and cut thru any cable in seconds.

For any longer stops, or higher-crime areas, a small steel U-lock is much better protection. Sure, you can cut thru them with a hacksaw, if you have enough time, but most thieves are not that committed. Shears won't work, and only long, cumbersome bolt cutters will work on a good U-lock. Perhaps the pro thieves in Manhattan carry around electric grinders to defeat U-locks on expensive bikes, but that really doesn't happen in most smaller cities.

In fact, almost every bike stolen here in Long Beach was unlocked or locked with a cable or cheap chain, according to what cops and bike shops have told me. Heavy chains and U-locks are rarely defeated. So use one!
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Old 10-22-10, 05:23 PM   #23
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When we go on family rides, I have a section of high tensile chain and a keyed disc lock. Find an object that is fixed solid to the ground, chain them all together, and the chances of anyone taking your stuff is pretty slim.

Also, if using a bike rack to secure your bike, put the back tire in, not the front. If you chain the front tire in, the thief will simply unbolt the front tire, find a nearby bike with an unsecure front tire, and voila, they have a bike. By placing the back tire in the rack, you have access to the seatstays that can be cabled to the bike rack. Not impossible to steal, but alot harder. We had this problem in Turkey with highend American bikes getting stolen and this was the preferred mothod of theft. My buddy came out to find nothing but his front tire chained to the rack. Right next to his bike was one with no front tire...........


But like others have said, a determined thief will get what they want. The only thing that is absolute is that nothing is absolute.
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Old 10-22-10, 05:56 PM   #24
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I either take the bike in with me or lock it up. I have a $15 Master cable lock (with the combo lock built into the cable) for my commuter, and I use an old ca. 1970s cable with an old Master padlock on my other bikes. I know it's not that great, but then again, I've had that setup since the '70s and no one has stolen it yet.

I also ride bikes that a determined thief would normally pass by.
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Old 10-24-10, 07:45 AM   #25
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If I'm leaving my bike for than a few feet, I'm locking it, unless it's in my LBS, then I lean it against the counter (the employees know me & my bike). Just talked to a couple who had theirs stolen during a football game - they used cable locks outside the stadium, and the cables were cut.

A U-lock is definitely harder to get through than a cable lock, and the "professionals" usually know where to look for bikes that will be unattended for a long period of time (at a stadium during games, restaurants, or places they see the same bike over and over at the same times, etc). For those things, I'd recommend a U-lock as a better deterrent. Otherwise, a cable lock is fine when u are on a casual ride, and need a quick lock-up.

Why risk loosing your bike for a moment of laziness?
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