Pannier security

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Falco
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Re: Pannier security

Postby Falco » 10 Mar 2017, 7:30am

Cunobelin wrote:I use the largest version of the "PacSafe"


Great, that is what I'm currently researching at the moment, but rather than enveloping the outside of the panniers so the mesh is visible, I'm considering getting the smaller 35L mesh and using it inside the pannier so it's hidden.

Assuming I have a single empty 35L Ortleib Pro Plus bag (both bags come to 70L), I'd push the mesh inside the bag and use it as an inner bag. I'd load items into the mesh. When packed, I'd lock the top of the mesh with the extended wire coming out of the pannier and around my bike frame (or U-Lock) and back in the bag to make the loop, then roll down the top of the pannier. I can then lock the bags to my U-Lock using Orleib's pannier security system.

In your experience as a PacSafe user, do you think that is a workable solution?

Also, did you buy it online or do you know of any retail shops that have the PacSafe mesh on display so I can try out the different sizes to see which one fits the best?

Falco
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Re: Pannier security

Postby Falco » 10 Mar 2017, 7:41am

Heltor Chasca wrote:I use cable ring loops from eBay. Cheap and light.


I have some of those. The problem is the ones I have don't lock, they just unscrew. Even if it is just a deterrent I'd like the loops to actually lock.

Heltor Chasca wrote:but where do you stop before half your weight is security which 'might' or 'might not' work?


Yes, very true. I need to manage expectations, otherwise my panniers will turn into a tank and be stolen on the first day of the tour. :D

I realise that common sense is the best security and even the best precautions won't stop a determined thief. What I want to do is deter the causal opportunistic thief that happens to walk past. If that thief decides to test my security I want them to quickly decide it's not worth the bother.

simonhill
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Re: Pannier security

Postby simonhill » 10 Mar 2017, 8:53am

Off topic then on.

I often wonder why cyclists rarely use waterproof pannier covers. Maybe not so necessary if you have Ortliebs, but my super C's get wet and mucky. Not ideal if checking into a hotel.

On a recent tour it was raining hard for days (yes, it really was the monsoon), so I bought a few heavy duty black bin bags. I slid one over the top of each pannier and made holes for fixings, then tied up the bottom. When I arrived, I just lifted out the dry and clean panniers to the delight of the of the hotel lady.

My point is, that my panniers looked like 2 old bin bags on the bike and all straps and openings were hidden. It would take a fair it of cutting, etc to get to where the opening was.

You could use a sack, or something like a builder's bag to make a semi permanent hide all cover.

Edit: I should add, that I don't use any extra security on my panniers. I find the front clip fiddly enough anyway due to closeness of the adjustable rod thingy. Opening the pannier takes a bit of working out as well - snapcatches, drawstring, large plastic bagas internal cover, etc.
Last edited by simonhill on 10 Mar 2017, 12:12pm, edited 1 time in total.

eileithyia
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Re: Pannier security

Postby eileithyia » 10 Mar 2017, 11:21am

Have never locked anything into a pannier and never had a problem.
Personal items go in handlebar bag so it is easily removed for shopping, going in cafes, or visitor attractions.
Only valuable items i have had stolen from bike was saddle (Cophenhagen YH bike shed) and camera which stupidly I left in full view strapped under a bungee cord on top of the saddle bag, while I just nipped into a shop in Bastia, just prior to catching the ferry, and could easily be lifted......
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

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foxyrider
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Re: Pannier security

Postby foxyrider » 10 Mar 2017, 2:06pm

simonhill wrote:Off topic then on.

I often wonder why cyclists rarely use waterproof pannier covers. Maybe not so necessary if you have Ortliebs, but my super C's get wet and mucky. Not ideal if checking into a hotel.

On a recent tour it was raining hard for days (yes, it really was the monsoon), so I bought a few heavy duty black bin bags. I slid one over the top of each pannier and made holes for fixings, then tied up the bottom. When I arrived, I just lifted out the dry and clean panniers to the delight of the of the hotel lady.

My point is, that my panniers looked like 2 old bin bags on the bike and all straps and openings were hidden. It would take a fair it of cutting, etc to get to where the opening was.

You could use a sack, or something like a builder's bag to make a semi permanent hide all cover.

Edit: I should add, that I don't use any extra security on my panniers. I find the front clip fiddly enough anyway due to closeness of the adjustable rod thingy. Opening the pannier takes a bit of working out as well - snapcatches, drawstring, large plastic bagas internal cover, etc.


