Technical > General Technical

Theft prevention

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Thought I’d open up this topic as I have been inspired again by a few comments of theft/tamper protection

Ever had a bike stolen or tampered with while touring ? Or just local?

What is your current method of protecting your bike?

Have you changes your methods from previous ones?

Is there any methods you haven’t already tried but would like to ?

My theft-prevention philosophy is that I never leave the bike out of my sight on tour, unless I can safely stash it at a hotel or WarmShowers host first. For example, I do not go into any supermarket. Instead, I only shop from small shops where I can see the bike through the window. When I stop at a restaurant, I either eat outside, or I choose a table inside by the window and put my bike right outside there.

Since I don't leave the bike out of sight, I don't need a serious (= heavy) lock. The cheapest cable lock is enough to deter someone from just grabbing the bike and running.

Personally, I haven't even felt that this approach is a major inconvenience. It comes pretty naturally. But if you are touring with a partner, then of course it is good that your partner can watch your bike while you go inside a large supermarket.

I have a light/alarm combo. The light is excellent and the alarm works well. I also use a lightweight cable lock. Between them they give me piece of mind but I also don’t stray too far from my bike. The alarm was a present and it’s well made and when you call the helpline you actually speak to the designer. Bit like when I called SJS with a question and got “Robin speaking how can I help you”.


The SR600 is a new anti-theft alarm system and powerful 600 lumen front light. Our patented EasyPull technology allows you to activate the alarm simply by pulling the torch out of the base – a simple solution that makes safeguarding your bicycle easy and stress free.


For solo or group day rides with café and/or pub lunch stops, I carry either,

A Kryptonite (there are other makes) 5mm dia woven wire plastic coated cable about 75cm long coupled with an ordinary good quality padlock. Total weight 270g. More heavy duty than the so called Café locks.

as above but heavier duty (10mm dia x120cm long) if going places where I think the risk might be greater. Total weight 600g.

In any event, on group rides I usually try to stack  my bike behind someone else’s and tie it in with their lock as well.

I always take a spare key.
A combination lock is something to think about as there’s no key to lose.

Like others,when out solo I try to keep bike in view or only out of sight for a short time.

When I first bought the bike I did buy a huge D lock but have never used it mainly because it weighs 1.715kg (nearly two packets of Tate and Lyle).

I also work on the basis that a thief might, just might, think he/she stands a better chance of getting away with a bike of a less conspicuous colour than Tonka Yellow 😳

As i mentioned in another thread, I've put a ring lock for the back wheel both immobilises the bike and stops the wheel with the Rohloff hub from going astray. Its position on the bike also makes it awkward to break without damaging the bike. A cable can be plugged into the lock to secure the bike to something more solid.

I had also bought a D lock but, as already noted, it's a heavy brute and best left fixed on a cycle rack at some daily destination. It's difficult to find a "gold" rated lock which the insurers want but doesn't weigh a couple of kg.


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