Touring locks

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  • I'm planning to cycle from Paris to Perpigan in the south of France in a couple of weeks, heading down along the Rhone valley. One of the things I can't figure out is whether to take a lock or not, and if so what kind.... Should I buy a flimsy thing, meaning it's light but will act as a deterrent, or something more substantial but which will also weigh (quite) a bit more? I couldn't find a specific thread on the forum about this, so wondered what people's experiences were.

    So, specifically:

    • Do you take a lock when you're (solo) touring?
    • If you do, what kind
    • and what's your rationale? If not, what's your rationale?
  • I take a flimsy waist lock thing usually. It’ll last 5secs if someone wanted to steal the bike but would hopefully stop anyone just walking off with it if I’ve popped into a shop where it’s out of sight.
    I also always lock it up if it’s in a different carriage to me on the train and to one of my tent poles at night if wild camping. It doesn’t weigh much more on my already heavy touring setup so don’t really care.
    I’d like to think through France you wouldn’t need it but I’m a better safe than sorry kinda guy.

    Also, if your route is taking you through the Morvan forest then Dm me, my parents live in Missery and are cool with people camping in their garden/providing hot meals and water etc.

  • Do you take a lock when you're (solo) touring?

    yeah

    If you do, what kind

    medium cable lock

    and what's your rationale? If not, what's your rationale?

    The weight of the lock is worth not coming out of a supermarket to find my bike and everything on it gone. That would be the worst. Even though rural France has felt extremely safe security-wise to me while touring. If there are any bags/goodies on the bike then I would still leave it in a place where you can keep eyes on it every 30 seconds. Often when going in to a supermarket i would wheel my fully laden bike into the entrance foyer, or inside the shop. Cheeky, but it gave an extra layer of protection in my mind. I've been tempted by the thin ziploc things, but they just seem too flimsy. A heavy D-lock is overkill. At night strip the bike of luggage/goodies and lock it either to something solid or next to the tent in a way that if it is moved you will hear. Some people recommend a tying line attached to the bike and into your tent.

  • I've got a little Hiplok Z-Lock thing that is small enough to shove in the side of my handlebar pack, and although it's basically a heavy duty cable tie with a combination lock on it, it's enough just to make that extra couple of minutes of inconvenience to someone who would be otherwise be able to just walk off with the bike.
    I wouldn't trust it if the bike was out of sight for more than a few minutes - but for locking up outside the coffee shop where I can still see it, it's better than nothing.

  • Good thread as I was thinking the same about my first trip I have planned this weekend (weather permitting).

    Was thinking 2 x Hiplok Z-Locks should do the trick for most circumstances. Would love something more secure but just cannot forgive the weight that would add to an already stacked kit

  • I've exclusively toured with a Kryptonite D-lock and cable, and the weight never really bothered me.

    But then again I'm touring on an old heavy steel frame, so weight has never been something I really considered.

  • Do you take a lock when you're (solo) touring?

    Yep, there are definitely times where I'm going into a larger shop/supermarket where I can't keep my bike within sight. My bike is typically pretty loaded so not the natural choice for joy riding but I would hate to have my holiday spoilt by bike theft

    If you do, what kind

    I bought this with specific intention of using for touring. I've got two much heavier Kryptonite locks but they're overkill for touring (I can remember getting some strange looks when using one in Vietnam years ago)

    https://www.litelok.com/collections/lite­lok-products-all/products/litelok-go-fle­xi-o

    I realise there's products like Hiplok Z-Lock which deter opportunists but they offer v limited protection. I arrived in Scotland by train earlier in the year and there was a couple of lads who likewise had brought their bikes for touring purposes. One of them had locked his bike in the luggage area but managed to bend/break key in the process of trying to unlock. I was able to cut them open with a Gerber multitool (not quite like butter but pretty quickly)

    and what's your rationale? If not, what's your rationale?

    It's not simply the risk of theft, it's also minimising the inevitable paranoia when leading bike unaccompanied (I typically ride around London with two Krytonite locks including a Fahgettaboudit so I may be more risk averse than some of you)

  • So, not only do you take a lock, but you also take equipment to break into other people's locks. Next level.

  • Hiplok DX lock becomes almost unnoticeable on my belt after awhile

  • My multitool wouldnt be much use on the locks I travel with...another option if youre looking for a really light option is reusable zip ties

    https://www.halfords.com/motoring/paints­-and-body-repair/adhesives/halfords-rele­asable-cable-ties-hfx416-black-706432.ht­ml

  • This is something I go back and forth on; I usually end up taking a D-lock and cable, not needing it for 95% of my tour, and resenting the weight. For some/most tours I'd probably be fine with a cable lock, but for visiting museums etc. in urban areas, where the bike's going to be unattended for a while, paranoia compels me to take something more secure. Has anybody tried the alarmed cafe locks? I keep meaning to get one to try out.

  • I bought a Hiplok original round-the-waist type chain lock after seeing @Gustav using one in France when we crossed paths. Tend to dump it at the bottom of a pannier rather than wear it around my waist but not really sure why as you don't really notice it.

