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Nice components on an ugly bike.

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Nice components on an ugly bike.

Old 03-07-13, 06:00 PM
  #1  
Stun
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Nice components on an ugly bike.

I've been tempted for years to build up a commuter bike that is theft resistant by putting nice components on a beat up old frame. I know a lot of people have built up old mountain bikes as commuters but I am talking about really pushing the envelope--maybe XTR shifters and derailleurs, and the like on something like a 1994 Trek 820 Antelope with chipped and faded paint. Then, peel the stickers off of the components so that the untrained eye is not drawn to them as being worth stealing.

The result? A bike that has top-notch performance but is not a theft magnet. Great idea, right? OR IS IT? My first thought is terrible resale value (Eg: selling the components online later on down the road).
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Old 03-07-13, 06:07 PM
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Chris Chicago
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makes sense to me. seems like spiffy new looking bikes are easier for thieves to sell. taking the trek stickers off the frame would help as well
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Old 03-07-13, 06:28 PM
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Resale for anything bike related isn't that good anyway.

Enjoy the ride. I have had Campy on my commuter for years... the stuff just works and works (this is old Campy, nothing CF). Cyclists that notice, give it a double take... to anyone else, it is a beat up Fred bike.
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Old 03-07-13, 07:31 PM
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A lot of my stuff is dated high end components. It works extremely well but doesn't have the technology appeal of the latest 'product of the month'. Most people seem to know whats current - and aren't interested in much else.
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Old 03-07-13, 08:27 PM
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Working in a shop that has recovered countless stolen bikes I can assure you a cheap looking bike is not any less likely to be stolen, at least in our area. People steal beat up old bikes far more often than higher end bikes.

I get it if the bike does much more than commuter duty but if it is simply a commuter why not just use deore level components? You really are not loosing much at all in terms of performance and you do not have to stress as much about possible "what ifs".
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Old 03-07-13, 10:20 PM
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The active thieves in my city have a "trained" eye and during the past few years, just strip good components off of parked bikes. They don't even look at the overall bike anymore and just go for parts.
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Old 03-08-13, 08:46 AM
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My old mtn bike commuter looks rough as hell and rides smooth as butter.
And I agree, you don't have to use the most expensive componentry. Smooth quality drivetrain, great tires, smooth, true wheels, comfy saddle, racks, and ergon grips are my must haves on my commuters. In the past, I always tried to stick to Deore LX or road equivalent. I also tend to put stickers all over the bike that I leave locked up downtown, at festivals, stores, pubs, etc......

I like finding old steel bikes for $200 or less and then dropping around $300 in overhaul and decking them out for commuter use. That being said, I usually have quite a bit of parts, lights, racks, sometimes tires, etc....accumulated in my spare parts bin to take on new projects or to refresh the bikes I currently maintain.
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Old 03-08-13, 11:13 AM
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Wow! Some enterprising and creative thieves out there! I have noticed massive theft of unlocked QR wheels around here. I never leave my wheels unlocked. I haven't noticed much part stripping YET...

We also have pretty harsh winters here so it would be nice to find a balance between parts that will hold up fairly well and perform well but not be too expensive to replace if they get destroyed by road salt. I agree with those of you suggesting components in the Deore range or a little higher to achieve a good balance.

What do you all suggest for a crankset? (Remember, durable yet not the end of the world if it needs replaced).
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Old 03-08-13, 11:26 AM
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I don't really see the point of using XTR components on a commuter. I don't think they're functionally better than XT, or LX...they're lighter and maybe polished better. The performance from any decent group should be pretty good.

This bike uses a mix of Deore DX, XT and some other bits...it's a highly effective, Frankenstein, camo'd commuter that I think most folks pass on by without notice. The Brooks draws the eye, but the word on them doesn't seem to be out yet, and I lock mine through the rails with cable.

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Old 03-08-13, 12:04 PM
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new lower tier components , work fine IMO, derailleur shoves the chain sideways,

the STI things go ka-thunk.

but its the chain & ratio of chainring and cog that is actually moving the wheel.

get nice Tires to roll easily.

Innertube wrapping the frame tubes will homely -up things and have a non chip surface
to use a heavy security chain and lock Bike against a solidly fixed object.

the 2 guys chased by a bear thing applies to security, ..


My International Touring Bike was the same paint color, as the Buy a TV or Frige and get a Free Bike, bikes

after being in the LBS that got a lot of them for Tune Ups, to Make them work adequately
the sticker transfer was complete..

never made it to Florence Italy, they wouldn't understand the joke, anyhow.. .

