Winter Cycling - Good lock for winter?
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08-31-07, 05:21 PM
I've been using a cable/chain with fair combination padlock to lock my icebikes, the main reason being that I can un-freeze such a lock by clamping it in my hands for a minute. I'd love to use my Kryptonite U lock but if that freezes up I'd be screwed. Do good locks that won't really freeze even exist?
Never had a lick of trouble with my Kryptonite U-lock last winter. I just kept it well-oiled with "wet" chain lube.
08-31-07, 10:23 PM
+1 for kryptonite. But I do spray the inside with a biodegradable wd40 alternative (ReleaseAll it's called).
I always think my bikes are a lot safer in winter. For the same reason I think my house is safer. Less kids are willing to loiter around in bitter cold :).
08-31-07, 11:43 PM
JEAN, clean your lock out with liberal amounts of silicone spray, then wipe dry. You will NEVER have issues in cold temps with the mechanism sticking.
Whatever you do don't use an OnGuard/Magnum lock! Between my wife and I we've had three of them freeze up on us so they couldn't be opened. I even oiled them regularly. Grrrrr....
02-18-09, 06:10 PM
Hey, following up to this I've been using my KryptoLok Kryptonite U lock since and no winter-specific problem so far, what a marvelous device! Truly better then the wall-mart grade ones.
02-18-09, 07:57 PM
I use a Kryptonite Evolution 4 U-lock and have had no problems with it in winter. It has a cover over the key hole to keep the lock mechanism from filling with water and freezing. I do think you need to treat it with something, though, as others here have suggested. I treat mine with dry graphite powder. I also carry one of those little bottles of lock de-icer in my rack bag just in case.
Abus Granite U-lock here, no problems. It's in daily use, which helps. I too carry lock de-icer as a backup, but I've never had to use it.
I did witness U-lock frozen solid on a friend's bike. Don't remember the lock brand, but I doubt it made any difference, as the bike had been outside several months from autumn to mid-winter. Nothing we did helped, we had to leave the bike there until spring. Even then it required a fair amount of lock oil before it opened.
You should choose a lock with a keyhole that closes. Otherwise, you need to lube the lock, as others have mentioned. I use Boeshield T9 which dries out - I do not want the key to stain my pocket. I pour T9 both into the keyhole and into the openings for shackle ends. With this, the only situation when you become truly vulnerable is in freezing rain. However, it is just as difficult to melt away ice from the keyhole of a U-lock or padlock.
Regarding the situation of a lock frozen for good, that Juha writes about, you can try pouring onto it a pot of boiling water, if you can get that water nearby. If you do not succeed then, though, right away, you may end up with a worse situation than you started with.
02-19-09, 09:22 AM
Keep it lubed with wet lube as others have mentioned. It'll also help if some ass tries to glue the mechanism.
As a back-up, 90% isopropyl alcohol will defrost anything, particularly with a match.
02-19-09, 01:45 PM
Yeah, if you're really worried about it you could just carry lock de-icer, to.
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