Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: mzimmerm on December 02, 2019, 06:04:43 pm

 
Title: Lightweight Locking cable for touring
Post by: mzimmerm on December 02, 2019, 06:04:43 pm
Any brand or type preferences for a lightweight cable and lock for long distance bike touring? Needs to be long enough to wrap around 2 bikes and something like a picnic table!?!?
Title: Re: Lightweight Locking cable for touring
Post by: John Nelson on December 02, 2019, 08:01:22 pm
This is one of the most popular topics here. There are probably a hundred threads on this subject. Preferences run all over the map. I use a 6-foot cable with a combination lock, with a 10-foot extension. I like to run it through both wheels, the frame, all four panniers, with enough left to go around a tree. You could probably cut the cable with a good wire cutter and strong hands. I’m just trying to protect against opportunity thieves, and I’m hoping that they aren’t carrying wire cutters.
Title: Re: Lightweight Locking cable for touring
Post by: John Nettles on December 02, 2019, 09:28:54 pm
Like John, I too use a very thin cable.  Mine is about 10+ feet long and is plastic-wrapped.  Maybe an 1/8" diameter if that.  I use a small suitcase type combo lock.  It is solely to protect against opportunity thieves.  You can go to your local hometown hardware store (not a home depot) and they will make one up for you any length you desireBe sure to have them put heat shrink wrap around the connectors so they don't scratch the bike.  I know one guy who has a 28'(!) cable one so he can wrap it around all the pannier straps, wheels, frame, helmets, tree, etc. for his tandem.
Tailwinds, John

   
Title: Re: Lightweight Locking cable for touring
Post by: Inge on December 03, 2019, 12:37:01 am
I use a framelock with a lightweight cable to lock it to the "world".

Like said before lots has been said about this and depends on your preferences and needs.
Title: Re: Lightweight Locking cable for touring
Post by: BikePacker on December 03, 2019, 08:07:40 am
I have gotten plastic covered cable of desired thickness cut to desired length along with the what I will call 
(due to lack of knowledge of the real noun : )
the hammer malleable loops 'to be crimped-couplings'.
Made my loops on each of the cable ends, then easily hammered the 'to be crimped couplings' down on the cable loop ends.
Done.
Upside is:
1. I got the desired plastic coated thickness and length (found a wide selection at, both, Lowes and Home Depot).
2. Maybe a lower priced than buying one.
Downside is:
The 'to be crimped-couplings' had to be electrical tape taped so as to avoid a rough surface that could possibly scratch the bike.  Meanwhile, the rough edges that can result from the hammering are easily file-able to a smooth surface condition.
Title: Re: Lightweight Locking cable for touring
Post by: staehpj1 on December 03, 2019, 08:11:43 am
When traveling with two or more bikes I have found that rather than take one long cable lock there is some advantage to each rider taking a lock.  There will be times that you need to lock separately.  Also we felt some added (perhaps false) security by having two cables through both bikes in some locations.  You could even take two identical locks that could be joined to make one long one.

That said I have gone pretty minimal for locks on tour.  I have taken a pretty light  (5 ounces I think) cable combination lock.  A thin cable and a little padlock is also a good option.

Some places I don't lock, some places I do, some places I won't leave my bike unattended locked or not.  In larger towns, especially "bike friendly" ones be especially careful.  If I think it is necessary I take the bike inside stores.  Leave it in front by the the registers where the cashiers can see it or even roll it up and down the aisles.

Title: Re: Lightweight Locking cable for touring
Post by: BikeliciousBabe on December 04, 2019, 01:03:33 pm
I have either the 4' version or the 6' version. Think it's the former.

https://www.amazon.com/Master-Lock-Cable-Combination-8114D/dp/B000BD69IS/ref=asc_df_B000BD69IS/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=216767797588&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12582410782455495764&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9007308&hvtargid=aud-801738734305:pla-348672266380&psc=1

Title: Re: Lightweight Locking cable for touring
Post by: froze on December 15, 2019, 12:22:10 am
I'm not a fan of low price tube shaped dial disks combo cable locks, I've actually been able to "pick" those type of locks in about 30 seconds without practice! with practice I could have done it in half the time, and it's fairly quiet to do the job.  In addition you should use a thicker cable to prevent a fast cutting with a pair of snips.

