Safe As Part 2- Pragmasis Security Products
A while back we tested the Asgard bike store, perfect for keeping your pride and joy safe while not cluttering up your house or flat. Once in there how do you best keep them locked up?
Chances are that if your bikes warrant a £500 shed then they are going to warrant some serious locks to keep them in there, initially our hopes had been to run a full on test on a range of locks. It soon became obvious this was going to be difficult, firstly none of the big players responded to various requests to be involved, secondly the cost and complexity of doing things properly was high, the tool of choice of the professional bike thief, the Irwin Record 42” cropper is almost £400 to buy, that’s before you even get into purchase of power tools etc. We do like to do things properly here at DW but that sort of cost is just way outside our budgets!
Instead we decided to hunt around to see what was on offer outside of the usual ranges available in your local shop. It soon became clear that UK firm Pragmasis were getting brilliant reviews across the board, offered a massive range of products to cover every need and also offer very helpful customer service to help ensure you buy the right product for your requirements.
We are focussing our attention on 2 areas, security chains and anchors to keep them in one place. First up the chains…..
Pragmasis offer their chains in 4 options of link size, from 11mm to 19mm and almost any length you might need, all made from round-section European boron steel material. They suggest that the use of round section rather than square section for the links makes the cropping much harder as it is more difficult to get the initial “nip” on the chain. For Descent-World users the upper end of the range is probably going to be of more interest, both the 16mm and 19mm chains are proven impossible to crop by hand with the 19mm being the chain of choice for the MOD, thats some reassurance. There are instances where the smaller chains might be better, the 16mm & 19mm are not really portable by hand due to their substantial weight (almost 16kg for the 2.5m 19mm chain!) and for the same reason not the best on a carbon frame, you can imagine it causing serious damage to your frame if dropped on it. The larger chains are also too large to squeeze through your spokes so if you do wish to secure frame and wheels you might need to downsize. We got our hands on a 16mm which is probably the ideal for securing at home and the 13mm which is just about light enough to stick in your bag for a more portable option. Clearly it’s impossible to evaluate security just by “having a look” but both seem very well made and extremely substantial, much more so than anything I have seen in my LBS from any of the big players.
Pragmasis offer a range of padlocks to accompany the chains, main thing to watch for is to ensure that you get a padlock that has a big enough shackle to fit your chain, which given how substantial the 16mm & 19mm chains are, plenty of padlocks don’t fit them. Also remember that your setup is only going to be as secure as its weakest link, so no point going for an 11mm chain and an all singing and dancing lock as the chain will break much before the lock does. We matched up the recommended combo of 16mm chain with the Squire SS65CS Stronghold Padlock and the 13mm chain with the Squire SS50CS Stronghold Padlock.
So what to lock these up to? We took a look at a couple of options, firstly the Shed Shackle. Intended for secure locking of bikes to the wall of a wooden shelf, though we have fitted it successfully to our Asgard steel shed as an additional safeguard along with the ground anchor. Clearly a wooden shed is a less secure storage option than a garage or steel storage unit but the shed shackle will significantly beef things up. The fitting kit involves bolting on with shear bolts, so the head of the nut shearing off once it reaches the optimum torque making unscrewing impossible, ripping it off is the only options, no mean feat! It is an easy DIY fit, taking less than 30 minutes with a set of tools that any self respecting bike nut should have in their armoury.
The final item we got our hands on was the Torc Ground Anchor, as ground anchors go this one is the daddy, in fact it was voted security product of the year in 2006! The hardened steel shackle is substantial in size, so much so that it will fit a 19mm & a 16mm chain inside if you want ultimate security. The D lock also folds flat which makes it very difficult to get a start on cutting it when it is sitting flat against the ground. The anchor is attached into the ground with not one but 4 fixing points, and comes with a choice of 3 fitting kits- Concrete floor, brick & van floor, giving brilliant flexibility. The concrete and brick options are obviously you’re at home ones; their fitting is somewhat different to some of the others available which either concrete or bolt in. The Torc anchor requires a 12mm hole be drilled into a solid concrete base; the bolts are then secured in place with resin capsules. At first the concept of using resin to secure things in might seem strange but if you consider that Rolls Royce secure their jet engines in place with a similar method I wouldn’t be worried about security. The van kit is perfect for security in the back of your race wagon, the fixings for it work in a similar way to the shed shackle, with the bolts going through the van floor and being fixed on the underside with shear nuts. It doesn’t give quite the same level of security offered in a concrete floor but the security level is still significant and if you want it beefed up more then you could always add a steel back plate under the floor, Pragmasis don’t provide these but they can be tracked down from a local blacksmith. As with the shed shackle these are all DIY fit though might take you up to an hour to do, but worth doing it right as they are not designed to be removed!
Hopefully over the last couple of features we have given you some good options to help keep things safe, if you want more advice then I can highly recommend giving the guys at Pragmasis a call to point you in the right direction.