Touring - Lock Up Panniers?
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09-25-06, 07:35 PM
I've been reading a book on bike touring and in it, the author recommends locking up one's panniers as well as your bike if leaving it unattended.
Sounds logical, but my question is? Do you need a special type of pannier to do this? Or is there a way to lock regular panniers to your bike.
09-25-06, 10:54 PM
When leaving the panniers in a campsite or unattended in a hotel room we use a PacSafe
Here is more about them (http://www.vwvagabonds.com/Bike/BikeSecurity.html).
Also, Ortlieb makes an anti-theft device for their panniers... You can get them from TheTouringStore.com (http://www.thetouringstore.com/ORTLIEB/Ort%20Accessories/ORT%20ACCESSORIES%20PAGE.htm)
09-25-06, 11:58 PM
I don't know, I guess that's a legitimate concern. After several summers of touring I've only had one incident with "possible" theft, and I've never given much thought to locking up my panniers. I was camping on the lawn of this really sketchy guy's trailer in Whitefish, Montana. When I woke up in the morning a stuff sack that was full of food was missing. Nothing else had been taken, not my cell phone, my camera, my wallet, or anything else of value. Just a bag full of food. Never found out what happened to that bag, and I couldn't figure out why someone would want to take it. It just had some vegetables, dried beans and rice, and some cheese in it.
When I'm touring I rarely even lock my bike up at night, unless I'm in a heavily populated campground with a lot of teenagers about. I guess a pannier lock would give you an added sense of security, but it sounds like overkill to me.
That sounds like a coon. On my trip last year, my wife had packed this really rugged cereal I prefer. I didn't really mean to take it, but I guess she saw a packable quantity was left, and put it in. First night out I woke to this jaw popping sound like a Grizzly chewing on leg-of-elk. of course it was only a racoon or two working on the noisy cereal.
My only concern up here in Ontario, is to not leave stuff you can't aford to loose in your bike. I can't protect the panniers at every stop, but if someone grabs the whole thing and rides off, or pops it in the back of the truck, I have my valuble organized so they don't go too. Its a credit card foot tour from then on. It's an obvious point but I do find it tempting as time wears on to end up with my stuff speading out a little into various panniers, and then the temptation to leave it unattended just for a moment rather than gather it all up.
When leaving the panniers in a campsite or unattended in a hotel room we use a PacSafe
Is it possible to use the pack safe on the rear panniers while they are still attched to the rear rack? I don't mean while riding, I mean just while parked?
09-26-06, 03:55 AM
It depends what type of lock you have. I have an old chain lock that I've had for a number of years. With it I can just thread the chain through my frame and my panniers if I want to lock them up. That said, I've never felt the need on tour. I just keep things like my wallet and camera with me at all times, and if a would-be thief wants to rummage through some sweaty cycling clothes, they're welcome to it.
09-26-06, 09:38 AM
Here's my solution: At a bike store, buy one of those small cables that you use to attach your seatpost to your frame. At a hardware store, buy a large set of small padlocks (that use the same key). Use the cable and one of the padlocks to lock the panniers to the bike. Use the rest of the locks to lock the panniers' compartments closed by feeding the lock through the zipper heads.
09-26-06, 10:30 AM
That said, I've never felt the need on tour. I just keep things like my wallet and camera with me at all times, and if a would-be thief wants to rummage through some sweaty cycling clothes, they're welcome to it.
What Chris said.
Only thing is I always lock the bikes, cable lock at night when they're outside, passing through a strap of a bag inside the tent so hopefully someone trying to grab and run will wake us up.
While on tour, my main concern is a snatch and run type theft of my bike. Like others, I keep my wallet with me at all times (I keep it in my camelback when I am on the bike) and take whatever other valuables, like cellphone and camera, in with me when I leave the bike unattended.
My first thought is to take the bike into any building that I can so that it is inside and I can see it while I do my business. There often are little rooms or extra space in restaurants or stores where no one cares that you leave your bike there for a short time. If I can't do that, I try to station the bike so that I can see it at all times. At grocery stores, I lock the bike and leave the panniers just hanging on it.
That said, in some sketchy places, I have put the panniers in a shopping cart and taken them with me into the store after locking the bike just to be safe. I use a cable and lock that wouldn't hold up to a determined thief but will prevent the snatch and run
I've had panniers stolen off my bike while touring, it was NO fun trying to replace everything that was taken. The dirt bags only took the two packs on the right side of the bike, so I had to replace odd sets of panniers, not easy to do I can tell you.
The pannier mounting system is the key, if your bags come off easily, then they can be taken with little effort. I fashioned a small pad lock on each pannier, with a combination lock so no key to mess with. I always keep any thing like camera or other small valuables in the handlebar bar, which I always kept with me.
09-26-06, 02:50 PM
Seems to me that the only way to secure nylon bags and their contents is in a steel locker with a padlock.
To deter the casual thief, how about plastic tie straps - and their key, a wire cutter/multitool. This may force them to dig thru your low-value property, which they will probably abandon, as opposed to taking the whole bag.
This strategy assumes you lock the bike with a good u lock, since the next logical step is to - ride away...
Plastic tie wraps would have prevented my theft, I think, it's a good idea! Anything that makes it a bit difficult helps, and yes a good lock for the bike is a must, I like a six foot cable and lock since it works on telephone poles, picnic tables, trees and many other things.
09-26-06, 08:10 PM
If you use Arkel panniers they come with a locking metal tab that you can lock to the rack. Having Rain covers on your panniers when leaving the bike for a few minutes locked up also is a good idea. If they are difficult to get into because of the rain cover then you are less likely to have your stuff stolen.
09-26-06, 08:50 PM
Well it was a fairly heavy bag of food, though a determined coon might have been able to drag it away. But on the several occasions that I have had coons get into my food they have always eaten right through the bag on the spot, rather than taking it away to gnaw on it in isolation.
How bulky is the PacSafe when folded up in its pouch?
09-27-06, 11:41 AM
It folds up neatly like a metal mesh fishing net to about the size of one of those old yellow cassette sony walkmans...perhaps a bit fatter. The image on the left is a photo of the pacsafe folded into it's pouch.
I use small cable locks (of the snowboarders' variety) through the nylon carry handles of my panniers & around the bike frame. Good enough security to prevent a snatch-n-run; about 2" x 4" & weighs next to nothing; quick combo opening; inexpensive.
Like the others, I remove wallet, camera, journal, phone, etc & carry in a small fanny pack.
10-04-06, 09:07 AM
I was concerned about security for my Pacific Coast trip, especially since I was picking up a brand-new bike. I settled for a light-weight Kryptonite Krait together with a couple of coated cable that could be passed in & out of the components, frame etc. The handlebar bag ALWAYS came with me wherever I went, unlike a chap that I bumped into who was heading back North after he'd popped into a public restroom in Fort Bragg and returned to find all his valuables missing :( The Ortlieb panniers I took with me missed out on the special cables that didn't arrive before I headed out to Seattle. Regarding a PacSafe, I have a small/medium one which I was going to take with me but the weight of it changed my mind: it's quite heavy but it does pack pretty small. Maybe a good idea if there's more than just one person travelling.
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