Category Archives: Crime

Handlebar Assembly – never to be stolen again

An Ecuadorian Astrophysicist (linked of the Atacama Observatory & Leeds Uni.) used to be a loyal customer of ours. During his stay in the UK, we looked after his beloved steed – a high-quality tourer (some very nice & expensive bits). Let’s call him “EA”.

About 3 years ago, this lovely, young gentleman’s stay with us was blighted!

Overnight, some b@$t@&d(s) had stolen his stem & handlebars (& expensive Shimano XT 9×3 shifter/brakes).

The following morning:01 as presented.png

The poor soul was heart-broken – ‘in shock’.
We admit to being, a quite a-bit-more-than miffed.

All it took was a 5mm allen key and set of dull pliers. See the butchery on the cable:02 cables poorly cut.png

What to do?

NOTE: today is an intensely-emotional one for EA – therefore, we will not allow him to  make any big £££-based decisions today! However, he leaves knowing that RCE will assess the whole bike, before we talk again.

Then, RCE’s algorithm:

  1. Identify options to avert the same thing happening again.
  2. Identify customer’s present options & needs (e.g. straight/dropped/butterfly/etc. handlebars, stem length & angle, grips/bar-tape, cabling, shifters and brakes, budget).
  3. Identify customer’s potential future needs/alterations.
  4. Identify compatible components required.
  5. Provide an estimated price for the whole works.
  6. As authorised, proceed: provide componentry, fit, set, test, set, … until satisfied.
  7. Guarantee works, return to customer
  8. Adjust as required.

EA wanted drop-bars – with an option to change to butterfly-bars at a later stage. Fine, not a problem. Longer-that-optimal brake & gear cables were agreed on to allow for a cheaper changes.

The first choice of  ‘anatomical’ drop bars proved be the only ‘try’ required. It took 2 attempts to find the correctly lengthed & angled stem. Another ‘option’  wasn’t really an option – being a Shimano 9×3 geared-bike, the agreed choice was for a set of Shimano’s Sora triples shifters. ‘Intermediate Brakes’ were also incorporated into the design. Finally, additional in-line brake adjusters allowed for the maximum brakepad-wear take-up – a missing original-design feature.

Before the bar-tape could be fitted, EA had be summoned to specify the exact positioning of the shifters (angle, height & reach, intermediate brakes positioning and handlebar angle:04 closeup.png

Nearly there, but still …

What to do?

What to do about future theft? Well, there a couple of issues here:

  1. Removal of the fork’s/stem’s top-cap allows for the removal of the whole handlebar assembly.
  2. Removal of the stem’s front clamp bolts allows for the removal of the handlebars.

To address item 1. EA selected a lovely Pinhead Headset Lock (

06 pinhead.png

06 pingead key.png

The second issue was that of the standard allen-socketed bolts for the handlebar clamp:07 insecure bolts.png

Stainless-steel, high-tension, extra-security, Pin Torx bolts were agreed upon for this application. The customer was also handed the required tool for his own use.08 security bolts.png

Now, it’s finished:09 finished.png

10 closeup.png

Total cost (at the time): £400-ish (ouch!). But:

  • much cheaper than a replacement bike of the same quality & wear, and
  • customised exactly to the owner’s needs!

The bike was last seen commuting across the Atacama Desert, Chile – with a big grin on EA’s face.

A bit o’ fun:Twerk[4].jpg

Fancy a bit of Australian rock music?  Unlike AC/DC (saw them in 1979, with Bon Scott), we missed out on the following band the first time round. Shame on us! Hope you enjoy:(RADIO BIRDMAN – “Aloha Steve And Danno” official music video

Be safe out there.


Clee Cycles – Break In 2012-12-20 – 10 Bikes and Parts


We love the stuff from our dear friends at Clee Cycles ( – especially their KCNC goods (, catalogue:

Last Thursday, thieving parasites (no, not the government) broke in and stole 10 bikes and goods.

Now, it bears repeating, IT’S IN ALL OUR INTERESTS
a) NOT to buy any stolen goods, and
b) to help apprehend the scum.

If you knowingly buy from a thief, you are a thief.

