Locking up gear when on the road?

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Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby PaulG » Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:04 pm

Everything is going good for an early January departure for my big cycling trip however I was just wondering how you guys lock up your bike and gear when you say, spend a day on the beach or go and check out some tourist attractions or something. Obviously you can lock your bike up against something but what about all the gear attached to it? Pannier bags, tent, sleeping bag, bidons etc.?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

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by BNA » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:37 pm

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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby RonK » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:37 pm

I use the Ortlieb Anti Theft System and a lightweight cable lock to secure bike and panniers short term, ie. to duck into a shop briefly. But otherwise if I can't store my bike and gear somewhere securely, I don't let it out of my sight.
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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby il padrone » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:50 pm

34 years of cycle touring and I've never locked up my panniers. Never had any tampering with any gear. One key thing is to keep it all snugly zipped/strapped up and closed - no temptations in view. Most of the time I'm leaving the bike and gear in small country towns and campsites or national parks - low risk areas. With the load of gear on my bike few people would willingly ride off on it :P

I've never toured in overseas countries however. Things can be a bit different and you need to be aware of risks.

However, do be aware of risks in larger town campsites. I had a MTB nicked in Castlemaine (bit of a surprise) when I didn't lock it up. Luckily it was recovered two days later.
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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby Riddley » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:04 pm

It's a good question though. I have wondered about this, for example, if you need to stock up in a bigger town like Warrnambool. Can you ask to leave your bike just inside a supermarket?
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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby il padrone » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:19 pm

I have done this (eg. in the foyer of the big Safeways at Castlemaine) - didn't bother asking though :P

I was once in Coffs Harbour, needing to shop at the big shopping centre in town, but no lock :( . I took a punt and left it at the entrance, very quick shopping but thankfully the bike was still there. In Warnambool last April we did our shopping in town, visiting several stores and happily left the bikes out on the street. Yes, people don't want to handle a fully loaded touring bike.

Re. the cycle computer, I have a very tricky Vetta computer with a mount that is not at all obvious (or easy) to remove. I always leave it on the bike, never any worries 8) . This one, the RT33 - a bit basic and dated but it does all I need.

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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby Uncle Just » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:36 pm

I agree with other posters a loaded touring bike is not usually on the radar for a thief in my experience while touring. I'll certainly take off easily nicked things going shopping but I've left it outside numerous shops untouched. A quick foil for a thief is to disconnect the front brakes either v or cantilever and undo the front q/r. If someone does try a runner, the wheel could fall out or the now unstable bike may cause a crash. But I also take a good Abus cable lock with me to lock it at night while camping.
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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby RonK » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:02 pm

PaulG wrote:how you guys lock up your bike and gear when you say, spend a day on the beach or go and check out some tourist attractions or something.


The question posed by the OP is clearly not about leaving your bike outside a shop for a few minutes.
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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby WarrenH » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:32 pm

I have my gear insured with Real Bike Insurance. They have standards for the quality of D locks and padded armoured wire rope and chain that they will pay out on. Real doesn't require NEW YORK grade security but it doesn't feel like it's too far under NEW YORK grade. Real Insurance requirements are less than half the price of NEW YORK grade security. The price jump is huge to that level.

With Real Bike Insurance, D Locks have to have a purchased value above $60 and the padded armoured wire rope or chain above $80.

I'm an off road tourer, who has lost a new bike, so I take two wire ropes. Guys have left stuff in huts up in Koscy' and have had it pinched, panniers, sleeping bags and food. Also on the Bicentennial National Trail between Nowendoc and Barrington, both cyclists and pack horse people have had stuff stolen on a few occasions, when they have left their gear unattended. The BNT coordinators have a warning for that region concerning theft.

Thieves are totally opportunistic and without sounding like a go-suck-eggs-grandmother ... be forever vigilant. That is the best security you can have.

There are some excellent Youtube vids on how to nick secure bikes, destroy D Locks, and cut wire rope and chains ... and even a how-to-do-it, when the thief is in public and using hand-held power tools when police are going by.

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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby il padrone » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:53 pm

WarrenH wrote:There are some excellent Youtube vids on how to nick secure bikes, destroy D Locks, and cut wire rope and chains ... and even a how-to-do-it, when the thief is in public and using hand-held power tools when police are going by.

That'd be the Neistat Brothers. Not a how-to-do-it but rather a humorous social comment and advice. They set-up the 'thefts', locking their own bikes, then 'stealing' them in very public settings to point out:
1. Most people in public don't bother to question suspicious behaviour
2. Don't place too much faith in your locks. Most locks can be broken surprisingly quickly, and even if it takes 8 minutes of hacksawing, bystanders don't notice it.

I take a few pointers from their videos (set in NY by the way). For urban use, being locked on the street, use a hack bike. Use a good lock. Don't leave your bike in quiet locations. Preferably leave it indoors or in your sight. Even my good bike for touring is not exceptionally expensive and in particular does not look very flash, so whle I'd be disappointed to have it nicked, financially it would not be crippling (not insured away from home as that is just crazy expensive).
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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby WarrenH » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:48 pm

il padrone wrote:That'd be the Neistat Brothers.


With the Neistat Brothers, the-how-to-do-it ... was shown by just being blase.

I was (particularly) thinking of the videos of the guys who were breaking a range of D Locks using car jacks. Showing that not even the state of the art D locks were any match for a basic car jack. I can't remember what the record was but it was only about 10-15 seconds.