But if you have waterproof bags you save all that faff - why make your life more difficult than it has to be.
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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Heltor Chasca
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Re: Pannier security

Postby Heltor Chasca » 10 Mar 2017, 2:24pm

eileithyia wrote:Have never locked anything into a pannier and never had a problem.
Personal items go in handlebar bag so it is easily removed for shopping, going in cafes, or visitor attractions.
Only valuable items i have had stolen from bike was saddle (Cophenhagen YH bike shed) and camera which stupidly I left in full view strapped under a bungee cord on top of the saddle bag, while I just nipped into a shop in Bastia, just prior to catching the ferry, and could easily be lifted......


+1 to a bar bag for valuables.

Falco
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Re: Pannier security

Postby Falco » 10 Mar 2017, 4:28pm

foxyrider wrote:But if you have waterproof bags you save all that faff - why make your life more difficult than it has to be.


I agree. Some convenience isn't wrong in my book and coming up with new ideas to make life easier on the bike isn't selling out to some proscribed grand tour ethos. A tour should be a personal adventure in whatever way you want.

Saying that, is touring on a electric hybrid bicycle cheating? :)

Heltor Chasca wrote:+1 to a bar bag for valuables.


I with you there! I've been looking for some sort of handlebar bag that has rucksack straps (I really don't like the single straps that cross my chest, especially when I have my DSLR and lense in the bag).

simonhill wrote:My point is, that my panniers looked like 2 old bin bags on the bike and all straps and openings were hidden. It would take a fair it of cutting, etc to get to where the opening was.


Yes, that's another way of securing the panniers, using a cover (which could even be locked round the panniers, a bit like the PacSafe when used externally. I'd like to find the most elegant and simplistic solution possible, in the fewest possible steps. Having to put a cover over the panniers and then taking it off when I need access could work well but it could be too many extra steps compared to a lockable inner bag, or a pannier that has locks on the zips. It's hard to really gain a good understanding of these methods while armchair planning. I need to get into the field and try these things out.

simonhill
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Re: Pannier security

Postby simonhill » 10 Mar 2017, 4:46pm

Foxy, you missed the point about keeping the panniers dry and clean.

I normally stay in hotels. Turning up with soggy panniers (however waterproof they are) and covered in road dirt, then dumping them on their nice carpet is rarely appreciated by hotel management.

It's like taking your suitcases off the car roof rack after a day's driving in the rain. Would you take them straight into your bedroom at home?

I don't normally do it, but I don't normally ride in the wet Monsoon and on that day it was very effective. On tour now and have 2 bin liners with me, just in case.

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foxyrider
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Re: Pannier security

Postby foxyrider » 10 Mar 2017, 6:00pm

simonhill wrote:Foxy, you missed the point about keeping the panniers dry and clean.

I normally stay in hotels. Turning up with soggy panniers (however waterproof they are) and covered in road dirt, then dumping them on their nice carpet is rarely appreciated by hotel management.

It's like taking your suitcases off the car roof rack after a day's driving in the rain. Would you take them straight into your bedroom at home?

I don't normally do it, but I don't normally ride in the wet Monsoon and on that day it was very effective. On tour now and have 2 bin liners with me, just in case.


Never had any negative reaction on the few occasions i've arrived at a hotel cold, wet and dishevelled! A quick shake gets rid of most of the wet and i've rarely accumulated any significant muck - a paper towel / hanky would sort that out in seconds.

It's a hotel at the end of the day - they kinda expect people to take bags to their room wet or not. The extra bagging could actually make things worse, collecting wet and not allowing any degree of breathing/air drying. Whatever works for you but i'll stick to simple.
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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Cunobelin
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Re: Pannier security

Postby Cunobelin » 10 Mar 2017, 8:50pm

Falco wrote:
Cunobelin wrote:I use the largest version of the "PacSafe"


Great, that is what I'm currently researching at the moment, but rather than enveloping the outside of the panniers so the mesh is visible, I'm considering getting the smaller 35L mesh and using it inside the pannier so it's hidden.

Assuming I have a single empty 35L Ortleib Pro Plus bag (both bags come to 70L), I'd push the mesh inside the bag and use it as an inner bag. I'd load items into the mesh. When packed, I'd lock the top of the mesh with the extended wire coming out of the pannier and around my bike frame (or U-Lock) and back in the bag to make the loop, then roll down the top of the pannier. I can then lock the bags to my U-Lock using Orleib's pannier security system.

