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Disguising a classic

Old 08-09-21, 08:44 AM
  #26  
Roadrunner1
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Flat bar, single speeds are still trendy now.
You could build a bike that rides the same but without the look. Use a drop bar and leave the shifters and derailleurs off.
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Old 08-09-21, 08:54 AM
  #27  
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there was a guy in north myrtle where i lived that spray painted day glo orange and green all over his bike... he even paint the tires. and it wasn't a nice paintjob... it was done graffiti style. he installed a big ass basket over the handlebars with a dirty rag tied to the basket and bars, and in the 2 years that i lived there, it was everywhere.. the grocery store, post office, beach bar, never locked and just tossed on the ground or left leaning against the side of the building. 3 speed and coaster brake, so pretty much not theft worthy i guess.
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Old 08-09-21, 01:07 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson View Post
as the old joke goes ... you don't have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun your friend <-> your bike ... just needs to be less attractive to thieves than other bikes on the rack.
I don't know if that works for bears or not, but it certainly doesn't work for sick cougars.

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Old 08-09-21, 01:49 PM
  #29  
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I read somewhere that bikes with flat bars are more likely to be stolen. It had something to do with the likely use of the stolen bike as a grocery carrier or bar hopper or something. I'd guess that varies a lot by area, but it made sense to me at the time. I might have left out some important detail that ties the theory together. A flat bar single speed sounds like it's designed to be stolen.
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Old 08-09-21, 02:42 PM
  #30  
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At Humboldt State University (affectionately known to the students as Hills and Stairs Uni.), bike theft is a cottage industry. Any reasonably nice bike will be stolen largely because of the elementary school style racks the university provides.

Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
This. It all depends on the university she's going to.

Campuses in rural or affluent suburban areas in my experience don't have as much of a theft problem, and locking the bike next to a big important academic building with a security desk helps. I've locked up bikes outside the research buildings at Harvard (Cambridge, not the medical school), University of Vermont, and Middlebury with no fear and never hear of thefts at these institutions. I imagine that would translate to most rural or affluent suburban areas. But I wouldn't risk regularly locking a bike outside McGill, NYU, Columbia, or U of Chicago. Urban settings are just riskier. I know grad students at Harvard med (downtownish Boston) who've had wheels pilfered in broad daylight, and a UM Ann Arbor professor who got her (well-locked-up) bike stolen from outside the building where she works. Ann Arbor isn't a big city, but the university is so big I imagine it supports a whole theft industry.

Anyway, that's the extent of my experience in terms of place vs theft risk.
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Old 08-09-21, 08:49 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by cocoabeachcrab View Post
there was a guy in north myrtle where i lived that spray painted day glo orange and green all over his bike... he even paint the tires. and it wasn't a nice paintjob... it was done graffiti style. he installed a big ass basket over the handlebars with a dirty rag tied to the basket and bars, and in the 2 years that i lived there, it was everywhere.. the grocery store, post office, beach bar, never locked and just tossed on the ground or left leaning against the side of the building. 3 speed and coaster brake, so pretty much not theft worthy i guess.
possibly the reason the bike was never stolen was because it was so notorious and “everybody” knew how it belonged to.

Here we have a huge problem with bike theft… and the thieves don’t discriminate about the bikes they are snagging. Since most people around here leave their clunkers laying around town, or even unsecured on their own property more so than the high end bikes, the clunkers end up in the chop shop.
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Old 08-09-21, 09:36 PM
  #32  
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Get your daughter an Abus 540 or Kryptonite New York lock and hope she uses it. That's about the best you can do. It's college.

Also, there's really no such thing as "a good cable lock" - they're all bad. You may as well lock your bike up with a hank of rope.
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Old 08-09-21, 10:40 PM
  #33  
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Look man... Don't be stupid. Get her a bike she can afford to loose. She will still need a good lock even if the bikes trash. And if she is going to school in Houston... Well Nuf Said!

Bicycle thieves in Houston will steal a bike just to stay in practice...
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Old 08-09-21, 10:52 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
...For years, I rode my Junk Bike to work, locked it to a sturdy railing and left it at that....


In Austin Texas this bike would not last long in a public place even if locked. The frame, seat post and crank would be gone even if the rest was left at the site...
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Old 08-09-21, 11:22 PM
  #35  
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I am not seeing how a 36 year old not-racy Trek with a 10 year old fixie conversion rises above the noise of all the other old bikes. Just lock it up, it will probably be fine, and if it isn’t, it’s not hard to get another old bike.

If this bike has some sentimental value to you, don’t burden her with taking care of it. She’ll have enough on her mind.
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Old 08-10-21, 07:39 AM
  #36  
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Thieves will steal anything. 2 personal examples: For a few years, my barber's grocery getter was a WalMart mt. bike with 1 working gear, inoperable brakes and minus saddle and post. He never locked it, so 1 day he had to walk home when someone stole it. My grand daughter had sever bikes stolen during her 5 years at Oregon State. last was one I gave her, a $10 GoodWill Schwinn Breeze, ladies stepthru. I made mistake of cleaning off the filth and polishing. It was metallic blue, lots of chrome and shiny steel rims. Was only a few weeks until someone stole it off her 2md floor balcony. Give her something you expect to be stolen, so its win/win either way if it is or isn't. Don
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Old 08-10-21, 09:42 AM
  #37  
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I am on the side of providing a cheap, unsentimental bike. Thieves don’t look at a bike and think “Sweet Colnago!!” To most of them it’s a thing they can get scrap value or flip for small amounts of cash for their immediate wants/needs. Beater cruiser with bolt-on wheels and seat or something similar would be my choice. If the OP thinks this is a good idea I have a rusty Trek Jazz that could be had for VERY little $$.
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Old 08-10-21, 11:01 AM
  #38  
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Yes, depends on the locale for how risky this is, but I fully agree with my comrades that are recommending a crappier bike. Pick something up at a co-op or post a WTB in the for sale section here for a cheap bike boom bike that uses a derailleur claw. Those are excellent candidates for single speed conversions. This 520 will just get beat up and/or stolen. It sounds like your daughter would take good care of it, but commuter duty is rough on bikes no matter what you do.

