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Best Police Bike

Old 08-19-07, 10:41 AM
  #1  
fastburn430
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Best Police Bike

Who makes the best Police bike? I have been wanting to buy one for recreation and I really like the great mix of features and durability. Comparisons between different models would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 08-19-07, 11:39 AM
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The only real difference between a police bike and an everyday MTB is Shimano's silent clutch freehub. Most come equipped with racks, sometimes bags and panniers, and are pretty much a ready built bike without buying everything.
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Old 08-19-07, 01:04 PM
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I have yet to see a police bike that was actually suited for the job at hand.
Maintenance heavy components, full suspension on almost exclusive street conditions, poor saddle choice, poor choice of frame material. The Smith & Wesson things that are (rarely) used around here are no more than re-branded big box store bikes.

A proper police bike should be a single speed or internal hub, hard tail, steel mountain bike with hydraulic disk brakes and a lockout suspension fork. Very low maintenance, years of use and a frame that can take a bend or two without fear of cracking. A Brooks saddle and some ergonomic grips would not hurt either.
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Old 08-19-07, 04:24 PM
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One feature I really like is the silent clutch. The one I was looking at is a Cannondale Law Enforcement model. It solves most of the issues addressed above. (ie. strong frame, good components, ect) List is around $900. What do you guys think?

https://www.cannondale.com/bikes/07/c...del-7FS5P.html

Last edited by fastburn430; 08-19-07 at 04:26 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-19-07, 11:31 PM
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Why do you think you need a police bike as opposed to a regular bike? It really doesn't offer you any advantages as the parts are all the same. Why would you need a silent hub anyway?

Last edited by Ziemas; 08-20-07 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 08-20-07, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by fastburn430 View Post
One feature I really like is the silent clutch. The one I was looking at is a Cannondale Law Enforcement model. It solves most of the issues addressed above. (ie. strong frame, good components, ect) List is around $900. What do you guys think?

https://www.cannondale.com/bikes/07/c...del-7FS5P.html
Size "P"???
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Old 08-20-07, 12:44 AM
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I've been told by startled bikers that I sneak up pretty effectively with my Nexus 8.
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Old 08-20-07, 02:19 AM
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https://www.policebikestore.com/

Just go all out with the Smith & Wesson bike...lol

Actually I see more Police on Fuji bikes...the rims, tubes, and tires are supposed to be super HD and the tire treads double thick.
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Old 08-20-07, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by CdCf View Post
Size "P"???
Little people can be cops too ya know.
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Old 08-20-07, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by CdCf View Post
Size "P"???
Sounds like my size--aka 'tiny'.



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Old 08-20-07, 10:03 AM
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I am a Bike Patrol Cop, and am also our dept's maintainance officer. I have been to an IPMBA (International Police Mt.Bike Asso.) week long conference. We use Trek police bikes, and generally the Trek is thought of as the best package out. I'd say they make up probably 60% of the police market. The Fuji's and S&W bikes are crap. The Cannondale is a nice package and it appears they are really looking to secure more of the market. I would never consider it because of the Head Shock. My personal experience with it is not good and Cannondale will not make any of the tools to service it available to the general public, so it makes you a slave to the dealer.

As far as a single speed mt.bike is concerned, not a chance. I need and use all the gears. From going through festivals and bar areas at less then walking speed, to hammering at max speed to an emergence call. As nice as it would be to have a Brooks seat, the bikes are shared with other officers and they are expensive. We replace a third of the seats every season because of rips, bent rails... Much easier to justify to the boss a $25 seat them a $100 seat. The bikes take a real beating and need far more maintainance per mile then someones personal bike. We only have 10 bike officers and it seems like one or 2 bikes are always out of service for something.

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Old 08-20-07, 06:54 PM
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Paul, I agree completely. I too am a bike patrol officer and the chief-cook-and-bike-repair guy for our department. I look after a fleet of about 18 bikes.

