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Vigilance

Old 07-29-13, 08:42 PM
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Vigilance

I have never locked my bike while on tour, however a recent experience has driven home the idea that maybe I should. While having coffee the other day in a coffee shop. I noticed someone steal my Surly LHT, I stopped the thief after he had ridden the bike maybe 10 feet after which he left hurriedly in a waiting car. ( I had his license plate number in this, a very long story ). The Police said little could be done. The reason for the post however is to ask what other tourists do to prevent a bike theft, when leaving a hotel on a walk through a local community, or possibly while taking bus tour to a local attraction away from your tent, or even while sleeping in your tent. For the later I've thought of a bell , as well as a string attached to the tent to provide some warning. Idea's ?
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Old 07-29-13, 08:50 PM
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I always carry a light cable lock when touring. Same one I use for utility trips (groceries, other shopping, etc.) around town locally so it's always locked under my bike saddle. Doesn't offer much protection against a determined bike thief, but helps to guard against a casual crime of opportunity. Since my touring and local rides tend to be in low-crime areas I've felt that this was sufficient - and it has been so far.
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Old 07-29-13, 09:09 PM
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I used to open the quick releases. Beyond that it's a lock. If I'm leaving the bike leaving it in someone else's care is better than relying on a lock.
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Old 07-29-13, 10:46 PM
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I never leave the bike. I realize that is not the way many roll. My bike is pretty valuable, and the bags are stuffed with really important gear. It isn't difficult to have 10K with one on a tour, which is why it is probably a lot better to only have a few hundred, but that is how much some people spend on tires. I tour to ride, and see the scene. I don't really care about stuff along the way that takes me off the bike.
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Old 07-29-13, 11:20 PM
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During my last tour I rarely left my bike, but on my next trip, to Cambodia and Laos, I had hoped to do so more frequently, as taking short bus tours or hiking back paths would greatly enhance the experience I would think. BTW when the thief stole my bike the other day ( he had possession for less than 5 seconds ) I had my bike in view the entire time. The speed at which everything took place was incredible. I'll likely just add a cable lock to slow them down next time.
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Old 07-30-13, 01:26 AM
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Good thing you caught them. Shame you didn't get a chance to smash some heads in with a big rock or something so that they couldn't continue to steal other bikes in the future.

As for what to do - Start researching the best bike locks. From my quick search just now, it looks like a thick Kryptonite chain lock or a thick, but smaller u-lock. Then a small lock to lock the front wheel to the frame.
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Old 07-30-13, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by MassiveD
I never leave the bike. I realize that is not the way many roll. My bike is pretty valuable, and the bags are stuffed with really important gear. It isn't difficult to have 10K with one on a tour, which is why it is probably a lot better to only have a few hundred, but that is how much some people spend on tires. I tour to ride, and see the scene. I don't really care about stuff along the way that takes me off the bike.
10K?? You should leave the jewelry at home on the bike tour.
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Old 07-30-13, 06:09 AM
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Just an idea for leaving your bike for a few minutes

[h=1]ABUS frame locks[/h]
Frame locks are basic security devices for almost any bike. These practical frame locks are light and quick to use to protect your bike against unauthorised use. They can be connected to other accessories such as chains or cables to protect your bike even more effectively against theft. The locks are available either with keys that can be removed when they are open or with keys that cannot be removed.

