Author Topic: Stopping your bike getting nicked  (Read 2678 times)

Stopping your bike getting nicked
« on: October 26, 2020, 11:48:46 am »
All,

Have we got a single thread anywhere which lists all the tactics to reduce the chance of your bike getting nicked ?

I had a brief search, but, well, you know ....

Anyhow, this is for starters, what else can you add ?

D locks are better than cable locks. I regard a cable lock as simply a deterrent, it can be snipped quicker than it can be unlocked. I don't any more, but if I were to leave a bike secured with a cable I wouldn't let it out of my sight.

General recommendation is that you spend a tenth of the bike's new cost on a D lock.

When you lock your bike up with a D lock make sure that as much of the space in the D is occupied by either bike or the strong point you are locking to. This stops the thief getting a hydraulic ram in the lock to bust it.

Use two different types of lock. A thief will typically go out with one tool to defeat one type of lock. Having two types of lock should overcome that.

Park your bike somewhere really obvious.

Park your bike next to a much more desirable bike (and ideally one that has a weaker lock than yours).

Make your bike look less desirable.

Don't park it in the same place at the same time every day.

Make sure you record the frame number of your bike (typically it's stamped into the frame under the bottom bracket - the bit that the pedals are linked through).

Register it with one of the existing bike tracing websites.

Remove the bar end plugs and pop a piece of paper with your name and address into the bar ends, then put the plugs back in. Should your bike be recovered it's then much easier to prove it's yours.

Photograph your bike in detail, making sure that anything that is non-standard is covered. This will help to identify it should it be recovered.

Leave your bike in top gear. Anyone trying a hasty get away won't be able to speed off quite as quick as they might like.

Take the wheels off and lock them to the bike if you're leaving it for any length of time. That makes it a less attractive thing to steal, because they have to spend longer getting it ready to cycle away.

Remove anything easily removable, eg lights, bottles, saddlebags, computers etc. and take it all with you.

Consider pitlock skewers for the wheels and saddle.

D-lock the frame then use a cable leash to secure both wheels and possibly loop through a saddle rail.
Rust never sleeps

LMT

Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2020, 11:54:59 am »
You've forgotten the other peripherals.

Lights, bottles, saddlebags, computers etc. take it all with you.

Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2020, 12:03:34 pm »
Aha !  Of course. Thank you.

I'll add all extra tips in so it's all in one place.
Rust never sleeps

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2020, 12:13:45 pm »
I don't think having an undesirable bike makes it less likely to get stolen. It makes it appeal to a different sort of thief instead.

Don't lock your bike round the top tube. That makes it easier to force a D-lock open by pull and twist.
Let's go for a ride to the Old Sawmill, Valentina, Buzz and you.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2020, 12:18:22 pm »


Or, fold it up and take it in with you. The best defence is to not leave your bike somewhere it can be easily nicked.

For wheels, removing them and locking separately is a right total utter pain in the arse. A better option is to use something like pitlocks. plus a lock through each wheel.

No lock is totally secure, you're just trying to slow them down enough to go elsewhere.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2020, 12:35:03 pm »
Fixed gear, recumbent bikes, upright trikes, wobblebikes, unicycles: anything that's likely to prevent a quick getaway by a thief without the relevant skills.

PINK, whatever flavour of handlebars are currently unfashionable.

Small padlock through a chain link.

Park it upside down.

Use London-rated locks, but don't live in London.

Don't put a plastic bag over the saddle to keep it dry: that screams "Brooks".  Use one of those muggle seat pads instead, or better, remove the saddle and seatpost.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2020, 12:37:14 pm »
I don't think having an undesirable bike makes it less likely to get stolen. It makes it appeal to a different sort of thief instead.

Don't lock your bike round the top tube. That makes it easier to force a D-lock open by pull and twist.

My commutified Saracen Rufftrax remains unstolen and that spent years locked up on London streets with a basic D-lock for the back and cable lock for the front. I used to figure parking it near a nicer bike was a good plan, but I think it's hit and miss, you get the industrial scale thievery that just cuts the locks on all the bikes and tosses them in a van and drives off. Mostly park them some exposed out on the street where it at least might look suspicious if someone tries to nick them but ultimately assume that it might get stolen. Don't park anything of obviously high value. The Brompton I saw locked outside Catford station a while back probably had a half-life of minutes.

Anyway, I've never had a bike stolen in all my time in London.
Support the Great Surrey Bear Census 2020

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2020, 12:57:58 pm »
my solution is to have a nicely running and well maintained bike that looks like a pos ( = low resale value).

Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2020, 01:28:10 pm »
D locks are better than cable locks. I regard a cable lock as simply a deterrent, it can be snipped quicker than it can be unlocked. I don't any more, but if I were to leave a bike secured with a cable I wouldn't let it out of my sight.

Any serious bike thief has a cordless angle grinder, so it's best to consider an average d-lock as only slightly better than a cable lock.

Quote
Park your bike somewhere really obvious.

No, that just makes it easier for the thieves to target it. Thieves can't take a bike they haven't seen.

My main advice is some bikes just shouldn't be locked up in bush public places. If you have a vaguely new-ish nice-ish name brand road or mountain bike you shouldn't expect it to still be there when you get back. Even if they don't take the whole bike, stealing road handlebars (for the shifters) and other high value parts is common.

Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2020, 02:22:23 pm »
At the old Eastway circuit ( now buried under the Olympic Park) for a race I was appalled at the rusting state of a bike leaning by the changing rooms.
On closer examination though the appearance was due to some fabulous airbrush work, and underneath it was a really good machine. The owner claimed that it was to discourage theft.

Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2020, 03:19:01 pm »
Two Good Locks.

(c) Barry Mason, RIP

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxBmfvwJnZM

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2020, 03:30:46 pm »
Quote
Park your bike somewhere really obvious.

No, that just makes it easier for the thieves to target it. Thieves can't take a bike they haven't seen.

Yes and no. It's a lot easier to get 5 mins to spend with an angle grinder round the back by the bins where noone goes, than it is out front where everyone is walking past.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2020, 05:26:17 pm »
I think your bike's value to a thief does not necessarily bear any relation to its value if sold by you. If the thief doesn't have the connections and knowledge or is desperate, no bike is worth more than £50 on Gumtree. This can actually make a crap bike more attractive; it's probably less securely locked, its owner is less likely to invest time in social media and cops to retrieve it, and it's probably easier to sell quickly because the buyers it attracts are less knowledgeable or curious.

Obvious or hidden location goes both ways. Yes, easier to work with tools in a quiet place. But there are plenty of busted locks, stripped frames and wheels locked up without frames on plain view in the busiest streets of city centres. A couple of twists and pulls is all it takes to burst open many D-locks, no need to spend more than 30 seconds or make a noise.
Let's go for a ride to the Old Sawmill, Valentina, Buzz and you.

Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2020, 05:36:57 pm »
Two Good Locks.

(c) Barry Mason, RIP

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxBmfvwJnZM
That's my mate Alan skulking around in the hi-viz in the background.

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2020, 05:38:30 pm »
Quote
Park your bike somewhere really obvious.

No, that just makes it easier for the thieves to target it. Thieves can't take a bike they haven't seen.

Yes and no. It's a lot easier to get 5 mins to spend with an angle grinder round the back by the bins where noone goes, than it is out front where everyone is walking past.


In public view is not worth many deterrent points.

When Junior broke the key off inside a D-lock, I spent 5 minutes with a battery angle-grinder to rescue the bike.
It was locked to railings outside the entrance to Waverly Station in Edinburgh.
I cut the lock off in full view of several hundred passers-by, generating an impressive arc of sparks, in broad daylight.
No-one batted an eye.



Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2020, 05:43:44 pm »
But you're such an honest looking chap (I have to presume).
Rust never sleeps

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2020, 06:02:56 pm »
When IanN locked his and my bike up in a cafe courtyard and then forgot the combination, we even borrowed a hacksaw (or something, can't remember exactly what) off a passer-by.

(I remind him of this and he reminds me of the time I took a schrader-valved tube for my presta rims... )
Let's go for a ride to the Old Sawmill, Valentina, Buzz and you.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2020, 06:22:29 pm »
Quote
Park your bike somewhere really obvious.

No, that just makes it easier for the thieves to target it. Thieves can't take a bike they haven't seen.

Yes and no. It's a lot easier to get 5 mins to spend with an angle grinder round the back by the bins where noone goes, than it is out front where everyone is walking past.

Depends on whether you're white, male and wearing the hi-vis jacket of invisibility...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
  • Mrs Pingu's domestique
    • the Igloo
Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2020, 06:36:58 pm »
Whatever you do, do not employ the gammon faced pig botherer method.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2020, 07:16:34 pm »
Whatever you do, do not employ the gammon faced pig botherer method.

Always good advice.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2020, 08:34:03 pm »
Always park it next to a more expensive-looking bike that will be a more attractive target for thieves. That way, if they only have time to nick one bike, it won't be yours.

ETA: sorry, just seen this was already mentioned in the OP.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2020, 10:07:17 pm »
Run a cheap bike, and use that when you have to leave it parked somewhere.

Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2020, 10:11:33 pm »
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

fd3

Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2020, 11:24:49 pm »
Live in Birmingham where the "sought after" bikes are full suss mtbs to be flipped for a small amount of dosh.  Combine the fixed gear with mudguards, drop bars and the wrong colour saddle/bar tape.
[/I could be wrong]

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Stopping your bike getting nicked
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2020, 09:37:18 am »
Mudguards, rack, some road scuzz (I never knowingly cleaned it), and having a small frame bike have probably been effective.

I figure, without having any evidence but this is the internet, that there are three types of thieves. The amateur opportunists who just see a random bike that they like and have the means to take it, or the more professional types who will either target high-value bikes or simple rely on bulk. A friend of mine lost her Halfords piece-of-shit (which tbh, she was happy about, it had unresolvable gear commitment issues, and the handlebars worked loose every other day). That wasn't stolen purposefully, it only cost about £90 and wasn't close to being worth that. It was born for the back of the garage.

She did get that back*, and it was a bulk theft, there was a house up the road whose garden was filled with bicycles. The best way for bikes not to get nicked, of course, would be for people to stop buying stolen bikes.

*no initial thanks to the Met, who first raid was foiled by the fact the miscreant didn't answer the door when they politely knocked.
Support the Great Surrey Bear Census 2020