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Stealing Bike Racks?

Old 06-23-21, 06:46 PM
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Elbeinlaw
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Stealing Bike Racks?

A friend of ours just bought a new Kvat (?) bike rack for $700 or something. My wife asked me a question after we saw it and realized it was more expensive than our bikes: Does anyone steal these? They lock to the hitch reciever, but a battery angle grinder ... !
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Old 06-23-21, 06:47 PM
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Racks stolen in the city, not a new thing.
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Old 06-23-21, 07:53 PM
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Deja Vu

I knew I had seen a warning about this brand being stolen before in General Discussion. Dates back to the fall of 2016. https://www.bikeforums.net/general-c...ar-beware.html Having one of these on your vehicle must be like wearing a thousand dollar watch. Very tempting to thieves.
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Old 06-23-21, 08:46 PM
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When parking at a trail, I remove the rack and put it inside the vehicle. Probably wishful thinking.. Once, we parked at a trailhead in Alaska. Every parking spot had a little mound of automotive safety glass where thieves had broken the car windows. We still parked and took a hike. It was a rental car and all our good stuff was back in the motel.
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Old 06-24-21, 07:12 AM
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I had two Thule roof rack systems stolen off my car maybe 10 years ago. The first time it happened my car was parked around the corner from house for some time, so I hadn't seen it in a while. The GF and I left the house and walked around the corner to drive to a group hike. I stopped in my tracks and said "I think someone stole the car." Then I noticed the license plate. I was standing behind my own car but did not recognize it at first without the roof rack, which I had installed back in 1996 and had never removed. Judging from small dents, it appeared that someone pried it off with a crow bar.
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Old 06-24-21, 07:24 AM
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I would think it depends where you are parking. If there is a lot of cycling traffic probably not. I know I would question anyone looking like they were stealing a rack.
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Old 06-24-21, 07:34 AM
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All kinds of stuff gets stolen. I'm not sure why this would be breaking news to someone.

An unlocked/unsecured bike rack on a car is an easy crime of opportunity, much like an unlocked bike. Someone can quickly remove it and walk away unnoticed, and turn around and sell it quickly on CL for a few bucks.

A lock on the rack doesn't totally solve this problem, but it does make the rack a bit less of a target. The number of people walking around with a cordless angle grinder and the willingness to use one to remove a bike rack is considerably lower. If they're busting out the power tools (which make noise and draw attention), they're probably stealing locked bikes and catalytic converters before the go for things like bike racks.
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Old 06-24-21, 07:35 AM
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Kuat racks aren't really that much more expensive than other high-end racks, but the metallic gray paint and orange anodized hardware definitely make them stand out more than an all- black THULE or Yakima.

Everyone likes to get worked up over anecdotes about organized gangs of bike theives, and they are out there, but the vast majority of bike theft are crimes of opportunity. Same goes for the racks; most of them are designed to easily attach and detach from your car for convenience, but at the expense of 'maximum' security.
If you plan on leaving your racks installed long-term, consider replacing the hitch pin (even if it's the locking type) with a large nut and bolt; use a nylock nut and reef it down tight. Throw a heavy duty cable around the bikes and the rack, and secure it to the tow loop on the cars' frame.

Anything can be stolen, given adequate time and tools; increasing the time and equipment it'll take will make your stuff a less attractive opportunity.
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Old 06-24-21, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Doc_Wui View Post
Once, we parked at a trailhead in Alaska. Every parking spot had a little mound of automotive safety glass where thieves had broken the car windows.
I've seen stuff like that at the Chain of Rocks Bridge on Rt. 66. Broken glass everywhere..... Every parked car represents someone who most likely won't be back for awhile; ripe for pilfering.

I have only a cheap Allen strap-on rack, but who knows; to a thief they might all look the same. And to a scrapper, they probably really ARE all the same. Aluminum is aluminum.
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Old 06-24-21, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
I knew I had seen a warning about this brand being stolen before in General Discussion. Dates back to the fall of 2016. https://www.bikeforums.net/general-c...ar-beware.html Having one of these on your vehicle must be like wearing a thousand dollar watch. Very tempting to thieves.
Yep, reading through that thread it sounds like those pins that hold the rack into the hitch receiver are really easy to cut, even with a simple bolt cutter.

It also seems like in a few cases thieves are specifically trolling/casing areas where they know people are parking and riding off, and will likely not be back for a few hours. I bet a lot of cars get broken into in those places as well, as people tend to leave wallet/purse contents inside the car while they're out riding.
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Old 06-24-21, 07:52 AM
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Since when does a rack cost more than the bikes on it?

Who does that?
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Old 06-24-21, 08:19 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Elbeinlaw View Post
A friend of ours just bought a new Kuat
...
My wife asked me a question after we saw it and realized it was more expensive than our bikes...
Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Since when does a rack cost more than the bikes on it?

Who does that?
I don't think I read the value of the bikes being transported. Just that the OP's bikes apparently were less valuable than the rack that the friend bought.

It is very easy to spend $1000 on a single bike. And, many are several thousand.

Looking at the reviews, that looks like a very nice rack, and has some great options for things like access to the back of one's car. Even if carrying beaters, some of the rack features might be nice.
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Old 06-24-21, 08:32 AM
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Spending a bunch of money on a bike rack is def nothing I would do. My $50 hitch mounted rack carries my $2800 bike very securely. If the rack gets stolen….no biggie. I wouldn’t want the hassle of having to take off the rack all the time.

While I sure many of the expensive racks have some nice features….my guess is that many buy them out of vanity(they don’t want to be seen with a cheap rack on their vehicle),
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Old 06-24-21, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Since when does a rack cost more than the bikes on it?

Who does that?
Everyone has different values. I used to carry $4000 worth of bikes on a $50 rack atop a $300 car. I have seen loads of people transporting their $89 bikes on $800 rack systems on $60000 cars. Makes me scratch my head but they probably feel the same way about me.
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Old 06-24-21, 09:26 AM
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Mrs. Altair and I parked at a relatively remote trailhead last fall. While walking through the lot, I looked at the hitch mounted racks. Out of half a dozen cars, about half had the rack secured with a bolt and hairpin cotter pin, including some pretty pricey Thule and Yak rigs. Our Kuat Transfer has as a keyed lock on the bolt, so we weren't going to be the easiest target. But I don't kid myself - if someone wants what you have bad enough, it's gone!
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