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View Poll Results: What have thieves done or tried to do to your bike lock(s)?

Voters
9. You may not vote on this poll
  • Cut or tried to cut my cable lock

    4 44.44%
  • Picked or tried to pick my cable lock

    0 0%
  • Cut or tried to cut my U-Lock

    1 11.11%
  • Picked or tried to pick my U-Lock

    0 0%
  • Pried or tried to pry my U-Lock

    1 11.11%
  • Torched or tried to torch my U-Lock (or acid or else)

    0 0%
  • Other (Please explain)

    4 44.44%
Multiple Choice Poll.
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
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    Ok I don't know much about locks (bike locks, anyway) so I want to know how are they usually attacked?

    I've heard mention of prying, and cutting but I don't see how you could just pry a massive u-lock or cut it unless you had pro-tools...

    So... I guess there are two main kinds of locks? Cable and U-Locks right?

    Cable locks get cut, U-Locks get pryed. Do Cable locks have combos or keys?

    Do bike thieves try to pick the lock or the combo, or do they attempt mostly physical attacks?

    I already know about the bic-pen...

    How long does it take to torch a lock? Is it long enough to prevent someone from walking up and torching it right quick and walking off with your bike? Are most locks "torch-proof"?

    What about saws/grinders? Are these used often?

    What if there were a lock with GPS or something in it, that couldn't be removed from a bike without ruining the bike?

    What about using some of the methods that safe builders use for locks? Like... round balls inside a hollow lock-tube? Would that prevent a saw or grinder from getting through by keeping it from getting a solid bite?

    Or how about an irregular outer surface that was diamond coated to dull their blade/grinder?

    What about acid filled locks?

    ... A lock that could page you or SMS Text you and the police if a circuit inside was broken!

    I understand that most of these ideas are cost-prohibitive but depending on the price of your bike you might be willing to spend quite a bit to secure it.

    ....

    ...

    Yah I just came up with an idea that would be a pretty good deterrent I think... I can't say though because it might actually work and I wanna see if its been patented or not.

    So basically... for those of you who lost your bike to a thief or an attempt was made on your bike, what did the thief try?
    Last edited by jakemoffatt; 04-26-05 at 01:28 PM.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Senior Member geeklpc1985's Avatar
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    Other: None, I have lots of lock and never found any damage, so far.

    GEEK
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    2004 Martin Novato: 10613 miles, Ride in Peace (DOD: 12/05/06)
    Max Speed: 40 mph

  4. #4
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    Yah I forgot to put a None option on the poll and I don't think I can change it.

  5. #5
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    The crooks in my neighborhood are very lazy. They look for "free bikes". The two college campuses in my neighborhood, as well as the museums and the Zoo are great places to get "free bikes".

    Everyday I see bikes, including $2,000 bikes, "locked" with cables. An average cable stops a crook two seconds, a great cable for twenty seconds. An eight pound "armoured" cable lasts less than two minutes. These bikes are just "gifts" to whoever wants them.

    Next are the bikes chained with a five dollar chain. These can be snapped with just a hard yank. Or, the bike can simply be lifted up over the pole it is chained to.

    And, half the bikes have the lock attached ONLY to the front wheel. Flip the quick release, and you have a bike. The crook can get a new wheel at the next rack, where the lock is attached only to the frame. Flip the quick release, and you have a wheel for your "new" bike.

    Then there are the Wal-Mart U-locks. Lasts five seconds against a tool sitting in the trunk of your car, next to the spare tire.

    BIC pens? A myth. Not a single bike has ever been conclusively proven to have been stolen with this method. No crook is going to waste time, down on his hands and knees, fiddling with a bunch of pens to find out which one works on a particular lock. Not when he can open that lock faster with his basic tool set.

    Except for the Kryptonite New York 3000, any Kryptonite U-lock can be broken in under two minutes using very basic tools. Yet, it is rare to hear of anyone with a properly installed Kryptonite (attached to the rear wheel, just behind the seat tube) having the bike stolen. Why? That same rack is full of bikes using cable locks, five dollar chains, and ten dollar Wal-Mart U-locks. No crook is going to work two minutes if he can get another bike in just five seconds.

  6. #6
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    Yep. There's no need to outrun the bear, just your friends.

  7. #7
    dotdotdot
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    dont they usually go after the chain first?

  8. #8
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    Ok, so bike locks can be worked over easily - I've seen that from each bike-lock related post in the last week...

    but assuming your bike is attached to a secure structure... (not a sign post)
    and that you haven't attached your lock to a part of the bike that comes off (wheels)
    and the thief must either:
    defeat the lock
    or walk away

    whats the most oft used method of defeating the lock?

