The Chainlink

So now I see that they're breaking into shops and taking the cream of the crop.  This must really be catastrophic for the owners, who deserve a lot better and give a lot to the community.

Another reason why I tend to like cats more than people, present company excepted.

Block Club story

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I'm surprised that there hasn't been more chatter about this on Chainlink.

At least 6 different local shops, several of them hit multiple times. In each case, the thieves went straight for high end road bikes. 

Someone should try to compile a list of the stolen bikes w/ specs and serial numbers, and blast it out on social media. These are fairly unique bikes that should raise a few eyebrows if they show up on craigslist, or are spotted in strange circumstances. The 2019 Cannondale System Six has only been available for a few months, and the black market for bikes like this seems like it would be extremely small. 

These bikes often end up back at shops, after they're re-sold. The thieves sometimes bring them into shops to get help shipping them to buyers, or buyers need assistance getting them set up and adjusted, etc. I'm sure all local bike shops are already on alert. 

Odd and slightly cruel rhetoric around real human beings aside, I find the outrage and presented pain about this that I've experienced from the outside very interesting.

But as someone who's about to go wander one of the last tradeshows standing (RIP INTERBIKE!) and look at a whole bunch of more and more electric componentry and higher, and higher end shit, I'm curious as to why people find it more painful that luxury items are being stolen. I mean, the components coming out on bikes to keep pushing those profits cost more than a TV! And it's way easier to steal a bike on a wall than a TV in a box, you know?

In any case, there do seem to be a lot of upset and wanting to be proactive folks in the community, but this stuff isn't gonna end up on Craigslist. Flipping the bikes for cash is silly and laypeople don't neccessarily care about an ultralight road bike.

But Amazon, on the other hand, is the thing that is undercutting everyone. The components on those bikes sold for less/at wholesale on Amazon under different fly by night names, and e-groupsets are definitely in high enough demand that all kinds of people will by them before the sellers can be caught. (This article at Outside is super enlightening if this is something you're curious about: https://www.outsideonline.com/2326241/amazons-war-on-gear)

Anyway, cops are not gonna help (DO THEY EVER HELP YOU KNOW?!?!) and would have no idea why something would seem weird on Amazon. The machinations and whims of bikeland justice are quite frankly bewildering to me, but there's no reason why if people feel like they want to help, other than yell a lot, take a collective effort to poke around and look for these components. It's not super hard to find shady places. It'd be a process that'd take time, but these people aren't stupid. Most bike brands and P and A makers have an incredibly difficult time trying to keep track of the people who are undercutting them - I know, because part of my job involves getting lists from manufacturers of people who are selling shit on amazon and ebay in super shady ways.

I mean, groupsets come in with serial numbers before we ship them to shops these days. And these people know bikes, in some way, because they know that when they seperate out those parts from those frames, no one will have any idea where they came from. What an ecosystem. The hardest part for them was probably just breaking a window - now all they have to do is DHL those parts under the guise of, "LOL my new bike came with this but I wanted to go Campy, so I'm selling this CHEAP!!!!!"

Two cents. I truly hope to see a group of Chicago bike vigilantes ride at digital dawn.

Thanks Carm. Lots of good thoughts. I think you bring up a good point - these aren't typical thieves picking bikes off the streets. There is a well thought out theft ring happening in Chicago. 

What worries me most is the impact it is having on the shops being hit repeatedly. There is talk of at least one shop packing up because it's too much loss. That would be tragic. I posted on Facebook for CL about the topic, asking people to go to one or two of the shops and giving them some business if in the market for anything. This is also the slower season so it comes at a time that it pretty terrible for a business to lose bikes due to theft because things are tight already. 

Another shop got hit...  sigh.

https://abc7chicago.com/$20k-in-merchandise-stolen-from-lincoln-park-bicycle-shop/5144942/

Sure looks like a ring at work. This seems like a stake-out opportunity.

Link doesn't work.  Was that Cycle Smithy again?

You only have to look at all the vacant Clark St. storefronts in Lincoln Park and Lakeview to get the message that bricks-and-mortar retailing is dying.  We're all buying on-line...right?  

So the owner of Cycle Smithy can wring his hands about his losses because of theft.  But the REAL reasons he may shut down are economic, diminished traffic, not insurance losses.

I LIKE Cycle Smithy; I've bought a bike from them and lots of supplies over the past 30 years.  But recently they've never had what I'm looking for.  They've 'cheapened' up their inventory.  So after a couple of fruitless trips to them, I just buy on-line now.  Sorry. 

We all know: things are soon going to change...BIG TIME!

Here's the link again... (actually it's the same one, loads on my end, I actually copied it from above)  Lemme know. 

https://abc7chicago.com/$20k-in-merchandise-stolen-from-lincoln-park-bicycle-shop/5144942/

It is fun to go into a bike shop though and see and try on the product.  Plus I like the smell.  Mostly fresh tires I think.  But you're right, I've bought more than one bike jersey and CatEye on line.

clp you seem very angry with all the troll posts

clp, does this link below load ok? (I hope I'm not pasting them in wrong)

Of interest, I was reading another story where the police don't think the thefts are connected. It's noteworthy though in each instance it seems like they knew right where to go and what to go after. Although naturally a thief would go for the good stuff I suppose.
Separately, the Smithy owner offers his insights in this link too:
https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/02/19/cycle-smithy-burglary-bicyc...

Yes, the Cycle Smithy link works fine.  Thank you.   Very interesting. 

And Yasmeen, I'm not angry about the decline of our Lakefront neighborhoods.  Just realistic....and a bit sad.  The young, bike-riding crowd has moved west...along Milwaukee Avenue, Logan Square, Bucktown, Humboldt Park, West Town, etc.  A huge demographic shift is in progress.  And the wealthy, older residents taking their place, who are buying/renting the luxury condos that are being built all over Lincoln Park and Lakeview, do not go down to the corner bar, club, pizza parlor....or bike shop.  So if Cycle Smithy closes, it is not going to be because of insurance claims.

I would think that as the owner of ChainLink, and with dwindling participation, you would welcome ALL participants.  And ENCOURAGE different points of view, maybe even consider the other side of the issue, and add your thoughts accordingly.    Rather than launching personal attacks, calling some 'trolls' and disruptors, and prompting ridicule if their comments are something other than "+1" and total agreement.

As someone recently observed on that other bike theft thread, it is tough to understand what prompts all the rancor, name-calling, and personal attacks.  Can't we all get along?

Why I have taken to posting troll pics? 99% of the time you aren't kind or respectful of others posts and opinions. Your posts aren't steeped in fact-based information, just your own observations and opinions. Putting others down with your observations and opinions, you have consistently treated other members as if their observations, opinions, and articles (with facts and researched information) are less worthy than your opinions. There's actually no personal attack in my troll posts, just a humorous way to point out that you didn't respect others on the site. 

In the years I've come to know your posts, I haven't seen anyone change your mind. I haven't seen you respect an opinion other than your own. You just dig your heels in and name call, yell (all caps), and disrespect what others say or are trying to do. There's no personal attack on you when you do this, you just seem to do it out of spite. It's a bummer. And it's ironic, the person that seems to make sport of being unkind to others asks, "Can't we all get along?"

As always, you can dish it out but when on the receiving end, you get upset. I've explained this to you this a number of times before.

What are you talking about here, Yasmeen? STOP THE INSANITY!!! Jk ;)

AWWW, THANKS!!!! JUST FOR THAT I HAVE JUST THE DANCING TROLLS FOR YOU. OH AND HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!! 

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