Commuting and parking your bike

Sibreen

Maximum Pace
Jul 23, 2010
557
238
63
Hanno, Saitama
#1
Is there anyone out there who commutes to work by bicycle but cannot leave their bike inside their actual workplace?
If so, what precautions do you take to keep your bike safe?
Locks? Bicycle covers? Do you just ride a crappy bike to work?
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#2
My bike isn't crappy but the seller's price would be negligible. I try to park it close to other bikes that are twenty years younger; if they're conspicuously marked with famous brand names so much the better. I'm particularly happy if (as happened yesterday) I park it next to something emblazoned "Pinarello". My lock is (or anyway looks) a bit better than the locks most people use. (This isn't saying much.) Still, I hate to leave it out in the street for more than a few minutes.
 

Sheep

Maximum Pace
Jul 27, 2009
285
54
48
Tokyo
#5
I've started doing this recently and though I can park it in bike parking space within the grounds of work, it's all open to the public. I use two locks, a Kryptonite D-lock and a cable lock. Nothing's 100% secure, but the idea of making yours more difficult to steal than those around is probably the best strategy.
 

Sibreen

Maximum Pace
Jul 23, 2010
557
238
63
Hanno, Saitama
#6
I've started doing this recently and though I can park it in bike parking space within the grounds of work, it's all open to the public. I use two locks, a Kryptonite D-lock and a cable lock. Nothing's 100% secure, but the idea of making yours more difficult to steal than those around is probably the best strategy.
And this is your main bike, right? As in, very expensive..?
I'm debating whether it's better to leave the bike in open view - so that someone is likely to see if something dodgy is happening - or hide it as much as possible but at the risk that if something dodgy happens noone will see it.
 

Musashi13

Maximum Pace
Aug 27, 2012
1,772
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41
Ichikawa, Chiba
#7
Do the people who employ you have insurance on what you park? If not, think twice about the possibility of losing it. If they do, by all means leave it well alone out there.

I park mine in plain sight of Joe Q Public but out of reach within the sanctity of my employer's property where it is fully insured against theft. It is locked but it could be taken by someone with game.

Those are the risks I take. I won't go near the station or leave it outside for any length of time. If it was in a place where it could be taken and I wasn't sure someone would pay me to replace it I would be watching like a hawk from a nearby tree pecking on my High5 Energy Bar.
 
Likes: mrkamot

Andy in Tokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 16, 2012
605
824
113
Tokyo
#8
I commute to work on a hybrid bike and leave it parked in one of those designated parking spaces that city wards often set up. I lock the wheel to the chain stay and occasionally to the bike rack by the front wheel: the parking space is in a very conspicuous area (Yasukuni dori) and I don't really think my bike is worth stealing anyway. I wouldn't take my road bike to work unless I had a secure indoor parking space for it.

If I do have to leave my road bike parked outside, I always lock it to a solidly-built fence or rail by its rear wheel and chain stays, using as small a U-lock as I can get away with.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#10
Rule 1 - never park your <expensive> bike in the same place each day. Bike thieves scout out bikes and hitting commuter bikes are the lowest risk cause you can pretty much bet the owner will be in the office. Unless that place is a fairly secure location in public view where the said thief might feel a tad uncomfortable hacking away at a lock.

Rule 2 - park next to an easier bike to steal. Again, opportunity knocks when someone has parked their brand new Chinarello with a wisp of a cable at the Starbucks, then cozy up close!

Rule 3 - place the bike in as non-public location as possible. When I commuted to Akasaka , our building had an outside stairwell that no one used because they were basically lazy and preferred the far too small elevator to schlep them 3 floors with the potential chance of a 'brush up' with an OL. I'd just hook my bike over the rail and lock it there and use the stairs up to the office. I was the only one commuting to work by bike, so my space was ALWAYS available. And it was somewhat covered by the building so even in rainy weather it was a bit shielded. Entryways can be used, too. Play the gaijin card and just park your bike smack in the foyer. If anyone gives you grief, then explain the bike is worth more than their LV handbag - and would they leave THAT out in the street? They will be impressed that the lowly Gaijin has SOME sense of purchasing propriety - if somewhat an odd choice of accoutrements.

Rule 4 - get the biggest MF*ng chain possible and leave that on the rail where you park. Then, when you commute, use that bugger to manacle your bike. Attach it around the leg of one of those oyaji bike ticketers while you're at it. Use at least 3 or 4m of chain and several locks. So that even Houdini himself would have a hard time escaping.

