Zero Tolerance for Stolen Bikes
We have a zero tolerance policy on stolen bikes. If we find that a user has listed a stolen bicycle on our platform, we will immediately remove the listing and take action against that user. We will not reward criminals who wish to quickly offload stolen property.
As part of our enforcement strategy, we will occasionally contact sellers and ask them to provide a serial number if we have reason to believe that their listed bicycle may have been stolen. Secondhand Cycle users are also encouraged to ask for serial numbers prior to purchasing any used bike. Between our own reviews and the policing from the SHC community, we’re confident that we can keep Secondhand Cycle clear of any stolen bicycles or components.
If you are considering buying a bike on SHC, please take time to ask the seller questions and obtain the serial number (if possible). Once you have the serial number, you can check to see if it’s stolen on a website like bikeindex.org and others around the web. Ideally you’ll never come across a stolen bicycle on Secondhand Cycle but if you do, please let us know immediately.
While we’re on the topic of stolen bicycles, why don’t we share some tips with you for keeping your bike safe. Why should you even bother? Because over 100,000 bicycles are stolen in the United States each year. Take a look at the data from the United States FBI. You don’t want your bike to be a data point in that table for this year, right?
The fact is that in most cities in the US, if you leave your bike unlocked, it will get stolen. Even if you use a cable lock, your bike will most likely get stolen. There’s no 100% foolproof way to prevent your bike from getting stolen – but there are things you can to do make it less likely to happen to you:
- Keep your bike indoors if you can. This is better than any sort of lock you can put on your bike if you’re leaving outdoors. Your outdoor balcony doesn’t count as indoors 🙂
- If you must keep it outside, do not use only a cable lock. Cable locks are more easily defeated than u-locks. If you insist on using a cable lock, just make sure you have another lock (ideally a u-lock) on the bike as well.
- When locking a bike, make sure to lock it the right way. The frame needs to be locked against an immovable object, and both wheels need to be secure. See the picture below as an example of what to do and what not to do.
- Make it awkward and difficult for a thief to get your ride. This might mean adding some additional cables locks or other obstacles. Ideally, you want your bike to be the least attractive to a thief among a group of bikes. If your bike is more difficult-looking to steal than the bike next to it, then your bike will likely be spared for that one.
- Don’t count on crowds or cameras to keep criminals away. Video footage is typically not much help and many bike thefts occur under the cover of a bustling crowd.
- If you’re parking your bike inside a bike cage or garage, make sure you still lock it to an immovable object. Bikes are often stolen from these locations if the bikes, once inside the location, are not locked down or secured to something else.
Beyond the bike itself, removable components are also important. If you’re going to be away from your bike, take any small removable components with you (i.e. a bike pump). Bike stripping, as it’s called, is an ever-increasing problem in urban centers today.