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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 08-26-10, 12:51 AM   #1
graciela
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Best Way to Keep Your Handlebars from Thieves?

Hi all, I recently bought the Nitto mustache bars for my SS and I'm curious what methods people use in securing their handlebars to their bikes. I've read about using epoxy or super glue with a ball bearing. Has anyone tried these methods and are they hard to remove for your own bike maintenance? I was interested in buying Pinheads but I didn't see a product for bars.
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Old 08-26-10, 12:59 AM   #2
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pitlock makes a lock for handlebars, it's expensive, but less so than replacing your handlebars.

If you want to just make it difficult to remove, superglue and a ball bearing will work. Acetone will dissolve the glue in case you do need to adjust them later.

Or you can get some caulk in an appropriate colour, one to match your frame, and just fill up the bolt holes. It will pop right out if you need, but should provide you a little extra security.

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Old 08-26-10, 01:00 AM   #3
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It is almost impossible to prevent a thief to steal your handlebar, there are too many bolts to release it and you don't want to shut them all up with glue/ball bearing/weld, unless you don't plan to remove it later on. Bottom line is, if they want it, they'll take it and most likely they'd want a complete bike or just the next easiest removable part.
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Old 08-26-10, 01:08 AM   #4
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As I understand it, the epoxy/ball bearing trick just requires a little bit of acetone or paint thinner to get the glue to break down.

You could accomplish pretty much the same thing by replacing your hardware with bolts of the same size/TPI but more obscure interfaces; if a thief wants to steal your handlebars, he's probably going to be carrying around a few hex drivers / allen keys. If you attach your bars to your stem with Tri-Wing or Robertson, he's pretty unlikely to have that tool on hand. Advantage: Easier service if you've got the right tool. Disadvantage: You'll have to buy the right tool.

The thief might be able to go find the correct tool somewhere, but in that case he can just as easily find something to deal with the glue and the ball-bearing trick won't be much more effective.
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Old 08-26-10, 01:18 AM   #5
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added protection: do both.

superglue/ball bearing + obscure interface. depending on how often you like to swap bars, make adjustments, etc, it might not be as big a PITA as one would think.

if a thief has the foresight/determination to bypass both methods, your bars would probably be gone no matter what you do...
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Old 08-26-10, 01:27 AM   #6
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It's LA, just give up
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Old 08-26-10, 01:31 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll look into finding hardware with uncommon interfacing and try out the epoxy thing, then just hope for the best. I've just become thief paranoid over years of bike and parts theft. Crappy Target stuff at that. So just want to hang onto something that wasn't cheap for as long as I can.
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Old 08-26-10, 01:32 AM   #8
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It's LA, just give up
Strangely enough, I've been lucky to not have had anything taken in LA. My bike trauma happened in the middle of nowhere Davis.
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Old 08-26-10, 01:50 AM   #9
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Strangely enough, I've been lucky to not have had anything taken in LA. My bike trauma happened in the middle of nowhere Davis.
We're rather famous for that. Are you in Davis or LA?

My friend went to a Lock/key store in LA, and picked up an custom made bolts and tool. Perhaps that's a route?
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Old 08-26-10, 11:44 AM   #10
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We're rather famous for that. Are you in Davis or LA?

My friend went to a Lock/key store in LA, and picked up an custom made bolts and tool. Perhaps that's a route?
I'm in LA now. Davis was 7 years ago so whatever was taken is long gone by now. Custom bolts sound like a good idea. I'll look into that. Thanks!
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Old 08-26-10, 11:45 AM   #11
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I've never had any issues in L.A. either. But I do always try to lock my bike in bright, high traffic areas, and never overnight or for much longer than a couple hours. Maybe i've been lucky, I dunno..
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Old 08-26-10, 12:07 PM   #12
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you can always bring your hex head screws into a bolts and nuts place and have them match your thread size/length with a torx head. people dont carry torx socket around. in the car industry, guys use to switch out the screws to something else to secure their license plate with to prevent theft as well.
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Old 08-26-10, 05:03 PM   #13
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The ball bearing and superglue thing is a super duper PITA to remove. I tried it, then spent several hours with acetone trying to remove it. Really marred my bolt in the process. My advice, don't do it.
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Old 08-26-10, 05:46 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Vixtor View Post
It is almost impossible to prevent a thief to steal your handlebar, there are too many bolts to release it and you don't want to shut them all up with glue/ball bearing/weld, unless you don't plan to remove it later on. Bottom line is, if they want it, they'll take it and most likely they'd want a complete bike or just the next easiest removable part.
If you run brakeless, it's three bolts to remove the handlebar and stem. Remove the top cap, and then loosen the stem pinch bolts. Or, if you run threaded, it's just a single bolt.

If you have brakes, it's only a small cable cutter added to the mix.
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