Protecting Bionx components from theft?

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cyclepete
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Protecting Bionx components from theft?

I'll be setting up my bike soon with a Bionx kit. I'll be taking a moderately priced hybrid bike and turning it into a bicycle as expensive as many racing bikes made from Unobtainium. This is worrying me.

My bike will be secure at home and work. I bicycle to work and errands every day and in doing this for the last 15 years I have had only one bike stolen.

But I plan to continue shopping trips into Philadelphia on this bike. Philadelphia just got voted #1 in bicycle theft. We're No. 1, Yeah :-(
In Philly I always use two locks - a u-lock on the rear triangle (this actually protects the rear wheel, too, as you'd have to cut the rim to remove it) and a cable lock through the frame and front wheel. The theory is that few bike thieves carry the two sets of tools needed to remove both types of locks. I'll continue this locking procedure, although I might now put the U-lock through the rear tire. It's worth more than the bike.

But what about the battery and the control console? Is the battery lock pretty secure, at least for 10-30 minutes?

The installation video says you have to remove the screw to take the console off. Is that correct?

I don't expect any serious theft attempts on the battery or console. Your typical thief will have no idea of the value of the 350 watt-hour lithium battery. And the console looks like a large, ugly bike computer that few would want. But there is a lot of gratuitous lifting of loose components here - thieves will do things like slide your bike computer off and take it.

So I'm hoping these components are secure enough to discourage this sort of thing. I might use a special screw for the console that requires a special tool to remove. And I DO plan to notify my home insurance of this kit, take pictures of the bicycle with the kit on it, and keep the purchase documentation, so I'll at least be covered by my insurance. But I'd rather avoid the hassle.

Anyway, any advise by the more experienced here would be appreciated.

deronmoped
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Re: Protecting Bionx components from theft?

It would be interesting to know the profile of bicycle thieves. Are they stealing bikes to resell them, are they stealing bikes to use them or parts off of them for their bikes? It may help if you know what they are after, that way you could make the bike less attractive to the thieves.

Probably the best protection for a bike is to lock it up in a high traffic area, I would guess most bikes are stolen when there is no one around to see who the thief is. I try to lock up my bike next to a window if possible. This way people can look out and see it, the thief has no way of knowing if the owner could be watching them.

Deron.

dogman
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Re: Protecting Bionx components from theft?

It's a real problem. Years ago a friend lost 3 shiny new honda 650's in less than 6 months. The fourth one he poured motor oil all over it and rode it up a sandy wash. He rode that bike 10 years and never washed anything but the chain. After awhile, he left the keys in it at the bar parking lot. Other bikes parked next to his would get stole. If I had to park my ride in a vulnerable spot, it would really look like junk.

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andrew
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Re: Protecting Bionx components from theft?

That's unfortunately true. The only way to protect from theft 100% is to not have anything desirable. If you wouldn't care if it is stolen then it'll probably be fine.

Parking in a high traffic area doesn't help much if at all. I had my bicycle stolen from my university a few years ago. Judging from the traffic of people around that area, there were probably 5 people who watched my bicycle get stolen, and they probably didn't even know what was going on. And even if they did, they wouldn't have done anything. It was an easy theft though because I was using a cable lock. These take about 1 second to cut, and small cable cutters can be easily concealed. In any case, the right tools to break a U-lock are not hard to get if a little more expensive. With the right tools, you could cut one in probably less then 10 seconds, and even if there are people around, they really just don't care.

I kept my bicycle really nice looking and clean. It had a few upgrades. Both increased the resale value. These thieves want money, and how the bicycle looks is going to factory heavily in the how much someone would buy it for.

If you really want to prevent theft, then here are some good, if inconvenient options. Always lock the bicycle with a U-lock if unattended in any case:
1. Take the bike inside wherever. There are camerias inside buildings, and someone would be more reluctant to steal a bicycle from inside a store. Again, lock it to something if you leave it anyplace inside though.
2. Take the front wheel in with you. This is annoying to do, but this will reduce the chances of bicycle theft considerably. It takes time to lift a front wheel from a nearby bicycle to use, which would make a bicycle with a front wheel much more desirable. Bicycle thieves want to get it done as quickly as possible.
3. Make your bicycle look very ugly. This will lower the re-sale value. People don't steal bicycles to ride them but to sell them.
4. Just a thought: Maybe there is a bicycle design with removable pedals? This would make it impossible to ride the bicycle away, and it's highly doubtful that a thief would walk the bicycle away.
5. Tracking device. Very expensive, and needs to be concealed somehow.

