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Schrauf
08-14-2007, 12:42 PM
Given Portland is known for bike theft, how safe is it to lock a "nicer" road bike all day in one of the bike racks adjacent to a parking lot attendent - in the Fox Tower parking garage, for example?

I want to start commuting downtown, but need to lock my bike outside instead of taking it into my office. Not a real fancy bike - just shy of $1,000 but it probably looks a little fancier than it is.

Anybody have experience with bikes easily being stolen or vandalized in these monitored (but barely) locations? I know a U-lock is the way to go. I suppose two U-locks, in order to lock both wheels...

I know I could buy a cheaper commuting bike, but I'm trying to avoid that. Although I'd be happy to take a nice bike and repaint it dull gray to make it look worthless to the untrained eye!

Thanks!

Attornatus_Oregonensis
08-14-2007, 01:14 PM
Given Portland is known for bike theft, how safe is it to lock a "nicer" road bike all day in one of the bike racks adjacent to a parking lot attendent - in the Fox Tower parking garage, for example?Thanks!

I do exactly this, all day every day, about 4 blocks away from the Fox Tower. I haven't had any problems in the 8 months I've been doing it, but I suppose you never know. Get renter's/homeowner's insurance, write the serial number down, and go for it. Life's too short.

cecilanne
08-14-2007, 01:22 PM
I did this for 3 1/2 years in an office building 2 blocks from the Fox Tower - the racks were up the parking garage ramp and across from the attendant's booth. A couple of times someone swiped my cheapo Planet Bike lights, but no one ever stole my bike :-)

Scott Fredricks
08-14-2007, 03:22 PM
I parked my older Mt bike in the Fox tower by the Lot attendent for a year plus without incident, but I used an U lock. When I got a better bike I started to use the Bike Locker room that they have inside the building. It's just past the locker rooms below the Main Lobby. You have to get your building pass activated to use the Bike room, but its a nice set up if you work in the building.

Psyckle
08-14-2007, 03:34 PM
It does happen.

In 2005 a good friend of mine had his $800 mountain bike, which he used to commute, stolen from a staple rack even though the bike was u-bolted. And this was on the bus mall in downtown.

Sadly, this pretty much ended his desire to commute by bike. Or do much else by bike.

Last week he bought a truck.

So security is an issue.

P.

nepdxer
08-14-2007, 07:24 PM
A comment from the main blog had suggestions how to lock your bike:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html
Seems like a good strategy, and only need one lock.

Cruizer
08-15-2007, 08:41 AM
nepdexr, inserting this link was very helpful.

I went to it last week from the stolen bike forum and was amazed to discover that I was one of the many who didn't know how to effectively use a U-lock. This method is much easier than what I was doing, as well as being much more secure. And now I see that I can get by with a shorter lock.

mike_khad1
08-16-2007, 07:40 AM
I commute to the Lloyd Center area. I rent an enclosed bike box for $15 a month and I consider it money well spent. My bike is out of the weather and out of sight.

pdxtex
08-17-2007, 08:47 PM
two locks at a minimum. at least one good flat key u-lock with a theft guarantee and a beefy cable/padlock combo. im paranoid and lock everything using two cables, a padlock, and a u-lock. contrary to popular belief, seats and seat posts will get stolen. i had a thomson post and nice saddle stolen off of my bike because it was not locked, AND i installed an allen head seat post clamp. its war out there.

jake_m
08-19-2007, 01:48 PM
You can always superglue a ball bearing into the allen bolts for a seat and seat post. If you want to remove or adjust it'll take some time w/ some acetone and a needle, but a theif won't be able to get at it w/o the same effort.

Just my $.02.

jwdoom
08-22-2007, 08:41 PM
nepdexr, inserting this link was very helpful.

I went to it last week from the stolen bike forum and was amazed to discover that I was one of the many who didn't know how to effectively use a U-lock. This method is much easier than what I was doing, as well as being much more secure. And now I see that I can get by with a shorter lock.