I'll also add Trek is a well known bike name to folks outside our hobby and to thieves. That and Specialized would probably be the most well-known bike brands in the US. Doesn't matter if it's vintage, that name will attract theives. Anonomizing would help, but I don't think
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Old 08-10-21, 11:55 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
Don't be stupid. Get her a bike she can afford to loose.
Pro tip: always ensure correct spelling when calling someone stupid.

My advice for the op is to go with the Trek with mismatched, lower mid-level parts. And, if it gets stolen, so what.
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Old 08-10-21, 03:46 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
My advice for the op is to go with the Trek with mismatched, lower mid-level parts. And, if it gets stolen, so what.
Seconded. And most importantly, shop for replacements on an N+1 manhunt until sufficient back ups are acquired for "her" (certainly not for tinkering purposes)...

And then get a cable lock long enough to go through both wheels and the seat rails.

One of the bikes I gave to students last year...student awarded fixie. Student lends fixie to friend. Friend forgets to lock, fixie gone. Second bike: student receives Cannodale straight bar conversion bike and locks it up on their porch. Student comes out in morning. 'Dale gone.
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Old 08-10-21, 03:49 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Pro tip: always ensure correct spelling when calling someone stupid.

My advice for the op is to go with the Trek with mismatched, lower mid-level parts. And, if it gets stolen, so what.

He didn't call the OP stupid, he was just telling the OP not to be stupid. Big difference. He was still playing fast and lose with his spelling though.
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Old 08-10-21, 07:11 PM
  #42  
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A quality lock might help
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Old 08-12-21, 09:15 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by tricky View Post
He was still playing fast and lose with his spelling though.
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Old 08-13-21, 06:56 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by tricky View Post
He didn't call the OP stupid, he was just telling the OP not to be stupid. Big difference. He was still playing fast and lose with his spelling though.
For many years AND to this day, I have to be careful when using “loose or lose” . Perhaps tricky has an issue too! “Auto-Correct” on our devices is, however, many times the source of the problem!
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Old 08-13-21, 07:44 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by machinist42 View Post
Don't you think ",,,converting to a single speed and flat bars..." is uglifaction enough?
I died laughing 🤣
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Old 08-13-21, 10:51 AM
  #46  
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I went to Arizona State, which was (and probably still is) an absolute haven for bike thieves. Personally, I wouldn't send the Trek. I think it'll be snagged quickly and it's too nice a bike to lose. One thing I learned was that popular brands were stolen more often, so I'd look for a good quality off-brand. Here locally, for example, there's a surprisingly nice Shogun Selectra that's going dirt cheap. It wouldn't bother me to ugly it up, and I don't think Shoguns are going to be targeted by thieves like a nice Trek model would be.

Also, make sure she knows that you gotta lock both wheels AND the frame, and take the seat with you.
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Old 08-13-21, 03:05 PM
  #47  
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My son's Bridgestone MB-2 survived 4 1/2 years at Purdue University. Before he went, I replaced all the quick releases with bolts and nuts. He told me a popular sport was taking seats from bikes that had a quick release seat post, and tossing them up in the tree branches. The first two years the bike was locked in a bike rack outside his dorm with 100 other bikes. After he moved off campus, he kept it on the porch of his house. The bike wasn't in horrible shape, and I didn't do anything to make it look worse. It did have fenders, so maybe that made it nerdy enough to leave alone. After he graduated, he no longer wanted the bike, so I brought it home and returned all the original parts.

My daughter went to the same school and I started her off with a folding bike, with the notion that she would keep it in her room. As it turned out, the bike was too heavy for her to lug up and down the stairs of the dorm, so it stayed outside in the bike rack. She did not have to walk as far as my son, so it took her as long to ride the bike and lock it up as it did to just walk straight to her class.
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Old 08-13-21, 04:09 PM
  #48  
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This hasn't been mentioned, so I'll just throw it out there. What about building up the Trek with the full Campy, something really pretty, and lure potential thieves into a perfect trap. A dart gun, detention center, and maybe an assistant or two will be needed. Kidnap a few, interrogate, and torture. She could later write her capstone course thesis on this highly unique project, which could fit in a number of disciplines, from psychology to political science.
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Old 08-13-21, 05:00 PM
  #49  
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The one bike most will not steel is a step through or girls bike. When i was flipping a lot of bikes i got rid of quite a few of these by going to the entrance of UNC Charlotte and selling them for cheap right from my suv. Even sold one to the campus police. I use to advertise them on cl as campus bikes.
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Old 08-13-21, 05:31 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Pompiere View Post
My son's Bridgestone MB-2 survived 4 1/2 years at Purdue University.
My alma mater! I only ever got my rear wheel stolen and only once. After that I took to putting the front wheel over the rack so the cable lock could run front to back. No one ever bothered my seat.
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