Monday, February 11, 2008

The ugliest hipster bike; rattle-can stolen

This is the ugliest hipster bicycle I have ever seen posted on the Internet. I don’t remember where I found it but the photo is called criticalmasstheultimateweapon. I have actually lobbied in the City of Santa Cruz to make this bike illegal! That’s right ILLEGAL!. If you were found in possession of a bike that looked like this the bike would be seized for destruction and owner jailed. I am not kidding here. I work for the police department and run a web site that is a clearinghouse for bike stolen in the county. The most common form of bike thievery is when someone steals a bike and paints it haphazardly in order to disguise it true identity. About 80% of the homeless and criminals in Santa Cruz are riding on bicycles that either have had the brand decals scrapped off in an obvious attempt to disguise the bike, or the bike has been haphazardly painted (over the bearing and seals and spokes) for the same reason.

Due to the above I presented to the City Council a proposed law, the would first, make it illegal to possess a bicycle, where someone has specifically scrapped of the identifying marking on a bicycle, with the obvious intent to obscure the make. The law would also outlaw the haphazard painting of a bicycle for the same reasons; bikes where someone had shown due care, such as masking off the headset, bottom brackets, seatpost, stem, cranks or wheels would be excepted.

Now look at this bike. The owner has painted over the seat tube and seat clamp! Further, it appears he painted over the bottom bracket, he painted over the headset (upper and lower), and there appears to be over spray on the stem! This bike should be illegal to own! Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t risk arrest because you have no concept on how to repaint a bike to improve the aesthetics. This guy is hiding something. I don’t know what it is. I am trying to resist accusing this guy of trying to cover up the fact that he might have met Pedro on the levy and bought the bike for $20. Regardless. Everyone has a roll of masking tape in their junk drawer. If you must rattle can your bike. Mask it! Don’t paint over the seat post clamp, you may have to adjust it some day. Don’t spray paint over the bottom bracket and headset bearings. You need to do periodic maintenance on the bearings. But finally take some pride in your bike. A hipster bike is supposed to look, well hip; not rattle-can stolen.


Andreas said...

Very informative post, thank you!

I've bought some rattle-can paint to touch up a few chips and scratches on my frame, which luckily matches the colour almsot exactly.

However, I would consider repainting it at some point in the future that way.
Obviously I would mask things off properly, because I love my bike, but you give a pretty cool insight on what a bad paint job can make people think of your pride and joy.

Anonymous said...

maybe the guy just did a quick paint job on it in order that it doesnt look the sharpest to deter the large amount of bike thievery in cities. If this bike is in new york, thats not a bad idea. You shouldnt label all fixies as hipster bikes or all fixed riders as hipsters, its a little narrow minded. Sure, there are those people that have a posh bike with all the jazzy expensive parts on it that havent been over ten miles an hour on the thing, dont ride a break and clearly are not skilled at all in the ways of a fixed gear. These people appear in any trend that sunddenly takes off and they generally dissapear just as quickly when whatever it is, is not so hot anymore, last seasons posh toy if you will, such as skateboards or "the cruiser board".However there are people who are generally into riding fast as hell, on a track bike, in cities, with expensive parts, that know how to use a bike without a brake and skid properly and all the rest of it. I believe its called shredding, and is pretty fun. Watch Mashsf if you haven't already, those guys are not hipsters, they just love bikes, whats wrong with that? what if that bike belonged to one of those guys or someone like it? Its quite possible.