Author Topic: Lightweight Locking cable for touring  (Read 172 times)

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Offline mzimmerm

Lightweight Locking cable for touring
« 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!?!?

Offline John Nelson

Re: Lightweight Locking cable for touring
« Reply #1 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.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Lightweight Locking cable for touring
« Reply #2 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


Offline Inge

Re: Lightweight Locking cable for touring
« Reply #3 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.

Offline BikePacker

Re: Lightweight Locking cable for touring
« Reply #4 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.
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.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Lightweight Locking cable for touring
« Reply #5 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.