Too Expensive to Lock

The other day there was an email going around regarding some local bike advocacy meetings happening at a near by college. The email distribution list is huge and what it basically does is ask people to show up to city council meetings, lectures and the like.

On the day of the meeting, one of the people on the mailing list was venting because he had to pay the $15 parking fee at the college. Some asked in response, “Why not ride your bike rather than drive your car?” He replied by saying, “It’s a $1600 bike, I don’t want to leave it on the bike rack with a lock…”

So here’s what I’m thinking, and stick with me on this until the end. But many bike commuters out there will typically ride bikes that don’t exceed the value of a few hundred dollars. Years ago we took a survey asking our readers how much are they willing to pay for a commuter bike, the answer was around $550. I don’t know about you, but for me, I’d rather ride a $500 bike and lock it up on a rack rather than taking my $3000 bike. Why? Well, for the same reason why that guy didn’t want to leave his $1600 bike…thieves.

This brings me to the next point, why would you buy/ride a $1600 commuter bike. I guess there’s a few schools of thought on this, one would be the minimalist who can ride a converted mountain bike as a commuter bike. Two, the guy that wants to spend money on internal geared hubs, leather saddles and etc. Finally three, the roadie/cyclocross commuter who wants to get there fast.

I’m not here to judge what kind of bike you ride and how much you spent on it, but I’m curious to know for the folks who have spent some good coin on their bicycle investment, aren’t you worried about it getting stolen?


58 Comments

  1. Gary April 12, 2011 9:15 am 

    Despite disadvantages (like occasional boredom and lack of bike facilities) this is one reason I like leaving in a small, mid-west town of 14,000. Bicycles do get lifted here, but very infrequently and the more your bike stands out, the less likely it is to be lifted.

  2. Dylan April 12, 2011 9:18 am 

    Why not have 2 bikes. The expensive one and the cheap one for occasions when you need to lock it to the rack? If you can afford the $1600 bike, can’t you afford another one for $300?

  3. Jason April 12, 2011 9:20 am 

    I have 2 bikes, one is my trail/commuter bike valued at about $600 and the other is my $1500 road bike. I worry about the road bike getting stolen, even if it is locked up, so I rarely take it out for casual trips. I don’t worry much about the trail/commuter bike because I always park it in well lit areas with a quality cable lock (that is actually designed for motorcycles). The road bike rarely gets parked anywhere except my garage. You wouldn’t believe the looks I get while carrying my bike into a diner for lunch! hehehe

  4. JLB April 12, 2011 9:36 am 

    Great topic. This is a difficult question for some.

    I commute on a $1500 road bike. Why? Because my ride is 12 miles each way and the route includes hills. It is much easier on a road bike with nice components. I wouldn’t ride my road bike, however, if my commute were shorter or if I couldn’t lock it in a secure garage w/ video surveillance. I would never lock a $1500 bike on the street.

    For shorter trips, I have a $400, steel frame, single speed bike.

  5. Tony Bullard April 12, 2011 9:37 am 

    I own 1 bike. It’s a $1200 Bianchi Cyclocross bike. 99% or the riding I do is commuting. I don’t understand the point of buying a cheap bike if it’s what you’re going to ride the most. I don;t have to lock my bike much, so I avoid the issue for the most part. But if I bought a cheap commuter bike, the bike I actually love would never get ridden.

  6. sally April 12, 2011 9:38 am 

    Commuting on expensive bikes is fine if your employer provides secure indoor parking. No way would I park a $1600 bike all day on a public street, no matter how fancy the lock.

    A nice bike can be more comfortable if you have a longer commute (half an hour or more). A more comfortable ride means you are more likely to do it that jump in the car on a cold morning.

  7. FauxPorteur April 12, 2011 9:51 am 

    Its not just about a $1500+ being a theft risk, its about what type of $1500+ bike it is. If its a carbon road bike with “aero” rims and STI levers, or a dual-suspension ATB its a lot more likely to be stolen than a cro-mo framed, Alfine hub’d, upright bar’d, befendered and beracked bike.

    So by riding a non-sport bike you are a lot less likely to have your bike stolen. Now on to protecting what you actually have.

