If you buy a good bike, buy a good lock. Sad Story.

My friend bought a new bike this summer.

A nice bike. A really nice bike that he could barely afford. In fact, this bike has been on my own dream-bike list for at least four years. I can’t afford it, but I’m still pining for it or something like it.

This friend does not have much money. He’s rarely owned a vehicle and has never had a great job. He bought this bike to get around and the bike shop may have sold him too much bike. It’s a Cannondale CAADX Cyclocross bike.

He was trying out different road bikes and just saw this one hanging up in the store. It looked cool so he bought it. It’s kind of funny, I was talking to him at church a couple days after and trying to find out what bike he bought.

Friend: “I don’t know, it’s a road bike… Cannon-something”

Me: “What? A Cannondale? Whoa, that’s crazy! My favorite bike is a Cannondale cyclocross bike. It’s good for road and dirt and racing.”

Friend: “Oh no, I wouldn’t need that. I only ride on the roads. I’m not even sure what bike I have, just that it was nice at the store. It’s locked up outside, if you want to see it.”

*sound of me running up the back stairs out the back door*

It was so awesome, I snapped this photo right away:

$1200 Cannondale CAADX Cyclocross Bike. $20 lock.

$1200 Cannondale CAADX Cyclocross Bike. $20 lock.

Me (thinking to myself): It IS a Cannondale Cyclocross bike! I want it so bad!

Me: “Hey, that’s a really nice bike, you really should get a decent lock for it. Especially since you live in the West End of Winnipeg (the bike-stealing capital of our city).”

Friend: “I can’t afford a lock, I spent everything I have on this bike. I’m sure it’ll be OK.”

(I’m sure you understand I’m paraphrasing here, but you get the idea)

Two Weeks Later

Me: “Hey, how’s your new bike? We should go riding sometime!”

At this point my friend had on a seriously sad-looking face. With his eyes downcast, he told me that it had just been stolen. He had taken it to the gym and locked it up. I think it was out of his sight about an hour. When he came back, it was gone.

I was sad, frustrated, and angry about this whole situation. It really sucks! I hate bike theft! Especially this one. He might never afford a bike like this again and he’ll probably be so burned that he’ll end up with $100 Wal-Mart ones for life. I’m sure he literally spent the last of his money on that bike and had no room to buy a lock.

Look, folks. Even if you have a lock already, when you’re ready to drop a grand on a new bike, consider putting like 10% of that towards the security of that bike. Don’t just use your old cable lock that was good enough for your $100 bike.

I’m not endorsing any specific lock, but I know that when I do save up and get my dream-bike, I’ll also be saving for a heck-of-a-lock for it! Probably about a $200 lock. And this bike will not reside in my garage.

For the first week, it may reside next to me on my bed, but I’m sure my wife will understand.


About Kurt (Lightning) Bredeson

I am a married man, a follower of Jesus, a Mechanical Engineer, and a lover of cars, cycling and music. Things haven't always been easy; things haven't always been hard. I'm just trying my best in this life to enjoy what's been given to me by God and make the most of it.
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4 Responses to If you buy a good bike, buy a good lock. Sad Story.

  1. Francie says:

    sad to hear the poor guy lost such a great bike in only 2 weeks. i agree with the above comment about good post; cyclists NEED TO KNOW! lost my lovely gold coloured Peugeot 10-speed while locked up to my (new) apartment building’s bike rack. same thing – cheap lock. i’d been there about a week or 2. this was in the 70’s, so it’d be Vintage now. was fortunate to have enjoyed it for a few years at least.

  2. tuckamoredew says:

    I’m very sorry this happened to your friend – It’s simultaneously saddening and angering.

    Although the chances of him getting it back are slim he should definitely make sure it’s reported to the police (including the serial number which he should have or be able to get fro the bike shop). Also, even after the fact registering it at sites like http://www.bikeindex.org and http://www.bikeshepherd.ca may give a chance of recovering it.

    I wish the bike shop had sold him a $1100 bike with a $100 lock instead of a $1200 bike.

    Unfortunately, aside from inadequate locks many people don’t properly use even good locks correctly. In the picture you took of his bike he only has the wheels locked and it would likely be possible for a thief to just remove the wheels and walk away with an expensive frame and attached components. Here’s a video we made at EBC showing some of the ways improperly locked bikes are stolen and some better locking techniques:

  3. CC says:

    Good post. I met a lady in the bike shop the other day who did the same thing. She bought something like an Abus Bordo and had quick release wheels. I gave her my cable lock and informed her to get a good U-Lock. Her brand new bike wasn’t this expensive but an extension of her livelihood nonetheless.


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