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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 06-08-09, 04:00 AM   #1
Sangetsu
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STOLEN!! and then found...

A couple of months ago my GF called me at work one evening to tell me that my Vivalo had been stolen. I had kept it locked to her Schwinn in front of her Tokyo apartment. It was far from the nicest bike parked in front of the building, but the lock had been cut, and my bike was gone, though the thief left her new Schwinn untouched.

Yesterday I was walking my dog along the Sumida river looking at the countless bikes parked here and there. Amid them I noticed a frame to which was attached a rear wheel, seat and seatpost, and a stem with bullhorn bars. It was my bike!

Looking at what was left of it, I noticed a few changes. The Kalloy seatpost and 3T stem had been replaced by Nitto and Sugino NJS parts, my Selle Turbo saddle had been replaced by a Brooks with large copper rivets. The rusty axle nuts on the rear wheel had been replaced by new, red-anodized hardware. But the front wheel was missing, as was the chainring.

All I can figure was that the moron who stole my bike added a few upgrades, and then fate came around in the form of another thief. In addition to the other decent parts the first thief had put on, he probably added an aerospoke or something else theft-worthy, as well as a some kind of trick chainring.

Anyway, I'm glad to have my bike back. The Brooks, seatpost, and new stem more than make up for the cost of my having to replace the front wheel and chain ring. I should have it back on the road next weekend when I have a chance to pick up the parts.
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Old 06-08-09, 04:19 AM   #2
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lol are you sure it's yours and not just a similar looking vivalo?

also, i thought theft was like nonexistant in japan?
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Old 06-08-09, 04:28 AM   #3
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Haha, thats awesome, and goes to show that not all bikes are safe here. I was curious what part of Tokyo the bike was taken in and also what lock you were using. Also, when U got it back, did u just take it? Cut a lock? Call the boys at the Koban?
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Old 06-08-09, 06:25 AM   #4
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Haha, thats awesome, and goes to show that not all bikes are safe here. I was curious what part of Tokyo the bike was taken in and also what lock you were using. Also, when U got it back, did u just take it? Cut a lock? Call the boys at the Koban?
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i'm wondering this as well.

serial numbers are the only way to tell.
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Old 06-08-09, 10:00 AM   #5
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im skeptical.
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Old 06-08-09, 10:11 AM   #6
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Amid them I noticed a frame to which was attached a rear wheel, seat and seatpost, and a stem with bullhorn bars.

The Kalloy seatpost and 3T stem had been replaced by Nitto and Sugino NJS parts, my Selle Turbo saddle had been replaced by a Brooks with large copper rivets. The rusty axle nuts on the rear wheel had been replaced by new, red-anodized hardware.
From the sounds of it you saw a bike with the same frame and same rear wheel, with everything else completely different or missing.

That seems like it'd fall well within the realm of coincidence, and far from a definite "hey that's my bike!"
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Old 06-08-09, 10:18 AM   #7
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Sucks for whoever you stole it back from, they probably bought it from whoever stole it from you. I bet that's what happened, anyhow. If it is actually your bike in the first place.
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Old 06-08-09, 10:24 AM   #8
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The guy you just stole the bike from is going to see your initial bike that was stolen from you and steal it back thinking his anodized axle nuts got rusted.
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Old 06-08-09, 10:36 AM   #9
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lol are you sure it's yours and not just a similar looking vivalo?
+1


