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Thread: Introduction, and request for tips locking in a shared bike cage

  1. #1
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    Default Introduction, and request for tips locking in a shared bike cage

    This is my second post here. My first one is over in the lost and found (re: stolen) section.

    A brief introduction: I lived and biked in St. Paul MN, Davis CA, Pittsburgh PA, and Boston MA. I cofounded a bike non-profit during my time in Pittsburgh that works to offer social and fun group bike rides, with a focus on safety, to all level of cyclists. Link for those who are interested. I look forward to meeting each of you, and joining the cycling community in Arlington.

    I moved to town a few weeks ago, and was overjoyed to learn my apartment had a locked cage in the parking garage for bikes. No more wife yelling at me for tripping over dirty bikes inside the apartment, I thought!

    In less than two weeks, my bicycle has become a unicycle. The problem I face is that there doesn't seem to be a very effective way to lock a bike in a cage like this. It isn't possible to U-lock the frame to the cage with the bike hanging on the hook. Currently, I have a u-lock around the rear wheel (the most expensive part of this particular bike), and a cable connecting the rest. I thought that within a locked cage, this would be sufficient.

    To properly secure my bikes against future theft, by my estimates, I would need at least 3 u-locks for each bike: rear wheel to cage, rear wheel to frame, front wheel to frame or cage. Just incase, I have contacted Kryptonite to see if they could cut me a deal on a bunch of locks with the same key. In total, we have three bikes, so this isn't the most efficient or economical solution. In the short term, I have purchased a set of gravity locking QR skewers (flip the bike to undo the QR), but I understand that a reasonably determined thief (which is what I seem to have on my hands) will have no trouble with these, and I don't know how well they work with the bike hanging at 90 degrees. I'm not aware if there are cameras in the garage and there are very few passersby, so theoretically someone has all the time in the world to defeat superficial security measures.

    Anyone have experience with this type of problem? Any advice?

  2. #2
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    Why not just take off the front wheel, set it next to the back wheel and run one u-lock through both wheels, the rear triangle and the cage?

    That being said, if you have a nice bike that you're worried about having stolen, keeping it in your apartment is the way to go. I also live in Ballston and our secure bike cage has been broken into and multiple (like 20!) bikes were removed all at once. You don't know who has access to the garages, and it's easy enough to piggyback on someone coming in.

    So yeah, that's why we have 6 bikes and a jogging stroller in our apartment, new mountain bike not shown:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #3
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    Unfortunately, there is no way to hang the bike up on the wall hooks and lock anything but a wheel to the cage using a u-lock. Maybe a thick chain? If I had known the cage was more useless as locking out on the street I would have opted for a larger apartment. Right now, I would need to throw away furniture to have anywhere to put a single bike, let alone 3.

    Did the management of your building do anything in response to the mass theft? 20 at once seems like it would require some amount of police investigation?

  5. #4
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    How about a locking skewer for the front wheel? I use a Pitlock skewer, but there are others.

  6. #5
    vvill's Avatar
    vvill is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    If I really had no other choice (I would probably figure out *some* way of keeping the bike in the apartment, furniture be damned), I'd get the thickest, heaviest chain lock from Kryptonite or OnGuard, and add two u-locks. Maybe even look at a bike alarm. But with a history of what sounds like quite petty theft, I wouldn't want to use the same bike cage again.

  7. #6
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    I'm sure you've tried to figure out different ways to store them in the APT, but here's some pretty cool ideas, some pricey, some less pricey:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/12-spa...rack-solutions

  8. #7
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    I was a supporter of TiGr lock kickstarter project, so I have one. http://tigrlock.com/ Itís long enough to secure frame and both wheels, at least on my bikes (which admittedly arenít particularly long-framed). Iím not really picturing how you lock your bike to the cage, so Iím not sure if you would still need another lock to secure the bike to cage or not. Theyíre pricey as heck, but probably less so than 3 high-quality u-locks per bike. As far as I know, no oneís ever tried to steal my bike, so I canít offer first-hand experience regarding theft-resistance. They have nice videos of the designers trying to break them, but they are trying to sell locks, and I am not a bike thief, so I view that with a certain amount of skepticism that I assume I donít have the expertise to judge-- make your own call on that, please. If you want to look at mine and see if itís something that might work for you, send me a pm.

    That said, I agree with vvill. If people are going to break into the cage to take a wheel, seems like theyíd just take the seat or something else removable if you make the wheels hard to get to. Doesnít sound much like somewhere Iíd want to store my bikes, regardless of the quality of locks, if I had any choice in the matter at all.

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    My apartment complex also has a locked cage, but I refuse to use it because of the risk of theft and the annoyance of having to go to parking garage when I want to ride. My wife does not like my bikes inside the apartment through. Luckily our balcony is fairly well protected from rain, so I bought a bike cover and put my bike out there. I bring it in during bad storms etc. No rust or other damage to speak of so far.

    If you have a balcony that has a roof or is well protected I would recommend looking into a bike cover. That or a less clumsy wife who looks where she is going

  10. #9
    vvill's Avatar
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    Of course, another option is to sell your bike and get a Brompton.

    When I lived in an apartment in Falls Church, I stored my bike on the balcony too. (Without a cover. It did get rusty.)

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by vvill View Post
    Of course, another option is to sell your bike and get a Brompton.

    When I lived in an apartment in Falls Church, I stored my bike on the balcony too. (Without a cover. It did get rusty.)
    I do worry about rust, but the cover does a good job of keeping moisture away. I also check it regularly for any signs of rust, in addition to making sure everything is properly lubed up.

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