Bike theft in Montreal

Well, just as I was getting started on the team, my bike got stolen an hour ago on de Maisonneuve, in front of Eaton Centre. I locked it on a post and that post had saw marks on it when I came back.

Black Gary Fisher Wingra, I believe the frame was 52", I’m 6’2" if that helps. It had a Cateye computer mount on it (I kept the actual computer with me), as well as an empty bottle holder. I didn’t take note of the SN, but I’ll look around to see if I kept the papers and stuff at home. It was bought at Sports Experts 3 years ago I believe.

I’d like to know if you guys have any insight as to where stolen bikes end up. I’ve obviously setup Kijiji/Craigslist alerts for “gary fisher”, “wingra”, “black bike”, and stuff, so that I’m watching closely. But are there any bike shops that resell used bikes in the area, and are there flea markets near downtown ? The only one I know of is Marché Métropolitain, but that one is 20 mins from here by car when there’s no traffic.

I’m also watching the Montreal Blackmarket Facebook thingy.

I’m going to the nearest SPVM office as I’m typing this to file a report. My dad works for the company that manages Eaton Centre, so I might be able to get easier access to the camera footage, if there is some for the exterior doors.

Here’s a pic:

For the record, it was worth around $500 new. It’s not THAT much, but as I was making plans to buy a road bike, I wanted to keep it around as a commuter.

Thanks for any help you guys can provide.


I’ve heard that a lot of the montreal bikes make it to toronto, and visa versa, so check the craigslist/kijiji equivalent there. ebay?

They busted the major group that moved hot bikes between TO and Mtl but I suspect others are still moving bikes so check all of the CL/kijiji stuff for Ottawa, TO, etc.

Also, don’t use a shitty lock - the bare minimum should be a lock that is exceptionally difficult to cut without power tools.


I just found the receipt, looks I paid $7.99 for my lock. No wonder :stuck_out_tongue: Jason, do you have any lock suggestions ? I do get the impression that the campus is much safer due to security, etc. patrolling all the time. Is it a false impression ?

Also, any other “hot spots” ie forums, markets, sketchy LBS’s, etc. ?

Edit: and my last question, do you guys have any suggestion for a 2008-2011 hybrid similar to the Wingra (couldn’t find any in Montreal). I don’t mind used, and I’d pay something along the lines of $200-250. Do bikes depreciate a lot ?

Campus is NOT safer. In fact, from what I’ve heard, the downtown thieves are exceedingly professional, and if you have a nice bike locked up downtown they will steal it pretty much regardless of what kind of lock u have. Outside the downtown core is better, but still you should have a lock that is heavy enough that it is annoying to carry around. That would be a good rule of thumb. I made my own lock by going to the hardware store and buying 3.5ft of the heaviest chain that they sold, and then buying a burly padlock to hold it together. The whole thing should cost about $35-40, versus $85-100 for the kryptonite version of the same thing (minus the insurance).

I had a nice bike stolen in broad daylight from McTavish street in the middle of the day. Granted, it was not a very good lock, (thick cable lock) and it was a very nice bike. This was back when I was young and foolish.

Most cable locks are junk. We tested some kryptonite and bontrager ones, and you can cut through them with bolt cutters. It takes 10 seconds. A good u-lock is generally the most solid thing. You also want to have it as short as possible and/or pass it through the most stuff possible (eg rear wheel + frame) so that it’s difficult for thieves to insert tools into it/break it/cut it without wrecking the bike at the same time.

If you get a chain, apparently the ones with squareish shaped links (not the o part, but the shape of the metal part from which the links are composed), it makes it harder to cut since the cutters tend to slip off more. Rumors I heard, can’t confirm though. There are usually tons of bikes on the street with a sign for sale and a phone number around campus. I would bet that lots of them are stolen, but you’d have to be pretty lucky to find it I guess.

Hope you find your bike!

My personal philosophy is don’t leave any bike unguarded (i.e. locked up outside) that you’re not willing to part with.
I’ve also heard that it helps to deter thieves if your bike doesn’t look “nice”. It might be worth your while to scuff up/tear stickers off/spray paint your commuter. Thieves usually go after the lowest hanging fruit: a nice looking bike with a simple lock will be stolen before an ugly bike with a tough lock.

Other places you can check:

-If it doesn’t turn up until then, I’d do a round calling pawn shops in a few days - maybe SPVM has something set up for them to check serial numbers, but I wouldn’t count on it.

-Set up an alert on ebay if you can. The thief won’t put it there, but if it goes through multiple people, someone eventually might try and dump it there

Hope you find it

Like Jon said, cable locks are utter junk as they can be cut with small bolt cutters in very short order. Only useful for protecting your wheels or saddle in addition to a “real” lock.

Heavy gauge chain (even with cut resistant geometry) is still fairly vulnerable because someone can still break the chain or lock with bolt cutters, only the size of the cutter has now gotten much bigger. You need cutters with like 2-4 feet of arm to break through serious chains or pad locks.

U locks with non-straight teeth for the key and multiple pawls in the bridge are the best, but even then you can rip through any U-lock on the market with a cordless angle grinder in about…30 seconds? It’s just noisy as hell and throws sparks everywhere. There are other ways through those too but I’d rather not give anyone ideas, and they require ample access inside the U to pry.

The best feature of more expensive locks is quite simply the insurance though.

bottom line: Big ass lock, ugly ass bike.

Got it.

I’ll go to Neron Saturday and see if they can cut me a deal on a demo or something.

In the meantime if you guys spot a black Wingra online you know who to call :slight_smile: