Bike theft at uni - tips to prevent

(21 Posts)
ClerkMaxwell Mon 21-Dec-20 13:07:08

DD did the usual things. DLock locked in "secure" uni bike shed but still got her bike nicked. Removed wall panels to break into bike shed then power tooled the lock. In uni accomodation and they don't allow bikes in rooms.

Police suggested not buying a mountain bike (she is small so it is kids sIze so perfect for selling on), giving it a bad spray paint and covering it in embarassing stickers.

Any other ideas? At this rate she'll be on her 8th bike by time she graduates and be completely uninsurable.

OP’s posts: |
electronVolt Mon 21-Dec-20 13:14:03

I rode an absolute shocker of a bike. One brake, no gears, solid tyres. Rusty as hell and covered in manky tape.

It was left behind a few times when several others got nicked. No one even bothered vandalising it, as it looked like someone already had.

bathorshower Mon 21-Dec-20 13:14:51

I've been where your DD is, and it sucks - she (and you) have my sympathy.

From experience, there are two kinds of thief, one who wants a bike to ride home, and another who has the kit and contacts to get anything and sell it on, and sadly it seems your DD has been targeted by the latter. DH has had the same - bike locked with a lock 'so good' the lock company guaranteed it wouldn't be stolen. They did at least pay out.

How far does she need to cycle? One option is a cheap second hand bike (hard to get just now, I know) - those didn't get stolen so often; I had a series of them as an undergrad; I didn't bother insuring them, and they didn't get nicked. A police auction is a good place to pick one up, but she'd likely need to do some work on it to get it ridable.

Otherwise I second the police advice; assuming she isn't still growing, she can use it for years and doesn't necessarily need to sell it on?

ClerkMaxwell Mon 21-Dec-20 14:25:57

Thanks useful advice. Insurance has replaced but I suspect premiums next year will be huge. She really only needs bike for work and I think once the tourists return to her uni city next year she will be able to find something nearer halls so second hand bike it is when this one gets stolen. DH is quite handy and a cyclIst himself so would be fine to do some work.

OP’s posts: |
User0ne Mon 21-Dec-20 14:32:13

Either get a rubbish bike 2nd hand or get a gps tracker (about £50 for one small enough to be hidden under the seat/behind a light/similar. GPS won't guarantee it isn't stolen but it'll make it easier to relocate, she'd have to remember to charge it - usually last 12 weeks between charges

ClerkMaxwell Mon 21-Dec-20 16:21:10

GPS looks good. Interested in finding out how successful they are.

OP’s posts: |
SciFiScream Mon 21-Dec-20 18:21:28

Register with BikeRegister get free stickers and hidden branding.

Cheap bike, rubbish parts.

Lots of locks and at least one lock that is a giant wire that goes through the wheels.

Removable wheel. Removable seat.

Motorbike lock left in the bike shed that she can use.

There's a really great lock now that's also a (really loud) bike alarm. Would need to look it up as can't remember the name.

Hide a tracker in it. Would a tile thingy work?


SciFiScream Mon 21-Dec-20 18:24:13

ClerkMaxwell Mon 21-Dec-20 18:52:56

Thank you. I will get her to register. Lock with alarm looks good as bike shed next to building (and residential area). Bike was well locked (DLock and chain) but thieves came well equipped. They got 4 bikes in total from one bike shed.

OP’s posts: |
Nacreous Tue 22-Dec-20 14:13:26

I think unfortunately the main thing to do is have a bad enough bike that no one wants to nick it.

If your DH cycles could he start looking out for a second hand one on eBay etc now so he can get something that's not too heavy and a decent make but old, and then things like the brakes etc can be sorted by him. Then once it's sorted bring the good bike home and switch out for the mediocre bike?

I had a bike that was 1950s in the early 2010s and it had rust on the frame and the wheel rims but dad fixed up the gearsets for me, replaced the derailer and the brakes so it actually rode about 5x better than it looked. It wasn't great still but absolutely adequate for pootling around town. It did me for about 6 years in the end, while friends lost bike after bike of modern ones.

ClerkMaxwell Tue 22-Dec-20 14:52:08

Thank you. DH would indeed be up for a project. Looking at ebay but not at lot in her size but might improve after Christmas.

OP’s posts: |
cologne4711 Tue 22-Dec-20 17:16:42


I rode an absolute shocker of a bike. One brake, no gears, solid tyres. Rusty as hell and covered in manky tape.

It was left behind a few times when several others got nicked. No one even bothered vandalising it, as it looked like someone already had.

I had one like this, the thieves decided to steal a wheel instead angry

cologne4711 Tue 22-Dec-20 17:17:46

I have two bikes now, one is a reasonably decent hybrid but the other is a shopper bike from Halfords and is 20 years old. The thieves at our local railway station seem to leave it alone.

Malbecfan Tue 22-Dec-20 20:00:56

DD's bike came from the tip recycling centre. It cost £8. It's the colour of strawberry milkshake with added rust patches.

DH has done annual repairs on it but it's still crap. No self-respecting thief in Cambridge has so far wanted to be seen on it. DD has a lovely expensive bike which lives in our garage at home. She is perfectly happy with milkshake bike.

Get a cheap crap coloured bike with vaguely round wheels. Nobody is remotely interested in them. Alternatively get one without brakes/gears as they tend to be found one street away from where you left them.

legallybland Tue 22-Dec-20 20:05:07

crap-looking bike (naff home-done paint job or gaffer tape)

if it has quick release she can park it then quickly remove the saddle and / or front wheel. a pain but better than constantly replacing it

SilenceIsNoLongerSuspicious Tue 22-Dec-20 20:05:13

I didn’t even lock my ladies, small, foldable bike with a rotting tartan carrier thing on the back half the time. It was never touched.

hellsbells99 Tue 22-Dec-20 20:20:40

We got DD quite a decent bike for uni off eBay for £10 - at least it never mattered if it got pinched. Have a look after Christmas, there should be loads on eBay

SpamIAm Tue 22-Dec-20 20:45:13

Take a wheel off? When I was in uni one guy on my course used to bring his bike wheel to all lectures.

Witchend Tue 22-Dec-20 22:23:16

Bright pink helps!

electronVolt Thu 24-Dec-20 13:44:19

* I had one like this, the thieves decided to steal a wheel instead*

Fortunately, the wheel nuts on mine were rusted solid 🤣

DominaShantotto Fri 25-Dec-20 21:09:26

Would a foldable be allowed inside halls?

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