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Touring bike security pref’s

Old 12-16-23, 01:47 PM
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When we were in Andalucia, Spain, we used our folding and cable locks whenever we were going to be away from our bikes for an extended period, i.e. in the interior but unsupervised spaces of hotels and Airbnbs. Might not have been necessary but it gave us peace of mind.

I also carried most of my valuables - mainly cameras - in a fanny pack that I always had with me. I did have a laptop in a pannier but I accepted that risk and since there were two of us, we rarely left the bikes unattended during the day.
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Old 12-16-23, 02:53 PM
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No problem eh
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Old 12-16-23, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
No problem eh
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Old 12-19-23, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
About a decade ago I met a an older gal that was clearly touring, four panniers, etc. She asked me some directions on how to get somewhere, the answer was complicated enough that I rode with her through my community for about 5 miles to get her to a bike shop. I was not busy and was out for an exercise ride, so I was happy to be a guide for a short while.

As we rode, I asked about her tour, and asked why she had a bike with a brand I had never heard of. She was doing an around the world tour, started in the UK with a high end touring bike, and was heading east. Then she was robbed at gunpoint of everything in her possession in one of the Balkan countries. So, she had to start over and this time everything including her bike were much lower budget. But she had made it all through asia, flew across the pacific, I met her in Madison Wisc, she was heading east.

That is the only time I have heard of a bike tourist being robbed of their gear.
What means ""clearly touring""?
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Old 12-19-23, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Thigh Master
While watching a plethora of YouTube videos of people touring the 3rd world, 2nd world, every world with expensive rigs, what are most of them doing to deter theft? Cables?
No cables, no lock, since two decades. Never leave my bike alone outside for longer. In hostels or hotels bike is in the room or in another save place inside the place. Shopping only in little villages I leave the bike outside grocery shops or bakery's. Big cities I never ever see on my tours.
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Old 12-19-23, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Yan
I'm currently cycling around the world carrying both a full sized u-lock and a cable lock, which together weigh 5.3lb (2.3kg). My partner is also carrying her own separate full sized u-lock. We share the single cable lock I'm carrying.
https://www.rei.com/product/216211/h...1000-bike-lock
https://www.rei.com/product/809719/k...007-cable-7-ft

Using careful behavior to safeguard your bike is a dead end. When you are touring on another continent, it's because you want to take in the exotic sights. You're not doing it merely to ride your bike dawn to dusk while occasionally sprinting into a store to buy food. When you arrive at a tourist destination, you need to lock your bike. When you go for a hike, you need to lock your bike. When you go to a bazaar, you need to lock your bike. When you're staying in a capsule hotel in Japan, you need to lock your bike. There is no getting around locking your bike, unless you want to completely destroy your travel experience by being a slave to guarding your bike like a hawk.

And no, you're not going to be able to sweet talk your way into stashing your bike with some restaurant/store/hotel across the street while you explore Angkor Wat. They can't understand what you're saying, and even if they could, they're not interested in being liable for some foreigner's bike.
Right, it's that simple... if one visits ""tourist destinations"". But tell me please, where do you lock your bike when you go for a hike? Let's say a 5h hike....

My travel experience would be destroyed visiting tourist destinations.
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Old 12-19-23, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by str
Right, it's that simple... if one visits ""tourist destinations"". But tell me please, where do you lock your bike when you go for a hike? Let's say a 5h hike....

My travel experience would be destroyed visiting tourist destinations.
I lock it to a tree. A u-lock can fit a tree around 3.5-4 inches in diameter.

Not sure what you're getting at.

You would bicycle across Europe and never bother to see any cultural sights? Only ride dawn to dusk and then go to sleep, repeat the next day?

We are all different I guess.

Last edited by Yan; 12-19-23 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 12-19-23, 12:24 PM
  #33  
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2016 was the last time I brought a MacBook Air with me, that was in Georgia Caucaus.

