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Thread: Bike Lock Tests

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    Bike Lock Tests

    I was just reading this article a few days ago at Books-A-Million. It makes some very interesting points that I hadn't really thought of, and that titanium flat bar lock is one of the most creative things I've seen.

    My wonder is about things that aren't bike specific, but do a damn good job. I used to be an ER tech at a prison unit, and I remember some of the locks they used around the unit. Many were normative in size, but were unbreakable/unpickable. They weren't too expensive, if I remember correctly. Something around 35 dollars a lock. When you're locking up a 900 dollar bike with 400 dollars worth of mods, 35 dollars doesn't seem like too large of an investment. Pair that with some heavy steel cable that can't be cut, and I think you'd be doing alright.

    Then again, I may be completely wrong. It's happened a time or two.

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    Cable, about one minute to cut with an angle grinder.

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    Sounds like nothing helps much against an angle grinder with a spare battery. The goal appears to be for other bikes to look easier to take and or more desirable. I have wondered about Murray decals, trump l'oeil flakey rust patches, rusty spokes (now that most are stainless, that says an old bike), fake cracks in the fenders, an uncool amount of reflective tape, and disguising some of the components as being a cheaper group set to make a bike less desirable. Shame to hide a beautiful bike like that, but if it keeps it being your bike, it may be worth the effort.

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    I went onto Amazon and looked up the OnGuard 8020 Mastiff and it says that this lock weight 14.8lbs! Is this right? Yowza...

    Technical Details
    Brand OnGuard
    Model 8020
    Item Weight 14.8 pounds
    Product Dimensions 11.5 x 8 x 3 inches
    Item model number 8020
    Manufacturer Part Number 8020

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    Bike Lock Tests

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    Sounds like nothing helps much against an angle grinder with a spare battery. The goal appears to be for other bikes to look easier to take and or more desirable. I have wondered about Murray decals, trump l'oeil flakey rust patches, rusty spokes (now that most are stainless, that says an old bike), fake cracks in the fenders, an uncool amount of reflective tape, and disguising some of the components as being a cheaper group set to make a bike less desirable. Shame to hide a beautiful bike like that, but if it keeps it being your bike, it may be worth the effort.
    We have an extremely high bike theft rate here, mainly due to it being the primary mode of transportation for homeless and drug addicts. I've thought seriously about how I can make my Jamis look old and undesirable. I recently saw a post where someone rattle canned their bike into looking old. Since I've got a rigid, I have no need to worry about a fork looking too new. My only hindrance with this is having to completely dismantle the bike to do it.

    My next best idea is to wrap it in lime green duct tape and plaster stickers all over it. Pair that with a worn out seat cover off of a pawn shop bike and a hefty lock, and I think it should do well?

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    Re: Bike Lock Tests

    A lot of bike thefts are crack/meth heads. They'll steal anything to make a buck.

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    Yeah, when your most likely thieves are basically opportunistic, looking for the easy snatch-and-grab for their next meth fix or whatever, locking technique probably matters more than the lock itself. Just locking your bike better than the others around it should be fine, and probably won't take much effort based on the locking technique I witness regularly.

    When you have professional bike thieves to deal with, however, it's a different story. You can try to camouflage the bike, but a trained eye can still tell if it's a good bike rattlecanned or covered in ugly stickers. I talked to a guy here in Indiana this year who told me a story about how he was driving home from a popular mtb trail. He had a couple bikes on his hitch rack. They were not locked to the rack. He parked at a fast food restaurant off the highway, parked it within view of the table he ate at. A white van pulled up behind his SUV, a couple guys jumped out. One guy with a battery powered reciprocating saw. They CUT his hitch rack off the vehicle, put it in the van, and were gone - while he watched, and so fast that he could not get out there in time to chase them off.

    If you have pros to deal with, your best bet it to just ride an old junker that you don't put a lot of money into. Make the reward of stealing it not worth the effort. For an expensive bike, making it not worth the effort would probably involve a couple hundred pounds of locks and chains. That's not worth YOUR effort.

    My commuter wouldn't stand up to professionals locked up outside for long. Which is why I don't lock it up outside for long. It comes inside if it needs to be secured for long periods of time. It only gets locked up outside for short periods. My u-lock locks on both sides of the shackle, but it's not quite as stout as the ones described in the article. I combine it with a cable lock currently, but have been strongly considering replacing the cable with a chain.

    I had honestly hoped the TiGr would hold up better, considering how it was marketed and how much it costs. I guess if your potential bike thieves are tweakers and not professionals, it's a pretty good lock. Maybe if combined with a stout chain or u-lock, it would make for a better system. Combine it with the OnGuard Mastiff chain, for example. It would take so long even with an angle grinder that maybe they'd move on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    I had honestly hoped the TiGr would hold up better, considering how it was marketed and how much it costs.
    I'm glad to finally see a test of the TiGr.

    But they have always been pretty upfront about the fact that it's just a lighter and possibly more convenient alternative to a u-lock&cable. Even their earliest kickstarter videos showed them defeating it with a hacksaw and anglegrinder. It's about as secure as a u-lock, but prettier and much lighter.

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    Where you lock up is as important as how you lock up. My commuter is casually locked up with a medium cable lock, but it's at an isolated corporate campus with nobody wandering in off the streets and in the direct line of sight of the lobby security desk.
    If I was locking up on a city street I'd have 2 U-locks and remove the seat, plius wrap the bike to make it look crappier, although disk brakes are hard to conceal.
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    At a certain point, it will be easier to cut through what you have locked to instead of your lock, so keep this in mind too.

    From seeing the big chains in NYC, I do believe they can weigh 15 pounds.

    I'm also interested if anyone has insurance, like Bicycle insurance for cyclists, road riders, mountain bikers and triathletes | Velosurance - , Bicycling Insurance from Markel | Bicycle Insurance Specialists , or if you've made a claim under your homeowners and how that went.
    Last edited by mtbxplorer; 11-22-2013 at 05:36 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    At a certain point, it will be easier to cut through what you have locked to instead of your lock, so keep this in mind too.

    From seeing the big chains in NYC, I do believe they can weight 15 pounds.

    I'm also interested if anyone has insurance, like Bicycle insurance for cyclists, road riders, mountain bikers and triathletes | Velosurance - , Bicycling Insurance from Markel | Bicycle Insurance Specialists , or if you've made a claim under your homeowners and how that went.
    Yeah. Racks like these are popping up around town on the parking space number posts for the automated on-street parking meters, and I wonder how easy they are to cut.

    Bike Lock Tests-1456081_10151768718507286_228911891_n.jpg

    Bike Lock Tests-1479502_10151686043606741_1593651122_n.jpg

    I have not had to make a claim for bikes on my insurance, but I always check to make sure they are covered under whatever policy I have. Under my current renter's policy, they are supposedly covered for the replacement value, not the depreciated value, and they didn't seem to mind that my wife and I have bikes that would cost around $10,000 to replace.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Yeah. Racks like these are popping up around town on the parking space number posts for the automated on-street parking meters, and I wonder how easy they are to cut.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The cast ones are at risk from leverage attacks that simply snap them.

    At a certain point, it will be easier to cut through what you have locked to instead of your lock, so keep this in mind too.
    True. If I had to lock my bike for extended periods and/or in a predictable time and location, then I'd look around for two poles about 1 meter apart, at least one of them being very strong like a parking meter, and lock the bike to each pole with a separate lock:



    If it were a high-risk area, I'd pick at least one top-of-the-line lock as well.

    For those who might be looking to use a super-duty noose-type chain and want a hardcore padlock to go with it, there are the "hockey-puck" type padlocks with a fully concealed shackle. I researched those for a security project at work a while back, and got the American Lock A2500 with the BumpStop option. These have a keyway protected by a free-spinning anti-drill, anti-pull plate, unlike many locks of this style which have an exposed cylinder.



    You would want to make sure your chain fits into the lock's pocket, it has a 15mm max capacity.

    Video of firefighters practicing on its little brother, the A2000, with a gas-powered cutter:


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    If you're looking for a chain that will fit in the slot, it sounds like the lock will hold but the chain will be easy to go through.

    Also, it's yet to be mentioned, but the lesser the slack in a chain or cable, the better. It allows too much play to snap a lock. Wrap your bike twice, or carry a shorter length.

