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  1. #1
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    Bike locks: Abus Steel-O-Flex

    Hello,

    I am about to buy a lock for my new Trek SU300 and I have searched high and low for reviews and test results on flexable locks. I am fully aware of the high rating for the Kropnonite New York lock. But for my bike and my neighbourhood this is inappropriate. The only review I have found is this, for the Abus Granit Steel-O-Flex 1000:

    Cycling Plus Magazine Review
    "took five minutes of repeated blows to the lock case with both hammer and chisel. Its hardened steel casing dented slightly but didn't deform and the lock functioned perfectly. We blunted the hacksaw and after 5 minutes with the disc cutter we'd only cut slightly into the armour's surface."
    Conclusion: The best cable lock available. Period.
    Rating: 9/10

    But I do not know how old this review is.

    What I am really after is the result from a test - in relation to other cable-style locks. And I can find no opinions relating to the Steel-O-Flex 1050, which seems to be an even higher spec to the 1000 and comes with 15 Abus stars.

  2. #2
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    You don't attack the lock you nip away at the cable. How strong is the cable and how thick is the cable.

    I have cut some real big locks with very large bolt cutters (4 foot size) The hardened locks shatter if you hit them hard enough.

    I have also popped a very large u/d lock with a car jack. Just put the jack between the arms and pop goes the lock.

    You can make your own heavy duty chain lock. go the the hardware store and buy some grade 8 chain and the best lock you can afford. The larger the chain link the harder it is to cut with bolt cutters.

    Avoid laminated locks they are easy to open, just cut the rivits that hold the layers togather. Very easy to do.

    You want a lock that has these features:

    hardend hasp - harder to saw open.
    solid steel body - harder to break open
    ball bearing lock on both sides of the hasp - you can't slip a thin shim down the hasp and open it.
    a real stiff key trun - makes it harder to pick.

    I have found over the years the big American brand locks are the best.

    Also note that a battery powered Dremel tool with a carbide cutoff wheel can cut through most any lock or chain PDQ. And Carbide hacksaw blades can make short work of most locks and chains.

    I saw a big lock once that had the hasp inclosed in a barrel that rotated all a hack saw would do was cause the barrel to roll. Good lock have not seen on in years.

    Lock picking and lock breaking is sort of a hobby with me. If I can open the lock a pro can do it much much faster.

    For good reading search the WEB for the "MIT Guide to Lock Picking: by Ted the Tool. That is how I learned to pick locks and make lockpicking tools.

    An other thought is a small cutting torch can do any chain lock combo. Less that a $100 at most any hardware store.

    I done all these things to locks just to see how hard it is make them fail.

    Fastest way cutting torch less than 10 seconds and the lock is finished.


    Joe - There are few problems that can't be solved by the proper use of explosives.
    Schwinn Super Le Tour
    Specialized Rockhopper 05

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kentish Ales
    Hello,

    I am about to buy a lock for my new Trek SU300 and I have searched high and low for reviews and test results on flexable locks. I am fully aware of the high rating for the Kropnonite New York lock. But for my bike and my neighbourhood this is inappropriate. The only review I have found is this, for the Abus Granit Steel-O-Flex 1000:

    Cycling Plus Magazine Review
    "took five minutes of repeated blows to the lock case with both hammer and chisel. Its hardened steel casing dented slightly but didn't deform and the lock functioned perfectly. We blunted the hacksaw and after 5 minutes with the disc cutter we'd only cut slightly into the armour's surface."
    Conclusion: The best cable lock available. Period.
    Rating: 9/10

    But I do not know how old this review is.

    What I am really after is the result from a test - in relation to other cable-style locks. And I can find no opinions relating to the Steel-O-Flex 1050, which seems to be an even higher spec to the 1000 and comes with 15 Abus stars.
    The best locks are those with a "gold" rating from Soldsecure.com. The Abus cable lock you mentioned earned a "silver" rating, which is good, but not excellent.

