Author Topic: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?  (Read 2011 times)

Hoosier Daddy

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Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« on: May 06, 2018, 07:45:46 AM »
 Hey everyone,

 I wanted to get The forums opinion on parking an expensive bike in a major downtown area.

My wife and I have two bikes that have a total value of about $3000 between the two of them and we are moving from a small town that was very safe where we enjoyed riding them very often to a major city where we are concerned about theft. We donít plan on leaving our bikes out overnight or anything but I was curious if anyone had any feedback regarding parking expensive bikes downtown even just to go to the gym or the library or something like that? I have noticed when walking around this major city that there are a lot of bikes but none of them are as expensive as the one we would be riding around. Thus I was wondering if we would be better off  selling the bikes or if itís not a big deal as long as you lock up your bike in the right way and donít park it in non-public spaces overnight etc.?

nereo

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2018, 10:03:48 AM »
The likelihood of theft varies considerably from one big city to the next, and even from one neighborhood to the next. I've lived in 'big cities' where I never experienced a theft and in other 'big cities' where anything not secured would be stolen in a matter of hours - and bikes left out overnight could have their locks cut.

With bikes like yours, I highly recommend you use a U-bolt + 4' cable combo. That will deter most thefts, and many of the companies have a warranty where they will pay you the value of your bike (up to $x) if it is stolen by cutting or defeating the lock. For example, OnGuard offers a u-lock + cable option that will pay out $1,501 if your bike is stolen while properly locked (& they offer higher levels for their more robust locks). Kryptonite and other companies have similar offers - I just happen to have an OnGuard lock on my bike.

Also - you already noted that you will be a target if your bike is the nicest around. Swallow your pride and make your bike look less attractive.  Marring the paint job is a good start, as is adding theft-resistent fasteners to seat posts and handlebars and tires (e.g. no 'quick release' tire skewers!). You can apply pine tar if you don't want it to be permanent (though it gets sticky in hot weather).  Take your lights off every time you lock your bike.

Here's a great way of locking your bike with a u-lock + 4' cable combo.

BikeFanatic

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2018, 12:26:23 PM »
One thing I do is leave two locks at work and  use both so my bike can not be stolen with just one tool. Never leave bike out overnight. Consider getting a beater bike for short trips and leave the nice bikes inside and break them out on the weekends for longer trips. Sucks that we have to worry so much about our 1500 dollar bikes.

meghan88

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2018, 02:53:24 PM »
And I thought this thread was going to be all about valet bike parking, and/or rented luxury humidity-controlled secure bike parking pods, or something along those lines.

Hmmm ... I may be onto something ...

cchrissyy

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2018, 03:10:40 PM »
in my expensive city, there is free indoor bike parking at some office buildings and the YMCA. Maybe the worse bikes you see outside are only a sample of the bikes who people don't mind leaving outside. you know?

and the commuter train station has free parking too. it's like a retail store where you drop off and they valet park your bike for you, safely indoors all day, then you walk down to the train platforms.   https://bikehub.com/bart/
so again, if people are using that you won't see their bikes outside.

Dave1442397

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2018, 05:48:50 PM »
We need this system in the US - https://youtu.be/pcZSU40RBrg

Philadelphia doesn't seem to be a good place to leave a bike, even locked up. I've seen some nice bikes stripped of their components while locked to telephone poles, etc.

nereo

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2018, 06:59:27 PM »
We need this system in the US - https://youtu.be/pcZSU40RBrg

Philadelphia doesn't seem to be a good place to leave a bike, even locked up. I've seen some nice bikes stripped of their components while locked to telephone poles, etc.

Holy crap - how much would something like that even cost?

remizidae

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2018, 07:16:59 PM »
Renter's insurance will cover a bike theft if above the deductible. Get locking skewers for the wheels, lock the frame with a quality U-lock, don't leave it out overnight, and I wouldn't worry too much. Take off any stealable attachments--lights, bag, water bottle, whatever. Yeah, it's dumb that people will steal a damn water bottle, but they will.

I've never had such an expensive bike, but I have biked in a lot of cities and had a lot of bikes stolen. Every theft happened when I was using a cable lock.

Hoosier Daddy

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2018, 05:05:56 AM »
Thanks all.

I havenít seen much indoor storage but thatís to be expected since they are indoor lol. Actually one of the places I want to bike to is a YMCA so I wonder if they would actually have this as an option... Iíll look into that.

However it sounds like my gut is telling me the right thing that i likely canít take the nice bike out except for long rides on the weekend with no stops. The advice to make my bike less attractive is sound in theory but I (probably irrationally) just canít bring myself to make the two wheeled piece of art look worse on purpose haha.

With not much extra storage place, so people here who live in Big cities with nice bikes, do you have 2 bikes? One crappy for commuting and one nice for longer rides?

nereo

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2018, 05:50:25 AM »

With not much extra storage place, so people here who live in Big cities with nice bikes, do you have 2 bikes? One crappy for commuting and one nice for longer rides?

