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Old 08-14-09, 05:54 PM   #1
jfry541
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How safe is Vancouver against thieves?

Hello, I will be touring through BC and plan to meet up with some friends in Vancouver for a couple days. I am a little nervous as to what to do with the bike. We will not have a hotel to stash it at, but possibly a hostel. I come from Eugene, Oregon, where so far this summer two tourists have had their bikes taken. This is my worst nightmare. So how is it in Vancouver?
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Old 08-14-09, 06:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jfry541 View Post
Hello, I will be touring through BC and plan to meet up with some friends in Vancouver for a couple days. I am a little nervous as to what to do with the bike. We will not have a hotel to stash it at, but possibly a hostel. I come from Eugene, Oregon, where so far this summer two tourists have had their bikes taken. This is my worst nightmare. So how is it in Vancouver?
Property theft in Vancouver is very high due to an inordinate number of drug addicts in need of quick cash. I would call the hostel you're planning on staying at and see what kind of provisions they have. I wouldn't want to leave it outside overnight.
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Old 08-14-09, 06:46 PM   #3
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I would recommend locking your bike with a U-lock plus cable. Thieves will steal anything they can take, even clunkers. It's a serious problem in Vancouver, especially downtown.
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Old 08-16-09, 12:58 AM   #4
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I would recommend locking your bike with a U-lock plus cable. Thieves will steal anything they can take, even clunkers. It's a serious problem in Vancouver, especially downtown.
A bike left outside overnight is plenty of time for a thief to go through a U lock and cable. There's a thriving stolen bike market in Vancouver region. Just scan CL. It's crazy. You can quite easily pick out career bike thieves selling their wares there.
Your best bet is to pay a few bucks more and find an accommodation that allows you to store your bike either in your room or a secured indoor (as in kept in a lobby office or something).
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Old 08-16-09, 12:38 PM   #5
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U-Lock and cable even for quick stops. I don't even entertain the thought of leaving it outside overnight. Even if it doesn't get stolen, the chance of vandalism is high.
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Old 08-18-09, 02:53 PM   #6
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Sound advice in here.
If your bike has ANY value at all: Do not leave it outside overnight.
I have pinheads, and two small kryptonites...and I live here.
PS. It isn't just drug addicts looking for bikes here either: The demand for medium to high-end bike parts is high enough that there is now a "ring" being operated...
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Old 08-27-09, 10:25 PM   #7
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In the immortal words of a guy I overheard in a LBS "It's a warzone."
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Old 08-28-09, 10:54 AM   #8
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And the VPD has now made press release indicating that the theft of bikes is high here (again? still? always?).
http://www.vancouversun.com/travel/V...807/story.html
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Old 08-28-09, 11:25 AM   #9
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^ was it ever low? I guess Vancouver has reached another new high.
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Old 08-30-09, 04:31 PM   #10
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A thievin' scum was caught trying to rip off a bike in front of my bf's building near Yaletown this summer, later more thievin' scum got into the so-called-secure garage and B&Ed some cars etc.

The bike racks in front of his building are clearly visible from a very busy street, too.
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Old 09-01-09, 11:53 PM   #11
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I used to live in Yaletown (The Max) and prior the Aquarius Mews by the Marina. I am always perplexed at the amount of stolen bike notices on the bulletin boards. These building's lockers are hidden in a labyrinth of the basement and one has to go through multiple security key swipes. I think inside job is likely the culprit.
There was one time, when my wife and I walked to the Recycling room to throw away some bottles and we were startled that 2 homeless persons were "dumpster diving" in the large recycle bins! Easy money I guess. But it also shows how easy it is for outsides to get in!
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Old 12-26-10, 11:04 PM   #12
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Is there a preferred steal method? (cut locks then ride away? or put them in vehicles then drive away?
What do you think is the ratio?)
Should you use better locks and (or just) also combined with taking a wheel or seat with you as well?

What about using a loud a$$ alarm (or will just annoy peds on streets?)
(tracking device within frame? are there good updated solutions or products now in 2010?)
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Old 12-28-10, 09:15 AM   #13
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Just use a good quality U lock through the frame and both wheels to something secure. You wouldn't believe how many bikes are left with just the frame locked with a crappy lock.

If you leave it downtown make sure this is the case, because the thief will just move over to an easier target.

And believe it or not, not that many bikes are stolen. Car theft is bigger. It's just that a poorly locked bike is easy prey for a junkie looking for the next score.

It's amazing more bikes aren't stolen.
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Old 12-28-10, 11:40 PM   #14
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Are there notable hills to ride in within all Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Moody area?