In your experience as a PacSafe user, do you think that is a workable solution?

Also, did you buy it online or do you know of any retail shops that have the PacSafe mesh on display so I can try out the different sizes to see which one fits the best?



I was given one as a present for my rucksack and it worked well with the bike / trike so I carried on using it.

The advantage to me is that it secures things to a greater extent than a padlock or wire through a vulnerable strap.

It is far from foolproof and susceptible to wire cutters an the likes. However this takes time and is fairly obvious so a deterrent, and that is all you can really provide

For me it works.

It is quick convenient and for cafe stops, loo stops, visiting historic sites or churches all you really need

Falco
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Re: Pannier security

Postby Falco » 11 Mar 2017, 7:24am

Cunobelin wrote:It is quick convenient and for cafe stops, loo stops, visiting historic sites or churches all you really need


I can't find a high street shop in London that has the PacSafe in stock and examine it close up, so your feedback is appreciated. It's difficult gauging which size I should go for, the 35L or 55L. I'd like to put it inside the panniers to see how it fits before purchasing them.

Also, I can't find a shop that has the Ortleib Pro Plus's in stock either. I'm crossing London today so I'll pop in to as many bikes shops as possible on route and get the retailer's opinions.

At the moment, if I end up having to buy them online I'll go for the 55L PacSafe with the Ortleib Pro Plus bags. I'll report back and provide photos if anyone's interested?

bohrsatom
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Re: Pannier security

Postby bohrsatom » 11 Mar 2017, 11:30am

Not hard security I know, but I tend to 'tramp up' my panniers when leaving them unattented for any period of time. I have Ortlieb back rollers and often thread the buckle strap through the leg of some cycling shorts or a pair of pants to dry them after washing. If visiting a museum or shop where I can't keep an eye on my bike I'll do the same thing - any thief won't know whether the clothes are clean or not and (I hope) won't bother putting their hands on some potentially dirty pants in order to check out the contents of a pannier!

robing
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Re: Pannier security

Postby robing » 11 Mar 2017, 11:45am

eileithyia wrote:Have never locked anything into a pannier and never had a problem.
Personal items go in handlebar bag so it is easily removed for shopping, going in cafes, or visitor attractions.
Only valuable items i have had stolen from bike was saddle (Cophenhagen YH bike shed) and camera which stupidly I left in full view strapped under a bungee cord on top of the saddle bag, while I just nipped into a shop in Bastia, just prior to catching the ferry, and could easily be lifted......


I agree with this. I use my Topeak Compact handlebar bag which has my phone, passport, money etc. It even has a waist strap so you can wear it like a bum bag. I never leave my bike unattended in a city etc. Would always check in to hotel. However, there are times when I need to secure the bike for a short period. Cafés aren't normally a problem as you an usually keep an eye on your bike. Sometimes though if going in to a supermarket you can't watch your bike. So I will use a thin cable lock to lock the panniers to the bike and then a more substantial cable lock to fix the bike to something immovable. I don't bother with a D lock, too heavy. Always leave the bike somewhere prominent and busy.

Only thing I've had nicked was a Power Monkey Extreme battery pack which I had left charging in the toilet block in a french campsite. Luckily wasn't charging anything!

thirdcrank
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Re: Pannier security

Postby thirdcrank » 11 Mar 2017, 11:51am

I'll suggest that while these things will thwart an opportunist thief, they may attract somebody who has the tools available. An Ortlieb pannier fastened to the bike with a ship's hawser is still vulnerable to being slit with a Stanley knife and cables no thicker than brake cable can be snipped with pliers.

simonhill
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Re: Pannier security

Postby simonhill » 11 Mar 2017, 12:32pm

Fortunately I don't think bag slashing is big in the UK. It definitely is in some countries.

I heard a lovely story of someone walking out of the airport with their large backpack on their back. A thief slit open the bag, up the side, over the top and down the other side.

It just flapped open and all the contents fell out. There was a waiting crowd of ne'er do wells to pick up all the contents.

Ten seconds with a sharp knife would have any pannier open. About the only physical defence against this is a pacsafe type thing. Fortunately even the lowest lifes in the UK are unlikely to be interested in much of the contents of your panniers.

Backpackers to South America used to line their bags with chicken wire. Just as effective and a lot cheaper.

Enjoy.