On day we have been completely DRUNK! on Abano Pass, there is a little stone refugee for street workers, every spring they have to clean the 70km off road to Tusheti.
So we went into that stone cabin to sleep there on the floor. Soon after Leon arrived (pictures 6 and 7 if you feel like).

https://stefanrohner.exposure.co/georgia-caucasus

It took him 5min to give us each a bed (we slept there in ours sleeping bags), and 7min to take out that transparent green bottle full of "cha cha"" Georgian home made Vodka!!!
We three emptied that bottle! My friend was dead, I was close to be in the same stage! Our heads EXPloding the next morning.
We still had to climb around 1500m, up to 3000m. I told him: listen, next 4x4 car what passed us I give my panniers (two front panniers 15L each, with my Macbook), I will not cycle semidrunk
with a exploding head to Omalo Tusheti, another aprox 60k and 3000m climbing. His answer: are you made? where will we pick up our panniers? and sure they will not steal them!? And your MacBook!
Me: did you not see that all these people here are super friendly?! )
That was at 10AM. The guy told us that he would leave the 4 panniers at the "Goethe Museum"" in Omalo, a little cultural place up in the mountains.
We arrived there at 6PM!! Our panniers have been standing there in front of the building in the sun all day long!!!. )))) 🙃🙃 WE went inside the place to tell them that the panniers outside are ours.
The young woman interrupted us: hey, hello, your panniers are there outside. Yes yes .... we saw them .... )

Last edited by str; 12-20-23 at 02:49 AM.
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Old 12-19-23, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
As we rode, I asked about her tour, and asked why she had a bike with a brand I had never heard of. She was doing an around the world tour, started in the UK with a high end touring bike, and was heading east. Then she was robbed at gunpoint of everything in her possession in one of the Balkan countries. So, she had to start over and this time everything including her bike were much lower budget. But she had made it all through asia, flew across the pacific, I met her in Madison Wisc, she was heading east.

That is the only time I have heard of a bike tourist being robbed of their gear.
I can't speak for robbed at gunpoint, but this summer I met a guy in Whitefish Montana whose bike had been stolen while he was in a store buying food. He had to buy a replacement to continue.

I'm going to be in the Balkans again next spring.
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Old 12-19-23, 01:08 PM
  #35  
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Hey Yan, it would be fun to see your bikes, can't recall if you have in the past. Where are you two now?
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Old 12-19-23, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by str
What means ""clearly touring""?
A bike with four panniers and a racktop bag is not a roadie out for exercise (they have no luggage), not a commuter (they might have one or two panniers), they are clearly touring.
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Old 12-19-23, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan
I lock it to a tree. A u-lock can fit a tree around 3.5-4 inches in diameter.

Not sure what you're getting at.

You would bicycle across Europe and never bother to see any cultural sights? Only ride dawn to dusk and then go to sleep, repeat the next day?

We are all different I guess.
Traveled all over Europe until I was 25, as child with my parents, grown up in train and hitchhiking. Of course I did not see it all, but most cultural sights. I am not interested in Paris, Florence or Rome´s mass tourism, not in plane, not on bike. To me cycling does not happen on tarmac anymore, did that many years, all over Europe. From Barcelona to Tirana, From Berlin (lived there years) to Barcelona. From Milan to Palermo, all on tarmac. Eating motorised traffic, riding beside contaminating metal boxes.
My cycling (now) happens only in clean and pure nature, away from mass tourism and metal boxes. From little villages to little villages, rural life. There is enough distraction and people to meet to not cycle ""dawn to dusk and then go to sleep"".

I was wondering, if if you go hiking a day no lock around a tree keeps your bike save, in case somebody wants it.
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Old 12-19-23, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
A bike with four panniers and a racktop bag is not a roadie out for exercise (they have no luggage), not a commuter (they might have one or two panniers), they are clearly touring.
I know people they tour with 20L all over the place for month. That could be 2 x 10L panniers, or 1x15L saddle bag + 5L handle bar bag. They do it for weeks and month.

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Old 12-19-23, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by str
I know people they tour with 20L all over the place for month. That could be 2 x 10L panniers, or 1x15L saddle bag + 5L handle bar bag. They do it for weeks and month.

