The best locked bike in Christchurch

It would be easier to cut the bike in half than take off the locks.
It would be easier to cut the bike in half than take off the locks.

A combination of a tigr, a kryptonite cable and a New York Fahgettaboudit lock made a bike on campus the best locked bike I’ve ever seen.  This is in a place where it seems quite usual to leave your lights clipped to your bike all day.  (Everyone tells me not to do it, but they all do it themselves, and haven’t had a problem).  It surprised me, because

A recent request from University faciliites asked for innovative ideas for bike racks.  I say, "More Trees!"
A recent request from University facilities asked for innovative ideas for bike racks. I say, “More Trees!”

in general people are pretty relaxed about bike security here.

I use a really irritating big hardened expensive U lock that isn’t big enough to fit around a sign post and my bike, and watch enviously as people haul out five dollar cable combination locks and secure themselves to anything.  It is secure though.  Its a hard judgement to make: the best lock in the rack, without having to spend a frustrating amount of time futzing around.

I know in other places there are professional thieves that steal bikes in one city, drive to another to sell their ill gotten goods and pick up more ‘inventory’, and then move on.  I have no sense of the facts, but in Christchurch bike theft seems to be a crime of opportunity.  Like car theft, one should not be surprised when it happens, but its not something you hear of happening that often.  I’m sure if I was a policeman or an insurance call-center guy, it would be different.

How do you lock up your bike in Christchurch?  Have you had bikes stolen, and if so, why do you think it was at risk?

7 thoughts on “The best locked bike in Christchurch”

  1. Got my Kmart bike stolen from Windmill Centre last week. Locked with cable lock. Was tied up to bike rack in the corner of Straven Rd and Riccarton Rd with thousands of foot traffic. These people don’t care how expensive/crappy the bike is, they seem to steal because they can.

    Next bike I buy will have 2 U-locks.

  2. 4 of the bikes I have owned have been stolen. Only one of them while it was in my possession and that was a 3 month old mountain bike, it was stolen from outside the nursing block at CPIT many years ago when I was a student, it had about a ø8mm cable lock. The next bike that was stolen was an awesomely fast cross country Avanti hard tail (I recorded my fastest ever speed on the flat on that bike) when my former flat mate had borrowed it to get to work at the Casino. I lost out big time on the insurance and had to go without a bike for around a year as the insurance money went on an engagement ring… that had a similar size cable and padlock. The other two bikes were stolen from the new owners not long after I sold them (one out of the owner’s garage that was on a back section). Currently I use a “Trelock” brand that has the lock moulded onto the end of the cable. The cable is about ø14mm and its resting position is in a coil so it will sit curled up around the drink bottle holder if you aren’t using it. As I have been married for nearly 12 years it seems to have been worth the investment. I am not sure if anyone stocks them in NZ anymore but have a look at their website to get an idea of the style and they have a good guide to the level of protection against theft.

  3. I went looking for locks today in CHCH as my U-lock (which I usually call D-lock) got jammed closed – luckily not around my bike. I’ve had it for many years and I reakon the dust around CHCH finally dealt to it. Many U-locks have dust & rain covers over the key hole – I’ll try to remember to use that now!

    Cycle Trading had the best price on Magnum U lock ($45) with 120cm x 10mm cable. It has 9/10 rating (under their rating system of basic, high, & ultimate, it was ultimate the manufacturers said “Our products have been tested, approved and certified by the most important European test organizations that are dedicated to performing the harshest tests imaginable on locks” -sounds impressive but I am going on my experiences which have been good with this lock.
    I lock the frame and back wheel to something secure and metal using the U-lock; and then lock the front wheel with the cable lock stretched back to the U-lock.
    I’ve had the same bike stolen 21/2 times (once just the front wheel hence the 1/2 and why I now lock the front wheel). Got it back 2x through the Police – it was involved in crime both times! Both times it was stolen it was unlocked at home in garage and house.
    It amazes me when you look at the way some people lock their bikes, just the front wheel (when it is quick release) crazy stuff like that.
    When checking out locks today came across one that had a small U lock and a huge metal interlocking chains with a material cover to protect your bike (chain length was similar to the reach of the U-lock itself). A guy told me he wore it like a belt to carry it around. It looked like the most formidable lock. But weighed 3.16kg c.f. to 1.84kg for the U lock plus chain. Cycle Trading also has a German brand U-lock which I think is double the price of the Magnum but rated higher.

  4. My last bike got stolen way back in 2005 – I think it was about a 6-8mm cable that got cut. So I went and bought a 12mm cable (coils up and attaches to my frame) and to date that has kept me out of trouble. I prefer a cable lock to a U-bolt as it’s more flexible about where you can attach it too.

    Ultimately bike security is a bit like being in a crowd of people being chased by a bear (or whatever wild animal gives you nightmares): you don’t have to be faster than the bear – just faster than other people. Likewise your bike lock just has to be better than the other bikes around you.

    Fortunately in NZ, bike theft is still nothing like what it is often is overseas. It can be pretty epidemic in parts of Nth America and Europe.

  5. Prior to moving to Chch in about 2001 I had no bikes stolen even though they were never locked up in an unlocked garage.

    Since moving here I’ve had 6 bikes stolen, 5 of them in the last 5 years so it is getting worse. Although reported to the police they never came to investigate, I am told because bike theft is a low priority.

    The last theft in Chch was last year when two bikes were taken from a locked bike shed. My last bike to be stolen was in Napier in May and reported in the Hawkes Bay Today newspaper, read about it here….

    It wasn’t locked but that probably wouldn’t have stopped the thief as he had bolt cutters with him.

  6. Cable locks can be cut through in about 10 second with a cheap pair of wire sidecutters. Thieves in Vancouver just snip the metal wire a strand at a time and can nibble through the cable really quickly, but then there are actual rings of bike thieves there. They do stop the opportunist theft tho.

  7. I’m lucky – my employer has allocated space inside for bike parking.

    So we have dry secure bike parks, lockers, a shower, and tools and a work-supplied track pump.

    In summer, I’ve counted over 45 bikes in the storage area, and today there are 35, out of ~160 staff that’s a pretty high hit rate.

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