View Poll Results: How do you typically go about securing your bike when left in public?

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  • Locked to any street furniture/immovable object nearest to destination.

    23 40.35%
  • Locked in dedicated cycle parking area.

    27 47.37%
  • Locked in area out of general public view (back alley/behind shop/under steps etc)

    1 1.75%
  • Anywhere were there is CCTV nearby/viewing parked cycle

    2 3.51%
  • In a sheltered area if possible, 'cause I don't want to get my seat wet!

    4 7.02%
Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
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    Bike theft research: I need your stories!

    Hi everyone, I'm a second year product design student working on a project to design a product or service to help reduce bike crime/theft.

    If anyone on here has been a victim of bike theft (like I have a couple of times!) It would be of great benefit to my research if I could hear your story:

    When and where it took place, how the bike was secured (wheels or seat removed and locked?), reasons for the crime occuring and any preventative measures you could have taken to avoid it with hindsight, what the effects/response were and anything that has had a lasting impact and anything you'd like to see changed or done differently to reduce bike theft etc etc...

    Theres a little poll above, just so I can look into cyclists bike parking habits...

    Oh and if you have any good ideas, please do share them!

    Cheers,

    Michael.

  2. #2
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    My bike got jacked freshman year of high school, close to 20 years ago. It was a white department store MTB. Couldn't tell you the band name. I had it locked up in the bike rack at school. Cable lock through the frame and wheel. No QR skewers. Guess they just cut the cable? So much for campus security. What would I have done different? Not sure, it was a pretty cheap bike to begin with, not sure why anyone would even want it. My Pops replaced it with a red Columbia MTB. This time I had a heavy titanium u-lock and cable. Except for some petty vandalism, I never lost another bike. These days I usually bring my bike inside the building at work. At home It's usually inside or on the balcony.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  3. #3
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    I had trek 800 that got stolen in 1994 at Tallahassee communty college. It was locked to the bike rack with a u-lock thru front wheel and frame. Someone wanted it so they pried the u-lock appart and left it there.

    After complaining to the school they were able to move the bike rack to a better location.

    End result was me getting a new bike lock and Gary Fisher Big Sur for christmas that year.
    LIVE TO RIDE - RIDE TO LIVE

  4. #4
    Slowly but surely...
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    I had a Nishiki FS-4 stolen out of the back of my truck. Cable lock through the frame to a utility hook and locked truck cap. They busted open the cap and cut the lock. And this was parked in front of my house and my neighbor had chased them off earlier in the evening when they were casing it. (He later apologized for not telling me right away).
    Now I never leave my nice bike in public view. I even lock it to my wife's bike when it's in our garage and when I bike to work, it comes in my office. Since I know parts can disappear even when the frame is locked well, I don't trust my bike on the public racks here. I may feel differently if there were video monitoring of the public bike racks. (It's used in parking garages, not sure why not on bike racks)
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash.
    - Juli Furtado

  5. #5
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    I had a 92 robinson bmx stolen, which my security measure was not to lock but to store around a corner where no one went and you couldn't really see into, that was a mistake. I say oh well though, served we well through my childhood.
    I actually on the other side of the perspective have alot of friends who have stolen bikes in the past. Not professional thieves in the least, Just folks who didn't want to walk and seen a bike leaning somewhere and took off. Often times ditched a few blocks from home and stolen by someone else a few days later. Though in my town if you are under 30 you ride a bmx or your over 50 and ride a comfort bike for groceries and exercise. A couple times i forgot to lock up my bike outside my apartment for a couple days and its still there. Perhaps all the criminals downstairs in the bar knows whose bike that is and wouldn't touch it. Come to think of it, my town may be alittle strange.
    In amsterdam, possibly the worst place for bike theft, they have a program that gives serial numbers for bikes and when one shows up for resale they can track it. Theft has been reduced Just because the potential profit has been reduced. It might work if you could involve the police or local shops and those who resell used bikes.

