Author Topic: How do you keep a bike trailer from getting stolen?  (Read 9174 times)

MoneyCat

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How do you keep a bike trailer from getting stolen?
« on: November 21, 2014, 03:42:43 PM »
I'm looking into getting a bike trailer for grocery shopping and other errands, but I'm unsure how to prevent it from being stolen.  I can lock up my bicycle very easily.  Is there a way to lock the trailer so it can't be separated from the bike.  How does this work?

kaizen soze

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Re: How do you keep a bike trailer from getting stolen?
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2014, 05:35:25 PM »
I use a cable and a cheap combination lock to lock the trailer to my rear wheel.  Hardly foolproof, but so far so good.  A longer cable would allow me to lock it to the frame, although the trailer itself can be dismantled pretty easily. 

sol

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Re: How do you keep a bike trailer from getting stolen?
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2014, 08:20:43 PM »
I've never bothered with locking my ($100) bike trailer.  Just the bike.  Most people don't even understand that they can be separated.

It's a large and awkward object to just walk away with.  I guess they could throw it in the back of a pickup.  Really the best way to steal a bike trailer would be to pull up next to it on a bike, then unclip it and attach it to your own bike, but even this would require that they had the right mounting hardware already installed.  Not really worth it unless you're going to be making a habit of stealing bike trailers.


vhalros

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Re: How do you keep a bike trailer from getting stolen?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2014, 08:31:07 PM »
I have a Travoy, so I just fold it up and take it with me (or roll it if it has stuff on it); might be an option if you are really worried about theft. The other obvious thing to do is chain it to the bicycle frame with either a cable (low security, you could even use one of the kind that tethers to your u-lock), or one of kyrptonite chains (heavy; high security).

I think that in general trailers don't have the commodity status that bicycles do, and so are a little harder to resell, and thus  stolen less often. Even here in Greater Boston (a relatively bike friendly place, where I see many people with trailers), there are not too many of them on the used market at any given times, so it would be pretty easy to see if your stolen trailer showed up on Craig's List or something.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: How do you keep a bike trailer from getting stolen?
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2014, 11:56:24 AM »
I just use a reeeeally old bike trailer! If I was going to lock it up separate from the bike, then I would probably use a cable lock. If you have a newer/fancier trailer, cable locking it to the bike seems sensible.

pdxvandal

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Re: How do you keep a bike trailer from getting stolen?
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2014, 03:23:56 PM »
Leave a giant fake dog turd on the seat.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: How do you keep a bike trailer from getting stolen?
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2014, 05:59:31 PM »
Who steals a bike trailer?

brooklynguy

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Re: How do you keep a bike trailer from getting stolen?
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2014, 12:04:02 PM »
I use the low-security method of tethering the trailer to the bike lock with a cable.

I agree with the comments that a trailer is a less attractive target than the bike itself for serious thieves.  However, a trailer draws more attention to itself than a bike and probably invites more crime of the impulsive mischief type ("look at that crazy thing attached to that bike -- let's take it and take turns pushing each other down that hill with it").

Beric01

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Re: How do you keep a bike trailer from getting stolen?
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2014, 03:11:56 PM »
Who steals a bike trailer?
Around here they all sell for $100+ on Craiglist. I recently bought a nice cargo trailer for $200, and I'm sure it would sell on CL in an instant for the same price. It's quick and easy money, and yes all it takes is a pickup trick.

Unfortunately there's no real way to lock anything to it. Last night I was towing my trailer, and I stopped by Target on the way home. I ended up just walking my trailer through the store. That doesn't work so well at Costco though, where the carts are bigger and there's more traffic. It takes about a minute to separate the trailer from the bike, so it's really not hard to steal.

I'm at a loss with what to to do protect my investment (mainly using it to bike to Costco/shopping, and do laundry).

brooklynguy

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Re: How do you keep a bike trailer from getting stolen?
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2014, 04:55:49 PM »
Unfortunately there's no real way to lock anything to it. Last night I was towing my trailer, and I stopped by Target on the way home. I ended up just walking my trailer through the store. That doesn't work so well at Costco though, where the carts are bigger and there's more traffic. It takes about a minute to separate the trailer from the bike, so it's really not hard to steal.

I use my trailer as my in-store shopping cart at Costco and find that it improves the shopping experience.  It allows me to maneuver more easily through the store since it's smaller and nimbler than a shopping cart.

Beric01

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Re: How do you keep a bike trailer from getting stolen?
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2014, 04:58:58 PM »
Unfortunately there's no real way to lock anything to it. Last night I was towing my trailer, and I stopped by Target on the way home. I ended up just walking my trailer through the store. That doesn't work so well at Costco though, where the carts are bigger and there's more traffic. It takes about a minute to separate the trailer from the bike, so it's really not hard to steal.