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-09-13 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 03-08-13, 01:30 PM
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I did that dance for years until recently when I finally moved all my good components over to a new shiny frame that should never crack (I think). I use SRAM and Microshift throughout for drive train stuff.
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Old 03-08-13, 01:39 PM
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15 seconds with an Allen key and snippers nets a thief your handlebars, stem, shifter/levers. That is, unless you tamper proof the bolts.
I recommend a bike where all the bits look a bit rough. If performance is important, use quality older stuff.
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Old 03-08-13, 03:38 PM
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Aaron, thanks for the pic. That is nice work! What type of shifters are you running?
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Old 03-08-13, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
the 2 guys chased by a bear thing applies to security, ..
Good call! Probably the overall best strategy out there for keeping the bike safe.
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Old 03-08-13, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Ferrous Bueller View Post
15 seconds with an Allen key and snippers nets a thief your handlebars, stem, shifter/levers. That is, unless you tamper proof the bolts.
I recommend a bike where all the bits look a bit rough. If performance is important, use quality older stuff.
Pack the allen head with ball bearings. It usually requires a pick tool to get them out, if your using a little adhesive to keep them secure. Around here, parts go missing. The stripped out bicycle frames, still locked to their poles, remind me of those dead carcasses out in the Safari. Being stripped of their flesh my the scavengers.
Lots of ways to secure the parts bin.
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Old 03-08-13, 06:31 PM
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Guess it depends on the commute. My bikes go from inside the apartment to inside the shop so opportunities for theft would start with a B&E anyway you cut it. Don't even bother with a lock.

Recreational cycling is a little different, but again, the bike is never out of sight so a cable lock is about all thats needed. If I had to park a bike outside I'd probably use the bus and metro instead.
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Old 03-08-13, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
Guess it depends on the commute. My bikes go from inside the apartment to inside the shop so opportunities for theft would start with a B&E anyway you cut it. Don't even bother with a lock.
Yes, I used to have that luxury as well. Now I either leave the bike outside or have a 15 min. discussion with the janitor each time I bring it into the office.
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Old 03-08-13, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Stun View Post
Yes, I used to have that luxury as well. Now I either leave the bike outside or have a 15 min. discussion with the janitor each time I bring it into the office.
Would a drop sheet on the floor be more acceptable? The janitor probably has to answer for the condition of the premises and your help in making it look like he's doing his job might make a difference.
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Old 03-08-13, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
Would a drop sheet on the floor be more acceptable? The janitor probably has to answer for the condition of the premises and your help in making it look like he's doing his job might make a difference.
That's a good idea. I will have to bring that up with him and see what he says. I would love to keep the bike inside. Although a number of people in the building say he has been resistant to bikes being in there for years. No one has tried the drop sheet suggestion that I know of, though, so I am curious to see what he says. Thanks for the idea.
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Old 03-08-13, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Stun View Post
Aaron, thanks for the pic. That is nice work! What type of shifters are you running?
Suntour Commands.
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Old 03-09-13, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Stun View Post
I've been tempted for years to build up a commuter bike that is theft resistant by putting nice components on a beat up old frame. I know a lot of people have built up old mountain bikes as commuters but I am talking about really pushing the envelope--maybe XTR shifters and derailleurs, and the like on something like a 1994 Trek 820 Antelope with chipped and faded paint. Then, peel the stickers off of the components so that the untrained eye is not drawn to them as being worth stealing.

The result? A bike that has top-notch performance but is not a theft magnet. Great idea, right? OR IS IT? My first thought is terrible resale value (Eg: selling the components online later on down the road).
Works for me. A beat up black frame with no decals and laden with a frame bag and saddle bag, but riding on a Dura Ace crankset, lightweight wheels, and Michelin Pro4 slicks (amazingly flat resistant -- knock on wood), and a Thompson seatpost wrapped in Rescue Tape beneath the bag clamp.



The bike attracts zero attention now, unlike when I first got it.
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Old 03-09-13, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
Suntour Commands.
I keep hearing mixed reviews on those. How do you like them? (Not that they are widely available or anything...Just curious!)
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Old 03-09-13, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Chesha Neko View Post
Works for me. A beat up black frame with no decals and laden with a frame bag and saddle bag, but riding on a Dura Ace crankset, lightweight wheels, and Michelin Pro4 slicks (amazingly flat resistant -- knock on wood), and a Thompson seatpost wrapped in Rescue Tape beneath the bag clamp.



The bike attracts zero attention now, unlike when I first got it.
Oh YEAH! Chesha Neko, this is beautiful. It's like a stealth ninja! I like that. And the rescue tape--genius! I could put some of that to work for sure.

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Old 03-09-13, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Stun View Post
I keep hearing mixed reviews on those. How do you like them? (Not that they are widely available or anything...Just curious!)
The friction mode doesn't really work without opening them up and removing the bearings. They aren't awful, but they aren't STI/Ergo either. Mine would be better w/ the indexed Suntour accushift cassette.

I love their ergonomics.
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Old 03-09-13, 05:01 PM
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Have the Black Ano R'off I clean the chain and chainwheels , but leave the dirt on the hub.

Since I always Lock it up, and its the only 1 in town, and its not a Bike 'friendly'* town.
so far so good..

* meaning lots of traffic is stolen bikes and parts.

Hundreds of cyclists pass through in the 'Summer' .. Ie after July 5th
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