  6. #6
    Sweep the leg!
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    BAck in 1992 I had a custom road bike stolen. I worked in a doctor's office in a medical complex in Dallas, TX at the time. There was a 4" cast iron plumbing drain near the garage entrance where I would secure it with the Kryptonite U-bolt I had. There was also facility security which roved the medical complex, but there was no CCTV at the time. I came out of the building after a day of work to find the 4" pipe cut and my bike gone.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  7. #7
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
    Reputation: Zachariah's Avatar
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    I had a cheap department store Vertical full sus stolen from a government building WITH security. After I asked security to view the video tape of where my bike was stolen......security told me I locked my bike in a non-surveillanced area(building sign). The fast and clever thief managed to take the bike and lock too.

    The bottom line is.........if some low-life wants your bike, they will find any way to get it- and usually succeed. Thieves are opportunistic, and do not discriminate on condition, brand, or appearance. If the bike rolls and is locked....they will still have it. I simply do not trust public bike spaces, as thieves are brazen and quick enough to overlook observers watching them. I also have no sympathy for those who think leaving their unattended bike UNLOCKED for 3 seconds, can return to see their bike again. The disturbing fact is that the moment you lose sight of your bike........locked or not........the chances of it dissappearing INCREASES ten-fold. For this reason alone- I ride my bike until I am done riding, then it is secured away inside my home.

    The orignal poster is looking for suggestions on designing a theft-proof device, or bike itself. Unfortunately, this device must either be lightweight AND secure(who wants to carry heavy locks?)......almost impossible, in biking. Best of luck, in resolving this design challenge. You have your work cut out for you!
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  8. #8
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    My KHS full suspension was stolen from my house. The thieves came up over our deck, through the slider and went into the garage and stole the bike. Guess I left the bike on my car rack for too long when I would come home from rides...btw, I live in a small town with a population of about 4,000

  9. #9
    Crazed Country Rebel
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    Quote Originally Posted by lycramike
    Hi everyone, I'm a second year product design student working on a project to design a product or service to help reduce bike crime/theft.

    If anyone on here has been a victim of bike theft (like I have a couple of times!) It would be of great benefit to my research if I could hear your story:

    When and where it took place, how the bike was secured (wheels or seat removed and locked?), reasons for the crime occuring and any preventative measures you could have taken to avoid it with hindsight, what the effects/response were and anything that has had a lasting impact and anything you'd like to see changed or done differently to reduce bike theft etc etc...

    Theres a little poll above, just so I can look into cyclists bike parking habits...

    Oh and if you have any good ideas, please do share them!

    Cheers,

    Michael.
    good info here:

    http://www.nationalbikeregistry.com/theft.html

  10. #10
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    Stolen Steve Potts 29'r

    Saturday November 15th my Steve Potts 29'r was cut loose from two "relatively" stout cable locks between 4pm and 5pm. It was taken from a well filled bike rack in Golden Gate park. It is obviously an area scoped by professionals who are looking only for high end bikes or parts. It was my first new bikes in 20 years and custom built with Avid, King, Thompson and Marzocchi components. I probably should always lock up in a parking garage where available. Regular thieves would eventually look more suspicious loitering in garages? I also figure that i may have been better off locking it alone somewhere since I now feel that public racks are thieving grounds. I'm now just trying to find the best ways to post info on the bike and it's parts on the MTBR site as well as else where?

  11. #11
    Flaccid Member
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    It's simple.... bike frames need a chip that can be activated upon being stolen and then tracked down lojack style, while in motion. Catch both the bike and the thief. Cut their hands off so they can't repeat the crime.

