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  1. #1
    Senior Member TamaraEden's Avatar
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    Securing a Pannier Against Theft

    Do any of you actually secure your Panniers or Trunk bags to your bike in more secure/theft deterrent ways than just the traditional straps? My husband knows that people might be able to still get into the bag but he wants to deter people from TAKING the whole bag if he wants to leave it on his locked up bike.

    Any and all thoughts appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member El Gigante's Avatar
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    I have a truck bag (Topeak EXP), that slides on a rail on the rack and latches with a plastic latch to a stop on the rack. Advantages are that its very easy to attach and detach from the rack, disadvantages are that its very easy to attach and detach from the bike. My commute takes me to downtown Los Angeles and I do have a storage room in my building where I'm able to stash my bike from potential thieves. If I'm stopping at a store or running an errand on the way home, I invariably take the bag with me. I'd also be interested if anyone has some ideas for pannier securement/ theft deterrent on their bikes.

  3. #3
    Senior Member TamaraEden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Gigante View Post
    I have a truck bag (Topeak EXP), that slides on a rail on the rack and latches with a plastic latch to a stop on the rack. Advantages are that its very easy to attach and detach from the rack, disadvantages are that its very easy to attach and detach from the bike. My commute takes me to downtown Los Angeles and I do have a storage room in my building where I'm able to stash my bike from potential thieves. If I'm stopping at a store or running an errand on the way home, I invariably take the bag with me. I'd also be interested if anyone has some ideas for pannier securement/ theft deterrent on their bikes.
    Thanks for response. I bet my husband would love that slide on/off deal. He loves his Novara bag but the velcro straps are sort of a pain. I know if someone wants to steal contents, that's inevitable, but he thinks it would be nice to just take out the things of value and not lug and have to reattach the bag when out in Hollywood or wherever.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member TamaraEden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Gigante View Post
    I have a truck bag (Topeak EXP), that slides on a rail on the rack and latches with a plastic latch to a stop on the rack. Advantages are that its very easy to attach and detach from the rack, disadvantages are that its very easy to attach and detach from the bike. My commute takes me to downtown Los Angeles and I do have a storage room in my building where I'm able to stash my bike from potential thieves. If I'm stopping at a store or running an errand on the way home, I invariably take the bag with me. I'd also be interested if anyone has some ideas for pannier securement/ theft deterrent on their bikes.
    Can't seem to find the bag and the "track" you mentioned. link?
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  5. #5
    Senior Member El Gigante's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TamaraEden View Post
    Can't seem to find the bag and the "track" you mentioned. link?
    Sure - sorry about the spelling, its a trunk bag, and here's the link to Topeak products:

    http://www.topeak.com/products/Bags

    BTW - that's a nice Novara bag that he has, but I can see that velcro straps and/or bungee cords would get to be a tremendous pain pretty quickly.

    Topeak sells a few different racks, some that mount on the seat post and others that mount directly on to the frame. I have one of the frame mounted racks, the Explorer, that the EXP bag mounts onto. Overall, I've been pretty happy with it. I'm starting to see a few small holes in the panniers where the stitching has given way - but that's after one and a half years of almost daily use. Some reviewers on REI and other sites have mentioned issues with the zippers, but I've never had a problem with them. Hope this helps.

  6. #6
    Very, very Senior Member JPprivate's Avatar
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    Having the same concerns as your husband, I went with this:



    No theft yet!

  7. #7
    Senior Member TamaraEden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Gigante View Post
    Sure - sorry about the spelling, its a trunk bag, and here's the link to Topeak products:

    http://www.topeak.com/products/Bags

    BTW - that's a nice Novara bag that he has, but I can see that velcro straps and/or bungee cords would get to be a tremendous pain pretty quickly.

