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Ever get insights from a bike thief?

Old 03-28-13, 11:09 PM
  #1  
GeraldF
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Ever get insights from a bike thief?

Making my bikes as theft-deterrent as possible has always been an obsession of mine. Whenever I consider acquiring a bike, whether new or used, the first thing I ask myself is "would this bike be likely to get stolen?"

I have miscellaneous theories on what bike thieves look for, and what they are deterred by. Has anyone ever gotten confessions from a former bike thief? The obvious thing we should all do is use a good lock, such as a U-Lock, but what else can be done to a bike to keep thieves uninterested?

Feel free to chime in on theft of components, as well as the entire bike. Thanks!
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Old 03-29-13, 06:58 AM
  #2  
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I suspect the answer to your question is geographical. You would probably FREAK OUT to see how seldom I use any security measure at all when I ride.
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Old 03-29-13, 06:59 AM
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Lock is up properly, a U lock is useless when only the front wheel is locked to the bike rack.
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Old 03-29-13, 07:13 AM
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Unfortunately, Ebay is a quick and easy way to sell components. If your bike has good components, bolt cutters through the frame will override any lock, and your parts will be scattered all over the world in no time.

Best security is to only lock up crappy bikes and keep your good ones within sight.
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Old 03-29-13, 07:31 AM
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Ride a huffy
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Old 03-29-13, 08:06 AM
  #6  
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I don't lock mine up outside. When I pedal to the cafe, my rottweiler gets tied to the bike
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Old 03-29-13, 09:59 AM
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I do recall once seeing a bike security article written by an actual bike thief. (unrepenting)
that was years ago though; and google search doesnt seem to find anything resembling it.

It had a memorable side story of how once the thieft tried to convince a cop that a just stolen bike was his (with the real owner right there confronting him) only to be caught as the frame was custom and the name on the tube wasnt the brand, but the owner's actual name.

Anyone remember that article?
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Old 03-29-13, 10:26 AM
  #8  
I-Like-To-Bike
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Originally Posted by GeraldF View Post
Making my bikes as theft-deterrent as possible has always been an obsession of mine. Whenever I consider acquiring a bike, whether new or used, the first thing I ask myself is "would this bike be likely to get stolen?"

I have miscellaneous theories on what bike thieves look for, and what they are deterred by. Has anyone ever gotten confessions from a former bike thief? The obvious thing we should all do is use a good lock, such as a U-Lock, but what else can be done to a bike to keep thieves uninterested?

Feel free to chime in on theft of components, as well as the entire bike. Thanks!
Ride a bike that I like and luckily repels thieves. In the 1970's I rode a perfectly good Raleigh Sport 3 speed and parked it outside at City Hall, Philadelphia. I rode it all over the city after work and on weekends and parked it outside at all times to include the stadium complexes, Spectrum and Vet Stadium, and always locked it up with a simple chain. No one bothered the bike or any accessories or the Brooks Saddle because they were attached to a bike out of favor with the thieving class. Their radar was only tuned into "10 speed racers."

My friends with 10 speeds were not so fortunate.
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Old 03-29-13, 06:22 PM
  #9  
Brennan
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Originally Posted by TampaRaleigh View Post
Best security is to only lock up crappy bikes and keep your good ones within sight.
That's the method I use. So far, so good.

Otherwise, a lot of city riders "uggify" their bike through various means: Slap lots of stickers on the frame, cover component logos, rattle can paint job, etc. I saw a bike in NYC with its frame completely wrapped in duct tape. I once read where someone removed the frame decals from the bike and replaced them with Huffy decals. You can remove a wheel and and take it with you. Use multiple locks. Then there's this:


(Of course, that one didn't work out so well.)
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Old 03-30-13, 07:08 PM
  #10  
Dahon.Steve
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Originally Posted by GeraldF View Post
I have miscellaneous theories on what bike thieves look for, and what they are deterred by. Has anyone ever gotten confessions from a former bike thief? The obvious thing we should all do is use a good lock, such as a U-Lock, but what else can be done to a bike to keep thieves uninterested?

Feel free to chime in on theft of components, as well as the entire bike. Thanks!
The bike thief has to find my bike in order to steal it. I always look for an area that's away from foot traffic, for example, locked in back of a mall or distant parking lot. When the bike is "discovered" by someone, it's never the bike thief but usually some employee. On the contrary, the bike thief is usually found near bike racks because that's where the bikes are! Did I tell you that bike thiefs are not afraid of making a racket while stealing your ride? You see 99% of the public will not pick up a fight with anyone to protect a bike that's not theirs. With the summer just around the corner, expect to hear the annual bike rack horror stories.
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Old 03-30-13, 11:28 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
Anyone remember that article?

Yup, just looked it up.
It was a supplement to the Gizmodo article "THE BEST BIKE LOCK" dated June 28, 2012.
The actual Q & A session was titled "WE'VE GOT A THIEF HERE TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS" dated June 29, 2012.
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