Author Topic: Do I take a lock on a world tour??  (Read 7892 times)

slim

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Re: Do I take a lock on a world tour??
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2011, 08:19:35 AM »
The Abus-Granite D lock can embrace a fairly large railing - just under 11 cm x 30cm. If that's not enough consider the ABUS Granit Steel-O-Flex X-Plus 1050 Armored Cable Lock. Check out the specs on Bike24. They are equally impressive and the sight of them will deter most opportunists, but especially serious lock breakers (whether armed with a Bic pen or a sledge hammer).

It maybe just me, but I find that most of the places I like to go don't have railings in the places where I want to stop.

BTW, should the need arise Arbus locks are big enough and heavy enough to fulfill the roll of a baseball bat should you need to defend yourself against marauding locals, Range Rovers, dogs or even a hungry lion.


sbseven

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Re: Do I take a lock on a world tour??
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2011, 11:33:49 AM »
A top quality lock takes a weight off your mind, but adds a weight to your load, whilst a cheap lock might not be enough of a deterrent (which would be a disaster!).

I still consider my recommendation of a flexible long lock is probably the best compromise (assuming you are not insuring your bike).

Much the same as the quandary with insurance!  Do you pay lots of money to cover yourself for something that might never happen?? 

Out of interest, I contacted Cycleguard and Cyclecover (both UK) regarding covering a Thorn Raven Nomad with a nominal value of 3000 for a two year round the world trip (East to China, Oz & NZ, South America) for theft/accidental damage. Cycleguard wouldn't consider insuring. Cyclecover (CTC) offered either 618 (includes 2 yrs CTC membership) or 950 as a non-member for the 2 years. Policy conditions included using a Gold Standard lock (from an approved list) and always locking the bike to an immovable object (this applies even when locked inside a hotel room or storeroom). Currently, cycles are only insured on flights if they are packed in a "hard box" (i.e. not a CTC Poly Bag or soft bike bag). I'm not sure if the S&S Couplings on the Nomad would affect the cover as I didn't ask.

RIGHT, SOME MORE QUESTIONS THAT MIGHT HELP WHITTLE THINGS DOWN A BIT...

Does anyone know what size D lock is necessary to go through the frame and around a railing (with panniers attached)??  This would be useful to know, because locks like the 'forgettaboutit' could be immediately ruled out.

Has anyone found a good solution for carrying a D lock (particularly with regards to a Nomad)? 

The quoted Abus Granite X-Plus 54 D Lock has an internal shackle measurements of 300m x 108mm. I'd imagine there would be a few times when you'd struggle to use it to lock the bike with panniers to an immovable object. A stuffed rear Ortlieb Roller Plus pannier has a width of 220mm. By leaning the bike, I'd expect you'd get the top tube a bit closer, but it's still going to be quite tight.

If I was carrying a D lock on a Nomad, I'd lash it on top of any bag sitting on the rack. The internal frame diamond on a Nomad is quite small and you'd probably want to have bottles on both the down and seat tubes. Behind the seat post is a possibility if you have enough post showing above any rack bag.

Shaun

Sinnerman

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Re: Do I take a lock on a world tour??
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2011, 09:30:54 AM »
Thanks for the responses, that helps a lot.  I will scratch my head a little more and make a decision.  As for insurance, I think I am moving away from this sort of thing.  It just upsets me too much.  If I pay for insurance I am definitely giving money to a bunch of thieves.  If I don't, I am playing for higher stakes, but to some extent it is in my own hands!

Touch a tree...

T

Sinnerman

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Re: Do I take a lock on a world tour??
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2011, 10:03:50 AM »
Head scratched...I think I am going to opt for either the ABUS Citychain X-Plus 1060 or the ABUS Citychain 1010.  I have used similar locks in the past and liked them and they will wrap around my seat post or fold up, which is a bonus.  I reckon they could also be swung at lions!

Just need to work out which length to go for, 85/110/140/170cm.  Hmmmm...


T
« Last Edit: September 03, 2011, 10:24:11 AM by Sinnerman »

sbseven

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Re: Do I take a lock on a world tour??
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2011, 10:48:52 PM »
Head scratched...I think I am going to opt for either the ABUS Citychain X-Plus 1060 or the ABUS Citychain 1010.  I have used similar locks in the past and liked them and they will wrap around my seat post or fold up, which is a bonus.

