The Chainlink

Lets pool all of our knowledge together for one singular goal...WORLD DOMINATION! Oops! Wrong thread. Please post all of you tips and tricks/do and don'ts of locking your bike and theft prevention. Please be as specific as possible. Around the middle of January I will compile all of the information, research said information (to the best of my ability), and create an official how to for all cyclist. If for some reason you have volumes of information you can email me at 2poler@gmail.com, if you feel the urge to help with this task also feel free to contact me.

Thanks,

Joe

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This should all be prefaced with "if you have to leave a bike outside."

1) At least one heavy-duty U-lock, but Ideally 2 U-locks, locked to object that's harder to break or cut than a U-lock.

2) Gentle "uglification"-- thieves want a bike that looks as close to new as possible.

3) Don't use a bike you'll need to lock up that's obviously very valuable.

I ride a recumbent trike and u-locks are not long enough. So, I use street cuffs. A Bic pen will not work on the round key.

Because the cuffs and the chain links between are rectangular, bolt cutters will not work; bolt cutters work only on round objects. That is why cables and round-link chains are a poor choice; bolt cutters will compromise them in seconds. The thick and hardened metal of a u-lock is what prevents bolt cutters from doing their job.

For most bikes at a minimum u-locking the bike through the frame and the rear wheel is a must. A second u-lock through the frame and the front wheel is ideal (although there are locking skewers that keep the wheels secure). Take your seat with you or get a lock for it.

Lock the bike to something secure and make sure the bike and lock cannot be lifted up and away from the object you are locking it to.

Also, protecting the bike at home is as important as protecting it when you're riding around.  Roughly half of thefts seem to involve bikes on porches, open garages, common areas of basements, or locked to a removable street pole or wooden railing overnight in a residential area.  

Another huge chunk of thefts involve leaving the bike unlocked outside your residence or a friend's residence for "just a minute" while you dash inside.  

"Another huge chunk of thefts involve leaving the bike unlocked outside your residence or a friend's residence for "just a minute" while you dash inside."


This is one of the things I am very careful of...I lock my bike even for the shortest amount of time.

I keep my bike,chained to the wall, inside our enclosed back porch that only locks from the inside. When I am home alone and can't have someone lock up after me, I have to place my bike outside for a short while. During this time I have to lock up the house...and leave through the front front door. I always lock the bike...even if I am quickly moving through the house to get down to my bike waiting for me.

Zefal makes security skewers that lock or unlock depending on how you invert your bike. It's less good than pitlocks, better than standard 15mm bolts, and much better than standard quick release. I only have them on my front wheel. They're nice because I can go around with just a back-pants-pocket U-lock and lock up securely just about anywhere without having to worry about my front wheel. Oh, and I use the rear-wheel locked inside the rear triangle trick.

Mostly my bikes live inside, behind locked doors. Of course.

I think pitlocks, security skewers, and their various derivatives have some value when it comes to preventing casual theft of things like wheels and saddles and certainly represent an upgrade from quick release skewers when it comes to a bike which will be locked up outside for any length of time. I hear occasional stories that people are unable to change a flat tire on their own bike because they forgot the special key on that particular day. Reports to the CSBR occasionally make note of the fact that the bike is equipped with pitlocks, etc. and wish the thief luck when it comes time to change a flat tire. The short answer is that the thief doesn't care whether they ever have to change the tire because they are going to sell the bike within 24-72 hours. There have also been recovery stories (most notably Iron Cycles?) when the shop became suspicious that the purported owner of a bike did not have a key and did not know anything about the bike being equipped with pitlocks. I don't believe these devices deter bike theft, and for me, the minimal (if any) deterrence value does not outweigh the potential inconvenience to me. I don't use them.

James Liu said:

Zefal makes security skewers that lock or unlock depending on how you invert your bike. It's less good than pitlocks, better than standard 15mm bolts, and much better than standard quick release. I only have them on my front wheel. They're nice because I can go around with just a back-pants-pocket U-lock and lock up securely just about anywhere without having to worry about my front wheel. Oh, and I use the rear-wheel locked inside the rear triangle trick.

Mostly my bikes live inside, behind locked doors. Of course.

I use a Kryptonite NY u-lock & lock back wheel & frame. I plan on adding a bikeregistry chain with upgraded Abus padlock. I frequently have to park it at Union station & have seen bike thieves lurking around there.

Not sure how this directly relates to what you're referring to-- feel free to clarify with the victim.

http://chicago.stolenbike.org/node/192083

El Dorado said:

I use a Kryptonite NY u-lock & lock back wheel & frame. I plan on adding a bikeregistry chain with upgraded Abus padlock. I frequently have to park it at Union station & have seen bike thieves lurking around there.

