Bike theft seems to be on the rise in Pgh. What about the Kryptonite NYC lock?
Anonymous 06/12/2012 at 4:40pm #
I was on my way home and did a little shopping. I locked my bike up outside of a store and went in to get what I needed. I saw an employee frantically wheeling his bike back in the store and I asked, what are you doing? He said a few black youths stole someone’s bike and tried to steal a couple others. I asked about mine and he said they tried, but didn’t rip it off. Someone gave chase and got one bike back, but not his own.
Anyone know where to get the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboutit? I was going to add that to my locks that I currently use.
Unless we start seeing a lot of U-locks being compromised, I suspect that the Fahgettaboutit is overkill for da ‘Burgh.
I could be mistaken, but I don’t recall hearing any reports of bikes being stolen locally that were secured with a standard U-lock.
I have it, but I don’t know where to get it locally. I bought it on Amazon because I didn’t see them in shops around here and was impatient. Yeah, it’s overkill, but it makes me feel better, and it’s a lot cheaper than a new bike. And it’s a good size for most locking situations (can usually fit around rack + frame + rear wheel w/o leaving extra space to wedge any evil bike-stealing tools in there). Obvious drawback: it’s not exactly light.
Edit: mr marv makes a good point below that it might not fit all bikes / locking situations well since it’s smallish. The size happens to be perfect for me — I preferred it enough that I sold my larger U-lock after I bought it — but I guess it depends on the bike and where you like to lock up.
I had the Fahgettaboutit and returned it. 1) It’s over kill in Pittsburgh. A standard U-lock USED CORRECTLY will do the job just fine. 2) it’s size, It being a min u-lock made it difficult to find racks and poles to lock the bike around. It was often too small to fit on bike and rack. If you are really nervous about loosing your wheels sometimes I do the double u-lock one on the front and back. Both locks cheeper than the NYC and also weigh less.
(Edit) There are larger sizes of NYC locks that are not the Fahgettaboutit. But still almost as strong
There was one single report of a stolen U-locked bike here, a year or two ago, but I agree that a U-lock seems more than sufficient for this area.
I don’t recall ever hearing about a cut u-Lock
+1 on correctly using U-Lock
My bike had a u-lock on it and was stolen (probably lifted over pole) Luckily however, I was able to retrieve the bike
Yesterday I saw a mountain bike on S Braddock. The quick-release front wheel was tethered to a handrail with a cable lock. D’oh!
 @hcurtis: what store & what time of day did this happen? do you know if the store employees filed a police report? If not, please consider reporting the incident(s) using the city’s on-line crime report form. http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/police/html/police_tip_form.html
Anonymous 06/12/2012 at 5:14pm #
Thanks for the replies. I probably an overkill kind of person, but my bike would be hard to replace and I just want multiple locks now. Thanks again.
This list seems a bit paranoid, but you are probably fine in pittsburgh if you:
*Use a ulock on your frame every time.
*Be sure that whatever you lock to can’t be removed from the ground easily.
*Don’t leave either of your wheels unsecured, especially if you have quick releases. You can lock your wheel with security skewers, a cable attached to your ulock, or you can use a single longer style ulock (through the frame, rear wheel, and the front wheel detached from the bike)
*If you have a nice saddle, you can protect it with a small cable or a diy bike chain ‘lock’. Even if you don’t worry much about the seat running away, Don’t use a quick release seatpost clamp, it’s just too easy to grab and go.
*Don’t leave your bike outside overnight if possible.
*Don’t ever leave your bike unlock for ‘just a second’ while you run in to a store.
*Lock your bike to something when storing indoors, especially in a garage. At least try and lock the wheels to the frame so it can’t be ridden away.
Basics from Downtown LA Cycles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aztffg1IwU&feature=player_embedded
@steven: if i recall correctly, wasn’t that u-locked bike that was stolen locked to a telephone pole stabilizing cable, which was cut? and the u-lock itself was not defeated?