    First step, STOP USING CABLE LOCKS! Even the most expensive, thickest, highest-rated ones can be bypassed with tools that fit in a jacket pocket in less than one-minute. I work in a bike shop and have to cut locks that are stuck on bikes all the time, and I don’t even charge for it because it takes so little time.

    Start using solid U-locks, they might be a tiny heavier/less convenient, but they do the job. The trick is using them EVERYTIME. Seems like 90% of the bikes I hear about getting stolen in Portland were in some sort of malfunctioning forcefield (on a porch, backyard, garage, “private business hallway”, etc).

    Even the $24 Kryptonite Keeper lock is superior to the most expensive cable lock.

    The next step, secure your wheels. It baffles me that quick-release wheels come stock on just about every decent bike whether its for sport use or not. Get replacement skewers, either the simple hex-head ones ($15-$20) or the security hex-head ones ($16-$25) or the high-security unique-key ones ($40-$60). Do it.

    Then, just be smart about where you lock, lock with other bikes, and try to use a better lock than the bike next to you that is nicer than yours .

  8. Scott April 12, 2011 9:55 am 

    My ride’s worth around $1200 – but I’m a bike geek and can bring it up the elevator to our floor in the office. I get satisfaction out of the technology as much as the singing birds on my commute (I ride 4 days of 5 to work.) It makes me nerd-happy, so I ride more.

    For those of you who own a nice bike, ask your insurance company for a “personal articles” policy on the bike. You’ll spend around $70-80/year for a $1500 bike, or, around 1.5 tanks of gas at recent rates… If the bike is stolen, new ride coming your way.

  9. Scott April 12, 2011 9:58 am 

    Agreed with @FauxPorteur about cable locks and keyed skewers – I picked up a series 2 Kryptonite for around $30 on Amazon that I carry in a pannier. I have my seat lashed with a small cable also.

  10. Graham April 12, 2011 10:03 am 

    My commuter bike isn’t 1600, it’s a Trek Soho DLX, paid 1300 Cnd for it. I was paying for maintenance free convenience as I’m a lazy cyclist, unfortunately I still haven’t found a maintenance free bike.

    And no I’m not too worried about it getting stolen. It happens, but my work and neighbourhood is pretty safe. I have had two bikes stolen in the past, but to me I’d be worried if I spent 8K on a bike and was then locking it up. In fact I’d have a vault in my basement :)

    (here’s my review of the dlx soho bike that doesn’t live up to it’s hype – http://waterloobikes.ca/2010/12/20/review-trek-soho-dlx-fail/)

  11. Pete April 12, 2011 10:13 am 

    I have a friend who says “I wouldn’t want to ride a bike that I wouldn’t mind having stolen.” In fact, there are some really decent bikes available today in the $500 range, and of course there are tons of old MTB’s and first-gen hybrids that you can buy and upgrade for maybe half that.
    If you have secure indoor parking, go ahead and ride your Serotta. And, BTW, why doesn’t anyone worry about locking a $20k car outside?

  12. Mike Myers April 12, 2011 10:22 am 

    My main commuter is a $3500 Gunnar with a Brooks and Carradice bags. It goes from my home to the office. I don’t even do errands on it. It’s not that I worry about it being stolen, because I have a good U-lock. I don’t want to chip the paint by leaning it against a rack. I use my Bridgestone XO-2 for that.

  13. Michael 60647 April 12, 2011 10:29 am 

    Nobody seems to care about parking their $25,000 car that has $50.00 locks.

    Buy the bike you like to ride, and ride it.

  14. Ben April 12, 2011 10:36 am 

    I have one complete bike, a Surly LHT, which is worth about $1,400 or so with the upgrades I’ve done. I’m building another dedicated all-weather commuter that will cost over $2,200 when done. I don’t worry about my bikes because they come into my secured office with me, and sit a few cubes away.

    I am particular about my bikes and doubt I would be happy commuting my 12 miles to work (one way) with a beater bike. Although I used to have a much shorter (1 mile) commute and rode a $300 bike happily.

