Author Topic: Stolen Bike :(  (Read 6099 times)

Loquat

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Stolen Bike :(
« on: July 24, 2013, 11:10:29 AM »
I am a lady mustache in the family, and I am trying to convince the Mr. to grow as well.

We live only 2 miles from his work, and little by little, he's been riding his bike to work 1-2 times a week. (really, at just 2 miles, he has no excuse not to!).  This week, he committed to riding his bike every day (all on his own, I didn't nag or anything, so I was super excited that he wanted to!).  Well, last night he called me to say I needed to come pick him up-- his bike was stolen.  The bike rack at his work is exactly 10 feet from the gate operator for the parking garage and there is also a security guard.  He told me there are usually 3-4 other bikes there and when he came down to go home, they were all gone. The "good" news is they have a security camera pointed right at the bike rack, and they told him  best case scenario is he will recognize the person (as in, it was someone who works there) but other than that there isn't much that can be done. (they will review the tape with him today).

My question is-- is there a specific type of bike lock you can recommend?   We are mostly shocked because it was RIGHT next to that gate guard, and it's in what we thought was a very safe area (El Segundo, CA).  And it was in the middle of the day! We just bought his bike a few months ago and now he is soured on riding bikes completely. Any recommendations? :(

jpo

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Re: Stolen Bike :(
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2013, 11:13:19 AM »
Some info here.

I use a U-lock and haven't had any issues... yet.

Lans Holman

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Re: Stolen Bike :(
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2013, 11:19:42 AM »
No strong opinions on locks but it's a good reminder to make sure you have the serial number of your bike written down in a safe place.  My father-in-law had his stolen and then found it months later, covered in duct tape and locked up.  He called the police and they said there wasn't anything they could do because he hadn't had the number when he had filed the original report.  Fortunately, he had some bolt cutters and a pickup, and they were happy to look the other way.

Also, now I have "Left My Wallet in El Segundo" in my head.  I really don't know how people in the LA area can stand having every neighborhood or street associated to some song or another.

destron

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Re: Stolen Bike :(
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2013, 11:26:34 AM »
Here is the Sheldon Brown method that I use, which is very close to the above link's first method.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html

Loquat

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Re: Stolen Bike :(
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2013, 11:39:28 AM »
Thanks for the locking advice!  We are total bike beginners, and thought the $5 cable lock from Amazon was sufficient.  We know better now.  I guess I better pick up a Ulock for my bike as well.
California is silly. And full of bike thieves!  The worst part was explaining thievery to my 5 year old. So sad.

onehappypanda

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Re: Stolen Bike :(
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2013, 12:40:41 PM »
Aaaah a cable lock. Everyone I know who has ever gotten their bike stolen has the same story- thought it would be safe, thought the cable lock would be fine, thought someone would surely notice and report it.

It's a good lesson to learn - never rely on a cable lock to hold your bike, no matter how safe the area is or how many people are around. They're easy to cut quickly, so people may not even notice what's happening, and most people won't intervene anyway. Always use a u-bar. You could even use a cheap $25 u-bar from Target and it'll work fine (that's what mine is). I just thread my ubar through my frame, the bike rack, and my back wheel if I can fit it.

Loquat

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Re: Stolen Bike :(
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2013, 01:02:36 PM »
Well, we saw the video (he recorded it and posted it on facebook) and we watched the guy steal the bike.  Took him all of three minutes and nobody said a word to him.  It really twists the knife to WATCH someone steal your stuff!  Ughghgh.

Anyone have experience with a folding bike?  He says he would rather get one of those and bring it in the office with him.  He's too freaked to risk the bike rack again.  Looks to be about $170.  Thanks for all the advice, really appreciate it!

anastrophe

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Re: Stolen Bike :(
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2013, 01:21:17 PM »
+1 the Sheldon Brown method. Unless your thief has a blowtorch or other heavy equipment and a lot of spare time, a good U-lock will be good enough, with a strong cable lock for the wheels. I don't think you need a folding bike for this situation, you just need a better locking technique.

