Author Topic: Thorn serials registry -- good, bad, or even possible?  (Read 18336 times)

Matt2matt2002

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Re: Thorn serials registry -- good, bad, or even possible?
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2013, 02:51:17 PM »
Jeezo! Some great points being raised here.
Count me in when the dust settles and the format and info has been decided upon.

Andy supplied my bike with Pitlocks and they have to be registered if additional keys are required.
Not sure if someone wants to clarify how they do it. It may help?

What a great example of folk pitching in with their ideas and all constructive.

Matt
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Danneaux

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Re: Thorn serials registry -- good, bad, or even possible?
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2013, 06:07:23 PM »
Hi All! (I'll address this collectively for now)

Great points all, and exactly why I wanted to crowd-source the idea. We've a great collective resource in our membership, and lots of people have good ideas. Why not bring them together into a "better" end result? A great way to avoid pitfalls as well. I didn't want to wade in and find I'd unknowingly compromised myself, either!

I agree...if one is to be overt, then the more identifying/linking information the better (so long as a direct location cannot be inferred).

Some further thoughts...

In regards to fields...at the moment, I think it would be a good idea to have some standard data fields for all to complete (for quick access and scanning and to achieve some degree of standardization) and then leave the rest of the entry "open" for people to add info they think is important. This would achieve both aims: a quick-access ID <--> bike database + further identifying info.

The reason why I think a mix of standard text-form data and, say, photos is important is because Forum guests have different levels of access than do members. Guests cannot see attachments, for example. The registration process is pretty speedy, but it is also screened for spam. It would be nice if someone could simply access the Forum at guest level and quickly access the particulars, say to check a bike they were considering prior to purchase. I think the wider the access, the better. Yes! to More Information, but also Yes! to having the basics be universally available.

The more info to link owner <--> bike, the less chance of adulterated ownership. This is one of the concerns I had that led to my proposal. I recently read of a case here where someone effectively claimed ownership of property (complete with doctored documents) and the owner had to spend considerable resources proving prior possession. In the end, it came down to photos in  family photo album. Well, our gallery is a photo album of sorts, and one we can all look at and see, as can any registered member.

In the case of multiple Thorn ownership, I don't see why multi-bike info couldn't be included in the same record.  Ian, for example, could simply enter all his bikes in one post...or he could choose to do it in several. The latter might be easier in case you sold one, but I think it would work either way. There is one caveat...the date of editing is also logged on each post, but the incept/creation date is noted in each post as well, so that shouldn't be a problem.  I do wish there was a way to do this as an online spreadsheet, but I can't see a facile means to do so with Forum software and still keep it on the Forum and make it readily accessible to all.

I'd like to target this to the lowest-common denominator. Not everyone is computer-facile, so the process needs to be as easy as creating an ordinary post. My initial thought is to consider making the topic sticky so it is easily found (or perhaps even in a separate board) and then include the standard "forms" part in that so it can be easily copied, then cut-and-pasted into each entry, aiding standardization and easing the process (these issues are where the phrase "Oh, what have I done" pass through my mind...).

I think it is a great idea to make the database/registry a useful database beyond establishing identity <--> ownership, but I'd like to keep discussion to a minimum on the Registry, else it will soon devolve into just another topic and make it harder to use for its intended purpose. Maybe a note saying "Please don't comment on posts in this Board; all discussions should take place elsewhere" sounds awfully authoritative, but I do think this board topic would need to be "clean" and the entries stand alone for it to work well and be useful.

I think the size designator is part of the serial on all Thorns, but I'm not sure about older models. It was on Sherpa and it is on the Nomad, so I am hopeful this is a Universal.

Selling a bike on could be handled in a number of ways, but at the moment, it seems the most trouble-free might be for the original owner to simply delete their post (or delete that part of it for those who own multiple Thorns) devoted to that particular bike. Since the Registry is voluntary, the new owner could then decide to participate or not.

In the event of a theft, what about a separate topic for "Stolen Thorns" with links back to the owner's registry profile? The "Theft/Stolen" profile would contain full details of the disappearance and circumstances/location.

I think noting the presence and data contained on additional security tags is worthwhile.

I wouldn't want to include things like the Pitlock code that could somehow be used to leverage a replacement key. That would be like revealing my ring-lock key code. Yes, I have my ownership on-record at AXA, since I ordered a spare key, but I would feel much better if that info weren't Out There in the wild.

I think a pic of owner <--> bike is worthwhile...that much more info to establish a legitimate link between the two. I see this as ideally located in the "extra information" part of the registration record, to follow the basic standardized info. Since the Registry would be voluntary, people can individually make the decision to include as much or as little as they wish.

A sticker (as IanW suggested) is not a bad idea! If there were a means for them to be printed and purchased for a reasonable sum, it wouldn't hurt. I'm thinking something like Ian's suggested "STOP THIEF - This bike is Thorn Forum-Registered" followed by the Forum URL or the topic URL. Since this is all voluntary, people could choose to purchase a sticker or not. This is among several ancillary details that could be worked out later, but is secondary to the registry itself.

