home

Custom touring bike stolen in front of County Courthouse

Posted by on April 15th, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Stolen Littleford.
(Photo: Littleford Custom Bicycles)

Portland bicycle maker Jon Littleford (Littleford Custom Bicycles) spent two months building a touring bike for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show last February. On Thursday it was stolen from him while parked in front of the Multnomah County Courthouse (1021 SW 4th Ave) for less than an hour. Now Littleford is working every possible angle to get it back.

The $6,500 bike, featured on BikeRumor.com as “bombproof”, was locked up in front of the courthouse at about 9:30 am Thursday morning while Littleford cleared up a traffic ticket inside. He reported it immediately to a County police officer inside the building. Fortunately, the theft was caught on video and police are reviewing it. Multnomah County Sheriffs Deputy Troy Hakala reviewed the tape and says this is how the theft went down:

“They [a man and a woman] arrived on bicycle and can be seen hovering down as if unlocking their bikes. Video footage is a little static so its hard to tell for sure what they were doing. They both left at 9:23 with him walking south on 4th ave with two bikes and her leaving across 4th riding her bike. The van that was parked by the rack was a Portland Police Traffic van.

They were both at court and we figured out what court room it was. We don’t know who they were as the docket for that particular court room was very large and no one remembers exactly who they were. We are trying to figure out the lawyer he had and go that route.”

Dep. Hakala says Littleford’s bike wasn’t the only one taken in that same area on Thursday. Another bike across the street on SW Main was also taken. Authorities are checking to see if the same suspects took both bikes.

Littleford posted a Stolen Bike Listing and has worked all weekend to get the word out in hopes that someone will come across his bike, which was ironically painted with, “a low gloss clear coat finish help keep a low profile and avoid unwanted attention.”

Unfortunately the bike wasn’t insured. It was also locked up with a cable lock. Those facts are hard to swallow for Littleford, who says he’s learned three key lessons from this experience: 1) Don’t lock up where the criminal count is high — “there is no riskier place, at least in terms of opportunist density, to lock a bike up than in front of the courthouse”; 2) Cable locks are a joke; and 3) Insure a bike you can’t afford to lose — no matter what.

Keep your eyes peeled for this bike. If you have any information, get in touch with us and we’ll patch you through to Littleford and the authorities.

— More photos of the bike via BikeRumor and the Littleford Custom Bicycles website.

Email This Post Email This Post


Gravatars make better comments... Get yours here.
Please notify the publisher about offensive comments.
Comments
  • bh April 15, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Any chance of getting some shots of the security footage?

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • mike April 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Who even uses a cable lock anymore? I guess one person…

    Recommended Thumb up 13

    • tonyt April 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      No one deserves to get a bike stolen, but you spend 2 months building it and lock it with a cable lock DOWNTOWN? Ugh.

      I’m on the lookout for it. Sounds like the courthouse tapes are a good lead.

      Recommended Thumb up 8

    • Jon Littleford April 15, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      Thanks Mike. Not anymore.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • Craig Harlow April 15, 2013 at 2:00 pm

        Jon, I guess there are plenty of folks who need to experience a theft of their own, before they are converted to u-locks. I, personally, needed three thefts to make me a convert :^) –although none of my caualties was a lovely and precious creation such as yours (read, “$40 craigslist 70′s hoopties”). But still.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • Craig Harlow April 15, 2013 at 2:01 pm

          “casualties”

          Recommended Thumb up 0

      • sbrock April 15, 2013 at 3:34 pm

        Jon,
        Had my bike stolen at 6:30 am on new year day at Starbucks. It is a very unique bike and popped up on Craig’s list 6 weeks. Your bike also being a one off, hopefully a similar result will be in store for you. I will keep my eye out, and spread the word, as your bike will be easy to spot and they all come outside eventually. Good luck to you.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • TSIM3 March 25, 2014 at 1:51 am

          “They all come outside”,ha! You’re sure right about that!!!

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Jon Littleford April 15, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      No worries about criticism for my cable lock naivety. Mike was absolutely justified in bringing attention to this. I’ll bet many readers just like me will take a lesson from my mistake and from his pointing it out. As for the pile-on comments… redundancies.