A good choice, but heavy IMO at 2kg-3kg. Should certainly deter all but the most determined thieves, though.

Just need to work out which length to go for, 85/110/140/170cm.  Hmmmm...

If you've got some time, take a length of string with you, marked at 85/110/140/170cm, while you ride your bike. Whenever you stop, look for the nearest immovable object and use the string to determine how long a lock you would need to lock up the bike (estimating for panniers). Might help you decide the most appropriate lock length.

Good luck on your travels.

Shaun

geocycle

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Re: Do I take a lock on a world tour??
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2011, 06:47:34 AM »
I'm a big fan of the Abus granit 54 which I leave at work for securing my Thorn on commuting duty, but I'd never want to carry soemthing like that on tour.  I usually carry an old light unbranded kryptonite which is probably one of the famous bic biro types.  My reasoning is that I rarely leave my bike unattended and any lock would deter a complete opportunist when in a cafe.  A d lock works well and will put off anyone with bolt croppers, especially if you use pitlocks on the hubs so you have a lot of options to find a suitable anchoring point.
 

sloe

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Re: Do I take a lock on a world tour??
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2011, 10:46:42 PM »
http://www.flickr.com/photos/12416461@N04/6114074910/in/photostream/

This is the ABUS Granit Strato 61 U-Lock, which is 2/3 the weight of the Abus granit 54. Same sort of price, not quite so secure. Long version weighs 1200g, plus holder. Not sure if that's the key security or the thickness of the bar that reduces it from 15 to 10. I pair it with Pitlock skewers so get lots of locking options. I secure the floppy end to the crossbar with a mini-bungee, and protect the crossbar from thumping with a bit of pipe insulation.
 

Danneaux

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Re: Do I take a lock on a world tour??
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2012, 06:45:01 AM »
Hi All,

When I posted my new Sherpa pics in the gallery section, I mentioned I had not opted for Pitlocks out of concern they could be easily defeated.  Several of you have contacted me for more information, so I think a thread already devoted to security is the best place to answer.

To clarify my comment about Pitlocks:   I very seriously considered purchasing a set of Pitlocks for obvious reasons.  However, I spotted a flaw and wrote one distributor with my concerns last August, detailing my approach and methods.  The distributor replied he did not think my methods would work, but would investigate further.  I've received no additional reply.  I have not contacted other distributors.

Not wanting to spend serious money on a product I had concerns over, I went out to my machine shop, made a Pitlock of my own and promptly defeated it.  I photo-scaled the parts and the design and materials used in my experiments are essentially identical; I used the dimensions provided directly by the distributor.  Lacking a "real" one to practice on, I don't see how it could differ in vulnerability, but I also cannot say for certain.  There were several methods that worked, but I do not wish to publicize them.  I detest bicycle thieves and do not wish to aid their efforts in any way.  The point is, I found the *design* and *concept* to be vulnerable and that raised enough concerns to defer a purchase until I could learn more from the experience of others.

I do believe Pitlocks are secure in areas where thieves have not sussed-out a solution.  *Any* bicycle security can be defeated, especially if mixed with a human-factors approach (i.e. lying to or deception of onlookers); time alone is a big factor aiding a thief, as is predictability.  The best approach is to leave the bike unattended as little as possible and to employ a variety of methods to secure it, as thieves usually carry just one or two implements to defeat a given lock or cable.  I think the problem is likely to be more severe for commuters who park in the same place consistently and predictably than it is for tourists who take ordinary precautions but are essentially only vulnerable in a single timeframe.  There is a city vs. country component as well as local factors.  Here in my locale, epidemic levels of methamphetamine addiction drive over 90% of all property crimes according to police statistics.  A policeman friend tells me thieves will sometimes fill orders when they know of someone looking for a specific kind or brand of bicycle and will bring the tools needed to get it if it is commonly parked in the same place.  He advised locked, secure indoor parking for commuters if possible.

I think until any reports of problems become widespread users won't have to worry.  I think a varied solution is reasonable and generally secure.  Even the SON28 and Rohloff hubs are fairly obscure items to most cyclists here in North America, and Pitlocks moreso at present.  That may change soon and might not be the case where they are more common.  If nothing else, Pitlocks are an extra impediment, and unless the are targeting a specific bicycle, thieves will generally pass a secure one for the easier mark.  Since the topic of theft prevention is evergreen, it might be worth adding any new insights to this thread.  I know it is a topic I remain vitally interested in and concerns us all in some way.  I want to keep my Sherpa (and its wheels)!

