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Police bicycles

Old 06-17-19, 12:36 PM
  #101  
julius rensch
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Also....I live in Philadelphia. Downtown has a lot of two-lane streets that can be full of slow-stopped traffic during weekdays and even on some weekends. Even the wider streets in town can be full of cars. Bikes offer maneuverability through stopped traffic and the use of the sidewalks.
Not only that...let's face the fact that a police bike really is supreme in big conjested cities.
No noise, no pollution, does not take up much space.....and a Cop Bike parked in front of a Donut shop is way cool.

Jules upon his black, Raleigh Police Tourist cycle.
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Old 06-17-19, 12:49 PM
  #102  
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Here in Washington State they use MTB for patrolling our parks and trails to emphasize police presence there. A road bike would make it more difficult for them to do that effectively if they need to go off the paved paths, which they do. They do a good job carrying the required gear as well. Our streets are patrolled by police vehicles.
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Old 06-17-19, 02:24 PM
  #103  
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Police Bikes 50 years ago

The most successful police bike of all times was the Raleigh DL-1 used by police throughout the British Empire. Millions were made (and are still made in Denmark). The front fork extends out, absorbing shock of cobblestone streets much better than road or sport design bikes. The frames are strong as were all the components. The internal hub gear required less maintenance, and they were primarily intended for flat areas where serious braking was not important, and weight was not a consideration. They were tools, not toys, thus one can buy a 1950's, or 1930's model and refurbish it, whereas the typical life of a modern bike is perhaps ten years at best.

Today, police use MTB because that is what is on offer. MTB are strong and durable, but not made for the purpose of patrol. This is typical of America, where, for example, taxi cabs are consumer cars; in contrast to the London cab which is purpose built for taxi (high ceiling, large rear space, very tight turning radius, designed to not exceed speed limits, unique look to be easily spotted).

Unlike the UK, in America police departments are small and very local, with overlap of town cops, county sheriff, state police, college police, airport police, etc. Thus, no one has the purchasing power to specify purpose-built, and the bike industry still is a fashion-follower rather than a serious tool maker as it was from Victorian times through the 1950's (except in America where the bicycle business was primarily a toy maker for kids until they got their drivers licence).



Raleigh DL-1
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Old 06-17-19, 02:49 PM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by greenspark View Post
The most successful police bike of all times was the Raleigh DL-1 used by police throughout the British Empire. Millions were made (and are still made in Denmark). The front fork extends out, absorbing shock of cobblestone streets much better than road or sport design bikes. The frames are strong as were all the components. The internal hub gear required less maintenance, and they were primarily intended for flat areas where serious braking was not important, and weight was not a consideration. They were tools, not toys, thus one can buy a 1950's, or 1930's model and refurbish it, whereas the typical life of a modern bike is perhaps ten years at best.

Today, police use MTB because that is what is on offer. MTB are strong and durable, but not made for the purpose of patrol. This is typical of America, where, for example, taxi cabs are consumer cars; in contrast to the London cab which is purpose built for taxi (high ceiling, large rear space, very tight turning radius, designed to not exceed speed limits, unique look to be easily spotted).

Unlike the UK, in America police departments are small and very local, with overlap of town cops, county sheriff, state police, college police, airport police, etc. Thus, no one has the purchasing power to specify purpose-built, and the bike industry still is a fashion-follower rather than a serious tool maker as it was from Victorian times through the 1950's (except in America where the bicycle business was primarily a toy maker for kids until they got their drivers licence).



Raleigh DL-1
Great info.

We used to have purpose built taxis in the U.S. made by the Checkers Motor Corporation. Last one was built in 1982.

Anyone on here ever ride the DL-1?
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Old 06-17-19, 03:08 PM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by Hr1 View Post
Yea... but he's the prez of the org and no one on this thread is.
I was the first Chairman/President of the International Police Mountain Bike Association for five years. I am also a founding member and a co-author of the Police Cyclist & Police Cyclist Instructor courses as well as the book "The Complete Guide to Public Safety Cycling". (I appeared on the cover of the first edition) All Police Cyclist Instructors around the world are assigned an instructor number; mine is 001. Next month I'll be 60 and I can still catch a suspect on foot or on a bike. I consider myself to be competent on the subject of Police/Public Safety Cycling. Next year will be the 30th anniversary of IPMBA and the International Conference will be in Dayton, Ohio. OP, I offer you the chance to run from me on your favorite road bike at the conference.

Schedule and Program - IPMBA

Try this on a road bike.


When I was younger


Much older climbing Alpe d'Huez






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Old 06-17-19, 03:21 PM
  #106  
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Because: in an urban environment, a mountain bike is much faster than a road bike.

