Tips for preventing a Uni from being stolen?

I really, Really didn’t think anyone would consider stealing a unicycle, until I searched under stolen unicycle. That was an eye opener.

I’m sure some of you have come up with ideas on securing your uni when you are running errands or commuting on it. Care to share?

For that matter, how do you all secure a larger wheel uni on those bike racks city buses offer cyclists?

photos also appreciated.


All locks are theft-retardants, not anti-theft.

So if it’s just for running errands, a spiral lock will be enough just to attach the uni outside. Then you can put it around the seat post and forget about it.

On the French uni forum, there’s been a few discussions about thefts. Usually, it’s more kids (drunk or not) who just want to try out and the uni ends up at the bottom of the river…

I have never trusted locking my unicycle anywhere. If I take it with me, I know in advance that I can have it in sight at all times. If I can’t go in a store or somewhere else with it, I just won’t go in.

I am a firm believer that most people don’t steal things because they need them, they steal them because they want them. A unicycle stands out and is unique. Thankfully, no-one can steal it and ride away on it… but that doesn’t mean they won’t try to grab it, or at least take your seat… the curse of the quick release clamp…

I have long felt that if you could weld a U shaped ring onto the frame, and onto the seatpost near the top. Then you could run a lock through the wheel, new frame loop, new post loop, and then it would be relatively secure. Someone could still take your cranks, pedals, and saddle, but would need some tools.

The video was honestly helpful. Locks reduce to some degree the chance of theft. Any reduction would be appreciated.

Additionally I would guess

  1. a uni left for several hours would be more likely a target vs one locked up for 10 minutes.
    2…or a shiny new bells and whistle uni is more likely stolen versus a beat up looking unicycle with no bling…
  2. …I would think having a designated watcher would help too and it doesn’t have to be a fellow rider…

Here we have a bike registry which all bike shops (perhaps police) can access, so in theory, IF a uni was brought for repairs its id number could be tracked to validate ownership… I don’t know if unicycles though are part of this system.

There are also several locations (no where near enough to be practical) that offer blind bike lockers where you can’t see the bike being stored.

IF one has a relationship with local business owners or workplace, chances are good one of them in an area will allow you to store your uni inside their building in a safer place.

Lastly, I agree with the idea of taking it with you if you’ve no other option…

None of this I would have thought of previously, but this sounds quasi sensible… Thoughts? Additions?

I just try to bring it in the store. The issue with unicycling is that carrying stuff can be tricky, especially if you use both hands to balance and you got bumpy uneven roads to deal with. I’ve done it, but it felt weird.

Good thing about unicycle is that it looks interesting, but not as many people are interested in stealing it. The ones that want to steal it are probably people that just want to get a kick out of it, running off to brag about the odd stuff they could jack.

I bought this awhile back:

Used it for a short time, seems to work well not to mention it’s pretty darn cheap, but stopped because nowadays I tend to just bring it in the store or I just unicycle for the exercise, get to where I am, get back home. If I’m running errands where I end up carrying stuff, I just take the car.

It’s just a thought that you might be interested in. Alarms with sound. But things to consider are:

  1. How long it’ll last if you do lots of hops like I do (another reason why I took it off)

  2. If it malfunctions and in the end, the whole neighborhood comes out with pitchforks. That thing is pretty loud, dogs really hate it that’s for sure. But it’ll get people’s attention for sure. In the video, I think one of the reason why when the guy had the small circular power saw, I think many of the people that heard the noise thought he was a worker for the city. Their thought was probably “no real thief would be this obvious” and probably because he’s holding a power tool haha. The same might have somewhat applied to the regular saws that he used before that, but other than that, it’s just people trying not to get themselves into trouble.

I’ve also read about a device that sends a message to your phone or something if someone moves your bicycle (I don’t know how it’ll work with a unicycle though). Of course you have to be relatively close to actually do something about it.

I just take this guy to guard mine when I’m out. :slight_smile:

Given that my uni spends around 40-50 hours a week chained up i have some pointers.

  1. chain up where there is cctv around, it doesn’t have to be to do with the place you are storing the uni but just pointing in the right direction.

  2. Park where other (or even better more expensive) bikes are, the averaged druggie/wino/chav who steals bikes here either wants a bike to ride or the money. If the choice between cutting two chains is £200 or a unicycle that they can’t even make a quick getaway on, the 200 is more likely. There are always plenty of cyclists too stupid to replace qr skewers or even lock their bike up. Don’t be afraid of busy places, my uni spent 3 months on church railings passed by thousands of people a day. Quiet places are more of a risk as someone can be less subtle in taking it.

If someone is going for parts and has tools then there is no way to stop them. A V frame unicycle like a V2 or Nightrider can be locked but saddles, brakes, cranks, pedals, bars etc can all be removed.

I put my not too cheap, not too expensive lock through my wheel and around whatever im locking on to. Yes 4 bolts and someone can take the frame but what use is a unicycle frame without the wheel…

I don’t live in a city so I guess it’s not as big of a problem. When I lock my unicycle I run the lock through the frame and the wheel. Obviously someone could take the frame but my wheel is worth like two and a half times more than everything else so I’m a little more concerned about it.

Probably like 10 bucks in scrap.

Don’t underestimate the general public, in the industry that I work in (batteries, primarily automotive and commercial), people won’t give up their cores because they’re worth ~$8 in scrap lead at the local recycler.

The only reason I can see someone stealing a unicycle, is to scrap it or be cute.

