Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

Is Bike-Jacking a real thing?

5740 Views 38 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  hoolie
I see lots of reports stolen bikes on MTBR, either opportunistic or professional criminals. But what about bike-jacking?

My doctor mentioned yesterday he just purchased a Bronson like I have, so we got talking about bikes. He was seriously afraid of being bike-jacked. He said a gang will corner you on a trail, take your bike, cell phone, wallet and so on. Like me, he intends to put well hidden GPS trackers on his bike. But he figures the pros doing the jacking will find them quickly. (We had a thread recently about the stolen Atherton bike with his AirTag tracker tossed in the bushes outside a homeless camp.)

I've heard wild rumors of bike-jacking, but haven't ever seen reports on MTBR. A search just shows one jacking on the street in Oakland (no surprise). I'd think most criminals wouldn't want to hike very far into a remote area, or face the serious felony of an armed robbery for a bike. Easier to scoop up one of the many bikes off the street with less penalty or confrontation. Is bike-jacking a real thing or real concern in NorCal?
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Its so funny to read your concern, as Im looking at your avatar, Mr Incredible. Im reading what you wrote, and hearing Craig T Nelson in my head.
  • Like
Reactions: 2
@ hoolie: My avatar is meant to be sarcastic.

Personally, I don't think it's a reasonable concern. I don't hear it happening, and it doesn't make sense. I suspect it's just the anxiety of a new owner of an expensive mountain bike. But figured I'd ask.
Its so funny to read your concern, as Im looking at your avatar, Mr Incredible. Im reading what you wrote, and hearing Craig T Nelson in my head.
Now i have this image of Mr Incredible going down East Bay streets nabbing bike thieves.
  • Like
  • Haha
Reactions: 3
I'm sure I've done it in the woods (obviously) but I can't remember if I actually did it from my bike or not.

Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using Tapatalk
  • Like
  • Haha
  • Wow
Reactions: 5
There have been a few cases over the past few months of bike jackings happening to road riders in the Oakland Hills/Canyon (very few people in the area, rural). Aside from it potentially happening at a staging area, I have a hard time imagining a gang roaming the trails jacking mountain bikes. (Cue up the music to West Side Story). I think your doctor lives in a very scary world, it must suck to be that afraid/paranoid.
  • Like
Reactions: 4
My friend got his bike pulled off and stolen from his tailgate pad while he was at a stoplight in Santa Cruz. You could prevent that by locking your bikes while traveling, or having a 55lbs ebike that’s too heavy to lift off swiftly. I usually go for the second approach.
  • Like
Reactions: 5
There have been a few cases over the past few months of bike jackings happening to road riders in the Oakland Hills/Canyon (very few people in the area, rural). Aside from it potentially happening at a staging area, I have a hard time imagining a gang roaming the trails jacking mountain bikes. (Cue up the music to West Side Story). I think your doctor lives in a very scary world, it must suck to be that afraid/paranoid.
Plus one [teenage] mtb rider who was connecting trails on the road.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
It was definitely a real thing when I rode sport bikes 30 years ago.
It happened to my friend and nearly happened to me but I sped off as it was happening.

Sent from my SM-G715A using Tapatalk
I got bike-jacked by a deer once. Luckily as it was running away I grabbed my bike light and shone it into its eyes, so it froze. I got the bike back and slowly backed away, making sure to keep the light pointed in the right direction until out of sight.

Side note: people will steal anything.
  • Like
  • Haha
Reactions: 4
I can't imagine it would be anything other than a super rare, it probably will happen somewhere, but a group of bike thieves waiting around on a trail that is not highly used enough for them to arouse suspicion, but also frequented just enough to steal one high value bike off a solo rider seems pretty unlikely. Direct confrontation also risks the victim being armed, and I'm sure the thieves know that. I imagine there's less confrontational and easier ways to steal bikes, like having a spotter near a parking lot to call the thieves when the bike owner is away from his car&bike etc.
My friend got his bike pulled off and stolen from his tailgate pad while he was at a stoplight in Santa Cruz. You could prevent that by locking your bikes while traveling, or having a 55lbs ebike that's too heavy to lift off swiftly. I usually go for the second approach.
How recently did that happen?
Plus one [teenage] mtb rider who was connecting trails on the road.
It was Berkeley HS team rider with a new Transition
I have HEARD of it, but I can only remember one instance. On the other hand I knew a few people who had their bikes stolen when the LBS was broken into.

I also don't remember motorcycle jacking being a thing either. Much easier to just have a couple guys pick your bike up and toss it in the back of a truck in the middle of the night.
Im surprised bikes don’t get stolen from bike parks more often. Northstar for example, almost no one locks their bike when they are hanging out at mid-mountain for lunch or whatever. It would be so easy (assuming the thief can ride), to hop on any bike and ride it down the fireroad, toss it in a van and take off. And you would get a smorgasbord of bikes to choose from.
3 years ago maybe?
We probably know the same person that this happened to. I'm also shocked about the N* stuff, but I wonder how many thieves would go through that effort. But bikes are expensive, so I wouldn't be surprised. Maybe less incentive to do it on private property in the remote mountains? Imagine if a thief was caught and called out in front of 200 people at N* for stealing a bike? The dude would risk a public lynching.
Limited to road riders in a very specific location. Risk of having your mountain bike jacked out in the woods is about the same as being attacked by a mountain lion.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Limited to road riders in a very specific location.
From the article you posted:
UC Berkeley and Oakland Police said the latest robbery happened on Saturday April 10, at around 2 p.m. In that incident, multiple suspects used a gun to rob someone of a Transition full-suspension mountain bike.
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top