Eliminating my messenger bag – what to do with everything?

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Erica
Participant
#

So for right now, all I could afford was a small bag that sits on top of the rack on my bike. I use 2 u-locks, a medium sized one and a larger one. The larger one doesn’t fit in the bag at all, and I can’t find anywhere to hook it on the bike where it won’t interfere with any cables/pedals/wheels. I don’t have a frame mount for this lock, because I bought it used, and didn’t really think I would need one anyway.

any suggestions on how to carry this? I don’t have any belts or anything, and I hate carrying my lock in my belt when I do wear one.


rice rocket
Participant
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Why two U-locks?

The ones with excessively large U-loops are actually less secure since it allows a perp to jam a jack in there and break the shackle.


Erica
Participant
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Well, they’re two different types, and I got the bigger one because the medium one wouldn’t fit around my wheel, the frame, AND a bike rack/parking meter/what have you


pearmask
Participant
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Didn’t you buy that lock from me? I think I still have the mounting bracket somewhere; let me know if you want it.

Beyond that I don’t really know a great solution, but I’ve strapped my lock to my rack in a few ways at various times. Lots of things are possible with a bungee thingy and/or a $5 roll of Velcro strap material.


stefb
Participant
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Maybe get rid of quick releases on your wheels and then you would only need one smaller lock?


Erica
Participant
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@pearmask: yes, I’d definitely be interested if you happen upon it.

@stefb: This was on my mt bike – my tires were too fat. Now, I just feel a lot better having a lock for each wheel. If I didn’t have one of them, I’d be WAY paranoid about leaving my bike anywhere.


pearmask
Participant
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Cool. I am a little bit of a pack rat so I’m pretty sure it’s still in a box of bike bits in my apartment. I’ll check when I get home from work. Your email address should still be buried in my Gmail from when you bought it, so I’ll let you know :)


Erica
Participant
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Awesome! Thanks!


Anonymous #

If pearmask can’t find the bracket, I know we have a box of accessory brackets at Free Ride that includes quite a few U-lock mounting brackets. The box is under the workbench by the radio. They should be next to the reflectors, old hubs, and dork discs. FR is open tomorrow evening from 6-10pm. I might not be there, so you may need to search for them, but I know I have seen them there.


Pierce
Participant
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Perhaps you could stick that other U-Lock in a similar fashion to the one shown here: (only works as long as you have one pannier)

If nothing else comes through, I also have a Kryptonite mount you can have, never even used, bike was stolen with Lock before I got a chance to mount it

I’d also note however, that my normal length U-Lock would occasionally crack the mount on a hard pothole or something, so I imagine the longer one would be even more likely to do so


chemicaldave
Participant
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I also have a spare OnGuard frame mount you can have.


rice rocket
Participant
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Maybe get rid of quick releases on your wheels and then you would only need one smaller lock?

Yep, what Stef said.

Here’s a good read: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html

“People tend to buy the big clunky U-locks because they don’t know how to use them properly. A U-lock should go around the rear rim and tire, somewhere inside the rear triangle of the frame. There is no need to loop it around the seat tube as well, because the wheel cannot be pulled through the rear triangle.

Some will object that felons might cut the rear rim and tire to remove the lock. Believe me, this just doesn’t happen in the real world. It is indeed possible to cut the rim with a hacksaw, working from the outside to the inside, but first, the tire must be removed or cut through. It would be a lot of work to steal a frame without a usable rear wheel, the most expensive part of a bike, after the frame.”


ejwme
Participant
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you can just bungee it to the rack under the bag maybe?

I lock up using a … I think it’s a mini bulldog that came with a cable that has a loop on either end (it’s not a freakish cable). I use the u-lock sheldon brown style (rear wheel, triangle, rack) and use the cable to secure the front wheel to the u-lock.

Remember – you only have to lock up better than the rest of the bikes that look as awesome as yours that are parked in the same place. Your bike is super awesome, but you can swing it.


Erica
Participant
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Well, there’s not enough spaces on the rack to go with what pierce suggested. The lock is Giant brand.

