Sometimes, instead of trying to defeat a cyclist's high-security lock, bicycle thieves will actually saw through the rack to which a bike is locked. It's been happening in Portland, Oregon, so the city is installing a new type of bike-parking rack that just says No to saws.
Designed by the Portland Bureau of Transportation and manufactured by Oregon-based Radius Pipe Bending, the very normal-looking rack is made of 1.5-inch steel piping. Inside of that piping, however, runs a length of free-floating steel wire cable. Although saws can still get through the rigid exterior of the rack, it's very difficult for them to gain purchase on the floppy cable, which tends to just move back and forth with them.
Faced with that challenge, thieves might instead choose to remove the bolts that hold the rack to the sidewalk, so they can then slip the lock off the bottom. That's made quite difficult too, however, by a steel bar running horizontally across the bottom of the rack. Additionally, if a thief were to cut through both the piping and the cable, the rigidity added by the bar would make the rack harder to pry apart.
Portlandians can expect to see the new racks start popping up as more municipal bike parking is added, and as existing racks need to be replaced.
You can see how difficult it is to cut through them, in the video below.
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