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Rixtir
07-30-2007, 12:28 PM
Five stolen bike postings on craigslist in the last two days. Looks like lots of bike theft action this past weekend, and I'm guessing from the wording of the craigslist ads that these bikes may not have been locked, or were using cable locks. Not locked and taken from their yards seems more likely for most of these listings, so take appropriate cautions, everybody. Lock up when you're not sitting on your bike, and don't use cable locks.

Probably preaching to the choir...

rubbish heap
07-31-2007, 12:04 AM
Five stolen bike postings on craigslist in the last two days. Looks like lots of bike theft action this past weekend, and I'm guessing from the wording of the craigslist ads that these bikes may not have been locked, or were using cable locks. Not locked and taken from their yards seems more likely for most of these listings, so take appropriate cautions, everybody. Lock up when you're not sitting on your bike, and don't use cable locks.

Probably preaching to the choir...

I had a bike unlocked downtown for 30 minutes near the Big Pink while doing a delivery. During that same time, a friend of mine was doing a delivery in around the same area. When he came back to his bike, he noticed one less bike at the rack, as well as a broken cable lock on top of his bike.

That's Portland for you - we see an unlocked bike and we assume someone's keeping an eye on it. I swear, no lock at all is better security than a cable lock.

wsbob
07-31-2007, 01:32 AM
"When he came back to his bike, he noticed one less bike at the rack, as well as a broken cable lock on top of his bike."

His bike? Did you mean to say that? Did your unlocked bike get stolen, or did his locked bike get stolen and the busted lock was left on your bike? And, that psychological game of 'My bike not being locked means it's being watched!', isn't going to work as a common strategy.

It really doesn't seem as though cable locks are any good whatsoever against any thief with a set of bolt cutters. What are they...about 14"-16" long? Easily concealable when they reach down to cut the cable, just as the bike owner would crouch down to undo the lock. So many people seem to be buying them....partly, I suppose, because they're cheaper as people in another thread suggested.

Last week I saw cable locks available in stores as REI and Performance Bicycle, I think also Bike Gallery. Are bike shops really doing their part in adequately informing their customers about realistic expectations of protection provided by the lock products they sell? If they didn't want to personally advise each customer, these stores could set up little informational monitor displays with running videos on the topic in a way similar to what Freddy's does for home improvement products.

This situation is an issue of larger implications than people simply getting their bikes stolen and having to go out and replace them. Altogether, these thefts are resulting in a tremendous waste of energy. Energy wasted because it's all probably going to feed somebody's drug addiction, in turn perpetuating some of the related drug production and exportation problems of places like Mexico and Afghanistan.

wyeast
07-31-2007, 07:31 AM
To be fair, I was given a stern cross-examination at the downtown Bike Gallery when I dared to buy a cable lock from them. (for the kiddie trailer! Honest!)

So I don't necessarily fault them for carrying them. ;)

steelsreal
07-31-2007, 11:33 AM
People do not buy cable locks because they are cheaper. They buy them as they are perceived to be easier to transport and more versatile when locking the bike.

It is important that the shops educate the customers. Conveniently, we do!

People still routinely insist on purchasing them. Just like people who need a certain size bike will insist on buying one several sizes too big or small, 'I like riding big bikes'.

Even when I point out that they would not wear a shoe 3 sizes too big/small, it still does not sink in.

People are many times distrusting in a sales environment. They assume everyone has an agenda and is on commission. Many also stagger about like a consumer zombie, entranced by the shiny blinkies all about them, though I digress.

I guess I am tired of comments like wsbob's chastising bike shops instead of uneducated or obstinate consumers. Personal responsibility- know it, live it, and please let's all love it!

wsbob
07-31-2007, 11:54 AM
I'm sorry if I sound like I'm chastising bike shops, because I don't mean to be. My apologies. Since people seem to keep buying these stupid cable locks, I just wondered. logically I think, whether bike shops were actually telling customers of the locks limitations, or whether for some other reason, the customers just weren't getting the message at the bike shops.

steelsreal and wyeast, thanks for providing some answers to the question.

I figure bike shops are in an excellent position to give consumers the low-down on what things such as locks, (and helmets for that matter) can realistically provide in the way of performance. If they're doing this, and people still keep on buying cable locks anyway, there's not much more that bike shops can be expected to do.

I think that's accurate about customers being sometimes counter productively contrary too. Sometimes there's so much to learn about a new piece of gear what with all the different brands, models, types and so forth. Some people, like me sometimes, can go in, study the goods and listen to the salespeople at length and not readily have a good sense about what the gear can do and how it applies to realistic needs representing their situation.

I've found that for myself, if I just take longer to make the decision, I can eventually understand well what the gear can do and what I can realistically expect from it. Maybe a lot of other people don't have longer to decide, or, they don't want to seem stupid by just buying what the salesperson tells them to buy. So instead, they're just plowing ahead and buying dopey stuff that creates problems for them later. I still wonder if a video that people can watch unattended might be helpful. Also, perhaps an instructional display with a bolt cutter and a hunk of lock cable where store employees could demonstrate by cutting the cable, or the customer themselves could do it to see first hand just how easy it is to snap one of those cables, and just how vulnerable their bike is secured by a cable lock.

Rixtir
07-31-2007, 12:29 PM
Another stolen bike on craigslist. The utter uselessness of cable locks aside for the moment, most of the recent theft postings on craigslist are bikes taken from people's front or back yards. I'm reading between the lines here, because they never really come right out and say it, but my guess is these bikes were left unlocked in the yard, and the owner comes out in the morning shocked-- shocked!-- to discover that a thief went prowling in the night.

If you're not sitting on your bike, it should be locked.

And not with one of those useless cable locks.

steelsreal
07-31-2007, 01:06 PM
I don't think your video idea is very good, or feasible. The shops will not like the distraction, the blight, the cost, or the maintenance. The customers will probably rarely sit still to watch it, and more likely will not even notice it.

The bolt cutter and chain/cable demo sounds fabulous to me. Cheap, tactile, quick, and dramatic. Excellent idea and I will try to get that going at our shop. Thanks!

wyeast
07-31-2007, 04:21 PM
I thought it was very helpful to have someone discuss with me the expectations of using a cable lock vs U lock. Cables do have a use, if you are aware of the limitations of protection and are in a low-risk environment. Buy the cable if you must, but do not walk away from the bike! :eek:

Honestly, the biggest thing for me was learning for the that the city was a high risk environment. There are probably plenty of people who are completely oblivious to our top-10 ranking in bicycle theft. (I certainly was!) We like to believe that we live in our quaint little town full of hipster bike riders and nothing bad can happen.

The education teaches the rider both to be mindful of where/how they're parking the bike and making a thoughtful choice in locks. Then the "snap the cable" demo serves to reinforce the point rather than feeling like just a scare tactic to sell another $100 Fughettaboudit, which sort of goes along with steelsreal observation that sometimes the "lecture" from the staff falls on distrusting ears.

Rixtir
07-31-2007, 05:00 PM
You know when I figured out how useless a cable lock is? When I cut the lock on one with a pair of bolt cutters. It's a real eye opener to see the blade cut through the lock like it's butter, in less than a second.

Then I began reading all of the stolen bike reports, a common theme of which was the cut cable lock...

wsbob
08-01-2007, 12:13 AM
steelsreal, It might be interesting to hear how the cable demo idea goes over in your shop. Always feels good to have supplied a good idea. One out of two isn't bad. I can see your point about the negatives connected with doing a video setup.

The stolen bike phenomena is intriguing. As some of the comments by various people have suggested, sometimes theft of a bike doesn't occur even though opportunity exists. I've seen a lot of bikes with cable locks, walked past them, walked past several hours later, even in the evening, and nobody has touched them even though they'd probably have been an easy grab.

Maybe the answer is obvious to a lot of people, but I found myself wondering why these bikes aren't stolen. It is obvious actually. It takes more than a poorly secured bike for a bike to actually be stolen. It also takes a thief in the area, prepared and motivated to steal a bike.

Rixtir
08-03-2007, 03:40 PM
Bike theft sting video:

http://video.msn.com/v/us/fv/msnbc/fv.htm??g=0d0aac10-f5c4-4c5b-85e6-129f29e630af&f=00&fg=email

Apparently, the bike messenger-cum-bike thief carries cable cutters to "repair his bike."

donnambr
08-03-2007, 08:40 PM
I don't think your video idea is very good, or feasible. The shops will not like the distraction, the blight, the cost, or the maintenance. The customers will probably rarely sit still to watch it, and more likely will not even notice it.

The bolt cutter and chain/cable demo sounds fabulous to me. Cheap, tactile, quick, and dramatic. Excellent idea and I will try to get that going at our shop. Thanks!
If you do get it going, perhaps you could contact Dan Kaufman of CrankMyChain (http://www.crankmychain.com/) and see if he'd come film it to put on his site as a public service. People from all over the world go there...

wsbob
11-04-2007, 09:23 PM
I just wanted to mention a bike I've noticed downtown that's gradually being scavenged to death. I wish someone would rescue it before some lame brain just stomps on the frame and completely ruins what's left.

