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leverage attack using bike frame killed my bike (update from san francisco)

This topic contains 19 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  brybot 9 mos, 1 week.

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brybot

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Jul 14 2013 at 11:37pm #

So I posted that I was moving to San Francisco about 6 weeks ago. For the most part, things have been great here. Some roads here are timed for cyclists, and they are very heavily used. I actually get stuck in bike traffic. Ok, not really stuck, but slowed down. Many roads have bike lanes. Some that don’t area a bit scary. There is no 4-foot law here; I don’t get a lot of clearance. That and you can smell pot everywhere, so add that in the mix with driving under the influence. In general, I see lots and lots of people on bikes. There are so many, that drivers seem to be very good about being aware of them when making right hand turns.

Everyone seems to be really into bike security. Lots of people have a U-lock, cable and saddle lock. I followed suit. It worked great for about a month until I locked up my bike to go see a movie. When I came back, my frame had been collapsed by someone using the bike as a lever against the lock and rack until the down tube caved in. I am not sure if they were trying to break the lock, or just break my bike. I filed a police report and the cops were given surveillance footage (I’m trying to get my hands on this). To my surprise, they said that they will likely find the guy. But I don’t expect to get anything out of it.

Now, I need to make a decision. 1) Do I buy a new frame and swap all the components over? 2) Do I get a total beater bike? 3) Do I get a new/upgraded bike? 4) Some combination of 2 and 3? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

The bike in question was my 2010 Jamis Aurora.

Here are some pics pic1 pic2


edmonds59

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Jul 15 2013 at 5:58am #

Damn that sucks! Welcome to San Fran!
First of all whoever tried to do that is an idiot. Did they really think a bike frame would break a U-lock? dipshits.
Get a beater. The fuglier the better.
Assuming you have some secure storage space, get a nice new “good” bike for weekends.
Part out your old parts on ebay. You should be able to make a good bit back.


joeframbach

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Jul 15 2013 at 6:16am #

And try to find this shirt for your wardrobe while you’re at it. http://www.headlineshirts.net/i-heart-sf-t-shirt.html?hsnh_vendor=shareasale


edmonds59

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Jul 15 2013 at 6:37am #

Ha! I like how it’s sold out.


Marko82

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Jul 15 2013 at 7:19am #

I used to see a bike locked up at Pitt that was a POS department store frame with Sram components. That might fly under the thievery radar. Or buy some department store stickers…


jonawebb

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Jul 15 2013 at 7:35am #

I sounds pretty random, and may never happen again, but if you don’t want to worry every time you go to see a movie I’d get a beater bike. And maybe another bike for long rides. But good locks for both. Don’t count on your beater bike being safe just because it’s cheap.


Benzo

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Jul 15 2013 at 8:10am #

$100 aluminum nashbar frame. Move all the parts over, use that as your fast bike.

Get a beater bike, keep it ugly, lots of stickers, 1×9 drivetrain with cheap-ish parts if you want gears, otherwise a good single speed will do.


Drewbacca

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Jul 15 2013 at 9:26am #

Buy something used. In the meantime, cheap frame to keep the components useful (I don’t think you’ll get much money on ebay for the parts that come stock on the Aurora… good quality, but not high demand).

Who knows what is going in on the jerk’s head… would a 90′s era Japanese bike look any less attractive than a more recent Jamis? I’d try to find out of the areas that you frequent are more theft-prone relative to other areas.

I wonder if a cheap enough ulock can be defeated that way?

Sorry for such a headache… ugh. Jerks…

re: 4ft law, I was talking to a cyclist from CA recently who was wearing a 4ft shirt. He was surprised it was the law in PA now. He left me with the impression that it is CA law as well.


jonawebb

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Jul 15 2013 at 9:31am #

@Drewbacca, I don’t think it is. You’re allowed to take the lane, as here, but I didn’t see anything about 3 or 4 feet when I was looking after a discussion with my sister, who lives out there, recently. (My sister was annoyed because they do have a law requiring slow vehicles to pull over when five or more vehicles are following; she was pulling a horse trailer and had no way to pass a group of cyclists who were taking the lane.)


Drewbacca

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Jul 15 2013 at 10:13am #

yeah… you’re right (I must have conflated the shirt he was wearing with where he said he was from).

“California does not have a law that sets a specific distance for a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle. The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle or a bicycle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left at a safe distance without interfering with the safe operation of the overtaken vehicle or bicycle.

