Tip from me to you: Rack locks are F'ing useless- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    ballbuster
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    Tip from me to you: Rack locks are F'ing useless

    well, I guess they keep the rack ratchets from popping open.

    Thank goodness it hasn't happened to me, but I can easily see this happening.

    I have a Thule T2 hitch rack. On my rack, one of the wheel hooks got a bit bent out, so I took it off and straightened it out with a pipe bender in my shop. On a side note, the wheel hooks are made of super soft and thin steel. No wonder it bent. It was almost like bending a piece of 1/2" EMT electrical conduit, which is what I reinforced it with from the inside... but I digress....

    So, turns out you can remove the hook by removing two #2 phillips screws.... yeah... two screws with a screw gun and the bike's front wheel would be free. That would take a thief literally twenty seconds if he had a Makita in his hand. Zip, Zip, hooks off, unlock rear wheel strap... gone.

    I've also heard that you can defeat the Thule locks by jamming a big screwdriver in there, and with a pair of vice grips, grab the screwdriver shaft and force the lock open. Haven't tried it myself, but I can see that. Back when I worked at a VW Salvage lot, we used to defeat the steering locks on old Rabbits in a similar way.

    Then I heard not an hour later that a friend of a friend lost two high bling carbon bikes off his roof rack in a mall parking lot... yeah, just locked to the roof racks with the factory locks. He was only gone for like 10 minutes.

    I lock my bikes to my trailer hitch using a Disk style lock, and heavy chain, and a U-Lock around the rear wheel and frame. I still don't trust it in public much. I understand that locks are just there to slow scumbags down enough so maybe they won't try.... but maybe they will. A cordless DeWalt Angle grinder will go through a U-Lock or chain pretty quickly.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 06-25-2011 at 01:04 AM.

  2. #2
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    An angle grinder with a good blade will go through a Krypto chain in 30 seconds or less, usually more like 18-20. We cut them all the time at my shop. Imagine how quickly it will go through that aluminum arm on a T2 or Sidearm

  3. #3
    ballbuster
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    Heh.. from what I've seen....

    Quote Originally Posted by gravitylover View Post
    An angle grinder with a good blade will go through a Krypto chain in 30 seconds or less, usually more like 18-20. We cut them all the time at my shop. Imagine how quickly it will go through that aluminum arm on a T2 or Sidearm
    ... of that arm on the T2, all you need to defeat it is a 2' long piece of pipe with an ID of about 1". Put it over the end of the hook and bend it open. Those things are pretty flimsy.... which surprises me, considering the whole rack is really F'ing heavy. Heck, if you had strong hands, you might not even need a pipe to lever it.


  4. #4
    Rohloff
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    My understandding is all you have to do is release the quick release on the front wheel and pull up on the handlebar. The front wheel will pop off and you've got the whole bike.

    If I can see my bike 100% of the time, I will leave it on the rack. If I go inside anywhere for any length of time, put my bike inside my truck. I think being out of sight is the most important thing. Any lock can be defeated pretty quick. Even a car door. But, as they say, out of sight, out of mind.

    I like keeping my bike out of peoples minds.

  5. #5
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    My (newer) T2 has cable locks that go around the bike frame. I use them, but I also use an armored steel cable lock around the bikes to the truck hitch.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GpzGuy View Post
    My (newer) T2 has cable locks that go around the bike frame. I use them, but I also use an armored steel cable lock around the bikes to the truck hitch.
    This.

    I boost my T2s security with a huge chain lock, but any of those methods simply slows someone down. Leaving high end bikes on a rack unattended at a mall is asking for disaster.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  7. #7
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    I mean, isn't it kind of obvious that the rack locks aren't worth anything except keeping the rack from popping open?

    J.

  8. #8
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    pretty much all you can do to protect yourself is to have enough different locks that the thief decides it isn't worth it.

    that and never leave your bikes on the car for long unattended.

    i usually have two or more thick cable locks on the bikes if we go into a restaurant.

    also NEVER leave your bikes in the parking lot of a hotel you are staying at!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Try to be good.