Yes, but that does not mean that someone with four panniers and a racktop bag was not touring.
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Old 12-19-23, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by str
Traveled all over Europe until I was 25, as child with my parents, grown up in train and hitchhiking. Of course I did not see it all, but most cultural sights. I am not interested in Paris, Florence or Rome´s mass tourism, not in plane, not on bike. To me cycling does not happen on tarmac anymore, did that many years, all over Europe. From Barcelona to Tirana, From Berlin (lived there years) to Barcelona. From Milan to Palermo, all on tarmac. Eating motorised traffic, riding beside contaminating metal boxes.
My cycling (now) happens only in clean and pure nature, away from mass tourism and metal boxes. From little villages to little villages, rural life. There is enough distraction and people to meet to not cycle ""dawn to dusk and then go to sleep"".

I was wondering, if if you go hiking a day no lock around a tree keeps your bike save, in case somebody wants it.
A 4 inch tree would be around ~20ft tall. As high as a two storey house. That is a big tree to cut down to steal a bike.

You seem to think that if a lock can't survive a nuclear explosion, then it is just as worthless as having no lock at all. This is not true. The weaker your lock, the easier it is for an opportunistic thief to strike. If you have no lock at all, any kid can steal your bike in 2 seconds on a whim.

Actually the biggest jump in security is from no lock to a weak lock. No lock needs no tools to break. Even a very thin lock needs some kind of tool. That's a night and day difference to an opportunistic thief. After that, increasing the thickness of lock is diminishing returns.

Having zero interest in the cultural sights of Paris and Rome would put you in the 0.00000001% minority. Paris had 44 million visitors last year. All those people went there just to take in the city. Sure you traveled in Europe as a kid. I actually lived in (went to school in) Rome in the past, and my wife is from Paris, so these are both pseudo hometowns for me, and even then I wouldn't go that far.

Last edited by Yan; 12-19-23 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 12-19-23, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
Hey Yan, it would be fun to see your bikes, can't recall if you have in the past. Where are you two now?
We are in Taiwan now doing their famous round the island loop. A few days ago we visited the flagship Giant store. Cool stuff.


Last edited by Yan; 12-19-23 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 12-19-23, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by djb;[url=tel:23101672
23101672[/url]]Mr thigh m, didn't think to ask before, but have you travelling experience during your life?
I'd say that developing good instincts for stuff is the most important thing in this regard of theft. You've mentioned wanting to bike tour in Europe, do you have countries that you'd like to go to?
Figured I'd ask as you haven't said much in this regard.
I have traveled alone through Nepal and India, worked in East Germany before the wall fell, traveled Mexico. I could easily keep my backpack with me. But I’ve never biked, let alone depended on that transportation. Europe and the States for starters, then who knows. South America, Mongolia, China, Turkey!
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Old 12-20-23, 02:43 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Yan
A 4 inch tree would be around ~20ft tall. As high as a two storey house. That is a big tree to cut down to steal a bike.

You seem to think that if a lock can't survive a nuclear explosion, then it is just as worthless as having no lock at all. This is not true. The weaker your lock, the easier it is for an opportunistic thief to strike. If you have no lock at all, any kid can steal your bike in 2 seconds on a whim.

Actually the biggest jump in security is from no lock to a weak lock. No lock needs no tools to break. Even a very thin lock needs some kind of tool. That's a night and day difference to an opportunistic thief. After that, increasing the thickness of lock is diminishing returns.

Having zero interest in the cultural sights of Paris and Rome would put you in the 0.00000001% minority. Paris had 44 million visitors last year. All those people went there just to take in the city. Sure you traveled in Europe as a kid. I actually lived in (went to school in) Rome in the past, and my wife is from Paris, so these are both pseudo hometowns for me, and even then I wouldn't go that far.

