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  1. #1
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    Is SoCal that unsafe?

    Hey people of bikeforums! I recently got into biking and I'm currently shopping for locks. I use my bike to commute all around the Garden Grove and Westminster area and I will sometime take rides to the beach. I've been hearing a lot of stories of bike theft after I bought the OnGuard mini U-lock at Performancebicycle. My cousin who has been biking for quite sometime urge me to invest in something like the Kryptonite Fahgettaboutit but it just seems like overkill for Southern California. I thought that I'd ask the bike community of SoCal and see what are some thoughts on this. I don't ever plan on leaving my bike overnight anywhere but I do plan on leaving it at places for a few hours. So is it worth it to invest in the fahgettaboutit or is my OnGuard mini U-Lock enough?

  2. #2
    Senior Member sojourn's Avatar
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    My Dad told me long ago that locks keep the honest honest, and slow the dishonest down.....

  3. #3
    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LelandT View Post
    Hey people of bikeforums! I recently got into biking and I'm currently shopping for locks. I use my bike to commute all around the Garden Grove and Westminster area and I will sometime take rides to the beach. I've been hearing a lot of stories of bike theft after I bought the OnGuard mini U-lock at Performancebicycle. My cousin who has been biking for quite sometime urge me to invest in something like the Kryptonite Fahgettaboutit but it just seems like overkill for Southern California. I thought that I'd ask the bike community of SoCal and see what are some thoughts on this. I don't ever plan on leaving my bike overnight anywhere but I do plan on leaving it at places for a few hours. So is it worth it to invest in the fahgettaboutit or is my OnGuard mini U-Lock enough?
    Where in SoCal do you live? It makes ALL the difference.
    My current stable:

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    2012 Colnago C59 in PR99 color scheme (Campy Record 11s)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sojourn View Post
    My Dad told me long ago that locks keep the honest honest, and slow the dishonest down.....
    I have to admit, I like that saying from your dad. I never really believed locks could prevent a bike theft from happening because I was told that a lock will yield to any bike thief that truly wanted your bike. Especially if they have the tools for it on hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
    Where in SoCal do you live? It makes ALL the difference.
    I live in Garden Grove but I regularly commute to Westminster and occasionally to Huntington Beach. Those are really the only areas I could imagine me leaving my bike unattended for a few hours. I'm probably going to have moments where I leave my bike unattended at the beach also.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    If you are gonna be leaving your bike unattended for a few hours at various locations, then buy the very best lock you can afford.

    And also learn how to properly lock up a bike. A guy on here had a locked bike stolen at Bella Terra in Huntington Beach, and in a very public/visible area too.
    Regards,

    Jed

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jed19 View Post
    If you are gonna be leaving your bike unattended for a few hours at various locations, then buy the very best lock you can afford.

    And also learn how to properly lock up a bike. A guy on here had a locked bike stolen at Bella Terra in Huntington Beach, and in a very public/visible area too.
    +1, I think it matters more on how you lock the bike rather than what lock you use.

    The Sheldon Brown locking method works great for me: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html

    Look at the picture halfway down the page, I usually put one of the seat stays through the lock too.
    I have left my CAAD9 unattended for 2 hours in Pasadena without it getting stolen.
    Cannondale CAAD9
    Quote Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
    I know but this is BF.

  7. #7
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    It also helps to not have the most desirable bike in the bike rack.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by LelandT View Post
    I have to admit, I like that saying from your dad. I never really believed locks could prevent a bike theft from happening because I was told that a lock will yield to any bike thief that truly wanted your bike. Especially if they have the tools for it on hand.
    Yup, no matter what you do, your bike can be taken by someone with the right tools.
    If you have got time watch these videos, they are pretty interesting:

    Cannondale CAAD9
    Quote Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
    I know but this is BF.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    It also helps to not have the most desirable bike in the bike rack.
    Which is kinda hard sometimes if you are riding a good quality road bike.....
    Cannondale CAAD9
    Quote Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
    I know but this is BF.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Chaco's Avatar
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    I had my bike stolen at a popular hangout for cyclists while I was sitting 10 feet away. There were 30 other cyclists there, with their bikes, when I was there.
    Now I always lock my bike if it's going to be out of my sight for more than 10 seconds. I know the lock won't stop a determined thief. But I apply the grizzly bear rule -- if a bunch of people encounter a grizzly bear, you don't have to be the fastest -- you just have to be faster than the slowest person.

