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Old 09-28-09, 09:33 PM   #1
RabidUnicorn
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Nice bike vs. lockable bike

I'm finding it extremely difficult drawing the line between a nice bike and a lockable bike. Where is the line between the two? For the owner of the electrical tape bike, the line is clearly set very high because he rides a Pista concept 20 miles to work everyday. He also uses three u-locks. But what kind of bike is suitable for commuting and locking (without the hassle of multiple u-locks) but also nice enough to be fun and nice to ride? This is bugging me terribly and I need some closure on this matter so I turn to you, BF.
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Old 09-28-09, 09:37 PM   #2
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This is like the Holy Grail for most cyclists. Good luck. Uh, learn to commute on, and love, a unicycle?
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Old 09-28-09, 09:48 PM   #3
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This is like the Holy Grail for most cyclists.
At least now I can rest assured I'm not the only one losing sleep over this.
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Old 09-29-09, 07:40 AM   #4
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Back when I was in college we used to say "All bikes weigh 40 pounds. You can ride a 20 pound bike and carry a 20 pound lock or you can ride a 40 pound bike and not bother with lock." Expendable beaters have their place and can even be fun in their own way.
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Old 09-29-09, 09:34 AM   #5
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If you're riding to work, why not leave the heavy locking hardware there?
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Old 09-29-09, 11:00 AM   #6
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Lots of people here leave their locks locked to the bike rack outside the bar.
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Old 09-29-09, 11:17 AM   #7
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You can have a nice bike, a communting bike or a Shopping bike. They just can't all three be the same bike.
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Old 09-29-09, 06:21 PM   #8
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A nice bike is one you enjoy, but won't go suicidal over if stolen.
A lockable bike would make you fall in your own punji pit if stolen.
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Old 09-29-09, 09:31 PM   #9
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If you're riding to work, why not leave the heavy locking hardware there?
That could work, but if I wanted to go anywhere else, I'd need to carry the locks there.
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Old 09-30-09, 04:22 PM   #10
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This is like the Holy Grail for most cyclists. Good luck. Uh, learn to commute on, and love, a unicycle?
Yeah, seriously.

I think it depends on 2 factors -
1. The crime rate in the area you park it. There's places I wouldn't even leave my "commuter" bike. On the other hand, I work at a bank with security guards, cameras, etc and people use a thin cable lock to lock their full carbon bikes out front and no one has ever had one stolen.
2. How much could you afford to replace it without jumping off a bridge or something (lol)? In college I couldn't have afforded to replace even the most basic road bike. Nowadays, ny road bike would cost around $3,000 to replace which is waaay to much. I bought a 2nd road bike just so I would have a bike I could feel comfortable leaving locked up while I was in a store or something. I found one at a deep discount (2 years old) at a bike shop - $600. Replacing it immediately would probably cost $1,000 (no discount, plus accessories attached to the bike). I'm not saying that that's easy money for me, and sure as hell lock it everywhere I go and in some places use 2 ulocks, but if it did get stolen it wouldn't be like several years of all the money I could save or anything.

It really is a difficult decision. I really like the ride of a full carbon bike, but full carbon bikes are 1. Very expensive 2. Obviously (visually) expensive, so it's difficult to imagine leaving one locked up outside for any length of time, anywhere.
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Old 09-30-09, 05:15 PM   #11
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That could work, but if I wanted to go anywhere else, I'd need to carry the locks there.
In all seriousness I had the same dilemma when I got my first road bike. It wasnít all the expensive but I used it for our club rides and I would have been devastated to lose it. So I bought a MTB at a garage sale and used it for hardware runs and quick stops at the grocery store. Still I wanted something a bit nicer for coffee runs on the weekends and I wasnít going to bring my road bike anywhere I would be out of sight of the bike. If I did take the road bike it was somewhere that I would be sitting next to it or I could bring it inside. I bought a flat bar road bike, a Masi Cafe Solo. Nice bike but not quite as fast or nice as my road bike. Still I didnít like putting five pounds of locks on the thing so I would haul out the MTB anyway.

I ended up buying a new frame and building a new road bike. I thought I could sell my Masi and upgrade my old road bike for coffee shop runs. Still I think my old road bike is too tempting to ride to Lowes or Home depot and who wants to carry all those locks on a road bike? So I think the answer is keep you nice bike, whatever it might be, for rides where it will not be out of your sight and carry a light lock. The cruise the garage sales and get a cheap bike to commute or run errands on. That is the heart of the N+1 Rule.
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Old 09-30-09, 06:32 PM   #12
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So I think the answer is keep you nice bike, whatever it might be, for rides where it will not be out of your sight and carry a light lock. The cruise the garage sales and get a cheap bike to commute or run errands on. That is the heart of the N+1 Rule.
That's also another way to state the 40 pound bike rule.
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Old 09-30-09, 08:26 PM   #13
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I bought insurance for my Davinci for $60/yr. Covers the bike on the car, off the car in the house, etc. I don't know that it specifically covers commuting. I would go for insurance and an inexpensive, lightweight lock. The yearly premium is about 1% the value of the bike and I consider it well worth it.
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Old 09-30-09, 09:52 PM   #14
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Get a decent vintage bike. Relatively affordable, bulletproof and maintainable, but doesn't draw a second glance.
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Old 10-01-09, 12:15 AM   #15
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Seriously, a working vintage bike will do the trick. Got an old Schwinn Letour, which is even fun its own way, do protect my Bianchi. If the Bianchi isn't under my butt, it's in my house.
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Old 10-01-09, 12:18 AM   #16
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That's also another way to state the 40 pound bike rule.
You know, I think you have a point.
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Old 10-01-09, 12:31 AM   #17
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And at this point, you may be able to see why Nice *and* Lockable bike is the Holy Grail of bicyclists.

You could get a piece of old mountain bike or a "vintage" bike. You start by going to the grocery store with it. Then out for rides to the coffee shop. Then you start commuting to work on it, because you leave it locked up outside all day, right?

Now after commuting to work every day of the week on your crappy bike, how much other biking are you really going to feel like doing? Unless you're really into racing, probably not a lot. Your nice, expensive bike gathers dust in the corner while you spend 50-90% of your ride time on your crappy bike.

At at this point you start wanting to upgrade. Maybe you're like me and cannot stand having to take your hands off the bars in order to shift - it's soooooo annoying. Maybe it's a mountain bike and it's slower. Or maybe it's not as vibration dampening. Then you think "maybe if I did some upgrades that would help". So you do some upgrades, but you can only do so much at reasonable cost. And there's some things only a better frame will improve. So you start thinking "Gee, maybe I should buy a nicer bike..."

I hope you can see where this is going. :-) It's the endless search for the holy grail...

At some point, most normal people either want a nicer bike, or think to themselves "What's the point of this expensive, super nice bike when I can only ride it 5-40% of the time I actually spend riding? Couldn't I save a lot of money by sticking with my more basic bike? Or they think "my cheap bike sucks, and all the time I spend on it I keep thinking about how much more I'd rather be riding my nice bike"...
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