    Topeak sells a few different racks, some that mount on the seat post and others that mount directly on to the frame. I have one of the frame mounted racks, the Explorer, that the EXP bag mounts onto. Overall, I've been pretty happy with it. I'm starting to see a few small holes in the panniers where the stitching has given way - but that's after one and a half years of almost daily use. Some reviewers on REI and other sites have mentioned issues with the zippers, but I've never had a problem with them. Hope this helps.
    Thanks. I found the overall site. I was curious which specific rack. I did some reading though. It seems that most bags are compatible with their racks but do all their racks have that snap on/off system.
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    Senior Member Stray8's Avatar
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    Soft sided panniers and trunk bags could be padlocked to the rack using their sewn handle loops, but these can be cut with a knife or scissors (do they want a damaged bag?). It's just one of those situations where you really can't ever be sure if you leave it alone.


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  9. #9
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
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    Ortlieb has a cable system for their bags. As others have pointed out, it's only a deterrent.
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    Banned. ModoVincere's Avatar
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    put a big rat trap inside it....if someone sticks their hands in it, it should be entertaining at least.

  11. #11
    Pedaling fool ShinyBiker's Avatar
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    I have those wald-type baskets that hang from the rack on the back of my bike.

    I secure them further by handi tying them to the rack. I use the thickest handities i can find. Sure, anyone with some wire cutters can cut them, but it provides some sort of deterrent. You can probably handi tie other types of pannier bags if your bag allows it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPprivate View Post
    Having the same concerns as your husband, I went with this:



    No theft yet!
    I had a crate stolen off my rack about a week after I put it on there.

    I live in a low crime area too. Bad luck bro.

  13. #13
    Senior Member El Gigante's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TamaraEden View Post
    Thanks. I found the overall site. I was curious which specific rack. I did some reading though. It seems that most bags are compatible with their racks but do all their racks have that snap on/off system.
    Here's the rack I have on my bike. (http://www.topeak.com/products/Racks...ack_dsc_spring)
    I think that the MTX bag series is compatable with most of their racks that have the sliding rails/ latching system going on. If there is a particular trunk bag your husband is interested in, open the link to the product and the compatible racks and other products can be found at the bottom of the page. Obviously, they're not as cheap as a DIY system, but not as expensive as a pair of Ortlieb panniers either.

    From what some of the other posters have said, I suppose you can use zip ties or some type of looping cable/ lock system to secure it to the rack, but that does defeat the easy-on-easy-off feature of the bag. Nothing's perfect I guess.

    BTW - did you ever start bike commuting to the Gold Line station from your place? How's the trip been so far?

  14. #14
    Very, very Senior Member JPprivate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scheherezade View Post
    I had a crate stolen off my rack about a week after I put it on there.

    I live in a low crime area too. Bad luck bro.
    Right. How much is a new one? 3 bucks?

  15. #15
    Senior Member TamaraEden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Gigante View Post
    Here's the rack I have on my bike. (http://www.topeak.com/products/Racks...ack_dsc_spring)
    I think that the MTX bag series is compatable with most of their racks that have the sliding rails/ latching system going on. If there is a particular trunk bag your husband is interested in, open the link to the product and the compatible racks and other products can be found at the bottom of the page. Obviously, they're not as cheap as a DIY system, but not as expensive as a pair of Ortlieb panniers either.

    From what some of the other posters have said, I suppose you can use zip ties or some type of looping cable/ lock system to secure it to the rack, but that does defeat the easy-on-easy-off feature of the bag. Nothing's perfect I guess.

    BTW - did you ever start bike commuting to the Gold Line station from your place? How's the trip been so far?
    The gold line doesn't come up my way. Without disclosing my streets, I'm more or less at the base of the Griffith Observatory.

    My bike commute is only 1.4 miles in my neighborhood. No metro involved. I won't start commuting until September. I'm a teacher so no work right now . Don't hate me. My guess is I won't commute the first week due to lugging lots of stuff. My goal is to commute at least a few days a week, I'll just have to see how it goes.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member abstractform20's Avatar
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    just leave a used tampon sticking out of it. really dont think anyone will snatch it...but then again, you never know

  17. #17
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    most generic panniers have a webbing strap on the backside that acts as a guide for the bungie cord that secures the pannier to the bottom of the rack stay.