I have two bikes, although not really for the reasons you suggest.  My commuter is a mid-level bike with panniers and fenders and medium-width (30mm) tires.  I ride that daily because it can hit potholes and gravel much better than my road bike, and has a more relaxed riding position. My nicer road bike serves a different purpose - namely going fast on long rides.

Where are you moving to? Except in some select areas of select cities properly locking up oyur bike during the daytime is enough to prevent theft, and insurance is cheap if you are truly worried.

 As for your bike being a 'work of art' - meh... I love looking at nice bikes as much as anyone here, but if you start viewing your possessions as shiny valuable things instead of useful tools to improve your quality of life you're heading into a consumerism trap.
Or look at it this way: You can ride your nice bike, slightly scuffed with a lock and anti-theft bolts, or you can ride something crappier. If you like your current ride, why not use it?

honeybbq

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2018, 09:17:56 AM »
I also do not leave my 'nice' bike out. When I commute to work, I bring it into my office.

In my 'hood you'll also want to remove the seat unless it locks, and also the front wheel. So now, in my case, I'd be lugging around a wheel, a helmet, a seat, and bike shoes. It really isn't practical sadly.  We have a HUGE HUGE problem with bike theft (as well as a meth and homeless problem) and I am not comfortable biking places and leaving my bike outside unattended sadly.

There are posts EVERY day in our nextdoor app about how family bikes and electric bikes have been stolen. I saw a very homeless person walking along a cannondale synapse down the street the other day. Maybe they had a $1500 bike and THEN became homeless but I doubt it.

I do have 2 bikes: I have my roadie and a MTB but basically I just don't bike if there isn't secure bike storage (like bike boxes).

SimpleCycle

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2018, 11:06:00 AM »
I ride a super sweet steel framed single speed road bike.  Most people would consider it a beater.  It lives outside and I haven't had problems.  It does not have quick release components, I use two U-locks overnight, and a single U lock when out and about.

I'm not sure I'd ride a really nice bike as my everyday bike.  Eventually in my experience you'll experience a bike theft, and my riding joy doesn't go up enough riding a $1500 bike over riding a $150 bike to take that risk.

lbmustache

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2018, 06:31:32 PM »
I also do not leave my 'nice' bike out. When I commute to work, I bring it into my office.

In my 'hood you'll also want to remove the seat unless it locks, and also the front wheel. So now, in my case, I'd be lugging around a wheel, a helmet, a seat, and bike shoes. It really isn't practical sadly.  We have a HUGE HUGE problem with bike theft (as well as a meth and homeless problem) and I am not comfortable biking places and leaving my bike outside unattended sadly.

There are posts EVERY day in our nextdoor app about how family bikes and electric bikes have been stolen. I saw a very homeless person walking along a cannondale synapse down the street the other day. Maybe they had a $1500 bike and THEN became homeless but I doubt it.


Yep, I live in a city where the same thing happens. I often times see just the bike frame left - and the wheel(s), seat, etc. have all been stolen.
I do have 2 bikes: I have my roadie and a MTB but basically I just don't bike if there isn't secure bike storage (like bike boxes).

Hoosier Daddy

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2018, 04:52:58 AM »
Thanks everyone! I guess I was hoping to hear ďnah itís totally fine youíre worried too much!Ē But sounds like my gut was right. The downtown area is extremely walkable which is good but sucks we wonít be able to use the bikes for commuting.

I honestly never thought about this aspect before. I always wondered why more people in the city didnít bike but I guess now i know. A few thieves ruin it for the rest... 

Have you guys found bike lockers to work or is using bolt cutters on the lock pretty much as safe as a standard bike lock?

People for bikes just had a conference here in town and Iíd like to see what we can do as a city to fix this problem but not really sure what an ideal solution would look like. Perhaps free indoor bike parking at all hotels? Or maybe there are some awesome bike pods. Either way Iím going to look into this... a few sucky people shouldnít be able to ruin it for the rest of us!

nereo

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2018, 05:22:45 AM »
Thanks everyone! I guess I was hoping to hear ďnah itís totally fine youíre worried too much!Ē But sounds like my gut was right. The downtown area is extremely walkable which is good but sucks we wonít be able to use the bikes for commuting.

I honestly never thought about this aspect before. I always wondered why more people in the city didnít bike but I guess now i know. A few thieves ruin it for the rest... 

Have you guys found bike lockers to work or is using bolt cutters on the lock pretty much as safe as a standard bike lock?

People for bikes just had a conference here in town and Iíd like to see what we can do as a city to fix this problem but not really sure what an ideal solution would look like. Perhaps free indoor bike parking at all hotels? Or maybe there are some awesome bike pods. Either way Iím going to look into this... a few sucky people shouldnít be able to ruin it for the rest of us!
Thieves suck, and certainly deter a few, but IMO they aren't the reason most people in the city don't bike.  Which is to say if you could magically eliminate 100% of bike thefts you wouldn't suddenly see a huge surge in ridership.

Not feeling 'safe' (no/few bike lanes, an aggressive car culture) a stigma against grown adults riding bikes instead of driving and general laziness are all big factors in the US. A few US cities (Portland is the architype) have become very bike-able, despite still having a very large bike-theft problem.  I'm told bike theft is a fact of life in cities in the netherlands, and practically everyone there bikes everywhere.

