Lock your panniers?
I'm curious about those who grocery shop with their bike's panniers, do you take them into the market every time or do you leave them attached to your rack? If you keep them attached to your bike, do you lock them in any way?
I just got a utility bike and the panniers are oversized (yay!), but are a bother to take on & off (they hook, but also are secured with a short, unadjustable buckle). My hands have trouble snapping these kinds of buckles (& more so with the cold weather): Attachment 343944
I don't think the bags (with the weight of the groceries) could just hold onto the rack with just the hooks alone, if I go over bumps.
So, I'm trying to figure out either a modification to the bag for easy on & off OR securing them from theft (??), if I leave them on & go grocery shopping (usually in a market for about an hour... for a family of 5-6)
I take at least one in with me, and two if I need both. If I'm going to multiple stores I won't leave groceries out on the bike, but I will leave a pannier on it. So far no one has swiped them.
Mine are pretty easy to put on and take off (Novara grocery getters from REI). They were pretty cheap, too, so I don't worry too much about theft.
I have a personal oddity, I enjoy putting in grommets! I put them everywhere, handles, ventilation, you name it. You can get good kits at marine supply stores, hardware stores, wherever. (these are brass grommets I'm talking about.)
Your panniers are fabric hanging on the rack next to the vertical braces. Put a couple of grommets on each side of the brace and put a wire tie (another of my favorite things) around through both grommets and secure it. Sure it can be clipped off to release the pannier, but the snatch and run thief will leave it not wanting to stop and mess with the tie. If you really want to secure it use a tiny lock.
When I was touring a couple of years ago, I got some small locks to lock the handles to the rack. I use it mostly to secure the bags when I went to lunch. If going to the grocery store at home, I normally know how much I am buying and bring the panniers into the store and the bagger can pack the panniers and then I don't need a bag.
I bring them in with me. That way I can pack the groceries directly into the panniers when I check out and don't need any additional bags.
I lock mine down to the bike. I used some thin coated stainless steel cable in a couple of different places and crimped the ends down. Zip ties might work too. Anything to slow them down and make them go somewhere else. There are a few locales where I wouldn't even want to leave a bike locked up for any length of time. I avoid those places.
Another option might be PacSafe. My daughter has traveled all over the world and has used these with great success, including in several 3rd world countries. They used them in their motel rooms as well as outside.
I've left my old Nashbar Townies on the bike (folded) while shopping and also taken them inside. Put them in the cart and fill them up so that I don't "over shop". I let the checker bag into their plastic bags (I reuse them around the house or recycle them), then those bags and the panniers all go in the cart to make the line go faster. Sometimes I'll repack before mounting the panniers, but the mounting system is the cheap J-hook, so I usually put the empty pannier(s) on first, then load them.
To the OP, you might want to replace the mounting hardware. I've heard good things about Arkel and Ortlieb mounting systems and I know that Arkel sells theirs as a "retrofit kit". http://www.arkel-od.com/us/all-categ...ook-kit-1.html
Also in Oregon .. I get .05c credit from Meyer/Kroger stores for not using their carry out bags,
using my Panniers counts, so I have the checker fill them.
my touring rig , , beckman's mounting is not Quick to remove, that plus my raincovers ,
were an inside info mount, so, the PIA to mount and remove was its own security..
I used the side release buckle but the strap sewn with a shock cord loop, to pull against,
so the strap stayed tight.