We've had excellent luck with the Trek line over the years. We've tried a couple of Smith & Wessons, and had to replace nearly all the bits within a year. Really cheaped out on the spec.
I just looked at the Fuji jobs our local Law Enforcement store is carrying; pretty much the same.

That being said, there is no great shakes between a "police" bike and any other, besides the decals. Most of them have rather stout frames, as bike cops are rather....stout. I carry a good 12 pounds of extra stuff.

Single speed? What universe does this fellow live in? I carry 12 pounds of gear on my body, and we have luggage carriers filled with a variety of police-y items. Like Paul, I need every gear on the bike.

I have been buying the Continental Town & Country tire for about 6 years now, most all the others we've tried have poor service life or are flat magnets.
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Old 08-20-07, 08:38 PM
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Here the bike patrol loads their bikes on trunk racks, they stop at the head of cul de sac subdivisions and ride around once or twice and then load up and head for the next. Developed areas here a relatively flat as well.

But when I said single speed or internal hub I was thinking more on the maintenance side of Police bikes. I've noticed them going in and out of the LBS because of the deurailler getting kicked around. My thought is an internal hub would be able to withstand the abuse of being loaded, and unloaded, kicked around, stood on, slide tackle, etc. far better than a deurailler could ever hope. Longer chain life, they rarely loose chains because the chainline is constant, bunch of reasons. Same line of thought for a steel frame, you can bend one and it's far less likely to crack and take a core sample out of you. And a mountain frame because it'll have you in a more upright position, puts less weight on the wrists and shoulders, hands are less likely to fall asleep, less fatigue on the upper body.

The NuVinci hub is dead silent and a serious work horse, but would be too heavy for y'all to consider.
A Rohloff is as close to military spec as one is going to come, but is government expensive too.
The new Shimano Alfine and SRAM 9 series would be perfect though.

I live in a universe where I want my cops in possession of the best, most reliable, and why not comfortable, equipment available for the money, and not just something that has been slapped together by a sales executive looking to empty what's in the warehouse.

Last edited by Allen; 08-20-07 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 08-20-07, 08:53 PM
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Seriously, it would be hilarious if some cop pulled you over on your bike, you turn around, he's got legs the size of your torso and he's one one of these
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Old 08-21-07, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by slvoid View Post


Seriously, it would be hilarious if some cop pulled you over on your bike, you turn around, he's got legs the size of your torso and he's one one of these
Kind of reminds me of when the Beaufort PD bike officer had to call for a cruiser to chase down our group ride , just because he couldn't keep up with us. They were giving us all tickets because they wanted to (Disregarding a Lawful Command), until the three lawyers and the Deputy Solicitor (District Attorney) were found amongst us.
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Old 08-21-07, 07:38 AM
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There's the rub; I too would like to have the snazziest bike they make. However, there isn't a department in the country that doesn't have to submit their budget through a raft of eagle-eyed bean counters.

"But chief, this bike costs 1595.99, whereas you could get this one for only 999.99!" I had to fight for years to get a bike for each officer in the program. "Can't you just raise or lower the seat?" Long, detailed memos about fit, comfort, health, and so forth resulted. We are now in a position where everyone who rides has a bike that's fitted to them properly.

I have extensive experience with bike repair, so I do all our department's maintenance. I do see many local departments hauling their bikes in to the LBS for minor repair-at shop rates. The local police academy offers both basic and advanced mechanic courses; wonder why they don't take advantage?

I'm considering this as my "retirement" job, actually....Traveling police bike repair guy!
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Old 08-21-07, 09:30 AM
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Not necessarily the snazziest bike, but one appropriate for the job at hand.
And I agree that the shortsightedness of bureaucrats is astounding.
Originally Posted by Paul B View Post
...one or 2 bikes are always out of service for something
That's equipment that is obviously not able to withstand the rigors of the modern urban crime environment (thanks William F. Zorzi for that line).

