Touring - Which Lock? advice please
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05-28-09, 04:36 PM
I'm going on a month long fully supported tour from chicago to new orleans. I'm worried about leaving the bicycle unattended since I'm not going to have somebody with me to watch over it. I have three lock options; kryptonite u-lock , regular cable lock and the thicker kryptonite cable which can be used with a master lock(also with u-lock).
U lock is heavy, regular cable lock is weak.
Also i would feel better locking the panniers too when i'm in a store in a busy town but i m not sure if that's necessary?
I can't decide.. advice please.
05-28-09, 04:41 PM
I always recommend a quality U lock, even though you take a weight penalty.
I have been a licensed locksmith for nearly 14 years now.
I have seen enough theft to realize that it is worth it (to me) to carry an extra pound to prevent someone from getting my beloved bicycle.
05-28-09, 04:50 PM
There is a cable net system that can secure your panniers. Do your shopping in small places, shortly before you stop for the night.
05-28-09, 07:35 PM
If you go with the u-lock, be sure to get a 4' length of cable as well so you can noose one end around a wheel, and put the other end through the u-lock, or use the u-lock as a shackle and the cable to tie around larger things (like trees, phone poles). Sure, the u-lock is pretty heavy but the additional 0.5 lb of weight for the cable won't really make a difference.
05-28-09, 07:48 PM
I bought a heavy cable lock to tour with and when it came in the mail I immediately put it in the "too heavy" pile and left it home. I carry only a light cable with a small padlock. The cable is long enough to wrap around a tree, both wheels and the frame when I lock it. This thing is not going to prevent a determined thief from taking my bike, nothing is.
Mostly, I try to keep my bike in my sight at all times when in a city. When I go into a restaurant I spend a minute finding a place where I can sit to eat and still see the bike. I have found that some bike shops will let me leave the bike in the shop while I walk around the city. It is only when I am going into a grocery store or a library for example that the bike is left alone, but locked.
Again, there is no one perfect solution for all.
Good luck on your ride.
05-28-09, 09:43 PM
Mini U lock and a length of cable for on tour. I used to bring 4 foot but bring 6 foot now, weight is not an issue for bike security IMO.
05-28-09, 10:20 PM
I will use this same setup when bikecamping.....
Take the panniers with you or lock them with a small cable (someone could still go through them though). It all depends on exactly where you are.
05-29-09, 05:33 AM
I carry 2 cable locks. One is the Club, from the same people who make car locks. The other is one I received free at a gun show. It is a gun lock. I use this when I need to go in a small store and I can watch the bike. I bring my bike in large stores and ask the manager where I can leave it while shopping.
U-locks have two serious disadvantages for bike touring; they are heavy, and the bulk of panniers etc often makes it difficult to fit the u-lock around a suitable fixed object. For that reason I use a long, medium thickness cable lock with a combination.
It depends on where you are going to be locking your bicycle. For general day to day riding I use a U-lock. If you are going to be parking the bike for an extended period of time you should use a chain lock plus U-lock.
05-29-09, 07:59 AM
All bicycles weigh fifty pounds. A thirty-pound bicycle needs a twenty-pound lock. A forty-pound bicycle needs a ten-pound lock. A fifty-pound bicycle doesn't need a lock. ~Author Unknown
thats how you pick the right lock.
05-29-09, 11:19 AM
Lock choice is somewhat personal. It depends on where you tour and how much faith you have in humanity and what your risk tolerance is. I tour with a simple 1/4" cable with a small lock. It fits in the keeping-honest-people-honest category. I certainly wouldn't leave my bike overnight in Times Square with it, but then I don't think any lock would help there.
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