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Good bike to make like a rat bike?

tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,021
edited February 2016 in Commuting general
I was looking at a cyclist stopped by the side of the road waiting for something. He had a hybrid/MTB with street tyres on. The bike had no decals or identification. The paint was all distressed and patchy with two colours. Basically a typical rat bike except a closer look made me suspect it's actually a good bike.

This got me thinking that a nice bike to ride that was disguised as a rat bike might make it a nice ride into work. I've got a "good" bike in my London Road from PX that I'm thinking I'd rather keep in a better condition than commuting allows.

So, has anyone got ideas? Looking for a cheapish bike, probably flat bar with bar ends since that's what most rat bikes are and it must be a nice ride (fast too if possible). Then I'd like ideas on how to make it look uninteresting to potential thieves.

Basically a good bike, £400 at most and it must not look anything special. Then what paint to hide what it really is. I'm thinking tape over the decals on the suspension forks. What paint wouldn't ruin the bike but is easy to paint on in a durable way?

Some may say I'd just be better off with a second-hand bike, but I'm not keen on used bikes.


  • lancewlancew Posts: 680
    What about a Carrera Subway but shove 700c wheels on it and skinny tires if you want it to go faster.

    Then just sticker it a bit and get some of that paint they've been going on about on the site.

    While having a look I also found this: ... ybrid-bike

    Would also work for that purpose. If you wanted to reduce the weight you could get slimmer tyres/wheels/crankset etc without breaking the bank.
    Specialized Allez Sport 2013
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,811
    I use an old v-braked steel framed MTB, it's a decent quality frame under the bleached out paint and rust spots, runs slick tyres on 26" wheels, a decent quality gripshift (you only get them on cheep bikes right) and 1x gearing (decent bikes all have front gears right), as its the town hack I ride on flats so it has some cheap (but work well) Cree8 plastic pedals (Halfords are always flogging them cheap it seems).

    The problem with 700c into an MTB is getting the brakes to work (line up with the bigger rims).
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
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