So, call the cops if you come across:

  • Titus X Alloy Large, 2010 used bike, Rockshox Sid fork, KCNC bars, seat post, 5 arm 94bcd crank, SLR flow saddle
  • Titus X Titanium, medium, probably only 2 or 3 in the UK, 2010 used bike, , DT XCM100 Twinshot fork, KCNC bars, seat post, 5 arm 94bcd crank, American Classic hubs, Race 7000 front rim with red nipples, Podium rear with black nipples, XX cassette,  SLR flow saddle
  • Torus Ti29sd – titanium 29er, 17″ frame, prototype frame so unique, sliding sliver alloy dropouts, Fox F29 Terralogic fork, Ti flat bar, Ti seat post, green Chris King hubs with black spokes, green nipples and black Crest rims, KCNC 5 arm 94bcd crank single ring, Hope Race Evo brakes.
  • Burls Custom Built Ti frame, 17″ frame, 26″ wheel mtb – complete bike, totally uniuqe – new!   DT XCM100 singleshot fork, Custom built wheels with American Classic hubs, supercomp spokes, black nipples and Crest rims, KCNC bars, seat post, 5 arm 94bcd crank with cobweb chainrings, and KCNC X7 black brakes, SLR flow saddle.

The above were custom-built and are very unique – with custom built wheels easily identifiable. These bike are all very rare, the Torus and Burls are one of a kind.  Please let us know if you see or hear of anything suspicious like un-badged titanium 26 and 29 frames.

Stock bikes stolen were:

  • MSC WCS29 mtb white/blue Large, blue anodised hubs, rims, bars.
  • Moda Cannon Large full carbon full suss 26″ MTB
  • Moda Stretto 2011 Road bike, 54cm
  • Moda Tempo 52cm
  • Merida Race Lite 904 Road bike 54cm, and a
  • Merida Matts 40D MTB 18″ frame.

A number of parts were stolen:

  • SRAM and Shimano cassettes,
  • a DT EXM130 fork,
  • Exposure Toro and Joystick lights,
  • Hope Vision2 and R4 lights.

Our commiserations to all at Clee Cycles.


Just for the record – Threat of ‘Hard Time’ from my mates in HMRC

We recently had a disagreement with a customer who had left his 2 bikes for repair (for 2½ months). The details if the disagreement is not the issue. What are the issue are:

  1. the shop owner was physically threatened with violence my the customer (witnesses available) and
  2. the customer’s wife/partner ‘promised’ to get in contact with somebody she knew in HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs) to give us a “hard time”.

We are not concerned about the former – we will have defended ourselves!!!

What does concern us is the latter – if the ‘promise’ becomes reality:

  • we will deal with it – we have nothing to hide.
  • it will be further evidence of how  to the government and its minions will BEHAVE CORRUPTLY for their ‘pals’ (see this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, ad nauseum).

So, FOR THE RECORD, there you are.

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Posted by on 2012-11-11 in Crime


Hit & Run (5:20pm, Saturday, 2012-08-18): Driver of a Vauxhall Astra WANTED

Raham Saleem

Raham Saleem

There’s been a spate of hit-and-runs in this area recently.

We’ve actually got an customers’ bike in for (expensive) repairs at the moment following an incident at Hyde Park corner – the police have got an independent eye-witness and have written(!) to the  that driver to explain him/herself.

Then, last Saturday (same day as the incident below), on the corner of Norwood Mount & Grove, another cyclist was nearly hit by a silver, Astra at about 4pm, driven by a woman using her mobile phone. We’ll be informing the police ASAP about that event.

The following incident is of particular disgust.


Raham Saleem, two, and his sister Sabam were struck as they walked home after buying onions for the family’s Eid celebrations.

West Yorkshire Police said the driver of the silver Vauxhall Astra slowed down to see what had happened after hitting the children in the Hyde Park area of Leeds on Saturday evening, then sped away from the scene. …

Detectives know the car is a mark four model, meaning it was made between 1998 and 2005. …

This is a small, close-knit community and people want to help,” the detective said.

To the driver:

Give yourself up – it will only be a matter of time before you’re caught.


Glorified Sport ‘Day’

Just so that you know where we stand:

Do your own research.

See the hype.
See the propaganda.
See the lies.
See the cost to the British taxpayers.
See the corporatisation of Britain.
See the VIP (Very Important Parasites) lanes.
See the missiles.
See the polished turd.

Anyway, isn’t it all a bit war-like xenophobia (nations versus nations)?


Ever felt cheated?


Ever felt cheated?

Meet your very own Strawman on:

Be the Freeman-on-the Land that you are.



Closed – Saturday, 26th March 2011

For the very first time in 22 years we will be closed on a Saturday.

We won’t be taking a holiday, or going cycling or posing in the pub. We’re off to Anti- Cuts Demo in London.

