Forum home Road cycling forum Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides Tour & expedition

Newbies, touring with tent.

wheeledwidewebbwheeledwidewebb Posts: 254
edited October 2007 in Tour & expedition
Hi, my mate and me are planning a week touring in the alps next year and really want to camp rather than stay in hotels. However my major concern regarding camping is bike security.

I have trawled this forum but cannot find much in the way of talk about how you guys secure your bikes at night. Do you just accept that it is a requirement to take a big heavy lock or should we look at a tent big enough to get the bikes in the vestibule?

I would really appreciate any advice, many thanks, and sorry in advance for future questions when I think of them.

Thanks,
Mel.

Posts

  • I've never felt the need to secure the bike at night in french campsite esp remote ones.
    I travel with a small combination coil lock mainly for when I'm in town / the supermarket.

    If your really woried you could buy a vaude hogan XT as it has enough room in the porch for 2 bikes.
  • Your bikes will be safe in the campsites, just take a good cable lock (I use an Onguard Doberman), it's long enough to lock two bikes to a tree or fence. Also I wouldn't take a bigger tent just to accommodate your bikes, the less weight you are carrying the easier those cllmbs will be.
  • Thanks. I guess that I am tarring rural France with the theft menace that we face in the UK.

    I don't really fancy having to remove the front wheel of the bikes in order to get them in a tent, so I will have a look at some 'medium' duty locks.

    Appreciate the replies, Thanks.
  • Thanks. I guess that I am tarring rural France with the theft menace that we face in the UK.

    I don't really fancy having to remove the front wheel of the bikes in order to get them in a tent, so I will have a look at some 'medium' duty locks.

    Appreciate the replies, Thanks.

    I've rarely locked my bike when camping in the UK during 8 -10 weeks of cycle camping over the past four years and I've never locked my bike while camping in France. I've taken a small cable lock with me to deter opportunist thieves but more often than not the bike has been in view when I've visited shops and the like.

    At the end of the day locks only deter honest people. If someone is determined to have your bike they will have the equipment to steal it.
  • vernonlevy wrote:
    ....At the end of the day locks only deter honest people. If someone is determined to have your bike they will have the equipment to steal it.

    I'd hope honest people wouldn't steal in the first place, only deters opportunists would be more accurate, as you say thieves determined to take something will have the equipment to do it.
  • I've seen a lock on a bike in our LBS but not seen any for sale, its an AXA Defender and fits permanently to your bike. You turn the key and it locks your back wheel, you can also buy a cable that connects to it and it all works off the same key.

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  • Thanks again everyone who has taken the time to post on this. My Koga has one of these Axo locks on it and from what you say it sounds as if that should suffice.
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    Get one of these :D

    If they steal your bike, they steal you (and the tent) with it!

    http://www.topeak.com/2007/products/biketent/tentmain.php
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • Any half-decent lock will do for campsites in France. A nurse lock ( as shown above) & cable is plenty in my opinion.
    If you're really worried they often have a shed for the mower etc that you can use, but I always just secure the bike to stop idiots riding off on it 'just for a larf' and remove paniers/pump/computer etc. Not sure anyone in thier right minds would steal a fully laden touring bike pilfereing from bags is more likely but if they want my dirty shorts then they are welcome - I always take anything of value with me in a bar bag.
    Cycling in france is lovely - have fun!
  • Camping: I take a reasonable cable lock and use a fence or a tree. Hotels etc: in France they have ALWAYS found somewhere secure for me.
    If I had a stalker, I would hug it and kiss it and call it George...or censored
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=3 ... =3244&v=5K
  • All I take is a cable lock, big enough to go around a tree, fence, gate etc. Get your friend to carry one as well. Camping through the alps I doubt if you will feel the need to lock up. At super markets maybee. If I feel that I am in a doggy place, ie at a port waiting to cross, then I lock up the bike and place motion detoctors, carry 2 gives me 360 degrees covered, these also are good to deter animals from sniffing around, buy them in liddles for 7-8 UK Sterling.
  • i have a paranoid freind who went so far as to suggest shifts through the night watching the bikes!!! after i stopped luaghing i told him to bat a cable long enough to go around a tree would be enough. i have a very weak cable lock designed for securing moterbike helmets that i use to secure my panniers to the rack so i just take the pannier liner into the tent. my motto is make it look hard to steal and you'll deter even the most professional of theives. with mine and a friends cables going everywhere i've never had a problem plus i have a heavy duty u or d or whatever lock holding the cables together.
    at home i'm lucky, my father sunk a cable in the concrete foundation of my shed!
    In the valley of high oil prices the cyclist is king!
  • Replies still appreciated.