  15. Bob P. April 12, 2011 10:51 am 

    I ride a Gary Fisher Simple City 8. My company allows me to keep it in the office. I have a garage at home. When I go to town to shop, I feel safe with just a simple cable lock. I chose this bike for the internal hub, and upright comfortable ride – as opposed to a mountain bike with an upright uncomfortable ride.

    I wouldn’t spend more than $1,200 on any bike.

  16. BluesCat April 12, 2011 11:00 am 

    My main commuter is a Sun EZ-Sport which retails for around $1,000. With the rack, panniers, rack bag, wireless computer, GPS, lights, etc., etc., it is probably worth over $1,500.

    My backup commuter is a converted Giant Yukon MTB which — with the lights, rack, handlebar bag, seat bag, wireless computer, Brooks saddle, etc. — is probably worth in the $700 range. I am never more than ten steps away from this bike when I am out with it for a ride other than my work commute.

    When I commute to work, on either the Sun or the Giant, I park them in a locked conference room at work, and in my living room at home.

    I have a stripped-down Specialized Hardrock MTB that I bought for my son for less than $300, and which he re-gifted back to me several years later. It is my grocery getter, and the only bike I leave parked and locked in a rack. Even then, I make sure the greeter at the store, or the security guard, know me and know that I have ridden the bike that day.

  17. karen April 12, 2011 11:07 am 

    I consider my Breezer a pricey bike but it was worth it because it came with just about everything I need and it’s never a hassle. I don’t worry about it being stolen. I always lock up (double)and leave it in pretty visible places, close to where I plan to be and I never leave it at a rack overnight. I’m considering upgrading to a still higher quality commuter bike that, if I purchase, will be the last one I ever buy. When we first starting bike commuting, my husband bought a really inexpensive bike at Target because he didn’t want to worry about it being stolen. He had to purchase a lot of accessories to make it work friendly and after about a year he had many maintenance issues, sometimes occurring at inconvenient times. He’s sense upgrades to a Breezer and enjoys pedaling much more.

  18. Matt April 12, 2011 11:32 am 

    My commuter would probably cost around $900 to replace (please note it’s not actually WORTH $900…). I’m fine with that given where I ride. If I rode in sketchy city areas and didn’t have a secure place to park it, I’d probably try to assemble a similar rig, but from used parts instead of buying new.

  19. Steve A April 12, 2011 11:53 am 

    Four: The cross commuter that now has a shorter commute than when he bought the bike 10000 miles ago.

  20. Rob E. April 12, 2011 12:06 pm 

    I agree with FauxPorteur that it also depends on what kind of bike you have. I built mine up from the frame, and didn’t really track how much I spent on it. Maybe not $1600, but probably more then $1000. I worry about it getting stolen, but I also know that a steel-framed bike with racks, fenders, upright bars, and chunky hubs does not look like a “high end” bike. It’s probably not going to attract attention for someone wanting something easy to flip or easy to speed off on. I use a U-Lock and a ring lock at work. If I’m making shorter stops where I feel my bike is safer, I might just bring a cable lock.

    I have a 2nd, cheaper bike that I sometimes commute on. It’s certainly true that I could commute on it full time, but then if wasn’t going to ride my more expensive bike, then why did I buy it? I could ride my old, cheaper bike every day, and save my other bike for weekends, but I doubt I’d have spent that much money on a bike just for the odd weekend ride. Plus, bikes get stolen on the weekend, too. I’d just as soon get as much use and enjoyment out of my bike as possible while I have it. There will plenty of time to ride my cheap bike if someone does steal the other one.

  21. Charles Miles April 12, 2011 12:42 pm 

    I agree with Michael 60647 – I see many cars parked in public that I am sure are worth more $1500 – is a well locked bike in a reasonable location actually any more likely to be stolen than a car? Maybe this is not a reasonable fear – I know people who have had both cars and bikes stolen but know only a few of both…

  22. Doug Jesseph April 12, 2011 1:06 pm 

    I commute on a ‘cross bike: a Surly Crosscheck, now domesticated with a rack, fenders, and lights. But my office is big enough that I just bring it inside with me, so there’s never an issue about locking.