This Government (and all those previously), together with their WBanker friends have parasited off the back of all tax-payers for decades. Not only have they laughed into our faces, but also awarded themselves big fat-cat bonuses.

Their collective arrogance, incompetence and immorality is staggering.

Enough we say. We’ll be showing that WE DO NOT CONSENT to their shenanigans. We will be showing our disgust by (initially) demonstrating, hand-in-hand with local government, NHS, fire service, etc. JOIN US.

Apologies for this late notice.

PS. Sod the Census.


Stolen Bikes

When a cyclist has had his/her bike stolen, there are several options available:

  • do nothing – “bicycle theft is an eventuality of cycling, I’ll do without”.
  • buy a cheaper bike – “because that one will be stolen as well”.
  • buy a brand new one – “I can afford it”.
  • contact the insurance company (in the rare occasion that the bikes IS insured) – “they will sort me out a new one!”.

In just a few cases the victim will contact local bike shops hoping that the thief has tried to sell it to them or is having it repaired by them and the shop will (hopefully) call them back. Most are disappointed when the bike shop takes a tacit interest in their plea. Some are astonished when the bike shop tries to sell them a replacement!

At Re-cycle Engineering, we do things differently – we are not like other bike shops. We actually care about their plight and do something about it. We keep written records and advise accordingly. We may be the only shop in Leeds who does – because we don’t want to buy, sell or repair looted cycles!

Although “why bother to keep records – no one ever does anything about it!” may be valid response, we think differently:

  • doing nothing and doing without a bike means that the thieves have won and you have lost out on a cheap, convenient, environmentally-sound and healthy form of personal transport.
  • buying a cheaper bike “because that one will be stolen as well” will degrade your cycling fun.
  • buying a brand new one because “I can afford it” is environmentally unnecessary.
  • getting a replacement from the insurance company (if any) is again environmentally unnecessary.

We have successfully caught several thieves in the past. For example, a recently stolen bike came in for a repair. We got the thief’s details and called the police – they waited in a car outside (middle of winter) for the thief to return to pick up the bike. They ‘lifted’ him and was successfully prosecuted.

Of course, we put ourselves at risk – we’ve personally been threatened with violence and arson! That’s called “Taking Personal Responsibility”.

We also believe that notifying the Law is an essential because

  • the statistics become more realistic and the Police can then justify appropriate resources, and
  • you can be contacted if the bike is recovered.

In almost every instance the basic issues are not addressed:

  • how did the bike get stolen in first instance and
  • what can be done about it in the future.

To avoid having your bike stolen, our advice is:

  1. Get a good Sold Secure rated lock (nothing else will do) – in our experience, about 98% of these thefts are due to poor security (usually cheap cable & D-locks). The thieves are most likely to steal the bike with the least secure lock.
  2. If you leave your bike in the garage/shed, make sure it is locked up to something solid with a Sold Secure rated lock – about a third of all bikes are stolen from such places. Once the thieves are in there, they are out of sight and have all the time in the world (and quite often, the tools are already there too).
  3. If you have to leave your bike in a public space, don’t leave it in exactly the same place every day – the thieves will soon know your timetable & habits and will know when to bring the necessary equipment to relieve you of your pride-and-joy.
  4. Make sure that that your bicycle is security-marked with a recognised system (e.g. DataTag) – the thieves tend to stay clear of bikes which they can’t pass on.
  5. Get some insurance – just in case (shop around, check your Home Contents Insurance Policy).
  6. Make record of the bicycles frame number (usually located under the bottom bracket shell – the part of the frame between the pedal cranks).
  7. Have someone take a photograph of you and the bike – make sure that you are on the left hand side of the bike and that the photo is take from the right hand side (so that anyone can see the make & model, the chainset (front cogs) and the front & rear dérailleurs (gear shifters on the frame).
  8. Register your (new) bike on the supplier’s or manufacturer’s website (if they have the facilities).

IF you are interested, we do sell Sold-Secure rated locks and DataTag equipment – pop into the shop to see for yourself.

Remember most stolen bicycles will only be passed on for £10 or £20 to fund some sad ba£$%rd’s habit.

Happy, safe and secure cycling.


GPS Bicycle Tracker – at last

Spylamp Bicycle GPS Tracker

Spylamp Bicycle GPS Tracker

If we had a penny for every time a customer asked for one of these one of these, we would have £67.43! Seriously though, we do get a lot of enquires for a tracking device for, if your bike is stolen.

We should have these in stock very soon. Although it comes with an rrp of £159, we will be providing them to our customers at £145.00.