For a lower-cost alternative to those Kryptonite chain locks, just stop at Home Depot and get a foot or two of high tensile truckers’ binding chain ($5 per foot at most, I think) and a higher-end padlock. I believe that for less than $20 you can have a pretty comparable chain and lock, albeit without the plastic cover to protect the bike’s paint.
It’s all about using a U-lock correctly, chains are much easier to defeat than u-locks. I don’t think the youths in question had a power saw on hand, and if they did no lock including any of the NYC locks will matter.
^@jacob mcrea, yep, and an old mtn bike tube will take care of that last bit.
if i recall correctly, wasn’t that u-locked bike that was stolen locked to a telephone pole stabilizing cable, which was cut? and the u-lock itself was not defeated?
I can’t find the thread, but in the one I’m thinking of, I don’t think the cyclist reported anything that would “exonerate” the u-lock. The claim was that the u-lock was correctly used, and both it and the bike were gone later. Of course, it’s possible the cyclist was mistaken.
Anonymous 06/12/2012 at 6:39pm #
Thanks all. Ordered the Kryptonite Forgetaboudit Mini. I am going with the LA style on the video. Hope to lock the bike during work hours and bring it in late night. Sad to have to do all that, but after a broad daylight theft in front of a bunch of people, might as well make it harder for the losers to steal.
I do think with more and more bikes on the road, there will be more and more theft in Pittsburgh. Every time they steal one, it educates them a little more on how much money can be involved if they keep stealing. There are some easy targets out there. I really got lucky with my cable only. It is a thick really good cable, but not enough.
@jacob and edmonds, nice idea. I’ll have to see what I can scour. I was thinking heat-shrink tubing, but the old tube should work. Also, you could grab some liquid-electrical tape to coat it.
Careful with the lock selection though… anything with the big arch looking thing is easily broken. I can break most apart just by using two wrenches for leverage (learned that one in the Navy).
Anonymous 06/13/2012 at 6:05am #
Okay the trend is here. Just got word that it happened again, but no success this time. They are using bikes as a lever and trying to pull them off using the bike as leverage. Amateurs of course, but if you have a chapter lock, it will probably break. They just walk by and twist/pull hard and see if they get lucky. My Krypto cable held up okay, so that tells me they are clueless. I am going to make it very difficult with multiple locks. Sure if they want to grind for a few hours, go for it. I think I may spot them and… well I feel for them at that point. I will take care of business.
One instance of bike theft does not imply “bike theft is on the rise”. Buy as many locks as you want but you’re likely no more or less safe than you were yesterday.
Anonymous 06/13/2012 at 12:19pm #
Dear God they’re coming for my bicycle.
I felt a bit overly safe when my ulock froze the other day and I couldn’t get my OWN bike.
Anonymous 06/13/2012 at 1:53pm #
various locks in the clearance section at REI. I got an OnGuard bulldog U-lock for about $20. It’s not an incredible sale but I get excited to save money on something I was going to buy anyway.
Was the bike stolen in the first post even locked?
All this hullabaloo
“I do think with more and more bikes on the road, there will be more and more theft in Pittsburgh. Every time they steal one, it educates them a little more on how much money can be involved if they keep stealing. There are some easy targets out there.”
Bike theft in Pittsburgh is nothing new. If you leave your bike unlocked, locked with a cable lock, or locked incorrectly, there’s a decent chance it might get stolen.
In the warmer months there’s an influx of new or inexperienced cyclists, many of them using insufficient locks if any at all, thus resulting in more thefts. It’s also easier to turn over a bike (sell) in the warmer months because there is a larger market for them.
Anonymous 06/13/2012 at 4:23pm #
“@hcurtis: where is this happening?”
It is happening in East Liberty. Today a low life grabbed a bike and tried to use it as a lever to break it free. The lowlife didn’t get the quick break, so he casually kept walking. I suspect the word is out that you can sometimes get lucky and it probably will continue for a while. Everyone is upgrading their locks if they have cheap ones. I got the Forgettaboudit today. It is one heavy lock and probably overkill, but they are not going to pull on that and break it. It would take some time to cut through that and I suspect it wouldn’t work out.
