Apologies first off; I fear I've sent you on a fool's errand on my behalf. I surely appreciate your help and patience; thank you.
what makes the frame lock attractive to you?
A good question! It took me awhile to get there.
I think most of it stems from frustration with my current locking solutions, particularly when doing solo loaded touring. It would be so much easier if I had a partner; then one of us could watch the bikes. Alas, that isn't possible, so I currently carry a heavy Kryptonite u-lock and a small cable. The small cable secures the front wheel and usually the entire bike to some object. I am not fooling myself; the flimsy cable is the weak link in the system. The u-lock weighs just over a kilogram alone, so the weight is noticeable. I carry it on-edge crosswise atop the rear rack, between my tent and stuff sack. That makes it convenient enough to ensure I use it (don't have to dig for it in the bags, doesn't fill up my frame with a separate mount). Trouble is, even using the "Sheldon Method" (see: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html
for the method broken, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9fLtdZyX-A
), it is hard to get the bike with loaded bags close enough to a post or object to lock it properly with the U-lock, so that leaves me depending on the weak link of the weak little cable.
None of this is a problem when I am stealth camping in the wild. I do lock the bike when I am camped in my tent (y'never know, and I sleep more soundly as a result). The problem comes more when I am stopped in tiny towns and at rural stores to restock on food and water or eat in the odd restaurant. The bike is out of sight, which makes me nervous, 'cos there's always a good chance someone could rifle through the panniers and take the contents (HB bag goes with me). It has often occurred to me that all a thief would have to do is haul the bike behind the store and as far as I am concerned, it's gone -- Some
where -- forever. Just that has happened to a number of tourists passing through Eugene. A couple years ago, someone stole a tandem and two singles (fully loaded) and stashed them behind the apartment building next to the Safeway store where they were parked. These tourists were in the store for 15 minutes, the area was heavily traveled, the bikes were visible and locked. It took two days for them to come to light, and by that time, most of the nicer pannier contents were gone including cameras and a laptop. They did get the bikes back, but their trip was derailed and altered in a significant way. What floored me was the attitude of passersby interviewed on television. The common concensus was the riders should have expected it for not locking the bikes "securely enough". Too bad, so sad, whaddaya expect, pretty well sums up the attitude. <floored and dismayed; I live
here with such people!>
I don't want to be one of those people (on either side of the incident).
If I go with a high-security option (say, a Kryptonite New York Legend 1590 Chain Lock), then I'll be hauling a total of 10.3lb/4.7kg. So much for ultralight.
A midway solution like an Abus Granite Bordo 6500 looks appealing, but when I sketch it out the measurements, the thing is huge. Heavy, too. Various people (and Andre, whose opinion on such things I greatly respect) have noted the thing can damage bike paint, and it hasn't fared consistently well in testing. Apparently, a combination of prying and chiseling sees it part in pretty short order. The rubberized cages have lids that fatigue and fail in pretty short order.
The ring-lock with a plug-in chain is (was) awfully appealing from a weight and convenience perspective, provided it is coupled with locking skewers and fasteners for the steerer cap (TTTPlug2) and front wheel (SON28) and perhaps the rear wheel (depending on lock location). In camp, a simple flick of the plunger, and I'd be set. In a rural or small town, the same, with addition of a plug-in tether. What really sold me on it was traveling through NL and BE with my Dutch friend, who had one. It was nice to see how quickly he got the job done compared to my u-lock. His ring-lock stored itself, too. Cool! He did a round-trip from Rotterdam to Santiago de Compostela and back last May/June and only carried the ring-lock. No problems, though I would have also carried the plug-in cable.
Part of my problem is deep-down I don't want to acknowledge the need for a lock, and if I do have to carry one, I want the world -- feather weight, immediate convenience, and maximum security. Reality says I can only choose one from that list, and I have to employ it every.single.time.I'm.parked. or risk loss.
Parking to go in and get a hamburger at the Corvallis Dairy Queen is a major operation (for those outside the US, Dairy Queen is a fast-food chain known for their array of hamburgers, fries, and a wide variety of ice-cream treats including ice-cream cakes. Really. Very popular at kids' birthdays, which may help explain childhood obesity in this country. For liability reasons, bikes are no longer allowed to use the drive-up window, which was an ideal solution in the past). There's no courtyard or such to put the bike, and once I've climbed the steps and skated across the tile floor in cycling shoes, there's no way I could get to the bike in time to stop a thief even if I could see it clearly. Home of Oregon State University and halfway on my regular 108mi/174km training loop, Corvallis place has a massive problem with bike theft. To do a proper job of securing the bike, I've got to take off the rack pack, computer, pump and GPS and the nicer water bottles and Click-Stand (all are quick-strip items if left behind). Then, I've got to fish out the 5mm allen and unscrew the SON28 skewer and unhook the electrical connectors for The Plug2 and lights. The front rack gets padded with a Kleenex packet so it won't get concrete rash, and the front wheel is put next to the rear. The u-lock gets fastened high enough so it is harder to pop, and the contents juggled enough to fill the opening to prevent jacking it apart. Meanwhile, the fork and Plug2 are sitting there for the taking with just a 5mm allen key. It's a big hassle. Unless I eat inside, then this is all for the 7 minutes or so it takes me to order, and by the time I put everything back and walk to the park (not allowed to ride on the sidewalk, and no bike path on the cyclist-unfriendly street), the food is cold. Not worth it. Hence, the appeal of take-along rehydrated soup cooked on the meths stove from the Pocket Kitchen. I recently came out of the restaurant after ordering and found the bike in the next rack was missing its computer, bottle, and pump in that time and had slid well down the rack, leaving some paint behind.
This is the scenario when riding with just a rack-top pack. It is a real nail-biter for me when fully loaded, and limits where I decide to park when reprovisioning on-tour. I'll sometimes go to a firehouse and ask the crew if I can park and lock inside their garage. This is ideal if the grocery is nearby. Other times, if the grocery also incorporates a petrol station, I'll park there and buy the attendants coffee on my return.
So, a quicker, more convenient, but still-secure solution in such circumstances would be nice. That's what moved me toward a ring-lock and plug-in cable, augmented with the secure skewers and fasteners.
All the best,