Thank you all! While I'm happy to forge ahead is all looks good and set this up as a topic, let's keep the discussion going for a bit to see if we can make it "best as possible" prior to establishment. The ideas (both positive and cautionary) being floated are excellent, and if we can spot problems early, they can be much more neatly addressed before launch than after. I'm really interested in any potential pitfalls, as those would need to be addressed first if the idea is to be successfully implemented.

Best,

Dan.

IanW

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Re: Thorn serials registry -- good, bad, or even possible?
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2013, 08:11:29 PM »
Hi Dan,

1) Firstly, not that I think it is not a good idea, but the idea of a "sticker" was Andy's not mine, so he deserves the credit.


2) Given the idea of capturing the ownership "record" in, or indeed as, a forum email message sounds like a good idea of "keeping it simple".

    In fact I was thinking of how someone might actually perform the look-up.
    The enquirer has obviously managed to identify the cycle as a *Thorn* cycle and thus managed to find this forum.
    Then they probably know a) the *colour* and more importantly b) some "unique identifier" (i.e. the frame serial number)
    and only after that might they know the exact *model* of Thorn cycle

    So could ! suggest that:

    a) We *recommend* (but not mandate) limiting each email to contain the details of exactly and only *one* Thorn cycle?

    b) We highly recommend the format of the subject to be: <Serial Number> <Colour> <Model Name>

    Because this would make it easier to search and simply sort and visually scan through which I can imagine will become many such emails.


 3) I definitely agree that whilst it would be definitely useful to *note the presence of*
    additional security markings / registration schemes associated with the cycle
    this should *not* include the security identification *codes* themselves.
   
    After all this additional "registration scheme" is merely intended to be an additional layer of security that forms part of the federated ownership records.


4) I would also like to suggest that once someone has chosen to register their current ownership of a particular Thorn cycle,
    whilst they are perfectly and permanently at liberty to amend and/or delete completely their own ownership registration "record",
    they are encourage *not* to actually delete the email message, but instead to remove any personal information and update it with an end of ownership date

    Thus leaving what is effectively a cycle ownership history / log record that *stays with the cycle*.
    You never know, a new owner may not quite get round to registering it before it becomes the subject of a theft,
    and the old record is the only way that the ownership gets traced back to them.


Just (another) 2p-worth
Ian

Danneaux

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Re: Thorn serials registry -- good, bad, or even possible?
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2013, 07:03:27 AM »
Very good suggestions, additions, and corrections, Ian; thanks.

I also thank one of our valued members who has emailed some concerns that should be considered carefully, as they may well prove a stopper in moving forward.

There is no anonymity if the screen name matches a real name. If locations are mentioned, there is a possibility of linking registry to owner and address. To prevent this, the registry would have to be secure from public viewing.

I do feel this is a real and valid concern, and we certainly don't want to create something that works at cross-purposes.

Thoughts? Suggestions? How might we overcome this obstacle; how might our goals be accomplished in a more secure manner?

Best,

Dan.

« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 09:05:12 AM by Danneaux »

JWestland

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Re: Thorn serials registry -- good, bad, or even possible?
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2013, 10:33:06 AM »
Hi Dan -

I am a little concerned the police may not accept this as proof.

There are serial registrations with firms in the UK, I am just not sure how the police reacts if the serial is already published for all and sundry to see.

(does anybody know?)

Other than that, good idea :)

And don't forget that any LA Cycles built Thorns will be in the stockbook! They are on Facebook and can tell you what year etc. your frame was built if you got it secondhand.
Pedal to the metal! Wind, rain, hills, braking power permitting ;)

ZeroBike

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Re: Thorn serials registry -- good, bad, or even possible?
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2013, 09:38:10 PM »
How is the proposed system any better than providing the police with the SN yourself if and when the bike is reported stolen?

All the details you need are in the handbook that Thorn provide you with.


Danneaux

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Re: Thorn serials registry -- good, bad, or even possible?
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2013, 07:23:50 AM »
Quote
How is the proposed system any better than providing the police with the SN yourself if and when the bike is reported stolen?
Hi Zero!

Of course, if one's bike is stolen, it is best to provide the police with the serial number and information from the Thorn manual. However, the bike may not be recovered in the same jurisdiction in which it is reported stolen, especially if one is traveling or on-tour. Here, at least, police agencies don't share reports of stolen bikes. In my immediate area, property crimes are not nvestigated, and stolen-property reports are filed by the victim/owners solely for insurance purposes. If a bike is recovered and no theft report or associated serial is on file, the bike is sold at auction.

Also, if a database existed with a description and/or photos if the bike, it would provide a ready description to check against when purchasing a used Thorn or for identifying one found outside the area where it was stolen. It would be ideal for showing any police agency with online access a photo of the bike in question and a complete description. It would also help establish the existing identity of the owner apart from the information in the owner's manual. As we've recently seen, having a current photo of the stolen bike posted and available might prove helpful in looking for the bike and also provides an online repository for the description and photos that could then be printed and given to police and bike shops.

