Bicycle bag: theft protection – these options are available

Bicycle bags are a great help for longer bike rides or a big purchase. But they and their contents are also a popular target for thieves. If you're not careful, half of your equipment will be gone. Here we present measures you can take to prevent theft.

Fahrradtasche: Diebstahlschutz

About anti-theft protection for bicycle bags in a nutshell

  • Valuables should never be left unattended in a bicycle bag. It is best to carry them on your body or take them out of your bag every time you take a break.
  • Anti-theft devices are available from various manufacturers for the bike bags themselves. They are easy to use, but are mainly suitable for short breaks. For longer breaks, we recommend that you take the bags off your bike.
  • There is a better anti-theft device for your e-bike than for your bike bag. With the BikeTrax GPS tracker from PowUnity, you are immediately alerted to attempted theft and can track the live location of a stolen bike in real time.

Spare clothes, bike helmet, mobile phone, additional lock, keys, camping accessories: with the right bike bag, you have everything you need on long tours. You can also use bike bags to transport larger purchases without having to get into the car. Whether large rear panniers, small frame panniers or handlebar panniers, there is a large selection of different models.

Unfortunately, the same applies to all variants: The contents attract thieves. Sometimes it’s enough to let your bike or e-bike out of your sight for a few minutes to get an ice cream. The contents of the bag or even the whole bag disappears.

How do you prevent this? We have collected a few possibilities that we would like to present to you here.

Why bicycle bags are popular items for theft

There are 3 answers to this question:

  1. Many cyclists carry valuables, for example their wallets, in bicycle bags and forget to take them with them during breaks.
  2. Popular models like the Sport Packer or the Gravel Pack from Ortlieb are expensive. So it’s worth stealing the bag even if it’s empty.
  3. Without an anti-theft device, a bicycle bag can be easily opened and/or removed from the bike. Experienced thieves need only a few minutes to do this.

Anti-theft device for bicycle bags – tips

There are many components on bicycles or e-bikes that are targeted by bike thieves. Some of them are easier to secure than others. It’s more complicated with bicycle bags than with a rear or front wheel or saddle, for which you can simply buy a HexLox component lock.

But you are not powerless. The following is a comparison of anti-theft options with their advantages and disadvantages.

1. Take valuables with you

If you want to prevent someone from stealing your mobile phone or wallet from your bicycle bag, there are two very simple options:

  • Don’t keep them there in the first place.
  • Take valuables out of your bag every time you park somewhere.

Basically, your wallet is best protected if you carry it close to your body. However, this is not compatible with every tour and every pair of cycling shorts. But even then we advise you: Never leave valuables in a pocket on an unattended bike.

Of course, that still leaves the other items you carry in your pockets that you don’t want to take to the toilet every time you stop for a break.

  • Valuables are protected
  • No special accessories necessary

  • Only practical for smaller items such as wallets, ID cards and smartphones.

2. Take your bike bag with you

Especially for overnight stays, you can go one step further and take your bike bag with you to the hotel. Just don’t forget to secure your bike with a good lock and a GPS tracker.

There is one important restriction here, too: Because the method is not necessarily suitable for every little break. At the very least, it quickly becomes uncomfortable if you drag your bike bag along for a meal.

  • Secure theft protection
  • No special accessories necessary

  • not suitable for every stop

3. Keep an eye on your bike bag

If you keep an eye on your bike and its bag, no one can steal it from you – except invisible super villains.

In fact, it’s always a good idea to park your bike or e-bike in plain sight. But even in this case, reality quickly throws a spanner in the works. Firstly, it is not always possible to park the bike in the immediate vicinity. Secondly, a few minutes are sometimes enough for experienced thieves to steal a rear bicycle or handlebar bag. All the more reason not to leave your wallet in your bag, even if you’re only 50 metres away.

  • Inexpensive
  • No special accessories necessary

  • not possible in every place
  • Sometimes an inattentive moment is enough to pick a pocket

4. Choose a lockable box

A lockable secure bag or box is worthwhile for those moments when you let your bike out of your sight for a short time.

