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Usern Ame
07-12-2011, 10:36 AM
Can any lock be broken/pciked or do some locks totally protect the bikes.
Anyone know what the best type of lock is?

Usern Ame
07-12-2011, 10:37 AM
Oh, and I'm wondering because I don't want my bike stolen, not because I'm trying to figure out how to steal someone else's bike:)

Jsnyd
07-12-2011, 10:48 AM
I heard U locks are the best. I don’t have a lock myself but I would imagine that they are. They are a little wide for bolt cutters so it would be difficult for someone to break it. Just make sure you lock the frame. I overheard a lady in a bike shop looking for a new bike after she got her bike stolen. She said it was locked and couldn’t understand how the lock and front tire were still attached to the bike rack but the rest of the bike was gone. Then she was filled in on a little secret with front tires :)

CCrew
07-12-2011, 10:52 AM
Any lock can be beaten. For the most part it's about making them obvious or slowing them down. U-Locks are the best.

But even the best of u-locks lasts 15 seconds to a thief with a battery powered cutoff grinder.

-R

eminva
07-12-2011, 11:51 AM
Yes, sadly I know from experience that a U-lock is not impervious to a determined thief. After my unfortunate incident, I was told that one should get the smallest u-lock that will fit around the frame and whatever you are locking it to so there is very little room to slip any cutting implement in.

My backup advice is to just be careful where you park your bike and for how long you leave it unattended (even with a lock).

Liz

KLizotte
07-12-2011, 11:56 AM
Last week three bikes were stolen from the racks located at the entrance to the Federal Aviation Administration's HQ on Independence Ave (where I work) during the night. I don't know what time but I doubt it was that late since it is rare to see that many left overnight. Supposedly all three had cable locks which is stinky since I prefer cable locks over U-locks.

What's amazing is how brazen the thieves were. The racks are at the employees only entrance, just a few feet away from the doors where there is 24/7 security personnel and cameras. I figure it must have been a roaming gang that snipped and rode away.

*sigh* I was an exchange student at Oxford Univ (UK) over a decade ago and everyone left their bikes unlocked all over town without a second thought. Granted they were all beater bikes but still....

Dirt
07-12-2011, 12:34 PM
http://www.consumersearch.com/bicycle-locks

I have an On-Guard Beast U-Lock that was rated pretty well a year or two ago. They also make one that has a mini u-lock and a hardened steel chain.

The really good locks make it so a very good thief must work for 3-5 minutes to open them. The idea being that they'll look at that, then choose to move on to a bike with a less formidable lock. A great bike thief can probably open anything. A lesser lock makes their job easier.

When running away from a bear, you don't have to be faster than the bear.... just faster than one other person in your group.... two people if the bear is really hungry. ;)

Usern Ame
07-12-2011, 02:50 PM
It seems to me one of those heavy duty chains that cost $60-$100 is the best bet.
Alot of the reviews on Amazon seem to imply the bike can't be stolen with those chains, not sure if thats iright.
Also, wont bike thieves go after a better bike even if it means a couple more minutes. My bike isnt top of the line but its not a schwinn either.

Joe Chapline
07-12-2011, 03:06 PM
It seems to me one of those heavy duty chains that cost $60-$100 is the best bet.
Alot of the reviews on Amazon seem to imply the bike can't be stolen with those chains, not sure if thats iright.
Also, wont bike thieves go after a better bike even if it means a couple more minutes. My bike isnt top of the line but its not a schwinn either.

I have one of Kryptonite's chain locks, and I think they do rate it the most difficult of their locks to defeat. (I tried to confirm, but their site, kryptonitelock.com, is not iPad-friendly.) However, the lock weighs 9 pounds, I think, and it's not as easy to carry as a U lock. It might be a good choice if you can leave the lock attached to the rack rather than carry it around with you.

americancyclo
07-12-2011, 03:24 PM
Definitely stay away from the cable locks. I worked at a bike shop for a bit, and some kids had a lock that was jammed. http://bit.ly/qwBtje after confirming they were who they said they were, we cut the cable lock in the link after 3 snips of a pair of pliers. I'd definitely go u-lock, and whatever else you can do to deter thieves. Like Dirt and CCrew say, it's all about buying more time than the thief is willing to invest.

DaveK
07-12-2011, 03:37 PM
I have an Onguard Bulldog mini and a cable for my wheels and seatpost. This is only for the commuter though, I just don't lock up my road bike outside. Period. And it's not even worth much... Even the commuter I wouldn't leave in areas that look shady. If I lock up outside the Argonaut, for example, you'd better believe I'm walking it home even if I can't ride it home. I know it wouldn't be there in the morning, u-lock or not.

Bottom line is if someone really wants your bike they'll probably get it. My friend had her bike stolen last night off a second floor balcony that wasn't visible to the ground. I don't even know how they knew it was there.

StopMeansStop
07-12-2011, 07:51 PM
Everything you need to know about locking your bike.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html

PotomacCyclist
07-12-2011, 08:31 PM
In addition to a solid U-lock, you could use an older bike for trips where you need to lock up the bike outside. If there are nicer bikes nearby, a thief will go for those bikes instead of a shabby-looking one. Some people will take the seat post with them after locking up the bike. While this won't prevent the lock from being broken, it might provide some disincentive for the thief to choose your bike.

