Using a TSA Suitcase Lock to Protect your Bike Rack Bag Contents

SwissJetPilot

Member
Region
Europe
To avoid the hassle of hauling around yet another key, I picked up one of these TSA suitcase locks from Amazon and mounted it to the side of my carry bag. This is probably the smallest bag you'd want to do this with as there's not a lot of room to work with.

Adding the lock was pretty straight forward, the trick is to lock the zippers in it first and see how to best position it. Once that's done mark the holes and then make the holes with a soldering iron or hot wire. Use the screws and mounting plate together on the inside to secure the lock in place.

Obviously this isn't intended to secure the bag to the bike, but it keep sticky fingers out of the bag when your back is turned.

If you're worried about the TSA key lock being exposed, just cover it with a dab of black RTV, epoxy or hot glue to disable it.

BagLock-02.JPG

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ActionJackson

Well-Known Member
Region
Asia
City
Tokyo
To avoid the hassle of hauling around yet another key, I picked up one of these TSA suitcase locks from Amazon and mounted it to the side of my carry bag. This is probably the smallest bag you'd want to do this with as there's not a lot of room to work with. Adding the lock was pretty straight forward, the trick is to lock the zippers in it first and see how to best position it. Once that's done mark the holes and then make the holes with a soldering iron or hot wire. Use the screws and mounting plate together on the inside. Obviously this isn't intended to secure the bag to the bike, but it keep sticky fingers out of the bag when your back is turned.

If you're worried about the TSA key lock being exposed, just cover it with a dab of black RTV to disable it.
Just be aware that the master keys can be downloaded and 3D printed quite easily these days:

 

SwissJetPilot

Member
Region
Europe
@ VoltMan99 - True. Which is why I suggested filling the key hole with RTV (silicone) or even epoxy to prevent anyone from tampering with it. Then again, they could just as easily cut the bag open with a knife if they're really determined. It's just there to slow down the petty opportunist.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
To avoid the hassle of hauling around yet another key, I picked up one of these TSA suitcase locks from Amazon and mounted it to the side of my carry bag. This is probably the smallest bag you'd want to do this with as there's not a lot of room to work with. Adding the lock was pretty straight forward, the trick is to lock the zippers in it first and see how to best position it. Once that's done mark the holes and then make the holes with a soldering iron or hot wire. Use the screws and mounting plate together on the inside. Obviously this isn't intended to secure the bag to the bike, but it keep sticky fingers out of the bag when your back is turned.

If you're worried about the TSA key lock being exposed, just cover it with a dab of black RTV to disable it.
Clever idea!
I've been using these TSA locks on both my rear rack bag and panniers. The small cable ends fit through the holes in the zippers on my bags. A small dab of gorilla glue effectively blocks the TSA keyhole.


I like your idea better though. It looks neater and there is no cable for a thief to snip.

As you say, it doesn't prevent a thief from making off with the whole bag or pannier but it does offer some security for the contents.
 

SwissJetPilot

Member
Region
Europe
Here's the same lock "debadged" and with the keyhole blocked.

First I pried off the "red diamond" logo on the right side and then used a Scotchbrite pad to remove the "TSAS002" lettering and red dot on the left.
I went over it with a little Meguiars PlastX plastic polish to get some of the sheen back. And then simply filled in the keyhole with dab of black hot glue. Easy peasy!

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How to Set:
The original number is 0-0-0. Setting your own combination:
1. Press down the small reset button located next to the latch and hold it unit step 2 has been performed.
2. Turn the dials to your desired combination.
3. Now release reset button and press the reset button again as a check, The setting is completed.
 
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m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I do the same thing. I expect almost no security from the practice, but this falls under 'better than nothing'. Anyone who wants into a bag can just take a pocket knife and slit the canvas in about a second.