  9. #9
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    wow, where ever you guys live sucks... We left 7k+ worth of bikes unlocked, and in plain sight today when we spend 1.5 hours to get lunch...

  10. #10
    ballbuster
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    Life in the big city.

    Quote Originally Posted by pyrotyro View Post
    wow, where ever you guys live sucks... We left 7k+ worth of bikes unlocked, and in plain sight today when we spend 1.5 hours to get lunch...
    Where crackheads are looking for something to fence to get a fix.

    Meth is a helluva drug.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 06-26-2011 at 10:22 PM.

  11. #11
    Rohloff
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyrotyro View Post
    wow, where ever you guys live sucks... We left 7k+ worth of bikes unlocked, and in plain sight today when we spend 1.5 hours to get lunch...
    Yea, I've done the same thing, but I made sure the bikes were in my plain sight as well. If you park your car in the right place and sit in the right place in a restaurant, it's pretty easy. I have passed on some restaurants because, for one reason or another, I could find a way to dine and see my bikes at the same time.

  12. #12
    turtles make me hot
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    When we travel and stop for the night, The bikes come off the T2 and into the hotel. I never leave my bike on the truck out of my sight.
    I like turtles

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyrotyro View Post
    wow, where ever you guys live sucks... We left 7k+ worth of bikes unlocked, and in plain sight today when we spend 1.5 hours to get lunch...
    You've been lucky.

    J.

  14. #14
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    It is a bike rack make to transport your bike, not a security device.

  15. #15
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    I wouldn't even dare leave my $500 bike unlock. Too many desperate people in big cities. I did locked up 5 bikes, the most expensive my Trance X4, to go eat lunch one day. But, to leave it on my bike rack, only way I would do this is to lock it up to both the rack and the hitch with a chain, and not some cables that can be easily cut in seconds.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirty Harry Potter View Post
    It is a bike rack make to transport your bike, not a security device.
    THIS!
    Those locks are designed to keep the hooks from unlatching during travel. I doubt any rack manufacturer will claim they are a security feature designed to deter thieves.
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  17. #17
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    all locks only keep honest people honest.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsdc View Post
    My understandding is all you have to do is release the quick release on the front wheel and pull up on the handlebar. The front wheel will pop off and you've got the whole bike.
    Yep, one time I got to the trailhead and realized I left the key to the rack with my wife. Undid the 20mm TA and took the bike off the rack.

    If you're going to leave the bikes at all, use some additional locks!
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyrotyro View Post
    wow, where ever you guys live sucks... We left 7k+ worth of bikes unlocked, and in plain sight today when we spend 1.5 hours to get lunch...
    It will suck when your bikes get stolen. Treating the "good places" as if they are better than the "bad places" is what will do it for you. Sure, there might be less murders, less theft, less crime, but bikes are always an easy opportunity.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  20. #20
    "2 Wycked"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stupendous Man View Post
    THIS!
    Those locks are designed to keep the hooks from unlatching during travel. I doubt any rack manufacturer will claim they are a security feature designed to deter thieves.
    And theyre not there, atleast the ones that come bike racks, to keep ur bike secure while u walk around the mall. They're for when you stop to take a leak at a gas station or some other place for only a few minutes.
    Ahhhh...Ahhhh....it's the hammy, it's the hammy!!

  21. #21
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    Locks are just a deterrent for the more casual thief. If someone wants something that bad, they will steal it.

    If you throw the bike inside the car... they can easily smash a window -- again, just a deterrent for the lazier, casual thief.

  22. #22
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    Yeahhhh those locks are pretty obviously nothing more than a deterrent against a casual thief, as stated already. I use them merely so a random delinquent doesn't swipe my stuff on impulse. A proper thief will make quick work of them. I just like the extra piece of mind if we go to lunch or something after riding.

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