Cal. Veh. Code §21750″
source


MichaelArtman

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Jul 15 2013 at 10:59am #

I’ve never used one personally, but from what I’ve heard Tigr locks are often considered more secure than U-Locks and I’d guess having a little bit of flex in the Titanium might save a bit of frame damage in instances like this. Anyone have any input on this? It’s pricey, but $200 might be worth it if it keeps your bike safe and in one piece – continually buying beaters could get costly.

http://tigrlock.com/product/

http://www.wired.com/reviews/2012/06/tigr-bike-lock/

Just a bit of a conversation starter – correct me if I’m wrong in thinking these wouldnt mess up a frame AS bad, at least.


jonawebb

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Jul 15 2013 at 11:19am #

I’ve got one. I have no idea whether they will stand up to a determined attack. I have been basically relying on the idea that thieves will take a look at it, see that it’s new, and move on to the next bike. But I think that if they become common they’ll come up with some attack; actually, simply sawing through it with a hacksaw doesn’t look impossible to me, if you brace the bow right. Titanium is nowhere near as hard as case-hardened steel.
However, if a thief tried the leverage attack on any lock, if the lock didn’t break I would expect the frame would, eventually.


Swalfoort

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Jul 15 2013 at 11:38am #

Hmm, I suspect these were vandals, and not bike thieves.

You are in SF. Given what I know about most movie theaters, they are in more densely developed areas for the most part — so it is unlikely that yours was the only bike available to a potential thief (who only had the two hour movie window to a) see your bike and b) decide to try to jack it.) Why pick a 3 year old Jamis (not dissing your bike, just asking a question), especially one outfitted with a U lock and a cable? There must have been better pickings, easier pickings or both in the same general area.

Sounds like a lot of effort went into this malicious act. I understand that with a large enough lever I can move (or apparently break) just about anything, but does the standard or even extra long U lock permit the build up of that kind of force readily? Can a single individual even do it? If so, why doesn’t this happen more often.

I’d be more likely to suspect a bunch of kids, hanging out, and looking for something to do.

Just my personal thoughts on the matter.

As for new bike — middle of the road. Nicely maintained older bike? You’ll be unhappy using a beater, and will want to use the nicer bike, if you go the two bike route. So you’ll use the nicer bike when perhaps the beater should be employed. Defeats the purpose. And that presumes you have room for replacement bike +1.

Sorry to hear of your misfortune. Hope the story ends with a bike that you absolutely love and is somehow capable of flying under the bike theft/vandalism radar.


Steven

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Jul 15 2013 at 12:01pm #

CA’s legislature has passed a 3-foot law twice now, and both times Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed it. They’re trying again now.


Vannevar

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Jul 15 2013 at 12:05pm #

It’s a sign. Come back to Pittsburgh, Brybot, come baaaaaccckkk….


Mick

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Jul 15 2013 at 12:17pm #

I’d take it as random noise.

A Swalfoort says, more vandalism than theft. Was the theater is some car-centric area like a miracle mile?


Drewbacca

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Jul 15 2013 at 1:10pm #

Just a side note, I started a new thread for bicycle passing laws in order to keep this one on topic. Sorry, Brybot. :p


cburch

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Jul 15 2013 at 1:23pm #

Get a beater for around town. Rattle-can 5 or 6 hideous colors on it (think stripes and spots). Don’t bother masking the cranks or the wheels when you do it.


Drewbacca

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Jul 15 2013 at 2:00pm #

cburch wrote:Get a beater for around town. Rattle-can 5 or 6 hideous colors on it (think stripes and spots). Don’t bother masking the cranks or the wheels when you do it.

I vote for lace painting!


brybot

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Jul 15 2013 at 11:41pm #

MichaelArtman wrote:I’ve never used one personally, but from what I’ve heard Tigr locks are often considered more secure than U-Locks and I’d guess having a little bit of flex in the Titanium might save a bit of frame damage in instances like this.

I ran into some guy with one of those here and he said he didn’t like the lock. I’m strongly considering one of those massive chains that OnGaurd sells. It has a higher security raiting than the U-lock and doesn’t have the leverage attack issues.

jonawebb wrote:I sounds pretty random, and may never happen again

I hope so! The cop said he had never seen anyone damage a bike like that without stealing it. LBS people think it was a leverage attack, which confirms my thoughts. I still don’t have the video to really verify. It could have just been some random high idiot thinking he was fighting for his life. There are a lot of really freaky drugged up people roaming the streets in some parts around here.

cburch wrote:Get a beater for around town. Rattle-can 5 or 6 hideous colors on it (think stripes and spots). Don’t bother masking the cranks or the wheels when you do it.

Disgusting! But I probably should. I’m thinking about swapping all the parts to the $100 frame Benzo suggested and calling it a day. I already have a fast bike :). Eventually, I’ll have to get a nice touring bike again, but this will work as a commuter.

Mick wrote:A Swalfoort says, more vandalism than theft. Was the theater is some car-centric area like a miracle mile?

I don’t even know where you’d park a car in that area. There is a lot of foot traffic there. When I left the bike, the racks were full. When I came back, it was just mine and one other.

jonawebb wrote:Titanium is nowhere near as hard as case-hardened steel.

Hmm… I wonder if I could case harden a steel bike frame. The hardened lock came out just fine.

Vannevar wrote:It’s a sign. Come back to Pittsburgh, Brybot, come baaaaaccckkk….

Miss you guys :P

Thanks for the advice everyone!

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