      Let’s talk about the quality of cameras on our streets and public buildings. The camera that filmed this theft was about 15 feet away. The bike rack and my bike were literally the only objects visible… and yet the image quality was so poor that neither of the perpetrators (or even their actions) were clearly discernible. How much does a high resolution camera cost these days? And how about wholesale cost?

      Also, the perpetrators were filmed going into the building, in the hallways, even entering the courtroom. And yet so far the authorities are unable to identify them.

      Recommended Thumb up 7

  • bikeleptic April 15, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    He can afford a $6500 bike, but not a $50 ulock? My bikes are like $300 and I lock them up like the apocalypse. I would puke if I had to leave that thing unattended.

    Recommended Thumb up 8

    • John Lascurettes April 15, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      Indeed. I have secure indoor parking at both ends of my commute. But on the occasions where I lock up outside, I’m usually anxiously checking my bike every few minutes while I’m locked in a public space.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

    • was carless April 15, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      I have a $600 Gary Fisher and routinely lock it up overnight downtown. But I spent about $70 on an Onguard Bulldog bike lock. And I ditched the quick-releases for my wheels and seat, as they are just giveaways for an urban bike.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Craig Harlow April 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Cable locks seems unthinkable for any theft-worthy bike, let alone this beauty. Unthinkable.

    Recommended Thumb up 8

  • ScoBu April 15, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    May I kindly suggest a fourth lesson for here in bike crazy Portland? Only lock up a bike you won’t mind getting stolen. I learned that lesson once about 7 years ago and haven’t forgotten it since.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • 9watts April 15, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      Care to elaborate? I have always assumed that a Kryptonite is pretty good insurance, especially when the bikes locked up nearby with ‘other methods’ would be more tempting for thieves (see above). I’ve had my Kryptonite severely messed with, but have never had a U-locked bike stolen. I understand it is possible to break them with various means, but in practice I’ve assumed there’s a fairly low probability.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • ScoBu April 15, 2013 at 2:55 pm

        I had a road bike stolen from the underground parking garage “bike parking” area of the US Bank building (the Big Pink) downtown during working hours. 2005 maybe? I can still remember that feeling of looking at where my bike used to be and only seeing an empty space. Terrible feeling. I reminded myself of a Chris Smither lyric “…I keep looking around/It keeps not being there…” At the time, the bike was 8 years old I think but I’d bought it for $1,100. Yeah, I had a Kryptonite cable lock (admittedly the brand name had me overlook the fact it was a cable lock). I took the opportunity to upgrade. Since then my “good” bikes are ridden door to door. Only my $300 steel, solid gray, single speed with pannier rack is locked up – with a U-Lock now.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • Craig Harlow April 15, 2013 at 2:58 pm

          Cable lock–point made.

          Recommended Thumb up 2

          • ScoBu April 15, 2013 at 3:21 pm

            Cable lock, yes. But I also think there was a perceived sense of security because of the time and place. My lesson learned was that there is no sense of security regardless of time/place. Now my criteria is simply, “would I mind if this bike gets stolen.”

            Recommended Thumb up 1

            • Paul in the 'couve April 15, 2013 at 3:39 pm

              “Would I mind” is very relative. How long will I be kicking myself is my question? And how good are my odds? And how can I improve my odds?

              I will lock my nice (to me) but nothing flashy touring commuter with the seat I love Downtown PDX. Not at PSU or Powells though. For long stops I’ll use the parking garages.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

            • tonyt April 15, 2013 at 3:54 pm

              My technique is to always be the best locked bike around. Kind of like you don’t have to beat the bear, just the slowest hiker. I also like parking where people are hanging about. That way the thief doesn’t know whose bike it might be.

              Knock on wood, in 25 years of commuting I’ve never had a bike stolen. 2 lights, but that’s it. U-locks and TECHNIQUE.

              Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Paul in the 'couve April 15, 2013 at 3:10 pm

        It’s really playing the odds and odds being what they are, even when they are in your favor you can still lose. Certainly you improve your odds by having a better lock than the bikes around you and by riding a less obviously desirable bike than the ones parked nearby.

        Hard as it is, I consider what bike I am going to ride based on where I’m going to have to leave it and for how long. And a couple of bikes that I couldn’t stand to lose, don’t get left anywhere, ever, other than home (not my garage).

        Recommended Thumb up 1

      • was carless April 15, 2013 at 5:53 pm

        Kryptonite was great until Bic pen-er-gate.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Steve Scarich April 16, 2013 at 6:35 am

        I cut through a Kryptonite in about 30 seconds using a portable Dremel tool with a diamond wheel. Not a single bystander in a very busy mall even asked me what I was doing. btw…it was my bike…stolen a few weeks earlier, so I was just recovering it. I think the important point, which most of us know, is that if a thief really wants your bike, he/she will get it. Make it more difficult to steal with a U-lock, but don’t get cocky.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Erinne April 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    I’m sure he’s beating himself up enough for the cable lock. No need to rub salt in his wounds in the BikePortland comments.

    Recommended Thumb up 27

    • longgone April 15, 2013 at 1:28 pm

      uuuh, my thoughts pre-xactly. I would have fibbed about the lock, just to save egg on face. Poor guy.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • tonyt April 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm

        So you would have lied and contributed bad data about what locks work and what locks don’t? That’s a lot less helpful that mentioning on a blog that cable locks are terrible.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • tonyt April 15, 2013 at 4:18 pm

          “THAN mentioning”

          Recommended Thumb up 0

        • longgone April 15, 2013 at 4:57 pm

          Gosh tonyt, I lie about everything. I also exist in my own “Private Idaho” where data on the attributes of cable locks, and their effective theft diferment are of no great matter. I will say though, in my own “Private Idaho” I try to allow other’s their mistakes, while not rubbin’ it in. In addition, none of my comments were directed at you, so take a deep breath. o.k.?

          Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Ryan April 16, 2013 at 9:56 am

            No, Why take a breath? You wanted to contribute BAD DATA. So, somebody goes to Google and types in “U-lock are they safe?” and then your post comes up saying your $90 Kryptonite Ulock was defeated…BS. Don’t add bad data. I, nor anyone else, will not take it easy about this. Don’t be a sucker. Admit your mistakes, be responsible, slurp that egg off your face.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • longgone April 17, 2013 at 12:13 am

              You cannot be serious,really ? You young ‘uns and your obsession with data. What a joke.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Craig Harlow April 15, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      Erinne, I think it’s a mistake to regard these blog comments specifically and necessarily as some kind of admonishment aimed at an individual (unless a comment says, “hey, individual, I’m admonishing you”, or some such). I view my comment as a general statement that is germane to the broader discussion that ensues once it is initiated by Jonathan Maus.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • Erinne April 15, 2013 at 2:05 pm

        Good lord. I’m just pointing out that 4 of the first 5 comments were about the cable lock. That’s a pretty snarky response rate for someone who just had their bike stolen. And I figured it would probably continue. Which it has. Plus this article is pretty much about one person and their bike, so it pretty much seems like all comments are directed at him.

        But I’m sure if your bike were stolen and people posted negative comments about it, you could totally overlook it because they are all just general statements, not direct admonishments.

        Recommended Thumb up 10

        • Craig Harlow April 15, 2013 at 2:59 pm

          Gosh, I would hope so. I’m a big boy.

          Recommended Thumb up 4

        • longgone April 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm

          …”let alone this beauty, Unthinkable.”

          Sorry Craig, that makes your statement a personal admonishment, You owe the bike owner an apology, and Erinne the acknowldgement that her observation is correct. I thought most people realize that this blog’s comment section, along with all other’s seems to be a playing fields for society’s ad hominem verbal abuse. By the way, your comment was number two on the “Who would be stupid enough to use a cable lock these days?’ comment list….just sayin’

          Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Craig Harlow April 15, 2013 at 3:11 pm

            longgone, I don’t agree.

