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How to address bike security while on tour.

Old 11-25-20, 11:15 AM
  #1  
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How to address bike security while on tour.

Hi eveyone. Long time cyclist here, but I am going to begin doing some bikepacking next year. I'm wondering how you experienced bike touring folks deal with bike security when you stop at stores and restaurants or anywhere else when you might need to step away from your bike for a few minutes while out on tour? Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-25-20, 12:03 PM
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Do what you do at home. If it's a store with a hard floor and that invites people to use shopping carts, I wheel the bicycle right into and around with me.
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Old 11-25-20, 01:03 PM
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The quality of lock varies depending on where I am, and some places I would keep riding instead of trust a lock. On the other hand there have been places where I did not use a lock for several days in a row. Situational awareness is the key.

I usually just use a small cable lock, roughly 3/8 inch diameter, plus a small skier type lock for a quick run onto a convenience store. My valuables are in a handlebar bag that goes in the store with me.

My cable is not big enough to go around both wheels in the frame. I usually use bolt on skewers instead of quick release when touring.

My titanium bike looks more expensive, which it is. That bike gets a better lock, an Abus Bordo link type lock.

On one tour I did with a friend, he was quite concerned about theft in that area, he brought a huge chain and paddlock. I thought it was excessive but he carried it instead of me. See photo.



The skier type lock in photo below. It is quick and weighs nothing.


Last edited by Tourist in MSN; 11-25-20 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 11-25-20, 01:22 PM
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If touring with a partner or a group, we go in the store in turns.

If alone, I take my bike in with me and either park it inside the store near the registers, or wheel it around.
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Old 11-25-20, 01:48 PM
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Ive used an inexpensive Bell brand lock that has a key. Its the same thing I use when I ride with my kids to the library. I also used something like MSN- its twisted metal encased in plastic and retracts into a small holder. I borrowed it for a trip and its great- light and small.
Ill take the chance that people walking by arent carrying bolt cutters, so deterrent locks work well enough.
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Old 11-25-20, 02:24 PM
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I never bring a lock and never leave my bike out of my sight. It helps to travel in two though :-)
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Old 11-25-20, 02:45 PM
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As Tourist says, situational awareness. We often don't lock the bikes when stopping in a small town in our country. We almost always did lock them when in Europe since the loss of them would have been a lot more severe to us. Or one of us stayed outside with the bikes.
Using a lock stops the opportunistic thief and that will stop most problems. If someone really wants to steal the bike, they may have tools to break any normal lock. Trying to cater for every situation will ruin your holiday by making you paranoid.
Wheeling loaded cycles around a shop has never been an option to us.
Keep you valuables in your handlebar bag and always take it with you when off the bike.
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Old 11-25-20, 03:58 PM
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I have left my bike outside unlocked, in places where it seemed safe. I've wheeled it around stores in other places. In camp, I've never locked my bike but i have attached my tent to it on occasion.

Now that I've moved from the Midwest to the PNW where bike theft seems more prevalent, I'll likely reconsider those strategies.
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Old 11-25-20, 04:43 PM
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This is my shopping at home:

Pushing the bicycle around the store makes the most sense to me. If I leave it unattended while I do my shopping, that means it's outside of my control and liable to cause a problem for someone. If I keep it with me, it's no different than someone pushing a shopping cart. Other shoppers treat me as if I was pushing a shopping cart. As long as you're not riding it in the store, no one will have a reason to complain. You're buying stuff and that's what they want you to do.
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Old 11-25-20, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post

My titanium bike looks more expensive, which it is. That bike gets a better lock, an Abus Bordo link type lock.
On my Hab Ti bike, I took a rag and acetone and removed all the decals which screamed out that it was titanium in order to reduce appeal.

Also, when you leave your bike for a short time and don't have a lock, take off your helmet and snap the chin strap within your spokes on a wheel which will prevent someone from just hopping on your bike and riding off.
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Old 11-25-20, 07:17 PM
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Loosen the quick releases so Mr. Thief gets a thrill
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Old 11-25-20, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
In camp, I've never locked my bike but i have attached my tent to it on occasion.
Like this?

