Lights can be re-used easily, but a bike computer... they would need to setup their own rigging for the wires and the magnets, that alone would cost them money and time, and who's going to buy from them? That person well inevitably buy cheap, because of the illegitimacy, so maybe $10 or $20.

It plain doesn't seem worth it, so I must be missing something, or these things are being stolen for the joy of stealing.

Is there any value in stolen bike computers? If so how?

  • 4
    Some reason front wheels, seats etc get stolen from locked bikes I guess. Aug 22, 2018 at 18:11
  • 3
    A Sigma bike computer holder+sensor+magnet starts at 6€, so it might be still worth to steal the computer and save yourself 40€ or more for the more expensive models. If your own computer gets lost, is broken (or stolen) it might also make sense to steal someone else’s.
    – Michael
    Aug 22, 2018 at 18:22
  • 2
    Cos some people are utter bastards. Your only defenses are to either defeat the quick release and make it a hard mount with glue and screws, or to use the QR and take it with you every time. Same goes for lights pumps and tools. Or get an expensive Garmin and you will never ever leave it behind.
    – Criggie
    Aug 22, 2018 at 19:33
  • 1
    Sometimes it just doesn't make sense. When I was young, I left my first bike locked up, and came back to find someone had stolen... the lock. I could never get my head around that, and even writing it out now I'm thinking "surely I must have imagined that"...
    – Jerb
    Aug 23, 2018 at 8:29
  • @ArgentiApparatus Front wheels get stolen because some idiot locked their bike up by only the front wheel, so the thief just detached the locked wheel from its bike and now needs a replacement. Aug 23, 2018 at 10:14

2 Answers 2


I guess there are various different motivations as already pointed out in the comments:

  • Vandalism. Stealing the bike computer is easy and fast, doesn't require equipment. Lamps (even attached with screws w/o quick release) get stolen, seats (presumably beyond the demand for seats), brake cables get unhooked, quick releases on wheels get opened on parked bikes even if the wheel is secured with a lock …

  • Potential reuse. Parts for some bike computers can be bought separately. E.g. a Garmin is typically expensive, and mounts and sensors can be bought individually for little money. Now that may not be the case for a stolen bike computer but "Gelegenheit macht Diebe" (german: opportunity makes thieves). One can be tempted to take the computer on the spot without drawing much attention and disappear from the scene, to later calmly in another place figure out if there is any reuse. And said reuse might be reuse of the thief or for selling.


The same reason that anyone steals anything. One of:

  1. They're just being an asshole.
  2. They want it for themselves.
  3. They think they can sell it.

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