            Recommended Thumb up 5

            • Craig Harlow April 15, 2013 at 3:31 pm

              Wow. verbal abuse? I wonder if some people are just predisposed to see enmity wherever there is debate, or merely opinion. I think probably so.

              I would bet that others who’ve actually suffered real violence of verbal abuse (I am one) would disagree with your opinion of what constitutes the act.

              What’s your opinion? Go ahead–I promise I won’t say you’re abusing me.

              Apologies, Jonathan. I realize that this has devolved into blogging about blogging on a site that is not about blogging.

              Recommended Thumb up 6

              • longgone April 15, 2013 at 3:51 pm

                No need to get defensive. Unlike your pointed jab at Mr.Cable lock, my mentioning of “verbal abuse ” was a broad statement set to bait you, and it did. In addition, you could never school me on verbal abuse, as mine began in ’68, at home,with a backhand to the face from Mom, while being called a “commie fag”, for drawing a peace symbol on my notebook. That was a good day at home, by the way.What’s your sad story?

                Recommended Thumb up 0

          • tonyt April 15, 2013 at 4:13 pm

            He owes no one an apology. Cable locks are a bad idea anywhere. Downtown they’re horrible. It needs to be said again and again so that people get the fact that cable locks are a TERRIBLE idea. By harping on this, I (and likely most of the others) am not trying to kick someone while he’s down. I’m simply giving expression to a state of disbelief and frustration.

            Working in a shop I had MANY customers who really didn’t know that cable locks were insufficient. Or they REALLY thought that we were just trying to up-sell them. It’s a drum that has to be beaten constantly. And this story is just the sort of story that gets people’s attention because it is not merely hypothetical.

            Jon likely feels really crappy right now and we’re not saying anything he doesn’t already know. I doubt we’re making him feel any worse. If I hurt his feelings I’ll buy him a beer.

            Recommended Thumb up 4

            • longgone April 15, 2013 at 5:02 pm

              Your rage over Hoi Polloi’ “cable lock” salvation is a bit much. Cable locks are like abortions to me, if you dont believe in them, do not use them.

              Recommended Thumb up 1

          • chucklehead April 19, 2013 at 10:44 am

            you are easily aggrieved.

            If I parked my Vanilla with a cable lock and it got stolen, I would expect to be called a moron, because that is a moron move.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

  • maxadders April 15, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    cable lock. $6500. downtown portland. seriously.

    Recommended Thumb up 9

  • Todd Hudson April 15, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Can someone recommend an insurance company that will underwrite bike theft policies? I don’t know of any, and my cargo bike is a cannot-be-stolen type bike.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 15, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      Hi Todd,

      We happen to have a current advertiser that does bike theft insurance… Markel. Here’s the link

      Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Alan 1.0 April 15, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      How about Markel Insurance, which has a banner ad in this very article? (Ironically with a cable lock through a bike wheel. And no, that’s not any sort of comment about Jon L’s loss.)

      Recommended Thumb up 2

      • Bjorn April 15, 2013 at 3:11 pm

        pretty sure my homeowners policy covers bikes, I would have thought renters insurance would too, although for a really expensive bike you might need a rider.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

  • XYZ April 15, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Not to dogpile, but even my kids use u-locks to lock their $150 bikes at school. Cable? Yikes!

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Jeremy April 15, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Most (many at least) renters and home owners insurance will insure your bikes as well, even when they are not at home. Check into your policy.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • nuovorecord April 15, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Ok, cable locks bad. Got it.

    Meanwhile, what I’m still trying to get my head around is that the alleged perpatrators were at the courthouse that day…because of a previous crime they were being charged with! Unbelievable.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • jocko April 15, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Jon L, I have a good feeling that this will be hard to sell and you will somehow get your bike back. For anyone else that has not read the top of these comments. Don’t use a cable lock! You can seriously cut through them in like 30 seconds with garden shears (I have lost keys before folks).

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Bill Walters April 15, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Wondering if there’s an interesting side story about Littleford’s use of what looks very much like GT’s familiar “triple triangle” seatstay treatment….

