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Old 05-09-2011, 11:45 AM   #1
rumblefish OP
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Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
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Securing soft luggage

Hey guys,

I've been mulling over getting a top box on the back of my bike for a few months now. I need a place to put my excess gear into when I change to go running. The bike gets left in an open car park for a couple of hours whilst I'm trail running.

I haven't found one box that really convinces me (price and looks), and I'm now leaning towards a pack. Possible a small Kreiga or Wolfman. The thing is, how do I lock it down onto the bike so that it can't be easily opened or removed? Sure, if someone is really determined to have a go at it they will cut it loose or at worst cut the pack open. But realistically I don't think that is likely to happen in the place where I will be leaving the bike unattended.

Are there any straps available that can be locked down, or straps made from material that can't be cut so easily? I'm guessing the packs themselves can be sealed by padlocking through the zippers or closing mechanisms.

Any ideas gratefully received!
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:01 PM   #2
ScienceOfDirt
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You can try a PacSafe

The address is http://www.pacsafe.com

They used to offer products called TankSafe and TailSafe, which were a tank bag and a tail bag with the wire mesh lining. I have both, and they will be for sale in the future. I went to panniers simply because I found that I still don't like tank bags, and I couldn't get everything in the tail bag.
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:45 PM   #3
hamiamham
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i have the pacsafe tank bag as well as the pacsafe bag for a helmet and love both. They also make a steel mesh bag of sorts that you can fit over soft luggage and lock. Its enough to discourage casual sticky fingers but would not stop a determined thief.
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:06 PM   #4
raider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamiamham View Post
i have the pacsafe tank bag as well as the pacsafe bag for a helmet and love both. They also make a steel mesh bag of sorts that you can fit over soft luggage and lock. Its enough to discourage casual sticky fingers but would not stop a determined thief.
That was my thought too, the steel mesh "overbags" you stick your normal bag into. However, they won't stop a determined thief and make it look like you have something worth stealing. My approach, if all I've got in my bag is clothes, would be to leave it unsecured. Anyone who wants to steal my underpants is welcome to them.

Securing your expensive riding gear is harder, though - I've seen guys loop steel wire cables through the sleeves and lock it to the bike with a padlock, but then it could get wet if it rained and it just sits on the ground. If I did that around here I'd end up with a jacket full of fire ants, which would be an invigorating end to my run but probably not what I was in the mood for.

I think your best option is a big, hard, topbox. Sure, it's fugly, so choose one that has an unobtrusive mounting system so that you can ditch it as soon as you get home. Plenty of cheap-ish options.
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:18 PM   #5
Owly
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Hepco Bekker - gobi topbox - excellent quality
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:57 PM   #6
Oddward
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I am a fan of my caribou top case. The 36L storm iM2600. Tho pricey, it has served me well. Easily removed when not needed, waterproof and lockable.

http://cariboucases.com/store/?name=...=i&item=000159


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Old 05-12-2011, 02:46 AM   #7
rumblefish OP
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@ hamiamham, raider

I looked at the pacsafe wire overbags just after I posted, but I was worried they might scratch the bike. Also folding them up again to put away looks like a pain in the ass (maybe it isn't).

I like your idea of threading and locking some kind of coated wire/chain through the loops on the pack and bike. I'm only out for a couple of hours at a time, so a little rain won't hurt. I had a similar thing that I used to use to lock both the wheels together on my mountain bike. That might be the answer until I can find a more secure top box later.

Thanks all for your comments.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:28 AM   #8
Ceri JC
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IMO, a pacsafed bag is one of the worst things you can have when it comes to attracting a thief, short of a flashy looking bike. It stands out from the bag, draws attention and implies there is something of value inside. People saying they've not had anything stolen using one doesn't necessarily prove that they do much: I have left my bike in some reasonably rough areas with (easily removable) soft luggage on it, but with a bike cover over it. I've never had anything stolen from it.

I have once seen other motorcyclist's soft luggage rifled through and their possessions discarded on the street. That was a bit stupid though; they left a soft bag on the tail end, right next to the kerb on a crowded street with not even a discrete padlock on the zip to slow the thief down. Literally undo one zip and you're in.

Unfortunately, this lack of security is one of the inherent failings of soft luggage. Soft luggage is cheap, weighs very little, is usually safer in a crash and centralises mass better. The main downside is the lack of security. If you really want something secure, get hard luggage and don't be seen putting in/taking out anything of value where you are going to leave the bike parked up.

If you still want soft luggage, my recommendation would be to get a US-20 or US-30 Kriega and put the carry strap in the zipper pocket when it's on the bike, then use it to wear the bag courier style when you're off the bike. At least you can leave the fitting straps in place and fitting/removal only takes seconds. Securing/unsecuring underseat soft panniers, etc. is a ballache at the best of time, but doing it at every stop is a real nuisance.
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