At my office building I've noticed that a bike is consistently locked in a way where it could be easily stolen. All someone would need to do is deflate the front tire and remove it from the fork and they could walk away with it - no tools needed.

I thought about leaving a note on the bike warning the owner of this, but I wouldn't want someone else to come by, read the note, and steal the bike. Since I don't know who the owner is, I can't tell them in person. How could I let them know about the situation without increasing the chances of the bike getting stolen?

  • 1
    You could find out who the owner is
    – Swifty
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 19:21
  • I'm wondering how a bike would be locked such that deflating the tire would allow it to be stolen. I just can picture this in my head.
    – Kibbee
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 19:23
  • @Kibbee I figured the specifics of the actual setup would detract from the core question, but I can get a picture the next time I see it locked up.
    – Ben Sutton
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 19:27
  • 2
    @Renaud Essentially yeah. It's a wave-style rack and the front wheel is hooked over the top of a hump, and the lock connects the wheel to the frame. So the wheel could be detached and swung down, and then the frame could be lifted off the top of the rack.
    – Ben Sutton
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 19:52
  • 1
    Or you could get really fun, and keep moving their bike until they wait around to see who's playing games with them :)
    – Hursey
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 21:53

1 Answer 1


It can be intentional, and your concern might not be theirs. It's common in Europe to use "beater bikes", with the idea that it's not a big deal if the bike got stolen. The inconvenience of having the bike stolen sometimes is lower than having to lock it seriously every day. So they are just locking their bikes on a way that prevent people from walking away with them.

I don't know about the bike parking situation in your building, but in my office, some people don't even lock their bikes. The combination of badging to access the parking and crappy bike is enough for them.

Now if you have reasons to think it's not this case, if there's a security service in the building, a possible solution is to ask them advice? In the best case, they can use the video footage to see when the person arrives/leaves and mention them directly.

  • There's not locking it seriously and there's barely locking it at all though - in this case it sounds like the whole bike could be trivially taken, while low risk locking is more like locking the toptube to something solid. That's probably easier than what the OP's colleague does
    – Chris H
    Commented May 4, 2023 at 20:51

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