Pannier security

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
tommydog
Posts: 99
Joined: 11 Feb 2017, 6:48pm

Re: pannier - anti theft solutions?

Postby tommydog » 29 Jan 2018, 1:40pm

andrew_s wrote:You could look at a Pacsafe
These are wire nets designed to attach an unattended backpack to something, and stop it being either walked off with or slit open.
One of the bigger ones should enclose both panniers and link them to the bike.


I have seen these before, but they look poor. They could be cut with some very light duty cutting pliers that you carry in your pocket. It looks no better than chicken wire.

Are there no panniers that come as one with the bike rack, and are sown into the bike rack? Similar to an old fashioned ruck sack, that had the frame sown in. That way they have to destroy the panniers to get them off, which defeats the object of stealing them. I am not so worried about the contents of the panniers, as I will always carry valuables with me, but more the actual panniers being stolen, as that would be a major inconvenience on a trip.

kwackers
Posts: 11375
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: pannier - anti theft solutions?

Postby kwackers » 29 Jan 2018, 2:49pm

I think it'd be fairly easy to modify some Ortliebs to stop them being easily removed.

You could make a small clamp that fits into the slots for the top (or bottom) brackets and could then be clamped to the rack with an allen screw or some such.
You could probably even make a bracket that could take a small padlock.
Or perhaps even replace the existing brackets with more secure versions.

A lot depends how handy you are with diy tools (or better if you have a tame engineer locally).

It'll never be overly secure since the slots aren't designed to prevent the panniers being levered off which would damage the slots / brackets.

User avatar
al_yrpal
Posts: 6369
Joined: 25 Jul 2007, 9:47pm
Location: Chilterns, the bit the gubment havent concreted over (yet) although they are trying..

Re: pannier - anti theft solutions?

Postby al_yrpal » 29 Jan 2018, 2:53pm

I would suggest Pannier Covers. My Arran Panniers came with waterproof covers which hide all the catches. The Arrans also have carrying handles so a cheap wire combination lock through these and the rack will make it harder and more time consuming to get into them or carry them off. A thief is unlikley to be familiar with these things

https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Axiom-Bag-Rain ... OoQAvD_BwE

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

tommydog
Posts: 99
Joined: 11 Feb 2017, 6:48pm

Re: pannier - anti theft solutions?

Postby tommydog » 30 Jan 2018, 9:15am

kwackers wrote:I think it'd be fairly easy to modify some Ortliebs to stop them being easily removed.

It'll never be overly secure since the slots aren't designed to prevent the panniers being levered off which would damage the slots / brackets.


that's the problem. I would much prefer a ridged pannier with solid brackets that could bolt onto the rack (with security bolts). The only way I want them to be able to remove the panniers is by severely damaging them and rendering them useless for resale. I think that's the best deterrent there is.

Granted they could get an angle grinder or large bolt cutters and remove the back rack, but I acknowledge it's only possible to deter a certain level of theft. What I want to prevent is a thief who carries some simple / small hand tools, such as small wire cutters or a small pry bar.

User avatar
Sweep
Posts: 3568
Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 4:57pm
Location: London

Re: Pannier security

Postby Sweep » 30 Jan 2018, 10:26am

From reading the above it seems to be unlikley that someone is going to try to run away with two fully loaded panniers full of what exactly? A s long as they are on a locked bike still semi in-view.

The greatest risk appears to be when they are empty, for a well educated thief who appeciates the value of Ortliebs.

But if empty they are of course easy to remove and take with you. Why wouldn't you?
Sweep

colin54
Posts: 796
Joined: 24 Sep 2013, 4:34pm

Re: Pannier security

Postby colin54 » 30 Jan 2018, 10:37am

I think one of these IKEA Frakta bags might make panniers easier to carry if removed whilst parked, handy to sit on as well if camping. 50p!

http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/products/smar ... -17228340/

People do all sorts with them, a bike bag amongst this lot as well...

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/limmaland/i ... ea-tasche/

tommydog
Posts: 99
Joined: 11 Feb 2017, 6:48pm

Re: Pannier security

Postby tommydog » 30 Jan 2018, 10:41am

Sweep wrote:From reading the above it seems to be unlikley that someone is going to try to run away with two fully loaded panniers full of what exactly?


