biker with bike tattoo

The helpful chaps at Ask.MeFi have a good thread full of advice on avoiding bike theft. Some of the advice is pretty straightforward-- but a few go right over the line to nuttiness. We leave it to you to judge which are which:

1 - Remove all of the stickers. 2 - Rattle-can the bike a dull black or primer color. Or have a professional give it a nasty color powder-coat. 3 - Have the suspension changed out for a solid fork. You don't need suspension in the city, it robs you of your ability to accelerate as quickly. And it is attractive. 4 - Remove stickers from your components. Or replace them with a decent grade that you won't mind losing. 5 - buy multiple locks, all different brands and styles. You aren't going to stop a thief, you're just buying time. He/she will probably head for an easier target before hitting your bike. 6 - Be prepared to have it stolen. It will probably happen. 7 - Keep it inside.

You need two locks. One a heavy u-bolt. U-bolt locks are EASILY PICKED, so this cannot be your primary lock, but it's a good secondary one. The primary lock should be a heavy chain with an indestructible circular or warded padlock. [Maybe not the Kryptonite locks that you can pick with a bic pen though.]

A friend of mine taped black bin bag (garbage bag?) material over the tubes and put an old saddle on his bike. It certainly made it look much less attractive upon a cursory inspection...

I U-lock the back wheel to the frame, then c hain lock the frame and front wheel to whatever i'm locking into. Also you can take a little bit of chain and link it through the rails in your saddle through the seat stays to prevent seat theft. Furthermore, if you have a threaded stem, you can drop a little bit of glue and then a ball bearing into where the allen wrench goes. Then you just need to poke it with a screwdriver to get the bolt out if you ever need to swap stem/bars.

Take everything off the bike that can come off - losing lights is a real pain. If you can be bothered, get a seat that comes off and take that with you when you leave the bike as a bike without a saddle is less attractive.

Spraypaint the bike some godawful colour.

I did think about getting a small and cheap cellphone to conceal in the frame of my bike. If it got stolen, I could use a location service to find it.

Register it with the NYPD etching program.

I'm an ex-NYC-bike-messenger and daily rider, currently of a pretty Specialized frame with a nice fizik seat. My hub, stem, and seatpost nuts are filled with solder, which I have to wick out before any repair. I lock up with a colossal square chain and shielded St. Pierre padlock that have kept my bikes safe for almost 25 years.

Now if they could only solve our bike-related problem: the size of the GothamistHQ requires that we keep our bike securely locked to the railing in the hallway outside the apartment. This is fine, except at least twice a month, someone steals our breakpads. Yes. OUR BRAKEPADS. The first time it happened we went headlong into traffic before realizing there was a problem. While we naturally assumed someone was out to kill us, other people in the building pointed the finger at the food delivery guys. Apparently, they need the brakepads because theirs tend to wear out pretty quickly. Now, nobody loves delivery people more than us, but after losing six pairs of pads, we're getting a little desperate for a solution. Does anyone have any ideas on how to keep the pads on the bike, short of epoxying them in place?

Picture by Jesse Chan-Norris.