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  1. #1
    ILL...INI uofiblue's Avatar
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    Making your bike look bad

    I have heard that one way to help prevent theft is to make your bike look like an older one. I just recently (2 weeks ago) bought a new one and it definately stands out in most bike racks around campus (U of Illinois). What are some good ways to make a bike look worse than it actually is without permanantly damaging it? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Caking it in mud might help, and attaching a plastic carrier bag over the seat with an elastic band and maybe even duct tape?

  3. #3
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    Buy a cheap saddle and cut it up so that the stuffing is falling out. Ride the bike through mud and let the mud dry on the bike. Remove the bar tape. Get every part of the bike as dirty as possible.

    And, lock it with a Kryptonite New York u-lock around the rear wheel and a Kryptonite mini u-lock around the front wheel.

    And, if the bike is worth more than about $300, don't leave it parked outside all night.

  4. #4
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
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    Ride it every day. It will look like trash in no time. Works for me.
    The United States of America is the only democratic nation in the world to deny citizens living in the nation's capital representation in the national legislature. District residents have no vote in either the U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives. www.dcvote.org

  5. #5
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    BBQ paint will make any bike look terrible, and it dries in 15 minutes.

  6. #6
    Mooninite shakeNbake's Avatar
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    I just bought a pretty flashy bike too and I have to commute with it to campus.

    This is what I did:

    http://www.instructables.com/ex/i/A1...7001143E7E506/

  7. #7
    Be more like Muir hillyman's Avatar
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    Why mess up a new ride? Use lots of locks and maybe tie a BIG Rottweiler to it.
    The mountains are callung and I must go

  8. #8
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Maybe sealing black garbage bag strips around the frame with a heat *** or hair dryer would do it. Totaly removable without damage, almost no measurable weight increase, and it would look horrible.
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  9. #9
    These go to 11. DavidLee's Avatar
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    Don't trash your bike, even if it's superficial. Use quality locks and proper locking techniques.

  10. #10
    Team Katana 古強者死神's Avatar
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    Aww I was gonna link you to the dukes of hazzard bike but he beat me to it ^^

    I agree, dont "trash" your bike just to keep it from getting messed with. Maybe take off decals and stuff tho.

  11. #11
    Hey guyz? Guyz? Wait up!! Siu Blue Wind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 古強者死神
    Aww I was gonna link you to the dukes of hazzard bike but he beat me to it ^^

    Ha ha! Why is that poor bike the first one everyone thinks of???? Poor little orange thing.
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  12. #12
    Dances a jig. Mchaz's Avatar
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    A rear rack with a milk crate bungied to it does a pretty good job. Maybe put a few crushed up beer cans in it to give it that "lived in" look.

  13. #13
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Been there. Done that. Doesn't work here in large crime infested urban areas. Try a folder. Take it with you. That works for some of us.

  14. #14
    Banned Help Im A Noob's Avatar
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    this may be a new buisness opertunity? really-good-working but crappy-looking bike-o 2000 !!!!

  15. #15
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    I go to UofI too, just went through my first year. No need to change the look. I rode my Trek 4300 almost everyday without having it stolen. Appearance was not altered to deter theft. I used a Kryptonite Evolution with a 4' cable for the front tire. Try to lock up on a inverted U rack that's cemented to the ground, as often as you can.


    Some places like the Illini Union and Psychology Building have those crappy ones racks like this:


    I lock up at Altgeld instead which has the inverted U rack whenever I go to the Union.

    There are also a few school yard racks around campus, the Armory and Nevada computer lab would be ones i've had to lock at. looks like this. I saw a Trek 4900 that was put over the rack to use the middle spaces by putting the rack between the down tube and the fork, the down tube area near the fork had a crack on the bottom because of the rack. I always lock up on either end for those, never in between. If I can't find an open end, i'll walk it somewhere else to lock up. At Nevada, they have quite a few racks and I just take up the entire rack by putting it against the front of the rack so I don't have to bother with the end.

    Invest into a good U-lock, like a Kryptonite Evolution, along with a cable for the front wheel.


    Use this locking strategy with the cable for the front wheel, Sheldon Brown Lock Strategy



    This is the worse that can happen by using that technique:



    It would take maybe 15 minutes to do that if you're really quick, can't believe they took the bottom bracket too.

    Also, invest into a seat binding bolt or or cable for the seat if you want to retain QR functionality. I got a seat binding bolt because I don't need to adjust the height. I just hope people don't carry hex wrenches around.


    It was $5 bucks at Durst Cycle (stuff there is overpriced and service isn't that great, I prefer Champaign Cycle instead, which is a bit further out West)

    Out of my one year there, the only decent bikes I've seen locked in a rack are a Trek 1000 road bike (which was locked with a cheap cable lock at Loomis), a Specialized Hardrock, another Trek 4300 that looks like mine, Trek 4900, and a few higher end Raleighs. A friend of mine had his nice Giant MTB stolen (only a cable lock) at 6pack over Thanksgiving break.

    I brought my bike inside every night, no worries of theft, damage, or weathering, if you can't or just lazy, at least bring it in during the longer breaks, and lock the rear wheel to the frame.