I disagree with this, they can just tip out the contents of the panniers to quickly steal them. This exact thing happened to my friend. Bulky / low value stuff such as food / drink you don't want to carry round with you. The best place for it is in the panniers on the bike. I agree that they primarily want the panniers and not the contents.

Psamathe
Posts: 8170
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Pannier security

Postby Psamathe » 30 Jan 2018, 10:47am

You used to be able to get some excellent mini plastic "padlocks" (they had a plastic key). I got some (now lost) that came with some Musto sailing bags years ago. Light, strong, small (designed to lock zips together. Not been able to find anything even similar these days.

Ian

Psamathe
Posts: 8170
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Pannier security

Postby Psamathe » 30 Jan 2018, 11:00am

Thinking aloud (as it is something that concerns me a little), if concerned about losing panniers then I'd imagine that you are also concerned about losing the entire bike (panniers, wheels, frame, the lot). So I assume you'll be locking the bike which would probably include some cable/D-lock round the rear wheel & downtube - which is really close to the panniers. So buy a length of stainless rigging wire from a chandlery and get them to swage a soft eye in each end. Add a couple of eyes to the wheel side of each pannier and when locking the bike loop this extra cable through each pannier eye and lock it into whatever lock you are securing the bike with.

The cable can be pretty thin as anybody prepared to cut the cable is going to get the contents anyway and they can always cut through pannier itself to get at any valuables inside.

Ian

tommydog
Posts: 99
Joined: 11 Feb 2017, 6:48pm

Re: Pannier security

Postby tommydog » 30 Jan 2018, 11:15am

Psamathe wrote: So buy a length of stainless rigging wire from a chandlery and get them to swage a soft eye in each end. Add a couple of eyes to the wheel side of each pannier and when locking the bike loop this extra cable through each pannier eye and lock it into whatever lock you are securing the bike with.


The problem is they can cut it too easily with cutters that slip in your pocket and walk off with the intact panniers. I still think the best design would be a pannier that has the rack sewn into it. Or a hard shell pannier that can be bolted to a rack with security bolts. It is my intention that the only way for them to get the pannier is to damage it, to the point where it has no resale value. Surely that is the best theft prevention?

Psamathe
Posts: 8170
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Pannier security

Postby Psamathe » 30 Jan 2018, 11:24am

tommydog wrote:
Psamathe wrote: So buy a length of stainless rigging wire from a chandlery and get them to swage a soft eye in each end. Add a couple of eyes to the wheel side of each pannier and when locking the bike loop this extra cable through each pannier eye and lock it into whatever lock you are securing the bike with.


The problem is they can cut it too easily with cutters that slip in your pocket and walk off with the intact panniers. I still think the best design would be a pannier that has the rack sewn into it. Or a hard shell pannier that can be bolted to a rack with security bolts. It is my intention that the only way for them to get the pannier is to damage it, to the point where it has no resale value. Surely that is the best theft prevention?

My thoughts are than anybody carrying cutters to cut through stainless cable is going to get your panniers (or the entire bike) anyway.

And even if the panniers are bolted to the bike, they are normally made of soft material easily cut through with a knife and somebody carrying kit to steal panniers will undoubtedly also carry their own e.g. carrier bags to remove just the valuable contents.

I'd assumed that as panniers are made from material that is insecure, one is trying to prevent the opportunist casual thief from just lifting off the panniers and scarpering. Your "pro" thief carrying cutting gear will probably prefer nick the entire bike ...

Ian

tommydog
Posts: 99
Joined: 11 Feb 2017, 6:48pm

Re: Pannier security

Postby tommydog » 30 Jan 2018, 12:14pm

Psamathe wrote:And even if the panniers are bolted to the bike, they are normally made of soft material easily cut through with a knife and somebody carrying kit to steal panniers will undoubtedly also carry their own e.g. carrier bags to remove just the valuable contents.