I use my trailer as my in-store shopping cart at Costco and find that it improves the shopping experience.  It allows me to maneuver more easily through the store since it's smaller and nimbler than a shopping cart.

You don't find that security gives you any trouble for doing this? If not I actually really like this idea - dump the cart and just use the trailer.

brooklynguy

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Re: How do you keep a bike trailer from getting stolen?
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2014, 06:06:22 PM »
You don't find that security gives you any trouble for doing this? If not I actually really like this idea - dump the cart and just use the trailer.

Nope.  Sometimes I get a few funny looks and/or questions from other customers or the cashier, but I think most people assume it is just some kind of baby stroller.

Nudelkopf

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Re: How do you keep a bike trailer from getting stolen?
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2014, 11:42:18 PM »
You don't find that security gives you any trouble for doing this? If not I actually really like this idea - dump the cart and just use the trailer.

Nope.  Sometimes I get a few funny looks and/or questions from other customers or the cashier, but I think most people assume it is just some kind of baby stroller.
My teenage high school students were convince I was pregnant cos they saw me riding with my bike trailer (which is made for kids)(it had my saxophone in it). (Why would I ride with a bike trailer if I was pregnant with no actual child?)

I don't lock up my trailer. If it gets stolen, oh well.

guitar_stitch

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Re: How do you keep a bike trailer from getting stolen?
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2014, 01:26:51 PM »
You don't find that security gives you any trouble for doing this? If not I actually really like this idea - dump the cart and just use the trailer.

Local security around here doesn't even harass me for using my backpack for shopping.  If I just need a few things, I ride up without the trailer and stuff merchandise into my backpack.  I think LP tailed me once for this until I got to the register and unloaded the pack.

Wolf_Stache

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Re: How do you keep a bike trailer from getting stolen?
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2014, 02:45:11 PM »
Who steals a bike trailer?

who steals anything? I can see it happening. Someone stole my water bottles (which hadn't been washed in like 3 weeks and were pretty groddy) off my bike last time I went grocery shopping.

johnny847

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Re: How do you keep a bike trailer from getting stolen?
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2014, 04:10:10 PM »
I've never bothered with locking my ($100) bike trailer.  Just the bike.  Most people don't even understand that they can be separated.

It's a large and awkward object to just walk away with.  I guess they could throw it in the back of a pickup.  Really the best way to steal a bike trailer would be to pull up next to it on a bike, then unclip it and attach it to your own bike, but even this would require that they had the right mounting hardware already installed.  Not really worth it unless you're going to be making a habit of stealing bike trailers.

This. My trailer, at least, is cheap ($40 from Craigslist). It's not really worth the time and effort required to steal a bike trailer, when I can almost guarantee you that there is going to be another bike in the vicinity with a simple cable lock that can be cut within a minute (and oftentimes, seconds).

frugalnacho

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Re: How do you keep a bike trailer from getting stolen?
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2014, 06:54:33 PM »
I've never bothered with locking my ($100) bike trailer.  Just the bike.  Most people don't even understand that they can be separated.

It's a large and awkward object to just walk away with.  I guess they could throw it in the back of a pickup.  Really the best way to steal a bike trailer would be to pull up next to it on a bike, then unclip it and attach it to your own bike, but even this would require that they had the right mounting hardware already installed.  Not really worth it unless you're going to be making a habit of stealing bike trailers.

This.  I just lock my bike up and leave the trailer hooked up.  I've never seen another bike trailer parked at the grocery store either, so I don't think people are trawling for easy trailer scores (at least in my area).

Dr. A

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Re: How do you keep a bike trailer from getting stolen?
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2014, 07:43:50 PM »
I like to think that my trailer is a theft deterrent for my bike.

littlebird

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Re: How do you keep a bike trailer from getting stolen?
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2014, 09:11:59 PM »
I worry about this a lot, as we have a pretty nice trailer and live in a big city. Stealing bike trailers is absolutely a thing people do. My trailer comes apart pretty easily, I suppose to make it easier to transport and store, but that means there really isn't a good way to lock it up. What I've done is buy one of those thick cables that are meant to be used with ulocks and I wrap it under the trailer through the rear axle and ulock it up with my bike. It wouldn't stop a very determined thief or anyone who knows how this trailer goes together and I would never leave it locked up for long but it prevents someone from walking off with it while I'm grocery shopping. My whole bike security philosophy is to prevent opportunistic thieves because there's nothing you can do against the pros.