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • tonyt April 15, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      The triple triangle is MUCH older than GT’s use of it.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Jon Littleford April 15, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      Fred Helens did it in 1923. Lots of builders and manufacturers have done it since, most famously Trek with the GT. I use them on my bikes for four reasons.
      1- Rear end rigidity: having the seat stays anchored at both the seat tube and the top tube makes a stiffer rear end– which is invaluable on a fully loaded touring bike.
      2- The overlap brings the stays forward and adds precious cargo space to the rear rack platform.
      3- Overlapping stays have a distinctive look, making my bikes instantly recognizable without any need for other branding or garish graphics.

      and just now realized…

      4- The gap between stays, seat tube and top tube makes a well-protected enclosure for tamper resistant placement of a TOP OF THE LINE ULOCK.

      (No worries about criticism for my cable lock naivety. Mike was absolutely justified in bringing attention to this. I’ll bet many readers just like me will take a lesson from my mistake and from his pointing it out. As for the pile-on comments… redundancies.

      Let’s talk about the quality of cameras on our streets and public buildings. The camera that filmed this theft was about 15 feet away. The bike rack and my bike were literally the only objects visible… and yet the image quality was so poor that neither of the perpetrators (or even their actions) were clearly discernible. How much does a high resolution camera cost these days? And how about wholesale cost?

      Also, the perpetrators were filmed going into the building, in the hallways, even entering the courtroom. And yet so far the authorities are unable to identify them.

      What if these were terrorists?
      Or assassins?

      Is this really a question of capability, as far as law enforcement goes?

      Recommended Thumb up 9

      • Jon Littleford April 15, 2013 at 4:30 pm

        okay I just compared my bike being stolen to terrorism and assassination. Retracted.

        Recommended Thumb up 4

    • longgone April 15, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      Bill, You might be interested to know,(if you didnt already) the design you mention on GTbikes (and others) stat stays are called “hellenic”. This design dates back to 1920 or so, and is attributed to F.Hellens, an English builder. There are also designs from France in and around the same time period, but the Englishman gets the nod. A dear friend of mine, who was an Olympic alternate in the ’30′s had a Mead track bike,( he swore was from the teens)also had this platform.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Shoalolo April 15, 2013 at 8:50 pm

        Cool…but what I had in mind was whether GT would claim “trade dress” and take action, kinda like Specialized did (if memory serves) in some dubious incidents past.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Skid April 16, 2013 at 7:13 am

      I think you mean 3Rensho. Or Colnago. It is not GT’s design exclusively.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Steve Durrant April 15, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Jonathan (or anyone that knows). What are the stats on U locks or other-than-cable locks? Are they X more secure and what sort of premeditated planning is necessary to carry out a bike theft? Some new research opps for our friends at PSU perhaps.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Dan April 15, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    I would ride more places if there were more secure lock-up facilities. Indoor bike parking like they have at Western Bike Works. Or lockers where I could put the bike inside.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • are April 15, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    interesting that in all this shouting about u-locks, we hear no mention of how to actually use the d*mn thing. i see plenty of bikes around with a u-lock looping the top tube to the rack. okay, you get to keep your frame, but what about your wheels? sheldon brown, as usual, has the correct answer. http://sheldonbrown.com/images/locktechnique1.jpg

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Alan 1.0 April 15, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9fLtdZyX-A shows how to beat the Sheldon Brown lockup by sacrificing the rear tire and rim. For a good enough frame, a thief might do that.

      The S.B. lockup can also be difficult or impossible with compact U-locks and non-standard or improvised lockup racks.

      Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer choice.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • are April 16, 2013 at 12:57 pm

        i guess maybe my point was that this town is full of u-locks just hanging on top tubes

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Alan 1.0 April 16, 2013 at 5:43 pm

          Agreed, that’s a complete ‘fail’.

          I’d only used cable or cheap chain locks and never lost a bike but I upgraded to a ‘U’ last fall. I realize it’s not a guarantee (beyond the limited one one the lock) but I do thank advocates and educators who nudged me into doing so. Count my bike as one more hardened target.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Craig Harlow April 17, 2013 at 11:32 am

          Another option is to use “accessory cables” in conjunction with your U-lock, to add security for your components–i.e. wheels, nice saddle, racks, etc. I carry a heavy Kryptonite cable to secure my Brooks saddle, and another longer cable to secure my large and expensive longtail cargo bags.