    So if it's a choice between your bike that's locked - even with a bad lock - and another bike that isn't, the odds are pretty good in your favor. After all, most of these thieves have absolutely no idea what the bike is worth; they're going to sell if for $100 to get their next drug fix.
    Scott CR1 Team

  11. #11
    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LelandT View Post
    I live in Garden Grove but I regularly commute to Westminster and occasionally to Huntington Beach. Those are really the only areas I could imagine me leaving my bike unattended for a few hours. I'm probably going to have moments where I leave my bike unattended at the beach also.
    I live in Ventura county, bike thefts are pretty rare where I normally bike...oh crap! I just jinxed it.
    My current stable:

    1989 SLX Bottecchia (Campy Athena 11s)
    1999 Cannondale F400 mountain bike
    2012 Bianchi Infinito (Campy Record 11s)
    2012 Colnago C59 in PR99 color scheme (Campy Record 11s)

  12. #12
    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaco View Post
    I had my bike stolen at a popular hangout for cyclists while I was sitting 10 feet away. There were 30 other cyclists there, with their bikes, when I was there.
    Now I always lock my bike if it's going to be out of my sight for more than 10 seconds. I know the lock won't stop a determined thief. But I apply the grizzly bear rule -- if a bunch of people encounter a grizzly bear, you don't have to be the fastest -- you just have to be faster than the slowest person.

    So if it's a choice between your bike that's locked - even with a bad lock - and another bike that isn't, the odds are pretty good in your favor. After all, most of these thieves have absolutely no idea what the bike is worth; they're going to sell if for $100 to get their next drug fix.
    Bring that Corgi along with you, I hear they are pretty good guard dogs. My own dog is so helpful, he would probably help the thief pull the lock off....
    My current stable:

    1989 SLX Bottecchia (Campy Athena 11s)
    1999 Cannondale F400 mountain bike
    2012 Bianchi Infinito (Campy Record 11s)
    2012 Colnago C59 in PR99 color scheme (Campy Record 11s)

  13. #13
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    I bike in Irvine, and San Diego County. I do not worry about theft. I leave my bile (Trek 7.2FX) locked to a chain link fence at work with a good quality cable lock. North of the 55 freeway, where you are, I would take more precautions. Also, the infrastructure for riding becomes a little more unfriendly for biking north of the 55. Most of that area, GG, Santa Ana, Westminster, HB, were developed in the 1950's and 1960's, before it was common to consider bicycles in urban street planning.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  14. #14
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    I never leave my bike unattended anywhere in LA. Ever.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the replies everyone! I think I'll definitely invest in a good U-Lock. I just read about all the Santa Ana incidents and the Bella Terra theft. I must admit, I'm a little surprised because I always thought that places like Bella Terra would be the least place you'd expect to get your bike stolen. I guess I was wrong.

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    Bike thefts are also up recently in costa mesa and newport. i have had 4 friends that have had their bikes stolen in the past 2 months. and they were chain/cable locked at the beach

  17. #17
    Grammar Cop Condorita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
    I bike in Irvine, and San Diego County. I do not worry about theft. I leave my bile (Trek 7.2FX) locked to a chain link fence at work with a good quality cable lock. North of the 55 freeway, where you are, I would take more precautions. Also, the infrastructure for riding becomes a little more unfriendly for biking north of the 55. Most of that area, GG, Santa Ana, Westminster, HB, were developed in the 1950's and 1960's, before it was common to consider bicycles in urban street planning.
    The 55 runs north and south. How can you get "north of the 55" unless you're in Anaheim Hills/Yorba Linda where the 55 ends at the 91?
    That which does not kill me has made a massive tactical blunder.
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  18. #18
    jmX
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    If I was going to commute anywhere in Socal and was going to have my bike locked up somewhere, I'd get a used bike <$500 and a $60 u-lock + thick cable or chain. Even then I'd be happy if it remained in my possession for a year.