I ride both. If I was on a roadbike, I don't stand a snowballs chance in hell of catching myself on a mountain bike - in a city race. Main advantages of a mountain bike in this scenario: ability to change direction quickly (try do a fast 180 on a road bike, ability to nip through traffic, ability to break fast and change direction, ability to jump over curbs, down stairs, nip around pedestrians etc.

A roadbiker has zero chance of catching an equally good rider on a mountain bike in a short city chase.
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Old 06-17-19, 03:30 PM
  #107  
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I recently started a job working security on bicycle. As an avid cyclist it is kind of hurting my body to ride something that is not my own bike for hours. We have both 26" and 29ers; I hate the 29ers. No need for the extra weight of front suspension either. I ride bike to work on old MTBs set up as commuters (Bridgestone MB-1 and Trek 950) and I feel better on the ride home!
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Old 06-17-19, 03:34 PM
  #108  
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Most people seem to have a general idea. Police use bicycles in downtown heavy traffic areas. These MTB-like bikes are fast enough to catch most pedestrians. They cannot catch most cyclists or cars unless they're trapped in traffic. They can ignore most road and sidewalk impediments and they can move around stopped traffic easily. These guys like motorcycle cops have a better attitude since they aren't trapped inside of a roasting hot cab with the air conditioning full on even in medium heat but a bright sun. Also a car gives everyone a very bad attitude.
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Old 06-17-19, 03:47 PM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Great info.

We used to have purpose built taxis in the U.S. made by the Checkers Motor Corporation. Last one was built in 1982.

Anyone on here ever ride the DL-1?
I'd love to see a trained cyclist on a rigid MTB compete with one of these downtown. Mixed course, agility and speed.
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Old 06-17-19, 04:05 PM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
No, he is saying that urban police bikes are required to have more durable wheels made of carbon.

"(stairs, curbs, etc.). The riggors of carrying 50 lbs of equipment for the EMS Cyclist, mainly over the rear tire"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfjjiHGuHoc


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I don't have anything to contribute to this thread, except that that video never gets old.
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Old 06-17-19, 05:05 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by Hr1 View Post
Given that road bikes are generally faster and lighter I wonder why police, much like their use of HDs, choose to use mtbs? The only real advantage a mtb has for the most part is adeptly handling rough terrain. Road bikes accelerate faster being that their usually less than half the weight of a mtb and SS's are nearly silent in operation which in tactical operations would be a distinct advantage. Although the harsh ride of the rigid frame would make a full (8hr) shift very fatiguing.
You ever see the condition of the streets in a typical US metro area? In Philly where I am there's cobble-stone paved surfaces, huge potholes and crumbling pavement. A MTB is definitely the rugged and better choice.
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Old 06-17-19, 05:37 PM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by Hr1 View Post
I asked the president of International Police Mountain Bike Association this very question and here's his knowledgeable opinion :

A MTB handles the urban obstacles encountered by public safety cyclist where a road bike would not (stairs, curbs, etc.). The riggors of carrying 50 lbs of equipment for the EMS Cyclist, mainly over the rear tire is another reason. This added weight when negotiating stairs and such would not be tolerated well by a road bike. So in essence, we trade speed for functionality.
^Exactly.

Plus, a police-quality bike is about 10% of the cost of a police-quality motorcycle, even more savings when you factor in maintenance. Adding electric power to police bikes for short burst speed will not add much cost but increase capability; it's the future.
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Old 06-17-19, 05:58 PM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch View Post
^Exactly.

Plus, a police-quality bike is about 10% of the cost of a police-quality motorcycle, even more savings when you factor in maintenance. Adding electric power to police bikes for short burst speed will not add much cost but increase capability; it's the future.
Not only does an e-bike increase capability, it can also save lives. An officer who has just completed a lengthy pursuit and then has to go hands on may not have the remaining stamina for grappling with a suspect. An e-bike can provide an officer with a fresher start for that hands on confrontation because it's less taxing, thus saving suspect lives because officers aren't down to their last option; deadly force. Any hand to hand confrontation with a police officer is an armed conflict, 20% of LEOs killed by firearms are killed with their own weapon. This is on the mind of any LEO who is engaged in a physical struggle during an arrest. It can also save the lives of civilians who are in need of rescue in places that are taxing to get to, ie high rise buildings, parking garages, woods, ravines or simply at the top of a long hill; an e-bike can provide a rapid response while still leaving the officer with the stamina required for the task at hand.

Something to keep in mind is that bicycles allow law enforcement officers (LEOs) to thread themselves into places where cruisers can't go. In many situations, the only hope of a rapid response is a bike cop and unfortunately, the only hope of timely back up is another bike cop.