  23. PhilGE April 12, 2011 1:32 pm 

    I ride a Trek 4300 converted into an Xtracycle. I’d guess I have about $1000 to $1200 with lights and child seat. I live in a small city and anyone who stole it would stand out like a sore thumb ’cause everyone would know they took it from our family! I park it in our neighbor’s/shared garage at home and in a bike and buggy shed at my work (large Amish pop.). I don’t worry about it being stolen, but secure it with a cable lock. I do take off lights at grocery stores and the likes (had one light literally ripped off the handle bars).

    Here’s an old photo of the bike/buggy shed:
    http://bikewhenyoucan.blogspot.com/2008/05/culture.html

  24. Shanyn Money April 12, 2011 1:40 pm 

    I bought a Kryptonite New York lock and registered my bike with it. Kryptonite will insure you against bike theft (provided the lock is used correctly) for up to $3000. I have a good bike (http://oak.ucc.nau.edu/sam86/Breezer.htm) and I want to ride it!

  25. Robert Baxter April 12, 2011 1:58 pm 

    When I get to where I’m going I just fold my Brompton and take it with me. It never leaves my side.

  26. Jeremy April 12, 2011 2:28 pm 

    I’ll admit, when it’s nice enough I break out the $3K bike. But it’s a hand-me-down from the in-laws after they upgraded. And there’s indoor parking available. And if I’m parking outside it’s back to the $200 junker. But man, those nice days on the smoother biker sure are more fun.

  27. BSR April 12, 2011 2:42 pm 

    I probably have about $3k into my Rivendell Atlantis. I commute, run errands, and generally leave it all over town. I used to leave it 8-hours in the garage of my employer. Now that I freelance, most lockup times are 3 or less hours.

    I use several techniques to keep it from riding away and so far (to my knowledge) over three years, nobody has attempted to mess with it.

    I have Pitlock locking skewers and also have one on the seatpost to keep the Brooks safe. I remove my computer and the contents of my saddlebag so my tools stay with me. I use an Abus Granite u-lock (best I could find 3 years ago) religiously.

    I also do my best to keep the bike a) where I can check on it from time-to-time and b) in a high-visibility high-traffic area where cutting the lock (or what it’s locked to) would be fairly conspicuous.

    So far all that is working. I might end up with a stolen bike someday, but I can sleep well at night knowing I’m doing what I can to keep it safe. Keeping it garaged so it doesn’t get molested isn’t my idea of “using” the bike, so what’s the point of having one if you just keep it stashed away? That would make me a collector, not a commuter.

  28. Iron_Man April 12, 2011 3:08 pm 

    My bike comes inside the office with me, so thievery never enters the equation. I will carry a lock if I’m making a pit stop on the way home or riding somewhere other than work and then I’m as paranoid as they get. But I don’t live in a high bike theft area, so my paranoia gets less severe. I won’t, however purchase an expensive commuter unless the expense has gone into making the thing absolutely weatherproof. I ride year round and pricey bikes get eaten up by the salt and grime just as quickly as the cheaper ones. I save the pricey bike purchases for my weekend club ride, not the commuter. But it’s still pricier than what my parents would pay for a bicycle, so….

  29. Dan April 12, 2011 4:59 pm 

    When I bought my first real bike, that $400 was a lot of money. Now 12 years later, I’ve spent much more than that on another bicycle, but that $400 is still my primary commuter bike. I’m not worried about locking it up about anywhere on the campus where I work. Best money I ever spent.

  30. Paul in Minneapolis April 12, 2011 6:31 pm 

    All of my bikes started out any where from free to over $400 for a frame. By the time they are usefull commuters I have around 2k in each. These bikes are my only transportation and I need them to be reliable, legal, and usefull. They do have locking skewers for wheels and setpost, rear wheel lock (Dutch lock) then a good u-lock and a thick cable and a small pad lock in the chain ring and chain and the I use parking common sense (try to park next to a real nice looking bike). I’m looking for a pad lock that I can lock the crank arm to the frame. Oh yeah, they look dirty and lots of bike shop stickers on them. Still 2k is much cheaper then a reliable car..

  31. FauxPorteur April 12, 2011 7:01 pm 

    Something to know about Kryptonite’s “anti theft offer”.

    You have register the lock within 15 days of purchase.

    You have to have the receipt or an official appraisal of your bicycle when you register.