Why spend that kind of money for a combo lock when for the same amount of money you can get a key lock?

I use a cable similar to this one: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01K02R9NS/ref=sspa_dk_detail_2?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B01K02R9NS&pd_rd_w=9LjoD&pf_rd_p=45a72588-80f7-4414-9851-786f6c16d42b&pd_rd_wg=Fed0C&pf_rd_r=0H8EFC4Z17J5F3DW9W69&pd_rd_r=51dce506-5104-4d53-8d5a-7b3398c34a47&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzN0s4OFdWOUhOR0pWJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNjc2MjQzMUpCVDhDRk81NTE1OSZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwOTU3Mjg5MlMxQlM0MjNXOTY0JndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfZGV0YWlsJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

It has a 12mm thick cable and as you can tell it comes in several lengths.  This cable needs a lock I personally use a keyed discus key lock even when touring, but for touring the reality is a combo is a better idea since you wouldn't want to lose the key out on a tour.  A combo padlock like this one:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000WEIIQC/?tag=propertyguard-20  would be perfect for touring with because it's the most weather resistant model made.  So for under $30 you have a lock system that is lightweight and yet locks up good enough, the cable is the weak spot but to get something stronger like a chain is just too heavy for touring with.
Title: Re: Lightweight Locking cable for touring
Post by: staehpj1 on December 15, 2019, 06:20:58 am
I'm not a fan of low price tube shaped dial disks combo cable locks, I've actually been able to "pick" those type of locks in about 30 seconds without practice! with practice I could have done it in half the time, and it's fairly quiet to do the job.  In addition you should use a thicker cable to prevent a fast cutting with a pair of snips.
There is a range of security vs weight and convenience and cost.  Most folks tour in fairly low risk areas and aren't inclined to leave their bikes unattended if they are in doubt about an area.  As a result they tend to use less robust locks and cables.  Your suggestions tend toward the more robust end of the range.  Nothing wrong with that, but It isn't typical of what I have seen folks using where I have toured.

Quote
Why spend that kind of money for a combo lock when for the same amount of money you can get a key lock?
As you said later in your post, on tour keys are possibly a less desirable choice.  Most of us don't have the ever present ring of keys that we keep track of when on tour.  On the other hand...  I'd suggest if you want to carry a key, wear it on a cord around your neck 24/7 (or at least any time it isn't in the lock) so you don't misplace it.
Title: Re: Lightweight Locking cable for touring
Post by: froze on December 15, 2019, 06:02:14 pm

There is a range of security vs weight and convenience and cost.  Most folks tour in fairly low risk areas and aren't inclined to leave their bikes unattended if they are in doubt about an area.  As a result they tend to use less robust locks and cables.  Your suggestions tend toward the more robust end of the range.  Nothing wrong with that, but It isn't typical of what I have seen folks using where I have toured.

Quote
Why spend that kind of money for a combo lock when for the same amount of money you can get a key lock?
As you said later in your post, on tour keys are possibly a less desirable choice.  Most of us don't have the ever present ring of keys that we keep track of when on tour.  On the other hand...  I'd suggest if you want to carry a key, wear it on a cord around your neck 24/7 (or at least any time it isn't in the lock) so you don't misplace it.
[/quote]

I don't think the lock/cable I suggested is that much more robust than that tube combo lock thing that is far too easy to defeat without any tools needed!  The one I suggested would need a tool which again won't take long to defeat because it is a cable, however with the combo lock I showed it would be a tad more robust without gaining any weight and the price would be close to same, so why not go with a slightly better system?

By the way I forgot to mention something, those inexpensive tube combo locks are NOT weather resistant, and will become increasingly more difficult to operate the combo wheels and to separate the end of the cable from the lock, I know this, and this is how I know about picking the combo, is because my daughter had one and the thing only lasted a year.  Supposedly the lock I recommended is rated for outdoor use and is corrosion and rust proof, something to seriously consider.  Of course if the tube lock wheels failed to operate one could just cut the cable.

