Securin' yer bike: thoughts, please.

MichaelMcCycle

New Member
Location
Dublin, Ireland.
Hello, new member here and my first proper post. Would appreciate feedback and thoughts from you fine folks.
Has anyone got opinions on wheel security using Pitlock and other systems in addition to usual U- locks-on the-wheels-through-the-frame?
What about other suggestions, though?
Thieves seem to break down into three groups:

1. Drug users/junkies/streetdrinkers who will steal any unsecured bike and sell it ASAP for the price of
their next fix;
2. Younger criminals who are 'semi pro', and carry a few basic tools; and
3. Sophisticated full-time serious bike thieves looking for upmarket machines (often stolen to order and
loaded into vans) armed with whatever tool it takes.


One fulltime thief interviewed in the UK press said he would spend up to five minutes on a good bicycle, work as part of a two-man team with a spotter, and come back repeatedly to steal a very expensive machine. But he wouldn't spend more than a minute or two on a typical bike, so if yours can survive that 90 second test you will get to keep it.

Straw poll only, but I I spotted just one Pitlock-type skewer set on a machine in town yesterday out of about 50 bikes I took note of, and it was locked front and rear to a solid metal railing using two U locks as well. 10/10.
That would be my approach, too.

Carelessness demands a high price but could actually good news for those who do lock up properly.

Do you think that psychology is a big part of it? Hey, if they really want your bike and you leave it for an extended period they will take it, so is it mostly about sending a message that your pride-and-joy is not worth the effort when oh, look - there's a nice Giant or a Cube 20 feet away badly locked that can be gone in 60 seconds...

I bought MTK EZ quick release pedals (popular on Brompton folders) for my Boardman Hybrid Comp. Hard to cycle away on a machine without pedals and pushing a bicyle along a street after stealing it is probably any thief's less-prefered option. 10 seconds to pop off and not that heavy in a backpack.

Any other ideas, guys and gals?

  • Removing one of the (in my case) two small screws on the handlebar stem. Takes steering control away from the fecker and slipping it back is a 10 second job.
  • A sticker near the locks warning the machine is GPS protected (even if it isn't!)?
Obviously extra measures take a bit of time.

I think that is the point though: every one of the 3 minutes you spend locking up properly (and choosing a good spot to leave your bike in) means lots of extra work for any thief.
 
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classic33

Legendary Member
I've uses a "Krank alarm" more than once. Not quite certain how it's use would go down over there though.

One trike removed, after more than the five minutes you mentioned. The front end removed because they failed to remove what it was fastened to. Motorcycle chain and lock used to secure it. That's all that was left when I got back.

Spot used was covered by multiple CCTV cameras. None of which caught the faces of the people taking it.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
I'm another alarm user, plus I use different types of lock on front and back wheels (each also through frame and parking stand). I don't bother with pitlocks - I suspect they can be undone with a universal pin socket and anyway, if they want my cruddy sidepulls, they can have them, or if they can extract the hub brake from a locked wheel, they're better than me!
 
Location
South East
I have used pitlock on my bikes for about 4 years, and feel comfortable leaving them outside, locked with a heavy chain, as that my only option.
I have a variety of pitlock bits, skewers, a thru-axle, and hex head security.
It’s a little bit of a pain if a wheel needs removing, but worth the peace of mind.
I would recommend Pitlock.
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
I never leave my bike out of sight. Easily the best solution.

If I had to make a trip in to town I'd ride the hybrid which cost £75. Frankly I couldn't be bothered carrying all the security gear you mention.

I've had two bikes stolen - one from my garage and one from the Bike Locker User's Club in Manchester. Both situations far more secure than any on street options.
 
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vickster

Legendary Member
Take the seatpost and saddle with you. At least it’ll stop some pondlife from nicking them

Security depends to some degree on where and for how long you are leaving the bike
 

TheDoctor

Resistance is futile!
Moderator
Location
Stevenage
After losing my first Brompton, the second gets D-locked, on the rare occasions I leave it somewhere.
When I toured with it, it got folded and locked to something immobile in the hotel garage. Or went into my room.
Other bikes - D-lock, flip the QRs on the brakes and try to lock it next to a nicer bike.
That's a pretty low bar to work to, TBH.
 
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NorthernDave

Never used Über Member
Almost never leave my bikes unattended.

If I have to, I'll take a Sold Secure Gold D-lock through the rear triangle / wheel to something immovable, with a decent cable through it securing the front wheel as well.

As has been said, the sad truth is that the one of best deterrents is to make your bike a less attractive option to ea thief than the one next to it.

Plus, no matter how good the lock, a cordless angle grinder will cut though it in seconds. :sad:
 

SkipdiverJohn

Über Member
Location
London
A has been said, the sad truth is that the one of best deterrents is to make your bike a less attractive option to ea thief than the one next to it.

Plus, no matter how good the lock, a cordless angle grinder will cut though it in seconds. :sad:
That's why most cyclists who live or ride in dodgy areas either only have cheap hack bikes, or if they do have a more expensive one, they leave that one at home and ride a worthless one to risky locations instead.
Even if locking up with super heavy duty D locks was a guaranteed way to prevent theft of expensive bikes, which it isn't, I still don't see the point of taking out an expensive lightweight bike, where much of the weight saving that you have paid a lot of money to get - has been offset by the heavyweight security measures needed.

When going somewhere risky, you can either ride a cheap heavyweight bike and carry a relatively lightweight lock, or you can ride an expensive lightweight bike and carry a very heavy lock . The overall weight of bike plus security is not going to be that much different, but the lack of stress and worry associated with leaving a low value hack unattended rather than something you really don't want to lose or get parts robbed from is a bonus.
There's also the question of damage. The other day I spotted a costly BMC road bike tightly D locked to the pavement side of some railings through both front wheel and frame and rear wheel and frame. The bike was going nowhere without an angle grinder. The problem is though a vehicle had collided with the railings from the road side, and because it was so tightly locked the bike was now banana-shaped just like the railings it was secured to.
 
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CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
I use my Genesis SS for shopping into local town. It has a pannier set with a NY heavy duty U lock and two coiled combination locks. I usually just use the coiled combi lock but if i leave bike for long periods use all three. Yes the bike probably weighs 3-4kg heavier with locks, but I feel confident in leaving it for more than two mins
 

SkipdiverJohn

Über Member
Location
London
I wouldn't leave a nice Genesis steel bike any of the places I go shopping! Vandalism and parts theft can be just a big a problem as theft of whole bikes.
 
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