32

The simplest answers are ask for their ID, or for their car keys if they arrive by car. There are plenty of other options on various forums like https://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/446194-selling-bike-craigslist-test-rides.html https://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/687171-how-do-you-let-potential-buyer-test-ride-your-bike....


26

That sucks. I'm sorry that your bike was stolen. If thieves are willing to break into a locked garage, break into a locked and fully enclosed mesh bike parking area then cut two bike locks using power tools: there's not much you can do about it. If there are lots of bikes in the bike parking area you can make your bike a lower priority target by increasing ...


23

Buy more secure lock(s) for your bike - I have a Kryptonite New York Standard and a Kryptoflex cable that I leave in work for my commute. I also have a New York Fahgettaboudit Mini for using about town on my single speed (no quick release installed on this bike). Utilise new/better lock from above to secure your bike in a more productive fashion. Personally ...


23

A cheap ring lock like the one pictured below can be defeated in less than one minute with a screwdriver. Furthermore, even a good ring lock (one that that isn't easily broken and might take a few minutes to defeat with a screwdriver) has a fundamental and fatal flaw - the thief can simply pick the bike up and put it in the back of their truck or van. A ...


19

It is all subjective, but I would say that a public place is better (as I have previously answered to a similar question). Most bike thefts are opportunistic; unless you've got an especially desirable bike the theft is not about your bike, it's about stealing any bike. So the key is to reducing the opportunity to steal your bike: as you point out, ...


19

Bicycle Theft, Guide No. 52 (2008) gives details around bicycle theft in different variants, stages and from different perspectives, contains reference for theft data. From the report: Offenders Not all bicycles are stolen for financial gain. Some offenders may take a bicycle simply to get from one place to another, and then abandon it. Research ...


17

I would guess that hard evidence is going to be difficult to come by -- doing anything resembling a controlled experiment would be enormously expensive, and cyclists are too disorganized (by this I mean lacking unified organizational structure) to do some sort of sampling-based measurement or epidemiological study. I would just observe that, in my opinion, ...


16

I know you said 'I'm not going to find my bike', but it is definitely very helpful to figure out the spots where bike thieves try to sell your bike on. I have retrieved more than one stolen bike that way! In Amsterdam there is a service every Wednesday (in different locations) where you can let the number of your bike be registered and they will engrave it ...


15

Some of what does and doesn't work, based on two great sources: a study in Montreal, and the USDOJ's COPS program's paper on bike theft prevention: What Works: Adequate Locks I won't discuss the matter in detail since it's not part of the question, but adequate locks and locking technique are the most important method of prevention for most people. Both ...


15

There's no way to 100% secure everything, but there are things you can do to make it more difficult or time-consuming. Don't lock up your bike. Bring your bike with you instead of leaving it outside. Mine goes into my office. Choose a location where you or other people will see thieves messing with the bike. Not a super-high traffic area (in that case ...


15

In a situation like this, I usually don't fit any of the wheels in the support; instead I park the bike over the rack and just to the left or right of a loop, so that the lowest part of the frame is in close proximity with the loop. I then lock the frame and a wheel with a single cable (a U-lock might not work). Alternatively, you can place the rear wheel ...


14

Firstly, these suggestions are only going to make it slightly harder to ride away with your bike. I've heard the most common thefts involve grabbing the bike or bikes and slinging them into the back of a van, in which case it doesn't make much difference. But against the casual opportunist/errant kid... Have a QR parts and remove them - saddle, pedals?, ...


13

A few years ago in Toronto, what was probably one of the biggest bike theft busts ever happened. Igor Kenk was trading drugs for stolen bikes, and stockpiling them by the thousands. (Supposedly he was planning to corner the market post-econopocalypse or post-ecopocalypse and be a king). Anyways, you can see pictures or the thousands of bikes that he stole: ...


13

It is effective against certain kinds of bike theft, particularly if you already lock up your bike effectively every single time (which is a good assumption if you're willing to go through the trouble to uglify it). Many people swear by it. For example, LDS missionaries in Taiwan repaint their new bikes poorly as a matter of tradition. As Daniel already ...


