The Chainlink

What is up with the supposed rash of bike thefts? Is this out of control or what? I have never been a victim and now that I've said that...but seriously who's stuff is getting stolen and where?

One of my friends got her third bike stolen. No she didn't lock it up wrong. Either a bolt cutter or power grinder through the center of the u-lock on Western and Wilson in the evening. Then, three days later, had another bike stolen the same way in Logan Square. I have many mechanic friends that have related similar stores about both bikes and bike parts (i.e. forks, handle bars, crank sets, etc.) that have been getting ripped off. What's the deal? How do you prevent it? Is there some kind of major bike thief rings operating in the recession for what I would assume is a very small profit margin?

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Just because somebody voices his opinion on a blog doesn't make it a fact. Unless someone shows me some hard data (police reports, or insurance data) that shows an increase in one method over the other I'll stick with the stats on the Stolen Bike Registry. (Of course the Registry has it's own validation issues, like: -is the type of bike thefts reported representative of the bike thefts as a whole; -is the increase in reports caused by an increase in thefts, or an increased awareness of the Registry? But at least it is collecting data, instead of opinions
Frank

Michael Brosilow said:
It seems to me from what I've read on blogs & such there is an increase in thefts where a U-Lock has been cut. I'm quite sure this is a result of cordless grinders which have been on the market only a short time. A bolt cutter will not cut a good U-Lock.

h3 said:
There's certainly some truth to that, but the vast majority of thefts continue to be bikes locked with cable locks or unlocked in "secure" places.

Michael Brosilow said:
For about $85 a cordless grinder can be bought at Home Depot that can cut a U-Lock in seconds. The easy availability of these tools I think has a lot to do with the increase in bike thefts.
I was thinking of Jake Gyllenthal as the young thief; Colin Firth as the older, wiser thief. :)


h3 said:
Duppie and Michael B, you're both right-- we have seen a bit of an uptick in U-lock thefts in the past two years, and a thousand victim-generated reports is better than what we had before, which was just opinions. Overall though, if the number of reports daily is any indication, thefts are not being shown to be on the rise-- past summers there'd often be 7-8 reports a day, this year we don't seem to top five very frequently. As noted, there are so many uncontrolled variables and such a potentially skewed sample that that could mean anything-- including that less people are locking desireable bikes with cable locks because word is getting out how frequently those get stolen, maybe as a result of the registry.
Scott, I'd be deeply flattered to think bike theives are reading the Stolen Bike Registry and basing their decisions on it . . . think we can get Matt Damon to play the bike theif when the movie comes out?
A bolt cutter with three/four foot handle will do the trick in a quicker time than a grinder. My advice is to not use Kryptonite due to a design flaw. One end of the u is a 45 degree angle and once the u is cut the lock is defeated. On Guard mini u locks are hardened steel and requires a thief to cut both sides of the u. The lock is about $35 and because of the shortness leave less area to be tampered with. I have had one for 5 years, the same one, and never had a problem.

Michael Brosilow said:
It seems to me from what I've read on blogs & such there is an increase in thefts where a U-Lock has been cut. I'm quite sure this is a result of cordless grinders which have been on the market only a short time. A bolt cutter will not cut a good U-Lock.

h3 said:
There's certainly some truth to that, but the vast majority of thefts continue to be bikes locked with cable locks or unlocked in "secure" places.

Michael Brosilow said:
For about $85 a cordless grinder can be bought at Home Depot that can cut a U-Lock in seconds. The easy availability of these tools I think has a lot to do with the increase in bike thefts.
Bring your bike inside at night or anytime you can, why take the risk? Get a good U lock. Kryptonite sucks, period. You can get better for less. On Guard brand. Use a short u lock, less area to be tampered with. Purchase renters insurance.
Not all Kryptos have the angle at one end.

mattbikes1 said:
Bring your bike inside at night or anytime you can, why take the risk? Get a good U lock. Kryptonite sucks, period. You can get better for less. On Guard brand. Use a short u lock, less area to be tampered with. Purchase renters insurance.
Correct, the NYC lock is not, but it is so short that you can only lock your frame to a sign post or lock your frame to the wheel...as far as I have seen yet.

