Crackhead-Proofing My Bike
In hope of keeping my bike seat out of some crackhead’s streetcorner sale, I have applied polycaprolactone (AKA Shapelock plastic or PCL) to the vulnerable hex-head bolts. I covered the top bolt on the seat (pictured), the seat post bolt, and the headstock bolt. It is impossible to remove by hand but can be removed in a few seconds with [redacted]! Then all you need is a bucket of hot water to reapply it.
Just last week, my neighbor Laurie had her bike seat stolen by loosening of the bike seat bolt :-(
If there is no update to this post, you know the PCL has done it’s job!
Coreyfro got a huge quantity of “CAPA 6800” at Tri-ISO and Noisebridgers split it up. I got 2 kg at $18/kg. I’ve made a couple things so far, over the door coat hangers that I use often, a headphone holder (Trebor’s idea, I expounded on it) that is awesome, a little plastic shield for a wire that goes through my window sill…
I was wondering how one could prevent a missing seat. Once my bike is in better condition, I plan on riding around Berkeley/Oakland, but I don’t want it ripped apart by vultures!
I have read about putting a ball bearing into the hex bolt hole and securing it with CA-glue (AKA crazy glue, super glue). The idea is that you can use acetone to remove the CA-glue. I tried it today on a test bolt and it was kinda messy. I hope my solution is better.
I use plumber’s putty and a ball bearing, which has a reasonable balance between being a pain in the ass to remove and being removable/serviceable. The plumbers putty stays pliable enough to remove if you have time to be meticulous, which is too much for the typical crackhead.
David, very interesting! I’ve got some museum wax, that is similar. My neighbor is going to try museum wax and a ball bearing!
Julie, give me a call when it’s time to secure your bike!
very nice! i use a heat gun to do my PCL work. a friend with a machine shop made me a custom nozzle for fine work, which has been a huge help. in any case the heat gun means i could more permanently attach things to my bike – with an option to easily remove it later (rather then dunk my bike in hot water). i would imagine a hair dryer would work well also.
also i am reminded of the sugru lego hack:
which might work with PCL and say a bike light. :)
To strengthen the capa, stretch and fold it in on itself a couple times. This aligns all the polymers, adding strength. Think of it like pattern welding a samurai sword.
Weee! The Sugru-lego hack is fun! Thanks!
I think that the friction-fit of Lego probably isn’t a good match for the vibration of a bike. Of course, if PCL can be made long and thin, formed into a spring that could hold something in place like so:
I am so glad that this type of thing is not remotely a concern of mine anymore :) Nobody swipes bike seats here — nice.
They don’t need bikes in Seattle. Everyone skips to their destinations singing Zip-a-dee-doo-dah! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcxYwwIL5zQ
All you’ve got to do to remove shape lock plastic is to heat it up to 160 degrees Farenheit.
That is true Jesse. But how do you expect the crackhead-thief will do this in the field? First they have to realize this fact, probably by careful molecular analysis of the material; most plastics melt at 500+ degrees F. Then they have to heat the material up by maybe holding a lighter up to it for 5 minutes (PCL doesn’t conduct heat very well). Or if they brought their blowtorch, they’re good to go. Usually crack-head thieves don’t carry a blowtorch so I still feel pretty good about this method.