The manufacturer’s description:

Disguised as a functioning tail light.

Easy to install. Fits any bicycle.

Recharge once per year.

Vibration Sensor.

Spylamp is a covert tracking device that is hidden inside a bicycle rear light. The rear light appears and functions as normal to avoid suspicion but inside it houses a complete GPS tracking device. Hold the on/off button down for 3 seconds and your trackers vibration sensor will activate. Any subsequent movement of your bicycle will mean you get an instant SMS message and the tracking function will activate so you can see where your bicycle was taken.

Free Online Tracking Service Should your bicycle be stolen, this vibration activated tracker will begin uploading its coordinates to our free online service. You can log into the WhereIsIt page and see where your bicycle was taken. This service is free for you to use.

Extremely cheap to run Using a typical UK SIM, each position upload costs approximately GBP 0.0006p. We do not charge you anything, this is just the SIM data charge.

SMS The tracker also transmits its coordinates to you via SMS. You can send the tracker a text message and it will reply with its GPS coordinates. You can also configure the tracker to send you its coordinates at regular intervals.

GSM fallback Should your bicycle be inside a building it may not be able to obtain a GPS lock. In this case it will fall back to GSM positioning. This is less accurate (approx 200 meters) but will give you an indication of where your bicycle is until it can obtain a better lock.

Vibration Activated When you must leave your bicycle in a high risk area (such as a public cycle rack), hold the on/off button down for 3 seconds and the light enters alarm mode. If it then detects excessive vibrations it will send you an SMS immediately and then start online tracking. You can log onto this website and see where your bicycle was taken.

Light trigger The light will act as a trigger. Any time a thief uses the bike, it will check if it is stolen and start sending you its coordinates. In this way your bicycle light will act as bait, should a thief try to use it they will give their location away. Bicycle tail lights are a legal requirement in the UK.

Battery The light contains a rechargeable lithium battery and comes with a charging cord. The light can go for > 1 year between charges. It does this by entering a sleep mode when it is not being used and only wakes an preset intervals. (ie 6 hours) to check if you have sent it a “stolen” text message. You can adjust these settings depending on your preference for longer battery life or faster response.

Covert The tracker is designed to look inconspicuous. It appears as a regular bicycle tail light and functions as a regular bicycle tail light.

Configuration All configuration is done by sending the unit SMS text messages. Once it is installed, you should not need to touch it again.

SIM Your tracker can come with a pre-installed TescoMobile PayAsYouGo SIM card with GBP10 credit. You can request your device location 200 times for £10 pounds. You can top your SIM card up online, over the phone or at your news-agent. We charge no on-going subscription fees and no fees are charged by us to view your trackers location via SMS text message. Ask for a SIM-only, Pay-As-You-Go plan if you decide to use a different mobile network.

See the supplier’s website:



Well, Justice of a sort.

Last night, about 6:15pm one of our customer’s (we’ll call him “A”) was cycling over the bridge which connects the Leeds General Infirmary and the bottom of Clarendon Road. On noticing that 2 guys (“Y” and “Z”) loitering on the bridge, “A” moved out of the cycling lane to avoid the blokes. As “A” rode past them, “Y” viciously kicked him off the bike.

So, there’s “A” on the floor and “Y” coming over to him. You’d think “A” would be passive and “Y” and “Z” would take the “A’s” bike and bags. “Y” and “Z” didn’t know who they were dealing with!

“A” got up and landed a punch on “Y”s nose and knee into “Y’s” groin – blood gushes and “Y” is now on the floor. “Z” decided that this is not easy picking and belts it down the road.

Witness (“B”) comes to assist and restrains “Y”. “A” is chasing “Z” down the road – unfortunately “Z” got away.

The Police are called. “Y” is now SOBBING and BEGGING to be released.  Within 2 minutes the Police arrive in a car and, shortly afterwards the Cycling Police arrive. Great Service! After taking statements, the Police take “Y” away.

To us, it appears that a pair of ‘smack or crack heads’ were waiting for ANYONE to pass by for easy pickings. They would probably have passed the bike over to their dealer for only £10 or £20. The violence used by the culprits was extreme!

We’re glad that, at least one of the got their just-desserts!

“A” could easily have been a child, an elderly person, someone with a health problem or YOU.

If you see anyone acting suspiciously, take personal responsibility and do something about – don’t think assume that someone else is going to take care of it. At least call the Police – they would rather it was a ‘false alarm’ then deal with a traumatised victim afterwards. By taking action you will be helping to make our city safer for all of us.