The Chainlink

How crappy does a bike need to look to prevent it from being stolen?

How bad does a bike need to look for thieves to ignore and move on to the next unfortunate victim.
I had my bike stolen yesterday.
I tried to make it as undesirable as possible wrapping tape around the frame, dirty with grime from all the salt, old bike saddle and still apparently is good enough for thieves to steal it.
Well the only brand new thing was a Chainlink sticker I got this past Friday at Critical Mass.
That must've been it!
Dang thieves just wanted my shinny new sticker.

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here in Middletown ,I had 8 count em 8 bikes stolen in one year, but since last winter in november Ive had the bike canopy, I leave it everywhere unlocked, except the library, and even overnight at my apartment. I think its too bulky and obvious for anyone to steal, after all there are only two bike canopies in the Middletown area to date.
another thing u might wanna consider when makin yer bike look dumpy...ppl will think it may have been abandoned and decide they are gonna steal your components...i have my bars...seat...breaks taken in less then an hour on one of my older bikes...and i had a bum jack my ride and sell it to the scrap yard for 15 dollars....so your better off with making it harder to steal...since assholes will take it anyway, reguardless of what it looks like. dont use cables...use ulock and kryptonite chain...its a pain sometimes to carry all that shit around tho. :)
didn't see a description of your stolen bike Hector, was it orange?
I'm going to quote myself from earlier in this thread and say that the canopy bike may be the epitome (or zenith) of what I was describing...

Some other "uglifying" techniques that make bikes less attractive in addition to tape, stickers and grime are to cover your seat with a plastic shopping bag and leaving trash in your basket/crate. Having a crate on your rack makes your bike look pretty scrappy to begin with. Leave some old shopping bags in there along with some aluminum cans or empty bottles and most people will think it's a bum bike. I like to leave a slightly inflated tube in my rear crate that serves as a shock absorber when carrying things on top of it.

I think that most people would try to avoid bum bags on bum bikes. Stick your hand in one and who knows what you'll pull back; a poo finger, a junky needle prick, etc!?!


jillnerkowski said:

here in Middletown ,I had 8 count em 8 bikes stolen in one year, but since last winter in november Ive had the bike canopy, I leave it everywhere unlocked, except the library, and even overnight at my apartment. I think its too bulky and obvious for anyone to steal, after all there are only two bike canopies in the Middletown area to date.
I'm interested travesty. I'd like to hear more of your plan. I may not have a four hundred Washingtons to contribute, but perhaps other resources.

travesty said:
Is anyone interested in funding a non-violent guerilla science project around the subject of bike theft and who is responsible?

Just asking. I think 400 george washingtons could teach us a thing or two that would be difficult to learn otherwise.

But not to be community un-spirited, I have neon duct tape on my saddle and plastic plants and a little bird nativity scene on my handlebars. Survived being unlocked in a busy intersection once for many hours, but looking at it scientifically this anecdote really doesn't tell us much specific.
I don't know what the 400 bucks would be for--GPS tracking system in seatpost? I would LOVE to do a bike thievery sting operation though. I hate f&&%^&*ing bike thieves!

Note: madison did this a while back (planted bikes with gps in them locked with cheap locks all around the city/campus and busted people who stole them)

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