Harvest Century September 22nd

Tis the season: A bike theft primer

Posted by on June 24th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

bike theft sticker-1.jpg

This reminder brought to you by
your friends at the Lloyd TMA.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Since summer is the peak of bike theft season, and many newbies are taking to the streets (with shiny new steeds) for the first time, I thought it was time for a bike theft prevention refresher course.

The other day, while locking up at a business in the Lloyd Center, I got a nice reminder about the #1 bike theft tip.

Someone from the Lloyd Transportation Management Association had placed stickers on all the racks with the catchy slogan of, A thief is able to cut your cable. Use stronger locks!.

Cable locks are a sure way to kiss your two-wheeled companion goodbye.

Here’s another frequent mistake that should need no explanation:

How not to lock up your bike.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Locking mistakes are common, but another thing thieves love are people that leave bikes unlocked and unattended on their porches or in their yards (I know about that first hand!).

bike theft

Heavy-duty chains work well too.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Robert Pickett is a Neighborhood Response Team officer with Portland Police Bureau’s Southeast Precinct. As part of his job, he reviews police reports from inner southeast neighborhoods like Buckman, Kerns, Laurelhurst, and others.

He recently told me that he’s “been struck by the similarities in reports of bicycles stolen from porches over the past couple of months.” Pickett says the victims are usually surprised their bikes were snagged, thinking that they were more secure because they were out of sight.

Of course, he also told me that 100% of the stolen bikes that were locked had been locked with cable locks.

Though he admits U-locks are not perfect, Pickett says that, “I’ve seen no recent reports of stolen bikes that had been locked with solid, U-locks”.

The 150 decibel Siren Padlock.
(Listen to it here.)

Continuing on the prevention front, reader Kevin H. sent along a link to the Siren Padlock. Made for bicycles, this long-shackle padlock detects shock and motion when tampered with, it emits a siren that is louder than a jet engine at 100 feet (which apparently can cause permanent damage without hearing protection).

Before your bike is gone, Pickett adds that recording the serial number from your is the “key factor” in increasing your chances of recovery. It’s also smart to photograph your bike and document the parts (that will also help with insurance claims).

If your bike gets ripped off, publicity and action is your friend. Post pictures around the area it was taken, send emails to your friends and post to bike-related forums and websites as much as you can. Then, gather up some friends and blanket the area your bike was last seen (keeping your phone at the ready to call for police back-up if necessary).

Speaking of web-based help. I must apologize for the BikePortland Stolen Bike Listings. The engine that runs them, Finetoothcog, has been experiencing technical difficulties and we’ll have it up and running as soon as possible.

In the meantime, check out more bike theft information and don’t forget your U-lock!

Please support BikePortland.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

46 Comments
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    Evan June 24, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Just what we need a lock that can cause hearing damage.

    Another lawsuit on the way. Can\’t wait for the headline. Thief Wins $5M for Hearing Loss.

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    Refunk June 24, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Timely article, J.

    Without any discussion of lock types, let me throw this out about alarms, just for kicks: I have used a loud compact auto alarm (no, I don\’t carry a car battery) on my bikes for twenty years (weight @ 1 lb.).

    These have proven their value innumerable times when I have rushed out of a diner or coffee bar or whatever and found someone with their hand still grasping a saddlebag or pannier and babbling in surprise, \”I didn\’t do anything!\” The alarm won\’t prevent a determined thief – nothing will – but it sure draws a lot of attention to the individual and the bike, which has certain advantages.

    A motion sensor activated, screaming lock is certain to be set off by a curious child pawing yer ride, however, I think that Jonathan may have a typo in the article describing the Siren Padlock: their site says it\’s 105 decibels, not 150 (!), which would be pretty painful.

    Years of use have proven the concept to me. If somebody wants something off my bike, the alarm lets me know …and, well, I\’ve got something for them.

    Yeah, good lock practice is only common sense. Portland may be Bike Paradise, but it ain\’t Ethics Shangri-la.

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    Matthew Denton June 24, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    I\’m worried that in the act of locking /unlocking it, I\’d accidentally set it off. Besides the whole deafness thing, what if I\’m leaving a bar near a residential neighborhood at 2am? That isn\’t going to be very popular with the neighbors… On the other hand, it can\’t be that much worse than a car alarm, which is to say, it probably doesn\’t do anything because people have become jaded to the noise and won\’t actually look/stop the thief.

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    Refunk June 24, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Ah-ha!

