Row upon row of bicycles hang unclaimed by owners at the ACT police property office in Mitchell, owners either compensated through insurance and eager to move on, or the rest simply stolen, left, forgotten or discarded.
Despite the cost of specialised bikes now running into tens of thousands of dollars, the robustness of systems to set up to protect them from theft has lagged well behind other forms of property security.
"Unless you're into bikes like I am, not many people even know where to find their frame identification number," said First Class Constable Chris Manton, from the police's proactive intervention and disruption team.
"Without a central register, for police the process of getting a stolen bike back to its owner is difficult and time-consuming."
And judging from the dozens of high-quality bikes held in storage by police and destined for public auction or the metal scrappers, there's an unwillingness by owners to chase their stolen property too vigorously when for the cost of the excess on their home and contents insurance policy, there's one with even more new-tech features waiting down at the local Trek store.
Last year in the ACT, 797 bikes were reported stolen and the problem is rising every year.
The newest weapon against this multi-million dollar problem is a simple, free online register platform which was started as a joint effort by Crime Stoppers and WA police. It has now been borrowed and rolled out by ACT Crime Stoppers.
It's both a register and a search tool, which gives the public access to check the bona fides of a bike's ownership before they buy one second-hand while also allowing police access to more information from the "back end" of the register's database to more easily re-unite owners with their stolen bikes.
Western Australia has had the online tool, called Bikelinc, in place for a year with 15,000 bikes now on the register.
"Quite a low number of bikes which turn up here [at the police property office] find their way back to their owners," Detective Inspector Mark Rowswell said
Bikelinc works for second bikes like the REVS (Register of Encumbered Vehicles) does for used cars. If the bike is reported stolen, that information is loaded onto the register, making it much harder for stolen property to pass into an unwitting buyer's hands.
Canberra retailers will also be encouraged to load the details and ID numbers of their new stock onto the database, with owners to update the information once they are sold.
James Thorp, the head coach at JT Multisport which has about 65 elite Canberra athletes, most of them triathletes, on their books, said he would be getting in touch with every bike owner he knows and getting them to register.
"We've needed something like this for years because a really good race bike these days costs as much as a new small car," he said.
"All the top-end race bikes now have carbon fibre frames and wheels, and fly-by-wire gear-shifting; it's a very specialised business and people who are really into it will spend the money to give them that extra performance edge.
"And if you think about it, you only need to take your eyes off your bike for a minute and it could be stolen."