With Capital Bikeshare around, I try to limit how often I have to use locks. For training rides, I never leave my bike alone. For short errands and some commutes, I use the CaBi bikes.

I would never leave a bike on a porch or balcony. If it's a nice bike, a thief may take notice and wait for a good opportunity to steal it.

SteveTheTech
07-12-2011, 08:39 PM
My friend had her bike stolen last night off a second floor balcony that wasn't visible to the ground. I don't even know how they knew it was there.

Now that is a determined neighbor/thief. That really sucks.

I store my road bike inside at home and at work (I keep a work stand on top of my toolbox), but I too am in the market for a suitable lock for the occasion that it may be needed.
I've got my clunker locked in my garage with a Kryptonite 3' cable with a combination. It has held up very well over the last three years. It weights a ton though and cannot be convinced easily, but it's solid.

Check your home owners insurance policy sometimes the policy covers certain things like a bicycle.

Usern Ame
07-13-2011, 08:41 AM
Bottom line is if someone really wants your bike they'll probably get it. My friend had her bike stolen last night off a second floor balcony that wasn't visible to the ground. I don't even know how they knew it was there.

Inside job...

baiskeli
07-13-2011, 12:38 PM
I had a bike stolen with a cable lock on it on the one day I forgot to bring my U-lock.

The old circular key U-locks are easily defeated too - throw those out and get a new one.

DaveK
07-13-2011, 12:55 PM
Inside job...

I think it was her neighbor but obviously no way to prove it.

WillStewart
07-13-2011, 01:25 PM
Everything you need to know about locking your bike.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html

Great article, especially;


If you use both the U-lock and the cable lock at work, you are more than twice as safe as you would be with either of them alone. Either type of lock can be defeated, but each requires a different large, bulky tool which is useless against the other.


I also found this enlightening;


The best U-locks are the smallest. My favorite is the Kryptonite Mini, which not all bike shops stock. The Mini is much smaller and lighter than the more popular models, but just as secure. It may be even more secure, because of the limited room to put a jack inside it. It also gives less purchase for leverage-based attacks.

People tend to buy the big clunky U-locks because they don't know how to use them properly. A U-lock should go around the rear rim and tire, somewhere inside the rear triangle of the frame. There is no need to loop it around the seat tube as well, because the wheel cannot be pulled through the rear triangle.

I bought the big clunky U-lock (ostensibly to remove and lock the front wheel in addition to the frame and rear wheel). Now I have a better perspective.

eminva
07-13-2011, 01:32 PM
The one bit of advice from the late Mr. Brown I did NOT appreciate:

"Just leave the lock at work, locked to whatever you normally lock your bike to."

We have those old fashioned bike racks at our office that you have to lift your bike over. The entire top bars are taken up by dusty u-locks belonging to once-every-six-month commuters. It is impossible to find enough space for your bike even shoving them to the side. I'd say leave it in your office and run up to get it if you only ride in twice per year.

I know, preaching to the choir again -- sorry for my rant.

Liz

hencio
07-14-2011, 08:50 AM
The one bit of advice from the late Mr. Brown I did NOT appreciate:
We have those old fashioned bike racks at our office that you have to lift your bike over. The entire top bars are taken up by dusty u-locks belonging to once-every-six-month commuters. It is impossible to find enough space for your bike even shoving them to the side. I'd say leave it in your office and run up to get it if you only ride in twice per year.


We have old fashioned (fender unfriendly) racks at my office. I try to lock to the bottom of the rack, rather than the top. Over the past 2 years we have also had 3 bikes stolen there too. The common thread were cable locks rather than U locks.

vvill
07-14-2011, 12:01 PM
Everything you need to know about locking your bike.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html

This ^

I do find it annoying when rack space is taken up by people's locks though. I always take mine with me, as I might ride somewhere else and need it.

txgoonie
08-02-2011, 08:52 AM
https://www.missionbicycle.com/about/news/8-1-11/lock-and-roll-secrets-rear-triangle

Joe Chapline
08-02-2011, 09:07 AM
https://www.missionbicycle.com/about/news/8-1-11/lock-and-roll-secrets-rear-triangle

Sheldon Brown illustrated this method, too. I don't doubt that it works, but it doesn't look like it would. My worry is that some thieves won't know that this locking method is effective and will bust the bike up trying to solve the puzzle.

DCLiz
08-02-2011, 09:45 AM
Also, I'd rather not have to put my rear tire back on, after the thief abandoned his/her attempts to steal my bike, even if the tire was miraculously undamaged.

DSalovesh
08-02-2011, 12:12 PM
I've told this story before:

I witnessed a bike theft once, but I didn't know it until too late. All I saw was a guy leaning against a streetlight where a bike was parked. He wasn't even looking at what he was doing, just kinda fiddling with something I couldn't see.

When he yanked the bike away from the light I realized what was happening, and I dashed out of the restaurant where I was waiting for a carryout order and yelled at him. He dropped his "tool" and hopped on the bike, and I ran after him for a few blocks until he got up to speed and got away.

When I got back I looked at the cable, and at the tool he dropped. The cable was totally mangled because his tool was NAIL CLIPPERS! Just sharp enough to snip a few strands at a time, and it must have taken 10-15 minutes, but in the end the cable was no protection. It doesn't take big bolt cutters or pliers to cut even the toughest cable.

I've also seen the aftermath of cables that were defeated totally without tools. Apparently if you twist the cable back and forth enough eventually it'll break on its own.