    I think SoCal is probably one of the most unsafe areas I'd ever consider living in. Even though I live in a 'safe' city, there's always serious issues just minutes away in Stabba Ana. You're never very far from "bad areas" here.

    When I lived in GG, crime was getting pretty bad at the apartment complex I was in, and I had to chase a little gangbanger dude in a wife beater off my porch at 2am. My pregnant wife was sleeping not 5 feet from the guy on my porch. He was trying to jack my tools.
    Last edited by jmX; 06-18-12 at 05:21 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Durockrolly's Avatar
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    If you think your bike won't get stolen because of where you ride or live, you are sadly mistaken. Thieves like to go to the "nicer" areas as well as low crime areas knowing their haul will normally more valuable as well as more accessible. Take a drive through the lower income areas and see what is left out for easy pickens and then do the same for the much more affluent neighborhoods.
    Been chatting to a 14 year old girl online. She's funny, sexy and flirty. Now she tells me she is an undercover cop! How cool is that at her age!?

  20. #20
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Condorita View Post
    The 55 runs north and south. How can you get "north of the 55" unless you're in Anaheim Hills/Yorba Linda where the 55 ends at the 91?
    It actually runs southwest to northeast. Since I usually take the 405 which runs "north" from San Diego, (in spite of the fact that parts of it are due east/west), and it crosses the 55 at a right angle, it is convenient for me to call Santa Ana and Costa Mesa "north" of the 55.

    CalTrans designates the north/southness and east/westhness of the designated route based on whether the termination points are more north/south, or east/west.

    Life is too short to quibble over insignificant "flaws".
    Last edited by CommuteCommando; 06-18-12 at 07:42 PM.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  21. #21
    Junior Member domtran's Avatar
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    My cousin who has been biking for quite sometime urge me to invest in something like the Kryptonite Fahgettaboutit but it just seems like overkill for Southern California.
    Your cousin sounds like a smart guy.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    It depends on the type of riding you do. A recreational rider usually will not leave his bike unattended. He goes on rides in a more specific route for the expressed purpose of a good workout. A rider who uses his bike for actually going places with stop overs is a different thing.

    I have two bikes and would never use my good bike for any other purpose because it costs too much to replace. The other bike is like a beater bike that may not be worth stealing because the parts are not worth it.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Sci-Fi's Avatar
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    All my bikes have either 2 U-Locks or U-Lock and heavy chain w/lock. IMHO cables of any thickness are virtually useless and too ez to cut/defeat. Front wheel to frame and thru the chainstays and wheel to a light post or whatever. Yeah its a lot of weight but my bikes are my only means of transportation.

    Doesnt matter if you ride a beater or high end, thieves will take anything or take parts off. Have an old school vinyl bike bag and they tried to take that. Removing your seat doesnt deter them either. The S.M. Rei store recommends you bring your bike inside because of the high thief rate even if you lock it up right at the front door. Times are hard and people are desperate for cash. You make your own parking location/locking decisions when you go out and you either take the extra time (and weight) to secure it or not.
    Last edited by Sci-Fi; 06-19-12 at 08:32 AM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    If you take a look at the bikes used by restaurant workers (like at Denny's), they're parked outside in the back. Those are the beater bikes that the theft guys don't care about.

  25. #25
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    My advice is to never leave a nice, expensive bike unattended. Beach cities are especially hit hard during the summer months. In Huntington Beach, don't ever lock your bike in the racks uner the pier, as your chances of having it stolen are very high. Last July, 131 bikes were stolen in Huntington Beach and many of them were either stolen from under the pier or from any of the bike racks on Main Street. Yes, Bella Terra Mall (Beach/Edinger) gets hit pretty hard, as well, especially from outside 24-Hour Fitness, from the theater area and from Barnes and Noble. Be sure you know your serial number, too, so if your bike is stolen, your chances of getting it returned will be far greater.

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