Win a REFLECT360 Cycling Jacket from Proviz Sports

November 18, 2019

Enter to win a REFLECT360 Cycling Jacket from Proviz Sports! To reflect on a stand-out year at Project 529 we have teamed up with Proviz, the world’s #1 high-viz sports brand. The premium British brand is renowned...

Bike Theft Victim Do’s and Don’ts

December 19, 2018
/   About Us

Bike Theft Victim Do’s and Don’ts We hope you never have to deal with having your bike stolen but if you do, here are some tips: DO… Report the crime to police either in...

Vancouver Police Media Event – Monday 10/29/18

October 26, 2018

Vancouver recognized as global leader in fighting bike theft VANCOUVER, B.C. (Friday, Oct. 26, 2018) – Members of the media are invited to this important announcement that will detail how Vancouver has been recognized...

GPS – The bike theft silver bullet?

July 25, 2017
/   Annie Answers

Dear Annie,  I left my iPhone on the bus last winter and recovered it using the “Find my iPhone” feature from my computer. Seems that doing the same kind of thing for bikes would...

Unlocking the lonely U-lock mystery

July 11, 2017
/   Annie Answers

Annie –  I’ve been trying to a better job with my bike locking since my brother’s bike got stolen last year. I think I have a pretty good sense for how thieves take advantage...

Our Next Step in Attacking Bike Theft

January 31, 2017
/   529 Team

Today we’re announcing the merger of the largest and longest running online bike registry on the Internet — the National Bike Registry —with our modern bicycle registration, reporting and recovery platform, the 529 Garage. The merger...

Project 529™ Acquires National Bike Registry

/   529 Team

National Bike Registry and 529 Garage have joined forces to fight bike theft, creating the largest and most advanced bike registry in North America. January 31, 2017. Today, Project 529 announced the acquisition and...

Have You Seen Our Bike (Round 2)

July 27, 2014
/   Event Announcements

Bicycle theft is an epidemic, and it’s time we, as a community, come together to squelch it’s free reign. That’s why we developed the 529 Garage website and app: to enable local cyclists to work together...

It’s a Wrap!

December 8, 2014
/   529 Team

We wrapped the petition up last Tuesday with the final tally coming in at… …supporters asking eBay and Craigslist to require serial numbers on bike listings. Whoa, that’s sounds like a lot. Just how big...

Our Next Step in Attacking Bike Theft

January 31, 2017
/   529 Team

Today we’re announcing the merger of the largest and longest running online bike registry on the Internet — the National Bike Registry —with our modern bicycle registration, reporting and recovery platform, the 529 Garage. The merger...

Bike Theft Victim Do’s and Don’ts

December 19, 2018
/   About Us

Bike Theft Victim Do’s and Don’ts We hope you never have to deal with having your bike stolen but if you do, here are some tips: DO… Report the crime to police either in...

Engineering the future of bike security

April 16, 2015

While we may only have a small crew this year at Sea Otter (they are on the road right now), we do have a pretty big announcement: we’re working harder than ever to help...

GPS – The bike theft silver bullet?

July 25, 2017
/   Annie Answers

Dear Annie,  I left my iPhone on the bus last winter and recovered it using the “Find my iPhone” feature from my computer. Seems that doing the same kind of thing for bikes would...

Summer of SRAM Instagram Contest (pt 1)

May 29, 2015
/   Giveaways

Summer is about to get better for 2 lucky riders real soon thanks to our friends at SRAM. Whether you are a single-track junkie or gravity addict, share how you spend your 5 to 9 in the dirt...

Unlocking the lonely U-lock mystery

July 11, 2017
/   Annie Answers

Annie –  I’ve been trying to a better job with my bike locking since my brother’s bike got stolen last year. I think I have a pretty good sense for how thieves take advantage...

Dear Annie, 

My girlfriend is constantly on my back because I’m using a cable lock on my bike and haven’t bothered to register it. The bike is a complete piece of junk that I paid $50 for at a garage sale. It gets me to class and around campus and that’s it. Why should I buy a lock more expensive than the bike – no one’s going to steal it!

– Constantly Reminded And Pressured On Locking Again


CRAPOLA,

Your situation and logic is not unique. In fact, at registration events we’ll often discourage folks from using cable locks when we spot them, even on low-priced bikes. Often the discussion generally goes something like this:

Us: “You should really consider losing that cable lock and replacing it with a U-lock.”

Them: “But no one will steal this bike, it’s worthless!”

Us: “So, why are you bothering to register your bike with us today?”

Them: “Because I’d be devastated if someone took it. I rely on this bike almost daily and I love it!”

That’s the rub, and something that we often remind police departments that we work with. The monetary value of the bike is just one thing – the value of the bicycle to the owner is often a different equation.

Bikes are a healthy and inexpensive way to get to school, work and errands. They’re easier to park near crowded destinations and they are good for the earth. Once you become a cycle commuter, then the alternatives all start looking more expensive and inconvenient. In that transition, your bike becomes more valuable to you. 

Given the choice between a more valuable and less valuable bike, all things equal, a thief will generally choose the more valuable bike. However, if your $100 bike is cable locked next to a $1,200 bike that has a sturdy U-lock on it, chances are, your bike will disappear. Why?

First, bike thieves are generally doing other crimes (like theft-from-auto) and using the bike as a “getaway vehicle”. Second, even an inexpensive bike is worth some $$$ on the street. Third, why throw sparks if you can avoid it? Now, that inexpensive  bike might not be sold intact online, but they might use parts from it to disguise other bikes that they do sell intact.

While no lock is theft-proof, the jump from a cable lock to a U-lock is definitely worth the difference in cost. We usually recommend the ABUS 410 as a good entry-level lock for consideration. Costing less than $40, it’s a meaningful improvement over a cable lock and costs less than replacing the bike and the inconvenience a theft can cause. Check out my post on picking a bike good lock for more thoughts and ideas on the topic.

And remember, take the five minutes to register your bike today if you haven’t already. It’s the best way to help law enforcement get your bike back to you if it goes missing.

– Annie

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Annie Answers

Each week 529’s very own Annie Rhyder answers your questions about bike theft and bike security. To get your question featured, drop her a line at: annieanswers@project529.com.

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Press

Cool stories about Project529 in the press

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