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Thread: Road bike woes

  1. #1
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    Road bike woes

    As some of you know, I am trying to sell my car, or trade it, to get a road bike. I have encountered a few problems.

    1) My car isn't selling. This is probably my own fault, as my schedule just sucks (partially because I spend a significant chunk of my evening time on the road getting home)

    2) My company will under no circumstances let me bring my bike into the building ANYWHERE. Not the card-access-controlled elevator lobby in the parking garage, not the stairwells, not a storage closet, and definitely not in my cubicle.

    My parking space is a rack hidden in a parking garage, but I'm still concerned, as no security guards or cameras are in constant line-of-sight to the rack. I rarely see security "on patrol" making rounds in the parking garage, but even if they were making rounds, I know I could personally damage or remove stuff off of a bike in the rack if I wanted to, without being caught.

    Now I found a cheap beater used bike (Schwinn World Sport, probably mid 80's, 12 speed) that's my size but it needs a whole lot of love.

    I have a hybrid that works for my commute. Should I get a nice road bike and use it only on occasion, or get a beater, fix it up, and proudly ride it, knowing that no one in their right mind will mess with it?
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  2. #2
    The wrong side of normal jmeier's Avatar
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    I would find out what you company sees a a problem with bringing your bike into the building? I am the kind of guy that tends to go to the top rather quickly when something seems absurd...but its cost me a few times then I would get a beater and fix it up. I ride a 98 aggressor that is in sorry shape with obnoxious stickers all over it, then park it in my office for all the loafer wearing officites to see

    um, yeah, thats what I would do

    *edit* what about installing a big honking ravk in one of the garage spaces next to the guard shack in the garage (say on sunday morning)
    Last edited by jmeier; 04-19-07 at 08:38 PM.

  3. #3
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    I went to my director, he said it's HR's call. They said it's the property management division's call, they said "they have had several requests and if they let me do it, everyone else would, too."

    This was a director, not a grunt, that answered my question. Although I'd love to know what kind of mass hysteria would ensue if all three cyclists in my company suddenly brought their bikes indoors. Oh, the horror!
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    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    Out of curiosity, what's the price-range of your "ideal" road bike?

    Would taking that down a price-bracket or two leave you less worried about it in the garage? I would also consider whether I was concerned about the bike being stripped or stolen completely. For example, could you put cheaper components on a decent frame with good quality (but not bling) wheels and be ok?

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    Senior Member m00n's Avatar
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    Are there any other people at your work who ride? Power in numbers might work.

  6. #6
    The wrong side of normal jmeier's Avatar
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    So if they have had several requests, this is obviously something that the company should address proactively. They could set an example for the community for "encouraging" alternative, eco-friendly transit options... then again, this is Olathe (I grew up on the other side of the state line) and there is no accounting for attitudes there...(do you still have the highest property tax in 500 miles?)

    I tend to be a fighter of the absurd and wonder what the problem would be if everyone in the company parked a bike in their cubes!!! Watch out, there would be less room for f@# a@#es to sit down...

  7. #7
    The quieter you become... Falkon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ax0n
    As some of you know, I am trying to sell my car, or trade it, to get a road bike. I have encountered a few problems.

    1) My car isn't selling. This is probably my own fault, as my schedule just sucks (partially because I spend a significant chunk of my evening time on the road getting home)

    2) My company will under no circumstances let me bring my bike into the building ANYWHERE. Not the card-access-controlled elevator lobby in the parking garage, not the stairwells, not a storage closet, and definitely not in my cubicle.

    My parking space is a rack hidden in a parking garage, but I'm still concerned, as no security guards or cameras are in constant line-of-sight to the rack. I rarely see security "on patrol" making rounds in the parking garage, but even if they were making rounds, I know I could personally damage or remove stuff off of a bike in the rack if I wanted to, without being caught.

    Now I found a cheap beater used bike (Schwinn World Sport, probably mid 80's, 12 speed) that's my size but it needs a whole lot of love.

    I have a hybrid that works for my commute. Should I get a nice road bike and use it only on occasion, or get a beater, fix it up, and proudly ride it, knowing that no one in their right mind will mess with it?
    That is the answer.
    Quote Originally Posted by TechKnowGN
    San Jose has to be the most boring place I've ever been. And I live in Ohio.

  8. #8
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    Jeffs: My "Ideal" bike is in the $1K range. That would be a Redline Conquest or perhaps a Trek 1500. I'd rather have a 'cross bike.

