A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Bicycle Uglification

I touched on bicycle uglification in my first bike theft prevention post, but I felt it was necessary to go a bit farther. Uglification is a current popular trend among bike commuters. True enough, not much sucks as much as getting off work and finding your ride gone or stripped of essential parts. Click to enlargeI can understand the need to make your primary mode of transportation undesirable to thieves. The less incentive they have to liquidate your ride, the better. The problem is, thieves are not stupid. Sometimes they just want transportation themselves.

Uglification of bicyles by commuters seems to be simply a backlash against the expensive shiny bikes ridden by the lycra clad weight weinies. Most of the tricks cyclists use either weakly disguise an expensive bicycle, or ruin it. It is far better, in my opinion to resurrect a previously discarded bike for the purpose of commuting. Regrease dry bearings. Oil the chain. Rebuild the bike as inexpensively as possible, without caring about appearance. Then get a lock that will deter all but the most determined thief. It's all about the work to benefit ratio.

But if you want to explore bicyle uglification, here are a few links:

Ugly Your Bike

Ugly Your Bike #2: A Case Study

10 Uglification Tips

8 Ways To Ugly Your Bike

Junk-ify Your Bike

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Xavier, I enjoy both your Gun and Bike posts. I dug out my old Giant Iguana mountain bike for a family trip up to Acadia National Park in two weeks. Yesterday, I changed the knobby tires to smoother treaded ones, replaced the seat with a springier, softer, wider one and cleaned and lubed the bike. I want to replace the almost straight bar handlebars with a BMX style like yours pictured but I'm not sure where to find one. Most seem to have the cross bar support welded on higher up which won't allow them to slide under my bike's clamp which is just like yours. How did you solve that problem? Thanks.


10:48 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

I removed the screw in the clamp and the flat portion of the crossbar slid right through. My BMX bars came off a discarded little girl's bike.

10:53 PM  

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