cycle security/locks when camping?

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cycle security/locks when camping?

Postby Russell160 » 10 Oct 2012, 6:06am

-How do people generally secure their bikes overnight?
-Recommended locks: types and specific models? I was thinking about using a combination lock then realised this would be a big problem in dark. :?
-How about transporting the lock: is weight an issue?
-Any experience of immobitag/ datatag type devices? ... ction-kit/
-Any general tips? (I just don't think I could sleep at night leaving it unsecured; I once had a bike stolen by a passing 'motorist' (not the word I used at the time) on a country lane when I'd stopped for a P. I also know a couple who had both Galaxies nicked in South of France ruining their holiday so I have got The Worry).

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Re: cycle security/locks when camping?

Postby Si » 10 Oct 2012, 9:00am

Lock it to something - fence, tree, whatever is handy.
A good U lock - when touring I tend to stop in towns and cities to visit sites of interest, thus I prefer the U to a weaker cable.
If i've got all the camping gear on then the weight of a lock doesn't make that much difference.

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Re: cycle security/locks when camping?

Postby gloomyandy » 10 Oct 2012, 9:01am

Generally I don't bother. I tend to travel and stay at places that seem unlikely to have a problem with bike theft (I hope!). I do sometimes carry a cable lock and use that (though it is not always easy to find anything to lock the bike to). I don't think I could face carrying anything heavier!

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Re: cycle security/locks when camping?

Postby tatanab » 10 Oct 2012, 12:24pm

I put a tent pole through a wheel so that I am likely to be awoken. Otherwise I use a cable lock to lock to a tree.

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Re: cycle security/locks when camping?

Postby foxyrider » 10 Oct 2012, 6:09pm

Mid range cable lock supplemented by an extension cable.

Whilst i lock the bike up, in all my travels the only place i've ever had worries about security was Frankfurt where a local immigrant population by the campsite meant the campsite had high security with cctv etc! Across the rest of Europe i've never felt there was much to worry about. Now the UK is another matter, i mean, where else do you have to lock your bikes up inside your own house?

Finding somewhere to lock up to on most campsites can be a pain, chainlink fences, around trees (hence the extender cable), to picnic tables and yes once or twice to the tent. At the end of the day its just reasonable precaution, unless you are laid on it a decent thief will have it away whatever you do especially if its more than two feet from your tent, the winds blowing and or its raining, you just won't hear them. Just remember to remove everything semi loose from the bike.

Given my touring steed is about 2k's worth maybe i should worry a bit more. :wink:
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Re: cycle security/locks when camping?

Postby margyparker » 10 Oct 2012, 6:14pm

We just looked for an object we could attach both bikes to with a cable lock with code. We went in august so it was never a problem getting light to look at the lock as the sun rose about 5am and we were never up that early. we attached to stile, tree, gatepost adn a couple of times just both the bikes together. If I was on my own then attaching the lock to something on the tent that would alert me to shinanegans would suffice.

When not in use the cable lock was wrapped round the seatpost out of the way.

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Re: cycle security/locks when camping?

Postby andymiller » 10 Oct 2012, 8:12pm

I can understand, given the passing motorist experience why you would be nervous.

There's a trade-off between lightness and security: if you want security you need to be prepared to carry the weight. A good d-lock offers the best security, but sometimes it can be difficult to find places to use it on campsites or in towns abroad (where IME toast-rack type bike racks are by far the most common) so ideally you need to back it up with a cable. But I suspect that's more weight than most people are prepared to carry: so you end up having to compromise. Personally I carry a cable that's about a couple of metres long and maybe 4mm thick - which means I can at least lock the bike to a tree and have enough cable to go through the wheels (unless it's a big tree). I know that security-wise this is really pretty rubbish and wouldn't survive one minute against a thief with bolt cutters but hopefully it will discourage the opportunist.

The problem with DataTag-type schemes is that even in the UK there's no universal scheme - eg the Met use BikeRegister - so there doesn't seem much chance that police forces abroad will have the detection equipment. You can find ways of permanently marking the bike.

If you go for a d-lock then look for a lock that's certified by SoldSecure to their gold standard - eg Abus Granit or Kryptonite new York.

