Unicycle security

I see someone had their high end unicycles stolen. Hope he gets them back. Good that the Schlumph hubs have serial numbers.

Most unicycles do not have anything other than the wheel you can lock up, unlike a bicycle frame.

Many bicycles have serial numbers. I see none anywhere on my KH20 or other cheap unicycles. Do any brands of unicycle have serial numbers?

How much of an issue is unicyle theft and the recovery rate?

My dilemma exactly when I carry 2 munis…one stays on top of my roof bike tray, while I ride…I basically double lock it, but only the wheel is secured…thieves can always unbolt the bearing caps and take the frame and everything else…trailhead is always busy with lots of people, so I’m hoping it’s somewhat safe…

Could you not replace the bearing holder bolts with a non standard bolt type so is much harder to undo

That is exactly why I don’t do groceries by uni. It is too far to take the 20" and the 29" is not too handy taking into the supermarket with me. When going places, I keep the unis safely inside the car. At least they don’t take much space, like a b*ke

I worked in insurance claims for 35 years.

There are 3 main types of cycle theft:

Opportunist. item is left on display, no security. Stolen on a whim. Any half way decent lock attaching the unicycle wheel to a fixed point will substantially reduce this risk.

Determined. Cycle is locked in a public or accessible place. Thief brings bolt croppers or even an angle grinder. Only the very best security will slow them down more than a minute or two. However, these organised thieves steal to the market, so are more likely to go for bikes than unicycles.

Theft from a building or outbuilding. Thieves break in an steal what they can find. The most determined professional thieves will take whatever they want because they have time and privacy. Most, however, are more at the opportunist end of the spectrum.

The best thing you can do for unicycle security is:

  1. Use a good quality lock to attach the wheel to something immobile. The wheel (and tyre/tube) and cranks/pedals make up most of the value of the unicycle.

  2. Have good security on your shed, and lock unicycles to each other or to a fixed point.

  3. Rely on the fact that a difficult to steal, difficult to sell unicycle is less attractive to a thief than almost everything else in the shed.

  4. Accept that there is always some degree of risk.

Funny story: many years ago, a 36 inch unicycle was stolen from near Nottingham University. I was aware of this through the grapevine. One evening a day or two later I was out on my 36 riding along a narrow winding single track near the river bank a mile or two from the university and I had the police helicopter hovering over me and shadowing me for several minutes. I think they must have decided that I knew what I was doing and therefore it must have been my own unicycle as I was not intercepted or challenged. It was quite alarming at the time, though.

Years ago I knew people that would use a tool, not sure what kind, to put clear identifying marks on the valuable parts of their bikes and motorcycles. They would mark the inside of the rims, under handlebar grips etc. Anything you had to take apart to see the markings. They would sometimes custom weld, paint, and otherwise modify parts to make the machine distinctive. Some would use their drivers license, or social insurance/security numbers.

For insurance and identification purposes, everything was always photographed. Also makes it quick and easy to send pictures where they will be seen, insurance collection etc.

For now, I keep my unicycles in my apartment or locked out of sight in the trunk of the car. I have a KH 20 that is pretty scratched up and has old sticker residue on it. I want to get it re painted, and will make it something other than the original color so it will not get confused for someone elses and easily stand out if it gets ripped off.

Non standard bolts for as many parts of the uni as possible sounds like a great investment and security idea for expensive unicycles.

So those that know, where can we get the non standard fasteners and tools for them?

Any idea what sort of tool(s) I would use to mark my valuable gear?

Great info, thanks!

I keep my unis in the living room. They are nice to look at and I don’t have to walk all the way to the shed (10 steps) when I want to ride :smiley:

Insurance ??

This might sound like a silly question, but does any insurance cover bicycles or unicycles?
I’m paying for car , house, life, etc, etc. just wondering…

In the USA, I believe it would be your homeowner’s insurance. If you have it. And to get a claim reimbursed, you need proof of ownership. Keep your receipts, take pictures of your stuff, etc. and keep on file in case bad things happen.

