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Registering your bike, is it worth it?

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Registering your bike, is it worth it?

Old 07-30-08, 06:24 AM
  #1  
Shanners
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Registering your bike, is it worth it?

For example, the UK have: http://www.bikeregister.com/

I wonder how many people have had their bikes returned to them or if it actually deters thieves away from bikes with having a sign on it? Anyone have any experiences with registering your bike/s with any databases?
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Old 07-30-08, 06:30 AM
  #2  
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here in washington, dc, it's the law that bikes be registered with the police department....altho i don't know how well this is enforced. i do make sure that mine are.........costs $1 per bike
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Old 07-30-08, 06:43 AM
  #3  
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Originally Posted by Shanners View Post
For example, the UK have: http://www.bikeregister.com/

I wonder how many people have had their bikes returned to them or if it actually deters thieves away from bikes with having a sign on it? Anyone have any experiences with registering your bike/s with any databases?
I'm all for registration but at the police station and not via a commercial website.

What's their connection to the police? That is, if something's tagged with their system are the police equipped to find and read it?

I bought a security product once that involved coded ink but, having bought it, found out that not many UK police stations had the ability to find, read and then trace the product. Fortunately, that particular product has since disappeared from the market.

http://www.crimereduction.homeoffice...lecrime063.htm

ADVICE ON BICYCLE THEFT PREVENTION
The Government’s aim for the next 20 to 30 years is to increase walking and cycling. We want to make this a more convenient, attractive and realistic choice for many more short journeys, especially those to work and school. Because being active is especially important for children, we want to teach them to walk and cycle in safety and confidence. Unfortunately, more bicycles mean more opportunities for theft. The British Crime Survey reports that 439,000 bicycles were stolen in 2005/06. You can help keep your bike secure by following the advice in this leaflet.

When you purchase your bike

When buying a bike, budget for security.
Take out insurance, either by extending your home contents insurance or through a separate policy. Cycling organisations and bike shops may offer specialist cover.
Do this at the time of purchasing the bike, otherwise you may not get around to it.
Record and register your bike.
Register your bicycle model, make and frame number. This assists the police in returning recovered bikes to their rightful owners. Contact your local police station for further advice.
Take a clear, colour photograph of your bike and make a written record of its description, including any unique features, so that you can report it accurately if stolen.

Security mark the bicycle.
A number of proprietary marking and tagging systems are available. To be effective a security marking must:

be clearly visible – advertise that the bike is security marked or tagged. For example, attaching a clearly visible label is a simple option.
be secure – for example, by using a tamper-resistant label, etching, etc, or an inaccessible electronic device.
be placed in at least two separate locations, preferably on or in the frame. At least one of these locations should not be clearly visible.

give clear information via the visible mark (label, etching, etc) that will quickly allow
police to identify the method of security marking or tagging (and where applicable the
registration company), and through this identify the owner. Crime Prevention Officers or
security marking companies can advise if you are not sure what information to include.

At home
More than half of all bicycle thefts take place from an owner’s property. Simple crime prevention methods can lessen your chances of having your bicycle stolen.

Keep your bike in a secure garage or shed and keep the door locked.
Keep it out of public view.
Secure it to an immovable object or consider installing a floor or wall-mounted anchor lock for extra security.
Out and about
Avoid isolated or dimly lit places. Leave your bike where a potential thief will have to perform in public!
Park your bike safely and considerately. Make use of cycle parking stands where these are provided. Park your bike where it will not be a hazard, obstruction or inconvenience to other pedestrians – particularly the visually impaired and other disabled people. Allow space for prams and wheelchairs, other cyclists or occupants leaving motor vehicles. Never park in front of a fire exit.
If yours is a very expensive bike, don’t lock it in the same place on a regular basis – so it won’t be noticed and stolen to order.

Security
It may seem like there are lots of things to think about when locking your bike, but once you get into the habit you will be able to lock your bike within seconds and it will be well worth the trouble!

Always lock your bicycle, even if you are just leaving it for a couple of minutes.
Lock your bike to an immovable object. Use a proper bike rack/ground anchor or robust street furniture – for example
lamp posts or railings (but observe requests not to use certain items of street furniture and be sure not to cause any damage). Remember that thieves can remove drainpipes and lift bikes off signposts. If provision is inadequate, bring this to the attention of the relevant local authority or property owner.
Lock your bike through the frame.
Secure removable parts. Lock both wheels and the frame together. Take with you smaller parts and accessories that can
be removed without tools, for example lights, pumps, computers, panniers and quick-release saddles, or fit security
fasteners on items such as wheels, headsets and seat posts.
Make the lock (and chain, if used) and bike hard to manoeuvre when parked – to stop thieves smashing the lock open.

