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  1. #1
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    I cut a lock last night

    My new abandoned bicycle had a lock and cable through the front wheel, so I borrowed a set of 18" bolt cutters to cut the lock. I was shocked at just how easy it was to cut the lock. I was imagining having to wrestle the lock a bit... But no, I snipped it in about 1 second, just like cutting through butter.

    If I were a bike thief with a pair of bolt cutters, I could cut through a lock and be on the bike and away before anybody ever noticed. Something to think about for anybody using or choosing a lock.

  2. #2
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    The last bike thief we arrested had a set of 12" bolt cutters in his backpack. He specialized in cable/chain locks, and snipped 'em so quick and easy the guy with the key would have taken longer.

    We snagged a pair of young thieves some years back with a clever idea; they had taken a pair of big bolt cutters (24" or so) and hacksawed off the handles, leaving only short stubs. One kid carried this "head" in his back pocket, while the other had two pieces of pipe which would fit over the stubs. Thing could be assembled in seconds, and gave them almost the power of a full-sized cutter in a package that was easily concealed.

    The older kid was only 14.

  3. #3
    pharm hand josh7337's Avatar
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    im just curious: what size was the lock that you cut?

  4. #4
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    What process did you use to determine if the bike was abandoned?

  5. #5
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    The bike was in the bike rack in my building. Building management posted notices that all bikes had to be claimed by a certain date. Bikes that weren't claimed were confiscated. This was a few months ago. I had my eye on this bike because it seemed abandoned-- nobody was claiming it. I was going to ask for it, but it was confiscated and disappeared. Then, a week or so ago, it was in the basement. I recognized it immediately. I asked the manager about it, and she told me that she had placed it there, and asked me if i want it. So now it's mine.

    The lock was similar to a master lock, with a shackle that wasn't quite as beefy as their beefiest shackles. Still, I cut through it like it was made of spaghetti. You'd be shocked how easy it is.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Bolt cutters are made for this kind of job. The locks are hardened steel, but the bolt cutters are harderened steel.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  7. #7
    pharm hand josh7337's Avatar
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    do you think bolt cutters could dominate one of those Krytonite NY chains or an OnGuard "Beast"
    chain (or simlar pythons)?

  8. #8
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    Yes, Tom M and I are curious to how so many people determine a bike has been abandoned. I remember hearing those words before.

    U locks are just as easy if you know how.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chromedome
    Yes, Tom M and I are curious to how so many people determine a bike has been abandoned. I remember hearing those words before.

    U locks are just as easy if you know how.
    I explained how the management of my building determined this bike was abandoned. There's really no question, everybody in the building received notice for a couple of weeks or more. All claimed bikes were left in place. All unclaimed bikes were removed by building management.

    And this bike was given to me months after all unclaimed bikes were removed.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by josh7337
    do you think bolt cutters could dominate one of those Krytonite NY chains or an OnGuard "Beast"
    chain (or simlar pythons)?
    No.

  11. #11
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    I apologize. I didn't see the explanation. There's been some other posts about "abandoned" bikes that had been "adopted".
    Bolt cutters and bikes don't mix very well.

  12. #12
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    No they don't. And I felt very weird walking around with a pair of bolt cutter, let me tell you. I think it's important to be ethical about "abandoned bikes."

  13. #13
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    If you still have the cable, here's another eye-opener. Lay the cable across a rock that has a bit of a corner or edge to it. Grab another rock and pound on the cable. Watch that cable pulverize and break right before your eyes.

    Now take the broken cable and attack it fiercely with a 7" broadhead diagonal cutter, and see how fast you can cut it with this pocket-sized cutter.



    I guess I'm preaching to the choir here, but it shows what to expect from low-budget locks and exposed padlock shackles.

  14. #14
    Team Katana 古強者死神's Avatar
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    I think the u-locks suffer from "lever" attacks where they use your bike to break the lock more than being cut. There do have pocket size torches that would cut thru just about anything pretty quickly tho.

    I as a kid always messed with things I shouldnt and made thermate, that stuff burns so hot that it will go thru a car engine block and then thru the cement below it! (I know because thats why I made it ^^) So the thing to remember is that no lock is theft proof just a theft deturant.

    Thats why the location its locked up with may be in my opinion more important than what its locked up with.

    U-Lock in back alley vs cable lock infront of a store

  15. #15
    pharm hand josh7337's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 古強者死神
    I think the u-locks suffer from "lever" attacks where they use your bike to break the lock more than being cut. There do have pocket size torches that would cut thru just about anything pretty quickly tho.

    I as a kid always messed with things I shouldnt and made thermate, that stuff burns so hot that it will go thru a car engine block and then thru the cement below it! (I know because thats why I made it ^^) So the thing to remember is that no lock is theft proof just a theft deturant.

    Thats why the location its locked up with may be in my opinion more important than what its locked up with.

    U-Lock in back alley vs cable lock infront of a store
    heck yeah man...Fe2O3+Al; although i forgot the proportions. i know for a fact that stuff will melt American coinage like butter; i bet it could completely melt not only a chain but the lock as well

  16. #16
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by josh7337
    do you think bolt cutters could dominate one of those Krytonite NY chains or an OnGuard "Beast"
    chain (or simlar pythons)?
    Have a kryptonite D Lock and Kryptonite cable- They can be cut- The D-lock takes about 2 minutes with an electric grinder and the cable about 1 minute- All the bolt croppers did in 3 minutes was mangle the D lock and cut the outer casing of the cable. Saw the demonstration at a Bike show and I tried with the bolt cutters. Don't know about the new Chains though.

    No lock is safe though- Only a deterent but a Thief wants a quick steal- 1 minute and he can't break it and he will be off- sans bike.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  17. #17
    works for truffles pigmode's Avatar
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    And if its an abandoned stolen bike?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigmode
    And if its an abandoned stolen bike?
    Yeah, that thought occurred to me after i started this thread.

    But I don't know what to do about that. I can scan stolen bike listings I guess, to see if it's on there. Other than that, I don't really know what else to do.

  19. #19
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    You never said what kind of bike it was

  20. #20
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    Trek 830 Antelope, full 531 frame, missing the seatpost and saddle, but otherwise in very nice condition.

    And I did just scroll through the stolen bike listings for Portland, and it's not in there.

  21. #21
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    If you are worried about security, just put a "gold rated" soldsecure tested lock around your rear wheel and a beefy steel post, and a "silver rated" soldsecure tested lock around your front wheel. Your bike won't be going anywhere.

    www.soldsecure.com/Leisure.htm
    Last edited by alanbikehouston; 01-25-07 at 02:05 PM.

  22. #22
    going downhill fast maximusvt's Avatar
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    There is a nice old, abandoned Motobecane that has been sitting in the parking lot, in the rain, untouched for over a month since school let out... Its chain is starting to get rusty. Makes me sad.

  23. #23
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    If I were a bike thief
    Sounds like you are.

  24. #24
    going downhill fast maximusvt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    Sounds like you are.
    Come on, be fair. He explained how he determined that the bike was abandoned and it sounded pretty legit. If he were a bike theif, it would be pretty stupid to steal a bike from someone in the same building he lives in.

  25. #25
    Lost in Los Angeles Bizurke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maximusvt
    Come on, be fair. He explained how he determined that the bike was abandoned and it sounded pretty legit. If he were a bike theif, it would be pretty stupid to steal a bike from someone in the same building he lives in.
    I would consider a bike theif stupid enough to do that.

    Not saying he's a bike thief though, just think people who are run a high chance of stupidity.

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