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Thread: Why you should not trust a cable lock

  1. #11
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    I was just in Paris and nearly every bike had three locks. 1-2 U locks and a chain lock (or a frame lock, chain and heavy u lock). Even the little old ladies on Dutch bikes had three locks.

    Here was a creative lock job I just had to capture:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    I have just learned that a not particularly strong, not particularly skilled with tools 50 something, armed only with a simple bikehand cable cutter (YC-767) , can cut through such a lock in a surprisingly reasonable period of time.

    Also, whatever kind of lock you have, be sure to have a spare key handy.
    You're still using cable locks? You crazy!

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyRider View Post
    The best locks will stop bolt cutters, but nothing can stop an angle grinder, is that right?
    With bike locks that tends to be true. Put it this way, there are no metals or alloys in common use that can't be cut with an abrasive cut off wheel. Mild steel, case hardened steel, Boron steel, stainless steel, titanium all cut just fine. (Titanium makes fantastic pure white sparks forth of July style) The nature of what the bike lock has to do means that it is exposed. It has to go around some of the bike and then something else. This means the lock and or components of the loop has a flank that can be attacked. OTOH look at a job site tool box. All you can see of the padlock is the butt end of it 2 inches down in a hole. You ether pick or drill it or take the angle grinder to the box to go after the locking mech inside. 20 seconds turned into 2 min with prior knowledge of how that box locking system works.
    Some padlocks have skirts that shield the sides of the shackle and in the right use this makes it hard to bolt cut and with the added metal to have to cut a bit harder to cut with an abrasive wheel. Puck locks like the ones you often see on van doors have no exposed shackle but they can be defeated in seconds with a cut off wheel if you know how (and I ain't tellin')

    Some of the cable lock makers tried using goo that burns with nasty output and lubed cable in sleeves to make it hard to bolt cut or torch but even that format succumbs to the abrasive wheel with just a slight bit of know how. The motorcycle lock I sliced through was that format. The owner was bug eye stunned. Bless his little heart. He actually thought it was as human proof as the advertising said......

    No I am not a burglar. I am one to the people that has to deal with stopping them as part of my work.
    Last edited by Vicegrip; 08-25-2017 at 02:50 PM.

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  5. #14
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    I'm def resigned to angle grinders, but I do pay attention to bolt cutter resistance. I see padlocks from $10-$100 advertised as not being vulnerable to long handled cutters. I understand that having the lock near the ground allows a thief to use their body weight and the ground to their advantage, instead of just applying arm strength the the handles. What locks are legit?

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  7. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ian74 View Post
    You're still using cable locks? You crazy!
    In this case the cable lock was used to secure my bike INSIDE my locked, fob controlled apt building bike room (theoretically accessible only to people registered for numbered spaces in the bike room, and to building management). While I doubt anyone in my building is going to steal my bike, I don't want to tempt anyone. I also DID sometimes use it for very short lockups (to go inside a store or to use a restroom) IN Northern Virginia. However as I am no longer in possession of an intact cable lock, at least for the foreseeable future I will be using a U lock for those purposes.

  8. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFX_Hinterlands View Post
    I was just in Paris and nearly every bike had three locks. 1-2 U locks and a chain lock (or a frame lock, chain and heavy u lock). Even the little old ladies on Dutch bikes had three locks.
    When my bike was stolen at one point, this is what the police told me to do. He said that most bike thieves bring tools for one kind of lock (U-lock or cable), so having two different kinds of locks made you noticeable safer.

    Of course, in my case, I also help to prevent theft by being the least valuable bike locked up in any given area.

  9. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicegrip View Post



    No I am not a burglar. I am one to the people that has to deal with stopping them as part of my work.
    Vicegrip is..... Batman.

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