"Yeah, it's my bike. But, I mean everything is upgraded and the paint is in better condition. The thief probably had the dents removed, resprayed it, and got some fresh decals. I know it's mine because Vivalo DID only make one bike ever, right?....right?"
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Old 06-08-09, 10:41 AM   #10
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Old 06-08-09, 10:53 AM   #11
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I have the bicycle thief in my netflix queue.
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Old 06-08-09, 10:58 AM   #12
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I watched that movie the other day. It was awesome seeing that bicycle flea market with so many bikes.
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Old 06-08-09, 11:26 AM   #13
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i also would like to know how you got the bike back once you found it ..
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Old 06-08-09, 12:35 PM   #14
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Similar story happened to a friend. Had his Windsor stolen a few months ago out of his garage. Eventually bought a another bike to replace it, but was still mad/frustrated it was stolen. He eventually spotted some high school kid around his area riding it to local spots. Ended up staking out places FBI style and tailed the kid once or twice. Couldn't get a chance to check out the bike up close. Fast forward a month or two later and we're all in downtown enjoying a music/art festival when late night my friend grabs a bike to eat and spots the same kid with the bike downtown hanging out with friends. He looks at the bike and the kid didn't even remove the stickers that my friend had placed on the bike. My friend was also able to recognize the components and a large scratch on the side of the bike.

Confronted the kid, who claimed to have bought it from CL for $300 6 months ago... My friend's bike was only missing for 3 months. We threatened to call the cops to sort it out and the kid just handed it over. His friends bailed on him and he probably had to walk home that night
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Old 06-08-09, 02:43 PM   #15
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Similar story happened to a friend. Had his Windsor stolen a few months ago out of his garage. Eventually bought a another bike to replace it, but was still mad/frustrated it was stolen. He eventually spotted some high school kid around his area riding it to local spots. Ended up staking out places FBI style and tailed the kid once or twice. Couldn't get a chance to check out the bike up close. Fast forward a month or two later and we're all in downtown enjoying a music/art festival when late night my friend grabs a bike to eat and spots the same kid with the bike downtown hanging out with friends. He looks at the bike and the kid didn't even remove the stickers that my friend had placed on the bike. My friend was also able to recognize the components and a large scratch on the side of the bike.

Confronted the kid, who claimed to have bought it from CL for $300 6 months ago... My friend's bike was only missing for 3 months. We threatened to call the cops to sort it out and the kid just handed it over. His friends bailed on him and he probably had to walk home that night
first of all it's a windsor, so this doesn't really compare.

second of all stickers and a scratch are not proof, even if it removes doubt from your mind.

third of all sounds like you were bullying him since his friends bailed.

fourth of all, well... i am sure if you have had your bike stolen you wouldn't mind stealing it back but people need to start thinking about better locks and not leaving bikes outside.

i'm going to bet neither of these bikes were u-locked at the time.
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Old 06-08-09, 02:49 PM   #16
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I would really love to know how you got your bike back and if you checked the serial number to make sure it was your bike.
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Old 06-08-09, 02:53 PM   #17
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first of all it's a windsor, so this doesn't really compare.

second of all stickers and a scratch are not proof, even if it removes doubt from your mind.

third of all sounds like you were bullying him since his friends bailed.

fourth of all, well... i am sure if you have had your bike stolen you wouldn't mind stealing it back but people need to start thinking about better locks and not leaving bikes outside.

i'm going to bet neither of these bikes were u-locked at the time.
Who cares what bike it is? It was stolen.

Secondly, the same exact sticker in the same exact spot next to the same exact scratch on the frame? That's not proof enough? Ok, matching serial numbers when he got it home.

Furthermore, the kid gave it up as we mentioned we would call the cops to sort it out if he didn't want to give it up. There you go.

And lastly if you read the post you would see the bike was stolen from a garage.
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Old 06-08-09, 02:55 PM   #18
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i'd sooner arm myself and stake out the bike and refuse to leave or let anyone take it away while i call the cops and present them with a serial number proof of ownership than steal it back.

i'd also sooner wrap the bike in razor wire and angry hornets than steal it back... especially if it was a freakin windsor.

and i am pretty sure we're not going to find out details on how the vivalo was stolen back, but i bet it involves bolt cutters or a portable reciprocating saw tool.

