This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 4th, 2007 at 11:53 am and is filed under Bicycle advocacy, Bicycle technology, Other YouTube vids. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Or lock it and still lose it?
At the weekend I witnessed a bike thief busting into a great number of locks. In truth, he wasn’t a thief, I’d asked him to demonstrate his lock-busting techniques for my camera.
I’m writing an article for Cycle, the CTC magazine, on how to protect your pride and joy. I’m not going to reveal any of the results here, that has to wait for the mag to come out, but I witnessed at first hand why it’s critical to ‘fill your lock’ with bits of bicycle.
If you use a shackle lock, make sure it’s a tough, short one. Get down low and lock the frame via the chainstays and bottom bracket. Use another lock to secure the front wheel.
This video from Dutch TV shows a reformed bike thief at work. He’s using simple tools and brute force.
Using similar tools I was able to replicate his results. At the weekend I was shocked at how a meaty, expensive lock with a Gold Sold Secure rating could be breached in seconds even by a weakling like me. Some other locks were impossible for me to crack, but they could be snapped by my pretend thief, who was meatier than me.
And a bottle jack takes no strength whatsoever, although I saw it defeated by the defence given above. Don’t scrimp on your bike lock. A hardened steel shackle with a shaft diameter of at least 16mm cannot be cut with street tools and offers effective protection when used defensively: don’t just secure your top-tube, that leaves too much space for a bottle jack.
The fear of bike theft is a huge disincentive to would-be bike purchasers. Actual bike theft is a huge disincentive for existing cyclists.
In today’s Daily Telegraph there’s a report about the growing problem of bike theft in China. Nobody wanted to nick Flying Pigeons but the latest breed of Chinese bikes have street value, so walk.
Up to four million bikes were stolen in China last year. To counter this, all new bicycles in Beijing will be given registration numbers from this weekend on. The numbers will be logged with the names and identity card numbers of their owners. Could a bike tax be far behind?