    In the event of a theft you have to provide the broken lock. I’ve heard of literally hundreds of stolen bikes and I’ve only heard of the thief leaving the bypassed lock behind twice.

    The free registration to the program only lasts kne year, extending it to three years costs $15. I don’t know if it can be extended any later.

    So, to collect on this offer you must:

    Have the foresight and money to preregister and have the purchase information of your bicycle.

    Have your bicycle stolen by a thief that likes to leave evidence behind within the time limits Kryptonite laid out.

    Get a police report and insurance claim and get In contact with Kryptonite as soon as possible.

    In my 10+ years in the bike industry I’ve never heard of a single person collecting a dime from Kryptonite.

    That being said, I use a Kryptonite lock and think they are amongst the finest on the market. Just don’t base your purchase decision on their “anti theft offer” and more importantly don’t let a salesperson use that as a bullet point.

  32. Jon Karak April 12, 2011 7:16 pm 

    I’ve had three bikes stolen, and none of them involved a cut lock.

    I don’t know many other riders who will admit this, but I get a bit “dopey” when I ride. (I believe it has something to do with blood in the legs versus blood in the brain.) As a result, in one instance I simply forgot to lock my bike, and my nice shiny Raleigh M-80 was gone in 10 minutes.

    The best theft prevention is a lock that is locked. But since I know I am liable to forget once in a while, I’ve worked on some secondary techniques to prevent my bike from being stolen.

    1) Never remove your helmet until the bike is locked. I’ve caught myself a couple of times this way, and since I’ve been doing it, I’ve been theft-free for over 10 years.

    2) This doesn’t appeal to everyone, but I’ve found the best theft deterrent is a bike that doesn’t appear worth stealing. Tie a dirty sock to your bike. Wrap electrical tape around random components. Empty a can of spray paint. Use bumper-stickers. It can be a bit drastic, but it is effective.

  33. burnhamish April 13, 2011 2:37 am 

    I ride a Specialized Tricross primarily, and my trusty Specialized Rock Combo when I want a change. My last commute was 19 miles to work, my next commute after I move to the Chicago area is likely to be 16-19 miles to my workplace. Although brining my bike into the office is not an option, My jobs are at large corporations in the ‘burbs, so if someone were to lift my bike, it would be a coworker, and he/she would likely be caught on tape. Nevertheless, I lock up with a heavy cable, but I would like to get a Kryptonite NY Chain and another U-lock for errands, once I move to my new town.

  34. Raiyn April 13, 2011 2:49 am 

    Gotta say FauxPorteur is making a LOT of sense especially on his anti cable lock stance. I’ve said for years that cables are SECONDARY locks and that a good U-lock is your best bet as a primary lock.
    This guy’s site has the best locking ideas: http://www.mechbgon.com/lock/index.html

    On a related side note: I’ve been accused of being a Kryptonite shill before as I use them exclusively for my bike locking needs, but it ain’t the warranty that sold me, it was how they handled “Bic Gate”.

  35. MelissaTheRagamuffin April 13, 2011 4:02 am 

    My office is in an old house with a huge wrap around porch. I keep my bike parked on the front porch – unlocked – but right outside my window and under a security camera. I can see it at all times. I even keep it over there when I go to my part-time job which is across the street. I do have a Kryptonite cable lock on my bike, but where I live is so borning, I really don’t worry about it that much.

  36. Judge April 13, 2011 5:37 am 

    I ride a Trek Portland which, with the upgrades, would probably cost me about $1800 to replace. I needed a bike that was flexible enough to go on club rides, pull a kid (sometimes two) in a trailer, pick up groceries, and commute to work. I benefit from living in the Midwest, and the fact that I can park my bike in my lab. I do have a rider on my homeowner’s policy for it, though.

  37. Ricky Albores April 13, 2011 7:21 am 

    I hope there aren’t any bike thieves with access to this thread, now that everyone has shared how they do or don’t secure their rides… 😉

  38. Chip Haynes April 13, 2011 1:50 pm 

    My daily utility bike is one I found on a trash pile. My commuter bike for many years was one I bought for $75 at a pawn shop. That said, I have to say I STILL worry about my bikes when I lock them up outside. It’s not about the price. It’s about the commitment. And if I’m riding bicycle to a bicycle advocacy meeting, it’s coming in with me.