The BeeMyBox can be attached directly to the frame and is equipped with a combination lock. It’s not very big, but it offers enough space for valuables that you don’t want to carry around all the time. Some versions have a solar lid and can be used as a power bank.

The KLICKFix Unisex-Adult Citybox is larger. You attach it to your luggage rack. Thanks to the lock, no one can reach in.

Boxes with locks protect luggage during short stays. However, they are usually not difficult to break into. In addition, boxes usually offer less space than bags and, depending on their size, are not as flexible.

  • Secure protection for short stays

  • easy to crack and therefore not suitable for overnight stays
  • less spacious and practical than bags

5. Quick lock2 – rope lock for bicycle bags

One brand that excels in the field of bicycle (and motorbike) bags is Ortlieb. In addition to bags, the company also offers mounts, especially the Quick-Lock mounts.

These are so called because they can be attached to and removed from the luggage carrier particularly quickly and easily, even with one hand. Quick-Lock2 or Quick-Lock2.1 systems can be retrofitted with an anti-theft device. This is a steel securing cable with a loop, which is available in two versions with different lengths:

  • a short version for the Sport-Roller, Sport-Packer, Gravel-Pack, E-Mate, Vario and City-Biker bags and
  • a long version for the Back-Roller, Bike-Packer, Bike-Tourer, Velo-Shopper, Office-Bag, Downtown Two, Commuter-Bag Two Urban, Bike-Shopper and Recumbent-Bag.

To complete the theft protection, you need a lock in addition to the Quick Lock2, for example a padlock or U-lock.

Systems like the Ortlieb anti-theft lock are practical for securing expensive bike bags. They are easy to use and offer good value for money. However, they do not prevent someone from cleaning out your bag. In addition, a steel cable is easy to break with the right tools.

  • Prevents quick theft of your bike bag
  • Easy to use

  • can be easily cracked
  • does not secure the contents

6. Securing with padlock

An alternative is to combine the RackFix 2.0 fastening from Valkental with the manufacturer’s soon-to-be-available QuickLock combination lock. In this case, you hook the lock into the two rack hooks. For Vaude bags with QMR 2.0 hooks, there are also padlocks that are hooked into the bracket of the bag holder.

The same applies to these products as to the Ortlieb anti-theft device. They are a practical accessory to prevent the loss of panniers, but are easy to break into with the right tools.

  • Prevents the quick theft of your bike bag
  • easy to use

  • can be easily cracked
  • does not secure the contents

7. Take out insurance for accessories

Some bicycle insurance policies not only reimburse you for stolen bicycles and e-bikes. They also cover the loss of and damage to components such as wheels, expensive saddles or bicycle bags.

Sounds practical at first. However, the insurance only covers the theft of accessories under certain conditions. For example, they often have to be firmly attached to the bike. In addition, the protection only applies to the bag, not the contents. Finally, bicycle insurance is expensive in the long run.

  • The value of stolen bags is reimbursed

  • Only applies under certain conditions
  • the contents are not insured
  • expensive in the long run

Conclusion on bicycle bag anti-theft protection – it’s all in the mix

Securing a bicycle bag and its contents is no easy task. Although there are products such as the locks from Ortlieb for the Quick Lock2 or from Vaude. But determined thieves with the right equipment will not be deterred.

It is best to combine different measures according to the situation:

  • For short stays, take valuables out of your bike bags and secure them with locks.
  • For overnight stays in hotels and especially if your bike or e-bike is not in a locked cellar, it makes sense to remove the bag.

A little trust is still necessary when you are travelling with luggage. Because no solution offers you one hundred percent security.

For any e-bike (road bikes, mountain bikes, touring bikes), however, there is a solution that gives thieves no chance: Combine a high-quality bike lock like with the GPS tracker BikeTrax from PowUnity. This way, you will immediately receive an alarm if someone tries to tamper with your bike without permission. If your bike is stolen anyway, the police can track its location in real time throughout Europe. Installation is easy and the GPS tracker is invisible to thieves. Relaxation guaranteed with or without a bag.

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