I looked at that article, but I dunno. I put the U-lock on my front wheel and frame, figuring the front wheel is easier to remove, thus more likely to be stolen. I also carry a cable and heavy duty padlock (cylinder lock?) to secure the rear wheel if I'm leaving it somewhere shady for a while.

BeerdedOne
08-23-2007, 01:38 PM
A comment from the main blog had suggestions how to lock your bike:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html
Seems like a good strategy, and only need one lock.

Sheldon's site is an awesome resource for solid bike-info, but I'm leary about his u-lock method here. While it *may* be ok for West Newton, MA, if Portland thieves are (as another poster mentioned) savvy enough to carry allen keys then they are savvy enough to deflate your tube and spend 14 seconds clipping a few spokes and sawing through your rear rim with a hacksaw. From there, wouldn't it be just a quick bend to remove the rim from the U-Lock and bye-bye bike? Not to mention that it places the lock right down parallel to the ground, perfect position for a leverage attack with some bolt cutters.

nm973
08-23-2007, 04:49 PM
Sheldon's site is an awesome resource for solid bike-info, but I'm leary about his u-lock method here. While it *may* be ok for West Newton, MA, if Portland thieves are (as another poster mentioned) savvy enough to carry allen keys then they are savvy enough to deflate your tube and spend 14 seconds clipping a few spokes and sawing through your rear rim with a hacksaw. From there, wouldn't it be just a quick bend to remove the rim from the U-Lock and bye-bye bike? Not to mention that it places the lock right down parallel to the ground, perfect position for a leverage attack with some bolt cutters.

Well, I guess they can have the wheel after they trashed it, but my frame is still solidly secured to the bike rack. Also, good luck cutting a U-Bolt with bolt cutters. :)

mthand
08-23-2007, 11:00 PM
Has anyone ever tried a bike alarm? There are a few companies that make them and advertise on e-bay and elsewhere. One is a part of a cable lock and only goes off when someone touches the cable, and there are things to program in most of them to keep them from being annoying.

This is the route I would go (or else to boobytrapping my bike) if I were to buy something nicer than my funky old road and hybrid bikes.

BeerdedOne
08-23-2007, 11:13 PM
Well, I guess they can have the wheel after they trashed it, but my frame is still solidly secured to the bike rack. Also, good luck cutting a U-Bolt with bolt cutters. :)

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/images/locktechnique1.jpg
Pic from sheldonbrown.com link referenced earlier in this thread

The u-lock in this image isn't attached to the frame. As far as I can see the u-lock is anchored to the bike via the bike rack and the rear wheel. I think the idea being that you can't remove the wheel from the rear triangle if the lock is in the way.

By all means, correct me if I'm missing something, but the problem with Sheldon's method is the you don't have to defeat the U-Lock to steal the bike, you only have to defeat the wheel, which is certainly possible. For '"Performance" Commuting and Bike Security' this seems like a less than secure method to me.

nm973
08-24-2007, 09:36 AM
You are right, I missed that. Yeah, I always lock my frame up, but I missed that in the picture!

ds3509
08-24-2007, 09:40 AM
Sheldon covers this in the article:

Some will object that felons might cut the rear rim and tire to remove the lock. Believe me, this just doesn't happen in the real world. First, this would be a lot of work to steal a frame without a useable rear wheel, the most expensive part of a bike, after the frame. Second, cutting the rear rim is much harder than you might think. Since the rim is under substantial compression due to the tension on the spokes, it would pinch a hacksaw blade tight as soon as it cut partway through. Then there are the wire beads of the tire, also difficult to cut.

BeerdedOne
08-24-2007, 11:52 AM
Sheldon covers this in the article:

Yes, he 'covers' it, but does the gospel of Sheldon really make sense in this case:

First, this would be a lot of work to steal a frame without a useable rear wheel, the most expensive part of a bike, after the frame.

Well, I just stole your bike with this method, and I have your rear hub and your cassette, intact. All I've really ruined are the spokes and the rim, which even for high-end equipment, are relatively cheap compared to these other two items.