But that's my point, of course they can be cut off. But by doing that they are going to have to damage the panniers to the point where they have little or no resale value. If it was bolted in a few places on the rack (with high tensile security bolts) the only practical way they cold get the panniers off without damaging them is to cut the rack off. They are not going to mess about cutting bolts in various places. They will have to cut the whole rack. Yes they could brute force the panniers off, but that will involve damaging them to the point where they have little or no resale value.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 8888
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Pannier security

Postby mjr » 30 Jan 2018, 12:21pm

Psamathe wrote:Thinking aloud (as it is something that concerns me a little), if concerned about losing panniers then I'd imagine that you are also concerned about losing the entire bike (panniers, wheels, frame, the lot). So I assume you'll be locking the bike which would probably include some cable/D-lock round the rear wheel & downtube - which is really close to the panniers.

Indeed it is. One of my sets of double panniers have a hole in the top intended to put any rack spring clip arm through for extra stability. I put a lock through that, the rear rack and the parking stand. Removing the rear wheel on that bike means undoing lots of bolts and cables and half-removing the rack, so I feel that's enough security for the rear wheel (it often takes me 10-15 minutes so I'll probably be back before they've removed it!) and another lock goes through front wheel, frame and parking stand. If they really want to cut some old patched-up £10 Lidl panniers to nick them, good luck to them because they must really need it! :lol:

However, I remove more expensive panniers from the bike and I don't leave anything of much value in any bags left on the bike. If I wanted to leave more on the bike, I'd probably go with the pacsafe idea, but so far, a luggage strap around the centre section of double panniers makes an adequate but imperfect shoulder strap even on ones not designed for it, while my single panniers have their own carry handles or straps.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

tommydog
Posts: 99
Joined: 11 Feb 2017, 6:48pm

Re: Pannier security

Postby tommydog » 30 Jan 2018, 12:55pm

Psamathe wrote:if concerned about losing panniers then I'd imagine that you are also concerned about losing the entire bike


The only way they are getting my bike is with an angle grinder or hydraulic cutters. I have 2 kryptonite locks (front and rear) which have 18mm thick steel. I also plan to buy a GPS tracker, so even if they cut through the locks with an angle grinder then I will hopefully recover the bike. May even look at removable pedals. I have had so many things stolen over the years (3 bikes, 2 cars, 2 motorcycles, 2 trailers and a boat.) that I am determined not to be a victim again.

User avatar
horizon
Posts: 7777
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Cornwall

Re: Pannier security

Postby horizon » 30 Jan 2018, 1:43pm

tommydog wrote: I have had so many things stolen over the years (3 bikes, 2 cars, 2 motorcycles, 2 trailers and a boat.) that I am determined not to be a victim again.


Well, theft happens. I lost my rucksack in New York as a young backpacker. I was going to suggest that despite the risks, panniers don't often get stolen - but you might have proven me wrong!

This thread has been about physical prevention of theft but that strikes me as always the least-good option even though it might be useful at times. My strategy (nothing new) is:

1. Reduce the amount of really valuable, sentimental items that you carry.
2. Split money and other valuables between luggage.
3. Cover stuff with pannier covers etc (as suggested above). It sort of reduces your radar image.
4. Use stuff as much as possible so what they take was due for replacement anyway.
5. Get into the habit of leaving your bike plus panniers in a noticeable place and ask someone to watch it - it is extraordinary how willing people are to do that.
6. Keep your bike in sight. This IMV is easier than it sounds and where minimal locks and security then come into their own.
7. Be a bit more assertive with places where you shop and eat - take it in to the supermarket or don't shop there.
8. Most of us get used to looking for places like cafes that have window seating or shops that have open windows - it becomes second nature.

I think we still live under the illusion that you can lock your bike up and leave it - I don't think you can and it happens to be one of the downsides of cycle touring, especially when you travel alone. But if you travelled as a single parent with a small child, you would never lock them up and leave them tied to a lampost (well, there might be times ... :wink: ). Similarly with suitcases and laptops - even locked in cars. Your bike and you are married for the trip and you stay together. Panniers just make this even more important. All the physical measures discussed in this thread are useful but they aren't sufficient as people keep pointing out. One day more places will have secure bike containers outside but not yet.
Bikes belong on trains.