    Matthew, I disagree that an alarm \”doesn\’t do anything.\” My experience is that people pay attention to the alarmed bike and anyone near it when it goes off. Besides, mine use a typical keyfob remote for activation; perhaps those in the article have some kinda delay both on activation and during unlocking.

    Alarms on bikes are still unusual enough to get attention. Most alarms manufactured specifically for bikes are pretty weak though (too timid sounding or crushable with your bare hand, etc.). These Siren Padlocks seem of better quality.

    I like the idea of thieves drawing attention to themselves!

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    Chad June 24, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    I too had a bike stolen from home.

    What really freaked me out about it was the thief walked right into my backyard while my wife was home, found the best bike (out of six or seven) within three minutes, was stopped by my next door neighbor on his way down my driveway AND still sped away on one of my bikes.

    (probably the same kids who got your front porch bike).

    Tho good bikes sleep downstairs inside the house now, and my U-lock goes everywhere I go…thanks Jonathan for gettin\’ me off the cable locks!

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    tonyt June 24, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Can\’t be said any clearer than this.

    Cable locks blow.

    Spend the money and get a U-Lock or get your bike stolen and spend the money to replace it.

    Cable locks. Cheap and worth it.

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    Red Hippie June 24, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    In college, a ballsey thief snuck into my basement and stole my room-mates bike. I looked for it for a few days and eventually caught up to it at the mini-mart. I talked the bike and rider into the back of my pickup with talk of the police and a brandished clam digger. I tore the two blocks home and luckily my room-mates and neighbors were out in the yard. The neighbors, who dubbed themselves \”Chicano\’s in Action\” (CIA), took over from there and convinced the rider/thief to tell where he had gotten the bike. Turned out it was four blocks down the street, so they moseyed down to have a chat with his fellows. Their father’s bike had also been ripped off and they were pretty pissed that it had happened in their “hood”. Meanwhile, my room-mate calls 5-0 and they show up about 20 minutes later. We point out where the thief’s house is, and they roll off. 5 minutes later, the CIA turns back up with bloody knuckles and some good stories of scared junkies. The police had shown up at their house minutes after the CIA had left, and found about 50 stolen bikes around their house. So in the end, not only did the bike thiefs get their asses kicked, but then they got arrested for felony charges. Only if all stories ended so well.

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    wsbob June 24, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    \”…I have used a loud compact auto alarm…\” Refunk

    Maybe someone might appreciate knowing what brand/model you use.

    \”A thief is able to cut your cable…Use stronger locks!\” Lloyd TMA

    That\’s a great slogan. It\’s aggravating that people have to carry around big honking locks. So many people seem not to be convinced, judging by the number of cable locks being used.

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    RyNO Dan June 24, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    They stopped selling cable locks at
    reputable PDX bike shops, right ?

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    David Feldman June 24, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    1.Alarms: People now tune car alarms out.
    Why waste an alarm when it has become white noise and gets ignored.
    2.As a bike business lifer, I can say that cable locks are usually useless in the face of a skilled and determined thief–but sometimes a given parking situation (thick pillars, for instance) is beyond the physical capacity of a U-lock. I don\’t park and lock my bikes a lot, but look for U-lock-able objects even if they\’re not the official bike rack being offered.

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    David Feldman June 24, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    PS, I don\’t yet have any knowledge of the newest generation of chains–maybe they\’re better?

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    Andy June 24, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    @Evan: Don\’t you mean alleged thief?

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    Rex June 24, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    I have had both my Vanilla and Ira Ryan bikes stolen from me this year. I wish I read this post sooner.

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    Carl June 24, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    \”100% of the stolen bikes that were locked had been locked with cable locks.\”

    Can we coin a new term for \”cable locks?\”

    Cable fasteners?
    Cable ties?
    Trustafarian dreadlocks?
    Anti-theft suggesters?
    Optimistic prayers for a different time?

    …cause \”locks\” they ain\’t.

    I have a u-lock that costs twice as much as the cheapest u-lock…and by these stats, my lock is totally pointless because crooks aren\’t even bothering with the cheap ones. When we hear that Portland is approaching New York when it comes to severity of bike theft, we need to recognize that it\’s largely because we\’re a bunch of hippies too trusting and cheap to buy even the cheapest u-lock. This isn\’t New York. It\’s not that hard to keep your bike from being stolen here.

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    Icarus Falling June 24, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    During a extended (6 month)trip to Mexico, we had a bike stolen off of the back of the van.