Keep the lock (and/or chain) away from the ground.
Keep the gap between the bike and the lock small.
Never leave the lock lying on the pavement – a lock can be sledgehammered easily when it’s resting on the ground.
Locks can also be picked, so face the lock towards the ground (but not resting on it) so it can’t easily be turned upwards for picking.
Locks
There are many different products on the market and price is not necessarily a reliable indicator of quality. The most
important factor is how long the product can resist attack.

You should look for products that have been tested against attack. Check out www.soldsecure.com for certified locks, or ask your local bike shop for a recommendation. Check the packaging for more information.
To guard against the opportunist thief you need a product that has resisted attack for one minute.
To guard against the determined thief you need a product that has resisted attack for three minutes.
To guard against the dedicated thief you need a product that has resisted attack for five minutes.
Invest in a quality lock. Hardened steel D-shaped locks are recommended as the minimum standard. It is worth spending proportionately more on a lock for a more expensive bike.

Help us to help you
Communication is essential if we are to tackle bike crime effectively.

Inform the police if you have your bike stolen. You can report the theft online (www.online.police.uk), by phone or in person at your local police station. Ask for your CAD (Computer Aided Despatch) or CRIS (Crime Reference Information System) number. This will help you trace the progress of your case and may be needed for your insurance claim.
Find out about and take part in local cycling initiatives to raise awareness about cycle security.
Join one of the many cycling organisations to keep up to date with what is going on locally and nationally.
Contact your local crime prevention officer, local authority, employer or the land owner about the installation of cycle
parking where secure anchorages are insufficient or non-existent.
Don’t help to create a market in which thieves can operate. When buying a second-hand bike, make sure the seller owns it. When buying a new bike, purchase from a recognised dealer.
Getting a copy
Download a copy of the leaflet PDF 593Kb.

Further copies of this leaflet can be ordered from Prolog on 0870 241 4680.
If you have any questions regarding the content of this leaflet, please contact public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
Last update: Monday, November 13, 2006
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Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!
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Old 07-30-08, 06:49 AM
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There's also http://www.immobilise.com/ for property registration.



Posted on the UK forum regarding hunting for stolen bikes.

In the search for my stolen bike I was told that the following are the best places to look. Unfortunately, having looked, I have to agree - lots of suspiciously cheap bicycles of dubious ownership.

Ebay

Brick lane market (Sundays from ~04:30 but most stuff won't be there until ~08:00)

gumtree - turns out that it's a hotbed of dodgy goods

london second hand shops

car boot sales - check your local free-ad pages/newspapers

Some (a very small minority) bike shops in London - not going to name and shame as I have no proof.
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Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!
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Old 07-30-08, 07:31 AM
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Here it's advised to register bikes with the city both to aid in theft recovery and to let the city know just how many cyclists there are so they can allocate resources accordingly. Plus you can pick up city bike maps while you're at it.
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Old 07-30-08, 07:37 AM
  #6  
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Registration for us is free. I have not seen anything to indicate if it helps in bike recovery. I figure it can't hurt and it is one good piece of evidence the bike existed if you need to make an insurance claim for theft.
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Old 07-30-08, 07:43 AM
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Registration only works if a bike gets into the hands of someone who checks registries. I don't know if I'd trust commercial registries for that reason; even a responsible used bike dealer can't possibly check all of them.

The Toronto police department has a free and voluntary bike registry. I don't know if it's being put to good use, though. Fewer than a hundred bikes have been returned to their owners after this recent bike shop sting that recovered almost three thousand bikes. I'm not sure if any of those were returned because the police found a bike that was in their registry and went looking for the owner.
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Old 07-30-08, 07:49 AM
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I'd say if it's free sure go ahead. But most registries are worthless. If my bike got stolen in Chicago and recovered in Niles or any other jurisdiction it wouldn't be on the registry because every Police department has their own registry. They really need to centralize it.
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Old 07-30-08, 08:20 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by BikingGrad80 View Post
I'd say if it's free sure go ahead. But most registries are worthless. If my bike got stolen in Chicago and recovered in Niles or any other jurisdiction it wouldn't be on the registry because every Police department has their own registry. They really need to centralize it.
Similarly in the UK.
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Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!
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Old 07-30-08, 08:24 AM
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Detroit just launched an initiative (or, maybe its a proposed initiative) whereby registration of bikes is $0.25, but if your bike is found without registration tags, you get a $55 ticket. I think its a joke, but whatever. Personally, the last time I saw a registered bike was my dad's. Registered in 1983. I inherited the bike but left the tags on just because I think its kind of neat (don't ask).

