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Old 01-24-14, 03:26 PM   #1
Sixracer
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Too nice to ride in the city?

Hi All.
A while back my MTB buddy switched over to single speed road bike. He managed to convince me too so I picked up a BD Dawes SST Al. I love it, tool around on the weekend for fun but can't bring myself to lock it up in Boston. Work has a nice bike cage but outside the liquor store/market/bar is what worries me.

Got some used wheels and slicks for my personalized(literally has my name painted on, thank the parents back in my teenage years) 1995 Gary Fisher Tassajara MTB and now thinking about single speeding it. I like the wide tires for crappy city roads. Problem is, it is bright red, in as-new condition, and seems WAY to flashy for urban use. So far my best attempts to ugly it involve some plastic wrap and duct tape. Not fooling anyone. Given I have had it for almost 20 yrs I am quite attached, not sure I can Krylon it to death.

(note, not mine but basically identical)

Should I get a third lockup bike and hope my wife doesn't kill me?
Should i just ugly the Gary Fisher (and get a sweet 29er if I ever want a flashy MTB)?
Should I just stop whining about my lame first world problems?

(PS, to => too)
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Old 01-24-14, 05:35 PM   #2
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Just use proper locks,and replace any QR's. I never had an issue parking my nice bikes around town. Unless it's high dollar,you only have to worry about low end thieves,so as long as there are other bikes not locked properly,you don't have to worry.

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Old 01-24-14, 06:42 PM   #3
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I'm in Metro NY and have never had an issue with bikes locked outside of stores, not even when I lived and rode in Manhattan. My rules were simple, Not all day when at work, and never at the movie theater, where all an thief had to do was check the schedule.

Otherwise, stores and restaurants were relatively safe especially if there was a large front window. Sometimes, when going into another store, I'd lock opposite a restaurant or Pizza place with big glass.

My approach was and is to bolster the lock with a bit of psychological warfare. I'd lock in places where the thief would wonder if the owner still had an eye on it, or was likely to come out at any time. By that logic in front of a Pizza joint is safer than if front of a fancy restaurant.

Anyway bikes are for riding, and if you're going to worry about all day, leave it home and take the bus. (or get a dedicated beater).
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Old 01-24-14, 10:08 PM   #4
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Its the getting off and leaving it on the street , that becomes a temptation for theft..

Riding it, in traffic, is more about not getting struck and killed.
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Old 01-25-14, 08:26 AM   #5
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No offense, but it is just a bike. I have 2 Rivendells and a Soma I love dearly and use for all kinds of riding. I lock them up in all kinds of places, including downtown Boston/Cambridge/Sommerville when I have been there. I also use them in downtown Chicago which is a damn sight more dangerous than Boston. Record the serial number and a photo on your phone, get a good lock, eliminate the QR and park near one of the famous cardboard cops in town.
I figure I bought it and built it, I can do it again, it is just a bike.

Marc
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Old 01-25-14, 09:52 AM   #6
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No offense, but it is just a bike. I figure I bought it and built it, I can do it again, it is just a bike.
This is an attitude, that I agree with, that I find missing on BF. I love my mom and my wife. I like my bike.

As much as I like it, it's just a tool. I use a hammer to drive nails, a saw to cut wood and a bike to get somewhere.

You might better take your loved on with you, someone might steal it if you leave it at home.
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Old 01-27-14, 10:08 AM   #7
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It's a tool, not a jewel. Lock up the dawes, since there's no sentimental value. You can get any number of bikes to replace that one if it gets nicked.
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Old 01-27-14, 01:42 PM   #8
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The best advice here so far is not to lock it up all day unless you know with reasonable certainty that it's safe. Locking it all day every day in the same place is even worse.

irwin, I like your attitude. It's like using the good dinner plates on every-day occasions, because if you don't enjoy them, there's no point in having them. We use very old antique plates every day.
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Old 01-27-14, 01:48 PM   #9
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I commute regularly on bikes that would cost $2,000-4,000 to replace. I park my bikes outside my office in a fairly safe location with a video cam and building security officers, and I lock them with a Kryptonite NY U-lock and cable. If one of my bikes gets stolen, so be it. I commute year-round about 30+ miles round trip and I don't want to ride that far on a beater bike.
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Old 02-09-14, 12:54 PM   #10
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Here is the Gary Fisher Tassajara converted to SS. Turned out pretty good using a half link to get the chain tension right. I did do some red duct tape over the logos and such.
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Old 02-09-14, 04:06 PM   #11
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Too nice to ride in the city?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixracer View Post
…I love it, tool around on the weekend for fun but can't bring myself to lock it up in Boston. ..

Problem is, it is bright red, in as-new condition, and seems WAY to flashy for urban use. So far my best attempts to ugly it involve some plastic wrap and duct tape. Not fooling anyone. Given I have had it for almost 20 yrs I am quite attached, not sure I can Krylon it to death…
I live in Kenmore Square and commute through Boston to a suburb 14 miles distant on a beautiful carbon fiber, very expensive Specialized S-works. While I don't consider it too nice to ride in the city, I would never lock it up. In fact, I would not lock up my beater Cannondale mountain bike either. I just don't think it's worthwhile to lock up the bike and leave it unattended. Fortunately I can bring my bike into work to a secure location, and I'm not hesitant about taking a bike into an establishment where I might be doing some business. Otherwise I just don't use the bike if I have to leave it anywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by irwin7638 View Post
No offense, but it is just a bike…