550 cord with a truckers hitch to tension it between the bike and tent. Any movement of the bike would be transferred in to the tent pole frame = shake the tent and make noise.


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Old 11-26-20, 08:03 AM
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As amply stated by others, use common sense, observe, be situationally aware, and improvise.
Coil locks have always been my preference, with the ability to easily attach to a picnic table, a tree, two bikes together etc.

And be friendly and presentable for when politely asking a cashier to keep an eye on your bike inside a store for a few minutes. Be a good judge of character also in this regard, ie grandma selling raffle tickets outside general store probably is safe, a couple of shady looking bored dudes outside an urban setting, less so.

buyer beware, cyclist beware.
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Old 11-26-20, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
In camp, I've never locked my bike but i have attached my tent to it on occasion.
Watch out for Mongolian horsemen: https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2004/aug/17/china.world

As far as what I do, "it depends". I do carry a lightweight cable - mostly to make it awkward to wheel away the bike. However, there are also places I've leaned my bike against outside of the store and just gone in. There are also other places, I decided to ride past or wait until I found a hotel room to put my bike - before walking out to stores. I've had a few small things stolen from the bike: a bell in India, perhaps a reflector in the Yukon. My partner had a pump taken in a small village in Siberia. Knock on wood, the only bike I've had stolen was within two miles of my residence in Fort Collins, Colorado when I went into a grocery store and hadn't locked the bike.
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Old 11-26-20, 09:46 AM
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I go along with situational awareness, cable lock as a deterrent and valuables in a carry bag. Real thieves can carry portable angle grinders and get through almost anything. Mostly I try to deter crimes of opportunity.

Also some other tricks. Park in the highest gear so it's hard to take off, Instead of a whole chain and lock, just add a smaller lock through the crankset. Clip your helmet through the wheel. Little things to slow down a thief.

I've shown this before. It's a personal panic alarm that cost about $5 that I've hot glued some velcro to. The cord goes around the wheel so it sets off the alarm when the wheel moves. It emits 130db which I hope would startle a thief and make them ditch and run or at least let me know it's being taken. I add it at night if I am worried.






Last edited by Happy Feet; 11-26-20 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 11-26-20, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
I never bring a lock and never leave my bike out of my sight. It helps to travel in two though :-)
Do you tow the second one behind while riding?
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Old 11-26-20, 10:42 AM
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Happy Feet, I might have to steal that Panic Alarm idea from you, really like that. I notice they have some with a pull pin that would be easy to install.

Last edited by robow; 11-26-20 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 11-26-20, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Do you tow the second one behind while riding?
never scoff at redundancy indyfabzfabz.
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Old 11-26-20, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Do you tow the second one behind while riding?
:-)


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Old 11-26-20, 10:41 PM
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A specialized ultracompact rig that can taken inside most places? (.... arguably airplane carry-on)
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Old 11-27-20, 07:59 AM
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I've carried a light weight bike storage cover. I put it on at night and when I can't keep an eye on the bike. I think its a much bigger leap for an oportunist to risk the extra minutes to take the cover off to see if there's any thing worth catching a beating or police attention over. Present bike also has a frame lock and a cable.
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Old 11-27-20, 08:10 AM
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PW
good comeback with the tandem shot btw!
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Old 11-28-20, 05:43 PM
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Someday, when it becomes available/ practical, I will have a hidden built in GPS that reports to my cell phone. Then I can leave a nice note on the bicycle that they will be tracked down and arrested if my bicycle is stolen.
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Old 11-28-20, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
Happy Feet, I might have to steal that Panic Alarm idea from you, really like that. I notice they have some with a pull pin that would be easy to install.
+1. That is seriously brilliant.
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Old 11-29-20, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
Happy Feet, I might have to steal that Panic Alarm idea from you, really like that. I notice they have some with a pull pin that would be easy to install.
I can't believe no-one has told him yet that he better bring earplugs.
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