Looks like a piece of crap bike, right? Not quite. In MAKE Volume 11, Rick Polito showed us how to deter bike thieves by uglifying. It may look like an old clunker, but the bike above is actually Rick’s Bianchi Milano, which rides like a dream. Here it is pre-makeover:


I love the analogy in the intro:

“Nature is the master of disguise. The tiger swallowtail caterpillar starts out camouflaged like a bird dropping to discourage birds from eating it. You can take a tip from the crawling turd and keep your bike from getting swiped by camouflaging it as a piece of crap: dress it down as a rolling piece of junk.Having an ugly bike doesn’t mean having a junky bike. Looks and performance have no exclusive relationship. A savvy bike thief may see the gem under the Krylon, but he also knows he can’t sell it as quickly as the tricked-out speedster at the other end of the bike rack.”

Think paint (emphasize the sloppy factor), faux finish rust, accessories, tape, stickers, swapped out nuts and bolts. Check out the article here in our Digital Edition. And of course you can pick up a back issue of Volume 11, with our alt. vehicles special section, at the Maker Shed.

Jimmie’s uglified camera