13

You definitely do not want to bend or misalign your derailleur, so you are right not to park your bike with the rear wheel in the rack. Your only option is to use a long, thick cable or chain to thread through the rear wheel, rear triangle, front wheel and rack. Using more than one cable or chain and adding a u-lock through the rear wheel multiplies the ...


13

Cash in hand. They give you the purchase price, in cash, and it sits in your pocket while they do the test ride.


12

As for the Kryptonite, cutting one side an bending is certainly possible, but in reality if you can cut one side, you use the same tools to cut the other. The tools needed to bend the link after cutting one side are almost certainly not portable, and why would you carry two tools when one will do. In comparison to the D-lock--if you can cut though 18mm, you ...


11

In the end it might matter more WHO is around the rack (policemen, guards, janitors, public workers, parking lot workers, hot-dog stand owners, etc.) than HOW MANY people. I'd rather, when available, leave my bike under one lonely ever-present alert pair of eyes than in a crowd of anonymous passers-by.


11

I'm answering my own question because I took a combination of the steps above, plus some other steps. I took steps to make getting it back in event of theft more likely: registered the bike with the Chicago police: https://portal.chicagopolice.org/portal/page/portal/ClearPath/Online%20Services/Bike%20Registration I plan to register it with https://www....


11

There's nothing you can do if the storage area is not under constant surveillance. It can take as little as 2 minutes to grind a U-Lock. The only real solution is to keep your bike in your apartment. In the meantime, check to know how the thief was able to get in that area ? did he came via the garage door ? the front door ? Did he enter while someone ...


10

Pain in the ass, and waste of money. As of the last time I checked, you can't track them directly (there'd be no way for you to receive a signal from a battery-operated device 5mi away), so you need to sign up for a recurring monthly service. On top of that, they chew through battery pretty quickly, requiring a recharge every few days. Contrast that to ...


10

The first thing is to note that vibrant, brightly-colored objects are by nature more attention-getting, so I hope your bike is not bright red, light orange, yellow or bright green. I have noted that gray bikes are less noticeable and even hard to see in some conditions. Dark blue, dark gray, pale or dusty white, and brown are also favorable colors to make a ...


10

This isn't uncommon in our neck of the woods. If you're a light packer, taking your bike the the airport can be a huge money saver. If your airport doesn't have a bike locker, bring two trusty u-locks with you. Use one u-lock to secure your front wheel and down-tube to one pole, and the other u-lock secure your rear wheel to another pole (please, never use ...


10

I think that picking up a second bike is definitely a good approach. Not only does it allow you to not risk your more expensive bike getting stolen, but it allows you to have a bike more suitable to commuting. You can put fenders and racks on your commuting bike. Perhaps wider tires if you want something a little more comfortable. Since you are good with ...


10

I lost a few bikes to theft when I was in university. It stunk. I took to buying used bikes (probably from bike thieves). I wrapped the frame tubes of my (otherwise nice) bike in peelable masking tape, then smeared them with grease. Nobody wanted that ugly bike. It worked to prevent theft; I kept that one for many years.


10

Funny enough, the parking garage may actually be less safe than a well-exposed outside location. When I was commuting between the cities of Hamburg and Berlin I locked my (500/1000$) bikes at the train stations, sometimes for weeks. I made sure to detach and lock my front wheel together with the back wheel and frame though, on some steel pole or railing, ...


10

For the longer term, ask your employer to provide proper bike parking. The device you picture is completely unsuited to parking bikes. As you've observed, it's impossible to securely lock your bike to them. If your bike is stolen, your insurance will refuse to pay up unless it was securely locked. Parked there, it wasn't. The one shown in the photo is even ...


9

Perhaps you might swap your current quick-release skewers by one of the many "anti-theft" alternatives (listed in my perceived order of security): Pitlock (www.pitlock.com): these require a special shaped key to open. You carry the keys with you, and no thief could take the wheel. Neither yourself if you lose the damn key; Velo Orange anti-theft skewers: a ...


9

For quill stems, you can use a rubber cement to glue a ball-bearing into the socket on the stem bolt, making it so you can't get at it with an allen key. You'd obviously want to use a glue that can be removed with a solvent, so that you'd be able to do regular service.


9

Get folding handlebars so you can carry the bike up the steps into your apartment. Make room for it inside (just get rid of something else you don't really need such as an old chair, an old bookcase, an old girlfriend...).


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