  12. #12
    rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwmbwmb
    Saturday November 15th my Steve Potts 29'r was cut loose from two "relatively" stout cable locks between 4pm and 5pm. It was taken from a well filled bike rack in Golden Gate park. It is obviously an area scoped by professionals who are looking only for high end bikes or parts. It was my first new bikes in 20 years and custom built with Avid, King, Thompson and Marzocchi components. I probably should always lock up in a parking garage where available. Regular thieves would eventually look more suspicious loitering in garages? I also figure that i may have been better off locking it alone somewhere since I now feel that public racks are thieving grounds. I'm now just trying to find the best ways to post info on the bike and it's parts on the MTBR site as well as else where?
    You might want to clarify your MTBR ad you have. It's pretty vague. You should also stop posting your stolen posts in the middle of other posts that are irrelevant: Niner RIP for HiFi money?
    Start a new post. Be ready to take some flack about locking a Potts in public.

  13. #13
    Crazed Country Rebel
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwmbwmb
    Saturday November 15th my Steve Potts 29'r was cut loose from two "relatively" stout cable locks between 4pm and 5pm. It was taken from a well filled bike rack in Golden Gate park. It is obviously an area scoped by professionals who are looking only for high end bikes or parts. It was my first new bikes in 20 years and custom built with Avid, King, Thompson and Marzocchi components. I probably should always lock up in a parking garage where available. Regular thieves would eventually look more suspicious loitering in garages? I also figure that i may have been better off locking it alone somewhere since I now feel that public racks are thieving grounds. I'm now just trying to find the best ways to post info on the bike and it's parts on the MTBR site as well as else where?
    You should post this in the Norcal forum. Include pics. Give pics to all the bike shops youcan find. Offer a reward. Call SFPD and ask them if they've found anything. You should call them every month or so.

    Detective Romeo Delavega handles burglaries/bike theft for SFPD. You can find the burglary detail phon# on their website.

    Many, many stolen bikes are eventually recovered by the police - most people don't realize this. After 90 days, the PD can legally auction your bike to the lowest bidder.

    You might want to make friends with the bike curriers in SF as well. Pass out pics. Offer to buy them beers if they find anything.

    Most likely your bike is being ridden by a crack addict somewhere in the city.

    Never, ever, ever leave a nice bike ANYWHERE in public - REGARDLESS the type of lock you use.

    KEEP IT WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES!
    Stupid, but sometimes witty. Occasionally brilliant. Slow and fat though.

    Specialized sucks dong

  14. #14
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    when i lock my bike in public it's only ever for 5 minutes tops while i go into a shop....i never leave it anywhere else for long periods of time, bar in my work and my garage..where no-one is likely to be able to steal it anyhow.,

  15. #15
    Crazed Country Rebel
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    Quote Originally Posted by seosamh
    when i lock my bike in public it's only ever for 5 minutes tops while i go into a shop....i never leave it anywhere else for long periods of time, bar in my work and my garage..where no-one is likely to be able to steal it anyhow.,
    What ever helps you sleep at night, dude.

    A little research on bike theft and you'll reconsider.
    Stupid, but sometimes witty. Occasionally brilliant. Slow and fat though.

    Specialized sucks dong

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles
    What ever helps you sleep at night, dude.

    A little research on bike theft and you'll reconsider.
    chances are my bike won't get nicked from my garage or work, the numbers are heavily staked in my favour,,, tho carry on being paranoid all ye like, i'll be sleeping happily.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by seosamh
    chances are my bike won't get nicked from my garage or work, the numbers are heavily staked in my favour,,, tho carry on being paranoid all ye like, i'll be sleeping happily.
    I'm not sure the numbers are stacked in anyone's favor. I used to be the program manager at national bike registry - and while that's not a well known, high profile gig - I did spend several years studying bike theft, working with police departments around the country, Canada and abroad, working with bike shops, disributors, chain stores and manufacturers.

    If you ever owned a Giant, Diamondback, Raleigh, K2, Redline, Torker, etc that came pre-registered with NBR that was me.

    I have personally returned many, many stolen bikes to happy owners.

    So many stories about locked bikes "miraculously" being stolen. So many stories about hundreds of thousands of bikes being stolen. Drug users and homeless use them as currency - trade them, part them out. Etc, etc.