Rule 5 - leave the bike, take the wheels. Almost all of my bikes have wheels that are worth more than the bike. So, I will leave the frame and just take the wheels inside with me. Hey, that's why they call them 'quick releases'. If you have a wheelbag, then you can stuff your wheels there and take no more room than any other salaryman's suit cover. Bikes without wheels are notoriously difficult to non-nonchalantly ride away. Unless of course your name is John Cleese
 

zenbiker

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Mar 4, 2008
801
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63
Chofu
#11
If you dont have a secure space then why would you ride a high end bike to work?
Race/ training bike for racing and training..
COMMUTER bike for commuting.
If your bike costs ¥300,000 imagine leaving a wheeled box containing that amount. How would you lock it?
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#12
Life's too short to ride anything but your best bike anywhere! I mean, what happens when you're huffing the papa-chari and a mamil comes ripping past just edging out YOUR KOM on the daily? Next day it's an EPO breakfast, slap on the tubs, shave the guns and HAMMERFEST. Then you get at least 2 - 3hrs of gloat time at the desk while you cross post, tweet, FB the results. And hey, when you leave the office, you get a chance to DOUBLE UP. That means at least 2hrs of pre-ride prep including SMR, massage at the Thai place next door, conbini gel scoffing. Add all that up and it means you really only have to LOOK like you're working for about 1-2hrs MAX.

That, my friend, is WHY you ride your RACE BIKE to work!

If you dont have a secure space then why would you ride a high end bike to work?
Race/ training bike for racing and training..
COMMUTER bike for commuting.
If your bike costs ¥300,000 imagine leaving a wheeled box containing that amount. How would you lock it?
 

Sheep

Maximum Pace
Jul 27, 2009
285
54
48
Tokyo
#15
I ride a commuter bike, but it's still not cheap, just not quite as expensive as my expensive bike.

I guess it depends on how long your commute is. I think anything over 15km and you'd want to ride a PROPER bike.
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#16
I don't have an outdoor commute, but use my bike for most trips inside Tokyo, including some business meetings.

It helps to have a bike that doesn't scream "expensive road bike". When most people look at my Bike Friday they see a folding bike, and few people have any idea what high end small wheeled bikes such as Bike Fridays, Bromptons or Moultons cost unless they own one.

Is not washing the bike regularly an anti-theft precaution? I will argue that it is... :)

I lock it through the rear wheel and chain stays to a steel fence or other unmovable object with decent but not ridiculously heavy lock. I often cover up the Brooks saddle with a plastic shopping bag while leaving it parked, which not only protects the leather from any drizzle but also makes it unsightly.
 

Sibreen

Maximum Pace
Jul 23, 2010
557
238
63
Hanno, Saitama
#17
Thanks for the replies, guys.

The commute will be about 15km, and from one inaka town (Hanno, where I live) to another inaka town (Sakado). There are lots of those public and semi-private bicycle parks common in the inaka, but they are unattended for the majority of the time.
I only have one bicycle at the moment and while its not very expensive so far as bicycles go, its expensive enough that it would take me a very long time to replace it.

I'm gonna ask my boss if it's possible to leave it at work if I take the wheels off and put it in a bike bag. Failing that, might build a crap, cheap commuter..!
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#18
The commute will be about 15km, and from one inaka town (Hanno, where I live) to another inaka town (Sakado).
Isn't that hilly? If so, I wouldn't want to ride it on a crap bike.

Japan is full of old and deeply unfashionable bikes that would not appeal to thieves, that couldn't be fenced, that weigh a lot more than your bike probably does, but whose weight penalty is trivial compared with my weight and perhaps yours too, and that are pretty good for many purposes other than racing. If you're over 180cm tall they're not so easy to find in your size but they still exist. I got a circa 1987 Miyata criterium (!) bike at Yahoo Auction for thirty-something thousand, and changed the uncomfortable saddle and pedals and the insufficiently long seatpost; and I like the result, which I don't think is crap but which would have both normals and fences yawning or laughing.
 

Sibreen

Maximum Pace
Jul 23, 2010
557
238
63
Hanno, Saitama
#19
Japan is full of old and deeply unfashionable bikes that would not appeal to thieves, that couldn't be fenced, that weigh a lot more than your bike probably does.
My bike is 10.5kg so it might well be one of the heavy, unfashionable ones you refer to.
But, I've just ordered 105 parts for it, and I have some fulcrum 5s on it that I bought from Saibot (best wheels I ever had - thanks, buddy). If it got stolen, it'd take me a year to save up for another one.

I'll have to see what the boss says about the bike bag.
 
Likes: saibot