The other advantage to the combo lock that I showed is that if a person doesn't want to use a cable and wants more robust chain well then that lock is ready to go with that as well.  Or if you don't need the cable when at home you can use the lock for your gym locker!
Title: Re: Lightweight Locking cable for touring
Post by: staehpj1 on December 16, 2019, 06:18:05 am
I don't think the lock/cable I suggested is that much more robust than that tube combo lock thing that is far too easy to defeat without any tools needed!  The one I suggested would need a tool which again won't take long to defeat because it is a cable, however with the combo lock I showed it would be a tad more robust without gaining any weight and the price would be close to same, so why not go with a slightly better system?
I thought it was a good bit heavier cable and a good bit heavier lock.  I didn't look them up carefully to do an exact comparison.  For my touring style I find weight to be a big factor and since none of the locks I am willing to carry are very effective anyway I tend to go with the lightest choice myself.  I have gone with a 5 ounce lock or no lock on some trips, and with a bit more lock on others.  That does have it's drawbacks in extra care needed to be taken.  I wind up being much more careful when and where I leave my bike unattended and wind up doing things like wheeling it up and down store aisles.

Quote
By the way I forgot to mention something, those inexpensive tube combo locks are NOT weather resistant, and will become increasingly more difficult to operate the combo wheels and to separate the end of the cable from the lock, I know this, and this is how I know about picking the combo, is because my daughter had one and the thing only lasted a year.  Supposedly the lock I recommended is rated for outdoor use and is corrosion and rust proof, something to seriously consider.  Of course if the tube lock wheels failed to operate one could just cut the cable.
I have some that are 20 or more years old and probably a good bit older and still work fine.  Maybe that shows how sporadically I use them.  They are mostly used to run into a store or to eat in a diner, but they have been wrapped around the seat tube and in the weather on a bike for a few weeks or a couple months at times during a tour on one of our bikes.  They pretty much have not been used around town other than to run into a store, but again have ridden wrapped around a seat tube in the rain sometimes although I mostly don't carry a lock around town unless I specifically need one because I am running an errand or something.  For recreational rides around home I don't carry a lock
Title: Re: Lightweight Locking cable for touring
Post by: froze on December 16, 2019, 11:48:45 am

I thought it was a good bit heavier cable and a good bit heavier lock.  I didn't look them up carefully to do an exact comparison.  For my touring style I find weight to be a big factor and since none of the locks I am willing to carry are very effective anyway I tend to go with the lightest choice myself.  I have gone with a 5 ounce lock or no lock on some trips, and with a bit more lock on others.  That does have it's drawbacks in extra care needed to be taken.  I wind up being much more careful when and where I leave my bike unattended and wind up doing things like wheeling it up and down store aisles.


[/quote]
I have some that are 20 or more years old and probably a good bit older and still work fine.  Maybe that shows how sporadically I use them.  They are mostly used to run into a store or to eat in a diner, but they have been wrapped around the seat tube and in the weather on a bike for a few weeks or a couple months at times during a tour on one of our bikes.  They pretty much have not been used around town other than to run into a store, but again have ridden wrapped around a seat tube in the rain sometimes although I mostly don't carry a lock around town unless I specifically need one because I am running an errand or something.  For recreational rides around home I don't carry a lock
[/quote]

I always lock my bike up at camp sites, which is good because one storming raining night at around 1 am I was awaken by the whispering of two people walking along the campsite road, (yes I will awaken to a quiet sound my brain is hardwired to wake me up on weird sounds, but I can sleep through thunder and such with no problem!), as they came walking around to where I was at they walked over to the picnic table where I had the bike locked to bench of the table, and the one whispered to the other that it was locked and they walked on. 

As far as those tube locks go, we've had 3 or 4 of them over the years for my daughters, one lasted just over a year, and one failed about 5 years into use, the others, or other one, failed in between those time periods. 

The weight of the two that I showed comes in at 2 pounds even, but those weights are Amazon weights which sometimes that is shipping weight which is what I think those are, they won't a lot of the time differentiate between the two, so I weighed mine on a gram scale and both my Abus Diskus lock and cable came out to a total of about 13 ounces, which I think is close to what yours weighs, but check your weight because I don't have one anymore laying around the house.  The Diskus lock weighs more than the Masterlock.