DonRay A.K.A. Zesty said:
Not all Kryptos have the angle at one end.

mattbikes1 said:
Bring your bike inside at night or anytime you can, why take the risk? Get a good U lock. Kryptonite sucks, period. You can get better for less. On Guard brand. Use a short u lock, less area to be tampered with. Purchase renters insurance.
The NYC Fughettaboutit also comes in the longer standard size U. Which is good for frame and one wheel. No angled ends...

mattbikes1 said:
Correct, the NYC lock is not, but it is so short that you can only lock your frame to a sign post or lock your frame to the wheel...as far as I have seen yet. DonRay A.K.A. Zesty said:
Not all Kryptos have the angle at one end.

mattbikes1 said:
Bring your bike inside at night or anytime you can, why take the risk? Get a good U lock. Kryptonite sucks, period. You can get better for less. On Guard brand. Use a short u lock, less area to be tampered with. Purchase renters insurance.
35 bucks ain't so much...or the five dollars it cost for graphite to keep your lock from seizing. I have had the same lock for four years. No issues at all. On Guard Mini.

h3 said:
Yes.
And also, I think the Bulldog is a lot of lock for the money, but they are known to be prone to failure, ironically forcing you to stand there and watch while you pay someone to cut off your U-lock with an angle-grinder. DonRay A.K.A. Zesty said:
Not all Kryptos have the angle at one end.

mattbikes1 said:
Bring your bike inside at night or anytime you can, why take the risk? Get a good U lock. Kryptonite sucks, period. You can get better for less. On Guard brand. Use a short u lock, less area to be tampered with. Purchase renters insurance.
the long Evo has hasps on both ends and easily locks frame and front wheel at 90% of viable lock spots.

mattbikes1 said:
Correct, the NYC lock is not, but it is so short that you can only lock your frame to a sign post or lock your frame to the wheel...as far as I have seen yet.

DonRay A.K.A. Zesty said:
Not all Kryptos have the angle at one end.

mattbikes1 said:
Bring your bike inside at night or anytime you can, why take the risk? Get a good U lock. Kryptonite sucks, period. You can get better for less. On Guard brand. Use a short u lock, less area to be tampered with. Purchase renters insurance.
Ive had an on guard lock for at least 5 years in all sorts of weather. the plastic covering finally cracked and was slipping off. So I Oiled the lock to get rid of some of the rust and E-taped the plastic back on. Good as new. the best 20 bucks I've ever spent.
Ha ha, mine too! It has held up real well despite the not so nice appearance. I think I actually picked mine up for $15 on clearance at a bike studio in Minneapolis. I had one before that which eventually seized up. I lubricate my current lock with powder graphite and it works like a champ.

Davo said:
Ive had an on guard lock for at least 5 years in all sorts of weather. the plastic covering finally cracked and was slipping off. So I Oiled the lock to get rid of some of the rust and E-taped the plastic back on. Good as new. the best 20 bucks I've ever spent.
Really? I think I have the long version of the Evo, and mine has the "hook" at one end. Maybe they improved it with two locking points instead of one.

notoriousDUG said:
the long Evo has hasps on both ends and easily locks frame and front wheel at 90% of viable lock spots.

mattbikes1 said:
Correct, the NYC lock is not, but it is so short that you can only lock your frame to a sign post or lock your frame to the wheel...as far as I have seen yet.

DonRay A.K.A. Zesty said:
Not all Kryptos have the angle at one end.

mattbikes1 said:
Bring your bike inside at night or anytime you can, why take the risk? Get a good U lock. Kryptonite sucks, period. You can get better for less. On Guard brand. Use a short u lock, less area to be tampered with. Purchase renters insurance.

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