Pannier security

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Falco
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Pannier security

Postby Falco » 9 Mar 2017, 6:42pm

I am cycling up to the Lake Districts from London in August to meet some non-cycling friends for a holiday. This will be the first tour I do by myself and I am very much looking forward to the freedom, the wide choice of routes and new sights available.

I do not wish the time it takes to travel the 300 miles to be only about getting from one campsite to another. I would like to explore the areas I come across, visit attractions, attend the theatre/cinema, go on brewery tours ;-) etc.

To do this I would prefer to leave my equipment locked on my bicycle. At the very least I need to enter shops to buy provisions on the trip and I’d rather not have to cart around my panniers, only take the handlebar bag that contains all my valuables.

I realise that in rural England the chances of theft decrease dramatically compared to cities, but it only takes one thief to grab my pannier with my tent equipment to ruin my adventure (moreover, I would like the opportunity to at pass through cities as well). I am also aware that I can only secure against opportunistic thieves, not someone who is motivated to steal my items. I am happy to leave the panniers in my tent at a campsite, but that is not possible when travelling.

With that in mind I have been hunting for panniers that lock closed, and ways to lock them onto the bicycle rack. I need to replace my workhorse Artura Orkney 56 bags as one died on a mountain in Portugal, and the other is near retirement.

I like the look of Ortleib Pro Plus bags which are 70 litres. There is an add-on security wire loop available for purchase that can be fixed to them which will attach to my U-Lock (thus causing problems for anyone trying to lift them off the frame). The problem is I can’t find a decent way to lock the panniers themselves so passers-by can’t rummage around inside the locked-to-bicycle bags.

I have seen in the forums a wire mesh from PacSafe. I see three problems with this, it’s fiddly and an extra effort to untangle and wrap the mesh around the pannier, expensive and will attract attention of thieves. I have thought about buying the smaller PacSafe wire mesh and putting it inside the bag as an inner container. It will be hidden (with only a single wire looping around the bicycle frame) but I will need to find a shop that sells it and try out how fiddly it is.

So, my questions are:

1. Do you know of a decent solution that is easy and will deter opportunistic thieves when leaving the panniers on the bicycle?
2. Can you think of a way to lock Ortleib panniers that top roll shut
3. Can you recommend a non-Ortleib bag with large capacity that will do the trick (one idea is a small padlock that locks zip pulls together so a bag cannot be accessed)
4. Are there any experimental or new innovations that you have come across that will help.

I am open to any suggestions and I will update this thread with what I finally decide to try (and the result) if people are interested or are in a similar situation.

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sabrutat
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Re: Pannier security

Postby sabrutat » 9 Mar 2017, 7:24pm

I lock my pannier handles to the rack with a second bike lock. This won't deter a determined thief with a knife or bolt cutters, I wouldn't think, but it makes quickly snatching a pannier impossible. On the occasions I've had to leave my bike somewhere, I always leave it locked up and in a very public area so there are lots of eyes on it.

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RickH
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Re: Pannier security

Postby RickH » 9 Mar 2017, 7:33pm

Do you need 70l panniers? I find it hard to fill 40l back rollers.

I can't see the construction of the the top strap on the pro ones (on ortlieb's website) but the back rollers have a D-ring that could be used to run a cable across the top of the pannier between the D & the rack to stop opening up of the top, or at least making it difficult. That would probably also perform a similar function to the locking cables that secure the panniers to the rack. Even if the panniers aren't locked on you can also clip the release handle under the top strap to stop a quick snatch.

Of course there is the counter argument that the more obvious security you add to your panniers the more likely someone is to think there must be something valuable worth investigating/taking! :?

Falco
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Re: Pannier security

Postby Falco » 9 Mar 2017, 8:32pm

sabrutat wrote:I lock my pannier handles to the rack with a second bike lock.


Locking the panniers to the bike is fairly straight forward, it's locking access to the panniers that's the difficulty.

RickH wrote:Do you need 70l panniers?


I've used 56L Altura Orkney panniers. That's 28L per bag. I have all of my camping equipment in one pannier (tent, pillow, mattress, groundsheet etc.), all my clothes and washing items in the other, and have any tech in the handlebar bag with my key's, wallet and documents. That doesn't leave much space for food and water, so the extra space would mean more flexiblity and wouldn't demand an extra bag which I would have to either carry around of lock on the bike.