Thats great, so you speak like me perfectly Italian, I guess ... (my mother is from Castellana Grotte), we lived in Bari.
It's not that I have zero interest in cultural places, I love art and any kind of culture. Like I said I have been at many many places in my childhood, as teenager and young man. I have been to Rome, Venice, Florence and so on ..... several times, when extreme mass tourism did not exist. Paris, Barcelona ... and so on, no thanks, to many people. All is packed, museums, historic buildings and so on.
There is a German saying ""den wald for lauter bäumen nicht sehen"" dont know if it exists in English, maybe somebody knows.
One goes to Villa D´Este today and sees more people than water fountains. a very beautiful place. One drinks a coffee in one of the beautiful villages in Toscana and 99% of the people sitting in bars and restaurants are tourists. Nein Danke
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Old 12-20-23, 03:42 AM
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Originally Posted by str
Thats great, so you speak like me perfectly Italian, I guess ... (my mother is from Castellana Grotte), we lived in Bari.
It's not that I have zero interest in cultural places, I love art and any kind of culture. Like I said I have been at many many places in my childhood, as teenager and young man. I have been to Rome, Venice, Florence and so on ..... several times, when extreme mass tourism did not exist. Paris, Barcelona ... and so on, no thanks, to many people. All is packed, museums, historic buildings and so on.
There is a German saying ""den wald for lauter bäumen nicht sehen"" dont know if it exists in English, maybe somebody knows.
One goes to Villa D´Este today and sees more people than water fountains. a very beautiful place. One drinks a coffee in one of the beautiful villages in Toscana and 99% of the people sitting in bars and restaurants are tourists. Nein Danke
​​​​​​The most recent time I was at Villa d'Este was fall 2019. We had the place nearly to ourselves as it was after tourist season, or maybe we just got lucky.
​​​​​​
These places are centres of civilizations. Rome has been choked full of foreigners for all of its history. That's the entire point of Rome. A person whose worldview revolves around bitterness at the existence of other humans is inevitably going to end up a hermit. However I will acknowledge the appeal of walking home in Rome at 3am. There was an otherworldly air when the place was empty.

Rome has more bike thieves than any other place I know. Their den is that market at Porta Portese.

Last edited by Yan; 12-20-23 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 12-20-23, 05:11 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Yan
​​​​​​
​​​​​​A person whose worldview revolves around bitterness at the existence of other humans is inevitably going to end up a hermit.
Was that a remote diagnosis? (don't need an answer).

I leave it there. )))
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Old 12-20-23, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Thigh Master
I have traveled alone through Nepal and India, worked in East Germany before the wall fell, traveled Mexico. I could easily keep my backpack with me. But I’ve never biked, let alone depended on that transportation. Europe and the States for starters, then who knows. South America, Mongolia, China, Turkey!
thanks, from those life experiences, you aren't new to the importance of having a good "common sense radar" and having good instincts for reading the crowd so to speak.
When I biked through a good chunk of Central America and parts of Mexico, I figured the chances were a lot higher of a "wrong place, wrong time" sort of incident, where guys with guns and a pickup could take everything, compared to the bike trips I've done in the past, Canada, west coast of the States, rural New England, France, Holland or whatever.
I knew just from common sense that leaving my bike locked up in San Francisco or in Amsterdam would probably mean it would get stolen, or even with a U-lock, maybe stripped of parts.....so I just avoided the headache and worry and left the bike safely inside when doing the tourist thing--which is fun.

With the Latin America trips in mind, I bought a used Surly for about a grand, I had fairly inexpensive stuff with me, like a cheap tablet, an older digital camera I had had for years, so basically as a fortunate first world person, a disaster theft would not ruin my life, most important thing was to not be harmed.
As anyone who has traveled in other countries, or even in our own country, controlling the things we can to reduce the risk of a real cock-up is pretty much all we can do (touch wood). I personally never have left my bike locked up outside for a long time in urban settings on bike trips, but I get perhaps wanting to take a more secure lock than a coil lock. I have asked people to watch my bike as it has been locked a few times, but thats not a given either--as we see here, that's completely up to the individual what lock to bring and there is a wide range of what people bring, and in the end, a few pounds more isnt a deal breaker, especially if one can pack and plan your choices of equipment to keep weight down overall.
Despite the bickering here (hey, its the internet) there have been lots of good points and viewpoints expressed here.
What can I say, when you start trying out bike traveling, you'll have to figure out on your own what to bring, what is too much, hopefully reduce stuff if you have a lot at first or in subsequent trips, whatever....you'll figure out what works for you the best.

I really hope you do try out bike touring, it's a really fun way to travel, I still love it and my first trip was in 1989.
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Old 12-20-23, 07:35 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Yan
We are in Taiwan now doing their famous round the island loop. A few days ago we visited the flagship Giant store. Cool stuff.
thanks. Always fun to see people's setups. MEC and Arkel, what a hoser. (I think I have already made a similar comment about this, but can't remember properly)--also the north of Ontario custom frame company.
I've sometimes used a rear bag on top of my rear panniers, just to have some easy overflow room, not necessarily heavily loaded at all, but handy for bulky stuff on a long trip.
Neat that both have S+S couplers, and tri-bar thingees. I've never ridden with those, but would like to try them sometime.

