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I'm looking for a way to store small items on my bike frame when I go for a run. It would be mostly to store and conceal objects than to really secure them (I'm thinking house keys, not wallet).

For instance, if I take my car to go later for a run, I would leave my house keys in my car and keep only my car key with my on my run.

Is there a way to reproduce the (low) security of the car inside on a bike, for instance by attaching some sort of safe to the frame?

I understand this would only be as secure as the bike attachment itself or the attachment of the safe to the bike, but anyway I would be interested to see some solutions to this problem.

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    Honestly, if you're prepared to go for a run carrying a car key or a safe key, I don't see the problem with carrying a house key and a bike lock key. Sure, you could weld something to the frame but it would attract attention and be a huge amount of hassle to solve something that seems like a non-problem. – David Richerby May 9 '17 at 10:17
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    How many house keys do you have? two or three would be fine, you don't need all the keys. – Criggie May 9 '17 at 10:32
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    @Criggie Exactly -- just bring the keys you need. If you put them on a separate keyring, you can easily attach and detach them from your main keyring that has all your other stuff on it. – David Richerby May 9 '17 at 10:44
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    If your front door uses one of these Chubb keys a single front door key could be bigger than a key pocket in running shorts. Keycard access (office/apartment) would also be an issue (@Criggie) – Chris H May 9 '17 at 11:14
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    @Paparazzi because I go through several doors and portals to access my house, each door needing its own key, and there is not a place between the first and last door where I could hide some keys - and all of the 3 keys I need are fairly large. But really that's not the question... – drolex May 9 '17 at 14:10
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There's a product called a Northcore Keypod which is essentially a combination padlock with a key box built in. I've got one (it's meant for locking under your car with the car key in while surfing etc.) I strongly suggest that if you use something like this you make sure your address isn't marked anywhere on the bike or in the keybox.

Combined with a looped cable you could use it to lock up your bike, but only somewhere quite secure. I'd use a D-lock as well, locking the helmet and front wheel with this and a cable.

Anything like this will be a bit of an ovious target.

Something I've considered for emergency cash is hiding it in a screwed-shut rear light (the sort that's screwed to the bike's rack). A mini penknife screwdriver would then open it up. Most of my lights would take a key, but there's a difference between losing (accidentally or by theft) a little cash, and losing your house key. Further downsides: the screws aren't really meant to be used that much; it's a bit tedious. But it could be good for a one-off if you're otherwise stuck.

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There is a rear locking rack box, the only one I've ever seen is by Sunlite, but it's not really what I would consider "high security". It's made of plastic, but it does take a key, and will deter the "casual theft". I actually know this company well, and their products are available at just about every bike shop in the US, as well as many places online. Shouldn't be hard to find.

Sunlite lock box

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I would suggest buying a simple small safebox. There are different sizes and grades of security, and they are usually available in hardware stores. Then i'd drill two holes in such way that allow the safebox to be bolted to the water bottle mounts on the bike. The screw heads would be accesible only if the safe is open, so it wont be easily removed.

Another option is using U-bolts. Of course leaving the fasteners inside the box. This allows to mount the box somewhere in the bike. A third option is hose clamps, but those may be too easy to break, so, not safe at all.

Very small safe box example

This is the one that came to my mind for this example. This particular model, has a cable loop that is secured with the same lock that closes the safe, so it can be secured independently to anything, including the bike itself. I suggested bolting it to the frame to make it a more permanent solution and not having to hold it somewhere else when riding. Take int account that depending on the material grade the safe is made of, drilling it may be way too difficult to perform with typical DIY-er home-shop drills and tools.

I like CardMechanic's answer for bigger items like a jacket or dry after-the-run clothes, extra drinks or food.

I take your house key scenario just as an example. In my case, I'd do this for bike tools, energy bars or things like that, because I think it is too much trouble and risk for just a key. Imagine if someone, just for the sake of evil, curiosity (A locking box attached to a bike means there is something worth locking in it), etc, broke into the safe and seeing your key, decided to take it or throw it in a trash can... (wherever). What would be the backup plan for something like this?

If a Key is small enough to hide it inside a handlebar, seat post or similar, I hardly think it is so big that can't be taken with you on the running. Most keys are actually flat, so, have a copy made, and do not use a keyring, Now you can have it on your wallet (I used to carry a spare of my car key in my wallet because I was very prone to lock the car with the key inside). Or use paracord to group it with your bike lock key. A key can be also attached to a wristband, or a belt, etc.

If you are willing to risk leaving the key on the bike on a public space, you may be better hiding a spare key outside your house. Or, if your car key is smaller than your house key, leave the latter on the car and carry the car key instead.

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Not really - you could secret your keys into the handlebars or into the seat tube, but anyone watching would figure out what you're doing.