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    And on that note, it may help to fill up as much vacant space in U-locks as possible, since it'll make it difficult to insert, say, a hydraulic jack or whatnot.

    On the general subject of locks, my usual routine at the grocery store is a U-lock through my chainstays and rear wheel, and a decent-sized cable that I lasoo the front wheel, pass through my helmet vents, pass through my seat rails, and put the free end over the U-lock. Today I finally thought to weigh that cable... 500 grams, or 1.1 pound. I think I can justify buying some theft-resistant skewers and seat/headset bolts based on the combined weight and time savings of not having to carry and use that cable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    Today I finally thought to weigh that cable... 500 grams, or 1.1 pound.
    What I want, but what no one seems to sell is a looped, rubberized 4~5' cable that is really fine and light. I'm thinking as thick as a laptop cable.

    Any cable can be cut in about half a second, so whether it's 0.1lbs or 1.1lbs doesn't really make a difference. I just use it to prevent drunks from running away with my wheels, but I don't expect it to stop even a terrible thief.

    Homedepot is supposed to offer to swage cables, but I've tried several and none of them have any idea what I'm talking about. And all the looped cables I seen are the standard 12~15mm thick.
    Last edited by newfangled; 11-26-2013 at 08:39 AM. Reason: wrong numbers

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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    What I want, but what no one seems to sell is a looped, rubberized 4~5' cable that is really fine and light. I'm thinking as thick as a laptop cable.

    Any cable can be cut in about half a second, so whether it's 0.1lbs or 1.1lbs doesn't really make a difference. I just use it to prevent drunks from running away with my wheels, but I don't expect it to stop even a terrible thief.



    Homedepot is supposed to offer to swage cables, but I've tried several and none of them have any idea what I'm talking about. And all the looped cables I seen are the standard 2.5mm thick.
    Check out a fishing store you are looking for downrigger supplies....they thin aircraft cable with all sorts of swages and clamps etc.

    Yup canadian tire carries swages (compression clamps) and 150 lb test stainless steel wire....

    To compress the swages your self you either need a tool or make a tool (pretty easy) check out the electrical tool section they may have something close enough.

    to rubberize get some vinyl dip

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    ^ I've thought about it, but $60 seems overboard for what's basically a long seat cable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    ^ I've thought about it, but $60 seems overboard for what's basically a long seat cable.
    That is why I bought a standard cable lock...Planet Bike Quick Stop 10mm x 1.8m Combination Cable Lock - Mountain Equipment Co-op. Free Shipping Available

    But maybe some buddy has a down rigger and will split it out with you.

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    Meth addicts will STEAL from their best "friends"........and help them look for it.

    Kryptonite Series4 is the best bang for your buck.
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    ^ I've thought about it, but $60 seems overboard for what's basically a long seat cable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    Thanks. I've checked their site before, but got no hits for "swage". I might have to pick one up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    What I want, but what no one seems to sell is a looped, rubberized 4~5' cable that is really fine and light. I'm thinking as thick as a laptop cable.

    Any cable can be cut in about half a second, so whether it's 0.1lbs or 1.1lbs doesn't really make a difference. I just use it to prevent drunks from running away with my wheels, but I don't expect it to stop even a terrible thief.

    Homedepot is supposed to offer to swage cables, but I've tried several and none of them have any idea what I'm talking about. And all the looped cables I seen are the standard 12~15mm thick.
    Are you in the US? If so, you can have the lightweight FlexWeave cable shown in my previous photo, assuming I can find it. It's the one looped through the seat rails. If interested, shoot me a PM with your shipping address.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Texan-n-Fla View Post
    If you're looking for a chain that will fit in the slot, it sounds like the lock will hold but the chain will be easy to go through.

    Also, it's yet to be mentioned, but the lesser the slack in a chain or cable, the better. It allows too much play to snap a lock. Wrap your bike twice, or carry a shorter length.
    Here's an anchor that will let you use a hockey-puck-type-lock with chain. You can bolt this anchor to the floor of your garage or to your pick-up truck bed:
    https://securitysnobs.com/Stanton-Co...lock-Hasp.html

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    Bike Lock Tests

    I'd like to see how my Smith and Wesson leg irons stack up.

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