    Someone had seen it happen, we had a vague description, and tracked the subject cross country for two days (quite a long ways actually) before finding him and the bike and taking it back.

    On another note, I do not understand why people continue to leave any kind of bicycle in the front or back yard. Even when they are supposedly \”out of site\”.
    In reality people steal from their own neighborhoods much of the time, and have probably watched you pull bikes in and out of your yard, and are just waiting for that one opportunity.

    Even if it is not a very nice bike, it is just like hanging an open sign on your mailbox, and inviting browsing.

    Especially since bike thieves realize also that one bike (especially one that is not so nice) probably means more and nicer bikes somewhere nearby, and since they are already in the yard, why not browse the aisles/ house for a better deal?

    One word:

    Kryptonite.

    It took down Superman, it can surely protect your bike.

    To boot, they do much of their on the street product testing through messenger usage. Can you say grotesque product abuse during testing?

    I knew you could.

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    Andy June 24, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    RyNO:

    No, but the last time I went to buy a lock I got a stern talking to by the clerk. (this was at BG downtown) He only let me go when I promised the cable was only to help secure the kiddy trailer to the bike, which itself would have a u-lock on. 🙂

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    Kirsty June 24, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    One of the best ways to ensure you have a record of your bike, should it be stolen, is to have a friend take a polaroid picture of you, standing with the bike.

    Then, on a sticker, write down the bike model, serial number, colour, year purchased (if known), and any other identifying things that make it unique (scratches on the frame, weird paint job etc).

    Then stick this sticker to the back of your polaroid, put the photo in a safe place you will remember, and voila!

    It\’s also worth emailing the same information, plus an electronic photo of your bike, to yourself. Then you can access the info from anywhere if you need to in a hurry.

    Finally, the ever-inspiring Streetfilms put together a film short about how NOT to lock your bike – Hal Grades Your Bike Locking. Well worth a view!

    http://www.streetfilms.org/archives/hal-and-kerri-grade-your-bike-locking/

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    BURR June 24, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    Not sure what happened to my comment, my 2 cents:

    Abus locks are significantly better than Kryptonite locks, get a Granite 54 or better Abus lock and your bike is unlikely to be stolen.

    Pitlock locking wheel and seatpost skewers prevent component theft, I can\’t tell you how many locked bikes I\’ve seen with missing wheels.

    Make sure you have a worse bike and a better lock than the bike you\’re locking up next to. And learn to lock your bike properly, it\’s not that hard to do. People that don\’t take the time to learn to lock their bikes properly only encourage the thieves.

    Finally, where\’s PPB on this? Probably out to lunch, just like on almost everything else having to do with cycling in PDX.

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    Refunk June 24, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    wsbob (@8):

    The alarms I have always used have been simply low-end (

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    Refunk June 24, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    wow.

    Hey, BURR, my comment just got sliced off, too?

    JL

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    isaac June 24, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    I had to buy a new U-lock at REI today because I didn\’t have my old Kryptonite with me, and was surprised that they didn\’t have the K. brand, just some OnGuard line. I got a sturdy looking one, but the thing looks like a toy. Any ideas about these? Where are the best locks that don\’t weigh a ton?

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    Refunk June 24, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    wsbob @ 8:

    Anyone interested in more info about my bike alarms can reach me at

    refunk at q dot com

    and I will reply to questions.

    BURR @ 18 –

    BURR is right on re: locks and procedure.

    JL

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    Crash N. Burns June 24, 2008 at 10:42 pm
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    Icarus Falling June 24, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    The ON Guard u lock weighs like 8 pounds.

    I used one as a loaner when I was on my Cannondale Track bike, and it weighed more than half the weight of the bike it was protecting…..

    Quick return it while you can (it is REI after all) and run and get a Kryptonite,( small, with the orange band on it) the only really reliable lock.

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    Jeff Forbes June 25, 2008 at 12:50 am

    In mid-May I had my bike stolen at Reed College. It was locked to a rack with a kryptonite u-lock. The thief used a car jack to break the lock. When I went out to ride home at about 9:30 pm, all that was left was the car jack and the two halves of the lock. I now have a shorter u-lock, which is supposedly harder to get a jack into.

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    Elisabeth June 25, 2008 at 7:37 am

    A quick sob story for you all. I once locked my bike, by the frame only, not by the frame and a front or rear wheel, to a very, very, very tall, and secure pole in the ground.