One of these days on my cycling adventures I'll register them all here in Lansing, but for now the only registration my bikes have is with campus, because they can, and will, cut your lock and impound the bike if its not registered.
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Old 07-30-08, 08:27 AM
  #11  
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A bike stealing ring was just busted in Toronto recently, they've recovered thousands of bikes. Apparently, if your bike isn't registered they can't return it to you UNLESS you can prove it's yours with sales reciepts and serial numbers and such. So registering it makes it easier to have it returned and if you bought your bike used it's probably the only way.

+1 to registering it with the police.
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Old 07-30-08, 09:35 AM
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I registered one bike when I had an errand at the police station, which is where we have to go to do it. They pretty much told me they've never recovered a frame ever, but it doesn't hurt to try. The other household bikes will get registered next time they ride by there, which is almost never. No real urgency for a special trip.
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Old 07-30-08, 10:16 AM
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I've had a bike recovered by registering it -- three years later. It was nice to see it again, but the poor fools who took/resold it never took any care of the poor bike.
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Old 07-30-08, 10:16 AM
  #14  
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Registration only serves to make the fight with insurance company easier to
get paid for your stolen bike. Police won't take time to chase down who stole
the bike unless they caught the thief in the act.

There is no other valid reason to bother with registration of bicycles.
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Old 07-30-08, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
Registration only serves to make the fight with insurance company easier to
get paid for your stolen bike. Police won't take time to chase down who stole
the bike unless they caught the thief in the act.

There is no other valid reason to bother with registration of bicycles.
Yes but like in Toronto recently if they catch the thief in the act of stealing ONE bike, they can then recover his whole stash. Then they end up with a whole bunch of bikes, and if you registered it can get returned to you. If you didn't register the police get to sell it and keep the profits. So why not register?
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Old 07-30-08, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
Registration only serves to make the fight with insurance company easier to
get paid for your stolen bike. Police won't take time to chase down who stole
the bike unless they caught the thief in the act.

There is no other valid reason to bother with registration of bicycles.
That's a good reason.
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Old 07-30-08, 12:41 PM
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Yes, you should register your bike. If you're in school, then register it with your campus police. I don't know what city you live in, or how your police force is, but ours will register it I'm pretty sure for little to nothing.

Pros:
The police have your serial no and description so if you get your bike stolen, then its way less hassle and more legit.
Also, my girlfriend got her bike stolen one time. I was so furious that I set out on my bike to find it. And guess what, I did. But, we didn't have the serial number on file so it took almost two weeks, a polariod picture of the bike, and interviews to get it back. If we would have had it registered, we would have gotten it back within the hour.

Cons:
It takes a whole hour or so out of your life.
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Old 07-30-08, 05:13 PM
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Bike Registration

Here in Arlington, Virginia, it doesn't cost anything to register your bike with the police. They claim it will aid in getting your bike back if it gets stolen, but happily I haven't had to test that claim. As long as it's a free good, why not?
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Old 07-30-08, 08:07 PM
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I got a chance to see bike registration work in Chicago.

An officer knowledgeable about bikes observed a gang member known to him riding a $6,000 Colnago in the ghetto. The officer checked him out and found him to be in possession of narcotics. Arrest made, bike brought in. A check of the serial number in the CPD's registration database led to the owner (who registered it) who had reported the bike stolen in a burglary of his home three days prior. The owner was contacted and happily came to retrieve his bike. The offender was charged accordingly and the bike returned to its owner.

Had it not been registered the Colnago could have ended up inventoried for a specified waiting period. If owners are not found bikes are ultimately sent to city auction.

There you go! A story with a happy ending. No extra charge.
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Old 07-31-08, 02:30 AM
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For people in the US: http://nationalbikeregistry.com/
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Old 08-07-08, 02:46 PM
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That has since been changed as of June 1st 08. Can't actually register with the popo anymore
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Old 08-07-08, 02:59 PM
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I'd do it if I thought it would do any good.I can't even get the police to get out of their cars to give out tickets for running red lights,let alone waste their time trying to find my bike.You can sit at any intersection in the city and watch people run reds all day long,never see anyone getting tickets. You can run the light right in front of them and they do nothing.

Last edited by Booger1; 08-07-08 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 08-07-08, 03:35 PM
  #23  
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Registering your bike only makes it easier for someone who hacks the bike registry database find where all the good bike live

But at least if you registered it at the PD you'd have an easier time making a police report and getting insurance to pay a pittance.
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