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College bike storage/security questions

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College bike storage/security questions

Old 09-11-07, 06:14 PM
  #1  
aetherguy881
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College bike storage/security questions

My parents are bringing my bike down this weekend so I can use it to get myself around Wilkes-Barre. Also, I'd be able to get a little bit more exercise and all that jazz. I was wondering how the bike security is in the city. I've seen several bikes locked to bike racks, but I haven't seen the owners. There's not too many either.

I'm guessing I should ask one of the public safety officers some time, about the theft issue, but I think I might get an answer quicker here.

I guess I should also be asking if thieves are prone to taking the rear wheel, since it's also a quick disconnect part. I don't know how long the bike lock is 'cause they're bringing a brand new one. Thus, if it's too short to reach through both tires and the frame (duh) should I just take my front wheel into my dorm while I'm not riding? If that's the case, I might need to find a place to get a quick rinse if I can find a real trail.

Also, what should I do to keep my bike from rusting, there's no place for indoor storage. Dorm's too small and you can't lock it in the first floor lobby. My only place of storage is outside on a rack where it's open to the elements. What should I do here?

That's all for now.

Thanks.
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Old 09-11-07, 07:14 PM
  #2  
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As far as security goes it's hard at best to make a bike "safe" on a college campus. Bicycles are currency in a lot of places. When I park mine outside I use both a U lock and a cable lock. It's a little clunky to carry both, but not as clunky as carrying the tools for getting through both types. Do NOT use single sided keys, make sure there are teeth on both sides, they are not so easy to pick that way. I suggest one keyed lock and one combination lock. Convert anything that is quick release to bolt on. You might have to carry a wrench, but the casual bike thief probably does not. If it is convenient for you, park overnight near the public safety office. The one on my campus has two racks that people use frequently if they don't have access to the indoor secured bike storage offered here.

Register the bike with the local authorities if that is an option. Mine carries a sticker indicating that it is registered by serial number with the county sheriff in each county where I ride.

If your bike is super fancy, send it back with your parents and pick up a vintage bike from the thrift shop/yard sale/Craigslist or wherever.

As far as rust goes, I have no real ideas if you are forced to leave it outdoors. Some people I have seen use motorcycle covers, but that seems a little inconvenient to me. If there is a covered parking structure on your campus, ask the public safety office or the facilities staff if they would be willing to put a rack in there. You may have to walk to your bike to get it, but it beats a layer of snow. Another route would be to draw up a case for indoor storage and present it to the student government and/or the administration of your school.
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Old 09-11-07, 08:38 PM
  #3  
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I use two locks when I lock up at college. Use a good U lock and leave it locked to the rack when you're not going to be needing it for long periods of time. I also use a cable lock. If it's possible, I lock the frame to the back wheel and the rack with the U lock. Otherwise, I just lock the frame to the rack with the U. Then I lock the back wheel to the front wheel to the frame to the rack with the cable. If I can get the back wheel and the frame and the rack into the U lock, then I use the cable to lock the front wheel to the frame and rack. I know, it probably sounds like a lot of steps, but it really isn't! Think of what the most expensive parts of your bike are: frame, then back wheel, then front wheel. Just prioritize them as best you can. Two types of locks tells any thief that you want to make it a pain for them to take your bike. They'll likely move on, because a college campus is ripe with bike with worse locks. Also, make sure that you find a good rack. One that's actually cemented into the pavement. Don't lock your bike to something that someone can physically (even with great difficulty) remove!!

Try to find a covered parking spot. On my campus there're lots of buildings with big overhangs and bike racks underneath. I'll bet you find something if you really look..
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Old 09-11-07, 08:47 PM
  #4  
aetherguy881
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Well, I talked to a PSO (Public Safety Officer) and he said that I shoud if I can (which I can't really) bring my bike up to the dorm. 4th floor and no room... Also, he said that there was no rack in the parking garage which is quite away from everything else.

My plan of action will be to either bring my front wheel to my dorm and put it on top of one of the closets, or take the wheel off and lock it with the back wheel.

I just thought of using my pad lock and some money to buy a chain so I can lock my bike more securely while it's at the dorm building.

About the city's theft of bikes, the PSO didn't tell me. I guess he didn't know.