Anyway, I just wanted to post this incase you have a lock that is really crap, but you think it looks good enough. If it can be broken with the bike as a lever, you might want to try a different method. If you have a pretty good lock, then you should be fine.
Anonymous 06/13/2012 at 4:26pm #
“Was the bike stolen in the first post even locked?”
One bike was locked with a cheap lock that snapped. My bike was locked with a Kryptonite cable and big heavy lock. It will now be locked with a cable and U-lock. I just don’t want to have to think about it all the time. Glad my cable held up. Cables are pretty good for the tug/lever method of stealing I guess.
Anonymous 06/13/2012 at 4:29pm #
@ Pierce: I agree that went a higher end bike with a GPS gets stolen from a spot, the word gets out amongst the lowlifes and they come back to get them some. That GPS was probably pretty expensive and very easy to sell. The bike? I don’t know how easy they are to sell in our region? Seems like that might require some effort, but I don’t know. PIttsburgh isn’t huge like NYC.
I still think you’re blowing this out of proportion and extrapolating from a single data point. The class warfare you’re perpetuating doesn’t help much either.
If some POS ruins my frame trying to snap a lock with it, I’m going to be at equivalent levels of unhappiness. I guess that a heavy ass lock that appears unbreakable deters even the attempt, then that’s what you want.
Anonymous 06/13/2012 at 5:19pm #
“Class warfare”? If you steal are you not a lowlife? If an image of what a lowlife would be is conjured up in your own mind, I suspect that warfare would be of your own making, not mine.
The problem is using cable locks. It doesn’t matter who makes it or how thick the cable is, or if it’s cheep or expensive, cable locks are easily defeated.
Anonymous 06/14/2012 at 2:32am #
This seems relevant to the interests of you people:
This is outside the PNC branch in the Schenley Quad in Oakland. It would appear that two bikes were ineffectively locked, and a smart thief was able to use the accessible pieces of each bike to make a functioning ride. Of course, I don’t know if that’s what actually happened, but the aftermath doesn’t rule it out.
Ow,that picture sucks. But it would be interesting if both owners arrived at the rack at the same time.
Anonymous 06/15/2012 at 2:33am #
Blowing this out of proportion am I? I think not. Another bike gone today in East Liberty. It had a cable lock, so the pull hard technique might not be the method. Not sure. They got a taste of success. The word is out. It is escalating as I tried to tell you all. Do what you like, but I got that Forgetaboudit AND I am putting a huge chain lock on my bike with a giant lock. Might add a third. I prefer to keep my bike. Do as you will, but my bike was the only one on the rack today after the other one was stolen. It is only going to get worse now that the word is out.
“Another bike gone today in East Liberty. It had a cable lock, so the pull hard technique might not be the method. Not sure. They got a taste of success.”
How do you know this? Did you watch it happen? (In which case you should have said something). Did you come back to a rack with one fewer bike on it? (In which case you can’t prove that the owner didn’t just come back for it).
Yeah, please take your shoes off when going on a plane and let’s add more concrete flower planters to all the buildings for added safety
Dude, we always advocate for using a U-Lock, we always have. We’ve known for years and have seen repeatedly that cable locks get cut, nobody is doubting that.
As for the rest of it, I think you’re giving them too much credit. Some kids grabbed a bike. Some other dude cut a cable lock. CRIME WAVE!
What exactly is the word? That crappy locks are crappy locks or that unlocked bikes can be stolen? They’re crimes of opportunity, not bank heists
Anonymous 06/15/2012 at 12:39pm #
@Pierce Are you trying to say that stealing a bike (even it is not locked) is not a crime?
Someone in other thread was complaining that we accepted car accidents and death as fact of the life. And we’ve got lots proposals how to change society to change behavior of drivers.
Here I see that we accepted bike thievery as a fact of life and we propose bike owners to change their behavior but not to change society to reduce thievery.
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