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  1. #1
    34N 118W
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    adventures in U lock removal

    I came across an old abandoned bike that was locked to a stairwell and left to rot. It looked like it would make a good singlespeed townie conversion, so I had to go about freeing it from the two locks; a cable lock holding to the railing and a Kryptonite U lock on the frame.

    I remember reading this thread (thanks mtbr) and decided to try a few out.

    the challenge:


    The tools. Hoping that my 550rpm Makita was enough to cut through (It was all I had available on a Sunday afternoon). It cut through the steel cable lock after about 5 minutes of cutting. Cut-off wheels and drill bit from Home Depot.


    First I started with drilling out the lock core. As I had read, it's soft metal and the Ti drill bit immediately ate into it.


    I tore the crap out of the core, but it never released the lock. Time to move on to cutting...


    this was after about 5-10 minutes of cutting on the U lock. Patience and determination were key!


    Not so bad-ass now, are you Mr. Tough Guy? Yeah that's what I thought. Even though it did take about 20 minutes of slow-going with the drill. The beater is free


    HW
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  2. #2
    tlg
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    Congrats. Now all the bike thieves out there can thank you.

    Here's some numbers for you.
    10min @ 550rpm = 5500r

    If you would have used a dremmel with 35,000rpm's:
    5500r / 35,000rpm = .14min (~8 seconds).

    I'm pretty sure there isn't a direct relationship to those numbers. But undoubtedly it would have taken considerably less time with a dremmel. So next time you're out to "steal" a bike, take a coordless dremmel with you.

  3. #3
    34N 118W
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    dremel

    Quote Originally Posted by tlg
    So next time you're out to "steal" a bike, take a coordless dremmel with you.
    thanks - I have a corded Dremel but went with size over speed. Guess that wasn't the fastest choice after all, but it got 'er done.

    and I don't think the bike thieves need any help, with their breaker bars and all...

  4. #4
    Mythical Creature
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    Good job!


    An angle grinder (10,000rpm's or so, and torquey!) makes short work of hardened steel with a cut off wheel like you had. Glad you rescued that poor bike...
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  5. #5
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood
    thanks - I have a corded Dremel but went with size over speed. Guess that wasn't the fastest choice after all, but it got 'er done.

    and I don't think the bike thieves need any help, with their breaker bars and all...
    Ahhh, there is the common misconception. Size doesn't always matter!
    Drills are made for drilling. They spin at lower speed, but with a higher torque.
    Dremmels are made for cutting, sanding, engraving. They spin at high speeds, but with harldy any torque at all. The faster something spins, the quicker it's gonna cut or smooth something.

    If you get a chance, do a test on the U lock with the Dremmel. I'd love to know how long it actually takes to cut through.

  6. #6
    I'm feeling dirty, you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg
    Congrats. Now all the bike thieves out there can thank you.

    Here's some numbers for you.
    10min @ 550rpm = 5500r

    If you would have used a dremmel with 35,000rpm's:
    5500r / 35,000rpm = .14min (~8 seconds).


    I'm pretty sure there isn't a direct relationship to those numbers. But undoubtedly it would have taken considerably less time with a dremmel. So next time you're out to "steal" a bike, take a coordless dremmel with you.
    I doubt the calculations work in the real world, ever bore thru metal? Too high a speed simply creates more heat than actual boring.
    So that means your dremmel will just melt the cut-off wheels.
    That U-lock's a toughie, solid tube.

    Hollywood, does it mean you stole this bike? Maybe the owner just has very poor maintainence standards.

  7. #7
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    hey that was my bike!!!!!!
    I want it back now!







    just kidding, even if it was, I don't think i'd admit to be the neglecting owner...

  8. #8
    34N 118W
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    stolen?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonowee
    Hollywood, does it mean you stole this bike? Maybe the owner just has very poor maintainence standards.
    I try not to make a habit of stealing bikes, since I've had three expensive bikes stolen from me. No, this one was left at a friend's apartment building. The owner moved away and apparently wasn't interested in taking her bike with her. It's been locked up for over a year. My friend lives near UCLA, so there's bikes all over the place. Some locked, some not.

    We just saw this as a fun project so that she could take it to work (on campus) and not worry about getting her *nice* bikes swiped.

    I may test out the dremel and see how it goes.

    HW
    Last edited by Hollywood; 06-21-2004 at 09:52 AM. Reason: tpyo

  9. #9
    I'm feeling dirty, you?
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    I'm no bike thief and that's for sure but... if you have a cordless drill with a strong chuck, predrill with a small bit then use the first drilling as a guide and drill away with a bigger drill bit. Repeat if needed.
    You picked the wrong company to mess with...Kryptonite. Try playing ball with their "NY" range of products. Like playing ping-pong with a medicine ball.

  10. #10
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonowee
    I doubt the calculations work in the real world, ever bore thru metal?
    Yes I know, I was being facetious. Bored through plenty of metals and have used cut off wheels on plenty as well. Not much a cut off wheel won't go through.

    Too high a speed simply creates more heat than actual boring.
    So that means your dremmel will just melt the cut-off wheels.
    When drilling, high speed will create more heat. This is not the case when using a cut off wheel. That is why they make cut off wheels specifically for dremmels.
    That U-lock's a toughie, solid tube.
    You mean solid "bar" right?

