Friday, October 7, 2011

Lock your bicycle

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With the return of all of the college students to Philadelphia a rise in theft of bicycle parts and bicycles, all you have to do is read Craigslist or hangout at any number of local bike shops. The worst part is that many of these thefts could have been avoided. Below are list of some of the most common statement you will read or hear when someone has his or her bike stolen.

I locked my bike outside overnight and now its gone.
I locked my bike to a fence and now its gone.
I locked my bike to the railing outside my home and now its gone.
I locked my bike in the backyard and now its gone.
My front/rear wheel was stolen.
My saddle (seat) was stolen.
My cable lock was cut.

Meet the bicycle thief’s favorite tool, bolt cutters, capable of cutting any lock and chain you can buy in your local hardware store, cable locks, and chain link fence in less than 10 seconds. And can easily be concealed in a backpack or under a jacket. And leaving your bike in a public place with an inferior lock won’t help as demonstrated in this video.


So how can you reduce your risk of having your bicycle or parts of it getting stolen?

Step 1. Make the investment in a high quality lock, my preference has always been Kryptonite locks, because of the way they rate their locks and the effort they make to create locks for any situation. Get the five foot long Kryptonite chain and wear it like a belt. Yes I know the lock may cost almost as much as your bike, but it’s cheaper than having to buy a new bicycle.

Step 2. Think about what you are locking your bike to solid objects are best, lampposts, parking meters, signs, and bike racks. Remember chain link fences and railings can be easily cut. Please avoid the trees, its bad for the trees and trees can be easily cut.

Steps 3. Never leave your bicycle outside overnight. No matter how securely you've locked it, even if you think locking it a backyard  is out sight. All you have done is give a bicycle thief plenty of time when everyone is asleep. For all the years I have had bikes I always made room where I lived to store it indoors, even if it meant having one less piece of furniture or some highly creative storage techniques. Like bike lifts or wall mounts.

Step 4. Be careful what you own. Bicycle thieves are not stupid and they recognize high-end bikes like Trek, Jamis, Cannondale, and Specialized. There are plenty of older bicycles available through Craigslist and Via Bicycles, who specialize in restoring older bicycles. You can still ride a quality bicycle that is not a target.

Step 5. Lock your bicycle thoroughly, especially if you have quick release. It only takes a bicycle thief seconds to remove any part off your bicycle. Get a cheap cable lock to lock down your saddle
Seat and seat post - $50.00
Rear rim - $125.00
Front rim - $75
These are just costs for basic replacements.

In the end this is all up to you and how important a primary source of transportation is to you.

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