https://www.abus.com/eng/Mobile-Secur...ks/Frame-locks


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Old 07-30-13, 06:33 AM
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One trick is to loop the helmet straps thru the frame and F wheel, then hook it closed. It makes it tougher to just roll away.
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Old 07-30-13, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B.
One trick is to loop the helmet straps thru the frame and F wheel, then hook it closed. It makes it tougher to just roll away.
Funny that you mention this. I do that sometimes, such as when I stop in my local liquor store for a few minutes. I can see the bike, but someone could hop on a try to speed off. Just yesterday I was wondering how well it would actually work from a physical perspective as opposed to a psychogical deterent one. Seems quite possible that the buckle would simply snap open. Maybe when I retire one of my helmets I will give it try.
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Old 07-30-13, 08:08 AM
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I've never locked my bike either. Generally I'm within eyesight distance of the bike/backpack to start with. Generally I avoid areas like big cities where theft is more of a problem. I fess if I stop by someplace like Walmart to buy bananas or something anything could happen. With the homemade fenders on the bike and the rest of the appearance does kinda detract possible thieves. Overnight the bike is right by me, generally within a couple of feet of the tent. I always stealth camp and camp in spots where people wouldn't typically be hanging out overnight...even though I'm generally within 1 mile of 'town...err, McDonalds, Walmart...the shopping district. Sometimes I've camped out behind a Walmart, or beside a Lowes. I just place myself so I'm not easily spotted and I never set up camp before dark. On the 1700 mile trip I got back from a couple of days ago I don't think I set up camp once before 10:30PM. I'm always outta camp pretty much by 6AM...sunrise.
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Old 07-30-13, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Northwestrider
The reason for the post however is to ask what other tourists do to prevent a bike theft, when leaving a hotel on a walk through a local community, or possibly while taking bus tour to a local attraction away from your tent, or even while sleeping in your tent. For the later I've thought of a bell , as well as a string attached to the tent to provide some warning. Idea's ?
I carry a Kryptonite U-lock and a long cable, which is especially useful for the many circumstances in which it is not possible to fix the U-lock to a fixed object. The peace of mind is well worth the weight. When I'm camping, the bike is locked securely to a tree or similar, and I only stay in hotels which either provide secure indoor storage, or allow me to take my bike into my room.

Haven't had a problem so far.
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Old 07-30-13, 08:46 AM
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The theft occurred at a McDonalds and as I had the bike in sight , the theft was stopped short very quickly. What surprised me was how quickly everything happened. Even watching my bike , if I had a need to visit a rest room which would take a minute, that's all the time needed for events to go wrong. I'm leaning in the direction of a cable lock to at least slow down the process.
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Old 07-30-13, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by MassiveD
I never leave the bike. I realize that is not the way many roll. My bike is pretty valuable, and the bags are stuffed with really important gear. It isn't difficult to have 10K with one on a tour, which is why it is probably a lot better to only have a few hundred, but that is how much some people spend on tires. I tour to ride, and see the scene. I don't really care about stuff along the way that takes me off the bike.
But what do you do about meals or getting food to go and nature calls?
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Old 07-30-13, 09:57 AM
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Yes, you lucked out. If the thief had had ten seconds to build up enough speed to outrun you, you'd be dependent on the kindness of strangers in a car to help catch him, and around here, most drivers would ignore you. Even if you are watching the bike from inside a business, it's likely they can outrun you by the time you get outside, and all you can do is wave good-bye.

If you really don't want to lock the bike for a minute, at least drop the chain off the chainrings, or put it into the highest or granny gear, which ought to slow them down for a few critical seconds. Or put a toe strap through the front wheel to the downtube. Though around here, someone would then just pull up in a truck and throw your bike and gear in the back, and be gone in less than five seconds...You must tour in nice areas!
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Old 07-30-13, 10:13 AM
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Ring locks are frame mounted and when closed , the rear wheel will not turn further than the next spoke.

so convenient to use , when bike is not in your hand.

I have a long cable lock , double loop will be engaged by the closing of the ring lock..

so in camp sites the bike gets attached to something at night ..


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Last edited by fietsbob; 07-30-13 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 07-30-13, 10:49 AM
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Another simple 'lock' are velcro straps looped around wheels and frame. The op's thief would probably have jumped on and fallen over, never noticing the velcro. He would have noticed the helmet. In a pinch, I've used string in my DF days. I am rarely in a thief prone area, and on a loaded bent, not a big concern. 'Course the serious thief would throw the bike in a truck and be gone.
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Old 07-30-13, 11:15 AM
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I use a heavy duty cable lock which is normally long enough to wind through both wheels and still attach to something solid. For camping, I carry a light piece of aircraft cable 8 ft. long which I attach one end to the cable locked bike, and the other end to the ring on a pin I drive into the ground underneath my tent so that anyone messing with my bike will wake me up.
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Old 07-30-13, 03:05 PM
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When I was a teenager, I was in a store and saw someone outside grab my bike and go. I was maybe 20 feet away, I chased but I had left the bike in an ideal gear for him to accelerate away from me. It took me about half of a year of earnings on my paper route to buy that bike, thus I will never forget the thief's laughter as I ran after him. On the rare occasion when I leave my bike unattended while in a restaurant or something like that, I always leave it in the highest gear.

I carry two locks:
- One cheap little thin cable one like skiers use. This is only intended to slow someone down while I am in a store for a few minutes. But it makes me a lot more comfortable to use when I am in a fast food store or using a rest room.
- One six foot long steel cable with good padlock for longer periods of time. I have three cables, the thickness of the cable I carry with me is based largely on where I am going.

