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

you can lock your bike, what about your bags?

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.

you can lock your bike, what about your bags?

Reply

Old 08-11-09, 05:03 PM
  #1  
n8tron
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 398
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
you can lock your bike, what about your bags?

So you can lock your bike up pretty easy if you have to be away from it for a short while, but what about all of your stuff? Say your running into the grocery store, or having dinner at a restaurant? Do you just leave it on your bike and hope for the best? I'm sure there are times when your away from eyesight of your bike for time, how do you secure your supplies?
n8tron is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-09, 05:46 PM
  #2  
travelmama
Senior Member
 
travelmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Long Beach,CA
Posts: 1,410

Bikes: Kona Ute, Nishiki 4130, Trek 7000, K2 Mach 1.0, Novara Randonee, Schwinn Loop, K2 Zed 1.0, Schwinn Cream, Torker Boardwalk

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just leave my stuff strapped on my bike and lock it up. If I am with another person we do a double locking of the bikes and bags so that we are twice as secure. Fortunately nothing has been removed from my bike. When I am out on my Ute I use a extra 6ft cable to use in addition to my bike lock to secure the bags to the wheels and frame.
travelmama is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 03:58 AM
  #3  
antokelly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,235
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 138 Post(s)
it can be a worry the guy i tour with is a great guy but he can be a pain in the ass at times when he insists there no need to lock the bikes or panniers,now i just ignore his advice and lock both,if you carry a light,ish cable lock thread it through the pannier straps you will find a method yourself to keep things fairly secure .best of luck
antokelly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 04:43 AM
  #4  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 9,202
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 149 Post(s)
I don't generally worry about it. Most places I go on tour are rural or small town settings. The few places where i do worry I don't leave my bike unattended. I don't carry a lot of stuff that anyone would want and what is theft worthy goes with me in the handlebar bag.
staehpj1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 05:14 AM
  #5  
TheBrick
Tinkerer since 1980
 
TheBrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: London
Posts: 922

Bikes: Coppi racer, Old school BMX, some random a fixed wheel convertion

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Use some security paste on them.
TheBrick is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 06:38 AM
  #6  
stokell
Senior Member
 
stokell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: On the Road
Posts: 1,260

Bikes: Custom built tourer, custom electric bike, beaters everywhere

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I have a coil lock I use to fasten the pannier handles to the bike. I use re-usable tie tabs to fasten the zippers and alarm the contents with a dollar store window/door alarm. I also lock both wheels and frame to something that won't move. I only do that when I'm leaving the bike for a while in a dodgey area. Sometimes museums and galleries will let you bring in your bike and check it.

If I'm just stopping for water, I use Velcro tabs to lock the front brake.

I've only once had things disturbed, but never lost anything. The real secret is to put everything of value in your handlebar bag and take it with you. At best they'd get my dirty clothes or sleeping bag. I don't think that's what most thieves are after.
stokell is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 09:57 AM
  #7  
BigBlueToe
Senior Member
 
BigBlueToe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Central Coast, CA
Posts: 3,392

Bikes: Surly LHT, Specialized Rockhopper, Nashbar Touring (old), Specialized Stumpjumper (older), Nishiki Tourer (model unknown)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I don't lock my panniers. I figure the odds of a thief rummaging through to steal my clothes are small. I suppose someone could unhook a pannier and steal the whole thing, but I think the odds of that are small as well. I usually just take my wallet, camera, mp3 player, cell phone, and keys in the store with me.
BigBlueToe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 10:23 AM
  #8  
antokelly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,235
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 138 Post(s)
ok saying there's nothing of value in the pannier's ,there certainly is in mine ,like s/mat s/bag pot's stove ,expensive change of cloths basically all i need for the time im going to be touring.so if i can lock it then i lock it.i ain't going to make things easy for some tealeaf to nick my stuff .like how long is it going to take to lock up, you would never leave your house open when going shopping,those days are long gone.
antokelly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 10:23 AM
  #9  
adaminlc
Senior Member
 
adaminlc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Posts: 328

Bikes: 2007 Surly Cross Check, 199? Novara Alpine

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I keep my valuables in my handlebar bag, which easily detaches. Beyond that I run my cable lock through a loop on the bags and hope that my dirty clothes and canned food don't look too appealing to passerby's who might want to rifle around in my stuff.
adaminlc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 10:36 AM
  #10  
TheBrick
Tinkerer since 1980
 
TheBrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: London
Posts: 922

Bikes: Coppi racer, Old school BMX, some random a fixed wheel convertion

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The technique I used in France with my girlfriend was to try and find some where to lock by a wall / railing.

Place one bike by the wall with pole / railing.
Place the other bike top to tails.
Remove outward facing pannier of 2nd bike and lock bikes together tightly and to railing.
That way carry one pannier and all the other panniers are very awkward to access.

