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Experiences with uglified bikes?

Old 07-02-22, 08:34 PM
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smasha
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Experiences with uglified bikes?

I'll soon have a new ride. Like my last commuter bike, I never thought I'd spend so much money on a such a nice bike.

Now I'm wondering, what are peoples' experiences with uglified bikes? Does it really deter theft? Should I just slap some bumper-stickers on it? Or should I give it some gratuitous duct-tape and a "custom paint job" with orange/red/brown spray-paint, to make it look rusty?

Around here, just as many (maybe more?) cheap/crappy bikes get stolen, compared to bikes that are targeted because they're nice and expensive… But anecdotally it seems like a good lock, used properly(!), does more to deter theft than whether or not the bike is desirable. If that's the case, then there's no "tactical advantage" to making a bike ugly.

Last edited by smasha; 07-02-22 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 07-03-22, 05:56 AM
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Well there are 2 types of bike thieves, ones that steal because they want to hawk the bike for parts or entirety, and then the ones who just want a bike to use. I've seen junk bikes with missing front wheels cos the owner forgot to lock the fronts, and I've also known people climbing fences to steal $15k carbon bikes left unsecured at home. Invest in good locks, be diligent in where you park and hope the next thief sees someone else's bike first! haha
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Old 07-05-22, 02:56 PM
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Bike thieves are looking for the easiest bike to steal. The brand, condition, size, etc. have almost no bearing on the likelihood of theft. If it's vulnerable, it's gone. If it's fortified, they'll move on to an easier target.
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Old 07-05-22, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by smasha View Post
Now I'm wondering, what are peoples' experiences with uglified bikes? Does it really deter theft?
Nope. Enjoy the shininess. Lock it well.
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Old 07-06-22, 08:16 AM
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Clyde1820
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Haven't done any direct comparisons, myself. Haven't typically lived in spots where smash-and-grab type thefts occur much. Once, had a seatpost+seat removed from a bike where I still (stupidly) had the quick-release lever on the seat tube collar. My own bikes tend to be clean and well-maintained, though looking relatively low-cost as compared to many bikes today. (A bit "under the radar," you might say, in the hope it'll matter a damn.)

No idea whether any clear difference exists. But it's easy enough to see that a thief that's looking for something good will tend to gloss over the nearly valueless bikes sitting nearby. Probably balanced out by the vast number of thieves out there who don't much care what they take, so long as it works.

All a WAG, anyway.
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Old 07-06-22, 06:35 PM
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Why buy a "nice" bike and make it ugly/cheap? Start with an ugly/cheap bike!

gm
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Old 07-06-22, 08:01 PM
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I used to uglify them but then switched to the cheap bike approach.
Current favorite commuters/beaters are an old trek cruiser classic, a bikesdirect windsor clockwork and a lasalle stony creek which I have never seen another of but is a nice mid ‘90s plain gauge ishiwata mountain bike with mountain lx components.
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Old 07-07-22, 06:02 PM
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Bikes are like women, you don't, get a pretty one and make her ugly. If ugly you want, start out ugly!

gm
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Old 07-07-22, 06:03 PM
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Beauty or ugliness is in the eye of the beholder

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Old 07-07-22, 07:30 PM
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Start out with a beautiful, expensive bike like this:




Then you add some SRAM horse-head hydraulic brake levers:



Mission accomplished!
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Old 07-14-22, 01:35 PM
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Uglification doesn't work. Plenty of old ugly bikes get stolen. An experienced thief knows the worth of bikes.

Store your bike at a secure location at work. Indoors preferably. I've even worked in an office where people took their bikes into their cubicles. It was a spacious office.
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Old 07-15-22, 12:54 PM
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This is my attempt at ugly for my commuting bike. Also has 20 inch wheels which is considered a not serious kids bike.
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