Photo Gallery: San Francisco Airport Police Bike

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There is nothing particularly sexy about an aluminum 26-inch hardtail mountain bike with toe-clip pedals, bar ends, cantilever brakes, and an aging Manitou fork that appears to be covered in lint. But something changes when you stripe the word “Police” across the top tube, and acknowledge the fact that this bike (a black Trek with white lettering) plays an integral role in keeping the peace within the San Francisco International Airport.

At least, that was my thought process a few days back when I spotted the untended Five-O steed parked across from a food court where I was waiting out a flight delay. Not one to leave curiosity unscratched, I ambled over with cell phone camera in hand and started snapping away. There didn’t seem any harm in documenting what was essentially a beater mountain bike that had been lucky enough to be born into a life of indoor-only riding.

The parts spec was decidedly unimpressive: oversized comfort saddle, external cable routing, a semi-slick tire that’d have little chance on a real trail, old brakes, old pedals, old wheels, old everything. Never mind a riser stem that had so much spacing underneath you’d have thought it belonged on the end of a boom mic. Heck the damn thing even had a kickstand.

Still there is something innately cool about this black beauty beater. What crimes had it helped solve? Which criminals had it tracked down? What was top speed when charging down a concourse straightaway?

I asked all these questions when its owner showed up. But the polite but stern SFPD officer declined to enlighten me — or reveal her name. Instead she humored me with a slightly awkward pose in front of the bike, explained that the panniers contained paperwork and her lunch, then hopped aboard her two-wheeled squad car and quickly rolled away.

Eat your heart out Poncherello. This police bike is way cooler than yours.

Photo Gallery: San Francisco Airport Police Bike Gallery
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Trek Police Bike Frame

Trek has since updated its police line with 29-inch wheels, mechanical disc brakes, and a 100mm RockShox Recon fork.
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Toe Clips

Until someone starts making a police boot cycling shoe, toe clips are necessary.
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SF SFO PD

Stopping crime one pedal stroke at a time
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SF SFO PD Bike

Best guess on weight after picking it up was around 35 pounds, with lunch.
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Very Comfy Seat

That’s got to be as comfortable as any squad car front seat.
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kickstand

Yep, it has a kickstand.
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Trek Headbadge

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Dusty Fork Stancions

Is that lint on the fork?
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No Siren Just a Bell

No siren here. Just a bell and a computer.
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Airport Tread

Not the world’s beefiest tread, but plenty enough to handle airport carpeting and the occasional moving walkway.
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Serious Rise in that Stem

That is some serious upright geometry.
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Ample Cargo Capacity

Plenty of room for arresting documents and a ham sandwich.
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Back on the Beat

Heading back out on the beat.
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Current Trek Police Bike

The current Trek Police Bike runs for $1,400.
About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures in British Columbia, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, France, and Peru among many others. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in January, 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and edited a book on cycling tips. When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying the great outdoors with his wife Lisa.


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