    I went into the building, came out again about two hours later, and the bike was totally gone. How did the thief steal the bike? Why, he bent the ENTIRE METAL POLE TO THE GROUND, and simply slid the bike off!

    And because I had only locked the frame to the pole with my u-lock, and not a wheel too, the thief was able to just ride the whole thing away.

    Word to people new to biking – ALWAYS put your u-lock through both the frame and wheel at the same time when locking to a secure object. If the bike is only locked to your frame, anybody who steals it, can just ride it off into the sunset, boo hoo hoo.

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    Meep June 25, 2008 at 10:11 am

    The OnGuards are kind of a joke – the plastic housing breaks off and while the lock itself is still usable, my neighbor broke into his girlfriend\’s with a sledgehammer.

    I usually lock my front wheel and frame together, though that proves to be tricky just because my bottom tube is larger than the skinny road bikes I see around town. So I use the bigger one, and when I\’m feeling super paranoid I lock up the back wheel with a cable lock. Not that it\’s going to be super safe, but I figure that it\’s more work for a thief.

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    Russ June 25, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Kirsty,

    Thanks for the video link. I thought the previous video that it was based on was more informative and had less editing and longer shots.

    http://www.streetfilms.org/archives/hal-grades-your-bike-locking/

    I spent two years sending out information on bike recovery and bike security to all the postings on Craigslist and a couple other sites. I was amazed at the number of higher end bikes that were badly secured and stolen.

    Rex – Did you seriously use cable locks to secure two custom made bicycles, or leave them outside unlocked? Wow, if that\’s a true story, maybe Sacha and Ira need to do some educatin\’ too when someone walks out the door with one of their bikes.

    The LBS I\’ve been using since I had to scram outta PDX for a couple years of school sells cables, but has a museum of fail right above the rack, letting the customer see first hand how useless the locks are. It\’s a great idea for a shop that sells cables, but should know better.

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    Harriett June 25, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    Thieves will sometimes leave their stolen bike on a Trimet Bus so be sure to call Trimet to see if it\’s amongst the scores of bikes brought in, daily. 503-238-RIDE.
    Thanks

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    steve June 25, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Thanks for this good head\’s up/reminder. I recently moved here from the East Coast where most people don\’t know a good bike when they see it and the market for used bikes is pretty small. So I admit I\’ve been pretty casual about my bike, running into the Plaid Pantry quickly without locking. I\’ll wake from now on.

    But a general rule I\’ve always lived by is if you don\’t want your bike stolen, don\’t let it leave your sight. The more valuable the bike, the more practical that maxim becomes. Thanks again.

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    William June 25, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    A question: I just recently visited Eugene and Portland. It seemed everyone had a story of a stolen bike. The same seems true in Davis and Sacramento. So there seems to be a net flow of bicycle into cities, but where does this stolen surplus exit? Drugies must have a personal limit. Is the used bike market that big? Is there somekind of grand redistribution of bicycle wealth? Are they all at the TriMet bus barn? Are cyclists unknowingly and unwillingly suppling the third world? Answers please.

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    SkidMark June 25, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    They just get traded around for ridiculously low amounts of money between scumbags. And by scumbag I mean anyone who is not suspicious of a Cannondale Headshock MTB for 25 bucks. Someone trades a stolen bike for drugs, and then the dealer sells the bike for what the drugs cost.

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    peejay June 25, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    First, are you really sure about the OnGuard lock being useless? It has one convenience feature that I like about it over the Kryptonite: The bar can attach to the U in either orientation. I have not had a problem with mine, for what that\’s worth.

    Second, I believe the New York style chains are as good as a small U lock, but find the key/padlock a little fussier to operate. They do let you get around a tree or larger pole, though.

    Third, whatever happened to the idea of \”honeypot\” bikes? The police could be using them to actually catch the thieves, get them off the street for a while, and make them think twice about every bike they want to steal from then on, if it\’s done often enough.

    Fourth, write two copies of a note that says: \”This bike was stolen from ____ _____. Please call this number: ___-____\”. Laminate them, and place one in the head tube, and another in the seat tube. If a thief tries to get it serviced, bike shops just might find the note. If everyone does this, the shops would train their employees to look in those locations during every repair or service.

