WTH

Since when did having your bikes stolen become an issue of national interest? If your extremely cheap bikes are getting persistently stolen, that tells me that you aren’t locking them well enough. Suppose you use a solid U-lock where almost everyone else at the same location uses cable locks. Unless your bike is significantly more expensive-looking than theirs, thiefs would not target your bike before theirs. Since, in my observation, almost every bike parked at MRT stations is locked with cable locks, I conclude that to get so many bikes stolen, you must be locking them quite badly (with lower security than your average bike-MRT commuter).

I pretty much regard locking your bike with a cable lock as the equivalent of leaving cash on a public bench. No one would think of writing to a national forum to complain that someone had stolen cash he’d left on a public bench. So why should anyone care that badly locked bikes are often stolen?

4 Responses to “WTH”


  1. 1 Jin March 25, 2008 at 8:22 am

    Types of lock aside…

    I believe posting security cameras at the bicycle bay should provide deterrence to theft. That is.. *if* the-power-that-be is serious about promoting cycling as a means of commuting.

  2. 2 Ponder Stibbons March 26, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    I’m not convinced that installing cameras is worth the cost. It might be cheaper overall to just persuade people to upgrade their locks (and educate them on the correct locking methods: note that locking your front wheel only is NOT one of them). Furthermore, people lock their bikes everywhere, not just at MRT stations. If they buy a good lock for themselves they can ensure safe lockups everywhere, instead of only at MRT stations. We can’t possibly install CCTVs everywhere so it’s better that the cyclist carries his own security device with him. I don’t see why taxpayers in general should foot the bills for negligent cyclists.

    I’m a bit nonplussed by this issue, really — if they care about their bikes so much, why are they locking them so badly? In my unsympathetic moments I tend to see this as an unhealthy manifestation of the nanny state mentality.

  3. 3 Tinker January 23, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Whats the point of buying a super light bike and toting around a 20 pound lock and chain? Lets see, 25 pound bike, 2 pounds of fenders,a pair of carbon pedals for $250, a 1 pound rack, and a 15 pound chain, and a 5 pound lock? I’ll just stay with my 35 pound, 1970s Raliegh. And why WOULDN’T a camera be a good deal, instead of everyone going out and paying $100 for a theft proof lock and chain, a camera can be bought for WAY less than $100, and when multiplied by scores of bikes over it’s lifespan, seems like a pretty good deal.

  4. 4 Ponder Stibbons January 23, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I’m guessing you’re not familiar with the bike commuters we’re talking about (in Singapore).

    Firstly, you don’t need a 20 pound lock and chain to lock your bike safely here. Most people here don’t even use U-locks. Those weigh only around 2 pounds. They certainly don’t cost $100 either. Over here, the vast majority of bikes are locked by cable locks, and often not even through the frame, just through the wheel. That’s just asking for it. If you don’t care enough about your bike to pay the extra $20 for a decent U-lock (and lug around the extra 2 pounds), then why should the state care?

    Secondly, the vast majority of these bikes are not super light road bikes. Most bike commuters in Singapore use cheap heavy bikes.


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