Once upon a time (1983) My old VW Bug (the UniBug) was stolen out of my driveway. Inside were my first Miyata and a decent set of tools. The car was covered by my auto insurance, but I was fortunate that it was parked on my parent’s property, where it was covered by their homeowners’. I was able to get good reimbursement for the uni with help from Tom Miller, who had done custom work on it. He sent me invoices as if I had bought the whole thing from him. I never got that uni back, but its dollar value was replaced and I got a new one, parts of which I think I still have. :slight_smile:

I’ve had four unicycles stolen over they years. That one in 1983, two more in early 2000 (from my Dodge Caravan parked in my driveway), and my skinny track uni from the stadium at Unicon X in Beijing. The two that were stolen from my Caravan were recovered, a story that was documented in these forums somewhere, but that was a pretty rare occurrence.

Several other times I have had my car broken into, and thieves took other stuff (like boomboxes) but on all those other occasions left whatever unicycles were in there.

Homeowners insurance covers bikes and unicycles in Canada and the USA. I don’t know about the rest of the world. Worth asking your insurance broker about it, and anything else you might have of value you would miss.

Anyone know anything about setting up a tracker in your cycle frame?

This website sells some security bolts with the tools included: Search: 17 results found for "SECURITY BOLTS" – Bicycle Bolts

Serious answer: read your policy, don’t rely on folklore.

In the UK, for example, most household contents policies cover “pedal cycles” but there are often monetary limits (no more than £X per cycle) and there are often stipulations about the use of locks of a certain quality. On some policies, cycle cover is an optional extra at an extra premium. Some policies cover theft from within the Home but not away from the home.

Asking in this forum for insurance advice is like ringing your insurer for tips on how to freemount your 36.

One of my biggest bugbears in 35 years of dealing with claims is people who relied on what friends, family or a man in the pub had told them rather than reading their actual contract of insurance.

That is why you ask your insurance provider for the specific details on prices, terms, circumstances etc for whatever you are covering in your area.

I actually asked the bank when I moved back to Holland and had to get all my insurances again. It is the same as when you have an expensive computer or sound installation. It can all be part of the home insurance. So if ever my house would burn down, I will also get money for the unis. They all worth a few thousand euros altogether.

I actually asked Kris about serial numbers back in 2011 and his response was that he had been looking into it.

When I had my 36er stolen recently, I asked if there had been any update.

With the low volume and uniqueness of most unicycles, I suspect it’s still pretty easy to tell if a cycle’s yours though and unless it’s stock, you could probably provide half decent evidence to suggest it’s yours (scratches, photos, description of odd parts)

I know that I could tell my 36er apart from every other 36er in the world.

My 24" does however have a laser etched seatpost which you can’t (start to) see without raising the post at least 2 inches more.
It has no doubt decreased the saleability of that specific post though as it says it’s stolen from me :smiley:

Insurance wise, at least in the UK, none of the insurance I’ve ever had has covered cycles as standard away from the home.

In my case they just wanted to know a total value of goods in my house, including furniture and computers. So if the house burns down, I will get some lumpsum. Unicycles aren’t bicycles, they are toys according to Dutch law, so expensive toys like a computer and it was no problem setting aside money for that. I’m not really sure about insurance in relation to them being stolen though.

Does that affect other laws like where you’re allowed to ride them?

I know historically the classification of unicycles in the UK used to allow them to be ridden on pavements, then nowhere at all, and now thankfully on the roads (but not on the pavements).

Correct, officially I am not allowed to ride on the cycle path if there is pavement beside it, however if there is no pavement and peds can only walk on the rode, then so can unicyclists. So I actually also expect that I should ride on the left side of the road (opposite from where cars drive), to see oncoming traffic.
So even when I ride 13kph, the police expects me to do so on pavement ^_^. On the other hand I don’t have to ride with lights at night. I mean the police can’t fine me, coz it’s not a bike.


In the UK they’d just get you for disorderly conduct or something.

I presume that you just pretend you’re a bike though and everyone’s happy?