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    G-Man June 25, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    I find this whole thread very disheartening. I am a year-round commuter and hate driving. I try to encourage friends and coworkers to ride also, and the most common excuse I hear is not, \”Oh I can\’t ride in traffic,\” \”I don\’t want to be all sweaty at work,\” or \”Oh my bike isn\’t good enough.\” It\’s fear of theft. It\’s interesting to me that cycling advocates don\’t make this connection. When you read about reasons PDXers don\’t commute, everything but theft is mentioned. I know I personally get sick of having to take every little thing off my bike everytime I lock it up, but I also know that if I don\’t, I can say goodbye to my pump, lights, seat bag, cyclometer, mirror- anything that isn\’t bolted down and half the shit that is is up for grabs- and that\’s assuming a thief doesn\’t just take your whole bike! Now, for someone who isn\’t an experienced rider, with the old ten-speed in the garage, thinking about becoming a commuter, theft prevention is daunting too. They\’re thinking, \”Oh good, I\’ll save money, get in shape, help the environment. How simple and great!\” Then they start reading up on it, realize they need a tune-up, maybe some new tubes or tires. And then they need a $60 lock that may or may not keep the bike from getting stolen… Plus front and rear lights so the cops don\’t Reverend Phil their ass… Locking skewers… Maybe a little cable to lock the seat to the frame… Pretty soon they\’re looking at 400 bucks of stuff just to start riding and next thing you know, they\’re saying, \”Oh screw it, I\’m just driving.\”

    As for the small Kryptonite U-Lock, I have one and I like it but I find it problematic because it\’s so small that- on most bike racks in PDX- I can\’t get it around the frame, a wheel, and the rack (or signpost, whatever), it\’s either the wheel and frame or the frame and an object. Because of that I try to just keep it inside or at least where I can see it and get to it quickly. Other than cables, any suggestions?

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    JV June 25, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Just to add to the mix, and to illustrate how even being extra careful locking your bikes outside doesn\’t make you safe from theft I\’ll share my most recent bike theft story.

    About 2 months ago we had 2 bikes stolen from our house in NE PDX. To do this, the thieves –
    1) entered into our back yard via a closed gate.
    2) walked past our chickens who started making some noise
    3) opened the door to our garage
    4) selected their choice of two bikes (a Bianchi Martnini Racing mountain bike and Trek cross bike) from the 5 that we had
    5) took them off the hooks on the ceiling
    6) walked them out the garage
    7) slammed the gate on their way out

    All of this happened at aproximately 8:30 on a Sunday morning…my housemate heard the gate slam and figured that I was outside (even though I was really asleep). About an hour and a half later we went in the garage and realized that something was very wrong, and put the pieces together. We called the police and they came over and took statements, and told us that this is not really that surprising – they see fairly bold thefts all the time. From the experience I have learned a few things :

    1) Chickens are not very effective guard animals
    2) Curtains on garage windows are a good idea so that thieves can\’t see what is inside
    3) Keep yo doors locked at all times
    4) Make it as difficult as you can for thieves to get at your stuff, if you care about it – we now have a thick 14\’ trucker\’s chain ($30 from Harbor Freight) that is attached to the joists and we lock our bikes to it.

    I hate to be paranoid, and realize that private property is really an outdated concept, however it is nice to go to the garage and have your transportation options intact.

    on that note…I also had my front light stolen from my bike (parked outside my work) about a week ago. More of a nuisance than anything, but still – a nice reminder for me to take it off myself before someone else more enterprising does.

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    reign pdx June 25, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    just having a u lock will not save your bike always bring it in at night and lock it in your home. A cordless grinder with a cutting disk can cut through the highest quality u-lock in 20-30 seconds, chains are a little bit harder because they move around but still 40 seconds tops.

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    Kim June 25, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Oh man… I didn\’t realize the \”newer\” cables can be cut easily. I was told that the \”newer\” cables will smash, but it\’s hard to cut them.
    So I need to use the U lock (onguard) to secure it… and maybe the cable to keep the front wheel there.. or at least more trouble to get it.
    I\’m glad I read this Thanks!

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    Stripes June 26, 2008 at 12:08 am

    Thankyou Lloyd TMA – what an awesome idea with the stickers! Cable locks are awful. You honestly might as well just stick a sign on your bicycle saying, \”please steal me\”.

    I hope the stickers will serve as a reminder to many bikers this summer to ditch that ridiculously pointless cable lock, and invest in a high-quality, orange or yellow Kryptonite u-lock.

    Now we just need those stickers city-wide! I wonder if the Portland Business Alliance would do something similar for the bikeracks downtown? (Okay, okay, so I can dream…)

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    Stripes June 26, 2008 at 12:11 am

    PS – I\’ve heard a lot of people complain that u-locks are heavier. Yes, they are. But they stop your bike getting stolen a lot more, and that\’s good, right?

