Commuter Bikes: style = less likely to get stolen?

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by prendrefeu

[since there isn't a forum devoted to commuting, I figured I would post this here... but I actually want to see a forum for Commuting bikes (and tuning them! or not!)]

A friend of mine is super into data gathering, and he's been working with data on bike thefts in Los Angeles and Santa Monica (at least those that have been reported to the police), trying to gather other data in terms of bike rack availability etc:... anyway, this spurred on a discussion:

If you have a road bike or a mountain bike locked up with the same perceived "shinyness" or "used" look to them, which is more likely to get stolen?

If you have two road bikes with the same perceived "shinyness" or "used" look to them, and one has a drop bar w/ shifters the other has a flat bar with shifters, which is less likely to get stolen?

In both instances assume that the bikes are locked equally well and have an equal amount of security bolts/bits/etc:.

On the latter question, from casual observation I've began to think that a flat-bar road bike is less likely to get stolen here in Los Angeles (where thievery is still a bit 'young' compared to other cities where bicycle commuting is more common and long established), and thieves are still generally dumb. So they see 'drop bar' and equate that as being more valuable, meanwhile a flat bar set up is less likely to get stolen because it is perceived as a 'hybrid' or 'less valuable'.

What are your thoughts on this?

ps: I think we should have a forum on Commuting.
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by elviento

They are gonna get stolen no matter what. I had a POS (massive overestimate there) that still got stolen.

BTW, :thumbup: for commuter forum as long as they are sub-6.8 :D
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by Weenie

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by Nutellaurent

my roommate had an super old and pretty wrecked mtb that was locked behind our apartement. eventhough it was all broken and rusty, it still got stolen...

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by voodoojar

Another variable to consider is the frequency in which you leave your bike in the same location. Some extremely anecdotal evidence, I've found when I park my bike in different locations each day it is less likely to be stolen.

Now I just park my bike in my office, because I'm sick of having to ride a $150.00 piece of shit to work everyday.

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by stella-azzurra

Any bike will get stolen in less than a minute anywhere any time.

Generally a thief doesn't care what kind of bike he/she steals. The bike with the least amount of security gets stolen more often.

There are databases around like this one already that contain a sample of what kind of bikes get stolen ... os+Angeles

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by djm

The last two years of owning a hybrid bike I was constantly hoping somebody would steal it so that I could buy a new one. I had it parked in my garden, unlocked, for a year and no one stole it. Both brakes required very careful operation to avoid complete failure ;-)

Unfortunately the crank axle broke (I rode it in salty snow and it spent 6 years parked under the heavens with no protection) on the way to the store one day and I had to get rid of it myself..

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by Kastrup

I have two "commuter" bikes and they differ quite a lot. One of them is a cheap aluiminum cross frame with 105, cheap wheels, massive tyres and serious mudguards. I use this one to and from work and for my workouts on the road in bad conditions.
The other one is an old Trek mtb with a rusty suspension fork and with a 50% chance a gearshift won't happen unless i click the lever twice.

The cross/road hybrid never gets parked in a place where a lock is needed. I try to bring it inside or lock it away in a shed or similar when i ride it. It's more like my second roadbike but and my commute is 30 k so it reguired suiting up in full cycling gear. The Trek is my beloved "gettingaroundtown" bike and i have no second thoughts locking it away for a weekend in a "shady" place.

I find it interesting what certain people refers to as commuting. If i ride from my apartment to the city center i wouldn't call that a commute as much as a ride into the city. Same goes for riding to my girlfriend or even my mothers house which are located about 4-8 k's away. These rides aren't commutes in my view, but rather a necessary thing because i don't want to pay for the bus or have a car.
Commuting for me is a daily routine which involves getting geared up and sometimes requires a "special" bike. Spare clothes is needed as well because the ride will certainly make you sweat. I don't know how other people define the word commuting but it could be an interesting discussion. Sorry for going off topic by the way, i just can't wait for a dedicated commuting section :)

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by KvnP

We should have a category on commuting/ers (morning training rides to work!)

I'm sure chances would go down for that commuter/beater although from what I've seen around the area, some of my friends got parts stolen off their bikes as well (on campus in Los Angeles) and the bikes were ranging from Peugeot, Bianchi, Surly and etc within the commuting/beater spectrum of bikes.

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by weenie

For me commuting is also a ride, and sucks to do on crappy bikes. I'd rather take the bus that a bad bike. Fortunately we have a locked bike room at work.

If the commute was 15min i'd totally go with the crappy bike ;-)

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by dvincere

The best way to protect your bike is to use two different locks, to not lock it in the same place at the same time regularly, and to make sure there is a bike more easily stolen nearby. The majority of thieves do not care how nice your bike is. Many thieves get paid a flat rate per bicycle by a middleman who then swaps parts and ships them around to other nearby cities.

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by Klarion

weenie wrote:For me commuting is also a ride, and sucks to do on crappy bikes

Me too. Or at least, a decent bike makes the journey (whether to work, or shopping, visiting friends / family etc) into something that can be enjoyed, rather than just being a chore.

One of my motivations for trying to put together better & lighter bikes is to make me more likely to cycle to any given destination, rather than using motorised transport.

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by victorduraace

Hybrids would get stolen a lot where I live, more likely than road bikes
Try to find the quality lock that doesn't scream: HEY, I AM SECURING EXPENSIVE BIKE, RIGHT HERE!
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