    The two bikes I'm looking at now are a floor-model '06 Flare Orange Trek 1000 for about $500 (with new bike warranty, free labor and tune ups for the life of the bike from my LBS) and a closeout '06 Trek 1200 for about $700. I'm the only one that's ever ridden it. Both are short (54cm) and collecting dust. If I can sell my car for $750 or so, I was thinking of getting the 1200. If I only get $500 or so, I was thinking of going for the 1000. Yes, my ideal frame size is 52-55cm from all the road bikes I've test-ridden.

    $500-$700, therefore, is my practical price range. I will have trouble finding a worthy bike in that range. While I've seen roadies drop $500 on a seatpost and a bottle cage without blinking, $500 is a serious investment for me. One that I'd like to protect.

    That's why I'm thinking about the $75 beater schwinn. $100 would easily get my cables, brakes, clipless pedals, saddle and bar-tape situation squared away. Another $250 would net me a some tires, tubes, and a basic Shimano 700c wheelset and 9-speed cassette (thank you, friction shifters!)

    Then, I'd basically just have to ride my sub-$400 build-up around. And it would look like a beater.
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  9. #9
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmeier
    So if they have had several requests, this is obviously something that the company should address proactively.
    I honestly think it's bullcrap. A month after I started riding my wal-mart mountain bike every day, they finally installed a bike rack. Until then, I'd been chaining it to the guard hut in the parking garage (with guards' permission).

    With the exception of the two weeks after I got run off the road, I've bike commuted an average of four days per week every week, weather be damned, since late August of '06. Know how many bikes I've had to share the rack with?

    Z E R O .

    There are other buildings. But really, with probably 1,000 people in my building and me being the only one that uses a bicycle, I can't see there being more than a handful of requests like mine. Unless all the bike commuters quit and went to companies with showers and locker rooms and policies that are friendly for cyclists.
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  10. #10
    actin' the foo ragboy's Avatar
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    Axon, my sympathies -- I think your company is being ridiculous. What harm is brining a bike in going to do? -- I do it every day at my office, get on elevator, wheel it into the office and store it in an empty room and nobody blinks an eye.

    That being said, if you can't convince your company to bend, then I'd opt for the Schwinn. I know your commute is longer than mine, but I commuted 12 miles round trip on a 89 Schwinn Traveler for almost a year before getting my Crosscheck. I still have the Schwinn -- it does well as a commuter -- nothing to scoff at. Yeah, it's a little older, not as modern, but it's certainly a worthy commuter and you won't be worried about it all the time. Good luck.

  11. #11
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    Actually my minimum commute is only 6 miles as I use a bus to cover most of the distance. Looking at the way I have been stretching my bike commute, though, it's about 15 miles per day on average.

    I'll probably end up going for the beater now and maybe try to save up for a nice road bike later. No such thing as too many bikes, right?
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    I would recommend getting a late-80's Japanese/Taiwanese road bike. Double-butted chromoly lugged frame. Something like a Centurion - maybe an Ironman - would be:

    1. A pretty good bike
    2. Pretty cheap, in case it's stolen
    3. Ugly and old enough to attract less attention
    4. Might even have rack eyelets!
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  13. #13
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    This old schwinn world sport has most of that, except it's lugged Cromo, but still light. Lighter than my mtb at any rate
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  14. #14
    Accuracy is Speed
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    Hate to say this but I've seen beaters get stripped of their el cheapo parts. The people that strip/steal bikes often don't care that it's not worth much, they just do it for the hell of it. I've see single speed rickety cruisers with the handle bars missing, and a very upset owner wondering what the heck happened.

  15. #15
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adagio Corse
    Hate to say this but I've seen beaters get stripped of their el cheapo parts. The people that strip/steal bikes often don't care that it's not worth much, they just do it for the hell of it. I've see single speed rickety cruisers with the handle bars missing, and a very upset owner wondering what the heck happened.
    My bike gets locked. properly.

    If they wanna steal cheapo parts they can go get a poorly locked bike out in the open at the library. this time of year, there are no less than 3 or 4 bikes out there, and more than half of them are locked in a way where one could pull the front and/or rear wheel, saddle/post and handlebars in under 60 seconds.

    I have hundred-dollar bikes that I've been using all this time (a hybrid and MTB) without any unwanted attention so far. I'm not worried about being a victim of opportunity. That isn't going to happen. I'm worried about being a victim of a planned attack.

