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Vandal prevention in apartments?

Old 05-21-09, 08:00 PM
  #1  
JusticeZero
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Vandal prevention in apartments?

I live in an apartment building; on the third floor, with no elevator, and with a very windy and narrow stairway in between. We've been having our bikes vandalized recently - random, low value parts removed, quick releases loosened, and the like. Carrying the bikes inside is not feasable. We are locked up in the manner advised by the apartment management. What would you recommend?
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Old 05-21-09, 08:05 PM
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I'd recommend carrying the bikes upstairs, parking the bikes elsewhere, finding a new apartment, or accepting your current situation.
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Old 05-21-09, 08:19 PM
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I would agree with uke. You could also try and completely theft prevent your bike as much as possible.
Security bolts and what not.
You could make it as fugly as possible without compromising function.
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Old 05-21-09, 08:24 PM
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Yeah, leaving bikes outside for any amount of time is asking for it. I would probably move out of the ghetto.
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Old 05-21-09, 08:39 PM
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We're in midtown, a relatively well to do part of town. It's no Hillside, but it's hardly Russian Jack. If I could afford the continual repairs to the building that it would entail, I wouldn't so much mind hauling the bikes upstairs; it is however three flights of stairs, and so far I haven't managed it without banging a pedal against a railing, or scratching up a doorway, or similar. And then we have to push it through the whole apartment to find a place to park.
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Old 05-21-09, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
And then we have to push it through the whole apartment to find a place to park.
What?
Your bike's living space is not the centerpiece of your home?
Blasphemy!
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Old 05-21-09, 10:19 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
What?
Your bike's living space is not the centerpiece of your home?
Blasphemy!
Bingo. I've lived in apartments all my adult life. At various times I've kept bikes in the garage (when I had one), walk in closet, kitchen, living room, bedroom, and currently in my spare bedroom (where they share space with my computer). At no time have I ever stored my bikes outdoors.

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Old 05-21-09, 10:38 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Dr_Robert View Post
At no time have I ever stored my bikes outdoors.
Same here.

House: garage
Townhouse w/ communal parking equiped with bike racks: my own basement
Ghetto one room apartment in the Tenderloin: near my bed

I don't really understand the reasons you cited for keeping your bike outside. Carrying a bike up three flights of stairs is no big deal. You shouldn't have to pay for every scratch you put on the walls of the stairwell. That's natural wear from use, not damage. I can't imagine how they'd prove it's you either. As for whether you want to have the bike in your living space, that's a personal decision you'll have to make. It's either that or vandalism. Which is more important to you?
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Old 05-21-09, 10:45 PM
  #9  
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Yup, all three bikes are in my apartment, in the living room. There are racks outside, but I don't use them.
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Old 05-21-09, 10:47 PM
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Hide in the shadows and wait for them.

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Old 05-21-09, 10:56 PM
  #11  
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you can put hoseclaps around the quickreleases and the forkblades and seatstays. That way they cant mess with them.

you can put a small bearing in the allen bolts and fill the rest with crazy glue.

you can use a chain like the one you use for the gears, and loop it around your saddle rails and a seatstay. They cant take the saddle unless they have a chainbreaker.

If they are flatening the tires, you can take the air out of them yourself when you leave your bike and then fill them up every morning. Somehow flat tires are not fun to pop, especially if there are other ones around.

if its a cheap bike you can do like I did with a pacific bike I have and drill and screw everything to the handlebars and frame.

#1 tip like everyone else said is to take it inside with you, but that's your choice to make not mine.

EDIT: I would never leave my bike outside. But thats just me.

Last edited by EatMyA**; 05-21-09 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 05-21-09, 11:43 PM
  #12  
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I live in an apartment too. A small one bedroom at that.. No way in hell i'm leaving $1200-1500 worth of bike outside, so I figured out a way to store it without taking up much space by standing it vertically on its back wheel in a corner with the handlebars against the wall. It stays in place by putting something in front of the tire to keep it from rolling out. As far as scratching the walls.. how are you carrying the bike when walking up the stairs? I find that if I carry it on my shoulder, cyclocross style, it's much easier to keep it off stuff.

Basically, if you're not parking it inside, then there is no 100% sure way to prevent vandalism. You can minimize the chances by doing some of the suggestions, but that's about it.

edit: Just noticed your sig has a recumbent listed. If that's one of the bikes you're hauling upstairs, then that does seem like it'd be a pain to deal with.

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Old 05-21-09, 11:52 PM
  #13  
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I have 10 bikes and keep every single one inside, in the last two apartments I've lived in. Not having a wife helps.