The bike is a Ibis Alibi. Just did a web search. I guess it's a mountain bike. Decent too if the reviews are any indication:

http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0geu7J5pC5Hsp4AYJRXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE4MnMxc2g xBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA2FjMgR2dGlkA0Y4MjNfNzcEb ANXUzE-/SIG=12lqtu7lm/EXP=1194325497/**http%3a//www.mtbr.com/reviews/olderhardtailbike/product_19478.shtml

2-3 weeks ago, the bike had most of its parts. Now the wheels are gone, chain. Still has cranks and pedals, derailleur I think, bars, stem, seatpost. I thought about mentioning it a couple weeks ago, but figured someone might come back for it. Apparently not.

Location is on SW 9th between alder and washington, right close to Magpie the resale shop. Yes, I believe it does have a lame cable lock attaching it to a staple. At this point, for some needy person prepared to give it a good home, taking what's left doesn't seem much like theft to me.

artizin
11-05-2007, 09:46 AM
yeah man, I'd save it to. Except you'd totally look like a thief and possibly get arrested yourself. That year of the Alibi was when they were still making them in sebastopol CA, Ibis makes great frames...

wsbob
11-05-2007, 03:59 PM
Yeah, I suppose I'd be better backing off advising anyone to unofficially go rescue this bike. I've got a feeling nobody would raise even an eyebrow to anybody doing so, but such an effort could carry the association of being theivery. There's enough thievery going on as it is without inadvertently encouraging more of it.

If it's not ruined before they get to it, the division of the city that goes around and tags abandoned bikes may eventually get it over to the bike collective. That would at least be something.

Heerda
11-19-2007, 08:52 AM
and don't use cable

What's wrong with strong (ATAG) cables? What do you advice? We have bycicles with BOB's...

JayC
11-19-2007, 04:37 PM
Where can you get a Fahgettaboudit u-lock (not the chain), or even just a standard Kryptonite New York series u-lock in Portland? And are cables even any good in addition to a u-lock, to string around your second wheel or whatever?

JayC
11-20-2007, 03:35 AM
The only bike lock review I can find -- something that actually involves testing -- is from Slate (http://slate.com/id/2140083), but they didn't test perhaps the most common lock on the market, the Kryptonite Evolution 4 u-lock. Could there really only be one review of bike locks ever conducted? Consumer Reports doesn't have anything in their archives, nor does Bicycling Magazine.

vseven
11-20-2007, 09:44 AM
On Guard has come out with a new U Lock. If a pry bar is placed in it in an attempt to break it, the lock only becomes stronger. Shops that carry this brand should have a clear plastic demo model to show exactly how it works.

geoff
11-20-2007, 09:55 AM
Where can you get a Fahgettaboudit u-lock (not the chain), or even just a standard Kryptonite New York series u-lock in Portland? And are cables even any good in addition to a u-lock, to string around your second wheel or whatever?

I've seen the new york u-locks at downtown bike gallery.

Heerda
11-20-2007, 10:17 AM
Fahgettaboudit u-lock

I thought really it was a joke...

Camel
11-21-2007, 10:54 AM
I used to leave a kryptonite chain at work to lock up my commute bike with. Sometimes I would also leave a U-lock, or a cable as well.

The chain is one of those hardened steel ones. I changed the lock to a hardened steel industrial lock after reading how thieves were able to use a "bic" style plastic barrel pen to open locks with barrel keys.

The chain/lock + secondary lock (cable or U) is a bit heavy IMO to haul around all the time though.

This was back in boston, and I worked night shift.

Normally for short trips (and for extended touring) I just use a cable with an integrated combination lock.

I've had a major theft from a room while on tour (computer, photo storage device, camera, credit cards, cash)-but no one touched my bike which was locked up w/the cable in an open low traveled common area. My touring bike is a Waterford, with custom wheels---Thieves have there own agenda.

agramsci
11-21-2007, 01:54 PM
I like the axa wheel lock + chain combo they are selling on the Bakfiets. The problem with most locks is that they are a big PITA to use, and very limited. Whereas the axa wheel lock is a snap to use, and the chain that attaches to it has tremendous range and flexibility.

Is anyone retrofitting bikes with these yet nowadays? I guess it requires some alterations to the frame.

donnambr
11-22-2007, 10:05 AM
The people at Clever Cycles should be able to look at your frame and tell you whether or not it is possible. My bike has a wheel lock, but it's not one of those heavy duty ones that take a chain. Still, it's nice to always have an auxiliary lock available on my bike.