If I go the FR route, I might have to make a day out of it. I’ve only been to free ride once, and I have a bad track record with getting lost, and today when I got a little bit lost, I nearly had a panic attack (it didn’t help that it was mega hot and I was having trouble breathing and I could barely even get my water bottle to my face).

Thanks, everyone, for the help! For now, I have the temporary fix of a zip tie looped around the rack, and the lock put through there.


Anonymous #

@rice, you mean people don’t often do this to steal a bike?


Erica
Participant
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“This is how I unlock my bike every day.”

^best comment on that video


Pierce
Participant
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@JaySherman

There’s also videos of people using portable angle grinders on U-Locks. Note statement “this doesn’t happen in real life.

I don’t think there has been any report of that kind of attack happening in Pittsburgh. Further, what would be the point? The people stealing bikes are looking to make a quick buck or go on a joyride.

Cutting the rear wheel prevents both from happening


salty
Participant
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I used to use the Sheldon method with a mini-U, and still do sometimes – but now I have a bigger U-lock and try to lock the frame as well. When I hear a credible report of someone using a jack on a U-lock in Pittsburgh I’ll change my tune, but until then having a normal sized lock is just way much more convenient if you have to lock to random things. Also I am worried about someone “trying” the lock and messing up the wheel, which I think may have happened to me once.

When I was in school at Pitt I took the front wheel off, put it beside the back wheel and locked both wheels and the frame to the rack. Every single day. Carrying 2 U-locks is probably more convenient.


pearmask
Participant
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Found it. (And another one for my Kryptonite lock that you or anyone else can have; pretty sure I’ll never use it.) I’ll email you in a sec to figure out how to get it to you.

If you ever wanna make a trip to Free Ride and want someone to ride with to show you a route there or something, let me know. I keep meaning to go over there to scrounge for parts and stuff anyway. I live really close to there, so I have discovered a couple different routes there from various points further west as a result of getting lost on my way home quite a few times when I first started commuting, haha.


dmtroyer
Participant
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<— sheldon method subscriber


dani
Participant
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completely unrelated, rubber factory, i love your avatar! yay

carry on


wojty
Participant
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I keep my U-Lock through the rails on my saddle. Only works on certain saddles where it won’t also be against your butt, or may have a tendency to jiggle loose and swing down and smack fenders/panniers/wheel, but I find it works well for me.


Benzo
Participant
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My locking strategy is to use a small ulock, which I just keep in my back pocket (this works fine with every single pair of pants and shorts I own). Then I just install security skewers on the wheels so that people can’t easily walk off with an unsecured wheel. I just make sure I get the frame with the u-lock and don’t worry about the rest.

The back pocket approach doesn’t leave the ulock in the way of the saddle. I’m never sitting on the lock. It’s far enough to one side that It doesn’t touch the saddle.


stefb
Participant
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I usually just lock my frame up as well, as there are no quick releases on my bike.

On a side note, I have left my rear blinky on my bike (planet bike superflash) and it has yet to be stolen. Has anyone ever had a rear blinky stolen? I always remove my front light and battery (as they are bulky, expensive, and noticeable), and often times my cateye computer.


joeframbach
Participant
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I’ve passed by plenty of blinking lights and turned them off. Never stole any.


ieverhart
Participant
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“This is how I unlock my bike every day.”

^best comment on that video

+1

Re: theft of blinky lights: I usually remove all easily-removable accessories when locking up in a public place. As long as I’m taking some of my lights/accessories off, I’ll take them all off.

I also turn others’ lights off when it seems they forgot to do so, and though I fear it happening some day, I have never gotten yelled at or accused of stealing them. (Would someone ever intentionally leave a light on in that situation?)