  39. Andrew April 13, 2011 1:56 pm 

    You know, sometimes in life you just have to roll with the punches. While I’m not advocating leaving your bike unlocked and wandering through the store, sometimes you have to assume some level of risk. There are plenty of places you take your car where you wouldn’t leave it unlocked. Use common sense, use a good quality lock, and if you don’t trust the situation, move on to the next place.

  40. Guy April 13, 2011 2:51 pm 

    I’m reminded by a PBS cartoon called Arther. He saves up for a bike and gets it but doesn’t ride it for fear it will get trashed after all the time and effort spent saving for the bike. I have a Raleigh M-800 I bought for $1200 back in 1997. It still looks good and it’s the only one I’ve got. I get nervous if I have to lock it outside as well.

  41. Robert April 13, 2011 6:58 pm 

    I ride a $1000 bike to work. Fortunately I can park it in a secured garage so theft isn’t a problem. If I had to park it in a rack exposed to thieves I’d ride my old beater to work.

  42. Pelle April 14, 2011 2:20 am 

    I usually buy a used high quality bicycle for a given budget. Often very nice to ride and less interesting for the thives. A few dents is good protection.

  43. paul April 14, 2011 2:47 am 

    My first stolen bike, was taken from my apartment storage space, and was reimbursed after the deductible $500. Learning from that I now have my deductible lowered to $100.00 on my renters policy which is like $150 for a year. According to my insurance guy if my bike is stolen I will have to pay $100 on a $2300 bike. What am I missing here? It dose not seem that big of deal to get insurance plus if I get robbed or my apartment burns down I can rebuild my life rather quickly.

  44. Dacius April 14, 2011 3:06 am 

    Well I currently own a bike that would cost me about $700 to replace. But I really need a $1000+ go fast bike for my commute. My commute is 52 miles round trip. It is rough on the body with an upright style commuter. I have done it for years now, but I do need a fast, sturdy drop bar style bike in the near future. I think ideally a two bike set up is ideal. One go fast bike and one casual, around town bike.

  45. Scott April 14, 2011 10:52 am 

    I commute on a bike probably worth $1300. I ride ~4 miles each way and park it at the parking deck at the train station. There a bike rack in the inner sanctum of the paid parking area with guards that walk around, so I’m not too worried about it. I have a nice, German double-layer cable lock. I even leave on my panniers that even have stuff in them sometimes, and have not had a problem. If it got stolen, my home insurance would cover it and replacement cost is probably closer to ~$1700, so even with a $1000 deductible, I’d break even.

    I’d then have the opportunity to try out another bike! ;^)

  46. Hippiebrian April 15, 2011 2:51 am 

    I commute on an old Gary Fisher Mamba mountain bike, but that is just because the roads in the plant are horrible and require a mountain bike.

    I ride my 1200 dollar Raleigh Sojourn everywhere else. I use a Kryptonite u-lock every time. The real secret is that I rarely wash the bike (I do clean the chain/gears/etc). Seriously, it’s a bike that gets used and it looks it. Keep your bike shiny and people will notice it! No one steals the “dirty old” bike next to the shiny new one! Oh ya, stickering it up works nice for making it look like a worse bike than it is, too!

  47. Franky April 15, 2011 9:34 am 

    I commute on either my $400 mountain bike or $6000 road bike when I want to be faster (48 mile round trip). But regardless of the value, I NEVER leave the bikes outside anywhere I go. Too many crooks out there…

  48. Matt April 15, 2011 10:54 am 

    FauxPorter pretty much mirrors my own sentiments. It comes down to whether it looks expensive and how easy is it to ride off on compared to the next guy’s bike. A decent u-lock or even cable lock in suburban areas should make potential thieves look elsewhere. I ride a trek solo dlx, which I am very happy with btw, and cost me about 1200. BUT it doesn’t look high end, the color is “rainy day gray” and no one ever notices the belt drive which is what makes this bike so expensive. This bike looks like any other hybrid commuter out there, which it basically is sans belt drive so I really don’t worry too much.