    No lock widely sold in the USA has outperformed the Kryptonite New York 3000 in tests by Cycling Plus or Sold Secure. At four pounds, the NY 3000 is half the weight of some of the eight pound chain locks that earned "Gold" ratings.

    www.soldsecure.com/Leisure.htm

  4. #4
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    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the info guys. if you go to the following links you can see the two locks I am on about. the first is for the Steel-O-Flex 1050 which is apparently even better than the regular "1000" model.

    http://www.abus.de/us/main.asp?Scree...=4003318100222

    http://www.abus.de/us/main.asp?Scree...=4003318286285

    As you will see, Joe, the 1000 is an armour plated cable. This lock I have seen many couriers in London using for the past few years. I think the lock body is very different to that of a padlock too.

    The 1050 I have never seen before and the cable is a different design: "Hardened overlapping steel jacket envelops a strong steel cable double security", so I am a little dubious about it. Also, if it is new, that may not meen it is any better? It could have a major fault?

    Alan - I checked out the Soldsecure site and it appears you are right, which is a shame. But slightly odd, because an insurance company - E&L, give a list of locks with the Gold - Soldsecure badge and they include the Steel-O-Flex 1000.

    The reason I am only interested in the flexable design is due to the way I like to lock my bike, which is to put the main lock around the front wheel and down tube AND around a post, whilst having a second (very cheap) cable lock perminatly around my seat which I can quickly extend to include my back wheel. This method has never let me down in all the years I was cycling around London. But I always used a D-lock (Abus). But my new bike has an enormous gap between the front wheel and down tube so my D-Lock is now redundant. My bike is only 600 by the way.

    Using a D-Lock now would meen having to do things all up-side-down, like take my front wheel off (and/or seat), everytime I pull over somewhere. Seems idiotic to me. Also I live in pretty little Canterbury now, where people leave their bikes unlocked around the place.

  5. #5
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    If you look at the Kryptonite web site they have a picture how to use a D-lock and cable. You use the D-lock on the frame and rear wheel then use the cable around the front wheel and using the D-lock to secure the cable. I think this setup works well.

    Since any lock setup can be defeted all locks do is make the bad guy find a bike that is easier to take perhaps one that is not locked.

    I think most bikes that are stolen are take to ride then ditched in the river or canal some where. The bad guy looking for a free ride.

    BTW I think the term D-lock is much better than U-lock that is used over here.

    Joe
    Schwinn Super Le Tour
    Specialized Rockhopper 05

  6. #6
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    Man O Man that model 1050 is monster lock for sure. That cable is huge. I have never seen one that thick.

    It sould be a good one.

    Joe
    Schwinn Super Le Tour
    Specialized Rockhopper 05

  7. #7
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kentish Ales


    The reason I am only interested in the flexable design is due to the way I like to lock my bike, which is to put the main lock around the front wheel and down tube AND around a post, whilst having a second (very cheap) cable lock perminatly around my seat which I can quickly extend to include my back wheel.
    You're doing it backwards. The Rear wheel is the second most expensive part on a bike (besides the frame) and is the most desireable to thieves. Use the cheap lock on the front.
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html

  8. #8
    Senior Member biodiesel's Avatar
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    I agree...

    Take a cheapo midsize 6 foot cable and attatch it like a seat cable then velcro tab to the back seat or rack. When you lock run it thru the fron wheel and to a mini ulock on the rear wheel to a post. Then with one mini and a cable the seat, front wheel are locked together too.
    I like the ease of a big cable for quick lock ups though.
    My favorite combo. A medium cable combination lock front wheel and frame, and a mini ulock rear wheel to post or rear wheel hobbled.
    Two different locks two different tools. One set of keys

  9. #9
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    Hey guys,

    I have heard these thoughts before regarding the back wheel. But I am not so sure.

    Partly due to my experience, having used a 1m x 7mm combination cable lock worth 5 to secure my back wheel and seat for many years in London.

    But mostly because, although the back wheel is the second most expensive part of the bike (to me), it is actually relatively worthless to the theif on its own. Perhaps if you ride around on bikes with very sexy looking wheels, then yes (mine aren't). But for a theif, the effort needed to clip a cable and remove a back wheel from the gear mechanism and chain before then trying to sell the bloody thing, is a deterant before he's even started.

    I've seen bike theives, on mass, selling bikes (at Brick Lane Market - London's most dodgy street market) and occationally been offered a pair of wheels (matching and very sexy) for as little as 20. They would probably take 10 just to get them off there hands. One wheel on its own could cost them a trip to the cop shop before anyone would buy it.

