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Is my bike worth stealing?

Old 07-02-20, 09:24 PM
  #1  
cubewheels
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Is my bike worth stealing?

Say that my bike is parked among other bikes, what are the chances it will catch attention of thieves and actually want to steal it?

It's got these qualities:

- $100 bike, 100% manufactured in China, virtually unknown brand, and equipped with bottom end parts.
- It's a 20" wheel kid's MTB... I definitely look weird on it with my 5'8" height.
- 33 lbs weight

I guess a picture is worth a thousand words

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Old 07-02-20, 09:33 PM
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Leave it unlocked and see if it gets stolen.
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Old 07-02-20, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
Leave it unlocked and see if it gets stolen.
pretty much the big test..
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Old 07-02-20, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
Leave it unlocked and see if it gets stolen.
It will definitely get stolen for sure.

Most riders where I live use cheap cable locks in free bike parking spots around the city. Some use the very secure U-locks. But we only have very few bike parking spots around the city (totally insufficient for the number of riders in the city) and sometimes, there are four bikes tied around the same post! You'll need a very long cable or chain to do that... Chain is more secure but a long chain is quite heavy. U-locks won't work in quadruple parking unless you come in earlier than everyone else so your bike is first to park in the post.

Since most riders here use cable locks, easy to defeat for a career thief but they'll probably pick which bike to steal. Most people in my place have 26 to 27.5" MTB's, couple folding bikes and 700c road bikes. Many in the ~$150 price range. I even saw $500 bikes only using cheap cable locks!

Although my bike is cheaper than most of the bikes it is parked with, it looks fairly unique that it might actually grab a thief's attention or even curiousity to actually steal it over the others
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Old 07-03-20, 03:50 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
Leave it unlocked and see if it gets stolen.
One other thing, $100 would be a dirt cheap bike for most of you here but to me, a little bit difficult to replace. I only make $400 per month during this bad year, had to pay bills on top of that so if that thing gets stolen, it will take some time, like months to replace it.
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Old 07-03-20, 06:26 AM
  #6  
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There are many different types of bike thief. One just steals to ride the bike home from the bar. So any bike with air in the tires will do. Some just steal to get a few bucks, so just about any bike will do. Then there are people that are after nice bikes because they know bikes and can sell it for good money. But the bottom line is, every bike is worth stealing for someone. We haven't had too many bike thefts in this area for quite a while. There apparently was one guy doing most of the stealing, and he got shut down.
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Old 07-03-20, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
Say that my bike is parked among other bikes, what are the chances it will catch attention of thieves and actually want to steal it?
The value of a bike isn't the only reason why they get stolen. Many times it's simply a matter of availability and ease of taking it.

Just make sure it's harder to steal than the bike it's parked next to. Get a good lock and park it somewhere safe. That's all you can really do.
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Old 07-03-20, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
One other thing, $100 would be a dirt cheap bike for most of you here but to me, a little bit difficult to replace. I only make $400 per month during this bad year, had to pay bills on top of that so if that thing gets stolen, it will take some time, like months to replace it.
Well this is the other factor in the equation. How hard will it be for you to replace your bike? And it sounds like it’ll be pretty hard.

If your bike is very likely to get stolen, but you can replace it for $10, then there’s no reason to worry.

If your bike is very unlikely to get stolen, then even if it costs a month’s wages to replace, there’s no need to worry too much.

But your bike costs a week’s pay, and there’s a lot of bike crime in your area, so it sounds to me like it’s worthwhile making the investment in a good lock, not just a light, easily snipped cable, and making sure it’s securely locked in a public space when you’re at work.
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Old 07-03-20, 07:13 AM
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They will steal anything!
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Old 07-03-20, 07:16 AM
  #10  
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Leave it unattended in Chicago Heights, I guarentee you it will be gone in no time.
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Old 07-03-20, 09:40 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Bryan C. View Post
Just make sure it's harder to steal than the bike it's parked next to.
I can surely get back to the long and heavy chain lock. Hate it though.

Many times it's simply a matter of availability and ease of t aking it.
What if my bike looks very unstable, twitchy, dangerous, and difficult to ride? My sister thinks so when she saw it. She barely knows anything about bikes. Her husband on the other hand is quite an expert with bikes and also thought of the same thing. I myself also found it awfully scary to ride at first but got used to it eventually.

What sticks out is the ridiculously low bar height. With the tiny 20" wheels, no spacers, inverted stem, it is ridiculously low and much more noticeable if you saw the bike in person.
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Old 07-03-20, 09:44 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
Well this is the other factor in the equation. How hard will it be for you to replace your bike? And it sounds like it’ll be pretty hard.

If your bike is very likely to get stolen, but you can replace it for $10, then there’s no reason to worry.

If your bike is very unlikely to get stolen, then even if it costs a month’s wages to replace, there’s no need to worry too much.