Pierce
Participant
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@stefb

I few years ago I had my lights stolen in front of the EEFC and shortly after that I had some stolen on Penn Ave by the Thomas Merton Center (down the block from Spak)


Erica
Participant
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just wanted to pop in to say that the funniest thing happened to me today. After my ride up Penn ave, my legs hurt a little bit. This usually doesn’t happen, because it’s usually my back and neck that are in pain and super sore after rides. So basically, barring the complications along the way, my experiment in removing the messenger bag is a success!


ejwme
Participant
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that is awesome. Sometimes little changes have big effects – this was a big change, so hopefully as you adjust to a new riding posture, you’ll keep feeling the improvement :D


HiddenVariable
Participant
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something that will likely come as a surprise to no one: kraynick’s has a box full of various u-lock mounting brackets. just go in and ask him. i plan on doing this today or tomorrow, so don’t take all the nice ones!

i pretty much never lock up my front wheel. i’ve never seen any evidence of someone trying to take it. i also tend to lock up in places that are generally filled with people (cmu, shadyside, grocery stores). but if you’re paranoid, the thing to do is exactly what ejwme does: u-lock the rear wheel through the triangle, and cable the front wheel to the u-lock. the likelihood of someone stealing your bike in such a situation in pittsburgh is practically nil, and if they do, more locks probably weren’t going to stop them.


rsprake
Participant
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I believe Ian had his front wheel stolen in Lawrenceville.


Pierce
Participant
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One of the benefits of my wobbly wheel is that probably doesn’t look to appealing to steal


Anonymous #

As long as we’re talking about replacements for messenger bags, does anyone have experience using an MTX-type bag from topeak?

I seem to recall a thread where someone on this board (Stefb, maybe?) had their bag stolen off their rack while riding! Judging only from the looks of the slide & lock mechanism in this video I could see how this system could be vulnerable to that type of theft. I’d hate to be stopped in traffic and have someone jack my shit, but then again, that does seem unlikely where I commute. Anyone have any advice?


stefb
Participant
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That was tricia. I would have freaked out and found the nearest rock to throw.


Erica
Participant
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Got the lock mounted, it interferes with the pedals just a little, but I could probably mount it from the top tube instead of the seat tube to fix that. Thanks to Pearmask for dropping the mount off for me!

and since I just got a new camera, I’ll probably spam this thread with pictures of the setup (which includes a view of the fiks strips on my wheels) in the morning.


Erica
Participant
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This is how I’m set up:

In the bag is the medium sized u-lock, as well as tools, medicines, a book to read, an organizer, a blank notebook, and pretty much anything I might need on a ride or when I get somewhere. I think this was successful!


ieverhart
Participant
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i pretty much never lock up my front wheel. i’ve never seen any evidence of someone trying to take it.

I wish. rsprake is right.

I believe Ian had his front wheel stolen in Lawrenceville.

This was the sad scene in front of the Teamsters Temple one evening last July:

But I agree with all this:

the thing to do is exactly what ejwme does: u-lock the rear wheel through the triangle, and cable the front wheel to the u-lock. the likelihood of someone stealing your bike in such a situation in pittsburgh is practically nil, and if they do, more locks probably weren’t going to stop them.

I definitely think my loss was a result of a crime of opportunity. Someone saw my Sheldon method locking, leaving a front wheel with quick releases totally exposed in a relatively obvious way. A cable wrapped around it would almost certainly have deterred them. I now do the (Sheldon-style) U-lock plus cable, which is probably overkill but keeps my mind more at ease.

@ Pierce – One of the benefits of my wobbly wheel is that probably doesn’t look to appealing to steal

I don’t think the thief/thieves who took my wheel were paying too much attention to anything like quality.


ieverhart
Participant
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@ RubberFactory – Is the bag blocking the view of your rear blinky light?


Pierce
Participant
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@Ian

I also have disc brakes, which might make them less appealing, but I don’t know if thieves know that disc braked wheels don’t have a breaking surface on the rim

@rubberfactory

If it’s rubbing into your pedals, another possibility is to turn the lock so it’s back by the rear triangle. I guess you still might have to watch for the pedals, but there it wouldn’t get in the way of your water bottle cages.

Not sure about your brand, but on Kryptonite locks the little mounting mechanism on the lock can be rotated


Erica
Participant
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@ian: yes, I moved the light to the bag so that it’s visible after I took the picture.

@pierce: I rotated the angle of the mount about 45°, so that the lock sits flat against the water bottles and such, and that solved the pedal problem completely.

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