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Bike security - Sally's Journal
October 17th, 2006
03:03 pm

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Bike security
I am getting a new, rather worryingly expensive bike.

I am sure I ought to get it chipped or tagged or engraved or whatever it is they do to bikes. Does anyone know what it is they do do to bikes, and what is the best thing to do out of the confusopoly available?

So far, I have discovered that some police stations will do a Something (I know not what) to it for free, at inconvenient times, and that the bike shop next to work will stick a tag chip inside the frame for UKP20.

And why do I think that my LJ is a better place to discuss this than a specific cycling group?

Updated to add: Oh, and insured. Should I stick it on the home contents, or what? Is there any small print I should look for? (like, only insured when locked up with two locks in your own living room...)

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[User Picture]
From:geekette8
Date:October 17th, 2006 02:08 pm (UTC)
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The police will stamp a postcode (well, your postcode, specifically) on the frame. This is probably worth doing since it's free, and will put off some types of bike thief, but the thing the bike shop will stick in the frame (presumably a Datatag or similar - that's the brand I have) is a much better protection.
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From:atreic
Date:October 17th, 2006 02:11 pm (UTC)
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I'm moving house in December. Will the postcode be used as a "oh, you used to have this postcode, it must be your bike", or will it just confuse them if I have a Cam postcode on my bike and now live in Coventry?
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From:geekette8
Date:October 17th, 2006 02:35 pm (UTC)
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If you keep some form of documentation on WHAT postcode is stamped on the bike frame (eg take a picture of it) then I don't think they'll care that much - it's just an easy way of generating a unique ID. Alternatively in Cov you can get the police there to re-stamp it with the Cov postcode too.
From:mtbc100
Date:October 17th, 2006 02:11 pm (UTC)
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cam.transport might have useful opinions.
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From:crazyscot
Date:October 17th, 2006 02:16 pm (UTC)
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My bike was marked and registered for free by Cambridge police at Lion Yard car park one Saturday. www.bikeregister.net - seems to be the silver offering.
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From:lnr
Date:October 17th, 2006 02:34 pm (UTC)
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Oooh, DIY with that kit sounds not a bad plan actually... I wonder if I can register a bike which was already stolen too :-)
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From:mair_aw
Date:October 17th, 2006 02:16 pm (UTC)
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just never lock it up. take it with you. everywhere. Except Edinburgh's botanic gardens, because they won't let you.
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From:atreic
Date:October 17th, 2006 02:34 pm (UTC)
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That was my plan, but very very occasionally I have to nip into shops for two minutes, and I'm sick of being shouted at by security guards. Also it's best to prepair for worst case scenarios...
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From:pozorvlak
Date:October 17th, 2006 03:38 pm (UTC)
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They shout at you for carrying a folded-up Brompton into a shop? I can understand them making a fuss over a full-sized bike, but that seems daft.

My anti-theft measures have always been "have a really cheap and rusty bike, and lock it in a paranoid manner" (currently it's locked to the bannisters in my tenement stairwell). It's worked for me for six years so far (fingers crossed).
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From:mair_aw
Date:October 17th, 2006 03:39 pm (UTC)
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perhaps if you're only nipping in for two minutes, it doesn't seem worth the folding/unfolding hassle.

if it's a small local shop and I'm genuinely grabbing something and going to the till, I just park the bike inside the doors. Otherwise, I fold.
[User Picture]
From:mair_aw
Date:October 17th, 2006 07:37 pm (UTC)
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curiously enough, the only bike I've ever had stolen was the one I paid someone twenty quid for after they'd left it unlocked in their garden for several months hoping it would get nicked ...

guess what, I wasn't too upset :)
From:ex_robhu
Date:October 17th, 2006 02:19 pm (UTC)
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And why do I think that my LJ is a better place to discuss this than a specific cycling group?
LJ contains the distilled intelligences of about 100 people who know you, most of which are smart, or at least have nothing better to do than to find the answers on the internet and post them here for you :-)

Is your new expensive bike a Brompton? I'm considering getting one myself :-D
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From:mair_aw
Date:October 17th, 2006 02:23 pm (UTC)
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*does the Brompton dance*

you could sell your old one on ebay to make the money ...
From:ex_robhu
Date:October 17th, 2006 02:26 pm (UTC)
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My old bike... yeah that is the plan. I don't know how good a Brompton will be, but they are highly recommended and seem better if I might be going to work on a bus (which is 10-15 minutes walk away but probably 3-5 minutes cycle).
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From:mair_aw
Date:October 17th, 2006 03:23 pm (UTC)
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Bromptons do go on buses, especially if covered making it hard to argue, but my experience on the Edinburgh buses was that it didn't fit in the luggage rack, so was something of a nuisance. You might want to check what kind of space there is available on the bus if you're planning to do that regularly.
From:ex_robhu
Date:October 17th, 2006 03:24 pm (UTC)
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Hmmm... it would be significantly less useful if I couldn't take it on a bus.

