Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
21 posts • Page 1 of 1
If you're going to lock up your bike somewhere around town, it makes good sense to at least take off the bits and pieces that can be nicked. I pulled up at an indoor car park the other day. The bike racks are near the front door, but enough out of the way so you could steal off the bikes without too much trouble.
Anyway, the bike I locked mine next to had left on: front light, rear light, trip computer, pump, water bottle and helmet (resting on frame, not locked).
None of them were bolted on, just clipped on. You could have walked off with the lot.
I see this all the time. So use a bit of common sense.
Even worse to come back and find a wheel missing. No QR wheels on either of mine, just in case...
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
Get rid of all quick release items on your bicycle. If you want to leave your helmet with your bike, pass the lock cable through it. The only things you should have to take off are your lights and your water bottle. Your pump, tools, and first aid kit, etc. should all be in your rack-top-pack or bag or whatever and go with you to the office/class/gym/where-ever. My lights were well secured to the frame, but even then they got pinched!
I have had an Air Zound attached with cable ties for about 10 years now. It would be trivial to steal but so far no one has touched it. I cant see that the quick release wheels or seat would be hard to pinch either. I guess you just have to be a little fussy where you park your pride and joy.
The lights and computer on the other hand, they come with me.
There's probably a bit of WTF-is-that factor with the air zound
Thinking about it though - who steals computers and lights? Surely it's not fellow cyclists, but what use are they to crack-heads? Maybe they use the lights at raves...
I've had my trip computer stolen, they also loosened the attached sensor unit from the wheel but didn't manage to get it completely off, if that's not a cyclist its one hell of a clued up junkie!!
...that would be me! Never take my clip lights off - never had anything stolen. The bike is locked (lock around frame+rear wheel+helmet) at the city or the beach or in front of my appartment block or my work place - you name it. People are not as evil as many may think... Or I've just been lucky all those years???
Hey that Hal video looks great.
While I'm waiting for it to load up, just wanted to know whether front wheel thefts on non-QR wheels are at all common.
I got a krptonite U-lock on my frame and back wheel, but am thinking of getting a cable to tie around the front wheel but don't know whether this is just overkill. As I said, I don't have QR wheels. I mean, one can never be too careful, but one might also break one's back with all the stuff one has to carry in one's backpack!!!!!!
Clearly New York is inhabited by theives and vagabonds - how much low scum does it take to vandalise / steel bikes like that!
I do lock my bike in public places, although not with the amount of effort recommended by some, and have never had any theat of or from my bikes
A few years ago I "invented" bike ads. I wanted to advertise my business (not the current one) outside the local post office and banks. Now I'm not allowed to put a sign out there, but I can chain my bike there! So a banner was laced into the frame and voila! That bike was pinched three times. They broke the lock. Every time I got it back, and it had not gone more than 1km. You see the tyres were flat! Who ever was pinching it wanted to ride it. Each time someone living nearby would phone the number on the banner to tell me where the bike was. And one of these calls turned into a sale!
My opinion is if your wheel is not QR, then a lock specifically for it may be overkill. My theory is that serious bike riders/commuters will have some level of decency to their fellow cyclists not to steal their wheel. Some junkie or low life might want to steal your bike but if they can't take the whole bike easily, they probably aint gonna bother taking one wheel.
But if you have a really really expensive wheel and/or it gives you peace of mind, go for it. You could probably buy a small cable and pad lock, just enough to make it too much of a hassle to try and steal.
I remember seeing a photo on bike snob where the guy took the front wheel off and locked it to the back wheel and the frame, but in doing so forgot to also loop the lock around the pole they intended to lock the bike to hehehe pretty funny.
I have to admit, I've gotten lazy and leave my lights, computer, bottles on my bike. They are only cheap versions, but probably would be quite annoying to have go missing. Having said that I have never (yet) had a problem in Sydney. I do try to park my bike next to much more expensive ones though... that has probably saved me a few times
For commuting purposes, I find it hard to justify spending big money on bikes and equipment, sure they have bling value, and probably ride nicely also... however a cheap rust bucket (that is serviced and tuned well) is much less likely to be a thieves target...
Interestingly, in Sydney it does seem that cycling is picking up. Occasionally I've had difficulty finding a street pole or bike rack to lock the bike too as they are all taken up. This may be giving a false sense of security... though just by having more bikes around the place makes statistically your chances of getting yours stolen less. (unless of course thieving increases )
These days I regularly see at least 20 bicycles locked up at Fairfield Railway Station. Often at least 6 or 7 in front of the old Countrylink Office, and a similar number again along the pick-up/drop-off area's fence. Then there are several more on various poles and fences around the place. That's only on the Western side! Often there are several bicycles again on the Eastern side of the station. If that doesn't justify a proper bicycle parking area at the station then I don't know what does!
Good idea IMO. Unless you have lockable skewers (as opposed to the hex-key ones) I'd still be locking them, and cables are relatively cheap and light. Can secure a quick-release seat as well if the cable is long enough. I use one of these guys.
The other advantage of having a cable is that if you can't find anything the D-lock will fit around, you can use the cable to go around a light post/tree/whatever and use the D-lock as a padlock. Not as secure as using the D-lock properly of course, but a decent cable will deter casual thieves and if you lock the D-lock through the rear wheel and frame, the bike won't be ridable even if they cut the cable.
I suspect the thieves beg to differ if the Police auctionsare anything to go by.
An old train of thought I've heard is "Locks are only to stop the innocent" "Because if the real criminals want something locks won't stop them."
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity!
Yeah, thanks. I ended up getting a Cannondale cable for $20 from BSC in Melbourne.
I'm probably not going to carry it with me everywhere, but its nice to lock up the front wheel when I settle down to watch a movie at the cinema for a few hours. Its not terribly heavy and if I've gone to the trouble of buying an expensive Kryptonite lock to lock and expensive bike, I may as well protect the (somewhat flashy) front wheel I have.
I lived/studied in Boston for a while and, because of all the students, cycling was big. Bike theft was also very big - possibly worse than New York.
My lock was a J-bolt that was permanently attached to the rear seat stays, went through the rear wheel and had room for you to take off the front wheel and lock it in. Worked quite well and was better than the Kryptonite locks because it wasn't suceptible to liquid nitrogen on the foot. (This was also before the discovery of the Bic pen trick for Kryptonite locks.)
First day I forgot to take the front wheel off someone nicked my front wheel. Thanks. Had to wheel it to the nearest bike shop where they had a range of hundreds of used wheels for me to select from to replace it. Probably acquired by them from the same people that ripped my wheel off. Many people also took their seats with them but I never had my seat nicked even though it was on a QR. But I was probably just lucky.
In Sydney, on the other hand, I put a cable through the front and back wheels and the frame and remove all accessories. Deters casual theft but not anyone with bolt cutters. I rely on insurance for peace of mind if anyone is serious about stealing my bike.
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