RickH wrote:but the back rollers have a D-ring that could be used to run a cable across the top of the pannier between the D & the rack to stop opening up of the top,


What is the D-ring on the back rollers?

RickH wrote:more likely someone is to think there must be something valuable worth investigating/taking! :?


I totally agree. Better to stealth the security.

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ChrisOntLancs
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Re: Pannier security

Postby ChrisOntLancs » 9 Mar 2017, 8:52pm

not an answer you might like but...

i used to just put some little padlocks on the zip. it stops people from just diving in there if you leave it in a public enough place but if you don't it just says 'cut me open, treats inside' which in my case is a million dollar inner tube and levers.

and i'm guessing that's too much faff for a tourer.

i have seen a large lockable hard case but it looks rather heavy for the little it holds
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Professional-L ... B0142J7HDW

maybe look for other sellers though... or you could get any of the items in that title :?

Falco
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Re: Pannier security

Postby Falco » 9 Mar 2017, 9:48pm

ChrisOntLancs wrote:not an answer you might like but...

i used to just put some little padlocks on the zip.


No, I do like that idea. Little padlocks connecting zip handles, thus stopping the zip from being opened are quick and easy, cheap and can be pushed into the bag to hide the padlock. It won't stop a determined thief but will deter the causal nosey passer-by.

I have looked into a VAUDE Karakorum because it has zips that can be padlocked together and has a removeable rucksack. The problem stopping my immediate purchase is that it's not waterproof and requires a rainproof cover.

Falco
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Re: Pannier security

Postby Falco » 9 Mar 2017, 9:50pm

ChrisOntLancs wrote:i have seen a large lockable hard case but it looks rather heavy for the little it holds


And it's high up on the bike making the bike less balanced. I hadn't considered motorbike panniers. I'll look into that.

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ChrisOntLancs
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Re: Pannier security

Postby ChrisOntLancs » 9 Mar 2017, 10:02pm

the one i saw originally was more rounded and attached straight to your seat post.

i've been looking into something like this for uni, we have a shed that you have to register for, but if i have a pannier it's still there for everybody with the key. i want something like the motorcycle case on top with the usual panniers that i'd carry around with me.

for instruments you can get a middle ground between soft case and flight case, really light but tough padding, i can't understand why it hasn't been explored for cycling.

great thread though. about time we got to the bottom of this.

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RickH
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Re: Pannier security

Postby RickH » 9 Mar 2017, 10:07pm

Falco wrote:What is the D-ring on the back rollers?

This, on the mounting at the end of the strap that holds the roll top down (I think it is primarily intended to clip their rack top bag to the top of the panniers)
ortlieb D ring.JPG

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foxyrider
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Re: Pannier security

Postby foxyrider » 9 Mar 2017, 10:13pm

TBH I think you are over thinking the whole issue.

Bag security is less important than you think - an urban thief won't go looking in your bags - he's not interested in your grubby sleeping bag and smelly socks the bike is what may be of interest. Remove pumps, bottles, lights etc because they will be taken in spite.

By all means lock the bags closed if you are really that paranoid but it's the locking to something that counts, the rack, frame, wheels - any will do. The Ortlieb wires allow this to be done easily and the option of on bike security (it has been known for bags to be snatched from bikes at traffic lights).

In most large cities I wouldn't leave anything on the street. Some scrote would nick a half eaten Mars bar if you put it down! Plan shopping for when you are stopped on a campsite or passing through a smaller town/village. If you are visiting a museum etc they will almost always have a cloak room or somewhere else you can leave your bags during your visit.

Sounds like you have a lot of bulky kit! Standard Ortlieb back rollers can accommodate 25l each (50l pair) and still be closed to be waterproof and without baffles drawstrings and lids are easy to load and pack. I'd be concerned about overloading the rear wheel putting it all on the rear.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

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foxyrider
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Re: Pannier security

Postby foxyrider » 9 Mar 2017, 10:24pm

ChrisOntLancs wrote:the one i saw originally was more rounded and attached straight to your seat post.

i've been looking into something like this for uni, we have a shed that you have to register for, but if i have a pannier it's still there for everybody with the key. i want something like the motorcycle case on top with the usual panniers that i'd carry around with me.

for instruments you can get a middle ground between soft case and flight case, really light but tough padding, i can't understand why it hasn't been explored for cycling.