    I can leave a crappy car unlocked in my parking lot and never have anything happen to it. A locked, alarmed lexus on 20" chrome wheels with a big sound/video system, though, would probably get tampered with where I work, if left overnight.
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  16. #16
    The quieter you become... Falkon's Avatar
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    pssst fixie
    Quote Originally Posted by TechKnowGN
    San Jose has to be the most boring place I've ever been. And I live in Ohio.

  17. #17
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    psst 8% grades and I'm a clyde. maybe later
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    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    If you're into telling cute little stories to your bosses, tell em you are being interviewed by a magazine/tv/whatever about your bicycle commuting and that it's a shame that you have to tell them that you do it DESPITE your company's lack of cooperation and interest in allowing you to use a environmentally friendly form of transportation that supports the troops by helping to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Sometimes if you can't dazzle em with brilliance you gotta baffle em with BS.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  19. #19
    aspiring dirtbag commuter max-a-mill's Avatar
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    NYC chain to to lock the bike to the rack... ulock to lock the exposed wheel to the frame.

    leave them both locked to the rack at night so you don't have to carry that heavy mess home.

    been locking up a lot a lot more than 1k's worth of bikes outside in center city right now using that technique for a few years. so i am sure you will be fine...
    - the revolution will not be motorized -

  20. #20
    Senior Moment ontheroadid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ax0n
    This old schwinn world sport has most of that, except it's lugged Cromo, but still light. Lighter than my mtb at any rate
    I'd go with the Schwinn:

    • Lock it up like Max-a-mill recommends. Remember to take any easily removeable accessories, like lights and the computer, with you.
    • If you're serious about "maybe later" getting a fixie, the Schwinn frame might work nicely for that, as well. I've seen a lot of Schwinns, Centurions, and Panasonics turned into single-speeds.
    • In the meantime, it will be good training for that time in the future when you can afford a nice road bike. Think of the commutes as your strength/endurance conditioning rides. Once you get strong on that, you'll fly on a good roadie.


    Good luck with your unfrozen caveman employer. Since I grew up in Leawood and Overland Park, I'm curious to know whom you work for, but I understand if you don't feel like revealing that.

  21. #21
    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
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    get a kryptonite new york chain with the u-lock and get 1 more u-lock for the front wheel / frame ... you can run the new-york through the frame / rear wheel... =)

    covered on both ends !

    Fill your seat post bolt / stem bolt(s) with silicone or something that prevents inserting a tool without a bit of effort...

    =)
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  22. #22
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Also check with your local and state governments and perhaps the Greater Kansas City Bicycle Federation There may be some financial incentives to tempt the building owners into agreeing with your requests.

  23. #23
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Well, honestly, you can't prevent a planned attack from stealing your bike. Just like you can't prevent a planned attack from stealing your car. You can do a bunch of crap to slow 'em down (like the silicone in all the allen head bolts) but at the end of the day, if someone wants your bike and has time to think about it, it's gone.

    What is the area like, truly? Do you honestly think the bike might get stolen? At my old job, I didn't always lock my bike, but when I did it was with a cable (which some folks will tell you is about as effective as locking it with a spiderweb).

    The thing was, I was the only one in the entire area (several office buildings in an industrial park) who rode a bike. Professional bike thieves would have starved to death. Not to say there weren't areas in my town where a bike would vanish (probably more places than not in fact), but that parking lot just really wasn't one of 'em because no one would bother to look there for bikes to steal. It wasn't a place where truly random people came by, anyone who came by either worked in one of the buildings or some associated job (UPS, lawn maintenance, etc). So I never had a problem.

    Since yours is the only bike, you can't benefit from the "make it harder to steal than the one next to it" option.

    If I were you, I'd ride the bike I wanted to ride, and check with my homeowners / renters insurance to make sure my bike was covered in the event of theft (often your personal property is covered even if not at home). If you lose it, consider replacing it with a cheaper-looking bike... But I wouldn't be surprised if it never gets bothered.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Ride a folder to work. Fold it. Put it in a bag. Put bag under desk.

  25. #25
    One speed: FAST ! fordfasterr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elares
    Ride a folder to work. Fold it. Put it in a bag. Put bag under desk.

    Holy crap !

    Somebody give this guy an award !!!


    --- this might actually work aXon !
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