Best thing to do is take as little as possible, but as much as you need.

If you run with a water bottle, look for one that has a pocket like this:

http://cdn.skim.gs/image/upload/v1456339385/msi/handyhydratorsk_kxl52o.jpg

Or consider a hydration backpack - they work fine on the bike and when running, and generally have zipped pockets for keys, phone, wallet/ID, music, food, tools and spares. Even a belt/fanny pack might be suitable.

Personally I carry one key in a fob pocket. Never lost it yet.

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    Hide the key before you ride if you do this, and only occasionally. I've run 10km back from the LBS the long way round with a cycling belt pack (the sort that has waterbottle pouches) -- it's no trouble and nowhere near as hot as a backpack. – Chris H May 9 '17 at 11:16
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If the keys are small could hang them from seat post and hide them in the seat tube.

Or possibly hide them in the steerer (top of fork).

Not very secure but tack weld the key ring shut and lock the ring to bike.

Let the air out of a tire and hide the keys in the tire but now you have to pump up the tire and someone might steal your bike pump.

A water bottle type safe where you can only get to the screws with the safe open.

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Your seattube is an enclosed metal tube that requires specific tools to access its apertures— pretty similar conceptually to a safe or car trunk, except in wall thickness.

Depending on the diameter of your seatpost and width of your keys (which could conceivably be filed down) you could store the keys inside your seatpost/seattube and install a locking seatclamp of the many varieties available, offering various degrees of security.

Atomic22's requires an actual key: enter image description here

A commodity security seatclamp, like Fortified, just uses a security bolt, which is still good enough to have kept my seatpost in place permanently on a bike that's regularly parked on the streets of New York: enter image description here

Since your bike would just look like a bike, as opposed to a bike with a safe on it, it would be less of an unusual target to thieves.

  • Filing down keys is an excellent idea - I have a couple with additional holes in the grip and its noticeably lighter without loosing function. – Criggie May 11 '17 at 0:19
  • This is nice. I have pinhead security seatpost clamps (and skewers) and the key is rather bulky but it would be good for security. A second standard clamp or even a rear light bracket can be used to set the insertion depth so you don't need to adjust anything. – Chris H May 11 '17 at 13:02
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I don't know about your area, but here around it's quite common to see bikes locked up with some carrier bags attached (not locked) to them. I wouldn't ever do this because my bags are high-quality bags (water-proof, durable, etc.) which are expensive even without content.

But this leads me to the following idea:

Get a cheap looking bag for your bike, handlebar, saddle, rack, whereever. Then discretely lock that bag shut and to your bike.

  • As long as it's not visible that it's locked, I wouldn't expect anyone go take a closer look or steal it, but of course it's a risk.
  • If someone does take a closer look, they would still need some tools to open it. And if someone is on a tour stealing things and brought tools, then they can take the whole bike anyway. To make it hard to get open with knives or scissors, use a bag made from the kind of canvas they put over trucks or something similar.

This will always require some DIY, though.

For example you could get a small cloth handlebar bag (worn+slightly dirty). Make two button holes (i.e. with the same technique, not for real buttons :) ) in the bag next to the handlebar and use a cable like this to tie it through the button holes to the handlebar with both loop ends hidden in the bag. Now you can lock something to the loop ends of the cable, for example a small lockable pouch made from strong tarpaulin (maybe reinforced by a layer of wire mesh on the outside). But from the outside it looks like any old cloth bag with at most something like a water stained map and a dented apple inside. :)

Other idea: Mud stained non-translucent drinking bottle. Just leave it in the bottle-holder with your stuff inside.

  • That would work for many things but I'm not sure about house keys. Maybe combine this with something more lockable hidden inside the tatty old pannier and locked to the frame (hole in the pannier to allow it – Chris H May 9 '17 at 16:19
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    @ChrisH That's what I meant to describe in the example. – Nobody May 9 '17 at 23:51
  • Fair enough but the canvas pouch for security isn't enough IMO. The metal box I suggest is marginal; hidden in your bag locked to the headtube/bars/stem you might be getting somewhere. – Chris H May 10 '17 at 5:47
  • @ChrisH I'm not sure if I translated this right, but what I mean is a strong flexible plasticky fabric 4mm or 5mm thick like they use on trucks. No chance with scissors, you would need a good knife to cut it open. If you put a layer of wire mesh on top then I'm sure it would be easier to cut the lock. – Nobody May 10 '17 at 13:25
  • Strictly speaking canvas is a cotton fabric they make tents from. Tarpaulin is probably a better word for the material on curtain-sider lorries. You could still cut it with tin snips but that's getting a bit serious. I think that stuff exists in a wire-reinforced form – Chris H May 10 '17 at 15:52

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