Sunflower

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Re: Stolen Bike :(
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2013, 07:04:54 PM »
I would just buy a U-lock and an older bike. If it's 2 miles then you shouldn't need anything fancy - just a nice sturdy older bike with some non-knobby tires. When my roommate and I had our bikes locked up next to each other her shiny new Schwin was stolen but they left mine (I assume because it wasn't as pretty). Both were locked up exactly the same way. Plus, if a cheap old bike is stolen it will still sting but not as much since the monetary value will be much lower.

dailycycle

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Re: Stolen Bike :(
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2013, 07:13:17 PM »
Last I looked into this OnGuard and Kryptonite have the strongest metal.  OnGuard locks are less expensive.  The smaller U-lock is both less expensive and more secure.  I used it to park my bike in many sketchy places and never had an issue.  Be sure the frame is locked and not just the front wheel, or you will end up with just a wheel.

Aside from that, you can keep an eye on Craigslist for the bike and then report it to the police if you find it (for what that's worth).

philoneist

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Re: Stolen Bike :(
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2013, 07:39:00 PM »
I use Kryptonite locks for most things - The rule of thumb with U locks is to get the SMALLEST one you can get away with - They are tremendously easy to break if there is room to get some leverage between the lock and the object you are locked to.

However, Abus makes a fantastic low profile lock that I plan to pickup soon - The Bordo 6500:

http://www.abus.com/eng/Mobile-Security/Bike-safety-and-security/Locks/Folding-locks/Bordo-Granit-X-Plus-6500

It's a folding lock design which is great for a few reasons:

1. It can fit around structures a U Lock cannot.

2. Most US thieves have never seen it - They are opportunists, they will not attempt to break a lock they are not completely confident they can break in under a minute.

3. It folds down into a very compact package that fits on your bike far better than a U lock.

I have several friends that have been using them with no issues yet. I borrowed one for several weeks and I fell in love with it. They are expensive, but I love them. Every time you pull it out, people will ask about it.

EDIT: The Abus locks are EXPENSIVE. No two ways about it. However, you do not want to skimp when it comes to locks. Another note - I have gone through 4 On Guard locks due to issues with tumblers. I think the locks are alright, compared to Kryptonite, but their key/tumbler design is not very well suited for Chicago weather.

EDIT 2: If you want to know how good a lock is - look up videos of people defeating them on YouTube - If the videos are under a minute, move along. If they are 3 min+, you've got a keeper.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 07:48:01 PM by philoneist »

m8547

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Re: Stolen Bike :(
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2013, 05:49:41 PM »
EDIT: The Abus locks are EXPENSIVE. No two ways about it. However, you do not want to skimp when it comes to locks. Another note - I have gone through 4 On Guard locks due to issues with tumblers. I think the locks are alright, compared to Kryptonite, but their key/tumbler design is not very well suited for Chicago weather.

EDIT 2: If you want to know how good a lock is - look up videos of people defeating them on YouTube - If the videos are under a minute, move along. If they are 3 min+, you've got a keeper.

My old On Guard lock is working fine after 4+ years of daily use. The plastic shell has broken off but it still works fine. Newer ones I've tried have been awful. I have a cable lock that's only a year or two old and rarely used, and it can be really difficult to open. A friend got one that didn't have enough tolerance in the locking mechanism and simply wouldn't open at all most of the time. If you get a good one, though, they are secure for the price. My bike hasn't been stolen in 4 years in an area with a lot of bike theft.

capital

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Re: Stolen Bike :(
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2013, 10:23:35 PM »
I have an OnGuard Bulldog Mini that I've used for five or six years, including the last year and a half in New York City. It's served well.

If you're in a theft-prone area, also make sure to secure components such as wheels, and only lock to a sturdy object such as a thick steel bike rack or pole anchored in concrete. Wooden porches can be a vulnerable spot to lock up, and many street signs are on poles that are bolted onto the ground, which lets a thief steal the bike by unbolting the sign.