The only thing I know about biking in Taiwan is, I think, some ride where you climb for 75 or 100k, seems to me I've read about that in the past.

happy and safe riding
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Old 12-20-23, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
thanks. Always fun to see people's setups. MEC and Arkel, what a hoser. (I think I have already made a similar comment about this, but can't remember properly)--also the north of Ontario custom frame company.
I've sometimes used a rear bag on top of my rear panniers, just to have some easy overflow room, not necessarily heavily loaded at all, but handy for bulky stuff on a long trip.
Neat that both have S+S couplers, and tri-bar thingees. I've never ridden with those, but would like to try them sometime.

The only thing I know about biking in Taiwan is, I think, some ride where you climb for 75 or 100k, seems to me I've read about that in the past.

happy and safe riding
You're thinking of this climb that goes from sea level to 3200m. We will be doing it on Sunday. Probably not all in one day.
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/sponsored/bike-through-taroko-gorge-180955784/
https://www.climbbybike.com/climb/taroko-gorge/16551

The gear we have is a closet raid hodgepodge. I thought about getting a nice new set like all the Instagram tourists but couldn't justify it when the old stuff was still functioning fine. The red Ortliebs used to go with the red Arkels on the red bike, but they got split up to go with the yellow Ortliebs. The Blue panniers were an inheritance from an ex. I used to use an Arkel bar bag to pair with the Arkel panniers, but the aerobars are just too good. The Carradice bag is my favorite. That's where I keep clothing, so it is not very heavy despite the size. I also use it as a pillow in the tent.

Last edited by Yan; 12-20-23 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 12-20-23, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan
You're thinking of this climb that goes from sea level to 3200m. We will be doing it on Sunday. Probably not all in one day.
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/spons...rge-180955784/
https://www.climbbybike.com/climb/taroko-gorge/16551

The gear we have is a closet raid hodgepodge. I thought about getting a nice new set like all the Instagram tourists but couldn't justify it when the old stuff was still functioning fine. The red Ortliebs used to go with the red Arkels on the red bike, but they got split up to go with the yellow Ortliebs. The Blue panniers were an inheritance from an ex. I used to use an Arkel bar bag to pair with the Arkel panniers, but the aerobars are just too good. The Carradice bag is my favorite. That's where I keep clothing, so it is not very heavy despite the size. I also use it as a pillow in the tent.
Ya, that's got to be it. Mama Mia that's a brickload of climbing. I've got to be a lot older than you, but even younger and or at my fittest, I could never do that in a day with touring stuff on a bike. 30 years ago I probably did 2000m days, but these last years around 1000m 1200m is enough to kick my sorry ass.
This is why I'm watching total weight more and more, notice it more with each year--but that's okay, c'est la vie.

And ya, it get just using what you have, and regular old panniers are still so convenient.
How you describe the carradice is similar to my ortlieb rack pack.
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Old 12-26-23, 03:14 PM
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So, no one else here has ever used one of those inexpensive combination tail light/vibration sensitive alarm/horn thingys with the remote? I've got'em on all my bikes in combination with various locks. They also let you know if Yogi and Boo Boo or Rocky Racoon are going through your stuff at night when camping out in nature.

Those folding locks are going to take longer to cut through than a cable, which will take literally a snap with a bolt cutter, but they will delay a thief and all the time that alarm will be triggered. Yes, they can also break the alarm and dispose of it, but I like to think they don't want the attention.

Folding locks do have a weak point at their riveted links which can be broken with a special tool called a "nut splitter", which is for cutting a frozen nut off a bolt, but again, I like to think that most thieves don't carry those yet.

I got a two-pack version of these "hamburger" locks for $20 on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Folding-Bike-...d_rpt_ba_s_4_t

They can be linked together to get a 50 in. long "chain", too, and use a somewhat unusual lock that may also slow down the average lock picker, and even the Lock Picking Lawyer for a bit:

Last edited by stevepusser; 12-26-23 at 03:19 PM.
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