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  1. #1
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    Theft of bikes on racks, or theft of bike racks thread

    Creating this thread as a public service to rack buyers. please share experience of your bike being stolen from your rack, or your rack being stolen.

    I used a Yakima King Cobra with round bar roof rack from 2004-2015. Nothing stolen off it nor was rack or mounts stolen.

    I now use a 1UpUSA hitch rack and so far neither bikes nor rack stolen.

    For the Yakima I used that measly cable lock for bikes and the lock on the mounts. For 1UPUSA I use the bolt tag blocks access to the expansion bolt. I rarely use any lock on the bikes with the 1Up.


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  2. #2
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    Not my bike but just shows you how easy it is to take a bike from a locked rack.

  3. #3
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    There's more videos about that particular model of rack... The lock really sucks.

    I would never leave my bike locked to my rack unattended. If I'm on a day trip to ride, I park for lunch or whatever where I can see the bikes. At a hotel, bring them inside, always.

    We have security in our work parking garage but I still don't bring my bike to work.. Honestly not only the threat of theft, but also just that someone would run into the hitch rack. It would stick out pretty far in a garage.

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  4. #4
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    as far as i know those locks aren't really there to protect it from thieves, more so to just lock the bike from falling off the rack during transit

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PSY_ View Post
    as far as i know those locks aren't really there to protect it from thieves, more so to just lock the bike from falling off the rack during transit
    Not really. The bike clamps on just fine without locking, the locks are anti-theft devices.

  6. #6
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    if they are - I certainly wouldn't trust leaving my bike unattended on them.

    I'd feel much more at peace with a kryptonite chain/ulock combo

  7. #7
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    I wouldn't leave my bike unattended on a rack no matter what kind of lock it had on it, not happening.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PSY_ View Post
    if they are - I certainly wouldn't trust leaving my bike unattended on them.

    I'd feel much more at peace with a kryptonite chain/ulock combo
    Those locks will not stop thieves, krypotonite chain/u-lock either. The rack locks are preventative, ie. stop casual thieves not pros or those seriously hankering to take your bike. That said I'm others on this, don't leave your stuff on the rack for too long, or else.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by thesmokingman View Post
    Those locks will not stop thieves, krypotonite chai wen/u-lock either. The rack locks are preventative, ie. stop casual thieves not pros or those seriously hankering to take your bike. That said I'm others on this, don't leave your stuff on the rack for too long, or else.
    I completely agree. Just saying if I absolutely had to leave it even just for a short period emergency I'd want those locks on it.

    Hell I keep my bike in my big tent locked up beside me when I go camping hahaha

  10. #10
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    locks only keep honest people honest

    ---locks do zero to someone who wants that bike---
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    I wouldn't leave my bike unattended on a rack no matter what kind of lock it had on it, not happening.
    Yep, my rule as well..no way! My rack stays on. I wouldn't enjoy a meal if my bike was just sitting there out of sight.

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  12. #12
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    I use a Thule platform bike rack with a screw bolt and a standard Thule lock.

    I also bought an aftermarket rubber coated galvanized cable 15 feet long with two of the strongest key padlocks (10 rating) and attach one end with the lock to the receiver (things on the side for chains and stuff) wrapped around the wheel frame, and the back wheel too and then the other end to the other side of the tow hitch.

    Good luck on stealing that.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncaged View Post
    I use a Thule platform bike rack with a screw bolt and a standard Thule lock.

    I also bought an aftermarket rubber coated galvanized cable 15 feet long with two of the strongest key padlocks (10 rating) and attach one end with the lock to the receiver (things on the side for chains and stuff) wrapped around the wheel frame, and the back wheel too and then the other end to the other side of the tow hitch.

    Good luck on stealing that.
    The cable would be the weak point, not the padlocks.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by drag_slick View Post
    The cable would be the weak point, not the padlocks.

    At first I was going to disagree with you but I looked it up and I see your point. It's not going to be that quick of a theft but I see the flaws in it.

    The problems is the chains worth buying will scratch the bike, and if you leave it in the car they can break in.

    In short nothing is perfect.

    It's more of a deterrent than anything else. But good enough if you are driving around and you don't want someone to snag the bike off the rack while you are at a stop light; would require more effort than that.

    Also, before I put my bike rack on I had to remove the step insert out of my tow-hitch but to do that I had to remove the Master Lock and it turned out the key area was so corroded that I couldn't get the key in. So I first tried drilling out the lock but still couldn't get it off. So I use my saw-zaw and chopped it into two pieces and that worked.

