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Bicycle Theft Deterrents

Here is some theft deterrent advice from New York City. The two locks mentioned have not been broken in NYC, yet. The Quadra Chain has been around for a couple years while the NY Lock just came out, in early '94. The text which follows is an edited excerpt of previous correspondence. I saved it because this is a frequently asked question.

> How does the Kryptonite New York Lock
> stack up against my trusty old K-Plus? What are the improvements to
> prevent breakage? Is it any relation to the K-Rock? 
The width of the U shackle is narrower but is made of thicker metal like the Rock Lock. These locks WORK! Some friends of mine weren't able to break it during a test.

> As for the Quad, do you happen to have the distributor's name (and a 
> number if possible)? It sounds like something I should look into.
St. Pierre Manufacturing, Corp
Worcester, MA


An update on the St Pierre Locks.  Their chains are fine.  The locking mechanism
has proven faulty to an attack on the cylinder.  Kryptonite makes a small
motorcycle disk brake lock.  If you have a Quadra Chain with a Pierre lock,
keep the chain and get the Kryptonite lock.  If you're just starting out,
you can buy the chain and lock set put out by Kryptonite.

> I currently use > two locks together (the K-Plus and a heavy-duty cable lock), on the > recommendation of local police, who say that thieves usually come > equipped to deal with one type of lock or another, and will usually > pass by a double-locked bike in favour of an easier target.

Good advice. A cable is pretty easy to cut though, a bit of time with a wire cutter will do it. Chains are far better.

My best deterrents are engraving every component of the bike with my name and the words "Never For Sale" all over it. It makes it harder to sell. Plus my bike looks like a piece of junk. I stripped off the paint and let it rust a bit. I grease it to keep the rust from pitting. A patina is okay, but the orange flaky stuff will eat through the steel pretty fast. I also put grease on my hubs to attract dirt... adding to the grunge look. My seatpost and seat quick release lever are covered with an old pair of bike shorts plus my headset is covered with strips of cloth, keeping the shiny parts hidden. Plus, I have front and rear panniers and a milk crate on the rear, keeping things further covered. The panniers are home made and look ugly too.

It all works. Nothing's been stolen in six years, knock on wood.


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Last updated: 7 April 1999