This might take a little explaining.

I've got stuff on my bike that removes easily and could be stolen: head light, tail light, cyclometer. If I'm riding to a concert or something, I don't want to lug that kind of stuff around in my pockets, but I don't want to leave it sitting out on my bike for thieves, either.

I've been looking for some kind of small bag or pouch made from a tough material (like those locking bags banks use for deposits) that could be locked to the bike. I'm imagining something with a sturdy strap that would fit through an opening on the other side, so you could then feed your U-lock or chain through the loop, thus locking the bag shut and to the bike at the same time.

Has anyone ever seen anything like this? Is this overkill for a problem with a simpler solution?

  • Perhaps something like a handlebar bag that locks? Sep 14, 2010 at 21:15
  • They're fairly rare, but a hardsided triangle bag should suit your requirements almost perfectly. Mar 12, 2018 at 17:30
  • LPL has shown some "cutproof" pouches on youtube lately, which were just cloth. Cutproof cloth is not a thing.
    – Criggie
    May 16, 2021 at 19:57

10 Answers 10


Do you mean something like this from PacSafe it's got a secure steel mesh inside:

alt text

I remember using one of their bigger backpack bags when travelling to New Zealand a few years ago, and the only complaints I had were from the TSA when we went through the US.

Alternatively if you have a rack on the back, then it may be possible to attach a lockable box to that in some secure way. Although my worry would be that anyone who noticed such a box, would immediately wonder what was locked up inside and decide to break it open.

  • It's remarkably simple to remove most racks. Do they make racks with more secure attachments? Sep 14, 2010 at 22:18
  • 1
    security through obscurity is your friend for sure. Getting to crazy with the items being locked up just makes it look more desireable. Sep 15, 2010 at 0:20
  • 1
    @neilfein A fair point. I suppose you'd need to make sure your locking chain loops through the rack too.
    – Amos
    Sep 15, 2010 at 6:10
  • 3
    We've run recumbent bikes with a lockable box on the back for, erm, well almost decades - never had the box attacked (in the UK where opportunist theft is not uncommon). It seems to me that the point of any lock is to discourage casual walk-by theft, very few things will stop a determined or professional thief.
    – Murph
    Sep 16, 2010 at 8:09
  • Something similar would be a bag with cut-proof material on the outside, like this one: loctote.com Apr 18, 2017 at 14:33

I've used zip ties to secure four panniers to the back of my Kona Ute. It's cheap insurance against opportunistic snatches of the panniers themselves, but the unattended contents are vulnerable.

Someone before made the point that heavily secure-looking panniers make the contents appear more desirable. I'm thinking that secure panniers ought to have a rigid shape, so it's hard to tell whether or not they contain something.

As for easily-removed racks. There are utility bikes on the market, such as my Ute, in which the storage rack is actually part of the frame. With such a bike, one only has to concentrate on how well the locking pannier is attached to the bike, and the quality of your usual bike locking strategy.


I've seen a couple of lockable boxes that mount to your rack. One is the KlickFix GTA Box. And another

  • Both of these links are dead now. Can you maybe edit your answer to include the names of the products you're recommending so people can search for them in the future? And updated links would help too. Mar 3, 2020 at 4:24

Maybe you can get/addapt a hard saddlebags for motorcycles. alt text

  • 1
    +1 for the idea, but I think that this would be very heavy. Sep 15, 2010 at 2:18
  • 1
    Well-known motorcycle case manufacturer, Givi, have some solutions for bicycles.
    – krzyski
    May 29, 2016 at 10:21

I'm using aircraft cable on my panniers... live in NYC and after 2 years, panniers got ratty and now have new ones cabled on. Affix the cable so that they would need to either cut it or destroy the pannier to take it. I looped the cable round the mount of a locking child seat on the back of my Kona Ute before locking the seat on. You can cut and swat 1/16" cable without much trouble. 1/8 is a little tougher but still doable if you have a wire cutter/crimper for electrical cable. A punch & hammer also works.

  • Welcome to Bicycles! Thanks for answering one of our questions. Can you edit your answer to explain what you mean by swat, please? We recommend that all new members take the tour to make best use of the site, since it's different to many other sites.
    – andy256
    Jan 4, 2017 at 6:40
  • 2
    I think @user31000 means "swage" which is putting a fitting on the end of a cut metal braided wire to stop the strands unravelling. Fitting it held on with deformation and compression, and sometimes glue or silver-solder depending on the purpose. We already have swages on the ends of brake/gear cable inners, but instead refer to them as crimps. Confirmation of that would be good please.
    – Criggie
    Jan 4, 2017 at 10:21

I came across this post whilst carrying out market research for a design I was developing.

It was a problem I had noticed also when leaving my bike and always having to put my lights in a bag or pocket. It's been a while since this was first asked but if you are interested in these types of products check out my Kickstarter.


2020 edit:

The bag has a bottle cage within it to provide structure to the bag and allow it to still hold a bottle of required. This stops it flipping around and prevents people seeing if the bag has things in it or not.

I thought it may chip my paint as well but after 2 years there were surface/superficial scratches on the tube which could be polished away.

If you are interested I got my first full production batch made with a bunch of different colours. https://www.pherault.com/shopbikeboot

  • 2
    Thank you for clearly disclosing your link to the product.
    – Criggie
    Mar 12, 2018 at 0:23
  • 1
    As I realised while thinking about similar issues for this question, it's not easy to design something universal to upgrade the traditional bottle cage. It's nice to see some innovation in this area but I think you might need a bigger cage inside to address the flopping @Criggie mentions (on some bikes). A roll top would also be good, and could be compatible with a padlock (which in your current design could knock the paint off the downtube if locked while riding)
    – Chris H
    Mar 12, 2018 at 8:06

For my panniers I took some lightweight aircraft cable and ran loops to the screws that secure the bag to its frame. These loops are long enough to run my regular lock through them, and they're stuffed in the bag when not in use. In my case the purpose is to prevent "opportunistic" thefts by stupid kids, but the technique could be used with heavier cables to discourage more "professional" thieves.

Obviously, with any sort of fabric bag the fabric can be cut, so there is a practical limit to the amount of security provided by this technique.


They do sell a variety of bicycle hard panniers - and people have made their own using a variety of materials from ammo boxes to plastic tubs.

Hard panniers

You can also easily adapt the variety of rear cases that are made for scooters.


My first thought was to use a bag that has a reasonably strong handle and just pass the bike lock though the handle – this will stop most opportunistic snatches. Given the correct handle design it could also stop someone opening the bag. (I have done this with my panniers)

Then I thought that fixing a very loud rape alarm in the bag, with the strap locked to the bike lock would be good. When (if) the bag is stolen, the rape alarm will activate as the strap will be pulled out – at that point if the bike has been left in a good parking spot a lot of people will know the theft is going on.


Make eyes/loops either end of some brake or gear inner cable using 2mm ferrules and use a mini luggage lock to secure.

As mentioned above this is a delay/move on to easier pickings tactic. Try to keep your bike in full public view and use two different types of bike lock i.e. chain and U lock as most bike thieves do not come equipped with two sets of removal tools.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.