    This is being done by someone that works on computers and not a car thief. So yeah no lock is ever 100% secure. Just use some common sense and the best "deterrents". That's all we really can do. Well there is one thing that I could do is get a big huge armed guard to protect the bike when I am not around. So unless they are willing to risk their lives that will work.

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    Creating this thread as a public service to rack buyers. please share experience of your bike being stolen from your rack, or your rack being stolen.

    I used a Yakima King Cobra with round bar roof rack from 2004-2015. Nothing stolen off it nor was rack or mounts stolen.

    I now use a 1UpUSA hitch rack and so far neither bikes nor rack stolen.

    For the Yakima I used that measly cable lock for bikes and the lock on the mounts. For 1UPUSA I use the bolt tag blocks access to the expansion bolt. I rarely use any lock on the bikes with the 1Up.


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    So, so far, no one has their bike or rack stolen, just all the things you do to prevent it.

    I have never had my bike or rack stolen. I know no one who has and I've been actively riding for 20 years with people who have bike racks also. I have left my bike on my rack, locked at work for 8+ hours. I live in the suburbs. I have insurance if needed.
    Last edited by Rock; 08-10-2018 at 04:08 AM.
    How can anyone who's been riding as long as I have, be so slow???

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock View Post
    So, so far, no one has their bike or rack stolen, just all the things you do to prevent it.

    I have never had my bike or rack stolen. I know no one how has and I've been actively riding for 20 years with people how have bike racks also. I have left my bike on my rack, locked at work for 8+ hours. I live in the suburbs. I have insurance if needed.
    I was hoping someone would make this observation--thank you.

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock View Post
    So, so far, no one has their bike or rack stolen, just all the things you do to prevent it.

    I have never had my bike or rack stolen. I know no one who has and I've been actively riding for 20 years with people who have bike racks also. I have left my bike on my rack, locked at work for 8+ hours. I live in the suburbs. I have insurance if needed.
    Good for you. You on any cycling groups on Facebook? Seems like someone is posting about a bike getting stolen off a car rack every other day. Guy got his Bronson stolen off his rack right behind his business in cherry hill nj last week. Dude just walked up and calmly cut the cable locks and rode away.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    Good for you. You on any cycling groups on Facebook? Seems like someone is posting about a bike getting stolen off a car rack every other day. Guy got his Bronson stolen off his rack right behind his business in cherry hill nj last week. Dude just walked up and calmly cut the cable locks and rode away.
    OK, there's one. Some guy in New Jersey that you don't know. Should I retract my statement? I still have never known anybody personally who has had a bike or rack stolen off their car in 20+years of bike and racks on cars. Ever.
    How can anyone who's been riding as long as I have, be so slow???

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock View Post
    OK, there's one. Some guy in New Jersey that you don't know. Should I retract my statement? I still have never known anybody personally who has had a bike or rack stolen off their car in 20+years of bike and racks on cars. Ever.
    Why are you in this thread if it doesn't concern you?

  21. #21
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    Friend of mine had his Recon 5 stolen off the back of his 4Runner a few weeks ago.

  22. #22
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    I had my new bike stolen off a locked roof rack in January of 2017 in Salt Lake City of all places. It was a Rocky Mounts setup. Left it for a few minutes and boom. Gone.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGoogleNinja View Post
    I had my new bike stolen off a locked roof rack in January of 2017 in Salt Lake City of all places.
    That's Mormons for you, just can't resist a bicycle.

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    lol, that's what I thought!

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Friend of mine had his Recon 5 stolen off the back of his 4Runner a few weeks ago.
    Update- itís been reunited. Another friend of mine bought it for $150 from a FB classified ad. Guess methheads donít have Google. They didnít even take the tell-tale stickers off it.

  27. #27
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    I looked for mine on all the possible places to sell it for more than a year. No luck.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGoogleNinja View Post
    I had my new bike stolen off a locked roof rack in January of 2017 in Salt Lake City of all places.
    Closest I've ever come to being mugged was in Salt Lake City. Land of Donny and Marie Osmond, my ass.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Update- itís been reunited. Another friend of mine bought it for $150 from a FB classified ad. Guess methheads donít have Google. They didnít even take the tell-tale stickers off it.
    no way! thatís awesomeóI think? sad statement about thief.