    Also, just see it as resistance-training when you carry it around! Extra weight to carry on your bicycle equals fitter body! And get a pannier or basket or bikerack to stash that u-lock in/on – it\’s not good for your poor back to have that kind of weight in a backpack!

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    Icarus Falling June 26, 2008 at 12:44 am

    Some u locks are much heavier than others.

    Actually, like many bicycles, the cheaper and lower quality U locks are heavier than most of the better, stronger ones.

    As a person that has spent a massive amount of time using u locks, as in locking and unlocking repeatedly an estimated 60+ times a day, and certainly more most days (that is at least 30 actions on the locking mechanism to lock, then 30 more to unlock))just Monday thru Friday, not to mention weekends, since 1987 (some years more than others), I must implore you to spend your money on no other lock than a Kryptonite.

    A Kryptonite that is the Evolution model, or a higher priced Kryptonite model. (New York U- lock/ New York Chain with U lock/Fuggetaboutit/etc.

    I am not kidding about this.

    These are the locks that keep your bike safest. Kryptonite is the brand to buy!

    Do not be fooled by other brands touting as good of a safety track record!

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    scdurs June 26, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    This has been mentioned in other discussions, but bears repeating:

    After mounting your bike on a bus or train bike rack, don\’t sit where you can\’t see it. Keep a constant vigil over your bike while on a bus or max train. A theif will watch for your inattentiveness and take the bike when they get off.

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    Snacky June 26, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Let\’s sum up the facts

    This is a great conversation, but I\’m bugged by the amount of simple claims being made that aren\’t backed up, like the Lloyd Center sticker, \”A thief is able to cut your cable!\”

    I don\’t buy it.

    There are a ton of different cables out there, and a ton of different u-locks.

    So far, from all the posts, here is the info I\’ve gotten:

    (1) \”100% of stolen bikes that were locked, had been locked with cables.\”
    source: Robert Pickett, PPD. But unknown: What time frame does this assertion cover? All stolen bikes in Portland –ever? This is a good start, but on its own isn\’t much.

    (2) Anecdotal stories of ulocked bikes, including with kryptonite, being stolen. Just anecdotal evidence, but it\’s something.

    I\’d like to gather *real data* about which locks work and which don\’t. I\’ll assemble it all into a post or a web page here.

    So, just to be clear, I\’m looking for something more than, \”Ulocks are the way to go!\”

    Thanks! And, no disrespect meant.

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    William June 27, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Last year sometime, CyclingPlus a UK cycling magazine did a study breaking a large number of locking devices. All were defeated in just a few minutes. The Kryptonite New Yorker took the longest, but still was defeated in a few minutes. This article should be available at their website.
    My question about where all the stolen bikes are going: if the drugies are selling them for $25, there must be a glut of bikes appearing in every city. Shouldn\’t there be a saturation point? Or at least the cycling community frequently seeing these bikes around?

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    cip June 27, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    My 1st bike: pink girl\’s mountain bike (a protection in itself). Bought 2ft chain from Home Depot and a regular lock. Worked great in Eugene, still have the chain, donated the abomination.
    My 2nd bike: new cheap mountain bike from Wally Mart. Installed fenders and a nice (trick=-bike) handlebar for improved posture. hooked it up with cable at Lloyd Center. Gone baby, gone, thieves left me the helmet though!
    Current bike: Huffy, also from Wally Mart. I use the aforementioned chain for the front tire+frame, and a regular Krypto U lock just for the frame and back tire if it fits. So far, knock on frame, no problemos!

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    PoPo June 28, 2008 at 1:09 am

    @ Snacky (42)

    Yeah, that\’s a misleading statement in the article. Of the reports I read of stolen bikes in the six neighborhoods that I cover in inner Southeast, over the past few months, involving bikes that were stolen that were locked, all of them had been locked with cable locks.

    It\’s a small sample. I\’m sure some u-locked bikes are stolen in town, as mentioned by some people above. But even though the information I have is somewhat anecdotal, I have absolutely no trouble recommending that people do not use cable locks. I never use them for my own bike.

    I will be interested to see more complete data, however, if you are able to compile it!

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    wsbob June 28, 2008 at 10:08 am

    A few days ago at the transit mall I live near to, one bike rack I checked was full. I think a total of 12 bikes were locked to it, including one of those Amsterdam rigs. 8 of the bikes were locked with cables. Only 4 had U-locks securing them.

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