Hope that's clear.
TheBrick is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 10:39 AM
  #11  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 9,202
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 149 Post(s)
Originally Posted by antokelly View Post
you would never leave your house open when going shopping,those days are long gone.
Actually some of the places where I tour folks go away for a week or more and don't lock up their homes. Some probably have no idea where the keys to their doors are.
staehpj1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 10:58 AM
  #12  
acantor
Macro Geek
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 1,318

Bikes: True North tourer (www.truenorthcycles.com), 2004; Miyata 1000, 1985

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
It goes without saying that you should never leave anything of value in your panniers when you leave your bicycle. Some people keep valuables in a handlebar bag. I keep mine in a fanny pack.

Depending on the situation, I may or may not lock my bicycle, but I have never locked my panniers, and never had anything stolen while traveling anywhere in Ontario, Québec, British Columbia, California, Massachusetts, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy or the Netherlands.

A wad of stinky clothes must be a great theft deterrent!
acantor is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 11:17 AM
  #13  
robow
Senior Member
 
robow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,092
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 197 Post(s)
Drying wet underwear = Theft Deterrent

robow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 11:25 AM
  #14  
wasabi
Member
 
wasabi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 38

Bikes: Cannondale F-1000 (26" Hardtail for every day ride), Thömus Longrider (26" custom built travel bike), Basso Laguna (road race bike)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I don't generally worry about it. Most places I go on tour are rural or small town settings. The few places where i do worry I don't leave my bike unattended. I don't carry a lot of stuff that anyone would want and what is theft worthy goes with me in the handlebar bag.
+1

I lock the bike but not the panniers, tent or saddle bag. My wallet, digicam, iPhone etc. stay with me in the handlebar bag. Never had any problems for over ten years of touring, even alone, and hope my luck will last.
wasabi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 12:28 PM
  #15  
Shifty
Sore saddle cyclist
 
Shifty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Eugene, OR
Posts: 3,873

Bikes: Road, touring and mountain

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
I was on a tour a few years back and had one pannier stolen off the bike parked at a farmer's market (of all the places!!!). It was a royal pain to replace the one bag, and also figure out what was in the stolen bag, (like one of my shoes) and replace everything.

After that I made two openings on the bike side of the panniers for a 3 inch small gauge cable to go through, mounted one end of the cable to a 2 inch square piece of sheet metal and screwed the plate to the inside of the pannier. I run the cable out and around the rack, back into the pannier and lock it to a hole in the sheet metal with a tiny pad lock (lock is inside the pannier). It's not Fort Knox, but it makes it just difficult to discourage the casual hit and run thief, plus it makes me a bit less worried.
Shifty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 12:45 PM
  #16  
n8tron
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 398
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by robow View Post
Drying wet underwear = Theft Deterrent

this. is. hilarious.

thanks for the tips. It's really good to know that most of you have had no problems.
n8tron is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 01:56 PM
  #17  
Booger1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Gaseous Cloud around Uranus
Posts: 3,732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
If I'm in a big town,I try to lock my bike inside the store.If they won't let me,I vote with my feet and find one that will.

A chat with the floor manager explaining I need everything on the bike for my survival on the road usually works well,if they have a problem.Most of the time it's no problem.

I don't seem to have problems in little towns.

Last edited by Booger1; 08-12-09 at 02:00 PM.
Booger1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 02:20 PM
  #18  
Allen
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,757
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Actually some of the places where I tour folks go away for a week or more and don't lock up their homes. Some probably have no idea where the keys to their doors are.
The house I grew up in still doesn't have locks on the doors to this day.

I invested in the thin security cables for my Ortlieb bags but I hardly ever use them.

Last edited by Allen; 08-12-09 at 02:27 PM.
Allen is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 04:15 PM
  #19  
nancy sv
family on bikes
 
nancy sv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: on my bike between North and South
Posts: 2,376

Bikes: which one?

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
We never leave our bikes unattended if we fear theft - one of us stays behind. The only times we leave the bikes is when we feel completely sure there is no problem. That works for us because we are four people - it would be much more problematic for only one.
nancy sv is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 04:58 PM
  #20  
NeilGunton
Crazyguyonabike
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Albany, OR
Posts: 689

Bikes: Co-Motion Divide

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Pickpockets and thieves don't play by the rules. I have heard of them using razor blades to cut your coat open to get at your wallet (this in NYC). I have heard of them cutting the backpacks off backpackers' backs while they are wearing them (while you are being mobbed by a bunch of kids - this in places like South America). Since panniers are generally made of some sort of material, not kevlar, I can't imagine any kind of pannier lock holding back a thief for very long.

And even if you take the bags off the bike completely and lock it very securely, there are still many things that can be stripped easily with minimal tools - handlebars, brakes, computer, saddle, seatpost, racks, etc. My wife had the handlebars stolen off her bike while it was locked in our carport back in Corvallis - two heavy motorcycle chain locks, but they still got the handlebars. Actually they were in the middle of stripping the rest of the bike too, but must have been disturbed because they left a couple of tools behind.