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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    no way! thatís awesomeóI think? sad statement about thief.


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    If theyíd priced it at $800 he wouldnít have thought it was stolen (aside from the shady guys who didnít seem to be mountain bikers). Glad it worked out.

  31. #31
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    I have a swagman racks with a locking hitch pin, and I use 2 coated braided cables which lock to the locking hitch pin. the frame and both wheels are locked. If I stop for a bite to eat after a ride I make sure to park where I can see my vehicle at all times.
    In short, if someone wants it bad enough they will do whatever they need to get it.
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  32. #32
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    This video is years old and Thule has since updated that rack to help prevent/slow down theft. That said locks in general keep honest people honest and are only a deterrent. I agree with ColinL, I never leave my bike unattended even while locked and bring them inside with me whenever I can.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by rushman3 View Post


    I use something similar to the above with a heavy duty lock for the past two years. The chain and locks are not cheap and they are heavy. These types of chains can be cut with a wheel grinder, but that is very noisy and takes a bit of time.

    https://www.1st-chainsupply.com/chai...-1-2/index.htm

    Also, here is cool video about locks and chains:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIgwgzVusxY

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7S4gwYHZ6E8


    Oh, and I use a 6 bike north shore rack....bikes and rack are locked around the under carriage of the vehicle.

  34. #34
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    I've just fitted roof racks and a Thule Proride 598. No way am I trusting that lock, the rack is purely for home->trails->home trips. If it's a long trip and/or a need for stops with the car out of sight then I'll be putting the rear seats down, taking the wheels off the bike and putting it inside the car. The rack is for convenience of my regular rides.

    What do people with the Proride (or similar) racks do about the wheel track/pad things that can slide off the end? Leave them on all of the time? When I bought the carrier I didn't realise how easily they slid off, and I really don't want them being knocked off. Is it a common problem?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by phreeky View Post
    What do people with the Proride racks do about the wheel track/pad things that can slide off the end?
    Is there no end-stop or something? If not I guess a few wraps of tape or something would stop them sliding off. I certainly wouldn't be removing them all the time.

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    There are end-stops, however they just unclip by hand - they'll prevent the trays/cradles sliding off while driving, but not somebody who feels that they want them more than I do. I think I'll just remove them for now (it probably takes about 30s to put them back on).

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by phreeky View Post
    There are end-stops, however they just unclip by hand - they'll prevent the trays/cradles sliding off while driving, but not somebody who feels that they want them more than I do.
    I think it's unlikely that someone will steal the bits off your rack. It's possible but I reckon any thief would steal the whole rack if anything.

  38. #38
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    I met a guy once whose hitch rack was cut off of his vehicle with a battery-powered reciprocating saw while he watched from inside McD's. Two bikes were on it, and not even locked. Was quicker to cut the rack mast. The rack was one of those hanging-style with a single central vertical mast. Gone in seconds.

    Also, my wife's boss broke his arm after confronting thieves attempting to steal a couple of mtb's from the back of his pickup truck.

    I personally take some steps against theft with locks and cables and such. Haven't had any issues yet, but as soon as a pro with the right tools takes an interest, I know that nothing I do will stop them. That's what insurance is for.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    ..as soon as a pro with the right tools takes an interest, I know that nothing I do will stop them.
    You could shoot them?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by phreeky View Post
    I've just fitted roof racks and a Thule Proride 598. No way am I trusting that lock, the rack is purely for home->trails->home trips. If it's a long trip and/or a need for stops with the car out of sight then I'll be putting the rear seats down, taking the wheels off the bike and putting it inside the car. The rack is for convenience of my regular rides.

    What do people with the Proride (or similar) racks do about the wheel track/pad things that can slide off the end? Leave them on all of the time? When I bought the carrier I didn't realise how easily they slid off, and I really don't want them being knocked off. Is it a common problem?
    Not sure what you're on about? Usually there is no way the rear wheel tray can slide past the endcap, and regardless, a thief can simply unclick or cut the plastic strap anyways. My Yakima rack locks to the cross bar, and has a built in cable lock that extends from the rear around the rear frame. Then up front, there is a welded loop where a U-Bolt lock can both through the front tire and frame to the rack. Also having an alarm on your car is helpful, as thieves would have to be leaning and thus shaking the car to gain access to a roof rack. The loud alarm alone would deter most.