And unfortunately, this is the most logical one:
6. Don't leave any bicycle anyplace without expecting it to get stolen. If it is a nice bicycle then it's really only a matter of time, especially in a high-theft area. Try anything to make it less desirable and increase the average time that it will sit without getting stolen. Also, try and park near more desirable bicycles. If there is a nicer bicycle for example, with a smaller lock or cable lock, then park near it.

Bicycles are very easy to steal because there is no way to track them. I think it's also a misdemeanor.

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andrew
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Re: Protecting Bionx components from theft?

There's another important point I didn't mention:
7. Engrave your name and any contact information such as phone number on all parts of the bicycle. This will drastically reduce the resale value. I wouldn't think any bicycle shop would want to take it. Also, since bicycles can be parted out, then this will reduce the value of all of the individual parts of the bicycle.

Think of the circumstances: "Why does that seat post have someone's name and phone number on it?". And, it opens up the possibility of tracking if the bicycle is stolen, possibly even to allow prosecuting the thief.

That's a great way to make it less desirable, but it will also lower it's value if you plan to sell it (which is the idea), so keep that in mind.

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cyclepete
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Re: Protecting Bionx components from theft?

But how secure are the Bionx battery locked to the waterbottle mount and the console? At least to causal theft?

Does the battery lock really work - would it take significant prying to remove it? What about the console - do you have to remove the mounting screw to take it off?

Dennis
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Re: Protecting Bionx components from theft?

The console can be removed with a phillips screw driver. The battery lock works well. The mounting screws can not be accessed with the battery locked to the frame. But if someone tries to force it off, they will bend the mounting screws and may possibly damage the bike frame. I know the screw bending part from experience since I have dropped my bike a few times and each time the mounting screws were bent and had to be replaced.

cyclepete
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Re: Protecting Bionx components from theft?

Thanks Dennis - that's the info I was looking for.

BTW - very much enjoyed your Bionx reviews. I'm getting the same kit as yours, but just one battery. Can you offer any tips for new users?

Alias
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Re: Protecting Bionx components from theft?

deronmoped wrote

It would be interesting to know the profile of bicycle thieves.

A lot of the profiles of bicycle thieves is for drug money, or for whatever they are desparate for.
They will sell your bike as whole or in parts.
Bicycle theft is also a common misdemeanor.
Misdemeanor's are any petty crimes that are under $1,000 fine punishable up to one year of jail time.
(That is if they are caught)
It takes about 30 seconds for a crook to break in and steal something.
Once they have broken in (once) they already know what you have, and can come back a second time.

chas_stevenson
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Re: Protecting Bionx components from theft?

Once they have broken in (once) they already know what you have, and can come back a second time.

This is very true, and it happened to me once but the second time I had an alarm installed and the police made the arrest.

Grandpa Chas S.

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Re: Protecting Bionx components from theft?

That makes most e bikes no misdemeanor. But as my fried who works at the jais says, " They aren't here for being smart."

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Alias
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Re: Protecting Bionx components from theft?

dogman wrote

That makes most e bikes no misdemeanor. But as my fried who works at the jais says, " They aren't here for being smart."

I agree with you on this one as well. A lot of folks out there who own bicycles
also do not properly secure them. Meaning they either put cheap locking devices on them, and they don't know how to secure it properly. Or I see a lot of folks who just don't secure it at all, and leave it out in the open.
So then we (I) (ie; police, security)get phone calls of "oh my bicycle has been stolen while I was on vacation."
That was one of the calls I received today. Well unfortunately I hate to say that it's
your own fault for leaving it outside. He didn't seem to concerned because it was a cheap bicycle. Anyway-

This is the kind of neglegence that I have to deal with, with the type of folks who do not secure their own personal valuables. Then they call police, security.

Alias
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Re: Protecting Bionx components from theft?

Chas wrote

This is very true, and it happened to me once but the second time I had an alarm installed and the police made the arrest.

