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bike security in a college town?

Old 05-16-11, 10:20 PM
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mrund3rd09
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bike security in a college town?

I'm very wound up about my bike getting stolen or my front wheel getting jacked. This is partially because I love my bike like it's my son, but mostly because I have had various encounters with college d-bags, and have seen a poor little kid having to carry his bike on his shoulders because the front wheel was missing.

For this reason, I store my bike in my crammy little apartment, along with my 8 ft long cargo bike trailer that I use almost daily to deliver newspaper. I'm lucky to have mature and patient roommates...

I guess I'm just looking for some advice from people who have more experience than me.
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Old 05-17-11, 07:28 AM
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Keep doing what you are doing.
I think the only security for a bike in a college town is to own a bike that the thief would want to steal the lock and leave the bike.
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Old 05-17-11, 10:28 AM
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40 years ago we used to joke that all bikes weighed 40 pounds. You could choose between a 20 pound bike and carry a 20 pound lock or you could ride a 40 pound bike and not bother with a lock. The only thing that's changed since then is that bikes have gotten lighter and locks have gotten heavier.
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Old 05-17-11, 10:43 AM
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Bikes are regularly stolen from homes and apartments were they are unlocked but also hidden from view, so it is not clear you are more secure with it indoors.

If you engrave your name all over it the bike will be worthless in terms of reselling it.

Get a cheaper front wheel, or even whole bike if that is an issue.

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Old 05-17-11, 12:56 PM
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thanks for the bad jokes, but I was actually posting for some advice.
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Old 05-17-11, 01:25 PM
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Standard practices I've come across include:

- Use a lock that is a real pain to defeat: high-strength/hardened chain with a "high security" lock, or some equivalent.

- Lock up both wheels and the seat.

- Lock up in a visible location, to some object that is secure.

- Make your bike secure to the point a thief would pass it up for an easier target.

The way I do it, in an area without huge theft problems, is lock the frame and one wheel to the bike rack with my chain. If I was worried about it I would lock up the other wheel and seat with a cable lock.

It's a little like camping and bears: you don't have to outrun the bear. You just have to outrun the slowest camper.
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Old 05-17-11, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mrund3rd09 View Post
thanks for the bad jokes, but I was actually posting for some advice.
Sorry I wasn't able to give you the advice that you wanted to hear.

The truth is that the first lock that you put on your bike, no matter how cheesy, is about 90% effective because it requires the thief to use some sort of tool. As you progress from 90% toward 100% you engage in a progressively more high tech and more expensive game of one-upmanship with the thief which you will eventually lose.

Battery operated hand tools are easily available today which will cut through any chain and any lock in a short amount of time. If you do succeed in frustrating them, they'll cut one of your frame tubes or pretzel your wheel just to piss you off.

Is that answer more to your likeing?
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Old 05-17-11, 06:53 PM
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The best way is to lock your bike up in your apartment or keep it with you at all times.
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Old 05-17-11, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mrund3rd09 View Post
thanks for the bad jokes, but I was actually posting for some advice.
I wasn't joking!
Keep locking your bike in your apartment.
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Old 05-20-11, 07:10 PM
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If you must leave your bike locked up outside, obtain a quality U-lock and remove the front wheel. Place the wheel parallel to the rear wheel and run the lock through both wheels and the frame, and whatever item you're locking it to. Hopefully, a well-made bike rack.
95% of thieves will give you a pass; too much trouble. There will be easier bikes to steal.
If a pro thief REALLY wants your bike, he'll be able to take it.
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Old 05-20-11, 09:04 PM
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Replace your QRs with either bolts or pitlock skewers, depending on the value of your wheels, seat, and seatpost.


And keep your bike inside when you can.
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Old 05-21-11, 07:05 AM
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Use the seat post QR to remove your saddle when parked. Nobody wants to ride away on a bike with no seat.
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Old 05-21-11, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr Danw View Post
Use the seat post QR to remove your saddle when parked. Nobody wants to ride away on a bike with no seat.
Drug addicts and guys with trucks/vans will think nothing of boosting a bike without a saddle.
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Old 05-21-11, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr Danw View Post
Use the seat post QR to remove your saddle when parked. Nobody wants to ride away on a bike with no seat.
I wouldn't bet on it, they do make bikes with no seat (trials bike, I think), and a lot of the BMX bikes are ridden off the saddle more than on.
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Old 05-21-11, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by mrund3rd09 View Post
I guess I'm just looking for some advice from people who have more experience than me.
Standard procedure is to have a beater bike that no one will think to steal. Good locks too. I've had a bike stolen while I was riding it, so no system is fool proof.
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