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Old 06-17-19, 07:24 PM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by Hr1 View Post
Given that road bikes are generally faster and lighter I wonder why police, much like their use of HDs, choose to use mtbs? The only real advantage a mtb has for the most part is adeptly handling rough terrain. Road bikes accelerate faster being that their usually less than half the weight of a mtb and SS's are nearly silent in operation which in tactical operations would be a distinct advantage. Although the harsh ride of the rigid frame would make a full (8hr) shift very fatiguing.
In my town (Albany, NY) the cops are using Trek E-bikes with wide tires. Presumably, they can go as fast as a road bike and traverse rough terrain.
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Old 06-17-19, 10:38 PM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
No, actually it is not.

If a copís beat was strictly on paved roads and suspects had the courtesy to stay on those paved roads (on foot or on bike, and not in a car) while you chase them, then your scenario might make sense..... except that a car would work a whole lot better and what would the point be of being on a bike?

The whole point of the bikes is to expand the beat cops range.
Here is another to ponder: although it has 2 wheels and a bob with stripes and a helmet, most North American police are on behemoths of the Harley Davidson crowd, weighing in at a mere 900lbs, and about as easy to maneuver as any over weight and out of date farm tool. Yeah sure they take instruction to do this ride, to also expand their beat, but honestly a hog isn't for off roading. Now like Euro cops on 500lb Beamers, there is capability, highway, logging road, flooded farm field
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Old 06-18-19, 08:11 AM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by fitcat View Post
Here is another to ponder: although it has 2 wheels and a bob with stripes and a helmet, most North American police are on behemoths of the Harley Davidson crowd, weighing in at a mere 900lbs, and about as easy to maneuver as any over weight and out of date farm tool. Yeah sure they take instruction to do this ride, to also expand their beat, but honestly a hog isn't for off roading. Now like Euro cops on 500lb Beamers, there is capability, highway, logging road, flooded farm field
^ At least one person clearly has the intelligence to get my point. There's a reason why Alleycat races are won on single speed road bikes for the most part. The same reason why I ride what I ride (HourPlus)...Light weight, handles sharp as a razor, stops on a dime (even w/ wheel brakes!). I feel safe in say IF American cops rode "500lb B'mers" there'd be a 50% reduction in motorcycle officer deaths. There's, or at least the dying remnants of, a multi-million dollar industry behind selling 900lb HDs to police agencies country-wide. Once electric motorcycles take over the market I predict the HD police market will be as dead as disco. The fastest production motocycle in the world is now electric. 220mph!
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Old 06-18-19, 08:16 AM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by drswift View Post
Because: in an urban environment, a mountain bike is much faster than a road bike.

I ride both. If I was on a roadbike, I don't stand a snowballs chance in hell of catching myself on a mountain bike - in a city race. Main advantages of a mountain bike in this scenario: ability to change direction quickly (try do a fast 180 on a road bike, ability to nip through traffic, ability to break fast and change direction, ability to jump over curbs, down stairs, nip around pedestrians etc.

A roadbiker has zero chance of catching an equally good rider on a mountain bike in a short city chase.

Why are all Alleycat races won on single speed road bikes?
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Old 06-18-19, 08:19 AM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by bokenikon View Post
You ever see the condition of the streets in a typical US metro area? In Philly where I am there's cobble-stone paved surfaces, huge potholes and crumbling pavement. A MTB is definitely the rugged and better choice.
I agree w/ ^ that. For poor street conditions the mtb is the only bicycle that can do the job. A road bike would end up looking like pretzel.

Last edited by Hr1; 06-18-19 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 06-18-19, 08:29 AM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
I was the first Chairman/President of the International Police Mountain Bike Association for five years. I am also a founding member and a co-author of the Police Cyclist & Police Cyclist Instructor courses as well as the book "The Complete Guide to Public Safety Cycling". (I appeared on the cover of the first edition) All Police Cyclist Instructors around the world are assigned an instructor number; mine is 001. Next month I'll be 60 and I can still catch a suspect on foot or on a bike. I consider myself to be competent on the subject of Police/Public Safety Cycling. Next year will be the 30th anniversary of IPMBA and the International Conference will be in Dayton, Ohio. OP, I offer you the chance to run from me on your favorite road bike at the conference.

Schedule and Program - IPMBA

Try this on a road bike.


When I was younger


Much older climbing Alpe d'Huez





Thank you! For the posting and the service.

