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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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  #1  
Old 4 Jan 2008
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Most suitable lock

I am looking for a way of securing my bike during a RTW trip.

I appreciate that disc locks are light and easy to carry, but I am fearful of some bunch of scrotes just picking up my bike and throwing it in a van.

Could anybody recommend a good lock which will allow me to secure the bike to an immovable object, whilst still being a good balance between weight and security offered?
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  #2  
Old 4 Jan 2008
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Smile Stick question that one.......

A hundred bikers will give you probably 70 different answers!

There is NO real substitute for a Heavy Chain & Good Quality Lock. OK it will be heavy & cumbersome, a pain in the ass, it will take up precious room and probably drive you mad.
But if it stops some scumbag stealing your wheels when you are in the middle of a trip of a lifetime and consequently having that trip ruined, that heavy Lock & Chain will be worth its weight in Gold.

NO chain will stop a thief if they REALLY WANT your Bike.

Chaining to a BIG telegraph pole or Street lamp is best, I know some poor guy who chained his bike to a 4 foot high concrete post and the thieves lifted the bike over the post! OK it was only a light Honda 90cc Bike, but a lesson he did not forget in a hurry.

A chain WILL stop Casual Scumbag thieves and make them look for an easier target.

Hope this helps........


Martyn
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  #3  
Old 4 Jan 2008
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The best advice I was given was to always park in the centre square of the town where there are loads of people and it's well lit at night. He never bothered to lock his old trans-alp up either.
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  #4  
Old 4 Jan 2008
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On my last trip I carried a heavy Abus chain and padlock, in 5 weeks of travel I never actually chained the bike to any thing solid as there was nothing about so a disc lock would have been just as good.
As a disc lock I use a yale padlock,
I think I will leave the chain at home next time
My bike is pretty scruffy if I was using a newer more expensive machine I would be more concered about bike theft.
I do take more care if I am in a city or any place where there are tourists as more likley to be thieves about
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  #5  
Old 4 Jan 2008
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really?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bolla View Post
On my last trip I carried a heavy Abus chain and padlock, in 5 weeks of travel I never actually chained the bike to any thing solid as there was nothing about.
Unless you crossed the Sahara ... I cannot believe there were no Trees, Telegraph Poles or Street lamps to chain to! What about chaining to other bikes? (by arrangement) even just chaining the front wheel to the rear wheel (if the chain is long enough) is a deterrent to Mr Thieving Dirtbag Esq.

Martyn
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  #6  
Old 5 Jan 2008
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A few ideas

There is another thread somewhere in here that recommends carrying an "old looking" bike cover - throw that over the bike whenever you are leaving it.

If you do carry a lock and chain, a useful "trick" with these developed in the UK a few years ago: Look for another bike that has a chain around it when you park your bike, get in close enough to link your chain through that bikes' chain - that way both bikes would have to be lifted in order to steal one of them, but either rider can release their own bike no matter who gets back to the bikes first. I haven't seen this used too much recently, but it was possible to see a group of bikes "daisy-chained" together.

When riding distance I sometimes take a light chain for bicycles - the kind that coils up but opens out to about a couple of metres of plastic coated wire; bit of a bluff if I put it around the bike for security (but the quality versions would take some cutting), but it can also be used to lock full face helmets etc to the bike and save carrying them around.
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  #7  
Old 5 Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
There is another thread somewhere in here that recommends carrying an "old looking" bike cover - throw that over the bike whenever you are leaving it.

If you do carry a lock and chain, a useful "trick" with these developed in the UK a few years ago: Look for another bike that has a chain around it when you park your bike, get in close enough to link your chain through that bikes' chain - that way both bikes would have to be lifted in order to steal one of them, but either rider can release their own bike no matter who gets back to the bikes first. I haven't seen this used too much recently, but it was possible to see a group of bikes "daisy-chained" together.