Best,

Dan.

pault

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Re: Thorn serials registry -- good, bad, or even possible?
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2016, 10:01:07 AM »
Has this thread/idea gone cold?
I've got a '96 Audax (from new), and I'm considering a Mercury, and as I was rummaging around this forum I came upon this interesting idea  - having recently tried to date my 2nd hand Holdsworth it piqued my curiosity.

leftpoole

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Re: Thorn serials registry -- good, bad, or even possible?
« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2016, 10:54:06 AM »
Has this thread/idea gone cold?
I've got a '96 Audax (from new), and I'm considering a Mercury, and as I was rummaging around this forum I came upon this interesting idea  - having recently tried to date my 2nd hand Holdsworth it piqued my curiosity.

Cold? Positively freezing!
John

mickeg

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Re: Thorn serials registry -- good, bad, or even possible?
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2016, 04:06:19 PM »
My community has an ordinance that you have to get a bicycle license and renew it every few years.  I always buy the license for a new bike, it is cheap and you get a sticker to put on the bike with your license number on it.  But I never bother to renew because nothing bad happens to you if you do not have a valid license, probably 95 percent of the bikes don't have one.  The sticker sticks on really good, to get it off you would probably remove the paint.

I think that even when the license is expired, the govt records will still show who owned it at that time.

Several years ago, my dad's bike was stolen.  A few months later he gets a phone call, the police have his bike from the license information.  It was badly damaged, but repairable.

The last posting in this thread before today was a few days before I ordered my Nomad frame.  That puts the age of this thread in perspective.  But, I already had my Sherpa for several years by then.

Peter_K

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Re: Thorn serials registry -- good, bad, or even possible?
« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2016, 04:48:47 PM »
In the Netherlands we have a "Fietsdiefstalregister". That translates to "Bicycle theft Registry".

Perhaps something like that should be made available worldwide. Alas the UN is too busy with other items.

A difficulty is also the law: people should be made obliged to use such register prior to buying second hand bicycles.

mickeg

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Re: Thorn serials registry -- good, bad, or even possible?
« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2016, 05:56:25 PM »
... people should be made obliged to use such register prior to buying second hand bicycles.

I bought my Sherpa frame used, I asked the owner if he had documentation that he really owned it, he provided the paperwork that he got from SJS when he bought the frame new.  But I think that most people have no interest in trying to make sure that they are buying from a genuine owner.

If police agencies would make reasonable efforts to return recovered goods to owners, that would help.  But I suspect that most don't because it is only a bicycle in their opinion.

Danneaux

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Re: Thorn serials registry -- good, bad, or even possible?
« Reply #27 on: October 31, 2016, 07:10:51 PM »
I recently bought an older (2007) bicycle from a reputable pawn shop so I could use the frame for a project.

The shop is one of five family owned businesses in operation for 25 years and is top-rated by the local Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau and has been a member of the National Pawnbroker's Association, and all the locations are active members of the Oregon Pawnbrokers Association throughout that period. Very good reviews and known for cooperating with police.

They required my photo ID for the transaction and made me wait for a criminal records check (I have no record.  :) ). I got a signed receipt.

Is the bike stolen? Possibly, but with all that, I do trust the shop checked with the local police as claimed to make sure it was not stolen.

Also this summer, I bought a *very* used MTB for USD$10 from a guy in a small town. After trying to sell it for a year (I saw the ads over that time), he just wanted rid of it before it deteriorated further in the weather and asked $10 for his time and bother in being home for me to pick it up. His small car had no rack so he couldn't take it to a larger town with a bike shop to sell it, and it was/is unridable. Bought by me for the frame, to be used in another project. I gave my own police department a call on their non-emergency line, but they told me they do not have a way to check their records unless the bicycle has been licensed with them previously and then reported as stolen. This had no license and was from a small town with no police force, so....

About 20 years ago, I bought a used road bike off a guy who came into my friend' used bike shop. He asked only $20, since it had been sitting in Central Oregon's snow and summer heat for two years when no one bought it at his yard sale (because only MTBs were popular in the area). He's raced the bike in San Francisco and broken the head tube (common fault for this brand) and had had it repaired by famed Bay Area framebuilder Al Eisentraut and had the receipt for the repairs. He gave me a signed receipt for the bike with a photocopy of his driver's license/photo ID.

In each case, I tried to do my due diligence, but wished I could have checked the serials against a database myself.  :)

Best,

Dan.

RST Scout

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Re: Thorn serials registry -- good, bad, or even possible?
« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2017, 01:39:51 AM »
I like the idea of this but am wary over who would have access to the information. Also, how would we be affected by the UK's Data Protection Act which applies even to clubs?

Just a thought.

Janet
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Danneaux

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Re: Thorn serials registry -- good, bad, or even possible?
« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2017, 03:17:09 AM »
Janet,

The idea has gone nowhere since I first proposed it about 5.5 years ago, so it seems unlikely to take off now.

Rohloff keeps a serials registry (little orange card you send into them) so the basic idea can and does work. If your registered hub is stolen, you notify Rohloff and they will snag it when/if it comes in for factory service.

Best,

Dan.