Touring - What locks do you use on tour?
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12-13-04, 04:14 PM
I'm looking at what locks I should get for my new tourer and am interested in what has been tried, tested and recommended.
So far I'm thinking of getting a long (6ft) cable lock to run through the frame, both wheels and around some object and also a u-lock of some sorts. I'm a bit concerned about the u-locks weight though - don't know whether to get a bigger one to lock to other objects or a small one to lock the back wheel to the frame (on the assumption that no-ones going to be carrying my fully loaded tourer anywhere fast).
Also I have no idea how panniers are best secured. I don't like the idea of taking them all off everytime I go into a museum or store but I also don't like the idea of having all my clothes & equipment (i'd carry money, camera etc. with me) waiting around for a new home. I've seen some steel mesh-like set-ups that wrap around bags but they're out of my price range.
12-13-04, 04:33 PM
I had a cable lock like you described, but no u-lock. I didn't lock my bike at night, but during the day I would if I was in a town of any size. The only trouble I can remember was having the flag on my BOB trailer taken (bike was locked at the time).
12-13-04, 04:43 PM
once travling from Inverness to Fort William I used three lochs.
On my cross country I used a dog run cable, about 8 feet long and thin with the smallest combination lock I could find (no keys to lose). This allowed me to lock the bike and BOB trailer around almost anything. It was really there to keep honest people, honest, because anyone with a bolt cutter would have no problem snipping that thin cable. I rarely used it though, never at night, or a restaurant but I did lock it at large grocery stores or a Walmart. The way my bike looked, I figured who would want it.
12-15-04, 06:06 AM
Big problem but remember some U locks can be opened by using the octangle end of a "Bic" biro. The only real answer is to keep the bike in sight at all times but this is sometimes impractical.I use a U lock but when camping overnight I tie nylon fishing line to bike and then into tent to a pile of cookin stuff. If someone really wants to steal the bike they will however.
I use my normal locks, ie. a small rear-tyre-mounted lock and a U-lock.
I use a combo cable lock(?5 foot). I allways lock it when I'll be away for even a few minutes. "Expensive" stuff goes with me in my handlebar bag.
Offtopic: Gregw, neat place to mount dogspray. Is that a spare can on the top tube? Or did you opt just to mount it on the handlebar. Any trouble with it bouncing off?--I put mine in the side bungee straps of my bar bag-had one occasion to use it (while riding), several occasions to just glad to have it at hand.
12-15-04, 10:07 AM
I rarely locked my rig during a tour. i avoid large towns and cities in smaller towns when i go in a grocery i just lean it against the wall and take my HB bag with valuables in it. I go with gut feeling if it feels unsafe it most likley is.
Now at night I found i always locked up the rig to a tree or picnic table i have a cable and combination lock If it wasnt locked i didnt sleep well thinking every little noise was someone taking the bike... When i camped in the midloe of nowhere alone i didnt lock it up.
Its a personel issue some people need to feel the security of locked bike others feel different.
12-15-04, 10:34 AM
On tours, I usually carry a cable style lock. It's lighter than a U-lock and permits locking the bike around objects too large for the u-lock. For commuting and errands, I almost always use a U-lock.
When deciding on your lock, consider your touring style. As I've gotten older, I camp less and typically seek out hostels or inns instead of camping. Most of these places provide storage for a bike, even if it is in your room. After arriving in a city, I first store the bike where I'm staying and walk or take public transit to any museums or other destinations in the city. A lighter cable lock will work well in this instance.
This also works well for storing your valuables while visiting a museum or other destination. You can leave your panniers in the room or locker at the hostel, inn, etc and ride the bike to the destination.
If you are not staying overnight, there may be other places you can store gear. When in Europe, I've often found temporary lockers or left-luggage rooms at train stations. These are becoming more rare in the USA (security measures, they say), but you may find cooperation from a bike shop or other bike friendly entity. Truth is, even though they don't make money off this (unless you want to offer a couple bucks or so), they are usually more than happy to help out a bicycle traveler. I leave the panniers here and keep the valuable stuff (cash, credit cards, camera, passport, plane/train tix) in a removable rack or handlebar bag which I keep with me.
...but you may find cooperation from a bike shop or other bike friendly entity. Truth is, even though they don't make money off this (unless you want to offer a couple bucks or so), they are usually more than happy to help out a bicycle traveler.
If you are asking to store something for more than a few hours, it would certainly be appropriate to make a small purchase (surely you could use a new pair of socks) so the shop knows that their assistance brings them some tangible benefit. The same goes for shops that provide 'expedited repair service' for touring cyclists.
Camel, yea that top tube Halt attachment did not work well, so I just used the Nashbar holder.
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