It has been explored and consigned to history. Ortlieb made a full set of motorbike style bike bags with locking waterproof zip closures in the mid 00's. They were expensive, heavier than you might expect and not popular. I did buy the racktop bag/box but it's very solidity is its downfall, you can't squish it or force extra stuff in!

Seriously there's nothing new out there just reworks of old ideas.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

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ChrisOntLancs
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Re: Pannier security

Postby ChrisOntLancs » 9 Mar 2017, 11:04pm

foxyrider wrote: consigned to history.


well yeah.

i suspect sometimes that it's one of those things, when i finally find what i'm looking for, it won't be as practical as i planned.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Pannier security

Postby Cunobelin » 10 Mar 2017, 6:39am

I use the largest version of the "PacSafe"

Image

Although designed for rucksacks, it will enclose and secure a laden touring bike with the closure cinched tight at the bottom bracket and rack fixings. A smaller version will enclose front panniers and wheel

A quick and simple way of securing panniers and contents... and also immobilises the bike as the wheels no longer contact the ground or move

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Heltor Chasca
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Pannier security

Postby Heltor Chasca » 10 Mar 2017, 7:16am

I use cable ring loops from eBay. Cheap and light. They are only a deterrent. If a thief wants something, they'll get it. Looped through the pannier top rail and round a stay on the rack. You could go to town and get a beefy cable loop and those little Abus combo locks, but where do you stop before half your weight is security which 'might' or 'might not' work?

Image

Falco
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Re: Pannier security

Postby Falco » 10 Mar 2017, 7:18am

Thanks for all the replies!

ChrisOntLancs wrote:for instruments you can get a middle ground between soft case and flight case,


When I studied music at college, rucksack cases didn't exist. I had to cycle around with my instrument hard case in a tool bag which I used the handle loops as shoulder straps. Not ideal, but for a broke student it got the job done and I felt more secure with it on my back.

I have looked into Bikebins. They are waterproof and lockable but are not big enough (only 17L per bin) and are rated for 5KG. That's a shame as if they did a more sturdier, larger model I would definitely be trying them out.

foxyrider wrote:Ortlieb made a full set of motorbike style bike bags with locking waterproof zip closures in the mid 00's.


Hopefully there will be relatively light, lockable, waterproof panniers (or maybe security add-ons) designed for motorbikes that could be adapted for bicycles. I'll have a look into this area.

foxyrider wrote:TBH I think you are over thinking the whole issue.


I get what you're saying. My trip from London to the Lake Districts in August will be my fifth tour in Europe. I never felt that my bags or contents were in any danger in rural areas but someone from our group always stayed with the bikes when we needed to enter a shop, or leave the bikes in various situations. We did that because it only took one person (drunk, desperate, greedy, uncaring etc.) to take a bag, or pull out a tent. In that case, the theft would not only inconvenience the victim, but the entire group. If I'm by myself then I don't have others to fall back on and losing my tent or other items may not only inconvenience me but could cause serious problems. Reasonably plan for the worst and hope for the best I reckon.

foxyrider wrote:If you are visiting a museum etc they will almost always have a cloak room


I'd rather have a backup plan in case the attraction I wish to visit doesn't have a cloakroom or doesn't want the inconvenience. Also, if I can find a decent solution to this problem then it can be applied to situations I find myself in that I haven't imagined when sitting in my chair at home and not on the tour.

foxyrider wrote:I'd be concerned about overloading the rear wheel putting it all on the rear.


I won't be adding weight to my bike compared to my last tours, I'll be moving the food and water items I had to strapped to the top of the bags inside the new larger bags (if I decide to purchase them). But I take your point. I have thought about front panniers, but that's more bags to look after and cart around.

foxyrider wrote:nick a half eaten Mars bar


Haha, totally. I live in London.

RickH wrote:This, on the mounting at the end of the strap that holds the roll top down


I'll look into that. That could be a fixture I could use in some way.