    Is it overcoming the locking mechanism? Or the physical structure of the lock itself?

    Why aren't there bike alarms on sale and in use?

    My point to this post is to discover the greatest weakness in locks (specifically higher end locks) and to come up with ideas for better ones.

  9. #9
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    An interesting, but not very practical, locking system

    So then... the most common attack (or most successful) is a cut-style attack with power tools?

    Would you all agree that your bike lock is only as strong as what its attached to?

    Has anyone ever seen a bike rack cut-through or damaged in order to remove a bike?

  10. #10
    Senior Member biodiesel's Avatar
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    i like the acid filled lock.

    most theives rely on the oldest tools, leverage, force and lots of violence. Smash the plastic off, yank the cable until the lock seperates, put a pipe in the u lock and twist (with a 3' extention) until the metal twists and snaps.

    only the expensive theives have good tools.

  11. #11
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    I'm a police officer at a major university (plenty of bike patrol...). We have quite a bit of bike theft. Far and away the most common theft is attacks on cable-type locks. Thieves use short bolt cutters, wire nippers, even a pair of pliers. The cables are very easy to defeat.

    We have a bike lock program, where we give the kiddies a fairly high-end Kryptonite lock for 20.00 (refundable too, what a deal) Very rarely these will go missing. Usually these are better-grade thieves targeting better-grade bikes. The most common attack we see around here is the car-jack inserted into the lock.
    With all the furor over being able to pick Krypto locks with a bic pen, we have not seen this happen. Kryptonite does offer a replacement for the tubular locks.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikewer
    I'm a police officer at a major university (plenty of bike patrol...). We have quite a bit of bike theft.

    Far and away the most common theft is attacks on cable-type locks. Thieves use short bolt cutters, wire nippers, even a pair of pliers. The cables are very easy to defeat.

    We have a bike lock program, where we give the kiddies a fairly high-end Kryptonite lock for 20.00 (refundable too, what a deal) Very rarely these will go missing. Usually these are better-grade thieves targeting better-grade bikes. The most common attack we see around here is the car-jack inserted into the lock.

    With all the furor over being able to pick Krypto locks with a bic pen, we have not seen this happen. Kryptonite does offer a replacement for the tubular locks.

    When the BIC pen story broke, enterprising college newspaper reporters around the nation went over to the campus police, and each was told very much the same thing that you have just said. Lots of cut cables. A few "car-jacks" and prying attacks against overly-long U-locks. No BIC pen attacks.

    So, preventing your bike from being stolen is simple: just lock it to a sturdy post with the smallest possible "high quality" U-lock. Using a "mini" U-lock eliminates the open space a crook needs to insert a "compact" tire jacks, and other types of prying and breaking tools.

    The best method for using a "mini" U-lock is to attach it around the rear wheel directly behind the seat tube. That protects both the rear wheel and the frame, and this allows using a much smaller lock than the method of placing the lock around both the rear wheel and the seat tube.

    As with all of his advice, Sheldon Brown's explanation of "How to Lock a Bike" is clear, logical, and easy to understand:

    www.sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html
    Last edited by alanbikehouston; 04-27-05 at 12:43 AM.

  13. #13
    Chronic Tai Shan ofofhy's Avatar
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    One thing I have seen thieves do to make it easier to cut the cables is burning off the plastic sheath with a lighter. This gives the bolt cutters extra "bite" in the metal. Several burnt/cut cables outside our building. No one has messed with any of the U-locked bikes yet in three years.
    From Craig's List: IF its a singlespeed that means----all the other parts are broken cut off and dumped...dont buy singlespeeds, the bikes will make your balls fall off

    * no -- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

  14. #14
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    Cheap-o chain, busted in about 5 seconds. My precious K2 mtb...gone!
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
    IRO Angus Casati Gold Line

  15. #15
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    BIC pens? A myth. Not a single bike has ever been conclusively proven to have been stolen with this method. No crook is going to waste time, down on his hands and knees, fiddling with a bunch of pens to find out which one works on a particular lock. Not when he can open that lock faster with his basic tool set.
    Actually I'm calling shenaniegans on this one. You have no way of proving that no bike has ever been stolen using a BiC pen because the theives RARELY LEAVE THE LOCK. Why leave evidence at the scene? Especially when you can ride for a few blocks and ditch the incriminating evidence in a trash can far away from the actual crime scene.
    The BiC pen IS a threat in as much as the general public knows about it and the average jerk on the street can easily get a disposable pen. If questioned the guy only needs to respond "I lost my key and I heard about this on the internet.

    The BiC pen may not be the professional's method of choice, but any crackhead can get a BiC pen

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