Yea though I lock my bike on the sidewalk I will fear no lockpickers or stompers
March 24, 2011 11:49 AM   Subscribe

Safest place to stow a bike in downtown Montreal during business hours?

I'm getting all excited by the idea of biking to work again, except for the part where I have to leave the bike somewhere during the day. Montreal is big on bikes but also big on bike theft, and our building specifically forbids bikes. There used to be a number of bike racks downtown but I've heard that Bixi has gotten at least some of them removed (for example the ones at the Sun Life building).
I have a good lock, the bike I'm planning to buy is quite cheap, but still I worry.

Are there best spots downtown? Safest, sheltered? Underground for a small fee? The specific area-ish is Atwater to McGill, Sherbrooke to René Lévesque. Ish.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't think you need to worry during business hours. The people I know that have had their bike stolen in Montreal all left it somewhere overnight. If it gives you peace of mind you could always lock it on the McGill campus where security is always patrolling, which makes it even less likely someone would try to steal it.
posted by smokingmonkey at 12:28 PM on March 24, 2011

I'm not familiar enough with that area to offer good location advice, but here in Toronto, I always use two locks if I leave my cheap bike locked outside downtown during a work day. A u-lock for the frame and back wheel, and a cable lock that loops through the front wheel and frame, should be enough for peace of mind, if not an absolute guarantee. Two different types of locks means that a prospective thief would probably need different sets of tools. It won't dissuade the determined, but it should take care of the opportunists.

Oh, and record your bike serial number, just in case. This page shows you typical places where you can find it.
posted by maudlin at 1:06 PM on March 24, 2011

Yup. Locking strategy - your bike does not need to be theft-proof, only more theft-proof than the bike down the block.

Locking wheel and seatpost skewers, U-lock and cable lock, and the thieves will generally go after the bike with just a u-lock.

The locking skewers are big, because casual vandals will swipe your wheels and seatpost with saddle just for lulz.

Don't go too cheap on your ride just because you're afraid of theft, either. Get something safe, reliable and enjoyable, and peel off the decals or apply your own stickers, paint and artistic touches. The more you customize it, the harder it will be for a thief to resell it, and they'll go grab the stock bike locked up on the next street over.

If you're worried about parts vandalism, get a bunch of BB's, ball bearings or buckshot sinkers, and hot-glue them into the allen heads of the important stuff - handlebar clamps, derailleur hanger, brake mounts. They'll pry right out with the point of a pocket knife, but a parts thief isn't going to bother with it, he'll move onto the next target.
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:21 PM on March 24, 2011

Most police stations, and I think some of the bike collectives, will engrave an identification number and/or name onto your bike. If your seat has a quick release, replace it with anything else, even if it's just an allen socket, or even better take your seat with you into work. Some people even take a wheel with them when they lock their bikes up, but I'm not sure if this makes it more or less likely for someone to steal a bike (thieves can't ride away with the bike; but they might assume the bike is abandoned and safe to steal).
posted by vasi at 1:27 PM on March 24, 2011

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