  49. Bert April 17, 2011 4:43 am 

    Interesting range of comments. I’ve been commuting year round in cold climates for 35 years and have many bikes, some quite expensive. For me, the key issue is not fear of theft, but rather the beating that a commuting bike takes through rain, snow, salt/sand, road debris, bike racks, potholes, and railroad tracks. So, I have assembled a single-speed fat tire beater for winter, and a single-speed beater road bike built around a 1970s era Bottechia for the rest of the year. I have a lot of affection for the handling and the chrome lugs on the Bottechia. My most interesting (and only) theft story concerns a pink drop/women’s frame Miyata I commuted with a few years ago. It was in good shape, but so ugly that I got in the habit of not locking it to my downtown Madison WI bike rack. Eventually it disappeared and I shrugged, having purposely tempted fate. A few days later, the bike reappeared at the same rack.

  50. Jack B April 17, 2011 5:08 pm 

    I have two bikes. My commuter is a converted all rigid 1995 mountain bike. While you can get the basic bike on Craig’s list I have racks and lights that add $300 to the price. Still where I live, it is very safe. At home it is in the garage or workshop. At work I do not need to lock it. At the stores around here I use a simple cable lock.

    I really don’t understand why people choose to live where the crime rate is so high.

  51. Raiyn April 18, 2011 12:27 am 

    “I really don’t understand why people choose to live where the crime rate is so high.”

    Really?

  52. Bob April 18, 2011 7:15 am 

    I’m in your group #2. I built up a bike with a Rohloff hub because I wanted a bike as comfortable and maintainance free as possible for my 27 mile round trip commute. I carry a stout cable and u locks to deter thieves as best I can. I’m not locking in a super high crime rate area, so it has worked for 2 years so far.

  53. Sir Learnsalot April 18, 2011 2:44 pm 

    I am also in category 2. I built up my Surly as my do-it-all bike which could work for commuting, tours and weekend rides. As such it has some nice kit.

    I figure if it gets stolen, it gets stolen. So far it’s been 2 years with no theft.

    I also figure it’s too unique to get stolen and easily sold on craigslist.

  54. AJL April 19, 2011 1:40 pm 

    My regular commuter is ~$1,200 without all the lights and reflective tape all over it. I chose it because it’s a great commuter (Soma ES) and I use it primarily for that reason. If I have to leave it on the street I choose the rack carefully or find an inside bike parking area. I always use my U-lock. In the summer, if I’m just tooling around or attending various street festivals I’ll ride my $200 “neighborhood” bike so I don’t have to worry about leaving it around a bunch of potential idiots. For a bike related event? I wouldn’t necessarily worry about riding my more expensive bike.

  55. Richard Masoner April 19, 2011 4:10 pm 

    My daily “commuter” is a $2000 carbon fiber road bike. I enjoy the ride and it works. I store it in my office during the day so theft isn’t a concern.

    But I also have my beater bike that I literally pulled from a dumpster, and I use it for trips to places where theft might be an issue (e.g. trips to San Francisco, Santa Cruz, etc).

    Still, you can lock a bike to make theft much less likely.

  56. Pat April 21, 2011 5:50 am 

    I have one bike, a Kona Dew FS (with all the extra bits ~$1000CDN), because commuting in various forms is most of the riding I do. I live in a hilly city with bad roads (lots of road heave every winter because the climate is fairly extreme), so a bike that can take the potholes and be quick and comfortable is really important. Fortunately, I can bring my bike right into my office and store it in corner. At home, it lives in a locked shed. Otherwise, I use a U lock and a cable to secure it in a high-traffic area so that anyone trying to make off with my darling will be seen.

  57. joe May 6, 2011 5:27 pm 

    I just invested $1700+ (w/rack and accessories) for my Raleigh Alley Way. I wanted IGH, I’d been riding a Nexus 7spd, and I was curious about belt drive and disc brakes. I’ve always been fascinated with bicycle technology and worked at a bike shop for 8 yr. in the ’90s. I also gave up owning a car last Oct. I occasionally worry about theft, but luckily the Alley Way is kind of a sleeper if your not up on the technology. It doesn’t scream steal me :)

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