Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

21 - 40 of 56 Posts

·
¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Joined
·
8,396 Posts
My dilemma is pretty simple: I have a Subaru Outback, plus two kids. We often like to go on "Multisport" weekend trips where we bike, hike, and sometimes do other non-riding activities. But without a fairly good way to lock bikes to the car, we can't really do anything that requires leaving the bikes (especially at some remote trailhead).

So for anyone who doesn't exclusively do MTB weekends, and who doesn't have a vehicle large enough to put several bikes inside, what do you do for security?

How many times a year do you travel with a full car and bikes? Is getting a bigger vehicle out of the question? I have 2 kids as well, both in car seats, as you know having small kids means bringing all sorts of things you don't need with older kids.

We picked up a Suburban a few months before the second child was born and I love it. I normally have the bikes on a hitch mounted rack on the back, but if we need to go somewhere and leave the car out of sights I can pop-up the third row and quickly stuff the bikes in there without having to remove the wheels.

We also have a trailer now for camping and while I can attach my rack to a hitch receiver on the rear bumper of the trailer, it is just as easy to put them inside the trailer where they are not visible at all.

I do not believe there is any such thing as bombproof, a determined thief will get something if they really want it.

to your own admission, the theft of your bike was due more to being left visible overnight more than anything else.
 

·
Pro Crastinator
Joined
·
11,112 Posts
luckily, after i lock my car with my key fob, the doors will not unlock again without it even if i lock someone inside. you can break my windows, but if it doesn't fit thru the window, you aren't getting it out of my car...
 

·
Self Appointed Judge&Jury
Joined
·
36,753 Posts
Out of sight out of mind.

If the vehicle is big enough throw it inside and cover it with a blanket.

If you are at a trailhead wait until nobody is around and stash the expensive bikes in the woods.

Some or all of this may have been already addressed. I will not or shall not use my scroll mechanism at this time to check, I’m on a ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
255 Posts
Funny...I had this exact dilemma during a family hiking trip - 5 days of hiking, maximum two rest days when I could ride? Do I bring my bike? Here's what I did: Took bike #2. If it gets stolen, that would suck, but I could manage. Days 1-3 put bike in my tent during the day while we hike ... wife thought I was crazy. Day 3 as we drive to another campground and hike in the middle - I left the bike on the rack for 5+ hrs at a remote trailhead with two cable locks and 1 U lock. Trailhead was REALLY remote (at least 40 min up a steep dirt rd). Days 4-7, locked bike with ulock and cablelock out of sight behind my tent where it's not visible form the road. So happy to have had my bike as both my ride days were awesome!
 

·
Self Appointed Judge&Jury
Joined
·
36,753 Posts
Funny...I had this exact dilemma during a family hiking trip - 5 days of hiking, maximum two rest days when I could ride? Do I bring my bike? Here's what I did: Took bike #2. If it gets stolen, that would suck, but I could manage. Days 1-3 put bike in my tent during the day while we hike ... wife thought I was crazy. Day 3 as we drive to another campground and hike in the middle - I left the bike on the rack for 5+ hrs at a remote trailhead with two cable locks and 1 U lock. Trailhead was REALLY remote (at least 40 min up a steep dirt rd). Days 4-7, locked bike with ulock and cablelock out of sight behind my tent where it's not visible form the road. So happy to have had my bike as both my ride days were awesome!
Sounds like a great 5 day, congrats! Consider yourself lucky though. You missed the eyes of the scumbags.

Bottom line: if they want it and have any smarts they’re going to get it.

OP, and others, operate with four eyes open. Watch your surroundings and act accordingly. It sucks that we live in times of scumbag paranoia, but it can be somewhat avoided by acting smart and being aware.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
If someone wants the bike, they will get it somehow but if its tough for them to leave with it, likely will dump it. If im planning on leaving the bike out of sight for more than 10 minutes, will do a few things to slow down a thief taking the bike:

- Loosen the stem bolts, nothing worse trying to drag a bike with handlebar flopping around. And forget about riding it.
- Loosen the seat bolt or clamp or remove the seat all together. This really depends if you have a dropper.
- Remove the pedals. Only take 2 mins to remove/reinstall
- Back out halfway one or two disc brake bolts, will make it almost impossible to ride off
- Place a lock on your spokes. Will it more difficult to cut without damaging the wheels or ride away without making tons of noise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,203 Posts
never use a cable lock. wire cutters can cut through them

thick U locks or thick chains are best. the thicker and heavier, the better... most times

and if your bikes are worth some good $$$, you might see if your home owners insurance can cover them
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
There's no such thing as foolproof, just deterrents that will buy you time.