But your bike costs a week’s pay, and there’s a lot of bike crime in your area, so it sounds to me like it’s worthwhile making the investment in a good lock, not just a light, easily snipped cable, and making sure it’s securely locked in a public space when you’re at work.
There's one place I buy groceries where there's no safe place to park I already have a very secure chain lock. It's so heavy and starting to get noisy!
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Old 07-03-20, 09:58 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
Say that my bike is parked among other bikes, what are the chances it will catch attention of thieves and actually want to steal it?

It's got these qualities:

- $100 bike, 100% manufactured in China, virtually unknown brand, and equipped with bottom end parts.
- It's a 20" wheel kid's MTB... I definitely look weird on it with my 5'8" height.
- 33 lbs weight

I guess a picture is worth a thousand words

It looks nice, so someone will want it, maybe to give to a kid. Heck, maybe a kid would steal it for himself.

Makes me think of commuters that make their bicycles look bad on purpose as a camouflage so that thieves might look elsewhere.

See this link and read the comment about paint. https://www.sheldonbrown.com/org/robinhood.html
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Old 07-03-20, 10:03 AM
  #14  
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Over the years I've had numerous nightmares of my bike being stolen. Don't let it out of your sight! Once is gone, it's gone!
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Old 07-03-20, 10:37 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Chuckles1 View Post
Over the years I've had numerous nightmares of my bike being stolen. Don't let it out of your sight! Once is gone, it's gone!
In my dreams, it's usually my car.
That, or all my USMC gear I've gotten ready for deployment. Seriously, I'd have it all sitting on my rack for inspection, I'd look away for a second, turn around, and find most of stuff had now been recon'd by someone. And it's been 22 years since I was in, still having this dream about every month or two.
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Old 07-03-20, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
I can surely get back to the long and heavy chain lock. Hate it though.
It really depends on how big of a lock the bike next to it has. Plan accordingly.
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Old 07-03-20, 11:08 AM
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That is the EXACT bike that some thief is looking for! All you can hope is he isn't where you parked yours.
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Old 07-03-20, 01:20 PM
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One thing I have learned from dealing with inmates who are addicted to drugs is they will steal anything to get their next hit. If they can get twenty bucks for something, well that is a hit for them. Crystal meth or fentanyl are the current drugs of choice. So yes, if your bike is easy to steal they will certainly take it off your hands.
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Old 07-03-20, 01:56 PM
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Refugee center in Clarkston had three beaters on a rack for years. Within the last month, someone(s) stripped every piece that could be sold.... And those really were crappy bikes.
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Old 07-03-20, 02:07 PM
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Thieves will steal anything that's not bolted down or belongs to them. Two years ago, I had a phone mount stolen from my handlebar. Two days later, my bike stolen - a $300 purchase from Walmart.
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Old 07-03-20, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
It will definitely get stolen for sure.
Then you’ve answered your own question.
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Old 07-03-20, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Chuckles1 View Post
Over the years I've had numerous nightmares of my bike being stolen. Don't let it out of your sight! Once is gone, it's gone!
You must not sleep or get out of the house without your bike. What’s that like?
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Old 07-03-20, 04:44 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
Say that my bike is parked among other bikes, what are the chances it will catch attention of thieves and actually want to steal it?

It's got these qualities:

- $100 bike, 100% manufactured in China, virtually unknown brand, and equipped with bottom end parts.
- It's a 20" wheel kid's MTB... I definitely look weird on it with my 5'8" height.
- 33 lbs weight

I guess a picture is worth a thousand words

thieves don’t care as long as they can cut the lock.
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Old 07-03-20, 05:17 PM
  #24  
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BTW...Those wheels are not 20” wheels. Time to update the ignore list.

Last edited by indyfabz; 07-03-20 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 07-03-20, 06:44 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Bryan C. View Post
The value of a bike isn't the only reason why they get stolen. Many times it's simply a matter of availability and ease of taking it.

Just make sure it's harder to steal than the bike it's parked next to. Get a good lock and park it somewhere safe. That's all you can really do.
Precisely. I figure as long as I'm not the lowest-hanging fruit-- not the worst lock (in some places I've parked having a lock at all puts me above the pack), not having the best bike-- it could be worse. And if I can park somewhere that has other bikes so the thieves have others to choose from (especially others that are easier to steal or more desirable than mine), I prefer that.


Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
I can surely get back to the long and heavy chain lock. Hate it though.



What if my bike looks very unstable, twitchy, dangerous, and difficult to ride? My sister thinks so when she saw it. She barely knows anything about bikes. Her husband on the other hand is quite an expert with bikes and also thought of the same thing. I myself also found it awfully scary to ride at first but got used to it eventually.

What sticks out is the ridiculously low bar height. With the tiny 20" wheels, no spacers, inverted stem, it is ridiculously low and much more noticeable if you saw the bike in person.
Some people will steal a thing just because they can... others will if they think they could get even five bucks for it...
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