I tend not to travel on trains and I have an ordinary bike that I can just lock up.
[User Picture]
From:mair_aw
Date:October 17th, 2006 03:44 pm (UTC)
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well, move there, use the bus, see what kind of space they have, borrow someone's brompton and see how convenient it is.

if they're like the unilink buses here there will be no problem at all - you can fit a bike in easy
if they're like the edinburgh ones, you have to decide if you regularly want to be sitting in the granny seats with a bike at your feet clinging onto it every time the bus goes around the corner and apologising to all the people who want to go past. if the buses aren't crowded then of course they'll fit in beside your feet at a double seat.
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From:atreic
Date:October 17th, 2006 02:33 pm (UTC)
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Yes, it's a brompton. In tasteful cornflower blue. Bromptons are of joy, but they're very expensive, and there's quite a long waiting time.
From:ex_robhu
Date:October 17th, 2006 02:33 pm (UTC)
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Ah! You decided to buy rather than ebay in the end :-)
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From:miss_next
Date:October 17th, 2006 02:20 pm (UTC)
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I never had my bike stolen, but then I always had a great big thumping unsubtle motorbike padlock.
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From:neoanjou
Date:October 17th, 2006 02:54 pm (UTC)
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I talked to my porters once and for the princely sum of 50pence got a UV pen to write on my bike with and had its serial number registered on a database, somewhere.

Didn't do me any good when it got stolen though. :(
(Deleted comment)
From:ex_robhu
Date:October 17th, 2006 03:25 pm (UTC)
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You ought to check what your homes contents covers. It probably covers a bike up to a value of X assuming that it is inside the house.

Bike specific insurance will cover it when it is outside assuming it is suitably locked at the time.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 17th, 2006 05:43 pm (UTC)

a brompton

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hey sal

I hear they get a 'double thumbs up' in reviews of foldy bike type things.

I've recently changed emails to the cavernously large gmail, it's my name with separated by a dot. Don't suppose u could drop me an email cos I've mislaid yours in the transition.

ta
cousin chris
[User Picture]
From:atreic
Date:October 18th, 2006 08:56 am (UTC)

Re: a brompton

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I've tried to email you, but I might have guessed the gmail.com bit wrong, so let me know if it gets there. If you get an LJ account, all my LJ friends can see my email address on my profile page (and you get all the exciting locked entries ;-) )
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From:samholloway
Date:October 17th, 2006 08:46 pm (UTC)
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Get specific bike insurance. All the major insurers do it. It'll probably cost you about £20-30 year but it'll cover everything.
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From:randomchris
Date:October 18th, 2006 08:09 am (UTC)
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Home contents will probably have a section including "pedal cycles single article limit" of a few hundred pounds, but there will probably be an excess on that (mine turns out to be £50).
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 19th, 2006 10:29 pm (UTC)

brompton cornflower blue

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I am thinking of getting a cornflower blue brompton - has yours arrived yet and I could I see a photo of it - I have never seen one built - only a colour swatch and would like to see the colour on a built bike

thanks!
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From:atreic
Date:October 20th, 2006 12:10 pm (UTC)

Re: brompton cornflower blue

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Ooh, a mysterious anonymous comment asking me to post bike pron to the internet! How exciting.

Yes, it's arrived, and it is Very Blue (I got the main frame and the extra bits in blue, which is a Lot of Blue). In principle I'm very happy to stick up some pics of it (I want to show it off ;-) ) but I'm horribly busy at the moment, so it might not happen for a week or so. Nag me if you think I've forgotten.

Oh, and please tell me who you are :-)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 20th, 2006 07:11 pm (UTC)

Re: brompton cornflower blue

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sorry didnt mean to be mysterious - to be frank I just hadnt set up an id - nothing suspicious I just searched cornflower brompton on google in hope of seeing a picture and your site came up - I live in SW18 and am interested in getting a cornflower blue titanium bike with hub dynamo

would be great to see a picture when you get time
[User Picture]
From:atreic
Date:October 21st, 2006 05:43 pm (UTC)

Re: brompton cornflower blue

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Ah. That's going to be a very nice bike! I wish I'd had enough spare cash to get titanium, but I did get the easy wheels, so all I have to do is lift it on and off trains, and occassionally carry it up steps. Also it's not a huge weight difference... *is jealous*

I heartilly recommend Drakes in Cambridge, who will get you a custom build brompton in about 6 weeks (instead of the 14 Evans were quoting me). However, they're only open Mon-Fri 9-5 in Cambridge, so that might be more of a bother than just waiting a couple more months...

Pics to follow when I have time...
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 23rd, 2006 10:20 pm (UTC)

Re: brompton cornflower blue

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thanks for your suggestion re ordering - you're right everywhere in London quotes 16 weeks for a custom build - I might be tempted by apple green (a standard titanium colour - other options are pink or tempest (navy blue)) if I want one this side of Christmas - or as you suggest order through Cambridge

No doubt you'll recommend cornflower blue over apple green - look forward to seeing a picture - thks
[User Picture]
From:atreic
Date:October 30th, 2006 05:01 pm (UTC)

Re: brompton cornflower blue

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I have taken some pictures - I expect to stick them up on the internet in a couple of days. Stay tuned!
[User Picture]
From:atreic
Date:October 30th, 2006 05:15 pm (UTC)

Re: brompton cornflower blue

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From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 5th, 2006 10:56 pm (UTC)

Re: brompton cornflower blue

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Many thanks for the pictures - hadnt logged on for a week or so and have just seen them - it looks great!! - a lot of people have commented on it!!
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