    Theft of bikes on racks, or theft of bike racks thread-highroad_8_mtb_tire.1531842116.jpg
    Theft of bikes on racks, or theft of bike racks thread-highroad_10_tailwhip.1531842116.jpg
    Theft of bikes on racks, or theft of bike racks thread-highroad_3_3-4.1531842115.jpg
    Theft of bikes on racks, or theft of bike racks thread-screen-shot-2018-10-14-1.08.30-pm.jpg

  41. #41
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    https://blog.letsgoaero.com/the-rv-blues

    Anyone try one of these.

  42. #42
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    Just got a kuat transfer. I run a 6 foot NY Fahgettaboudit 14mm hex chain through the bike frame to the safety chain eyelets of the hitch.

    Won't stop a determined pro with power tools but it's a good deterent. Most thieves will choose the easiest option available...based on all the cable locks I see "securing" $5000 bikes, it won't be my bike.
    Last edited by eatdrinkride; 4 Weeks Ago at 09:29 PM.

  43. #43
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    Just a week or so ago in Colorado

    https://forums.mtbr.com/intense/stol...o-1091378.html

  44. #44
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    Bummer! Drive to the trail, drive back home, bike inside. Hungry? Drive Thru.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheUnknownRider View Post
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  45. #45
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    On my Thule bars with 598 bike holders I added 4 Thule 320 eye-bolts and use a loop chain with a shackle padlock that fits through a pair of the eye-bolts for each bike.
    I'm hoping that the sight of a large heavy chain that's a PIA to reach as its behind the bike will 'encourage' potential thieves to look elsewhere, though I'd never leave the bikes like that in an empty carpark for instance.
    Also the locks are to the standard my insurance requires so at worst I'll be able to claim. I'm amazed at how much money people will spend on their bikes and be cheap with the security. In total I've got approx £500 of locks and chains for when our bikes are out with us or back in the garage. My wife always takes the p*** as it's not a quick job to lock them up but she can wait.

    Theft of bikes on racks, or theft of bike racks thread-dsc_0004.jpg

    Theft of bikes on racks, or theft of bike racks thread-1203417093-29879.jpg
    What a perfect waste of time

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    I use my rack only when going straight to the trail and back. If there are any stops or travel involved I take the front wheel off and slide in back of Tahoe.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDHutch View Post
    I use my rack only when going straight to the trail and back. If there are any stops or travel involved I take the front wheel off and slide in back of Tahoe.
    I think most people would agree inside the vehicle is the best bet but that's not always possible when traveling.

    .
    When I had my Nissan truck there was no way to put the bike inside the cab. I drilled holes in the bed and installed a massive d-ring. I then put J-B weld on the threads underneath the truck. that is what I used with my New York chain and lock to keep the bike secure while in a restaurant or in a grocery store. Not ideal but it was far better than nothing.

    I think going forward I'm going to use two New York chains on my bike. Maybe with two different types of locks. I mean what's another 50-$100 spent keeping my bike from being stolen,considering the price I paid for it. and I would bet someone who is ready and willing to try to hack through a 14 mm chain or lock will seriously think twice and move on if there are two of them in place. It just isn't worth the time and effort unless the bike is abandoned behind some Warehouse or something. But generally speaking in front of a store or other public place it just doesn't seem like it would be worth the time and effort or risk.

    Again, the idea is to make my bike less desirable to steal than other options. Yes I'm speaking to you guys with cable locks.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    I think most people would agree inside the vehicle is the best bet but that's not always possible when traveling.
    Not a sure bet. Last winter a couple was vacationing here and went on one of the local rides. Afterward, people were sitting on a patio drinking beer. Their bikes were inside their locked SUV, covered, about 150' away but just out of sight. When it was time to go, a window was broken and the bikes were gone. No one heard a thing. This was a bike friendly place with signs telling you to bring your bike onto the patio. There were enough people that no one noticed their bikes weren't there among the rest and no one there had signed up to be a professional tour guide, so no one thought to say anything to them. No one has ever lost a bike from the patio or any of the other places that we take bikes in. The upshot is, when possible, the best bet is to take the extra 5 minutes and take your bike with you.

