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This year I will be my first at college and I am planning on using a bicycle for most of my transportation needs. I am a formerly very serious mountain biker, who would like to get back into the fray in college, unfortunately, my mountain bike is a very over kill Kona Stinky Dee-Lux freeride bike. I do not know whether to bring it to school and just trust a very expensive lock to keep it from getting stolen or keep it at home and buy a beater (prob a SS) to ride around with (or, the best option, which would be to find some secure storage for the Kona and use a SS as basic transportation). Any advice, especially on anti theft protection and locks, would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Josh
 

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Beater

get a sh*t bike for riding around school, if you bring the Kona keep it in your dorm room. never trust anybody in college, they will take anything and sell if for beer and loose women.

-bob
 

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An Albatross

Whenever you travel and you aren't actually ON your bike it is a lead weight around your neck. Turn your back on it and it is gone. This is not rocket science.
Dorm room. Yeah, right. How will you make sure the door is always locked? How will you screen all comers to the floor? This is a lost cause.
Hell, I would steal it for loose women! I digress.....
Get a beater, tune it nice, make it work for you. Let it be ugly with a heart of gold. And Always lock it.
 

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JT$ said:
This year I will be my first at college and I am planning on using a bicycle for most of my transportation needs. I am a formerly very serious mountain biker, who would like to get back into the fray in college, unfortunately, my mountain bike is a very over kill Kona Stinky Dee-Lux freeride bike. I do not know whether to bring it to school and just trust a very expensive lock to keep it from getting stolen or keep it at home and buy a beater (prob a SS) to ride around with (or, the best option, which would be to find some secure storage for the Kona and use a SS as basic transportation). Any advice, especially on anti theft protection and locks, would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Josh
What school are you going to? If the campus is small enough, you probably won't need a bike to get around. If you must have a bike for transportation, i think you should buy an inexpensive bike and keep the kona in your dorm (if your dormmates dont mind). From my experience, saddle theft was common, so i recommend that you secure the saddle to the frame via a lightwieght cable. Another option would be not to use a quick release for the saddle, but use a bolt mechanism. However, my saddle is not secured to the frame, and it has not been stolen yet. (maybe because it is pretty undesireble)

For a lock, i used a kryptonite cable with a padlock..it served me well ( i think it cost around 15$ on ebay). The cable was long enough to secure both wheels and the frame to the bike rack (or tree). However, in my haste, i rarely tied up the rear wheel (it is undesireble as well). I seen many U locks, but they secure only the front wheel and the frame to the bike rack leaving the back wheel vuneralbe. Also U locks cannot wrap around trees unless you have a U lock and a cable, but that might be a hassle to have both. I dont think different brands of locks matter much, but i would try to get a thick and heavy cable, rather than a thin one. Combination or key...i guess its your choice (i prefer key).

Most bikes are stolen becuase they did not have locks, and were easy prey. So as long as you keep your bike secured to the rack thieves will look elsewhere. Make sure that the bike is connected to the frame and is connected to the bike rack. Once i wraped the cable around the bike and forgot to secure the cable around the bike rack, luckily it was still there after class.

I do not know if bike thieves make the distinction between department store bikes and name brand bikes, but i do not believe they do. It is hard for a non-bike enthusist to tell the difference between a quality bike and a POS... so keep your bike locked and you should be fine.
 

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my 5 year old Trek 800 was stolen in college...

steve3 said:
DO NOT RIDE THAT BIKE AROUND CAMPUS. IT WILL GET STOLEN.

A good commuter bike is a Trek 800. I plan on buying one for myself.
I thought that was a good option at school til I went to the bike rack before class one morning to find my Trek 800 missing, someone took a bolt cutter to the burly lock I had on it and I never saw the bike again (a sad fate for my first MTB). After that I kept my Trek 7000 in the room at all times and basically stopped riding to class as I always feared coming out of class to find it gone as well. My opinion would be to keep your good bike in the room for trailriding only (if that's an option in your college town) and have a real beater Huffy/Murray/etc for riding to class, etc.
 

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Register your bike

One suggestion I can give is that if you're going to a fair-sized college/university (i.e., one with its own police department), register your bike with them. If biking is popular as transportation, they should have a registry for bikes. I've known a few people who've recovered their stolen POSs thanks to vigilant campus police.

Concerning the Kona, I wouldn't bother bringing it with you unless you can find a secure, monitored storage facility to keep it in. Dorm rooms aren't safe. Take this from someone who's lived on 2 large university campuses over the past few years.

I still remember the line they gave us at orientation: "Buy the cheapest bike you can find and the best lock you can afford."
 

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Depends on the school. I have no qualms about having my bikes in my room here (well I don't even have a room-mate, but i did for 2 years).