I put a lot of miles on my bikes, more than the local PD and on par with most metropolitan departments and beat the living **** out of my bikes. One can be put together that has yearly maintenance issues of fixing the occasional flats, keeping the tires topped off, oiling the chain, and nothing more. Chains lasting 10,000 miles is common with internal hubs, and poor shifter performance becomes a thing of the past as well. Since police bikes are sold as complete bikes and are not frame-set and component packages, when you fold a bike the entire bike gets trashed and replaced with a new one. Where replacing just the frame would cost half of what the current line of police bikes does, and would keep you in far superior equipment. The initial cost would be closer to $1,500 than it would be to $999, but the cost in maintenance and keeping officers on the street would more than make up for it in a year. How much did the S&W bikes end up costing after having all their bits replaced? A good bike would be less than your laptops and when the laptop breaks it doesn't have the potential to take your clavicle down with it.

The local department uses S&W bikes, they are utter junk. If the rest of your equipment is as poorly designed I would hope your union rep is down at the court house right now raising cain. I guess what I'm saying is I wish y'all had access to better equipment especially since the bicycle industry is capable of producing a far better product, at a price a bean counter should find reasonable (you listening QBP?), than what is currently being shilled.

{edit} Oh, and I'm standing my ground on the Brooks saddles. They are made of thick hardened leather (much tougher stuff than boots), and would stand up for much longer than a season, they should go for years in fact. Sharing bikes would be an issue, but they won't rip to shreds as soon as they hit the pavement.

Last edited by Allen; 08-21-07 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 08-21-07, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post

I have been buying the Continental Town & Country tire for about 6 years now, most all the others we've tried have poor service life or are flat magnets.
These came stock on my Safari. Loved the ride,liked how they worked in snow,but ditched them after flat #5. I'm on the fence about these because after the fifth flat,I found 6 other pieces of debris in the rear that didn't flat it. What other tires didn't you like?
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Old 08-21-07, 11:00 PM
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I'm very disappointed. I thought by now there would be some pictures of the "women of Pacific Blue".
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Old 08-21-07, 11:34 PM
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I was at a stop sign today when I heard this weird ass electronic horn sound. Then all of a sudden a bike cop blew past me at around 25 mph. He was probably headed towards an emergency, but it could've been dangerous if someone ran that stop sign and hit him as people frequently don't stop at that intersection. It would've also been more helpful if he had a siren or something instead of a weird horn as I had no idea what it was. He was on a white Trek.
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Old 08-21-07, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by MAK View Post
I'm very disappointed. I thought by now there would be some pictures of the "women of Pacific Blue".
Best I could find in a hurry:


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Old 08-22-07, 06:03 AM
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As someone who owns a C'dale with a headshok, personally for the police force I'd steer clear of it. Anytime that fork needs servicing (which will happen, and look at C'dales recommended maintenance too!) it will probably need to be sent off. Further, if you do need to resize the front stem for different riders (let's say one police officer retires and another comes in) good luck finding and experimenting with the C'dale stems.

I'd say stick with a "standard" front suspension fork -go with non-proprietary equipment. And I love my C'dale too!
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Old 08-22-07, 05:27 PM
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Thanks for all the opinions. I will stay away from the Cannondale. I thought that headshock may be a problem. I am going to check out the Trek.
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Old 08-23-07, 08:59 PM
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Re: Brooks saddles

I have to agree with AllenG. I got a Brooks precisely for the reason of durability. Several other saddles I'd used wouldn't last much more than a year. The Brooks is just broken in. I'm a believer now.
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Old 08-27-07, 05:51 AM
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The aluminum frames are holding up very well. Most of us are fairly big guys, 200+ lbs. A worker at a festival last year told me, "I've never seen so many knuckle draggers on bikes before. Normally you see the real thin officers on the bikes. I bet no one messes with you guys". I took it as a complement. One of our bike guys is 6'7", 290 in uniform.

I ride my personal bikes more miles a year then the bike patrol bikes get. I beat the ever loving hell out of my mt.bike and it still holds up better then the bike patrol bikes. I often say "what the hell are you guys doing to these bikes".

I'll check out those Continental Town & Country tires next time its time to replace them.

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