I have the Bike Regeristery security chain with the standard Abus lock. I contemplated upgrading to the heavier lock, but if a thief is going to attempt to defeat it, I believe the chain would be targeted. The lock is to wide to get a bite on with any normal bolt cutters. On the security chain lock the links are trapeziodal in cross section, so a bolt cutter's jaws would engage a pair of flat surfaces. This would make it very hard to initiate a cut compared to a round or hexagonal link, as used in most high security chains. I believe the security chain lock may be better than the top offerings from Kryptonite, On Guard, or Abus (ok it uses an Abus lock, but better chain). When you compare the $36 price to the $100+ tags on the others, it looks even better. Having had plenty of experience with lock removal, I would not even bother with this one if I were a thief.

There is no such thing as a lock that cant be defeated. When I get that question, I always use this analogy:

Two guys are running through the forest being chased by a grizley bear. One guy looks at the other and says "Do you really think we can outrun the bear?" His friend replies "I dont have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you."

So there are no guarntees, but if you use a good lock properly, there is someone close by who will be a more atractive target.

Here is a 2:15 video "Locking your bike in Chicago:" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OT4GPDPwr58

I think you're missing the point of pitlocks, etc.  They aren't there to defeat serious bike theft, they are there to deter casual component theft.  

My basic theory of bike theft is that there isn't much you can do to deter the serious pro bike thieves other than make your bike less attractive to them.  But beyond the serious thieves, there's also an army of casual criminals out there who periodically grab seats, wheels or headlights whenever their drug money runs low or whenever they break a spoke or something.

If somebody is looking for a quick wheel grab, locking skewers are (hopefully) just enough to make them grab the wheel from the bike next to yours.  The same goes for saddles.  Like all protection measures, whether the extra deterrence value is worth the extra inconvenience is largely a personal choice, but it's useful to understand what the deterrent is meant to achieve when evaluating it.



Kevin C said:

I think pitlocks, security skewers, and their various derivatives have some value when it comes to preventing casual theft of things like wheels and saddles and certainly represent an upgrade from quick release skewers when it comes to a bike which will be locked up outside for any length of time. I hear occasional stories that people are unable to change a flat tire on their own bike because they forgot the special key on that particular day. Reports to the CSBR occasionally make note of the fact that the bike is equipped with pitlocks, etc. and wish the thief luck when it comes time to change a flat tire. The short answer is that the thief doesn't care whether they ever have to change the tire because they are going to sell the bike within 24-72 hours. There have also been recovery stories (most notably Iron Cycles?) when the shop became suspicious that the purported owner of a bike did not have a key and did not know anything about the bike being equipped with pitlocks. I don't believe these devices deter bike theft, and for me, the minimal (if any) deterrence value does not outweigh the potential inconvenience to me. I don't use them.

I conceded your point in the first sentence of my post.

David said:

I think you're missing the point of pitlocks, etc.  They aren't there to defeat serious bike theft, they are there to deter casual component theft.  

My basic theory of bike theft is that there isn't much you can do to deter the serious pro bike thieves other than make your bike less attractive to them.  But beyond the serious thieves, there's also an army of casual criminals out there who periodically grab seats, wheels or headlights whenever their drug money runs low or whenever they break a spoke or something.

If somebody is looking for a quick wheel grab, locking skewers are (hopefully) just enough to make them grab the wheel from the bike next to yours.  The same goes for saddles.  Like all protection measures, whether the extra deterrence value is worth the extra inconvenience is largely a personal choice, but it's useful to understand what the deterrent is meant to achieve when evaluating it.



Kevin C said:

I think pitlocks, security skewers, and their various derivatives have some value when it comes to preventing casual theft of things like wheels and saddles and certainly represent an upgrade from quick release skewers when it comes to a bike which will be locked up outside for any length of time. I hear occasional stories that people are unable to change a flat tire on their own bike because they forgot the special key on that particular day. Reports to the CSBR occasionally make note of the fact that the bike is equipped with pitlocks, etc. and wish the thief luck when it comes time to change a flat tire. The short answer is that the thief doesn't care whether they ever have to change the tire because they are going to sell the bike within 24-72 hours. There have also been recovery stories (most notably Iron Cycles?) when the shop became suspicious that the purported owner of a bike did not have a key and did not know anything about the bike being equipped with pitlocks. I don't believe these devices deter bike theft, and for me, the minimal (if any) deterrence value does not outweigh the potential inconvenience to me. I don't use them.

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