Touring - Locks
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In two or three weeks I'm going to head south to Los Angeles from Northern California, and I was debating whether to bring my cable lock, my u-lock, both, or perhaps a guard troll. Not sure if I'll be spending much time off the bicycle in high crime areas, though I was considering visiting a few friends in the Bay Area. I'm an ultralight backpacker, so the idea excess weight (while not as much an issue on a bicycle) concerns me. So does the idea of losing my Long Haul Trucker, though!
What do you all use?
I would have the guard troll carry your locks!
I would take just the cable lock. Outside of a high crime area, I don't think that there much likelihood of someone happening upon your bike with the tools and desire to steal it.
Enjoy your trip.
12-10-04, 10:58 PM
Much depends on where you are touring. Last summer I bicycled through Ticino, the Italian part of Switzerland. One day around noon I arrived at a bike shop in a small city. Expensive bicycles were on display outside the shop, and not one was locked. More surprising: the entire staff was away on a two-hour lunch! My guess is that bike theft is rare in Ticino.
In Ticino, I did secure my bike at night with a Stock Lock (www.stocksmfg.on.ca). But after a few days of seeing unlocked bicycles wherever I went, I got out of the habit of locking my bike when stopping for a few minutes. If I were returning to Ticino, I would bring a smaller and lighter lock. The Stock Lock weighs a kilogram and takes up a lot of space.
If I were travelling in urban USA instead of rural Switzerland, I would likely bring two hefty locks, and use them!
12-11-04, 08:16 AM
I always take a cable lock with me when I tour. A U-lock isn't even an option for me - while they work well in city-type surroundings, locking a bike to a tree doesn't work too well!
12-11-04, 10:51 AM
i was thinking about getting a motorcycle lock or an armoured lock, take a look (http://www.webbikeworld.com/r2/motorcycle-lock/), you can also check out their website (http://www.onguardlock.com) but the mastiff 5021 weights 4.8 kilos, on the other hand, the rottweiler weights only 2.7, sounds pretty good to me.
12-13-04, 01:46 PM
I always carry my U-lock and a cable. I'm not sure whether it's really necessary when I tour, but better be safe than sorry.
Weightwise, I tend to carry the kitchen sink. Except for portaging the bike (which I never do anyway), what's 1-2 kg compared to my own 75 kg, the 15 kg of the bike or the 20 kg of the gear?
I would think you'd be fine with a good cable lock. The LHT isn't the most "desireable" bike, and looks somewhat old, even with all new parts. :) My wife referst to mine as a "Grandpa" bike. I think it's the fenders and the B17.
12-13-04, 06:10 PM
The advantage of a cable lock over a U-lock is that it goes around trees and posts much better. The cable I'm talking about is coiled and stretches to about 2 1/2 feet - also doubles with a clip as a hanger for panniers in bear country. My sense is that a well-used touring bike loaded down with stuff is hardly an appealing target - - and the lock only serves as temporary discouragement anyhoo. I've toured for twenty years and never had a problem - rarely lock my bike - but then again - it only takes one time, right?
12-13-04, 08:57 PM
No need to over do it. Other than some pretty risky streets in SF, most of the Pac. Highway tour ride is peaceful and relatively low crime. I brought just one lock, a cheapo U-lock, and it was more than sufficient.
12-13-04, 09:24 PM
markw is right, and thatīs one of the reasons why i chose LHT, because itīs not fancy! anyone tried a cuff lock?
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