You could get a folding bike, which would be easier to carry up the stairs, or a fixed gear which is normally very light weight and easy to carry.

Leaving a bike outside is just going to invite problems. In Cleveland, they just busted a drug dealer for dealing drugs in the parking lot of a police station. His excuse? Regular streets are just too dangerous. The same goes for bikes.
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Old 05-22-09, 02:08 AM
  #14  
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Get folding bikes. https://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bikes/

If not get detatchable pedals (often used on folders) and take them off before carrying bike upstairs. Maybe also take off wheels, pedals in pocket, wheels in right hand, frame over left sholder. Walk stairs.
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Old 05-22-09, 03:12 AM
  #15  
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Mine are in my living room.
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Old 05-22-09, 05:41 AM
  #16  
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I'm also an apartment dweller.

There's no way I'd leave my bikes outside my apartment. I tried with one bike--left it in my storage bin in the basement. Concrete block walls, solid wood door (not hollow-core.) Lasted there three months before the door was bashed down. The hasp and padlock on the door were still intact, BTW.

I understand the issue with winding stairs in an older building. Mine has them too. It's impossible to move a non-folding bike up those winding stairs without bashing something. Down is easier because I can roll it on the back wheel--but only the bike without fenders. Factor in the auto-slam fire doors and outside door, and the stairs are a real pain.

Fortunately, my building has straight-run fire escape stairs right to every kitchen door. I only use the inside stairs when my fire escape is icy, which even here in Upstate is only a couple of times every winter.



I'm taking the long way 'round to say, the best bet is to use the advantage all apartment dwellers have--move. This time, along with everything else, keep bikes in mind when apartment hunting. With enough looking, you'll find a building as bike-friendly as mine, or even more bike-friendly than mine. Then keep 'em in your place, like this:

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Old 05-22-09, 05:59 AM
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I once lived on the sixth floor of a highrise apartment downtown. I carried my bike up and down those stairs everyday for 3 years. Sometimes I used the elevator but I think management frowned up it. There was no way I was leaving my expensive (at that time) bike locked up to a bike rack in the parking garage.

Now I ride two crappy old bikes that hardly work and I keep 'em parked outside in the backyard. On one only the front derailure works and the other is a "single speed" as it is permantly stuck in 2nd gear. Soon I will get them up and working properly but I paid hardly anything for them and they still have good breaks and frames. I just need to spend more time hanging out in the Mechanics Forum....
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Old 05-22-09, 06:24 AM
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I can barely get mine up my work stairs, and they're "up to fire code", so to speak. I take the elevator instead. Of course mine has a 6' wheel base and weighs 30+ pounds.

I wonder if removing the front wheel would help.

Or... hang a rope down, tie the bike to it, and haul it up.
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Old 05-22-09, 08:06 AM
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The preferred option for me is indoor storage. But if you have to leave it outside there are little things to do that lessen the risk aside from locking. You could replace quick releases with one that takes an allen wrench or a one that takes a key. The bolt holes for headsets etc could be filled with a material that can be picked out that would indicate tampering. Easily removed parts could be taken off and replaced when you need to ride.
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Old 05-22-09, 09:22 AM
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Save up your money and get a folder. That way you can easily carry it upstairs and store it in a closet.
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Old 05-22-09, 09:43 AM
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Have you thought maybe a cover would help, on the out-of-sight theory?
maybe plastic, or a blanket. Just a thought, as it sounds like someone just screwing around.
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Old 05-22-09, 09:45 AM
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Use a thick blanket or tarp, with a couple strategic holes for gripping, to protect walls.

I had to remove the wheels on my bike to get up two flights without damaging the building.
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Old 05-22-09, 12:06 PM
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I used to carry my kayak up to my fourth-floor apartment. I guarantee it weighs much more and is more unwieldy than your bicycle. There's no way I'd leave a bike locked outside in a situation like that.
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Old 05-22-09, 12:34 PM
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see if the owner would install a shed
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Old 05-22-09, 01:03 PM
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I suggest you work on improving the way you carry it up and down the stairs. I went through this, too. I lived on the 4th floor, and there was no elevator. Not only that, it was my only vehicle, and I did my grocery shopping with it, so hauling it up the stairs with the groceries strapped on was more workout than riding the thing. But it was the only viable option.

It's a bytch, but you get strong from it.

One thing you might consider, if you have a balcony, is to build a swinging arm that swings out beyond the balcony. On the end of the arm, hang a pulley and a rope. I almost did that in my last apartment, but I never got around to it. (I keep losing my round tuits.)
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