- Having a cheap bike /isn't'/ that much of a deterrent. Case in point: My $80-from-Kmart 1-speed, bedal-brake Huffy was stolen this summer. And I'm pretty sure it was locked. I'm guessing that it was stolen not because it cost much, but because it /looked/ kinda expensive, even with the huge rear basket I put on it, the lack of front or rear reflectors, and the starting-to-rust chrome - In fact, Some people think it's an old Schwinn(sp?) untill I point out the word "Huffy" that's on it in huge letters.
- Therefore, even if you have an expensive bike, if it /looks/ cheap, that might deter theft. In other words, application of flat(not gloss) spray paint, combined with heavy use of rust-in-a-can would probably help prevent theft. Of course, a fancy expensive lock would only attract attention - /especially/ if the bike looks like scrap - so some decently heavy chain (or rusted steel cable from a scrapyard if you want the extra boltcutter-resistance), and a cheap-looking padlock (like the ones where you can /see/ the metal is just stacked layers.) To be honest, I prefer key-type locks anyways, I won't forget the combination that way, and people won't sit there cycling the digits until they get the right number.
- Speaking of which, I need to buy a bike anyways. The cheapest ones local are like $35 used, and they don't fit my needs. I saw one $10 at Goodwill that would've worked, except it was 24" and I need a 26". Basically, I don't really care about the condition, as long as it has the wide-style tires (the skinny ones don't like gravel), 26" tires (so I can fit on the bike), NO SHOCKS (I plan to go dual-basket with big baskets, and having shocks would at best result in mangled basket supports), and it's /cheap/ (as in, $10-$15, /maybe/ $20 if the brakes work, the outer tires aren't shot, and I don't need to buy too many parts for it.)
I think I'm gonna go dive for a while, maybe I'll get lucky and someone'll be tossing a suitable bike...