    Simply unbolt the rack stay from the rear dropout, thread the rack stay through the webbing loop on the back of the pannier, and rebolt the rack to the frame.

    The pannier is now permanently attached to the rack. A thief would either have to have a small allen wrench to unbolt the rack from the rear dropout, or would need a knife to cut through the pannier to remove it.

    I rode for 3 years in Seattle commuting to and from the UW and locked my bike all over town with a pannier attached in this fashion. Never had it stolen. It was a battered REI pannier and I didn't generally leave things in it. Rather, I carried my things in a small pack which I stuffed in the pannier when riding and removed when at my destination.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JPprivate View Post
    Having the same concerns as your husband, I went with this:



    No theft yet!
    add a lid.
    real cyclist can bunny hop potholes on a recumbent.

  19. #19
    Senior Member TamaraEden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texasdiver View Post
    most generic panniers have a webbing strap on the backside that acts as a guide for the bungie cord that secures the pannier to the bottom of the rack stay.

    Simply unbolt the rack stay from the rear dropout, thread the rack stay through the webbing loop on the back of the pannier, and rebolt the rack to the frame.

    The pannier is now permanently attached to the rack. A thief would either have to have a small allen wrench to unbolt the rack from the rear dropout, or would need a knife to cut through the pannier to remove it.

    I rode for 3 years in Seattle commuting to and from the UW and locked my bike all over town with a pannier attached in this fashion. Never had it stolen. It was a battered REI pannier and I didn't generally leave things in it. Rather, I carried my things in a small pack which I stuffed in the pannier when riding and removed when at my destination.
    Most useful answer yet Thanks !
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  20. #20
    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
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    in amsterdam, everyone leaves their panniers on (some locked, some not), and many times they don't lock their bikes up to anything. it just boils down to how much of an opportunity the theif would have to take your stuff.

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    Realistically speaking, unless you have some pretty snazzy looking panniers, I doubt most thieves would be interested in stealing them. Rather, they'd be more concerned with what's in those panniers. Indeed, I think a milk crate has a higher probability of being stolen, because most people have a use for them, whereas a pannier is pretty much useless to everyone save a biker. This is provided you're not in crack-head land, in which case everything that's not bolted down is fair game.

    I use grocery panniers, which aren't very attractive (a good thing), but hold a lot of stuff. When I'm not out grocery shopping, I only have one attached to the bike at any given time, as I only generally carry a briefcase with me during my commute. So if I get got for the one, I still have a backup until a replacement can be sourced.

    If and when I get had for a pannier, I'll begin considering some security options. But realistically, pannier theft is on the bottom of my concerns list.

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    Securing a Pannier Against Theft

    judging from the number of single ortliebs I have seen for sale i would say it can be an issue tourers using just one for commuting or shopping probably stolen for the content and not the pannier

    leave them open with nothing in or I have seen a lightweight cable used for securing an unattended laptop back in the day when they were a rare and expensive item, now they are becoming cheaper than a pannier
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  23. #23
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    Most high quality panniers have a quick-release locking system. These are compatible with most standard racks, no special guides or rails are required. They fit and release in less than a second but are totally secure in use.
    I always remove my pannier when I lock the bike up.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Timber_8's Avatar
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    I also like the Topeak trunk bag with the built in panniers and the quick track system. I take my bag with when I leave the bike but it would be very simple to lock it to the frame with a cable. When I started commuting the most important thing I did was determine what I really needed to carry on the bike. The only reason I use panniers is to carry cloths to work. I do like the idea of shopping panniers not just for the bike but to use in place of shopping bags.

  25. #25
    Senior Member travelmama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abstractform20 View Post
    just leave a used tampon sticking out of it. really dont think anyone will snatch it...but then again, you never know
    Oh snap! That is funny but gross.

    I have left all of my panniers on my bikes and just locked up the bike. No one took them. There are times when I will wrap the cable through the handles and no one has tried to cut them. There are a lot of people on bikes around here but they don't have racks are usually are out collecting cans in plastic bags. They do have some pretty sweet trailers for their can collecting. I don't have much to worry about around here.
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