  16. #16
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joony
    This is the worse that can happen by using that technique:



    It would take maybe 15 minutes to do that if you're really quick, can't believe they took the bottom bracket too.
    Probably someone staged that picture with a frame they had lying around. I can't believe a thief would take everything and the frame would remain that pristine, no scratches or dents. The thief wouldn't care about beating it up. However the point to ME is they can take everything it just takes a little longer. The frame on my bike is worthless to me without the rest of the parts... If my Giant Cypress got stripped like that no way would I bother to rebuild that frame with new stuff. I'd just get a whole new bike.
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  17. #17
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff
    Probably someone staged that picture with a frame they had lying around. I can't believe a thief would take everything and the frame would remain that pristine, no scratches or dents. The thief wouldn't care about beating it up.
    Look at how warped the wheel is. Around here that happens to bikes all the time, there are stripped bikes everywhere.


    Quote Originally Posted by Eggplant Jeff
    If my Giant Cypress got stripped like that no way would I bother to rebuild that frame with new stuff. I'd just get a whole new bike.
    Can I have your frame?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joony
    Also, invest into a seat binding bolt or or cable for the seat if you want to retain QR functionality. I got a seat binding bolt because I don't need to adjust the height. I just hope people don't carry hex wrenches around.
    I went the seat bolt route until I had a seat pinched a few months ago by a hex-wrench wielding thief. But in the end it's all just deterrence anyway.
    The United States of America is the only democratic nation in the world to deny citizens living in the nation's capital representation in the national legislature. District residents have no vote in either the U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives. www.dcvote.org

  18. #18
    Hidden playable character Bikemiker's Avatar
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    Has anyone here ever tried using security type fasteners on your bike? Something like these?



    It would require buying new tools to work on your bike, but most thieves probably wouldn't be carrying the right tools around either. I've never done it, but somebody brought up the idea before(probably here), and I was wondering if anyone had had any success with this.
    I gotta Mike my bike.

  19. #19
    Powered by: meradi's Avatar
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    I go to U of I too and just yesterday my back wheel was taken. And the skewer for the front wheel (but not the entire front wheel). My bad, I parked at one of those crappy racks (not the inverted U-type ones). Bike was outside maybe an hour.
    At least I have a spare wheel at any rate. Time to get a cable lock I think!

    Mine's a trek 4300 too. Unlike everyone else it seems, I chose the obnoxious yellow/gray color scheme. I had a feeling yesterday I should have taken the 'crappy' bike instead.

    I wonder, is a wheel really worth the trouble?

  20. #20
    Avatar out of order. MarkS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by potvinwannab
    Lolz do what i did [image] no1 will ever steal my bike! infact even i wouldnt touch it!
    Maybe the picture isn't showing something -- it looks good to me.

    The thing about replacing QR seats or products with ones that key to an allen wrench or wrench ... never makes that much sense to me. It would deter casual thievery, but its hard to believe that someone willing to carry a dremel, hacksaw, and cable cutter would neglect to bring along wrenches small enough to fit in your pocket.
    Cars kill 45,000 Americans every year.
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  21. #21
    Mister Goody Two Shoes KnhoJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikemiker
    Has anyone here ever tried using security type fasteners on your bike? Something like these?



    It would require buying new tools to work on your bike, but most thieves probably wouldn't be carrying the right tools around either. I've never done it, but somebody brought up the idea before(probably here), and I was wondering if anyone had had any success with this.
    Tweakers love vice grips. Those will turn any bolt with parallel sides, like the one in the picture.
    Go for the button head screws, they're the ones with sloped shoulders or a rounded head. There's nowhere for pliers to get traction. Lefty threads would be fun, too, just to frustrate prepared thieves.
    Checking... Doh! McMaster Carr doesn't seem to offer button head left thread screws. They do offer them with three different types of security heads, however. The security head is a good idea. I've seen allen head and torx screws turned easily with a flat bladed screwdriver, and the pin in the middle would eliminate that approach.

  22. #22
    ............ deerhoof's Avatar
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    If I ever ride to campus, I ride my folder. I think this makes for one of the best and most affordable commuting bikes. You can run a u lock through all the wheels, the frame and the seat post if you modify it. And it looks pretty stupid when its folded up, so theres that too.

  23. #23
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Lots of strips of reflective tape would help. Or heavy tires. You will not fool pro bike thieves. They will scout bike parking areas in advance and strike within a minute after you lock and leave. Happened to me.
    This space open

  24. #24
    /dev/null glock17's Avatar
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    In the above pictures, sheldons strategy and the pic of the bike that is stripped are not the same, in the stripped bike picture the triangle of the bike goes through the lock, not just the tire.

  25. #25
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meradi
    I go to U of I too and just yesterday my back wheel was taken. And the skewer for the front wheel (but not the entire front wheel). My bad, I parked at one of those crappy racks (not the inverted U-type ones). Bike was outside maybe an hour.
    What kind of rack allows a thief to steal a locked rear wheel?
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