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  #1  
Old 11 May 2009
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Securing gear to bike WITHOUT panniers etc.?

Does anyone know of a way to secure a tent, sleeping bag and other odds and sods to a bike without the use of hard luggage? I'm planning on keeping the gear under a cargo net on the pillion seat as I cruise through France, Italy and Croatia before returning to the UK.

However, I'm concerned that I don't fancy lugging a load of gear around whenever I get off the bike, but don't fancy leaving it just under a cargo net for anyone to steal.

So, any ideas?!

Cheers!
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  #2  
Old 11 May 2009
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A bit heavy, but Pac-Safe - amongst others - do these metal 'nets' that you can use to secure gear.

Pacsafe Anti-Theft Bags & Travel Security Products
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  #3  
Old 11 May 2009
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Pacsafe stuff isn't terribly heavy, but it is awkward to use. Still, it's the only game in town.

My approach has leaned heavily on making things look ugly and unappealing: no neatly-packed, color-coordinated baggage in graduated-size stuff sacks for me. I wrap stuff in tatty raincovers, wrap these in whatever straps or rubber bungies I've got, and tie them on. Don't know whether this makes a difference: with or without Pacsafe no one's stolen anything off my bike.

Other approaches include: locking cables around or through gear, and/or battery powered, motion-sensitive alarms with or without pagers, and bike covers (again I go for the patched, ragged look).

enjoy,

Mark
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  #4  
Old 11 May 2009
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I use a large Pacsafe over a drybag which is then cabled to the bike's rear rack. It is a bit of a pain to set up so tended to use it for periods when the bike would be left unattended whilst loaded-up, such as ferry crossings, cafe's etc. But generally i found that the EU is safe/rich-enough that it wasn't required on a daily basis, or is that now the kiss-of-death now i've said it

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  #5  
Old 12 May 2009
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Yea, I'd been consdering the Pacsafe stuff but was worried about how secure they really were. The wire looks pretty flimsy - nothing a pair of scissors wouldn't cut through anyway!
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  #6  
Old 12 May 2009
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I don't know about scissors (haven't been willing to try this), but certainly any old wire cutters would work. Then again, a flat prybar would open my hard boxes easily enough, and I'm sure a dent puller would pop my ignition switch. Plus, any random four thieves could pick up my bike, throw it in the back of a truck, and be gone.

You're not trying to make it absolutely secure, or you'd carry a giant chain, an alarm system and a ferocious dog with you. You're just trying to slow someone down a bit. Pacsafe probably accomplishes this, as does a cover, or hard panniers, or a tilt-sensor alarm. But it's normally impossible to know whether you've prevented a theft by any of these means (except the last): you mostly only know when you've failed to prevent a theft. I haven't failed just yet.

enjoy,

Mark
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  #7  
Old 12 May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markharf View Post
I don't know about scissors (haven't been willing to try this), but certainly any old wire cutters would work. Then again, a flat prybar would open my hard boxes easily enough, and I'm sure a dent puller would pop my ignition switch. Plus, any random four thieves could pick up my bike, throw it in the back of a truck, and be gone.
Yep.

As someone who was "trained" by a lad who's now either in jail or been awarded "fastest radio fitter in the North" twelve years running, allow me to add the following. There is a hierachy of thieves:

1. Your street kid/passing scrote: Will pick up anything not fastened down. Likes GPS's, mobile phones, cameras, anything that can be shown to his mates or flogged to a bloke in a pub for the price of enough cider to be unconsious. ANY lock stops these guys, they'll look for something else.

2. Your street thief: Is looking for a big enough hit to cover a days worth of white powder. Carries side cutters, a hammer head or tyre lever plus a screwdriver. This guy will have your bike if he can simply put a screwdriver in the ignition, or your helmet or camera if only secured by a basic padlock. Will cut soft bags or a Pacsafe.

3. Ringers: Live like normal people, treat thievery like a job. Steal to order, have angle grinders, plumbers nitrogen, vans full of big lads, possibly even guns or knives. They are in no way interested in your 90,000 mile XT or bag full of underwear, they want Harleys or Ducati's that are just run in. BM GS's are on their radar though.

#2 is your big problem. Personally I use a 1.5m length of steel cable and disk lock (better than padlocks, the mechanism is across the lock) to secure my load against #1 and the scruffiest bags possible to put off #2.

One issue worth considering, I know of a set of Metal Mules that were stolen. New BM GS, so no camoflage, the thieves smashed the ****y padlocks tipped the kit out and took a helmet and the boxes. This was in York. The bike was only secured by a cast disk lock, so my mate guessed they were #2 type thieves that had discovered the value of tin boxes.