  11. #11
    I'm feeling dirty, you?
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    First they build planks with a nail...
    Then they build bigger planks with a bigger nail...
    Then they build even bigger planks with an even bigger nail...
    Then they build planks with a nail so big they destroy themselves.

    Read: Have fun, going crazy at the lock!
    Has some seen the keys to the Hummer?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg
    You mean solid "bar" right?
    Ahh...thanks for the correction. A tube aren't a tube unless it's hollow.

  13. #13
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    Idea!

    A Honda car jack could do that in under a minute.

    dd..''

  14. #14
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    careful

    Quote Originally Posted by dodjy
    A Honda car jack could do that in under a minute.

    dd..''
    Not always true. You could end up bending your car jack instead of breaking the lock.

  15. #15
    34N 118W
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    that, and...

    Quote Originally Posted by dodjy
    A Honda car jack could do that in under a minute.

    dd..''
    Home Depots are easier to come across than a Honda car jack. Unless there's a Honda in the driveway.

  16. #16
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by WolverineGator
    Not always true. You could end up bending your car jack instead of breaking the lock.
    No offense, but no one said 'always' and I have had 100% success (which could be easily mistaken for 'always'). But maybe it has something to do with technique, attention to detail, and the other multitude of possibilities that haunt a given situation. Of course, that brings us back to the lack of mentioning 'always'. Maybe I should bore everyone with a prefaced statement when I post to avoid such response.

    All in jest,
    dd..''

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood
    Home Depots are easier to come across than a Honda car jack. Unless there's a Honda in the driveway.
    There are a lot of Home Deopts around nowadays. Otherwise, I must commend you on your patience!

    dd..''

    PS. Or other suitable sized car jacks.

  18. #18
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by dodjy
    No offense, but no one said 'always' and I have had 100% success (which could be easily mistaken for 'always'). But maybe it has something to do with technique, attention to detail, and the other multitude of possibilities that haunt a given situation. Of course, that brings us back to the lack of mentioning 'always'. Maybe I should bore everyone with a prefaced statement when I post to avoid such response.

    All in jest,
    dd..''
    Just curious, how frequently have you used this technique? Seems you have it down pat.

    And what's so special about the Honda jack? Is it significantly different than all the other car jacks?

  19. #19
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by tlg
    Just curious, how frequently have you used this technique? Seems you have it down pat.

    And what's so special about the Honda jack? Is it significantly different than all the other car jacks?
    Well, I have done it more times than I have counted for all sorts of odd reasons none of which fall into the realm of law breaking. Just trying to be helpful when the case arises.

    Why a Honda car jack? That is the one I have and it is small enough to get into the Kryptonite locks which simultaneously contain a bike frame, wheel (or two), and an immobile object (typically). However, I am sure there are other car jacks that would perform the same operation. It is the quickest and most successful solution I know of. And I tend to be quite careful.

    dd..''

  20. #20
    My bike was -TWO- Wheels!
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    Be willing to bet a hacksaw would be faster. Anyway, liek said above, a grinder would get it done in no time at all, spin at 11,000 rpm and have too much torque,
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  21. #21
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    yeah, angle grinder woulda made quick work of it

    I borrowed one from a friend when I lost the key (my entire key ring, dangit) to my krypto many yrs ago.
    Went through it in less than 30 seconds, once I found some safety glasses

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  22. #22
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    Bikes are abondoned at college campuses all the time. I live near UCLA too and see it every year. These bikes are abandoned for all sorts of reasons. Some kids just dump the bike because they finally got a car and see a bike as part of days when they less fortunate, silly but true.

    Some college kids get a bike for school and learn to ride for the first time. Then they fall and give up and curse off riding a bike and simply abandoned it. Silly, to give up after one fall, yes but hey that's what happens alot of times when people learn to ride a bike when during adulthood.

  23. #23
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by summitlt
    Be willing to bet a hacksaw would be faster. Anyway, liek said above, a grinder would get it done in no time at all, spin at 11,000 rpm and have too much torque,
    Hey Summitit, can I watch?!? That would be awfully entertaining!

    Let's race, me with my Honda car jack and you with a hacksaw!

    I'd even put a little wager on that one.

    ddd..'''

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg

    If you get a chance, do a test on the U lock with the Dremmel. I'd love to know how long it actually takes to cut through.

    I've done it. probably took about 3 minutes to put in the carbon cutting wheel, plug in the dremel, cut it, and put the dremel away. so the cut time was FAST. maybe a minute.

    what's people experience with the cordless dremel? i used one of them once and it was absolutely terrible. have they made a higher power/faster one?

  25. #25
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by smelly
    I've done it. probably took about 3 minutes to put in the carbon cutting wheel, plug in the dremel, cut it, and put the dremel away. so the cut time was FAST. maybe a minute.

    what's people experience with the cordless dremel? i used one of them once and it was absolutely terrible. have they made a higher power/faster one?
    Thanks for the info. I've been wanting a dremmel for a while now. Just haven't gotten around to it. The newer coordless ones run up to 35,000rpm. And battery technology gets better all the time. Guess I need to take the plunge.

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