    Really useful for peace of mind when in grocery stores etc, and as I'm usually touring alone it's been an unfortunate necessity. Could probably get by without one but would involve being quite cheeky and asking to bring your bike in with you wherever you went. Extra weight not usually an issue for me as most of my touring is longer distance so I'm carrying loads of unnecessary weight anway

  • Great to spend the day walking around Nuremberg with the peace of mind that your bike is relatively securely locked 😬


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  • Thanks everyone for the replies - and @edmundro for the offer of accommodation! I've just ordered an Abus 540 (review: https://thebestbikelock.com/best-u-lock/­abus-granit-x-plus-540-review/ ) which is a little under 1.5kg and I hope the peace of mind will outweigh the weight as I'm sure I will be kicking myself about how I didn't really need it at some point during the ride!

  • I've had great experiences with the Ottolock but I use it in a very strategic manner. It's by no means a very secure lock.

  • It’s similar to the Litelok I guess but I use a Hiplok spin if I want a lightweight deterrent sort of lock. I doubt you could cut it with a Gerber but basic bolt croppers wouldn’t have any trouble.

    Cheap too.

    https://www.merlincycles.com/hiplok-spin­-wearable-chain-lock-180230.html

  • I took a Kryptonite D-lock and cable for the front wheel when I toured. I probably wouldn't bother with that again.

    But when I race I carried a tiny, basically useless, cable combo lock from Abus I think and then didn't use it during the last race but perhaps it's a slight deterrent to kids.

    I typically insist my bike goes in my room if I'm in a hotel and if I'm sleeping I sleep next to it with the helmet strap through the front wheel so it might make a bit of noise to move.

    It depends where you're likely to end up (ie. will you be leaving your bike outside a museum for 5hours or will you be riding 95% of the time and only stopping for cafes and sleep?).

    People are more likely to take bits off your bike like panniers and pumps and computers than take the whole bike it seems.

  • I just had one of these delivered, the mini version, and its weight is why I'm now reading this thread.

    I will leave my bike out of sight so very rarely that I cant bring myself to take the extra weight of it. I know its only 1.2kg but I am trying to travel really very light.

    If, on the road, it becomes an issue I can always try and buy something more substantial.

    In terms of sight seeing, I will stay in a hotel whenever I want to do such things and the bike will be in the room. Im going to look at some of the options posted here.

  • There's a light titanium alternative to the D Lock - the TiGr. I've got the mini one, 431 g https://tigrlock.com/ It seems to be equivalent to Sold Secure Gold according to that Dutch testing body whose name I've forgotten. Edit: it's https://www.stichtingart.nl/en/home-en/

    I also take a very light motion sensitive puny alarmed cable lock. Intended for laptops I think, but it might be good for alerting you to someone messing with your bike while you're in a food shop. That's probably when I worry most when I'm touring. There are lots of models. Mine is similar to this. 195g. https://www.nichelocks.com/Security-Prod­ucts/Locking-Product/Miscellaneous/Vehic­le-Security/Cable-Lock/MINDER-Cable-Lock­-Alarm-120dB?cPath=0_581&gclid=CjwKCAjwy­vaJBhBpEiwA8d38vHFYNDpHhRwH_G-MOHY32uC64­nY1YdGL0HDMGMdqP369I7UZSM7UMxoCUiAQAvD_B­wE#googlebase

  • Really like the alarm cable idea. Of course as well as a half decent lock. Belt n braces n all that. No reason not to.

  • I came up with that idea all by myself! Never known anyone else to do it, so with luck the thief won't think to look for it or disable it with foam, which is what they used to do in the early days of car alarms. It's also useful for other stuff when travelling, e.g. your bags in hostels, or maybe your tent on a camp site.

  • I travelled across France in the middle of August. Honestly, I didn't notice the extra weight from this lock, and I did get a lot of piece of mind from it! I'm sure there was more variation across the day from the 4 bottles of water I was carrying: 3 in constant use, one spare hidden inside a pannier - I was probably drinking 10-12 bottles a day, and easily finishing 2 or between opportunities to fill up.

    Specifically, I was very glad of the lock when I unexpectedly spent 24 hours in Lyon and had to lock my bike up outside (admittedly, not on the street, but it was in an internal courtyard with quite easy accessibility to a lot of people I didn't know); it went through both wheels (front is quick release) and the bike rack which I was very pleased about.

    I was also glad of it one night when I couldn't sleep next to my bike: I found a perfect place to (wild) camp that was in a field, tucked away from the road and out of view of houses - only issue was it was 25m away behind a closed gate. I left my bike outside the gate, hidden and locked, and had a wonderful night's camping.

    My general feeling is that you don't need a lock if touring with more than one person, but if you're on your own and you want to prepare for every eventuality then I would highly recommend. And, ultimately, weight is much less of an issue touring than, say, racing - I averaged about 150km per day, with a max of 210km (and wouldn't have said I'm particularly fast although I guess a lot of people would disagree).

  • Yeah, I hear ya. Im off for an over nighter with my new bike and gear for a wee test run. 120 miles out, 120 back...will be a good tester. Will be taking a Magnum motorcycle cable lock that I use round the waist in the city, its 900g or so and will sit nice on top of my Tailfinn pack.
    Im new to touring so fairly happy to learn on the go. Big trip in spring.

  • I was looking at the Abus Bordo Lite for this purpose earlier today, seems to strike a balance in terms of safety, weight and volume between a proper U-lock and a zip tie like the Z-lock. Bonus points for the Movistar colour way.

  • 440g is very good.

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Touring locks

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