My theory, FWIW, (I don't have any proof) is that in most rural areas you are going to be relatively safe: if you are a potential thief in a small village in rural France (or Italy or Spain or wherever) you aren't going to be able to ride the bike without someone asking questions, and you almost certainly won't have the contacts to enable you to sell it on. Bigger cities are a different matter. And of course, as you've found out to your cost, there's always the danger of a passing scumbag.
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Re: cycle security/locks when camping?

Postby tonythompson » 11 Oct 2012, 8:10am

Having travelled widely around the world, I've found a cable lock to be the most convenient to secure to any non movable object. D locks are just not versatile enough and also heavy.
Remove everything off the bike that can be filched. Left my pump on in Egypt by mistake one night, gone in the morning.
Depending on the situation I might even take the front wheel off and have it inside the tent.
If no where to secure the bike to, I'll use it to anchor the tent down and lock it to the tent, I know it can easily be cut but you most probably would wake up with someone messing with your tent.

If leaving it to go sight seeing - then I try to find a friendly food vendor - have something to eat and ask to secure it to their van or for them to keep an eye out for you. Again never been refused.

Having said all that to date, apart from my pump, I've never had any problems.

My attitude has always been - well if it gets nicked I can fall back on my credit card and head for the local bike shop.
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Re: cycle security/locks when camping?

Postby nmnm » 11 Oct 2012, 11:41am

I use a medium-weight cable lock (£20ish) for versatility. At night (on my French tours, mostly rural) I zip the bike inside the tent vestibule (Go-lite Shangri-la3 with oookworks inner, 1.7kg). If nervy, I also attach a sonic purse alarm (£1, ebay), using fishing line.

I think my bike would have been fine cabled to a tree everywhere I've stayed. I may move to that system as the bike gets older. The golite tent has great space but isn't freestanding so is an effort on hard ground.

There was one night when a rummaging bike thief woke me. On that occasion it was nice to have the bike so close. The thief turned out to be a hedgehog, of course, but still! :D

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Re: cycle security/locks when camping?

Postby bikes4two » 17 Oct 2012, 8:48am

My Penny-worth:
> for securing our tandem I use an extender cable like the Abus Cobra, and a hardened steel padlock. The cable is 100cm long and is used to attach the bike to anything that would make taking the bike away difficult
> the tandem also has a dutch wheel lock fitted which is useful.

You can get different quality cables and padlocks depending on budget and nervousness - I personally prefer this arrangement to D locks as there is more flexibility in terms of attachment.

I suspect the biggest security 'device' I've utilised is WHERE I camp/stay - I avoid large campsites and cities like the plague and have never had anything stolen in my various tours in UK, Spain and France.

Long may that situation remain
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Re: cycle security/locks when camping?

Postby Erudin » 17 Oct 2012, 8:59am

I use a Kryptonite Mini Evo u-lock and 4ft cable. If I can't get the u-lock round a pole/bike rack I use the cable through the front wheel and around an immovable object with the u-lock immobilising the back wheel.

If I was touring in higher risk places or leaving the bike for long I would carry my bigger/heavier New York u-lock (mini evo weighs .9kg, bigger lock 2.2kg).

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Re: cycle security/locks when camping?

Postby Russell160 » 22 Oct 2012, 7:33pm

Thanks a lot for all the helpful and detailed replies. I like the idea of the mini u lock and cable striking the balance between weight and strength. Thanks again.

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Re: cycle security/locks when camping?

Postby andrew_s » 22 Oct 2012, 11:27pm

I've just converted to an unlocking stem plus matching cable.
With the key in the lock, the stem is normal. Without the key, the handlebars rotate freely without moving the front wheel, and the bike is unrideable.
There's also a cable that locks in to the stem to allow the unrideable bike to be attached to something.


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Re: cycle security/locks when camping?

Postby bikepacker » 23 Oct 2012, 11:06am

Unhook the chain at the connecting link (like Sram powerlink). Remove chain wrap it around a firm object and back around the bike, then replace powerlink. No lock to carry and it will fox most attempt at theft. :wink: :wink:
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Re: cycle security/locks when camping?

Postby andrew_s » 23 Oct 2012, 1:56pm

When I rode fixed, I sometimes just used a padlock round the chain & chainring.