“We have these expensive bikes, $900 to $2,000, and they’re securing those expensive bikes with cable locks,” said Fening. “That’s not a secure way to trust that your bike is going to stay put.”
Chris Goff, mechanic at BikeWise bicycle shop in Oxford, said that occasionally someone tries to sell a bike to him he believes may have been stolen. Two tells are if the bike was repainted, or if the owner does not seem to know the details of an expensive machine.
Goff said he calls Miami, Oxford and Hamilton police when this happens, but the police can’t act if the bike wasn’t reported stolen.
“I believe a lot of the thievery that happens here is more opportunistic. I don’t think we have a bike thief cartel,” he said.
Most thieves are not willing to put in the extra effort into stealing a bike that’s well-secured, said BikeWise owner Doug Hamilton.
These experts were unanimous that bike owners should avoid cable locks. Hamilton recommended either a quality chain or U-lock, especially on a bike left outside at night. With some e-bikes, it may be necessary to buy a specific model of lock designed for the bike.
“The best lock is the human eye, but we have to leave our bike sometimes,” Hamilton said. “The worst case is to have a cheap lock on the bike left outside overnight.”