I'm guessing you have about a million good stories on the subject. Any chance you could start a thread? The premise of this thread is so silly that it's going to bury something I think people would be really interested in.
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Old 06-18-19, 08:36 AM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by Hr1 View Post
Why are all Alleycat races won on single speed road bikes?
Because Alleycat races are more like bicycle messengering than anything a cop is likely to encounter in his/her duties. Also, I find it hard to believe that you could possibly know who wins "all" Alleycat races since by definition, there isn't any reporting system, and no one knows how many there are.
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Old 06-18-19, 08:36 AM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
About the 2nd post got it, mobile radio that can keep a visual on a perp and get backup.

It's about increasing the radius of a walking police "beat" with the bike as well.

I will totally disagree about the whole chase thing. Even if you could out sprint someone on flats and 30 pounds of gear and heavier bike, what are you going to do when you catch them? Crash yourself at 20mph while trying to crash them out? You know what it's like as an adult to crash any bike on any surface over 20mph?

It's about staying in range to get radio help or get close enough to finish a chase on foot.

The rest is movie theatrics.

I could imagine the mtb being more comfortable for a beat on the bike.
Really, the number of chases that police get into, at least in Canada, is very low. We're talking, maybe once a year on foot, and pretty much never in a car.
Having said that, what you say is generally correct, follow and keep radioing in the person's position. However, they could also at some point (likely after the person they are chasing is tired) get off their bike and chase on foot.
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Old 06-18-19, 09:07 AM
  #122  
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Old 06-18-19, 09:23 AM
  #123  
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People ride single speed no brakes fixed road bikes in alley cats because thats what wins races. Police use mtbs because thats whats needed to carry a much heavier officer AND his gear over terrain that would destroy a rigid road bike. Its a quarter horse versus a Clydesdale. Not hard to determine whats faster and more agile. Two different goals. I ride a road bicycle because its lighter, faster, stops quicker and is more agile in traffic not to carry weight or navigate harsh road conditions.

http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Ma...r-Tom-Justice/

"Tom used this custom Steelman road bike for many of his getaways. It eventually led the police to him."

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Old 06-18-19, 09:25 AM
  #124  
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Originally Posted by Hr1 View Post
I asked the president of International Police Mountain Bike Association this very question and here's his knowledgeable opinion :

A MTB handles the urban obstacles encountered by public safety cyclist where a road bike would not (stairs, curbs, etc.). The riggors of carrying 50 lbs of equipment for the EMS Cyclist, mainly over the rear tire is another reason. This added weight when negotiating stairs and such would not be tolerated well by a road bike. So in essence, we trade speed for functionality.
Originally Posted by Hr1 View Post
I'd put Brunelle or any winner of the last (5) NYC, LA, London, Mexico City, Manilla, Lisbon, etc.,etc., winners against you or any other IPMBA instructor in a cat & mouse race anytime it could be arranged. The Alleycatter riding what he rode to win and the cop on his mtb w/ full gear in his uniform w/ full gear. > Jeez thats like putting a 900lb full dressed HD cruiser w/ saddlebags against a 220lb YZ/RM 250 in the same kinda race an actually being dumb enough to think the hog stands a snowball chance of winning. Wow the stupidity of that is truly mind boggling.

Great example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWsMLmzfixw

That damn sure ain't no mtb he's riding!
I've never seen a clearer case of a poster who doesn't understand his own posting.

Bicycle police don't generally do high-speed chases, especially not on open road. They want a bike they can ride down stairs without the bike breaking down. A working bike is faster than a broken one just about any day of the week.
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Old 06-18-19, 09:55 AM
  #125  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Thank you! For the posting and the service.

I'm guessing you have about a million good stories on the subject. Any chance you could start a thread? The premise of this thread is so silly that it's going to bury something I think people would be really interested in.
Thank you, serving was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me.

I'll start one and hopefully the other current and former bike cops will chime in. There are many stories, some are actually funny I need to dig up an account of one I wrote and sent to Bicycling Magazine in 1994 or so, it was titled "Pull Over Homer". I think I still have a copy the magazine but I'm mostly ignorant of what it takes to get something like that onto a forum.

In the beginning, the patrol was formed for street level drug trafficking enforcement. I was a USCF racer and everyone on the department knew it, so I was tapped for the job. We were given the edict to make some arrests and "prove our worth". Without any other parameters I was left to my own imagination, so we went to the thrift store and got white dress shirts, clip on ties, dress slacks and shoes. Once our helmets and glasses were on we looked just like a pair of Mormon missionaries and were free to ride in the area of the drug sales without much of a second glance. Once a deal was witnessed, we surreptitiously radioed for an arrest team and watched them swoop in That worked for a long time; thank goodness crooks are dumb

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