          I had my bike locked up in front of work, U-lock through the frame and front wheel. But that didn’t stop a thief in the middle of a workday in a highly visible location amid lots of foot traffic, from simply allen-wrenching my seatpost, and costing me about $250 to replace the post, saddle, and toolkit.

          I realize that the cables are easily beatable by a thief with a cutter, but I’m hoping the average thief will (1) first notice the u-lock and be discouraged, and (2) think twice about the cost-benefit for the hassle of first cutting through a cable AND THEN having to uninstall my components. Not much payoff for the greater effort and greater exposure.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • BURR April 15, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Abus U-Locks and Pitlock wheel skewers. Your average Kryptonite U-Lock doesn’t really cut it anymore either.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Paul in the 'couve April 15, 2013 at 5:30 pm

      That really depends on what you are riding and where you are locking it for how long. A good Kryptonite or Bulldog (w/ cable and properly Sheldon Locked) is fine for $200 to $400 resale value bike most of the time. More is always better. And if you need to lock it near PSU on a regular basis then you probably need more lock or a cheaper bike.

      Even for a newer / nicer bike with a resale value of $800 to $1000 a good kryptonite will be good enough for occasionally locking for short periods except in the areas where bike theft is the biggest problem (Downtown, PSU, SE) and even in those areas for short periods in the safest spots during the daytime.

      On the other hand, there isn’t a lock made that is “good enough” right now. I don’t own a custom bike, but even my nicest bikes, not that expensive, I don’t trust to any lock. With heavy duty cordless cutting tools being so common, the thieves out for high end bikes can steal virtually any bike almost anywhere. Location is still the best defense. You want to lock your bike where the thieves are going to feel most uncomfortable stealing it AND you want to lock it where thieves are less likely to ever notice it, or even look for it – either by anonymity in the mass of many other bikes, OR by being in a location (outside of the biggest biking neighborhoods) where the hunting isn’t good enough to attract the most determined thieves.

      Best bet – locking inside a building in a secure area.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • spare_wheel April 15, 2013 at 6:04 pm

        I don’t think people understand how quickly an accomplished thief can cut or shatter a u-lock. Leave your bike locked up in a high-theft area like a college campus and — poof and its gone.

        I was going to buy the TiGr titanium bow lock but the thing would not mount on my plastic bikes without rubbing. Someone needs to make a nice thick titanium u-lock. I’d buy.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Paul in the 'couve April 15, 2013 at 11:05 pm

          Security is only as strong as the weakest link. Even TiGr bow or a Ti-U-lock is only going to be as secure as what you lock it TO. Thieves can easily cut (or just unbolt) the staple you are locked to and deal with the lock itself later. Then the lock mechanism itself is not invulnerable. Also, if you are spending nearly $200 for a lock, you likely have lots of expensive bits on your bicycle that some thief is perfectly happy destroy the bicycle to pilfer either in situ or back in his garage.

          Yes, U-Locks can be defeated but so can any pad lock, yet pad locks are still used all over the place, because they work “good enough” for what people want to protect. Hey, I even use a cable a lock. When I ride my old beater with baskets (total investment w/basket /tires etc- ~$40) to Safeway for a 20 minute shopping trip or to the hardware store, I just grab a cable lock off one of my kids bikes. In my area of the ‘Couve, that is enough security for me. Sure, someday it might be gone, but I won’t cry about it. I left that bike locked at PDX with a mid-grade Bull Dog and a Kryptonite cable for 23 days last summer and it was still there when I got back. While I was gone I left my NY beater bike locked at Penn Station for 4 days with a cheap U-lock and it was still there. Even in the highest bike theft zone in the USA a $30 U-Lock is enough to protect a rusty, worn out, cheap Mountain Bike.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • TOM April 15, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    spare_wheel
    I don’t think people understand how quickly an accomplished thief can cut or shatter a u-lock. Leave your bike locked up in a high-theft area like a college campus and — poof and its gone.
    I was going to buy the TiGr titanium bow lock but the thing would not mount on my plastic bikes without rubbing. Someone needs to make a nice thick titanium u-lock. I’d buy.
    Recommended 0

    you beat me to it ,,,anybody have experience with the TiGr ?