My strategy while on tour is to read the environment. You can get a feel for the area as to what the general risk of theft is. For example, many small towns across America are really very safe. You could probably leave your bike outside some stores all day long and nothing would happen. Some other places, e.g. "bike friendly" towns such as Eugene OR, you can just leave it for a minute and it's gone.

If I am in a place where there I feel any risk at all, I try not to leave the bike unattended, period. I try to leave it somewhere locked, or where someone will be watching over it. This may be the back room of a bike shop, or outside a Wal-Mart where there's a greeter or other employee who agrees to watch it for a couple of minutes, or a motel room (my choice for larger towns).

I don't think cable locks are any use at all, in fact they might give you a false sense of security. They are easily snipped with the most basic of bolt cutters. On another occasion, again in Corvallis, my wife had her bike stolen from right in front of the office where she had cable locked it to the railing. A girl had just walked up with a backpack slung around her front, knelt down, and a few seconds later she was riding away. She had a small pair of bolt cutters in the pack. U-locks are way too heavy to carry on tour (in my opinion), so what I'm left with is "situational security" - read the environment, judge the situation, if it's not safe then arrange things so that the bike is not at the mercy of whoever wants to walk up and mess with it.

Neil

Last edited by NeilGunton; 08-12-09 at 05:04 PM.
NeilGunton is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 05:27 PM
  #21  
Thulsadoom
Senior Member
 
Thulsadoom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Gouverneur NY
Posts: 1,257

Bikes: 2003 BIANCHI VIGORELLI, 2002 TREK 520, Schwinn Mesa WINTER BIKE

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
I don't think cable locks are any use at all, in fact they might give you a false sense of security.

Neil
I have found this to be true. I stopped carrying any kind of cable lock. I've found the best way to avoid getting your bike stolen is to have a dirty, road worn bike with muddy panniers and luggage. I've seen those little cable locks get cut with tin snips.
Thulsadoom is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 09:32 PM
  #22  
Chris L
Every lane is a bike lane
 
Chris L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia - passionfruit capital of the universe!
Posts: 9,640
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
If I'm in an area I feel is relatively safe, I don't worry about locking the panniers, I just lock the bike through the frame, remove my valuables and walk away. If someone's desperate enough to sift through cycling clothes filled with two day old sweat, they're welcome to it. That said, if I'm going to be away from my bike for any length of time (such as lunch), I usually keep it close or at least in sight as much as possible. Generally, if I get a bad vibe about a place, I won't let it out of my sight at all.
__________________
I am clinically insane. I am proud of it.

That is all.
Chris L is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 09:37 PM
  #23  
Chris L
Every lane is a bike lane
 
Chris L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia - passionfruit capital of the universe!
Posts: 9,640
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Originally Posted by NeilGunton View Post
I don't think cable locks are any use at all, in fact they might give you a false sense of security. They are easily snipped with the most basic of bolt cutters. On another occasion, again in Corvallis, my wife had her bike stolen from right in front of the office where she had cable locked it to the railing. A girl had just walked up with a backpack slung around her front, knelt down, and a few seconds later she was riding away. She had a small pair of bolt cutters in the pack. U-locks are way too heavy to carry on tour (in my opinion), so what I'm left with is "situational security" - read the environment, judge the situation, if it's not safe then arrange things so that the bike is not at the mercy of whoever wants to walk up and mess with it.
If someone really wants your bike badly enough, nothing is going to stop them. All a lock really does is offer a deterrent that might make the thief think about stealing something else instead. That probably explains why I've never had a thief mess with any bike I've locked up in a carpark (even if I've left it there all day). FWIW, I use a lock that is basically an old chain that I've had for a bit over 20 years. So far nobody's been able to get through it anywhere I've been. It's definitely a weight penalty when compared with a modern cable lock, but considering most tourers are already carrying a decent amount of luggage (plus their own body weight), an extra kg or two from a lock doesn't bother me that much.
__________________
I am clinically insane. I am proud of it.

That is all.
Chris L is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-09, 09:42 PM
  #24  
AnnaMossity
'roid monkey wannabe
 
AnnaMossity's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 148

Bikes: I have a custom 2006 Zinn magnesium frame road bike set up for triathlon and a big semi-custom touring bike, the frame of which is a 1983 Apollo Prestige XL.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When I started my tour I'd take all my bags off twice a day. Lock up the bike and carry the bags into the grocery store in a cart. barely had room for the groceries at that point. Finally I gave that up and either left the stuff on the bike and kept it in view or really minimized my away time.

7 weeks on the road this trip through the UK, France and the West Coast of the USA with no thefts.
AnnaMossity is offline  
Reply With Quote

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