Can you park an expensive road bike anywhere?

by Tom Amos   April 28, 2013  

I have moved back to London after a brief stay in the Reading area. I now want to bring my new Canyon bike up here so that I have some transport whilst I'm staying up in London.

I used to ride a Decathlon road bike with Sora. I could lock that bike up for a couple of hours (or maybe more sometimes) whilst I visited my gym or went shopping. It was always OK and I never worried about it whilst I was going about my business. My new Canyon is quite bling bling. It was the roadcc bike of the year. It has Ultegra Di2.

So here's my problem. Is it possible to lock it up whilst I go shopping? Or is that madness? Does the average bike thief know what they are looking for? Surely I could get away with 5 or 10 minutes whilst in Sainsburys?

All opinions gratefully received.

Thanks.

9 user comments

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You'd get away with it 90% of the time, if you have a decent lock or two. But I wouldn't park my carbon anywhere I haven't got my eye on it. Far better idea to get a London bike - old steel racer or a nice single speed.

posted by bashthebox [600 posts]
28th April 2013 - 14:18

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The short answer is no. Would you like a quick story? I have a steel D'accordi, about 20 years old, downtube shifter 105 7x2speed group that I use to get around London (I live in Hackney). One saturday, about a year ago, I parked my bike (two lock! 1 Ubolt, 1 cable) near London Fields for about 3 hours in the afternoon. I came back and found my bicycle, less the bars, stem, levers and brake cable. And it turns out my insurance doesn't pay for partial theft only partial vandalism (this is common, so is component theft it turns out)

So yeah, unless you invest in some serious locking bolts (though even then...) I would leave a newish Di2, and what I'm sure is a lovely cockpit, basically unlocked in this otherwise very lovely city.

Here's a good bicycles.stackexchange thread on component locking, that started from the above incident: http://bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/10396/deterrents-against-par...

posted by alsothings [19 posts]
28th April 2013 - 14:35

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Leaving an expensive bike 'locked up' in London is a bit like dropping a £50 note in the middle of oxford street and hoping nobody sees it before you get the chance to turnaround. As bashthebox says, get a trash bike for your chores or take the tube.

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posted by sm [334 posts]
28th April 2013 - 14:37

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"I would leave a newish Di2"

That is, I wouldn't leave it (because your components aren't locked, just bolted)

sigh. I need an editor.

posted by alsothings [19 posts]
28th April 2013 - 14:40

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A mate of mine had his stem, bars and levers nicked in the same way as you a few years back. London fields again, funnily enough. Lots of petty crime, and not so petty crime in the area.
(side note - I once had a police surveillance camera in my living room looking out over a neigbour. He was selling guns. Nice.)

posted by bashthebox [600 posts]
28th April 2013 - 15:15

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Depends on the bike and the location. There are plenty of ~£1000 bikes parked up in certain areas without hassle but equally I had a £0 heap-o-junk stolen from outside Elephant and Castle.

I'll leave my CAAD9 most places without too much worry but then it is matt black with comparatively low spec components and rarely in the same place twice. Something brightly coloured with nice parts locking up in the same exposed spot every day is asking for trouble.

At the end of the day, insure it and use it. Don't be stupid but if it does go missing it's only a bike.

posted by Mr Will [88 posts]
29th April 2013 - 14:01

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Yes. Yes you can ride it anywhere. In fact, if you let me know where you are going to lock it up, I have a 'friend' who will 'keep an eye on it' for you Wink

Short answer: no. As others have said, it's a 20 second job with a 5mm hex and a set of snippers to take £1,000 worth of bars/shifters/stem, no serial number, easy to shift on eBay. And no-one - NO-ONE - will stop a bike thief.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

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posted by KiwiMike [437 posts]
29th April 2013 - 21:18

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I locked my race bike to a lamppost outside ASDA for 10 minutes once. I got away with it but I was crapping myself the whole time I was away from her!

Sq

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posted by Squiggle [414 posts]
30th April 2013 - 18:46

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squiggle,

yup, I can understand that. Anything other than a very short visit would probably induce a panic attack.

posted by Tom Amos [236 posts]
30th April 2013 - 19:02

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