Thanks for the info so far. If you have any more information or suggestions, I'm still here.
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Old 09-11-07, 08:51 PM
  #5  
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Put the bike in your bed, and sleep with it. I'm almost serious here. If I had to leave my bike parked outside at a college campus I would have a really simple beater. Not only is there the high risk of theft, but exposure to the elements will put a lot of wear on the bike. An old low end Schwinn (or other 1 step above wal-mart) mountain bike converted to single speed, and outfitted with some cheap slicks would be perfect.

If you must park/lock your bike outside a regular padlock and hardware store chain isn't a secure way to lock it. Either is sheared easily with small bolt cutters. Only using a cable lock isn't a good idea either. Get a decent u-lock from Kryptonite or On-Guard.

A couple of good locks:
http://aebike.com/page.cfm?PageID=30...ils&sku=LK5003
http://aebike.com/page.cfm?PageID=30...ils&sku=LK4212

Either lock up, or take the front wheel into your dorm. A cable lock would work for securing the front wheel. Bolt-on skewers would help to prevent wheel theft.

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...All%20Products

If your seatpost is quick release, take that in at night as well, or pick up a seatpost collar with a bolt.

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...%20Accessories

Good luck!

Last edited by Mchaz; 09-11-07 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 09-12-07, 07:46 AM
  #6  
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A college campus is a favorite target of a professional bike thief, as it provides a huge selection of poorly secured bikes.

Many colleges use the "schoolyard" racks that are designed for locking only the front wheel instead of a modern "U" rack that permits locking both the rear wheel and frame.

Yes, crooks will steal both of your wheels if they can't get the bike itself. Put a beefy u-lock around the rear wheel, just behind the seat tube and attach that lock to a thick steel pole set in concrete. Use a "mini" u-lock to secure the front wheel to the frame.

Because college bikes are outside in the rain and snow 24 hours a day, seven days a week, many college students prefer to ride $79 K-Mart "specials" around campus. Yes, these are crummy bikes. But, if you have them tuned and adjusted at a good bike shop, they are useful for one mile rides around campus. When they get stolen, or stripped, or vandalized...well, you are just out $79.

Another alternative is to buy a 1985ish road bike from a Goodwill or Salvation Army store for $50 or so. The best of these bikes were bikes that sold for $500 or $700 when new, and they are excellent bikes. Because the paint is faded and scratched, and because of minor surface rust and dents, these bikes don't appeal to crooks. But, after they are tuned, and the wheels trued, they ride as nicely as a new road bike.

If you decide to take a newer bike to campus that appears to worth more than $500 or so, take lots of photos of it first. Because, by the end of the semester, those photos are likely all you will have...the bike will be long gone.
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Old 09-12-07, 09:12 AM
  #7  
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Well, I didn't think about buying a Wall Marx bike and tuning it, also I've been thinking about getting a new bike. I'm sad to say that I have, for maybe half of my ownership of the bike, abused it. Either way, it is still a good bike that I am proud of. I know it will last me for a long while, I'm just wanting to use it for intercity transportation and some trail riding.

About bike prices there, I'm 98.9% sure that I've used the bike far past it's original value. IIRC it was around $450 for the bike I dunno how long ago.

Like I said, there's no room in my dorm except above the closets, I'll stick my front wheel there. Sleeping with the bike might get a little uncomfortable...

Picts won't be an issue for me, I have my camera, just need film, not too hard to come by (need digi picter).
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Old 09-14-07, 03:46 PM
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I keep my bike in the dorm room because of weather. I would personally never leave a bike outside. It fits underneath half my bed (not lofted) by taking the front wheel off. I knew tetris was good for something.
As far as locking up when I'm out, I use a heavy u-lock around the seat tube, rear wheel, and bike rack. I need to get a small lock for my front wheel, but the idiots who don't lock up their bike correctly are a great deterrent as well. I am disgusted daily by the amount of people who lock up good bikes with a tiny cable lock around just the frame.
I'll post a picture of how I fit my bike if you wish.
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Old 09-16-07, 12:21 PM
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Don't leave your bike unlocked even for a second, even if no one is around! a guy followed me to my apartment last week and stole mine when I went in to grab a textbook. The apartment is in the back where no one goes. Don't let those lowlifes make money off you!
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