Consider if you yourself lost your keys, and had to 'break through' your own defenses. Given enough time and the right tools, anything can be defeated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,229 Posts
Partial disassembly of bike

Take both wheels off and probably the pedals and most people can fit a bike in the trunk of a car. I can see no way to totally secure a bike to the outside of a vehicle.

If I'm traveling, I always bring my bike into my room. Even at bike fests where I'm camping, I would bring my bike into my tent.

"Trust no one" is more than a catch phase from the X-Files.
 

·
Snow Dog
Joined
·
3,731 Posts
Take both wheels off and probably the pedals and most people can fit a bike in the trunk of a car. I can see no way to totally secure a bike to the outside of a vehicle.

If I'm traveling, I always bring my bike into my room. Even at bike fests where I'm camping, I would bring my bike into my tent.

"Trust no one" is more than a catch phase from the X-Files.
we always take our bikes into hotels when we travel, and always get really weird looks rolling through the lobby.

I could not fit my bike and myself into my tent, so when I bike pack, I would lock it to a tree, or whatever I can. I would hope that bikepacking would put me in places where the possibility of theft would be reduced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,104 Posts
never use a cable lock. wire cutters can cut through them
I can attest to this. One time I lost the key to my cable lock. Went to the garage and got a pair of regular wire-cutter type pliers and cut right through it. And this was like a 1/2" thick wire braid lock.

I still use a cable lock sometimes. It keeps honest people honest but it isn't much protection. My rack has a lock so I'll use that plus a cable lock for extra security. But really, any lock can be defeated. Mostly I try not to let my bike out of my sight. If I'm at a restaurant or something I try to park where I can see my bike from the venue. I also try to store them out of plain sight when possible.

I like the idea of taking the wheels off though. It makes it that much harder to steal if they have to grab three different things instead of one thing. If you have multiple bikes, you can take all the wheels off and cable-lock them together to a tree or something, and do the same for the frames to a different tree. Just makes it that much more work that hopefully a thief won't bother with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,532 Posts
I don't leave mine out of sight. Too many theft stories. Kriptonite chain and lock, plus u lock. Cables are useless. Break down bike, put in car, lock and cover up. The outback should fit 2 bikes n the back. Fold down rear seat, take off front wheel and seat post. I fit a fat bike in the back seat of my corolla.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,148 Posts
Hitch rack. Lock hitch rack to car, lock bikes to hitch rack. I use both D locks and a Kryptonite NYC chain. They are really obvious and easy to see. Cables can be cut with short bolt croppers. Anything else needs more effort / bigger / different tools. It's not unbeatable, but as long as other bikes are easier and I'm not inviting theft by where and when I leave it, it's all good.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
2,886 Posts
Place a lock on your spokes. Will it more difficult to cut without damaging the wheels or ride away without making tons of noise.
In college, I had an old newsboy bike I used for transportation. At parties, where it was common for some random drunk kid to jump on and "borrow" your bike, I used to lock the chain to the chainring with a padlock I carried hanging on my saddle rails. They'd get half a crank rotation in and end up on their face. It was an entertaining deterrent.

As for the OP. Good insurance and several locks are your best bet. Don't park it anywhere near an urban area or mtb hots spot. My local mtb FB page has "bikes stolen" almost every day it seems like. Most off of cars, some garages and out of hotel rooms. It's rampant, they're easy money.
 

·
Trail Cubist
Joined
·
1,292 Posts
Discussion Starter #39
Funny, I have a motorcycle and brake rotor locks are common with those, but for some reason I never thought of doing the same by putting a padlock on spokes or (better) lock the chain to the chainring if possible.

Yeah, I get nothing is really bombproof. Sounds like D-locks/U-Locks are the way to go. I think I'm gonna have to buy a 4-bike hitch rack. Mine just holds two, so I put the kids' bikes there and my MTB up on the roof rack.

Roof racks are pretty easy to tear off the car (even Yakima/Thule racks with locks are pretty easy to bust); on the other hand, my roof rack is a fork mount rack, so the front wheel is already locked in the car (but that didn't deter a thief who stole an earlier MTB—I still have that bike's front tire in my garage!)

Here's another psychological deterrent: leave a sign on the bike that says "SMILE—you're being recorded with a wildlife cam hidden nearby." (I also like the idea of a note saying "Hey—I'm in the woods practicing with my Glock..." LOL)
 

·
Elitest thrill junkie
Joined
·
35,020 Posts
Yes, the D/U-locks are good for the thiefs to put their car jacks in and pop off. The giant angled chain locks in Kevlar sheaths like the NY Faggetaboutit are better IMO.
 
21 - 40 of 56 Posts
Top