Quote:
Originally Posted by noglider View Post
….irwin, I like your attitude. It's like using the good dinner plates on every-day occasions, because if you don't enjoy them, there's no point in having them. We use very old antique plates every day.
Would you use your antique plates for a children's birthday party? For me, it's not so much a matter of a material attachment, though I do love (or “like”) and enjoy my bikes, but it's a matter of taking a risk with a valued object, when alternatives are available. Secondly, my current bikes are so suitable for my needs, it would take a lot of time and aggravation to search for replacements. Bikes are just that integral to my cycling lifestyle, and a lifestyle it is, FWIW.
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Old 02-09-14, 04:34 PM   #12
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I've lost a fair number of possessions over the decades.... through a various number of ways. Many just from age and wear. Things come and go. I wouldn't want to lose a bicycle to theft or damage.... I wouldn't want to have to hoof it home in cycling shoes. But life would go on.... with another bicycle.
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Old 02-09-14, 07:50 PM   #13
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Emotional attachement or not, we are talking about $400 or more here that has a tendency to disappear when locked up. I would not leave my iPad or iPhone on the seat in a parked car.

So a Forgettaboutit lock on quick jaunts to the market or a slice of pizza seems like no problem but maybe not 3 hours out with friends.
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Old 02-09-14, 08:25 PM   #14
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unlike some others, it seems, i'm not going to try to convince you that your concern for your bike is unwarranted.

here's what i would do, because i know that a truly ugly bike is not as likely to be stolen as one that is not.

1) always park, if possible, close to are more likely target of theft.

2) loose superficial dust and dirt, especially on tires and rims goes a long way towards discouraging theft.

3) keep a BFL (big, effing, lock) locked close to where you intend to park. and use it.

4) put on the oldest, rattiest saddle you can find and tolerate riding on. if the cover is split, so much the better.

5) as mentioned, take the front wheel, if practicable, with you.

6) be creative

as to your options:

1) i bought my well used, but otherwide very serviceable, '97 Tassahara for five dollars off of CL. the wheels were and extra 10. BTW, it is now SS and most of the Acera parts have worn out long ago. and i would not like to have it stolen either. so ya, that'll work.

2) see above...

3) that too .
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Old 02-09-14, 11:20 PM   #15
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Jim from Boston, what you say makes sense. You shouldn't lock your bikes up, and it's lucky you don't have to. Other people can use other plans.
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Old 02-09-14, 11:28 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
I commute regularly on bikes that would cost $2,000-4,000 to replace. I park my bikes outside my office in a fairly safe location with a video cam and building security officers, and I lock them with a Kryptonite NY U-lock and cable. If one of my bikes gets stolen, so be it. I commute year-round about 30+ miles round trip and I don't want to ride that far on a beater bike.
If you are alert enough, you can find "beaters" for cheap, I have a bunch of them. I ride about 20 miiles a day year long go on some 40 mile rides. Here are some pics of bicycles i picked up for 50 bucks or less a peice. All of them very reliable.

I still lock them up, I dont want to get stranded without a bike 10 or 20 miles from home
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Old 02-10-14, 10:18 PM   #17
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Jim from Boston, what you say makes sense. You shouldn't lock your bikes up, and it's lucky you don't have to. Other people can use other plans.
Thanks for your reply and it prompted some introspection. I post about commuting from the point of view of a nearly perfect bicycle commuting situation. Besides the excellent storage facilities at work, I have nearby commuter rail stations at both the beginning and endpoints of my route. Indeed I have posted previously, that there for the grace of God:

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…Humbly, if Bike Forums ever had a Best Commute Award, I would be a frontrunner.
So this morning, when some mechanical difficulties outside the door would get me to work a half hour later than planned, I merely rode two miles to the train station instead of the 14 mile distance, and was on time. My opinions certainly would be different if I had to lock the bike outside, out of my sight, and had perhaps no alternative means of transportation.

Frequently when acquaintances expressed dismay at my relatively safe, residential and light commercial routes in the reverse commute direction of traffic, I cite the stories of other BF subscribers riding two lane roads with no shoulders, and 55 mph speed limits.

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Old 02-11-14, 12:47 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Sixracer View Post
Hi All.
A while back my MTB buddy switched over to single speed road bike. He managed to convince me too so I picked up a BD Dawes SST Al. I love it, tool around on the weekend for fun but can't bring myself to lock it up in Boston. Work has a nice bike cage but outside the liquor store/market/bar is what worries me.

Got some used wheels and slicks for my personalized(literally has my name painted on, thank the parents back in my teenage years) 1995 Gary Fisher Tassajara MTB and now thinking about single speeding it. I like the wide tires for crappy city roads. Problem is, it is bright red, in as-new condition, and seems WAY to flashy for urban use. So far my best attempts to ugly it involve some plastic wrap and duct tape. Not fooling anyone. Given I have had it for almost 20 yrs I am quite attached, not sure I can Krylon it to death.

(note, not mine but basically identical)

Should I get a third lockup bike and hope my wife doesn't kill me?
Should i just ugly the Gary Fisher (and get a sweet 29er if I ever want a flashy MTB)?
Should I just stop whining about my lame first world problems?

(PS, to => too)
Ride the bike(s) you like to ride, take reasonable precautions, and, yes, stop whining.

I ride a $1500 touring bike everywhere I go. It's a really good bike, but not ostentatious, sort of like a Volvo. I take it inside at work, when I lock it up outside of a pub or the grocery store, I use a good U-lock, and I never leave it outside overnight. I'm not going to give it away to casual thieves, but there's not much you can do about people with power tools. I really like to ride it, though, and I'm not going to settle for a crappy bike on any of my rides because there's a chance it could get stolen. Life's too short to live in fear of what might happen.
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