The solution seems to be to just get more people biking and advocate for better cycling routes.  Its a hard nut to crack though, as drivers are unwilling to give up lanes or parking spaces to cyclists.

neophyte

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2018, 06:51:55 AM »
My roommates tend to lose a bike every 2-3 years. Even sometimes when it's locked in a nice area. I'd pick up a couple of $150 bikes on Craigslist for everyday use so you don't have to worry about them a much.

ETA: it's definitely my fear of cars rather than my fear of theft that keeps me a foot commuter. 
« Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 07:00:35 AM by neophyte »

Hirondelle

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2018, 08:14:47 AM »
Can't you just get some cheap city bikes to ride around downtown?

I'd hope your $3k bikes are some sort of fancy MTB or racing bikes that are bought for that purpose, so I wouldn't want to ride them for anything else than that.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2018, 08:22:51 AM »
It is common to see bikes in cubicles here in the summer. People don't leave them outside.

obstinate

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2018, 09:59:16 AM »
I would say you should buy some relatively inexpensive bikes for commuting. Even a $200 cruiser can make your commute a lot quicker, and can be really pleasant to ride on. If it's something you wouldn't mind losing, AND it's locked securely, I think you should be fine to leave it on the street. Make sure to get the seat locked to the bike as well.

PoutineLover

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2018, 10:07:28 AM »
I have a Trek bike for commuting, it was probably a couple hundred new but now it's 15 years old and rusty and it hasn't been stolen yet (knock on wood). However, my quick release seat was stolen, so I replaced it with a cheap, not quick release one. And my brakes were damaged during an attempted theft, that was annoying to fix. And I use a kryptonite chain, which was damaged during another attempted theft, but kryptonite sent me a new one for free. So I would never leave a more expensive/nicer bike outside. Best bet is to get cheap ones for commuting and make sure they aren't pretty, and lock them up good (including the wheel).

honeybbq

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2018, 10:13:55 AM »
Can't you just get some cheap city bikes to ride around downtown?

I'd hope your $3k bikes are some sort of fancy MTB or racing bikes that are bought for that purpose, so I wouldn't want to ride them for anything else than that.

Depends on your hood I guess.

Many people who haven't been to Seattle don't realize how hilly it is -- it's similar to San Francisco. If you don't have a 'decent' bike with enough gears, you won't be able to make it up many hills. That's why so many of our bike share bikes are electric.

I also race my commuter bike, so it's a 'nice' bike but not that nice.

You could consider bike sharing if your neighborhood has them for quick jaunts but if you're commuting, I'd get something more personal.

Slee_stack

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2018, 12:19:59 PM »
I will aprrot most....buy a cheap bike.

If you have a $1500 bike, consider the add'l $200 for your beater bike as a fancy accessory of your nice bike.

If you don't have room for two bikes (each)...that's trickier to answer.

I have (3) bikes.  Yes, I'm a clown and enjoy the F out of them.  I have a spendy MTB for the multiple trail rides I do every week, an older $600ish nice road bike for my occasional road rides (with those friends who don't like dirt), and a city bike (which is old, but is probably worth more than I'd prefer...$300ish?) that I also ride multiple times per week.

While my road bike is indeed easier to ride faster...the city bike is more durable and utilitarian....and a ton less blingy.  If the city bike got stolen, it would suck, but it'd be more of a shrug.
If I lost my MTB...I'd be fuming.

Hirondelle

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Re: Expensive Bike Parking In Big City?
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2018, 11:04:14 PM »
Can't you just get some cheap city bikes to ride around downtown?

I'd hope your $3k bikes are some sort of fancy MTB or racing bikes that are bought for that purpose, so I wouldn't want to ride them for anything else than that.

Depends on your hood I guess.

Many people who haven't been to Seattle don't realize how hilly it is -- it's similar to San Francisco. If you don't have a 'decent' bike with enough gears, you won't be able to make it up many hills. That's why so many of our bike share bikes are electric.

I also race my commuter bike, so it's a 'nice' bike but not that nice.

You could consider bike sharing if your neighborhood has them for quick jaunts but if you're commuting, I'd get something more personal.

I haven't been to Seattle and coming from ultra-flat NL I indeed sometimes forget that many (read: 99% of the world) places are more hilly than mine, thanks for the reminder. That still doesn't change the point that I'd probably not use a $1500 bike for regular errands downtown. Honestly, the only real excuse I could think of to spend $1500 on a bike if if it's an electric bike. Not sure if that's the case of the OP, but if so then it makes sense he wants to use his valuable bike for downtown rides.

For "decent bikes with gears" I'm pretty sure there must be other options out there for an affordable price. Doesn't have to be a complete beater. If the fancy bikes are ebikes and that's really a must in the city - this advice doesn't work though.

Re the person that mentioned bike theft is just part of life in the NL. I've once heard someone say "you aren't Dutch before your bike gets stolen at least once, it's part of your integration exam" (this was to an international student as a joke). However, it took me 22(!) years of my life to experience my first bike theft and I'm blaming myself for it as I didn't properly lock my bike at the train station.