Is there a product out there that allows you to remove interfacing components? Like being able to remove your brake lever arm, shifter arms, pedals...etc etc easily and efficiently so it makes the get away process more troublesome for the thief? ... therefore it might deter them from taking your bike?

I'm aware of thieves just being able to pick up bikes, but if you also had two U-locks on a sturdy pole, I would assume that this would be much more troublesome for the average thief.

I guess this would be more troublesome for the user...

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    Quick-release front wheel and take it with you?
    – Tom77
    Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 10:09
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    Removing brake or derailleur components would seriously disrupt their adjustment, rendering that option impractical in most situations. Pedals can be relatively easily removed with a wrench, but doing that repeatedly would eventually result in failure of the crank arms, since getting the pedals reinstalled to the proper torque is non-trivial. Besides, a determined thief will calmly walk away with your bike, even if it's not rideable. Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 12:34
  • I've found locking my bike to something has worked for me. Choose something that the bike can't be lifted off and lock through the frame and at least one wheel. If a thief decides that he wants to take your bike then he will get it. If he just wants a bike then make yours more tricky to extract.
    – DanS
    Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 14:12
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    Bike thieves don't care if the bike is rideable so anything you might do would inconvenience you more than them. Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 16:48
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    I think you hit the nail on the head when you say "deter someone from taking your bike". But I'm not sure you approach is particularly practical. Good locks are important, one a u-lock and one a chain. Where you park it also (e.g. park it next to a shinier bike with locks that aren't as good as yours, if you can). But ultimately if someone wants your bike in particular, there's not much you can do. I'd advise looking at insurance and paying particular attention to "approved" locks and "approved" places where the bike can be locked.
    – PeteH
    Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 20:08

2 Answers 2


You can get quick release pedals (some folding bikes use them) with the advantage that the mount point left behind is too small to effectively pedal on. Pedals are also small and relatively clean if you carry them with you, so this works fairly well.

quick release pedal (MKS Ezy quick release pedal)

Commonly people with concerns like yours will install a quick release seatpost bolt and take the seat with them instead/as well. But seats are large and the seatpost is often greasy or dirty, so I am not a fan of that approach. Re-setting the seat height every time is also annoying.

The other awful thing people often remove for security is their front wheel. It's even bigger and dirtier than the seatpost.

Some not-quite-folding bikes are designed to be taken apart easily. Bike Friday, for example, and anything using S&S couplings. You could conceivably take one of the smaller pieces with you every time.

A more extreme variant is simply to remove parts and leave them off. Many fixie riders claim that people won't steal a fixie because they're hard to ride, for example. Riding a unicycle can be an extension of that idea... people won't steal a "bicycle" that has one wheel, no gears and very few valuable components, and that they can't ride.

There are a few types of bike thieves, and you need to deter them in different ways. The lazy thief who just wants transport can be deterred by almost anything (bike locked with any non-trivial lock); the opportunistic/unorganised thief who will steal anything easy and hope to sell it quickly, for whom you just need a decent lock and use it to attach your bike to something solid; and the professional or organised thief, for whom nothing short of a security guard will do as long as your bike is worth stealing. Both steal-for-sale thieves will also steal components off your bike (as will other cyclists who don't think of themselves as criminals). Normally only the easily removed parts like wheels or pumps, but I've had brakes and handlebars stolen off my bikes in the past.

A general solution is to take everything of value off the bike and replace it with cheap crap. That's a junker bike and they're very popular for this reason.

  • ahh well, the general consensus seems to go towards riding a crappy bike. I've thought about purchasing a Norco VFR3 or 4 (hybrid bike) but I guess I'll have to give this some more thought. Doing errands (I guess) would be a complete no no and doing anything that involves keeping the bike out for more than 5 mins with 2 U-locks would not be a great idea correct? (without line of sight of course) Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 7:11
  • The goal is to have a bike that's not as nice as the ones around you, and also better secured. IME most of the time just locking it is 99% of the battle, usually there are bikes around that are either not locked, improperly locked, or "locked" with a piece of string. It's only pro thieves taking the lot that you have to really worry about, and that's where hiring a security guard is about the only effective approach. So use a decent lock, pitlocks if your wheels and saddle are worth it, and move on.
    – Móż
    Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 9:12

You can get use quick release (QR) skewers for the wheels and saddle, and it may be possible to use these on your handlebars, (maybe even the front derailleur?), depending on whether the design allows for a larger nut.

I doubt this would help with brake levers/shifters. The part would have to be specially designed to have a quick-release cable.

Quick release pedals might be possible, but it would have to be a very reliable mechanism, given the force they're under and the consequences of losing one whilst riding.

Overall I'm not sure if would be that large a deterrent. I understand that the more serious bike thief comes with a van, slings the bike(s) in the back, taking them away and selling the parts on Ebay. So a missing set of pedals would only make it marginally less attractive.

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    One possibility in place of quick releasing pedals would be something like an egg beater pedal, which is difficult to ride without the required cleats. Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 13:16
  • With V Brakes or Cantilevers , they already have quick release cables (only once sided with V Brakes). However, you'd probably have to use custom brake bosses in order to allow quick removal and re-assmbly of the brake arms.
    – Kibbee
    Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 20:33
  • quick release for FDerailleur? The chain is going throw it...
    – Alexander
    Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 1:22

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