Creative Deterrents


Yesterday, I had to bike to a less familiar area of town. I was unsure how safe the area was, and, once I locked up my lovely bike, I found it hard to walk away. Would it be there when I returned?

While I could ride a beater bike instead I get so much more enjoyment from riding a bike I love. So instead of getting a rusty tank of a bike I’ve been thinking of ways to make my pretty bike less attractive to thieves:


I think this will work great. At least until someone invents a bicycle cloaking device. And I don’t think that’s far off seeing as both me any my bicycle become immediately invisible to everyone the second I get on it. It’s just a matter of finding a way of making that happen when I’m done riding it too.


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25 Comments on "Creative Deterrents"

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Opus the Poet

Having any kind of “deterrent” short of an explosive device in the seat will not prevent a determined thief from taking your bike, but good locks and parking in a visible location will stop the inept and casual bike thief.

It’s probably overly optimistic on my part, but I like to think that making a bike look distinctive helps at least a little bit. Let’s see… would someone rather steal a stock build bike that looks like every other version sold in the last 3 years, or the one that you customized with fun colored grip tape, cable housing, etc, the one that 40 people in the bike community instantly recognize as yours? It won’t stop a bike from being dismantled for parts, but it makes it easier to spot and, I’d like to think that’s less tempting for thieves.… Read more »
Jeff C

Sadly the most sophisticated bike thieves are organized to overcome this. They steal bikes in one city and then transport and sell them in another – nobody’s going to recognize your bike in NYC or Philly. 🙁


I don’t dismiss your theory, but my most recent bike theft experience would indicate that it is not terribly effective. My bike was quite distinctive (and if I’m honest, none too attractive) when it was taken.

Within 3-4 weeks, it appeared on CL essentially un-modified, complete with my goofy looking fender installation, unusual bar ends, and some other details that made it quite unique. The only thing that had been changed was removal of some little accessories like my pump and similarly re-sale-able items.

neil warner

Off to the toy shop for a rubber snake to cover my cable lock with!


Fortunately in here in Christchurch, New Zealand noone seems to be bothered about stealing bikes anymore. You used to see plenty of front wheels locked up in the 90’s (Rest of bike gone), but you don’t really hear about it anymore. I guess bikes arn’t as valuable. I hardly even carry a lock anymore.


Double up…I ride a big dummy (too heavy to carry off) and use a new york chain lock and cables and a ulock on the rear wheel…not theft proof, but a real pain to steal…I think that is the trick…Kryptonite New York Chain and Evolution Series-4 lock…I really like it…but super heavy.

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