It is true, in fact; it is very common for burglars to hit a second time, a third time, and until everything is gone. It happened to me also, however I would have put an alarm system on the house a long time ago before it happened (prevention)
(If I were the homeowner, but i'm not.)Even though, I have told the homeowner several times to put an alarm system on the house.

You cannot always get folks to listen to simple advice especially when it concerns with prevention & deterrence. (people are gonna do what they wanna do, and how they do it)

LinkOfHyrule
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Re: Protecting Bionx components from theft?

Might wanna get some of those wierd clip pedals. The kind you need special shoes to work. I dunno.

I don't even have a chain on my bike, since I have a front hub with no sprocket mounted in the rear. If I see someone trying to steal it I'm going to laugh when they figure out they'd have to carry it, which isn't easy since the motor makes it much heavier and lopsided. :P

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swbluto
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Re: Protecting Bionx components from theft?

Sheldon Brown(the famed online cyclist) suggested a "Kryptonite Mini" U-lock and to use the rear-wheel+back-frame trick and the Kryponite website also advises positioning the key-lock entry downwards and keeping the lock away from the ground(Shouldn't be hard if you're attaching it to the rear-frame and rear-wheel), and Mr.Brown also suggested a cable to secure the rest(Although a heavy-duty chain would be significantly better, but they apparently weigh a ton but that shouldn't be undoable if your e-bike weighs a ton already). Also, I think an excellent way to protect your investment is to have some sort of "Bike alarm"; Honestly, most thieves don't expect alarms and hearing one go off would surely scare away most and, I'd imagine, usually lead to the arrest of those riding the bike away from the crime scene. To the more sophisticated thieves, concealing the alarm well while trying to prevent it from being readily disabled should help.(I've never used an alarm, but they sound like they'd be pretty effective in theory if used correctly in conjunction with other theft-deterrence measures.) Also, a greater quantity of locks(if you're so concerned) should increase the expected time to remove the locks and should deter a greater percentage of thieves.

Also, most noteworthy U-locks aren't removable in the span of 10-seconds otherwise I can't imagine Kryptonite would offer "money-guarantees" of upwards of 1000's of dollars to New-Yorkers and I'm sure Stanford's U-Lock removal program would take less than 10 minutes. As towards Philadeliphia's recent rise to the top, according to http://unbreakable-bonds.blogspot.com/2008/05/top-10-shocker.html , I'm sure that their explanation of many new inexperienced bikers in the area having joined bicycling due to the gas-price raise is a pretty accurate reason as to Philadelphia's recent ascent to the Bike-theft cities list's apex, not so much as a suggestion that the Philadelphia's bike thieves' skills and determination have significantly increased(Although, significantly more skilled bike-thieves could've immigrated to take advantage of the bounding opportunity). Of course, most could argue that New York should still be at the top, assuming just as many NEW people embraced biking, but it could be that many Philadelphites weren't biking to begin with(Whereas New York might have originally had a comparatively sizable biking population) and/or Philadelphia's environment was more conducive to n00bs commuting-via-bikes than New York and thus joining the biking ranks, which isn't terribly hard to believe.

Alias
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Re: Protecting Bionx components from theft?

First off, the U-lock is an excellent idea of protecting your bike in an outside area
(especially if you do not have any other place to store your way of transportation).

Secondly, chains (even the heavy cable plastic covered ones) can be "clipped" off from your bikes.

Thirdly, but most importantly of deterrance from thieves is PREVENTION.
Depending on your living "quarters" and what you have, you need to take the responsibility of storing your items
ie; bikes any other valuables (if you want to keep them). What I mean is; don't leave your bicycle hanging on the bike rack with a cheap covered chain lock while you are away from vacation, then to only come back and find that it has been stolen (as well with the chain).
In other words, take your bikes in-doors or in secured garages. (out of sight out of mind theory).
A lot of thefts occur because people do not take responsibility in securing their items with the way that they leave them hanging around in public view.

I would like to ad that alarms might not do you any good if they do not have a gps monitoring device attached to the alarm system, if you plan to be that technical. I wonder if they have these types of bike alarm systems out yet?? It would be a practical idea if you wanted to use an alarm for an expensive bike,
to also have a key-chain monitor system. So that if you are constantly away from your bike while it's locked up
and the alarm goes off, your key chain will also go off indicate a warning.

