Anti-Theft Bike Painting

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Introduction: Anti-Theft Bike Painting

This is how to "uglify" your bicycle to prevent it from being stolen. I purchased a new bicycle and it was stolen 6 days after buying it! And I had to buy a second one. It was stolen because it "looked" like it was expensive with bright blue stripes and chrome even though it was pretty cheap. This instructable will show you how to paint your bike to give it an unique look as well as deter thief.

Step 1: Get Supplies

For this step you need:
1 bicycle
1 roll of masking tape
1 can of flat black spray paint
1 can of florescence orange paint

I used Krylon Flat Black Spray Paint, Valspar Orange Fluorescent Enamel and Scotch Masking Tape for a total of $13.63 with tax.

Step 2: Strip Down Bike

Before you can start painting to you need to remove the wheels and any other things on the bike. For my bike, I removed my bike lock mount and my water bottle holder. You will also need to lay down some newspaper as a shield for painting

Step 3: Paint the Bike Black

You will want to paint the whole bike flat black. Use large, even strokes and spray the A-frame, the front fork and the rear frame. Make sure to get the underside of frame as just spray painting from the side this spot will be missed. A handy tip is to place masking tape on the contact surface of the brake pads. This prevents any paint from interfering with your braking when you first re-assemble the bike.

Step 4: Apply Masking Tape

We are going to paint orange stripes so we need to place masking tape where we want black to remain. Take 6" stripes and wrap them around the tubular frame. Space them out about 3-4" apart. Add some on the front fork and rear frame. Additionally you can add a stripe to the petal cranks and to the kick stand.

Step 5: Paint the Bike Orange

Any bright fluorescent paint will work. I picked orange. Spray in between the masking tape to paint the stripes. It takes some work to not over spay and mess up the contrast. You can use the black paint a second time to do some repair work.

Step 6: Remove Masking Tape

Carefully remove all the masking tape that you applied earlier. Depending on how well you wrapped it there may be a bit of bleeding on the edges. You don't really need to worry about this as if it looks bad then it is less likely to be stolen.

Step 7: Re-Assemble Bike

Time to clean up and put back the on the wheels.

Step 8: Enjoy

Time to drive around and show off your new bike.

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    71 Comments

    My cheetah bike. I miss it : (

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    Boooo i had my poor ike stolen right out from front door under a garage overhang of my group beach house in Dewey beach DE. It was a 45$ used bike with a nice blue paint job but since my generic new cheapy from Walmart got stolen i decided to customize it immediately. Materials cost more than the bike. Everyone in town knew it was mine. If i lent it to a friend, they'd get yelled at. Got nearly 3 seasons out of it. My name and phone number is painted underneath it. No one would want to paint over this

    As a bike mechanic, please, please never do this to your bike. Painting a frame without removing all the proper moving components will wreck them. For example painting the crankset (the big gears in the front) makes the crankset harder to remove, and the bearings that are inside the frame that allow the crankset to turn will likely become gunky making you work harder. The same concept applies to the steering. Painting the brakes themselves can make the small bushing that allows them to pinch and release can become wrecked, making the brakes harder to apply, and possibly causing them to stick shut. Painting the cables can add to this effect. If you do decide to do this you should probably do your own repairs, or be ready to have your local shop mechanic tell you the labor rate just doubled to pay for all the beer I'm gonna need to withstand the aggravation of having to remove parts that have been painted into the frame.

    If you really wanna keep it safe Chicago Style, use a u lock to lock the frame, rear wheel, and a looped cable for the front. take the seat out because this makes it a chore to get away on. bonus points if you take out your front quick release skewer with you, then if they manage to get through the lock they'll be in for one hell of a road rash surprise when the front wheel ejects. this has kept my 4k race bike nice and safe. the name of the game is discouragement. they're looking for a quick easy buck, so if you make em work for it they'll usually walk on down the rack and go for something easier.

    It would have been amazingly cool to STENCIL your name all over the bike in the fluorescent paint.

    And that way there is NO WAY anyone could say "I didn't know it wasn't (whoever) bike..."

    thanks god you don't have a lamborghini ;)

    Looks too nice, it still has good parts on it. My friends son went too college this year and I told him to do an ugly paint job to help prevent theft. He made a fixie with no kick stand and miss matching pedals and grips. I suggested he paint radomly with many colors without masking anything and to spray hubs, spokes, bars, and even some tire. I haven't seen it but he has it still. It's like a fingerprint, it belongs to one person and everyone knows it. The down side is the small town syndrome, everyone knows where he is.

    That bike looks terrible!!!!

    You're welcome. :P

    Spray your bike with 3M spray adhesive and then apply pubic hair and fingernail clippings onto the bike. Winner!

    huh... that gave me an idea... i have 3 old bikes, lots of spray glue, a pile of orange shag carpeting, and oodles of bubble wrap....