    In doing all this I realized the only way to keep your bike safe is to keep it with you. My bikes live in my dining room.
    Stupid, but sometimes witty. Occasionally brilliant. Slow and fat though.

    Specialized sucks dong

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles
    I'm not sure the numbers are stacked in anyone's favor. I used to be the program manager at national bike registry - and while that's not a well known, high profile gig - I did spend several years studying bike theft, working with police departments around the country, Canada and abroad, working with bike shops, disributors, chain stores and manufacturers.

    If you ever owned a Giant, Diamondback, Raleigh, K2, Redline, Torker, etc that came pre-registered with NBR that was me.

    I have personally returned many, many stolen bikes to happy owners.

    So many stories about locked bikes "miraculously" being stolen. So many stories about hundreds of thousands of bikes being stolen. Drug users and homeless use them as currency - trade them, part them out. Etc, etc.



    In doing all this I realized the only way to keep your bike safe is to keep it with you. My bikes live in my dining room.
    i understand exactly how easy it is to steal a locked bike, and i agree don't keep the thing out of your sight, why i only leave it locked for very very short tiimes, 5 minutes is an absolute maximum, but consider how many bike there are and the percentage that are stolen, i'd say that percentage is very small.ergo, the odds are in my favour enough that i don't need to worry about it very much beyond a little bit of common sense..

  19. #19
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    two bikes, locked faithfully to "immovable strete furniture" (i like that term!)
    directly across the street from an all-night coffee shop that was well light with big windows facing my bikes.

    thief (the reknowned igor in toronto! i'm so honoured) parked a nive big van between the coffee shop and my bikes, two twits hopped out and went to work.
    anything that was locked was left! (front wheels and frames)
    they stripped the parts off the rest of the bikes, stole forks, derailleurs, cut through chains, stems/bars, cut through cables

    having a bike disappear is one thing, coming back to the carcass of the bike is another, and ultimately unpreventable.
    fill your bolt holes with silicon glue (just makes it irritations to remove it all before starting to remove parts)
    loctite it all down, whatever you want, if they've got the time they'll ake it happen.

    my solution? scratch the HELL out of ALL parts... can't sell a xtr derailleur if it's got no markings.
    then remove ANYTHING that's not absolutely necessary, hence trackies becoming widely popular
    I run a disc'd ss in winter though, want to stop before i hit the skidding car in front of me, and yes I DID head-butt the back of a van once.


    second incident: two bikes outside of my apartment, figured in my neighbourhood, locked outside of my bedroom window... 2 kryptonites were broken, one chintzy cable combo lock was twisted beyond being reusable but held true!
    they came ready for the hard stuff, but not the cheesy cable?
    go figure. (net result, one bike stolen, one damaged but still there)


    by the way I've personally cut through a kryptonite u lock and a stocks lock; stocks lock was easy as pie, about 20-30 seconds with pocket sized wire cutters (same as most cables), the whole "twists to resist" idea only applies if the person doesn't have a little pair of snips!
    my cousin's krypto took a makita grinder and about 90 seconds of excrutiatingly loud noise, but it WAS quicker than I expected.

    I can't vouch for any locks being picked, but in terms of destruction of the lock, a good steel shackle wins every day in my book.

  20. #20
    Riding makes me happy!
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    I have a New York series Krypto that I use when I ride to campus. Watch, now you guys are going to tell me how easy it is to defeat and I'm going to have a complex. I did register it though, so at least I can get compensated if some thief gets me.

  21. #21
    Are you talking to me?
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    What type of key?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bo55Diesel
    I have a New York series Krypto that I use when I ride to campus. Watch, now you guys are going to tell me how easy it is to defeat and I'm going to have a complex. I did register it though, so at least I can get compensated if some thief gets me.
    Flat or cylindrical key?
    gfy

  22. #22
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    You know, in the wild west they hung you for stealing a man's horse. If I had my way, the punishment for stealing a bike wouldn't involve a fine or jail time. Thieves never learn from this. The punishment would involve them getting the living cr@p kicked out of them.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

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