Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Solo travelling and theft-protection

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Solo travelling and theft-protection

Old 08-24-21, 09:37 AM
Senior Member
StarBiker's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,988

Bikes: Bianchi Grizzly, Cannondale F700,

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 786 Post(s)
Liked 140 Times in 111 Posts
Originally Posted by debade
Lots of good tips. One I have not seen yet. Ortlieb has a thin metal cord that attaches to the pannier which you can lock to the rack. It would not be hard to cut with the right tool. But it would prevent someone walking by and pulling it off the bike.

i am not sure what a sketchy area is. I do feel that bike thefts happen more where there are a lot of bikers. A bigger market.
Colleges, and Cities.
StarBiker is offline  
Old 08-24-21, 10:09 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,597
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 574 Post(s)
Liked 901 Times in 513 Posts
Lots of good advice here.

I used to use the 'politely stupid' strategy when I wanted to bring my bike into a store. When they ask you to take the bike outside, respond as if you don't understand what they want, but that you believe you are complying.

Store attendant: "Could you please leave your bike outside?"
Me: "It's ok. Thanks, though!"
Store attendant: "Sorry, but you can't bring your bike in here!"
Me: "No need to be sorry, friend! It's OK!"

I can usually keep this up long enough that I can get my goods to the cash and be ready to pay, and they assume I am an idiot* and that arguing will serve no purpose.

*probably a good assumption
ClydeClydeson is offline  
Likes For ClydeClydeson:
Old 08-26-21, 05:09 AM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 19
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks everyone for the advice, I'll keep your tips in mind for sure.

People have commented on the packing volume now so I'm getting a bit concerned. I'm opening another thread now to discuss that further and hopefully gather some advice. If you want to have a closer look at my packing list there and share you input I'd appreciate that!
Cheeseftw is offline  
Old 08-27-21, 08:40 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Elwood Indiana
Posts: 7,373

Bikes: they change so much I'm tired of updating this

Mentioned: 166 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1146 Post(s)
Liked 943 Times in 358 Posts
Take advantage of the local fire departments. There is someone always there and they would have no problem in having you leave your bike inside while you explore the city. You might even get a free meal, hot shower and a bed. I’ve been a firefighter for 23 years and we’ve had more than a few overnight guests.
sloar is offline  
Old 08-28-21, 04:53 AM
Senior Member
Thulsadoom's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Cape Vincent, NY
Posts: 1,355

Bikes: 2002 TREK 520, Schwinn Mesa WINTER BIKE

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Liked 64 Times in 36 Posts
I used to worry about someone stealing some of my stuff, but now my whole rig is so road-worn that most people give it a wide berth, probably afraid something is going to jump out at them. Either that or they assume it must belong to a homeless addict. Wipe all your stuff down with a rag covered in road filth and sweat and you won't have much trouble with anyone wanting to steal anything.
Thulsadoom is offline  
Likes For Thulsadoom:
Old 08-28-21, 08:02 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,670

Bikes: Rivendell Quickbeam, Rivendell Rambouillet, Rivendell Atlantis, Circle A town bike, De Rosa Neo Primato, Cervelo RS, Specialized Diverge

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 180 Post(s)
Liked 43 Times in 40 Posts
Take a small cable lock and always lock your bike up when you leave it. Even if you are popping into a shop for 10 secs take the time to lock your bike. Most bike thieves are opportunistic so you'll stop those, but realistically you can't stop a committed thieve so don't worry about them. Also you can't protect all your gear so have a handle bar bag where you keep stuff like your wallet that you cannot afford to lose and take that with you whenever you leave your bike.

You might also look into a gps with an audible alarm
nun is offline  
Likes For nun:
Old 10-03-21, 09:22 AM
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Scotland
Posts: 1

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Trucker

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Pannier security

Ortlieb do a security cable that attaches to your panniers and allows them to be locked to the rack. They retract out of site when not in use. I tried to attach a photo of mine but this is my first post and therefore unable. Sorry.
CrepitusCritch is offline  
Old 10-03-21, 06:13 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 924
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 346 Post(s)
Liked 378 Times in 231 Posts
In addition to "sketchy" it seems that sometimes "bike friendly" means high theft risk because there is a ready market for used bikes.
Pratt is offline  
Old 10-03-21, 06:21 PM
Senior Member
indyfabz's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 36,688
Mentioned: 206 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16958 Post(s)
Liked 12,494 Times in 5,917 Posts
I can maybe count on both hands the number of times I locked my bike while it was out of my sight during my recent tour. Most of those times were in Burlington, VT. SOP for me.
indyfabz is online now  
Old 01-29-22, 11:26 PM
have bike will tour
catfish's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Wisconsin / New Mexico
Posts: 386

Bikes: Trek 5200, Trek 520, Trek 2120

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

My take on this is pretty dated. I toured from 2000 to 2003. I mostly toured solo. If I camped in a town park or state park Id lock the bike to picnic table so I didn’t have to think about it while

i had a handle bar bag i kept my wallet phone and travel checks in. This bad detached easy and hd a shoulder strap. I kept this bag with me never left on the bike. I also had a “fanny” pack if didn’t t want to cary the H B bag.

most times at cafes or grocery stops Id just lean the bike up against a wall. If the area looked sketchy I didn't stop or locked it.

most times I was alone untill I got to the west coast. I met some other cyclists out touring and developed friendships. We didnt ride together all day every day but usually met up some
place to camp and resupply we watched each other’s stuff like I said this was all 20 years ago things are perhaps different now. Go with your gut feeling happy miles to you
catfish is offline  
Old 01-30-22, 07:58 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 12,786
Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2568 Post(s)
Liked 837 Times in 698 Posts
Well Mr or Mrs cheese, lots of solid recommendations here from a lot of experienced bike travelers.
The only thing I'd add is that a reasonable coil lock is very handy because you can easily lock your bike to itself, through handle loops of your panniers, to a tree, to a picnic bench, whatever.
I always lock my bike in a campground and bring my bags in tent, both take seconds and your stuff is with you. It's a no brainer.

be observant and learn to assess.
have fun
djb is offline  
Likes For djb:
Old 01-30-22, 07:09 PM
Senior Member
Doug64's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 6,424
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1149 Post(s)
Liked 740 Times in 396 Posts
Originally Posted by CrepitusCritch
Ortlieb do a security cable that attaches to your panniers and allows them to be locked to the rack. They retract out of site when not in use. I tried to attach a photo of mine but this is my first post and therefore unable. Sorry.
I made some light cable security cables for my Ortlieb Roller front and rear bags. The cable is only 3/32", but it will stop an opportunistic thief. My wife's Packer Plus panniers were outfitted with the security cables from Ortlieb. They did not make any for the Roller series of bags.

We left our bikes cabled to this wooden fence in a Swiss campground for an entire day while we took a train, actually 2 trains, to see a mountain I'd dreamed of climbing since I was a kid. A hard kick would have knocked the rails off the fence posts. It was safer than leaving the bikes at the train station; and it was only a 2-mile walk from the CG to town. We left before dawn, and returned well after dark. I think situational awareness is important, but it could lead to a bad call.

The North Face of the Eiger- it was just nice to see it

Last edited by Doug64; 01-31-22 at 12:11 AM.
Doug64 is offline  
Likes For Doug64:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.