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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby Osbos » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:58 am

We've been touring in Europe, New Zealand and Australia for over 25 years. Our locked bikes were stolen overnight from a hotel courtyard in France once, some time in the early '90s. The hotel manager had told us the bikes would be safe there overnight and that other clients often left luggage there overnight. She back tracked after the theft. At that time I spoke French quite well. We reported the theft to the police, then we enlisted the aid of a legal aid lawyer, wrote up a report for her (in French and English) and she followed up. Several months after we got home we received a cheque from the city government of that French town to cover replacement cost of our new bikes. The theft kind of ruined our holiday. Panniers are difficult to lug around without a bike; we bought cheap duffel bags to put all our stuff in. At that time we didn't have very good locks. Since then we use 3 locks, 2 U locks to lock the bikes together through the wheels and a cable lock to lock the bikes to a tree, post or some other solid object.
I agree with other posters that loaded bikes are not a target because a thief doesn't want to deal with all the luggage. We lock the two bikes together, around a post if possible, when we go into shops or take a short walk down a trail to look at some interesting site. We have the valuables (wallets, travel documents, electronics, etc.) in a small bag we can take with us.
We've noticed that people tend to ignore our loaded bikes, even in public places, when we have our laundry draped over the rear panniers. No one wants to know if those knickers are clean!
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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby glennb » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:53 pm

I went through this recently and couldn't come up with a practical way to secure bags to bike, so instead wrapped a tarp around the top tube, a swag on the pannier rack, and kept everything else is in a backpack that went everywhere with me.

For bike security I used a keyed lock for the frame, security bolts for cranks/fork/seatpost/saddle/bars/wheels, and hacked up brakes and derailers with a rasp so that thieves wouldn't want them.
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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby il padrone » Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:46 am

glennb wrote:wrapped a tarp around the top tube, a swag on the pannier rack, and kept everything else is in a backpack that went everywhere with me....

......security bolts for (everything), and hacked up brakes and derailers with a rasp so that thieves wouldn't want them.

OMGosh, talk about trying to make the cycling experience less than satisfying :shock:
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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby glennb » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:29 pm

Backpack was strapped to pannier rack, not my back ;-)

I don't follow your thinking on securing components. The only thing between you and a bare frame is a thief with a few minutes and an allan key up their sleeve.
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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby mitzikatzi » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:46 pm

There is an episode of the Simpsons were Homer wants to get rid of a Trumpoline. He can't give it away or dump it. It is not until he locks it up that it is worth stealing and he is able to get rid of it.

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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby il padrone » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:36 pm

glennb wrote:I don't follow your thinking on securing components. The only thing between you and a bare frame is a thief with a few minutes and an allan key up their sleeve.

Just not my experience I guess. Mind you I don't tour with XTR components. Do you hack those up with a rasp :?
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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby glennb » Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:43 pm

Not far off, the right-hand brifter was Dura-Ace ;-)

We are talking touring bikes here (i.e. a breed for which function trumps aesthetics), it's not like I'd hack up a showpiece road bike.
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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby rustguard » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:59 am

glennb wrote:Not far off, the right-hand brifter was Dura-Ace ;-)

OMGosh :shock:
I'd rather have them stolen
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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby glennb » Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:46 pm

Which is precisely the point of using a rasp ... if cosmetically compromised parts were desirable, roughing them up wouldn't be an effective theft deterrent.
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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby rustguard » Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:24 am

glennb wrote:Which is precisely the point of using a rasp ... if cosmetically compromised parts were desirable, roughing them up wouldn't be an effective theft deterrent.

well of coarse, if you wreck the parts why would anyone be so interested?
a mat paint job would do the same thing, without destroying the parts. your bike you can do what you want.
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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby glennb » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:15 am

Paint's a good idea. I used the rasp to simulate crash/asphalt damage.
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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby HappyHumber » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:32 am

Mmm.. I'm sure a bit creative use of the ol' leatherman/camping knife and a hard pointed scraper you could probably emulate teeth marks - human or otherwise.
:D

I suppose with the matt black paint - it''d probably wear off pretty quickly in splotches under heavy use.. but the crappy look would be acheived there regardless.
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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby RonK » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:08 pm

glennb wrote:I went through this recently and couldn't come up with a practical way to secure bags to bike, so instead wrapped a tarp around the top tube, a swag on the pannier rack, and kept everything else is in a backpack that went everywhere with me.

For bike security I used a keyed lock for the frame, security bolts for cranks/fork/seatpost/saddle/bars/wheels, and hacked up brakes and derailers with a rasp so that thieves wouldn't want them.


There is no way I'd be doing this to my bike - this is really extreme, verging on paranoia.

There are opposing views on trying to disguise the look of a touring bike - here is a extract from the Thorn Raven Nomad brochure, written by a person with vast touring experience.

“Conventional” touring wisdom says that black is a much less noticeable colour and why attract attention? Believe me, if you have a huge touring load and especially if you have a different skin colour to the locals, you’ll attract attention, no matter what colour your bike is! With a yellow bike though, a potential thief has to consider how inconspicuous they will be, when making off with your steed. If the worst happens, there may be much more chance of retrieving the bike again, if the bike is a different colour from all the local bikes, which often tend to be black. Don’t choose the colour based upon not standing out, choose the colour you like yourself. Yellow certainly stands out in the holiday photos!


And to those who commented that loaded bikes are not a target, think again. Places such as bus and train stations and other transit centres - anywhere there are tourists and travellers, (including cycle tourists) are havens for thieves who specialise in stealing luggage. :|

Osbos wrote:No one wants to know if those knickers are clean!


And finally - brave woman, I can't think of any who would air their knickers publicly. :roll:
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Re: Locking up gear when on the road?

Postby il padrone » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:15 pm

RonK wrote:
Osbos wrote:No one wants to know if those knickers are clean!


And finally - brave woman, I can't think of any who would air their knickers publicly. :roll:

My bike works double duty :wink:

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