All the best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2012, 09:58:20 AM by Danneaux »

Andre Jute

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Re: Do I take a lock on a world tour??
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2012, 04:57:16 AM »
My recommendation for the world tour is

1. a frame-mounted ring lock (Abus, Basta) on each wheel
Plus

2. a lock that makes the bike unridable by unlocking the handlebar from the front wheel, like the n'Lock http://shop.nlock.ch/

Plus

3. a cable for tying the bike to something (the N'Lock comes with a mickey mouse cable; that's not what I mean!) -- the best cable that is still convenient locks into the ring lock and loops through other components and around fixed objects and releases at the same time as the ring lock

4. Pitlocks for the seat post and saddle, locks for luggage.

All of this should cost about a couple of hundred pounds but doesn't necessarily obviate the need for insurance (which covers your bike not only against theft but against accidents and fire, etc).

I don't find it difficult to fit an Abus D-lock; like everyone else who's ever handled one, I swear by the Abus Granite X-plus 54, and use mine every time I leave the house. It depends on which of the many available clips you have. Mine has the one-handed clip for the down tube attached just under the seat at an angle so that clears the rack and pannier baskets, where it also falls conveniently to hand if a Range Rover comes too near me.

You can get ring locks, the good ones being made by Basta and Abus, for both the rear and front wheels, the rear wheel one is more common, more easily fitted and more convincing as engineering (there is no reason you shouldn't fit a rear ring lock at the front, if your bike is otherwise suited, which probably means disc brakes). The front design is different, and not so convincing. Ringlocks are in fact quite light, as only the ring needs to be sturdy at all, and the sheath can be any old flimsy rubbish, because once the ring is locked on, one of the bike's triangles needs to be broken to get it off, and the rim to be cut; there's no space for leverage. Many of these ring locks sold at retail are in fact OEM packages, so make sure you get the fitting kit as well.

The ring lock and n-Lock combination have the advantage that when they are open, not locked on, the keys sit in them.

So, with this combination, you have a bike that is visibly not suitable for use (the handlebars are at an obviously odd angle), so no riding away; no impulse crimes. The more professional thief doesn't want an inoperable bike; he moves on. If he has orders for your components, say a Rohloff box, he notes that the frame will have to be cut to get the wheel out, or all the spokes cut to get the box out. He moves on to a more cooperative target.

This little lot shouldn't add as much as two pounds to your bike, so you're ahead over the 3 pounds of the Abus Granite X-plus 54 which locks up only one wheel.

In fact, I might try the n'Lock myself now that they've reduced the prices.

Andre Jute
« Last Edit: January 15, 2012, 05:00:14 AM by Hobbes »

Danneaux

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Re: Do I take a lock on a world tour??
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2012, 07:04:01 AM »
Andre,

My!  You find the most interesting parts and solutions to problems, and I appreciate hearing about them!  The N'Lock is one of those fascinating sorts of things, and I'll admit watching their video a half-dozen times.  It is surely an innovative idea.  Convenient for storage, transport, and parking as well as security.

I also like your idea of protecting each vulnerable system in a different way -- your four solutions cover the wheels (Pitlocks and ringlocks), the handlebars and perhaps fork (Pitlock and N'Lock), and a cable securing the lot to a fixed object.  Add in the Abus D-lock for high-security, and I think one has done everything possible to deter theft.  It is especially nice most of the systems are captive to the frame and the keys are also captive to their respective locks.  It is a system thoroughly integrated and convenient, as one would find on an automobile.

I wish I could employ some of these on my Sherpa; alas, it seems my component choices won't allow it.  I'm pretty well stuck with a conventional stem for my needs, and unfortunately Pitlock steerer caps are incompatible with the Tout Terrain The Plug 2.  I'm considering placing a small ball bearing in the stainless-steel allen bolt for it, and then tipping it out by inverting the bike when I need access.  So long as the bike is secured upright, it would be difficult to remove the obstructing bearing without a magnet.  I've really looked closely at ring locks.  My Dutch friend is sold on his, and I was impressed by how easily and conveniently it worked for him.  His was one of the many that allow for a plug-in cable as part of the deal. Nice. Unfortunately, ringlocks won't clear my Zefal HPX2 pump inside the rear stays, and I don't think one on brake-boss mounts will clear my rear rack stays.

