Where’s my bike?
Over the past 2 weeks, several people has stopped by the shop to let us know their bike was stolen. Our first reaction is always sympathy because we have also had a bike stolen. Kristie had her brand new carbon fiber road bike stolen off the back of her the day she picked it up from getting a tune up and new bar tape. She left it strapped to the back of her car with a cable lock around it while she went into a party at an apartment in Turtle Creek for less than an hour. What she thought was a nice upscale neighborhood wasn’t so safe after all.
We have a few tips and pointers to deter a thief from taking your bike. Most of this information is based on what we hear from our customers, our own personal experiences, and blogs we have read.
- Buy a good lock and use it. How much do you love and want to keep your bike? Sure cable locks are inexpensive and are great if you can see your bike while it’s locked up, but they are the easiest locks to break. Someone only has to have cable cutters to snip it in a matter of seconds. Heavy duty U locks and thick chain locks are the best. It requires more tools to cut these locks and thieves will look past them if they don’t have much time. Most lock companies like Kryptonite, and Blackburn made attachments for you to carry them on your bike. Good locks range in price from $40-$150.
- Always, always, always lock your frame to the rack. If you have a lock that is long enough, get that front wheel in to. Even better is an extra cable that will lock in your front and back wheel. Don’t just lock your wheels to the rack because you are begging for a thief to take your frame and a frame is way more expensive to replace than a wheel. Quick release wheels are the easiest to snatch, especially the front one. Nutted wheels are a little harder, but never underestimate someone who really wants them.
- Bike thieves love apartment bike rooms and bike storage areas. Why? Because they have plenty of time to break your locks and roll your bikes right out of the room, and they can get multiple bikes.
- Bike thieves also love apartment building patios with unlocked bikes. With only a ladder they can climb up without you ever seeing them and throw your bike over. Keeping your bike outside also makes for a lot of repairs because it’s exposed to weather conditions that deteriorate the frame and components.
- If you have a bike on the back of a car, add a locking mechanism for extra protection or even better, take the bike off the rack and lock it to something that is mounted in the ground.
- All in all, keeping your bike inside where you can see it is the best way to store. If your live in a small space with limited storage, be creative in finding a cool way to store your bike. Pinterest has a lot of great ideas.
If your bike gets stolen:
- Contact the police and file a police report.
- Write down your serial number and take a picture of your bike the first day you purchase it. The police will need this information when you file a police report if your bike gets stolen. If you bought it from a bike shop, they should have it, but make sure when you purchase the bike. When you make the police report, they take your serial number and put it into their system to see if any bikes in their possession have been registered with that same number. Pawn shops are legally required to register bicycle serial numbers brought in to sell with this same system.
- Contact your insurance company if you have renters or home owners insurance and it makes financial sense if your deductible isn’t more than the cost of replacing your bike.
- Post to social media, start checking Craigslist, local pawn shops, and make flyers for local bike shops.
Good Facebook groups to post to in Dallas:
North Texas Stolen Bike Alert
Critical Mass Dallas
Bike Friendly Oak Cliff
Bike Friendly Deep Ellum
Bike Friendly Cedars
Bike Friendly Downtown Dallas
Bike Friendly Uptown
- Have a drink. Having a bike stolen can be devastating and life altering for people that use their bike as mode of transportation. While there are a lot of things you can do to prevent your bike from being stolen, we don’t live in a perfect world. Do your best to make it really hard for a thief to take your wheels.