I use the type of skewers that require an allen wrench to remove. Not the the ones that require a special tool, I might lose the tool, just the ones that take a 5mm hex wrench. With these I do not bother to lock my wheels to the frame.

If I was in an area where I was unusually concerned about theft, such as a campground where I might be a bit nervous about other campers or observe cars driving around that look like they are staking the place out, I would pull my front wheel and put it under my tent vestibule for overnights. I think an incomplete bike is less likely to be stolen.

I tour on a bike that is licensed in my home community. If it becomes an issue of the police trying to decide who really owns the bike (me or teh other guy), I feel better being able to tell them to call the police in my home town to verify the information on the bike license sticker on the frame.
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Old 07-30-13, 04:28 PM
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I use Velcro straps to lock down both brake levers when I briefly enter a store or shop when i can see the bike from inside the store. Just a mild deterrent that has worked for me so far. I use a small U-lock and cable at night while camping. Sometimes connecting the cable to cooking pots and the bike for a burglar alarm if I feel paranoid for some reason.
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Old 07-31-13, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by arctos
I use Velcro straps to lock down both brake levers when I briefly enter a store or shop when i can see the bike from inside the store. Just a mild deterrent that has worked for me so far..
I used a small bungee cord for the same purpose, it may have given me another second or two, that I did need.
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Old 07-31-13, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
When I was a teenager, I was in a store and saw someone outside grab my bike and go. I was maybe 20 feet away, I chased but I had left the bike in an ideal gear for him to accelerate away from me.
I carry two locks:
- One cheap little thin cable one like skiers use. This is only intended to slow someone down while I am in a store for a few minutes. But it makes me a lot more comfortable to use when I am in a fast food store or using a rest room.
I also was about the same distance away, but by chance the direction he chose to leave, brought him closer to me ( I was very lucky and that is the reason for my post ) Things happened so quickly, I want to slow the process a little. I'm almost convinced that I will start using a small cable lock, either with a key or combination. BTW I'm sorry to hear of your lose. I can understand how that would stay with you for a long time.
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Old 07-31-13, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by MassiveD
I never leave the bike. I realize that is not the way many roll. My bike is pretty valuable, and the bags are stuffed with really important gear. It isn't difficult to have 10K with one on a tour, which is why it is probably a lot better to only have a few hundred, but that is how much some people spend on tires. I tour to ride, and see the scene. I don't really care about stuff along the way that takes me off the bike.

Huh? 10K of what? Your bike and gear id valued at $10K., Is it plated with gold?
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Old 07-31-13, 07:41 PM
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A custom bike can run to many thousands of dollars. Quality components can add up, especially paying full retail for them. Quality camping gear isn't cheap, either. Then you might have to factor in things such as a laptop or notebook computer, which with a decent processor, can run to several thousand dollars.

Maybe $5,000 for bike with LX or above components, decent wheels and tyres, racks, saddle, panniers and handlebar bag; $2,000 for camping gear including tent, down bag and decent mat, plus cooking gear (Ti anyone?); and $2,000 for computer and other electronic gizmos such as smartphone, GPS computer. Then quality clothing and rain gear at $600 or $700. There isn't much change out of $10,000.

Personally, I doubt that the stuff I tour with adds up to that. But even half that sure would put a decent sized hole in my discretionary spending for a while if I had to replace it all, let alone the time as well as the need to find alternative transport options to get home again.

And the emotional trauma is inestimable if you are in any way attached to your bike.
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Old 08-01-13, 12:27 AM
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Yeah, a bike that has all the right stuff is 4-5K. You can choose to ride a bike you pulled out of the trash, and it might not reduce the enjoyment you had on tour, but some people have nice bikes. And all the stuff Rowan mentioned. There are wallets, computers, cameras, smart phones. I don't have that stuff. The new passport is 200. Obviously if one goes into a museum, one is going to take some of that stuff with one, but I don't overpack, there really isn't anything I don't have that is valuable precisely because it is all the essential stuff one actually needs. That stuff costs.

Some people are spending a lot less, but it probably hurts them as much to loose it. I spend a fair amount, but I make my frames, racks, tents, and sleeping bags. And other stuff will doubtless come as time goes by. It is probably a good idea not to get so attached to stuff, but it can become a reality. To me the whole set-up is like a giant purse full of valuables, there really isn't any of it I want to loose, or would be super easy to replace, and it would be very inconvenient to actually loose the stuff out there.
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