I wish I didn't have to carry the heavy, bulky U-lock on-tour.  I have considered Abus' Bordo series of link-type locks, but recent reports indicate they can be twisted apart at the rivets with relative ease. 

Andre, please keep those ideas coming -- I feel sure there's a better solution for my needs out there somewhere!

Best,

Dan.

Andre Jute

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Re: Do I take a lock on a world tour??
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2012, 08:21:17 AM »
The Abus Bordo is for rough bikes. It will ruin your bike's beautiful paint in no time at all. The reason I don't use ring locks any more is that the only one that fits around my preferred wide rim and 60mm tires is a Basta custom made for Utopia for the front wheel, which was out of stock when I ordered my bike. But I wish a thief luck undoing the 15mm nuts on my front axle and getting the axle out of the precision-engineered German dropout. Hint: it doesn't drop out. Wheels that come out are for riders who get flats; with modern tyres you have the choice of not getting flats.

I'm just wondering if I should buy an n'Lock. The same fellow designed an earlier stem lock for a French company, which is more stylish, but doesn't have all the safety features and, judging by their response when I tried to deal with them, is not likely to be as obsessively well-made as the n'Lock.

I also see there's a new n'Lock, called the Mini, since I was last interested, which fits on a quill stem. I'm big on quill stems even in ahead/threadless frames because of my interest in ergonomics (ponce-speak for sitting up straight) and their infinite adjustability. After with Trek's cheerful and invaluable help, I reengineered my Trek Cyber Nexus to be what they originally intended it to be, a comfortable commuter for slack middle-aged parties (nothing at all like Thorn riders!) instead of a painful semi-sporting mishmash with an automatic gearbox, a man from Trek told me how much it would cost to reengineer their templates and molds and whatnot to make the head tube taller, and I just nodded (it was less than I thought it would be...); I see they now offer, on their road bikes (!), a taller head tube. Digression over The reason I'm interested in the quill capability is that the last time I looked, I couldn't fit an n'Lock without losing enough height at the handlebar mounting to concern me; it's a position on my bike where every millimetre is precious to me, and felt in my back.

Andre Jute

StuntPilot

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Re: Do I take a lock on a world tour??
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2012, 01:11:37 PM »
Just found this - not sure if they are mentioned elsewhere re. locks, but for touring, peace of mind on short stops, and convenience of carrying I think the Abus Bordo lock may fit the bill. There are a variety of styles, key or combination locks, different sizes and security ratings too. I like the Bordo Granite X-Plus model with the frame mounted carry case.

http://www.abus-bordo.com/index_en.html

I don't think they are as secure as a top quality chain, but convenience is good. Made in Germany from German steel.

I would combine it with the Almax chain for city/high-risk areas when commuting. A bit heavy for touring though!

http://www.almax-security-chains.co.uk/

Richard

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Re: Do I take a lock on a world tour??
« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2012, 05:40:52 PM »
Hi Richard,

I pondered going this route earlier, but Andre cautioned it is not kind to bicycle paint. I am still drawn to the siren call of the compact design, the neat little case, the extensible loop formed by the riveted links, but ah! There's the problem...the riveted links. There was a test done last Fall, I believe, which found those to be the weak link as it were, and easily prised apart. Such a shame if true (and it appears to be), as it would be just about perfect for my touring needs. I currently carry one of the later Kryptonite Evo2000 U-locks, a huge, heavy thing, and a small, custom-made vinyl-covered aircraft cable. The cable isn't too bad as it stores on the U-lock. The U-lock is the very thing that turned me toward the Bordo series. Currently, the best storage option I have found is to put the U-lock on-edge laterally (lying on its side) between my rear rack-top load ad secure it with the same Arno straps I use to secure the load. It is not ideal.

