Not So New

Traveled more than 2,000 miles and not a scratch — but the Batavus’ first ride in America left a mark on both of us.

Legs can't stop a Dutch bike.

Legs can't stop a Dutch bike.

The Bat is not unscathed.

Dings and scuffs.

No, we didn’t fall — but when you have to try to lock your bike to a lamppost there’s a lot of opportunity for something to go wrong. Not sure exactly how it happened, but one moment I was tethering the bike to the pole, the next it was falling and I was shooting my leg out to try to stop it. We both got scratched and the Batavus is no longer a perfect specimen (me, well, I was already messed up). Being the klutz that I am, and Nashville being as light on real bike racks as it is, this is quite likely to happen again — it happened at least once with both my other bikes, but it didn’t hurt quite so much. I can’t be the only one who’s had this problem. Can anyone share tips on how to keep a beautiful bike beautiful?

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14 thoughts on “Not So New

  1. dottie says:

    Ouch, poor thing (both of you!). I hope the rest of the ride was more fun. About keeping a beautiful bike beautiful – not totally realistic when they get used as much as we use them. I’ve decided that the marks set us apart as people who both love and USE beautiful bikes. Greg helpfully pointed out the first scratch on Betty (her top tube) and I have no idea how it got there, but I’ve mourned it and put it aside mentally. I don’t mind as much with Oma because she’s so burly, but it helps that her super duper kickstand means that she never falls (unless traversing train tracks).

  2. Paula says:

    What I do with my bike is to wrap the top and down tubes in old inner tubes. It keeps the paint there from being scratched, and makes the bike uglier… which on the upside means it’s less likely to get stolen. I’ve also seen the idea of wrapping the bike in clear plastic, or you could wrap it in vinyl… preferably reflective so you’re safer at night. Just a few different ideas… and you’ll always know how beautiful the bike is underneath whatever you do. :D

  3. Trisha says:

    Thanks for the advice. I will get better at using the lock and cable system without unbalancing the bike, I’m sure, but it would be nice if I could do something shy of wrapping it in plastic to minimize the inevitable character-shaping marks. Clearcoat? Wax? heh.

  4. jj says:

    i’ve thought of ordering the pashley leather frame protector – http://www.pashley.co.uk/products/leather-frame-protector.html – but haven’t yet. so far i’m just being uber careful when locking it. and i have a double kickstand so it stays upright which helps.

    i did put little clear plastic protector thingjobbies on the chainstay where the burley attaches and where the bobike seat attaches to the seat stays.

  5. Carolyn says:

    Oh my, I AM having the SAME dilemma. I had probs using my u-lock especially at first, without chipping the paint. I still get the odd chip when I put on my cable around the frame and both wheels, sometimes it lets go and swings wildy about. :( My solution, put little stickers over the chips…flowery ones…adds character and covers the chips…I feel like putting more stickers on even though I haven’t made more chips, LOL

    I too was thinking of something to cover the frame so it doesn’t get scratched or chipped..especially when locking it up. I am trying my best though to lock the bike carefully, but when you are in a hurry, well, that’s when stuff happens.

    It is great to see that I am not the only person with this problem…I almost cried when I got my first chip. Sob sob…. It does feel good that I am not alone with this problem. I love my bike, it looks so beautiful, I don’t want to see it banged up.

  6. Ghost Rider says:

    The first scratch or ding is the hardest one…once you get past that, it’s smooth sailing! It can be said that a bicycle isn’t really yours ’til you put a scratch in it.

    Other than that, wax the hell out of it — using car wax (gasp!). That’ll help keep the bike cleaner, too.

  7. If the scratches aren’t deep, a bit of rubbing compound might erase them. I’ve used Lemon Pledge on my Rivendell frame with good results. One of the local bike shops swears by it.

  8. Jon Grinder says:

    Well, really, these bikes are designed for heavy use. Along with that comes a few nicks and scratches (“Patina”).

    Take a look at the bikes in the pictures on the Copenhagen Cycle Chic blog. They are usually obviously well-used.

    Besides, the bike will always be beautiful with a comely lass such as yourself riding it!

  9. Trisha says:

    JJ, that’s a nice-looking protector. I might look for/make something similar. Carolyn, stickers sound like they can make chips fun! Jack, I like the idea that I made the bike mine right away — makes the first scratch easier to accept. :) I’ll try wax and rubbing compound (thanks Gordon), and Jon, when that fails I’ll call it “patina” and remember your words.

  10. Johnny says:

    +1 on small stickers! When Bike Punk sent us some Sheldon Brown (RIP) stickers, they sent a sheet of cool little stickers. I don’t know if their site is up yet, though. One did the job when I fell on ice this winter, and my leg drive my frame pump into my downtube.

    Microcosm Publishing has some awesome little stickers that sell for like $1 and some of which are sized for putting onto bike tubes:)

  11. tsalyards says:

    My strategy is all about using a good kickstand and chain lock If you don’t have one, go get the beefiest bi-pod style stand you can and always use it. My bike is so heavy that I just don’t trust leaning it on anything. Also get a chain lock (over a u-lock) so that you don’t have to jam your frame directly against whatever your anchor is. The kickstand/chain lock strategy will keep your frame in good shape.

  12. The hard thing with these bikes is that when they go down, they go down hard because of the weight. My Socorro has had both hand grips broken a few times when it has been knocked over. You just have to let it go.

    I do find that the #1 thing is to make sure you have your front wheel stabilized before you go locking to anything. I also have found that if I have the kickstand on one side of the poll and the pedal on the opposite side the two act as a sandwich type anchor to keep everything in place (works great on hills and in wind).

  13. MamaVee says:

    I sprained my thumb by trying to catch my falling bike with my thumb. (well, my thumb was kind of stuck in the rack while taking off the kid seat and then one hand was holding the kid seat and the other was hooked into the rack and the bike went down. It was painful. I rode anyway too- the kids were loaded in the trailer ( this was pre-Xtra) and my hand hurt too much to try to unload them and re-load them in the car, so I just rode on. It’s true- when they fall, they fall hard. It hurts.

    Sorry she got scratched. I just realized, if I ever get an ANT bike, I’d be so sad when it got scratched. My car- who cares, but that perfect bike that I dream about- no way.

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