The Chainlink

I just had my second bike stolen.  Last time it happened in September.

I'm done with this shit.

Obviously the solution is to use a welding torch to write my information onto the next bike frame I get.  Thankfully, a friend has a work shed attached to his grandmother's house, and has agreed to help me.

I'm afraid that the process will hurt the strength of the frame; he suggested heat treating it.  This can be done in two ways: with his assistance, and a shit load of sand (??? I don't actually know how this works) or by sticking the frame in a bigass oven at 450-500 degrees.  I don't know what this means for the paint.  Maybe I need to take ALL the paint off?  I'll find out.

Does anybody have a bigass oven at their disposal?  Who wouldn't mind a bikeframe put inside of it?

And has anybody ever tried this novel form of bike theft deterrent?   I'm hoping it is effective.  I'm thinking my name, and my phone number.  If I just painted on the infoz, it could be painted over.  But good luck painting over 3D information, asshole thieves.

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A lot of bikes are sold for scrap, the scrap yard does not care who's name is welded on it

Putting your name on your bike will not in the least prevent theft.

How are you locking your bike up? Are you using a U-lock or a cable? Do you leave it locked outside overnight? Are you locking to sucker poles?

... they do that?  Ugh.  That's horrible.  Will this hopefully deter SOME thieves?

Next plan: plant cheap bikes with shitty locks.  Watch them.  Stab whoever tries to steal them.  Do this in all the areas I usually park my bike, until those areas have no thieves.

That sucks.  No oven, but I wonder if welding something like a custom headbadge to a frame would have the same effect without having to heat treat it.  Anybody artistic enough to have some small project metal working experience?

Absolutely not. Don't bother.

Christine (5.0) said:

... they do that?  Ugh.  That's horrible.  Will this hopefully deter SOME thieves?

First bike: Cable lock. Learned my lesson.

Second bike: U-Lock.  Locked up overnight.  There's "free bike parking" at my apartment building... but it is absurdly inconvenient, and would encourage me to basically stop riding because it is such a hassle.  So I was locked up to a thick pole on a gate outside.  Thieves cut the top part of the gate (where the cross piece meets the thick pole) and lifted it off, I assume they left the lock on.  There's a real bike rack with many bikes near my building, I might start parking there.

Is scrap metal the usual fate of stolen bikes?  I figured they would be transported to another city and sold.  Who would buy a bike with someone else's phone number welded on it?

ask a pizza shop?

First one was a cable.

Second one was a u-lock, locked to a fence which was defeated.

Christine, you have no idea how much it pains me to agree with Adam, but a name on your bike, or some other uglification process is unlikely to prevent its theft.

Locking your bike properly, every time is far more likely to prevent theft.



Adam Herstein (5.5 mi) said:

Putting your name on your bike will not in the least prevent theft.

How are you locking your bike up? Are you using a U-lock or a cable?

More inconvenient than getting your bike stolen? If you can, you should either use your building's bike storage, or keep your bike inside your house/apartment at night. Also, never lock to sign poles or fences. Typically, it's easier to cut though the fence than your lock, so that's what thieves will do. City sign poles are secured by a single hex nut (or sometimes not at all) and can be lifted off the base.

Christine (5.0) said:

There's "free bike parking" at my apartment building... but it is absurdly inconvenient, and would encourage me to basically stop riding because it is such a hassle.

Wouldn't the combination of the two (locking it properly to an official bike stand and 3D welded information) be even better?

Kevin C said:

First one was a cable.

Second one was a u-lock, locked to a fence which was defeated.

Christine, you have no idea how much it pains me to agree with Adam, but a name on your bike, or some other uglification process is unlikely to prevent its theft.

Locking your bike properly, every time is far more likely to prevent theft.



Adam Herstein (5.5 mi) said:

Putting your name on your bike will not in the least prevent theft.

How are you locking your bike up? Are you using a U-lock or a cable?

Yep.  I put "free bike parking" in quotes because I don't think it can be called that.  It's a basement, and it's difficult to get one's bike into it because it wasn't designed as a place to put bikes.  And there's some thick pipes and stuff in there, but only one pipe that my previous lock would fit around.  It would be a good place to store a bike if you were going out of town for a while, but not a place to put a bike you are actually using.  And we aren't allowed to put bikes in our apartment :(

Oh, and for more information about heat treating:

"you heat the frame up and let it cool slowly while encased in sand.  We would need the torch and enough sand to keep it warm while it cools slowly.  They may not heat treat it at all during production though and that is something I would want to assess when your bike shows up.  Also, if we welded it it would just likely form cracks there over time"



Adam Herstein (5.5 mi) said:

More inconvenient than getting your bike stolen? If you can, you should either use your building's bike storage, or keep your bike inside your house/apartment at night. Also, never lock to sign poles or fences. Typically, it's easier to cut though the fence than your lock, so that's what thieves will do. City sign poles are secured by a single hex nut (or sometimes not at all) and can be lifted off the base.

Christine (5.0) said:

There's "free bike parking" at my apartment building... but it is absurdly inconvenient, and would encourage me to basically stop riding because it is such a hassle.

Making your bike "unique" in some way can very certainly assist in the recovery of a bike once it's stolen. I have yet to see any evidence that the uniqueness of the bike in any way prevents it from being stolen in the first place. Locking your bike properly, with a high quality u-lock or security chain (or two) is how you prevent your bike from being stolen. The CSBR receives frequent reports of stolen bikes which are ugly, unique, or which otherwise seem like a less attractive target for thieves.

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