    http://tigrlock.com/product/

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • pixelgate April 15, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    I don’t mean to dogpile it on, but I just cannot imagine any reasonable/logical situation in which someone who is clearly smart and aware of bike culture in Portland would lock up a one of a kind 6500 bike with a cable. I know we all do dumb things sometimes but I’m shocked to read this article, and sad for the theft. I hope it’s uniqueness allows it to be returned to Jon asap!

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Spiffy April 15, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    yikes, I was contemplating taking my nice bike to the courthouse… guess I take the cruiser…

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Jonny April 15, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Man, Jon. Next time you need advice you should come here then make the mistake.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Sam J April 16, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Just reread the Bike Rumor article. You build a good bike, Jon. I especially like your (drop) handlebar height philosophy. Here’s hoping you get it back.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • esther c April 16, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    jeez, can’t stand all the victim blaming. stealing bikes is a crime. using a chain is not.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • ED April 16, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    I’ve been lucky not to have any of my u-locked bikes stolen on the street, even in three years parking at PSU, only to have a thief break open our backyard shed and steal all of our bikes one night. Sometimes, it feels like there is no safe place.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Paul in the 'couve April 16, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      Sorry ED. I hope you get them back or at least something good comes around.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Zaphod April 17, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    What value is it to insult someone for making a mistake?

    It’s kind of pathetic that security cameras aren’t higher res. I mean hell, every smartphone these days takes absurdly clear beautiful photos and the camera component isn’t a lot of $ to manufacture.

    Good luck in getting that bike back.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • TOM April 17, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Craig Harlow
    Another option is to use “accessory cables” in conjunction with your U-lock, to add security for your components–i.e. wheels, nice saddle, racks, etc. I carry a heavy Kryptonite cable to secure my Brooks saddle, and another longer cable to secure my large and expensive longtail cargo bags.
    I had my bike locked up in front of work, U-lock through the frame and front wheel. But that didn’t stop a thief in the middle of a workday in a highly visible location amid lots of foot traffic, from simply allen-wrenching my seatpost, and costing me about $250 to replace the post, saddle, and toolkit.
    Recommended 0

    I bought a Brooks Champion Flyer 2 weeks ago …worried about the same problem …did a lot of reading. Put a very small cable lock through the saddle rails to the frame, and then (as I have no need to remove the Brooks again) …I laid the bike on it’s side …got out the soldering gun , and filled the Allen holes on seat and seatpost clamps with solder ….nobody is going to get a wrench into those, and if I ever need to remove ….will just get the gun back out and melt the hole clean again.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • longgone April 18, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Jon… Now that the insanity over your loss has simmered down, I would like to say I hope your sweet ride (long hours spent) is returned to you. If I had Trumps money, I would offer up a 15,000 dollar “no questions asked ” reward, just to bait the ding dongs involved. I would howver like to talk with you off this site, in regards to your choice of geometry on your personal machine. My eye tells me it differs from your other offerings, and it is mysteriously similar to a favorite bike of mine from years ago. If you care to chat ask Mr. Maus for my info. peace.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jon Littleford April 28, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    longgone, you (or anyone, with bike questions, suggestions, or constructive criticism) can feel free to email me directly at jon@littlefordbicycles.com. Thanks to all for your eyes and ears, advice, and support.
    -Jon

    Recommended Thumb up 0

- Daily bike news since 2005 -
BikePortland.org is a production of
PedalTown Media Inc.
321 SW 4th Ave, Ste. 401
Portland, OR 97204

Powered by WordPress. Theme by Clemens Orth.
Subscribe to RSS feed


Original images and content owned by Pedaltown Media, Inc. - Not to be used without permission.