    I know that theives sell there merchandise in many different ways than this, but most of them are kids or drug addicts who do it for fun or a quick sale. Even if they are more organised than that, they might look at a back wheel with a lock (of any sort) and not be bothered. They still have to get rid of it. Hot goods don't sell for there market value, they sell for there black-market value, which is pennies in relation.

    Also, I have had my seat stolen once. And it was a crap one with an allen key bolt holding it on. Were's the sense in that? You might ask. But I think that part has more to do with the fun-of-it element. The kids cycle round with allen keys in their pocket and see an opportunity to steel something and can't resist the temptation. It's practice for them.

    Going by my method, all parts of the bike are locked and it took me about 15 seconds to do so. I only carry one bulky item, one key, and the cheap cable lock stays perminently coiled around my seat post between the saddle and frame adding a tiny weight to my bike.

  10. #10
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kentish Ales

    But mostly because, although the back wheel is the second most expensive part of the bike (to me), it is actually relatively worthless to the theif on its own. Perhaps if you ride around on bikes with very sexy looking wheels, then yes (mine aren't). But for a theif, the effort needed to clip a cable and remove a back wheel from the gear mechanism and chain before then trying to sell the bloody thing, is a deterant before he's even started.
    Even a crackhead knows you can get more money for a rear wheel than a front regardless of how "sexy"

  11. #11
    Senior Member jph6t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kentish Ales
    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the info guys. if you go to the following links you can see the two locks I am on about. the first is for the Steel-O-Flex 1050 which is apparently even better than the regular "1000" model.

    http://www.abus.de/us/main.asp?Scree...=4003318100222

    http://www.abus.de/us/main.asp?Scree...=4003318286285

    As you will see, Joe, the 1000 is an armour plated cable. This lock I have seen many couriers in London using for the past few years. I think the lock body is very different to that of a padlock too.

    The 1050 I have never seen before and the cable is a different design: "Hardened overlapping steel jacket envelops a strong steel cable double security", so I am a little dubious about it. Also, if it is new, that may not meen it is any better? It could have a major fault?
    Have you seen OnGaurd's Rotweiler Line? They look like the same design and are easier to find in the store:
    http://www.onguardlock.com/armour.html

    Anyone have any experience with this line?

  12. #12
    No longer in Wimbledon... womble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    Even a crackhead knows you can get more money for a rear wheel than a front regardless of how "sexy"
    I lock the rear wheel, for the standard reasons. However, on reflection, I'd have to agree with Kentish Ales if the wheels look like nothing special. To non-bikers, a wheel is a wheel, regardless of an attached cassette. And a crackhead knows that he can steal a front much faster than a rear.

  13. #13
    No longer in Wimbledon... womble's Avatar
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    BTW, Kentish, for what it's worth, I have the 1000. It's big, clunky and heavy. I gave up carrying it with me and just leave it locked to a stand. I carry a D-lock on the bike instead.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    I use Pitlock locking skewers to prevent wheel theft. They are very secure and once you install them you forget about them, which is nice. They are a high quality product.

    http://www.orbit-cycles.co.uk/pitlock.shtml

  15. #15
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    If your really worried about your bike getting stolen while you have it parked at some store, place of employment or school then buy a garage sale special or Goodwill bike for $20 and ride that and lock that with a standard lock. Heck most good locks will cost far more then a Goodwill special.

    BUT if you must use your bike then use two locks of different approaches. The U-Bolt design by Krptonite is the best and very hard to defeat, combine that with a thick cable or that armored one you mentioned and the thief will have to use two different tools and spend more time trying to get your bike which he won't, he'll move to the next one that has only one lock that works with the tool he has.

  16. #16
    Senior Member jph6t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas
    I use Pitlock locking skewers to prevent wheel theft. They are very secure and once you install them you forget about them, which is nice. They are a high quality product.

    http://www.orbit-cycles.co.uk/pitlock.shtml
    There's a US version of the locking skewers that might be easier to get, for those of us stateside.
    Veratomic Quick-Locks

    Anyone have any experience with the Veratomic brand?
    How are Veratomic Quick-Locks? (Locking quick-release skewers)

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