    Security in the French Alps is not a 'major' concern, no arguing with that, all of the replies paint a similar picture and I am happy to accept it.

    It still leaves me feeling that a tent capable of accomodating the bikes would be handy though. Tents like the MSR Velo or the modular offering from Hilleberg (2 Stalon combis with a shared middle vestibule) appeal from the point of view of just keeping things dry overnight.

    Does anyone use these tents, or am I really just being stupid here?

    Thanks.
  • andrew_sandrew_s Posts: 2,511
    Most people come to the conclusion that it's more important to be carrying less weight once they've tried lugging their gear over an alp or three.

    Tents with large porch extensions like the Hilleberg GT models have them so that you aren't cramped for space when you are forced to spend whole days in the tent due to bad weather. In between sitting around on the grass outside the tent and eating out at the local restaurant, how much would you really need the space on a summer tour in the French alps?

    Most bike security is about where you leave the bike, rather than what you lock it with. French rural campsites are really rather low risk as most of the time there isn't anything there worth nicking, cycletourists not being all that common. The one exception is probably the campsites at Briancon near the foot of the Alpe d'Huez. This is close enough to Grenoble for thieves to drive out, and there will be good bikes around most of the time. However there will be much more attractive pickings in the shape of snazzy carbon racing bikes, so cycletourists don't have much to worry about there either.
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    Replies still appreciated.

    Security in the French Alps is not a 'major' concern, no arguing with that, all of the replies paint a similar picture and I am happy to accept it.

    It still leaves me feeling that a tent capable of accomodating the bikes would be handy though. Tents like the MSR Velo or the modular offering from Hilleberg (2 Stalon combis with a shared middle vestibule) appeal from the point of view of just keeping things dry overnight.

    Does anyone use these tents, or am I really just being stupid here?


    Um at the risk of appearing a bit rude - yes! Keep stuff/bikes dry under a sheet of plastic if you must but believe me when you've spent a while taking down a wet tent , in the rain the fact you bike might still be dry is of no great interest :)
    Get the best tent you can afford, light and strong with reasonable accomodation (sitting up room, space for bags & limited careful cooking in opening) if you need more 'space/cover'take a light weight tarp which you can use as an extension to the tent fly for shelter for sitting/cooking under. It can also provide shade too! This has worked very well for us in a group of four - 2 small tents one shared tarp. (needs trees etc to fix up but not difficult. TAke down at night & cover bikes?)
    Have fun!
  • Replies still appreciated.

    Security in the French Alps is not a 'major' concern, no arguing with that, all of the replies paint a similar picture and I am happy to accept it.

    It still leaves me feeling that a tent capable of accomodating the bikes would be handy though. Tents like the MSR Velo or the modular offering from Hilleberg (2 Stalon combis with a shared middle vestibule) appeal from the point of view of just keeping things dry overnight.

    Does anyone use these tents, or am I really just being stupid here?

    Thanks.

    I really can't see the point of carrying, and paying for, some rather expensive fabric to keep the bikes dry. The only concession to dampness that I make is to stuff a carrier bag between the seat rails of my Brooks B17 and use it to cover the seat when parked up in the rain or overnight. Even then a well proof-hided seat shrugs off water making the bag redundant in all but the most wettest of tours.
  • julkjulk Posts: 55
    It still leaves me feeling that a tent capable of accomodating the bikes would be handy though. Tents like the MSR Velo or the modular offering from Hilleberg (2 Stalon combis with a shared middle vestibule) appeal from the point of view of just keeping things dry overnight.

    Does anyone use these tents, or am I really just being stupid here?

    I use a Hilleberg Stalon Combi 2, it is an excellent tent for British weather.
    The extra space using the roof insert is easily enough for a couple of bikes and some room left over. It does take a few minutes longer to put up and take down as you insert/remove the extra roof section. The weight is ok and it can be shared between 2 bikes.

    Having said there is space for 2 bikes, I went on a local camping trip in August and left the bikes locked together with a heavy d-lock outside against a post overnight - used the Stalon Combi 2 for spacious camping!

    I would say the Stalon Combi 2, ie with roof extension used, suits a longer stay than overnight. If I was moving on each day then I would look to use the Stalon 2 without the roof extension or a Nallo or Nammatj GT. Each of these options is a bit lighter and just a bit quicker to pitch.

    With the Stalon Combi 2 at least you have the choice.
  • ut_och_cykla, you do not appear rude at all, thanks for your honesty.

    Also thanks for all replies, most useful and I reckon we will stick with the advice that has been given and get a light-ish tent for human occupation only.

    Cheers.
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