I have no idea what a core is, but I 100% agree with your logic :smiley: I’m guessing ‘or to be cute’ is sort of saying, they would steal the unicycle because it’s a unicycle and would make a funny story, rather than being of any use to them, scrap or otherwise.

I’ve recently been made to start parking my unicycle outside when I go to the Jobcentre (Despite me riding it there and wheeling it in for the ~10-11 months I’ve been able to ride). I lock it through the wheel and to the iron-bar gates that cover the glass doors when the building’s closed, and just stand near the door until it’s my turn to see the advisor. I generally trust that anyone who would nick my uni probably can’t ride it, so I keep my eye out and be ready to run after the thief. Even around the Jobcentre (Look at me, judging the unemployed while being so myself…) I’ve never had any trouble though. YMMV :smiley: The Jobcentre is also guarded by a 6’6 bald guy who looks like he could snap a regular person like a twig (and who I’m on good terms with, I always asks him if he’s ready to try the uni yet!), so there’s that…

When I’ve ridden to job interviews (Maybe this is why I’m always unsuccessful…) I either ask the receptionist extra-nicely if there’s anywhere indoors I can put it, or lock it up in their car park (Preferably in sight of a CCTV camera). It’s not been stolen yet, and I’ve gone for interviews in some SERIOUSLY shady areas, so I suppose, so far so good. Again, YMMV.

A core is an old battery (or part). If you buy a new one, there is a core charge you have to pay if you don’t give us your old one.

We’ll also gladly take old batteries in that people have lying around to recycle ourselves, but won’t pay for them. I’ve watched people getting batteries out of their truck, someone across the parking lot yells ‘You cin gitcha 8 bucks for that at Blooms!’ (the recycler), and the person will load them back into their truck and burn 20 bucks worth of gas for an $8 battery.

O yee of little experience. You left out one of the other common reasons:

Because it isn’t nailed down. :frowning:

No joke John…

One of the other threads described the theft of a uni from the back of a truck. The owner was hyper vigilant and just found it a week after being stolen for sale in the town’s advertisements.

In addition to covering ways to prevent theft, perhaps this thread should have covered ways owners have successfully recovered their stolen unicycles!
(Truth is, I’d like to know how many owners recover their unis… any idea on how to word such a thread?)

I’m thinking among the better ways to prevent theft, besides keeping it next to you in the store is to physically keep it out of sight, whether covered in a Locked truck, side storage room, or bike locker.

I Have carried my uni with me in a couple of stores. A “20” uni is inconvenient, but doable. I’ve often thought about trying to figure out a guitar strap contraption to carry it more easily. I hear stores are more okay with carry in unis, when the wheels are at least covered to reduce bringing in dirt and such.

Has anyone ever brought a larger unicycle into a store?

I usually ride my 24" standard uni to the grocery store, put it in the cart and ride it through the store. Never had any problems, even when I take my 24" Muni by times.
If there’s not much I have to buy I leave the cart and just roll the uni next to me. This way I’ve been to maaany different stores and never had any issues. :slight_smile:
I even got my 24" in the theater and a hospital. In both cases I had to leave it at the counter, though. But they were all nice and friendly and understood that, without a lock, I coundn’t lock it outside. :sunglasses:

To be honest, the best tip for preventing your uni from being stolen is to not take it anywhere.

Ok ok, back to being constructive…

I have taken 29" and smaller wheels into stores, college classrooms, and recently into Santa Barbara Superior Court. I wouldn’t take a 36er into stores, too big and heavy. A 29er can be easily held off the ground for a long time. Most places like it if you hold your uni off the ground while in their store/building/etc. Although peoples shoes are much dirtier than a unicycle tire…

  1. Agree. I put unicycle with roller-blading, for me it’s a sport activity, so I don’t go to the shop with them. I have a bicycle with a panier and rear-rack for that. :smiley:

  2. Don’t agree. Sometimes my uni gets a big dirtier than my shoes. Unless I upd…

I have brought, on different occasions, my 24 and my 29 into a dollar store near me. They know me there. I have carried them, walked them, and have put them in a shopping cart. The choice depends mostly on how much stuff I’m buying, whether they know me there, and whether I am feeling up to carrying 15-20lb on one arm for several minutes. The wheel often rests on the ground or the tops of my shoes at checkout when carrying.

There is sometimes a bit of a fight getting them into and out of a cart, especially the 29, but I’ve done more difficult things. The 29 is enough of a challenge that I don’t think a 36 would work too well, but I don’t have one, so I cannot test.

When walking/carrying, my gloves go into my helmet and the chin strap forms a handle that can hang from the lift handle on the saddle. When using a cart, helmet storage is obvious.

It helps that I am generally respectful of the store. I don’t ride the uni inside their store, and I keep a footprint that is less bothersome than a shopping cart would have even if I am walking it. Generally, I do everything I can to not give them a reason to regret letting me in with a unicycle. I have had a request to give a mount/ride demo (who hasn’t), from a fellow customer, which I declined because I was in a store. I offered to do so once I got outside where I could be seen through the front door, though. It’s not like I wasn’t going to do those things at that point anyway.

Are they? I’ve thought about this, and I want it to be the case, but I keep coming back around to the larger surface area of a tire’s tread, or, rather, the part of it that forms the contact patch extended around the circumference. If you keep the wheel from rotating, maybe you can compare favoraby just based on the patch itself, but who does that? Without brakes? Besides, you’re wearing shoes too, so any nonzero dirtiness of the wheel would work against you.

What factor am I missing? Tread depth? Some difference in where/how we ride/walk?

You wear your shoes everywhere, like into bathrooms. Not dirtier in the sense of actual dirt.