  49. #49
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    If I'm using my Ford Focus I always lock my bike and front wheel using a loop chain to the rear seat mountings in the car, again it's not perfect but wouldn't be a quick or quiet theft.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveKM View Post
    Not a sure bet. Last winter a couple was vacationing here and went on one of the local rides. Afterward, people were sitting on a patio drinking beer. Their bikes were inside their locked SUV, covered, about 150' away but just out of sight. When it was time to go, a window was broken and the bikes were gone. .
    Oh I could see this happening in a heartbeat. smashing glass with a small tool and unlocking the doors is quick and relatively quiet. There is no way I would load my bike into my car in sight of other people and then go into a restaurant.

    my buddy's brother who lives in crested Butte was actually offended when we rolled up to his apartment in downtown and we insisted on bringing our bikes up the stairs into his loft for the night. he kept telling us over and over we could leave our bikes outside in the back of the truck and even though I had my New York chain and lock there was no way I was going to leave it outside. They also leave their keys in their cars and their doors unlocked. Nice idyllic lifestyle but I wasn't born yesterday and thieves are everywhere.

  51. #51
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    I've never understand that mentality, leaving cars and doors open. A friend who's a police officer tells of thieves who will 'work' a street trying every car and house door because there will always be someone who has left them unlocked.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackWare View Post
    I've never understand that mentality, leaving cars and doors open. A friend who's a police officer tells of thieves who will 'work' a street trying every car and house door because there will always be someone who has left them unlocked.
    It's a Crested Butte thing. They feel like they are impervious to the real world up there. Kind of a hippyish/bohemian community, at least locals.

    Funny story. when we were up there the first time, we needed a second vehicle to do a shuttle up on one of the mountains. my buddy's brother's girlfriend said that we could use her Jeep Grand Cherokee and that it would be parked at the bank she worked at around the corner. she said the keys would be in it and we could take it anytime and return it when we were done. well we went to the bank around the corner and we found a Grand Cherokee with the keys in it but it was not the same color(iirc) as the one she said hers was. It turns out that was her bosses Grand Cherokee and we almost took the wrong vehicle. Not making this up one bit. Crazy!

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    Just added some security to my yakima rack. Welded some bulldozer chain to the underside on the tube. Lock it to the hitch. Sure it could be cut off.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

  54. #54
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    ^^
    Good for you for making it harder for ass-hats to steal your stuff. since you went that far with a chain I suggest you beef up that lock. It could be cut with bolt cutters in about a 1/2 a second.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncaged View Post
    The problems is the chains worth buying will scratch the bike, and if you leave it in the car they can break in.
    You can always take a length of nylon webbing (tubular) and just run the chain through it for protection against scratches, etc.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    ^^
    Good for you for making it harder for ass-hats to steal your stuff. since you went that far with a chain I suggest you beef up that lock. It could be cut with bolt cutters in about a 1/2 a second.
    That lock is supposed to be bolt cutter resistant.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by doabackflip View Post
    That lock is supposed to be bolt cutter resistant.

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    I assure you a $30 pair of 18" bolt cutters would make quick work of that. Bolt cutter resistant locks are usually very heavy and/or have a shape (hex) that makes it difficult for cutters to get a bite.

    The lock I use has a 14mm shackle and a dual deadbolt design so even if it's cut with an angle grinder the two halves of the shackle stay in place making a second cut ( or massive prying) needed to get it off the chain.

    Don't get me wrong though, what you've done is 10 times better than what most people do have with their cable locks. Just know that a thief with the most basic tools will make quick work of it all.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctxcrossx View Post
    You can always take a length of nylon webbing (tubular) and just run the chain through it for protection against scratches, etc.
    Old bicycle tubes can be put to lots of good uses.

  59. #59
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    It is a hex shackle. I have a tube on it now. I'll probably use a abus diskus lock.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

  60. #60
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    Visual deterrent and we run cable through it when we want to lock bikes. Also makes sure rack doesn't loosen and slide out
    Theft of bikes on racks, or theft of bike racks thread-img_2118.jpg

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    All they have to do is unbolt the side plates and cut the cable, gone in under 60 seconds ... pretty sure you said itís never left unattended though. Just for those who donít recognize it.

  62. #62
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    Visual deterrents are good for the average bike thief, but a pro will cut the hitch eyelet flange off with an angle grinder in about 30 seconds.

  63. #63
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    All we have around here is average bike thieves.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by b622r View Post
    All we have around here is average bike thieves.
    Lucky. This is what the bike thieves in NorCal look like.

    Theft of bikes on racks, or theft of bike racks thread-madmaxfuryroad-247-ft-1.jpg

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