My professors always let me bring my bike into the classroom and set it inside.



Generally, if I was going to do it again at a different school, I'd bring a "beater" bike to get the feel first, if you are going to ride your bike to classes and do not anticipate that they'll let you keep them inside during class, DEFINITELY get a beater bike, no question.
 

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JT$ said:
This year I will be my first at college and I am planning on using a bicycle for most of my transportation needs. I am a formerly very serious mountain biker, who would like to get back into the fray in college, unfortunately, my mountain bike is a very over kill Kona Stinky Dee-Lux freeride bike. I do not know whether to bring it to school and just trust a very expensive lock to keep it from getting stolen or keep it at home and buy a beater (prob a SS) to ride around with (or, the best option, which would be to find some secure storage for the Kona and use a SS as basic transportation). Any advice, especially on anti theft protection and locks, would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Josh
At my college bikes got stolen left and right. Once you are in an off-campus house or apt. (probably not until 2nd year) then it might be safe to have a nice bike, but even then you should take a beater for transportation. Use the nice bike just for actual mountain biking. I found an old 3-spd. klunker at a yard sale that had a price tag of $10. I offered $5 and we settled on $8. I didn't have to carry a lock in my bag (books were heavy enough) and I resolved to not be surprised or upset if it got stolen. That bike never did get stolen.

One nice thing about walking to class rather than riding is that you spend more time crossing campus, and can stop to chat with friends (or potential girlfriends ;)) as you go.
 

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where will you be at school? how close to home, and how easy would it be to leave your stinky at home, scope out the scene, and bring it if you wanted to?

for a year in my dorm room i left a foes fly and s-works slalom bike, plus skis in the winter, but i also lived in a very safe area of campus. get a good lock, and by good i mean a kryptonite new york chain, not a $30 cable lock. get a beater to ride around campus. singlespeed is good if you live on a not too hilly campus.
any bike can get stolen. i work at an on-campus bike shop, and for some reason we never rarely hear of expensive bikes getting stolen, but huffy's and cheap trek/specialized bikes get taken all the time. just be careful, don't leave your bike out for an extended period of time(i never leave mine locked up in the same place for more than 2 hours), and keep it as close as possible at all times.
 

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it does depend on the school

I went to a small tech school in southern Oregon for four years (Oregon Institute of Technology). My second year I got a Trek 5000 with shocks (new at the time to cheaper bikes). It was stolen from where it was locked up in front of a busy Fred Meyer. I was shocked, this is small town that is big on the bible southern Oregon. That was the only bike theft I had heard of while there.

After that I went to Arizona State for 3 years. While there I saw stuff, that I would have thought was frozen to the bike rack, stolen. I had a '97 GT karakoram stolen from my front porch ( it was locked up to the metal railing). Then I got an i-drive and I did park it on campus way more than I should have. I always locked the i-drive near and in view of busy offices. I always locked the frame through the rear wheel to the bike stand with a kryptonite (with an insurance policy), and locked the front wheel to the frame with an el-cheapo. I still have the i-drive one year after graduation.

If you have a nice bike and care about the paint finish, bike racks are murder on paint.
 

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It really depends on which college you're going to. At my college (UCSC) the professors will often let you bring the bike into the room (assuming it's a big room) and lean it against the back wall. At other times, keep it in your room, locked to your bed. Check with your parent's home-owners insurance and see if they cover your stuff. They usually will, as long as they have record of your bike (you may need to send them some reciepts from the original purchases).
DONT leave it out at night. Buy a big, gnarly, lock, and make sure all of your parts are visibly secured. (don't forget quick-release wheels and nice seatposts- they tend to disappear)

-skink
 

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hey like everyone said get a beater...If notthing else it's worth the piece of mind... Bring the Stinky with you as well... Come on you KNOW your going to want to do some real riding when your off at school... Basically it's just common sense... use bike locks ,dont leave it outside forever, try to put in a well lit area...keep an eye on it and try to bring it inside whenever possible....put one of them NRA stickers or "This bike protected by Smith&Wesson"
 

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Don't Do It.....

When I was in college, I saw bikes getting stolen all over the place - all the time. If you're going to be riding a nice bike, thieves will like it and they will keep an eye on it until you make the mistake of leaving it unattended for just a minute and will take it.

I remember just getting the newspaper and reading about all kinds of bikes stolen - both nice/expensive ones and department store bikes.

Even if you take it only to class and bring it back to your dorm, it doesn't take long for a thief to take it. I even read about an incident where the thieves took the entire rack because they couldn't break the lock.

My college was in an upper-class suburban neighborhood and my friends in other nearby schools told me about the same issues on their campus.

Save yourself the worries and just take a regular bike to campus.
 
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