Or is riding pathways near shorelines a faster, flat direct route? (what are suggested good safe direct routes?)
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Old 12-29-10, 03:14 AM   #15
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Hello, check out translink.ca and look for the cycling route map. Tis a great system. Vancouver area is relatively flat with some hills.
As for theft, I had a relatively old xs mountain bike stolen years ago at emily carr while I was in class for a few hours and had locked in what I thought was a safe area. I know I forgot my D lock that day but...the police eventually found it at a nasty pawn shop and I had a few more years with my precious specialized hardrock, but it had suffered some damage. Bikes are stolen all the time. Know your bike's serial number and honestly, the police will look for it! I think bikesnob has some video about how to lock your bike. Lock frame, wheels, saddle with Ulocks, chain locks etc.. My husband is too nervous about bringing bikes into Vancouver so we rarely do(which sucks because I love biking in Vancouver and hate bussing it), but I have come in with my surly and locked it up best I could and was still there, but did not leave outside overnight. I'd even be nervous about leaving my 'beater' bike alone.
Which hostel are you staying in? The offical HI's should have a place for bikes(and lock them inside too), you'd be surprised how many hotels have bike rooms. The Sylvia has one and I usually stay at the Victorian Hotel which has space in the basement. It's a totally affordable full of antiques and beautiful rooms hotel and is very central. For 2 people it is less expensive than hostel.
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Old 12-29-10, 07:35 AM   #16
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Last edited by closetbiker; 12-29-10 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 12-30-10, 12:39 PM   #17
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To insure my friends Wilier in Cloverdale $100 more per year on his home insurance than I pay to insure my Jeep outright in Alberta. I pay nothing for the riders on my bikes in the prairies and I almost never even bother to lock my bike. I would say based on those two factors alone bike theft is roughly infinitely higher in the Lower Mainland than non urban areas.

Downtown the chance of having your bike stomped or stripped if the thief can't get through the lock would be high enough to cause me to lose sleep.

The good news is that bike theft isn't news so I would be surprised if where you were staying wouldn't allow you to bring your bike into at least a more secure storage area.
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Old 12-30-10, 01:59 PM   #18
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... Downtown the chance of having your bike stomped or stripped if the thief can't get through the lock would be high enough to cause me to lose sleep...
This past year there was a thread about Sheldon's lock strategy



that went on to mention how it wasn't perfect.

No surprise, there's nothing that a determined thief can't get if he really wants to. There are even videos on youtube about it.


I can empathize with a victim of bike theft, but in reality, there aren't that many bike stolen compared to how many are in use

The City of vancouver has on it's pages, some bike facts, and one of them shows that there are over 60,000 trips per day taken on bikes in Vancouver. That's almost 22 million trips per year.

Some local press published stories about how many bikes are stolen in a year in Vancouver. About 1700 from 22 million trips. Of those 1700 stolen, police recover about 1000 of them, but very few owners can collect them because very few people know what their the bike serial number is!

Since I've heard from people who have had their bikes stolen from their homes, I called the cops to see how many were stolen from homes. About half the bikes are stolen out of homes. So if your concern is with your bike being stolen while out and about, cut that 1700 in half.

To confirm what I've observed over the years, I went out to look at bikes on the street and how they were locked. Out of 100 bikes, only 2 bikes were locked up right. I saw 8 bikes unlocked, and unattended.

I read a story about bike theft in Vancouver where a woman was upset that her vintage bike had been stolen while she was shopping, but she didn't even lock it up when she left it!

I see many people refuse to pay for a lock that would be cheaper than an insurance deductible, cheaper than the replacement of a front wheel and would cost less than half the amount one would spend on a replacement rear wheel.

Most bikes were locked wrong with a cheap lock that could be cut in seconds.

Most bike thieves are junkies wanting a quick fix that could be paid for with a bike that works that is sold very quickly to a fence.

Bikes are stolen because it's a quick and easy thing to do. Thieves want to make money from your bike. They don't want to spend too much time unlocking it or "stomping it". If it's locked right, with a good lock, a thief will move over to the next bike that's easier and quicker to steal.

All that said, it's a bummer for a bike to be swiped. No one likes it and it happens. Despite precautions, it can still be stolen, so keep things in perspective. There are as many bikes owned in a city as motor vehicles, yet three times as many motor vehicles are stolen as bicycles. A bike costs far less than a car and is still just a machine. It can be replaced. A stolen bike isn't the end of the world. New bikes are cool too.

I find it hard to listen to complaints about theft when the owner didn't use a good lock, didn't bother to lock it at all, and doesn't even know the serial number of the bike.

Last edited by closetbiker; 12-30-10 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 12-31-10, 04:03 AM   #19
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What would be good and bad examples of good and bad lock types?
Min. recommendation is a standard steel u-lock? (krytonite brand more or less? mec type? abul?)

Easy more vulnerable locks are cable type?

Also, when rain riding, will a tire grip spray somewhat help traction? (vehicle spray used on snow, ice, wet conditions,)
Rain covers on bikes when locking a good idea? Or also vulnerable to theft?

What about also waterproofing a bike?
Such as:

http://hacktastico.com/2009/02/01/ho...-on-the-cheap/
Or better alternative methods?

Are there particular streets and (or) intersections that are riskier to cycle or commute?
What about certain steep hills that take a lengthier commute time?
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