Andy
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  #8  
Old 12 May 2009
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Aye, a pacsafe is as safe as most boxes IMHO. You could get into my boxes with a big screwdriver in seconds. Touratech boxes used to have laughable locks on them till they copied my lock cover doodah (thieves, I should sue!).
At the end of the day, stuff sometimes gets knicked. Keep your passport and cards on you - anything else is just belongings and can be replaced. A pain in the butt, but at the end of the day you can't completely eliminate risk from travelling.

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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Old 12 May 2009
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On the other hand (there is always an "other hand"), a Pacsafe bag looks less secure than hard boxes....and this fact alone may attract attention. As well, the Pacsafe is less convenient, as anyone who's spent time inserting and removing floppy belongings will attest, and it's not waterproof. These disadvantages are not insurmountable, but in everyday use I greatly prefer the boxes.

The main advantage of a Pacsafe is that it prevents someone with a knife from slitting bags or cutting straps to make off with the whole thing. I've heard a lot more stories about this happening than I have about people prying lids off hard panniers.

FWIW, I use other Pacsafe products more often. My normal daypack is one of theirs, and it saved me some trouble when a thief climbed through a train window once but wasn't able to cut through the cable (especially since we were scuffling at the time). I use a moneybelt of theirs too. Before they started manufacturing this stuff I used to weave guitar strings through straps to make them slashproof, but Pacsafe is a bit more elegant.

Mileage varies.

Mark
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  #10  
Old 20 May 2009
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i am currently travelling around spain & portugal (been moving around for over a month now) and i've had no trouble with thieves.

i keep most valubables in a rucksack, which i keep with me, then just using a cheap bike chain to keep my helmet attached to my bike and i also run this through the handle of one of my bags.

i'm out to stop the opportunist or bored kid really i could of spent more on a chain as has been said if someone really wants to steal something they will.

most of my stuff is in hein gericke roll bags, so dont look expensive and are secured with bungee cords.

i left bike with bags on in barcelona for about 20 mins, and i was getting a bit worried when a girl came in and said she'd been in barcelona 4 hours and been pickpocketed already but my stuff was fine, although i would not recommend leaving anything on the bike in barcelona unsecured!
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  #11  
Old 20 May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markharf View Post
the Pacsafe is less convenient, as anyone who's spent time inserting and removing floppy belongings will attest, and it's not waterproof.
I reviewed the 80 litre stuff sack here:

They can be fiddly but it holds a lot more than my panniers so it's great for dumping boots, jackets and helmets when sight-seeing.

As far as I know, it is waterproof, at least the web site claims it is.

Stephan
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  #12  
Old 22 May 2009
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Yes i must say boots are one of the biggest security issues when off bike.

Mine are so old and in need of replacment if someone stole them i'd assume they were very desperate and they were therefore welcome to them!

If i bought new boots i'd be reluctant to leave them unsecured on bike and i dont fancy drilling holes in them so i can run a chain through them.
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  #13  
Old 23 May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_London View Post
Yes i must say boots are one of the biggest security issues when off bike.

Mine are so old and in need of replacment if someone stole them i'd assume they were very desperate and they were therefore welcome to them!

If i bought new boots i'd be reluctant to leave them unsecured on bike and i dont fancy drilling holes in them so i can run a chain through them.
My MX boots were the reason I bought a Pacsafe mesh bag in the first place. Everything else (jacket, helmet, etc.) I can put in my hard bags or thread a locking cable through. I don't mind a bit of charity, but I don't want to be stranded on any one of several continents without riding boots.

I'm thinking seriously of screwing a small shackle to each boot so that I can cable them as well. This will probably stay somewhere near the bottom of the list of priorities forever, but it would make my boots as secure as anything else....which is to say, difficult for a casual opportunist but easy for a pro. I'd use a folding shackle near the top on the outside, and I'd probably just use woodscrews and epoxy.

A piece of the security puzzle which has not yet been mentioned involves the fact that the more weird little protocols and devices (cables, steel mesh bags, padlocks, bike covers, bags, alarm systems, etc.) you have to deal with, the more of your limited energy and consciousness it soaks up. The last thing I want to be doing is spending so much time locking and unlocking, covering and uncovering, that I lose track of the real point of it all, which is adventure and personal growth. This is one of my problems with Pacsafe products; they demand a lot of fussing around each time I use them. I'd really rather close a hard case, snap the lock and go.

FWIW I lost a Pacsafe key once and had to cut the lock. Piece of cake. The tumblers are of a higher standard than many locks of that diminutive size, but the shackle can be snipped effortlessly with any sort of cutter.

enjoy,

Mark
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