21st Street Bike Rack Blog

A blog about the bike rack on West 21st Street between 8th and 9th Avenues in New York City, and about urban bike usage, bike theft, and security

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Parts thief

I usually lock my road bike over on the bike rack. See, my girlfriend's building doesn't allow bikes. I spraypainted my bike flat black (best stealthy color) and it's fairly unnoticable most of the time.

I also lock it fairly thoroughly. I have a Kryptonite "New York" chain for the frame and the front wheel, and an OnGuard Mini Pit-Bull for the rear (which got good reviews in this comparison of bike lock cutting times). There's a piece of bike chain holding the seat in place.

ANYway, earlier this year I bought a 49-tooth chainring from the LBS, thinking it would make more of my freewheel in the back usable. I had a standard 52 or 53 tooth chainring for the large one in the front, but I'd never use it with the smaller 11 and 13-tooth sprockets in the back.

A few weeks later someone stole it.

Now, getting parts stolen off a bike is no big news, BUT what parts thief is so damn specific that he'd steal a specific size of chainring - probably the only one locked on the street anywhere in New York - when there are thousands of the standard ones out there? Not only that - he didn't even steal the other chainring. Removing the larger one means you have to unbolt both of them!

The likely answer is that it was someone wanting to adjust the gearing on a fixed-gear bike.

The solution is to lock the chainrings! Notice that the mini u-lock gets the rear wheel, frame, and the new chainring in one shot. Since this happened I also lock the pedals, sometimes.


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