View Full Version : "uglifying" your bike?

10-10-2006, 04:36 PM
So I just got a new bike (Novara Express) about a month ago, and I can't stop thinking about how glossy and new it looks -- and it makes me wonder if there is truth to the idea that pretty-shiny bikes get stolen, while ugly bikes don't.

Do any of you "uglify" your bikes? If so, do you have any tips?

10-10-2006, 05:05 PM
I know there's a school of thought that says "uglify," but I question the necessity of that.

First, if you read the bike theft reports, the vast, vast majority of stolen bikes were either locked with a cable, or they weren't locked at all. And the thieves don't really seem to be discriminating by only stealing the pretty bikes. My guess is they steal what's easy to steal. And maybe, given a choice between two equally unprotected bikes, they'll steal the more expensive of the two.

Second, "uglifying" is superficial. It doesn't conceal compnentry, for example. I see one particular bike every day, it's painted to conceal the make and model of the frame (although not really "uglified"), but I can still tell, based on the quality of the bike and its components, that under that anonymous paint is a very nice bike. I'll bet at least some thieves can tell too.

I would say that this set of observations argues for high-quality locks before "uglification." If you lock your bike with a high-quality lock, it will take a thief too long to break the lock; the thief will move on to easier pickings. Remember, the thief doesn't want to be so busy breaking your lock that he fails to notice you approaching with a baseball bat.... Of course, if you leave your bike locked outside long enough, day after day, a thief may decide to make the effort if it's worth the effort. So use a high-quality lock for when you ride somewhere, but don't leave your bike locked and unattended outside night after night while you sleep.

TCR Punk
10-10-2006, 06:13 PM
this is what you need to protect your bike from theft.