You mentioned the Stanford area, if you mean Stanford Palo Alto California, I work there as a supervisor,
and I experience a lot of bicycle theft for the above reasons.
There are folks out there who leave their bicycles, scooters (whatever) lying around right outside their doors, unsecured for people
(even neighbors, yes it's true) to take and steal. I also experience a lot of vehicle break-ins,
because people leave their $600 GPS systems or Ipods, bags etc, in plain view, even though their vehicle is locked.
If people do not take responsibility in protecting their valuables etc, they will always wonder why they are victims of thefts.
Don't be a victim

LinkOfHyrule
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Re: Protecting Bionx components from theft?

I would like to ad that alarms might not do you any good if they do not have a gps monitoring device attached to the alarm system, if you plan to be that echnical. I wonder if they have these types of bike alarm systems out yet?? It would be a practical idea if you wanted to use an alarm for an expensive bike, to also have a key-chain monitor system. So that if you are constantly away from your bike while it's locked up and the alarm goes off, your key chain will also go off indicate a warning.

COMPLETE MOTORCYLE ALARM WITH PAGER

It's loud, and the keychain lets you know when it's going off. Think you'll need a DC/DC to run it, though.

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Alias
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Re: Protecting Bionx components from theft?

Thanks for the link (LinkOfHyrule), that could be a good deterrent.

gbbaker
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Re: Protecting Bionx components from theft?

I'm going to be getting a commuter swiss TX or LX folding bike from amazon.com either this paycheck or next
http://www.amazon.com/SwissBike-Aluminum-Folding-Mountain-_Silver/dp/B001IJ2RKI/ref=acc_glance_sg_ai_-2_1_img

then later (2 months from now) adding a PL500 Bionx kit from electric cyclery.
http://www.greenspeed.us/bionx_500_lithium_battery.htm
I'll probably take the train down there and get them to install it so it all works right.

You can see both of them assembled sold as a whole here.
http://www.greenspeed.us/bionx_montague_electric_bikes.htm
(I see a guy on Cragislist now selling one for 1990 obo but it is pl350)

What I plan on doing is getting this from lojack
http://www.reuniteit.com/store/view_product.aspx?prodID=359
and probably a seperate reuniteit property tag for the battery unit.

I'll get this combo alarmlock set from Electric cyclery since it is freeze proof/resistent
http://www.greenspeed.us/bike_alarm_lock.htm
so an alarm goes off if they start cutting the cable and are successful and pick it up and cary it away.
then they'll still have have to get rid of the front tire with the disc brake lock on it.

I will also get this Ulock that pages me if the bike is moved
http://www.amazon.com/Bully-Alarm-Lock-Pager-Black/dp/B001VB8V7G/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1245012158&sr=1-8

I'm going to paint both tire spokes and rims with this new invention, strong transparent all night glow paint
http://www.glopaint.com/24orders.htm (bottom of page)

example of how it will look on bike tires
http://www.glopaint.com/PhotoGallery.htm
so they won't be able to hide when I come running out of the store or house at night

In the meantime I will be looking for a remotely activated paint bomb and possibly a mini motion activated camera that i can view from my Nokia N97 that I can stick on the bike.
anyone know where i can get them? Nevermind I'll google it.

So I figure
scenerio
1a) it's nighttime and I am in a mall or home depot or something like that and the pager goes off and it's going to take me 1 to 3.5 minutes to run to the bike and confirm someone is actually stealing it. Turn the camera on, if no camera run to the bike, if not being stolen everything is ok.

1b) Someone tried to steal it and got scared when the alarms went off. OK

1c) They have successfully cut both locks and the alarms are going off and they have or have not thrown off the front tire and are running with my bike. They will be glowing and making noise or just glowing. Either way I'm running after them and if i have a remotely activated paint bomb I'm activating it and I'll probably have the bomb be a transparent bottle of glowpaint too ha ha. and I will be hurting him when I get to him as theft of my stuff I take very very personally so I will be sure to grab the nearest hard object I can swing since he most likely will have one too.

1d) I'm at home. Its a folding bike, It's not going outside.

I will probably be taking it inside a mall or store after folding it up and sticking it in a shopping cart anyways so probably I will never have to deal with any of this.
But I worry if the bully pager lock will malfunction if they spray neon on it.

Any other tricks anyone can think of?

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