Since the rim is under substantial compression due to the tension on the spokes, it would pinch a hacksaw blade tight as soon as it cut partway through. Then there are the wire beads of the tire, also difficult to cut.

Rim tension is easily dealt with. First I deflated your tube (and moved the tire out of the way, no need to destroy that), then I clipped a few of the spokes around and opposite the area of the rim that I am about to cut- no more tension. Are the wire beads of the tire really an obstacle to stealing a bike? I don't think so. I imagine it *may* even be possible to do all of these steps, including cutting the rim, with a largish pair of bolt cutters. I can't imagine that the whole procedure would take longer than a few minutes.

Paranoid? Maybe. Is it more trouble than many thieves will go through to steal your bike? Probably. But that one jerk who decides to do it has made off with your bike, just by cutting through your rear wheel (or you come back to find a mangled rear wheel from someone's unsuccessful attempt)..

My point is that it doesn't make sense to buy and lock-up with an expensive u-lock if you don't need to defeat the lock to steal the bike. Not to mention that if you are using a Krypto lock with Anti-Theft protection, this scenario would not be covered. If you use Sheldon's method, you are relying on something other than the actual U-Lock to keep your bike secured. ALWAYS lock through the frame.

bikerinNE
08-24-2007, 01:59 PM
You can get a new double walled rear rim at City Bike Annex for $50.00, if you have the cassette. They aren't great rims, but they work, and for those people stealing bikes, and those that buy them, they probably can't afford a new bike, so fifty bucks ain't much to them.

Stop being lazy and properly lock your bike, seriously.

wyeast
08-24-2007, 04:23 PM
The geometry of my bike (+ fenders) doesn't allow for Sheldon's lock method to be easily done anyway - so I typically end up locking the rear wheel + part of the frame in the lock.

The rationale (that I know of) behind locking the wheel only is to allow use of the smallest U-lock possible (which I don't have) and/or to not allow a prospective thief to use the frame itself for leverage against the lock.

rubbish heap
08-26-2007, 10:20 PM
The best way to lock a bike is locking the front wheel / downtube or back wheel / seat tube, using the smallest lock you can get away with. Less room for tools to get inside the lock. People that buy a huge U-lock and than just lock the top tube of their bike are plain silly.

As for theft, don't know anyone personally with a quality U-lock to have their bike stolen in Portland. If you check the bikeportland theft listings, 9/10 times the bike being stolen was either unlocked or cable-locked.

Cruizer
08-28-2007, 11:59 PM
The best way to lock a bike is locking the front wheel / downtube or back wheel / seat tube, using the smallest lock you can get away with.

Rubbish Heap, I'm having trouble picturing these two methods. Could you possibly post some pictures? Thanks.

rubbish heap
08-30-2007, 09:24 PM
Rubbish Heap, I'm having trouble picturing these two methods. Could you possibly post some pictures? Thanks.

These are basically the methods described in the handbook when you buy a Kryptonite lock. The downtube is the tube of the bike nearest to the front wheel, and the seat tube is what the seat post connects into, which is the nearest major tube to the seat post. If all this seems unfamilar to you, you should learn to identify all the tubes/stays on your bicycle because it's well worth it if something happens to the frame and you need to describe to a mechanic what/where something is wrong on your bike, possibly over the phone after a crash. Also, some crazy mountain bikes don't have seat tubes and some folding bikes don't have the traditional downtube so if you're riding one of those, my advice is useless. I'm talking about traditional geometry for road/track bikes as seen here http://www.vintage-trek.com/images/trek/90Trek/1990framegeometry.jpg .

ong
09-01-2007, 11:50 PM
Maybe I'm just a sucker, but I use these guys (http://pinheadcomponents.com/) on my commuter bike, so I don't worry too much about losing a wheel... that way I can just lock the frame to a rack. They use a unique key which makes it supposedly pretty difficult to steal a wheel. They also make them for saddles and for headsets (although that would be mostly useful if you had a quill/threaded stem, so it would be a pain to get anything off your bike, except maybe the saddle).