General Cycling Discussion - best cable lock
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Hi Im sure this is an olsd question asked many times but Im wondering if someone can recommend a brand of cable bike lock,,,I prefer that over the kryp or U locks has I can use the one cable on the three bikes I own making it easy to just transfer back and forth,,,Id also prefer the ones that have the combination locks built right in
05-25-08, 05:38 PM
Ask any bike thief...they're all good...for the thief.
The best type of locks are U-locks. Kryptonite Forgetaboutit. Expensive, > $100 and heavy.
However, no lock will hold longer than a minute or two against power tools, even battery powered ones.
05-25-08, 08:14 PM
Okay, from what I understand, not being a bike thief, the cables are fairly easy to cut through with bolt cutters. I haven't heard of any vulnerabilities relating to the locks themselves. That being the case, the "best" one is probably the one with the thickest cable. Not to be confused with the one with the little cable and thick plastic over it.
05-25-08, 11:53 PM
Hi Im sure this is an old question asked many times but Im wondering if someone can recommend a brand of cable bike lock,,,I prefer that over the kryp or U locks has I can use the one cable on the three bikes I own making it easy to just transfer back and forth,,,Id also prefer the ones that have the combination locks built right in
The weakest part of a good brand key-lock cable lock is often the cable itself.
Yes it's true Kryptonite and OnGuard make them, but the problem with a cable is that it's not one big strand of metal--it's a bunch of little strands twisted together. It's difficult to cut all the strands at once, but if the plastic jacket of the cable is peeled back and the strands pulled apart, then they can be cut one-by-one fairly easily. ....With a chain, that's not so--thieves have to cut through half a link at once, with is a much bigger and thicker amount of cutting.
,,,,And I don't recall seeing any good combination locks lately, except on safe doors.
Strangely enough, I noticed that Onguard redesigned their cable locks with a new cylinder. It looks like a pin tumbler cylinder, but the key goes in horizontally, just like in Mul-T-Locks, except the pins seem to be normal instead of the telescoping pins in Mul-T-Locks.
The advantage of this is its slightly harder to pick, and that it a new keyway design, so random keys are unlikely to fit that lock. The disadvantage is that its still a pin tumbler cylinder, and thus bumpable, and most insurance companies won't cover anything stolen if the lock is picked, as opposed to a forced entry. This doesn't mean the Abloy/Abus wafer cylinder is completely secure, but it requires far more specialized tools to decode than most thieves would carry around, and a bump key is trivial to make.
To be honest, stay away from cable locks unless weight is a major consideration (like a long race with no support where you might have to stop at a store briefly to get drinks). A good U lock (Sold Secure Bronze and up) will force a thief to have to pull out either power tools or hand tools larger than bolt cutters to remove it.
05-26-08, 09:29 AM
If you're going to go with a cable lock, get an armored cable type; the best Abus Steel-O-Flex locks are rated as high as their Us or chains by SoldSecure etc. The Abus locks are hard to get in the US as the US importer only brings in longer lengths more suitable for motorcycles; many UK vendors will be happy to send them to you. On Guard also makes similar locks that are probably not quite as good, but easy to find in the US; try Amazon. There's also a Kryptonite version that looks kind of cheesy.
The idea of the armored cable is that the steel shells around the cable crush around it when attacked with bolt cutters & spin when attacked with a grinder, thus slowing down two of the main anticipated attacks; leverage attacks obviously only work on U-locks. Because it's flexible, you can lock on things you couldn't get with a U-lock.
I use an Abus Threat Level 6 Steel-O-Flex for my folding bike in NYC (purchased at Trackstar, who say they can order any Abus available in the US, BTW). The bike goes indoors with me 90% of the time; the lock is for quick lockups in low threat situations. Since anyone with basic tools can dismantle my bike & it is essentially impossible to lock securely due to nature of the folding design, this works for me; a U-lock is also very difficult to use effectively on this design. If I were still riding conventional rigid-frame large-wheel bikes, I'd have to say that the mini-U Sheldon style remains the way to go in high-threat situations, but adding a light Steel-O-Flex would be a way to greatly increase security for very little weight penalty; a thief would then need to be able to defeat 2 quite different locks & would probably steal the other guy's bike (remember, you don't have to run faster than the bear, just faster than the slowest guy worth eating).
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