and if the kid broke into the garage i would have called the cops regardless of him giving it up. if the garage was open, i would have still presented the serial number before saying 'hey kid that's my bike give it back or i'll call the cops!'
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Old 06-08-09, 07:57 PM   #19
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+1


"Yeah, it's my bike. But, I mean everything is upgraded and the paint is in better condition. The thief probably had the dents removed, resprayed it, and got some fresh decals. I know it's mine because Vivalo DID only make one bike ever, right?....right?"
Unfortunately, the did not remove the dent from the top tube, nor did they remove the piece of black electrical tape on the chain stay behind the crank. They also left my new 18 tooth Shimano freewheel and Dura Ace headset which I had installed just before the bike was stolen. And yes, the serial number did match, though my registration sticker was scratched off.

I had been using a heavy steel cable lock, and it looked like it had been cut with a pair of bolt cutters. As for getting the bike home, I found it less than a kilometer from home, so carrying it back wasn't a problem. In the area where I found my bike (Shinkawa, near the Chuo bridge), I also found what looked to be parts from other stolen bikes.
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Old 06-08-09, 08:02 PM   #20
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i'd sooner arm myself and stake out the bike and refuse to leave or let anyone take it away while i call the cops and present them with a serial number proof of ownership than steal it back.

i'd also sooner wrap the bike in razor wire and angry hornets than steal it back... especially if it was a freakin windsor.

and i am pretty sure we're not going to find out details on how the vivalo was stolen back, but i bet it involves bolt cutters or a portable reciprocating saw tool.

and if the kid broke into the garage i would have called the cops regardless of him giving it up. if the garage was open, i would have still presented the serial number before saying 'hey kid that's my bike give it back or i'll call the cops!'
You would lose your bet, I was a police officer myself for 10 years, and I know a little better. If the bike were locked it would have been simple enough to call the local police and have them cut it loose for me.
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Old 06-08-09, 09:20 PM   #21
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Unfortunately, the did not remove the dent from the top tube, nor did they remove the piece of black electrical tape on the chain stay behind the crank. They also left my new 18 tooth Shimano freewheel and Dura Ace headset which I had installed just before the bike was stolen. And yes, the serial number did match, though my registration sticker was scratched off.

I had been using a heavy steel cable lock, and it looked like it had been cut with a pair of bolt cutters. As for getting the bike home, I found it less than a kilometer from home, so carrying it back wasn't a problem. In the area where I found my bike (Shinkawa, near the Chuo bridge), I also found what looked to be parts from other stolen bikes.
lol was the lock thick for japan, or actually thick

seriously though, in the US if your bike is worth more than 250 dollars your lock better weigh at least 30 lbs
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Old 06-08-09, 10:29 PM   #22
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got troll?
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Old 06-09-09, 02:56 AM   #23
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My frame doesn't even have a serial number... if it gets stolen do I just check for the "M" on the BB shell????
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Old 06-09-09, 05:53 AM   #24
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Hey, Sangetsu, I sold you that Vivalo. I'm glad to here that you got it back. What a shame, huh? Tokyo isn't as safe as it used to be. I eventually got another keiren bike myself, but I carry a thick cable lock but I never lock my bike overnight anywhere. I always bring it inside. Too many kids loitering around with too much time on their hands. Sucks though. Before they were just stealing lights and free locked bikes but it's real sad to see that they're cutting locks now. We should ride but I've been working quite a bit lately. Glad to hear you got it back. Selling it was one of my biggest regrets.
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Old 06-11-09, 04:56 AM   #25
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I'm glad to hear that you are still in Tokyo. Yes, it seems like Tokyo is becoming like America in many ways. I keep seeing bikes with the seats, wheels, or other parts stolen off them. The balcony is getting crowded now that I have to keep 3 bikes there (and 2 more at my other apartment). The palace ride is still happening every Sunday, let me know if and when you feel up to trying it out. I haven't been riding too much myself either, I've been spending my weekends hiking the local mountains. I plan to spend more time on the bike this summer.
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