When riding distance I sometimes take a light chain for bicycles - the kind that coils up but opens out to about a couple of metres of plastic coated wire; bit of a bluff if I put it around the bike for security (but the quality versions would take some cutting), but it can also be used to lock full face helmets etc to the bike and save carrying them around.
The only thing I have had stolen is my old bike cover The thieves were chased off by the hotel owner who then inisted I bring my bike in the hotel.
The cable type lock is handy as you can also lock your jacket to the bike by threading the cable through a sleve while you go for a walk.
The lock to lock is a good idea but its amazing how many people just dont get it and think they cant ride away because you have put your lock through theres. Lock2Lock | L2L | Bike Security Scheme.
At the end of the day its common sense and how you feel about a place.
I dont want my stuff stolen I also dont want to be constantly worried about my stuff.
Big cities, tourist places and any public transport places be a bit more aware.
Oh never lock your nice shiney crash helmet to your bike using the buckle alot of people will like a nice crash helmet and are not bothered that the chin strap has been cut.
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  #8  
Old 5 Jan 2008
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I took an Abus Gold Granite Top Of The Range Diamond Carbon Sold Secure £150 chain and lock. Some guy (legitimately) cut through it in Spain. I asked him how long it had taken, "5 seconds, I have workshop bolt cutters..."
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  #9  
Old 6 Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougieB View Post
I took an Abus Gold Granite Top Of The Range Diamond Carbon Sold Secure £150 chain and lock. Some guy (legitimately) cut through it in Spain. I asked him how long it had taken, "5 seconds, I have workshop bolt cutters..."
It seems alot of the expensive security chains that are thatham or solid secure can be cut with decent bolt croppers. Some companys have started making the links bigger so the croppers cant get around the link but the big links are brittle and break when smashed with a big hammer.
Try to keep the chain off the floor when locking your bike as its alot harder to crop or break with a hammer
YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.
If I need to buy a security chain I will buy Almax I have one allready but they are a bit heavier then your average chain but stand up to bolt croppers.
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  #10  
Old 6 Jan 2008
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Sadly the pros are always going to find a way if they really want it - it's more the little scrotes you need to deter... in which case a disc-lock (clearly positioned/marked so they don't trash your caliper) or U-lock is probably going to do the trick... as others have said, if you can't bare to ride an old nail, then a cover and/or parking it in a well lit (overlooked) spot is probably the best answer...

...or get a 1200GSA and full luggage - afterall, noone is gonna be able to pick up that bad boy!

JennyMo xxx
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  #11  
Old 6 Jan 2008
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I use one of these XENA Security: If We're not On Your Bike... Who Is?

Combined Disc Lock and Alarm. Only disadvantage is once you have triggerred it and are aware its an alarm you can cover the siren holes up. OK to deter casual thieves.
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  #12  
Old 6 Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bolla View Post
The only thing I have had stolen is my old bike cover The thieves were chased off by the hotel owner who then inisted I bring my bike in the hotel.


I have never travelled with a bike cover but the thought had crossed my mind for the event you describe; Even a bike cover has a value!!

In the same way, some folk suggest that leaving a bike scruffy and dirty in appearance will deter thieves, but a "big" bike (say a 500cc and above) tells it's own story in some countries.
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  #13  
Old 6 Jan 2008
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Im running an oxford disc lock and steel o flex as a deterrant but also to secure my helmet etc. while in the shops. No real solutions.
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  #14  
Old 6 Jan 2008
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...ALSO take a look at the Abus bordo...very very compact and much much tougher than it looks. Thinking about taking one with me next time. Type Abus Bordo on youtube for a couple reviews.
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  #15  
Old 7 Jan 2008
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A cheap alarm, a disk lock and a bike cover have been reliable for me for years of riding around some pretty god-awful places. The effort to get the cover off quickly in order to stop that bloody screaming alarm, only to find the disk lock needs to be dealt with is a significant challenge for any thief. None of this stuff is any great effort to carry. But of course this only works if the bike is parked in a busy public area, or next to a police or military office, or next to the entrance office of the historic site or whatever you are visiting, or at the local petrol station, or anywhere people are going to know who owns your bike and/or be attracted by the general commotion. Once the helmet comes off and the ugly, hairy very-much-a-non-local head is exposed, the ownership of your bike should be known to quite a few anyway. If you park in a quiet dark place, tying your bike to a bull elephant isn't going to help.

But this is really advice for travellers. I reckon the whole massive chain etc solution is for commuters who need to park in big (mostly quiet) parking areas day after day with people who look like you and couldn't care less about your stuff.

As some posts have already said - if someone wants your bike they'll get it no matter what you lock it up with. But when travelling the locals WILL make it hard for them if you give them half a chance.

cheers
Brett
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