Like you, I am still drawn to the Abus Bordo Granite X-Plus model. It is just so...neat. Cool. Something to keep atop in terms of development. I still think I want one. I could hold the thing and happily call it my own, except for the spotty performance in tests. The series has been improved, but a remaining current flaw seems to be a plastic component, of all things. See:
http://road.cc/content/review/16663-abus-bordo-granit-x-plus-link-lock
http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/accessories/locks/product/review-abus--abus-bordo-granit-x-plus-39846

Richard...discouragingly, it seems any locking device can be broken, thanks to a power tool and human factors exploitation, but the key is to have something that will remain reasonably secure for the intended use. Locking the bike to run into a grocery while on-tour is different from leaving the bike unattended on the street all night. One thing I try to do now in more urban areas is to find a fire station and lock the bike there after speaking with the duty staff, or at an attended petrol station co-located with a grocery. I'll sometime bring back a hot cup of coffee for the attendant or offer to buy for the staff, and it does help them keep an eye on the (locked) bike while I am gone. Of course, it also depends on their honesty, as they would have  a known period of time to rifle through my bags for plunder.

Still thinking about that lock, just as you are. The long-linked Almax chain you mentioned makes for a good design in it allows the chain slack to be taken-up, making the chisel approach less viable.

If I can get some solid dimensions, I am toying with the idea of attaching a rear wheel ring-lock to Sherpa's chainstays. The Zefal HPX pump makes the usual seatstay location impossible, and I am not yet sure there is enough clearance for one to mount on the v-brake posts, which also puts it outside the rear triangle. The chainstay location shows promise and would get the weight down low, if there is enough clearance.  Still pondering.

Good finds, Richard, and thanks!

Best,

Dan.

StuntPilot

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Re: Do I take a lock on a world tour??
« Reply #28 on: April 06, 2012, 06:05:05 PM »
Dan

Thanks for the input and links. Yes, I have seen some mediocre reviews of this lock. I am sure you agree that for sheer compactness and design, its great. For touring use outside of urban areas I think it would be ideal. I will look into it more and try and find it in a shop to fiddle with the lock first. Also I have not exhausted my search of other locks, especially Dutch and German bike shops where all sorts of interesting bits can be found!

I notice the reviews were from April and October 2010, so it would be good to find more up to date info. Surely they must have fixed the falling-off-plastic-and-lock-fall-out situation by now! If it has been improved in the last year or so, I think I will go with it. Paint damage may be an issue but some old inner tube round the seat post should cover it, so to speak.

Having looked at many touring blogs, there seems little mention of locks in remote or country areas. And as mentioned before somewhere, a fully loaded tourer is not the easiest bike to steal. I leave both click-stand elastics engaged an the Rohloff in gear 14! A couple of more things for the opportunist to overcome!!!

Cheers

Richard

Danneaux

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Re: Do I take a lock on a world tour??
« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2012, 09:38:55 PM »
Though not about locks locks, this is still related to the discussion of theft prevention while on-tour...

Mum may have been right when she labeled our coats and jackets in preschool. Putting your name on your bike or parts spoils the value for thieves while making them (and the bike to which they're attached) immediately identifiable.

Over the years, I engraved the stems and cranks on a number of my bikes, and it has often drawn positive comment. I freehand the operation with a high-speed die grinder and a ball cutter, rather than using a pantograph. I have never had a parts failure in over 30 years' use, though placement takes considerable thought and I won't do it to someone else's bike. The lettering is picked out and filled with successive layers of stoved enamel. The engraving is straight and crisp, but the paint edges have worn a bit on some of the older examples, and needs touching-up.The crank was a blank Shimano forging I remilled, polished, then engraved. The stems were carefully selected and there were a number that went through load-cycle testing to failure before I got the process down. The stems pictured all had a plain finish, which I later polished. I do not like to engrave anodized parts; milling through the hard coating to the softer parent metal creates problems, so I strip the anodizing first if it is present. I would have to do a lot of testing on spares before I felt confident about engraving Sherpa's hollow Kalloy Uno 3D stem or the c-cross section painted Deore cranks.

It is not a bad idea to label your panniers, however. An acrylic paint pen is the route to go here, and it needn't be in-your-face; placing your name in 2cm tall letters on the wheel-side of the bags is sufficient to readily identify them to a police officer in the event of a dispute.

I also take some care to tuck a small laminated notice into various parts of the bike, claiming ownership with contact info and asking any bike mechanic who services the bike to immediately notify me and the police if the customer can't produce ID to match. One goes in the BB shell, the steerer, the head tube, and the seatpost. The bikes are all marked in a variety of other ways so they can be readily identified on recovery in the event they are stolen in whole or part, or if ownership is disputed.

Locks help, but so does labeling, both prominent and stealthy.

Best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2012, 09:43:01 PM by Danneaux »