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Old 01-19-05, 01:41 AM   #1
ilse
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bianchi incognito

Hi, I'll be on a long tour of Europe this spring/summer. So after skrimping and saving for the right ride, I've got a Bianchi Axis 2005. If anyone's seen it, they may know what I mean - thief magnet. I've thought that to cover it with gaffer tape or somesuch thing might help to mello it out a bit.
Is this a completely ridiculous idea?
- oh yeah, gaffer tape wouldn't hurt the paint underneath would it?
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Old 01-19-05, 11:43 AM   #2
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Is the colour a givaway?

I use an old Bianchi as a winter beater bike and leave it fastened to a fence near the Rapid Transit station. I'm not sure this is good advice but this is what I do: I cover all the name and model decals with tape including the seat. I have removed all the quick releases including the seat. I do not wash the bike even when I maintain it, so it always looks shabby.

Twice people have tried to break the lock but failed. You might consider both a front and back lock of different styles such as one u-bolt and one chain. I always fasten to an unmovable object and check to see if the post is well secured in the ground.

I used to tour in foreign countries and often it became unbearable because of the fear someone was going to steal my bike. One day I decided to to worry anymore. It worked for me.
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Old 01-19-05, 02:23 PM   #3
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do you think you will leaving the bike alone in lots of occasions?

my ideas:
If you do hostelling, take the bike in your room or in a safe room the manager can give you. If you do camping, take the bike in you tent.
When I travelled for 12 days in France last year, I had never a problem to place the bike on a safe spot (I did hostelling). Also when going to shops for food, I always placed the bike at the streetwindow of the shop, so I could always see it when I was inside the shop.
Next to that take a locker system with you, and use it every time you go off the bike.

I also have an eye-catching racebike, but did never think to cover it with tape. It should be a pity I think to do it.

Just be carefull. And besides that, Europeans are normally used to see race bikers, also Bianci's.
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Old 01-19-05, 02:47 PM   #4
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these are a ll great suggestions. I guess my fear is mainly bore from the fact that I'll be travelling for so long - like my luck is bound to run out at some time. That, and I'll be hitting a bit of easten europe. Thankfully, I did get a 2 person tent, QF.
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Old 01-19-05, 07:27 PM   #5
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for how long is the trip?
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Old 01-19-05, 10:17 PM   #6
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I think around 4 months. I've calculated roughly, only 50 actual cycling days. But given that I want to take my time, and will be visiting friends on the way, and have a powerful love of cycling and solitude, It should go a good while.
I've also got an application in with an Au Pair agency serving Northern Italy, but that's another matter entirely.
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Old 01-19-05, 10:28 PM   #7
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Theft is not a major problem in Europe and I never heard of any cyclist having a problem, with the exception of one homeless guy. Some tape will affect the finish, so test it in a place where it will not be seen, like under a stay for example.
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Old 01-20-05, 12:39 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone. You've changed my mind; I think I'll keep it as it came, Celeste.

isn't she adorable? >>>> http://www.bianchiusa.com/571.html
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Old 01-20-05, 01:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilse
these are a ll great suggestions. I guess my fear is mainly bore from the fact that I'll be travelling for so long - like my luck is bound to run out at some time. That, and I'll be hitting a bit of easten europe. Thankfully, I did get a 2 person tent, QF.
Ahem. Bike theft is much more prevelent in WESTERN Europe. Worry about Amsterdam, Olso, Paris and other main cities in Western Europe. I've left my $2500 Torelli in the center of Riga many times with no problems. Just a simple u-lock. No one has ever tried to steal it. I also have a pannier mounted and locked to the rack of my commuter which stays there all the time, outside, in the center of town. As an experiment I put some cheap things in a side pocket. They are still there. Criminals with the knowlege to open decent locks (ie, not junkies) are much more interested in stealing cars.

Don't belive eveything you read about Eastern Europe being so bad. Ten years ago, maybe. The worst parts are the roads and bad drivers. Have a good trip!
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Old 01-20-05, 01:09 AM   #10
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)))sorry((( new mom syndrome, just got it a few months ago!
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Old 01-20-05, 01:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilse
)))sorry((( new mom syndrome, just got it a few months ago!
i know, i was quite worried about my my mtb a couple of years ago as well, was thinking of camouflaging her. but after a while i stopped worrying and turned my attention to choosing safer spots to park the bike.
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Old 01-20-05, 10:46 AM   #12
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Theft is not a major problem in Europe and I never heard of any cyclist having a problem...
Quote:
Ahem. Bike theft is much more prevelent in WESTERN Europe. Worry about Amsterdam, Olso, Paris and other main cities in Western Europe.
Exactly. Just be aware of your surroundings. In many towns in southern Switzerland, I saw bicycle stores with expensive bikes displayed outside without locks, even when the stores were closed for lunch. When ducking inside to buy groceries, ask directions, or fill my water bottle, I did not bother locking my bike in these towns. But during the night, I always brought my bicycle inside and secured it with a heavy-duty "U" lock.

P.S. The last time I had a bicycle stolen was 1985.
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Old 01-20-05, 11:52 AM   #13
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Krypto Skewers for your wheels add inxepensive piece of mind. It's not always easy to find a place to lock up both wheels well.
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Old 01-20-05, 01:48 PM   #14
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I've often wondered if taking the pedals off at night would discourage thieves. Takes only a few seconds.
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Old 01-20-05, 04:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilse
Thanks everyone. You've changed my mind; I think I'll keep it as it came, Celeste.

isn't she adorable? >>>> http://www.bianchiusa.com/571.html
Yes it is !
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