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Bike Theft season is off and running at college campuses

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Bike Theft season is off and running at college campuses

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Old 09-07-07, 10:52 AM
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MNBiker
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Bike Theft season is off and running at college campuses

The Minneapolis online Star and Tribune had an article today reporting on the amount of bike theft that goes on at the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus. See this link: http://www.startribune.com/crime/story/1405397.html

I imagine something similar to this happens at other college campuses. At first reading I was somewhat surprised at the number of bike thefts that occur. They also encourage using good methods to lock up one's bike.
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Old 09-07-07, 12:53 PM
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I better sharpen my bolt cutters.

I dropped my kid off at college last weekend. Saw a shiny new expensive road bike at the dorm locked with a half inch twisted wire cable. You could defeat that lock with a pocket knife. Fortunately, most of the population has a clue. U-locks were by far the most popular.
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Old 09-07-07, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by squeakywheel View Post
I dropped my kid off at college last weekend. Saw a shiny new expensive road bike at the dorm locked with a half inch twisted wire cable. You could defeat that lock with a pocket knife.
I'm curious: have you ever actually done so? Because, y'know, there are a lot of assertions about how you can defeat this or that lock in five seconds with a hairpin and a can of dust-off (or whatever), and I know a lot of people hear these assertions and pass them on as gospel, but I have yet to meet anyone who's actually done it and knows this from first-hand experience. Anyone here ever actually cracked a bike lock?
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Old 09-07-07, 02:09 PM
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No, but it's so obvious how to defeat a cable lock. Slice vinyl cover with pocket knife. Pluck out individual strands of the twisted cable one at a time with same pocket knife. Repeat until last strand is broken. Ride away with your new bike.
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Old 09-07-07, 02:14 PM
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lil brown, yes I have actually cracked a bike lock. My own lock. I think I actually wound up doing it twice for the same type of lock; once when I lost the keys and once when road salt/ice/rust prevented the key from working.

The locks were purchased from a Canadian Tire store (competitor to walmart et al) and were the cheapest U-lock available. ~$10 CAD i think. Tool used: hacksaw, about $10 at the same store.

It took at least 20 minutes of sawing. The thinner part of the lock was made with some kind of chrome steel that was impossible to damage at all with my hacksaw.

I suspect Squeakywheel is exaggerating with the pocket knife comment but the point remains that cheap locks are usually easy to defeat.
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Old 09-07-07, 02:26 PM
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I cut a bike cable locked to one of my bikes when I lost the key. Bolt cutters made fairly fast work of it.
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Old 09-07-07, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by squeakywheel View Post
No, but it's so obvious how to defeat a cable lock. Slice vinyl cover with pocket knife. Pluck out individual strands of the twisted cable one at a time with same pocket knife. Repeat until last strand is broken. Ride away with your new bike.
I see. Well, the first time you actually try it, I'll be curious to know whether this obvious solution actually works, how long it takes, and if anyone comes along and says, "Excuse me, wtf are you doing?" while you're doing it.
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Old 09-07-07, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
I see. Well, the first time you actually try it, I'll be curious to know whether this obvious solution actually works, how long it takes, and if anyone comes along and says, "Excuse me, wtf are you doing?" while you're doing it.
I lost my key.
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Old 09-07-07, 03:21 PM
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I teach at a small college where the best bike you see is a cheap BMX style. Nobody want's 'em.

My office mate and I have a storeroom where we can lock up our commuter bikes.
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Old 09-07-07, 03:42 PM
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At the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), 10% of students have admitted to having stolen a bicycle. Sample excuses: "I had to get home somehow." "Mine got stolen and I had to ride on something." Apparently, most of the bike thefts in the city are done by students there. (from Amsterdam's free newspaper dealing with urban issues)
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Old 09-07-07, 04:22 PM
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I think bike thefts can be put into two categories: 1) crime of opportunity and 2)thieves who know what they're doing. Crimes of opportunity include leaving your lights on your bike and having them disappear, getting your QR seat stolen, or getting your bike yoinked cause you left it unlocked. Then there are thieves who know what they are doing, who use power tools and bolt cutters and get your bike in about 15 seconds.

There were two occurrences this week that made me lose all faith in bike locks. First, my Bianchi was stolen - the Krypto chain lock was cut with bolt cutters. Then my key snapped off inside my U-lock (different bike), and I used an angle grinder to cut the Kryptonite u-lock. It took about 5 seconds. Nobody asked any questions.

Keep your bike inside if at all possible, secure everything on it with screws. You'll be okay if you do that.
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Old 09-07-07, 04:24 PM
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Which is why my commuter spends its days in the office with me.
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Old 09-07-07, 06:16 PM
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maybe Lamalex can go around all the campuses and "steal" bikes, so the students will learn to lock up properly:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=341125


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Old 09-07-07, 07:06 PM
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About two decades ago, when I used to keep my bike inside a chainlink bike cage provided by the university where i work, (which occasionally got invaded by thieves and/or part strippers) there was a small frame Raleigh International U-locked to the stand, and it had everything but the BB, chainwheel, and pedals stripped. After about a year of seeing nothing at all happen to this - meaning it was abandoned - I approached the campus police and was told I could take it if I could get it off without damaging the stand. This was way before the Bic pen trick was discovered.
I took maybe a half pint of liquid nitrogen and dipped the cylinder area of the lock in it, let it chill for a minute, and then gave it a few sharp whacks with a hammer. Bingo. It broke where the end of the loop went into the lock area. Many toughened steel alloys as well as other materials get very brittle when taken down to cryo temps. I don't see why a well-placed stream from a dust off can wouldn't work. I didn't even consider hacksawing the u-lock off. Would've been torture. The chilling trick took maybe two and a half minutes tops, and I wasn't rushing.

Am still using the chainwheel (Campy NR) on a bike I built up and eventually - like 8 years later - found a coworker that was the right size for the frame, and turned him on to english steel. It didn't take him too much work to build it up and he rode it a lot in the countryside outside of Philly.
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