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  1. #1
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    How to open locks if you lose the keys?

    How would you go about trying to open a lock if you lost the keys to it? If it's a strong one then it's supposed to not let you cut through them right? Can you phone/email the manufacturer to send you replacement keys?

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    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Try bikethiefforums.net instead.



    More seriously, try a locksmith if you care about the lock. If you don't, go read one of the threads on "which lock is best" in particular stuff from alanbikehouston, because any lock in the universe that someone has ever claimed was any good, alanbikehouston will give you 100 posts about how sucky it is and why. Usually included is a description of the easiest 2-second way to break it.

    Incidentally I was really impressed how easy it is to break a small padlock. I had a fairly small padlock with a combination where I forgot the combo and I needed to open it (it was locked around a door latch in the "open" position, and I wanted to close the latch). Insert two large screwdrivers, pry, snap.
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    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    The manufacturer of a lock cannot provide a replacement key unless you have the key number that may have come with the lock. Aside from that, if the lock is currently securing something that you want to free up, you will have to either pick the lock or break it.

    Either a locksmith or an angle grinder can probably assist you.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Bolt cutters. Also, if you know what you are doing, you can actually open a quality master lock with paper clips. I can't do it, but a friend of mine from high school did it for almost a year after he lost his key and didn't want to spend the 5 bucks on another lock.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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    Make sure you have some spare keys, clearly marked in a place you remember.
    To get replacement keys you sometimes need to know the number stamped on the key.
    Long handled bolt cutters will shear through most chains and shackle locks.
    A deremel cutting disk will also make short work of a lock.

  6. #6
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    How to open a lock

    This was also posted under "Theft countermeasures".

    >>
    FYI all that is needed to defeat the very "best" locks is a can of freon "freeze"spray and a hardened steel striking instrument and something to use as a back stop. This is an old NYC bike thief's trick and one of the reasons that Kryptonite finally had to limit their losses on theft of bikes locked with their products.

    When I used to own a shop and customer would come in with lost keys to a Krypronite they had two choices: order and wait for replacement keys or, once they had proven ownership I could have the lock off in 3 minutes or less. Chains, U-locks, anything can be easily defeated by a pro in 3 minutes or less. So quickly that suspicion is not stirred among passersby.

    Addendum: If you dont want it stolen dont leave it "out".

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    Soldsecure.com tests indicate the "freeze" and hammer method will not work on a "gold' rated lock such as the Kryptonite New York lock and the OnGuard Brute. For "gold" level locks, you will need power tools and lots and lots of time.

    www.Soldsecure.com/Leisure.htm

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    A hacksaw with a fresh Ti blade + a good arm will go though the best lock in 20 min. or so. I personally 'salvaged' a Kryptonite chain that way (the bike was a rusted frame chained to a pole at that point)

    Consider a combination lock.
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  9. #9
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slim_chestnut
    This was also posted under "Theft countermeasures".

    >>
    FYI all that is needed to defeat the very "best" locks is a can of freon "freeze"spray and a hardened steel striking instrument and something to use as a back stop. This is an old NYC bike thief's trick and one of the reasons that Kryptonite finally had to limit their losses on theft of bikes locked with their products.
    As an experimeent, I tried this once using a can of R134A auto coolant (easily obtained by a thief) and a hammer against an average sized Masterlock padlock. The coolant provided no benefit over simple pounding at ambient temperatures. Perhaps if liquid notrogen were used it would be different, but I would expect very few thieves would take the trouble when there are other simpler techniques available.

    I've yet to see a single post here from anyone who had their lock shattered.

  10. #10
    your god hates me Bob Ross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    Perhaps if liquid notrogen were used it would be different, but I would expect very few thieves would take the trouble when there are other simpler techniques available.

    I've yet to see a single post here from anyone who had their lock shattered.

    Well, it wasn't *my* lock, but I've seen it happen to other people's locks quite a few times: Back in the early 1980's in Cambridge MA there was a mild epidemic when some unscrupulous jerkoffs got a hold of liquid nitrogen from one of the MIT labs and proceeded to shatter Kryptonite locks with impunity. Sometimes they didn't even steal the bikes, just destroyed the lock for spite.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    R12 would probably be the best refrigerant to use, because it has the lowest boiling point of any of them. I don't remember for certain what the boiling point is, but I think its pretty close to liquid nitrogen. Its also the one that was banned, so no need to worry about thieves getting that stuff. On the other hand, I don't care how good a lock is, a thief with a matabo will saw through it in a matter of seconds.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander
    R12 would probably be the best refrigerant to use, because it has the lowest boiling point of any of them. I don't remember for certain what the boiling point is, but I think its pretty close to liquid nitrogen. Its also the one that was banned, so no need to worry about thieves getting that stuff. On the other hand, I don't care how good a lock is, a thief with a matabo will saw through it in a matter of seconds.
    Metabo? Most people know the word SAWZALL. Fastest I've seen a lock opened was with a cutting torch. Took more time to wrap a wet towel around the nearest bike parts. Thirty seconds max.
    This space open

  13. #13
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    What do you mean most people know the word sawzall? I've cut through several locks with mine, but a metabo will do it much faster. If you have a really tough lock that is extrodinarily heat resistant, I imagine that a metabo would be a little faster than a torch, but I don't know for certain because my primary experience with torches only involves brazing. Do you think a torch is bar none the fastest way to breach any high quality lock?
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  14. #14
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    A oxy/acet torch is definitely a "quick" way to break any lock. Whether it's the fastest will depend on how susceptible the lock is to other methods. A cable for example, will burn through in seconds... but a single snip from a pair of cable cutters is faster.

    Any kind of hardened steel will be roughly the same time depending on thickness. Some of the "non-torch-cuttable" metals (like stainless steel) don't cut, but for purposes of breaking a lock it doesn't matter. They don't "cut" because the metal doesn't burn through; however it still reaches its melting point and the gas from the torch will "push" the molten metal away. The "cut" is ugly as hell, sloppy and molten metal dripped around and stuff, but if your only goal is to turn one piece of lock into two pieces it'll do it.

    Plus a torch easily combines with any other method... Take the toughest hardened steel lock, heat it for 10 seconds with a torch, let it cool off, the steel now has all the temper out of it and will cut easily with a normal method (hacksaw or whatever). Or heat it and apply your lever, it'll bend like soft plastic.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MERTON
    what is this metabo you speak of? all i found was a tool company... which tool are you talking about?
    Sorry Merton, I'm used to refering to only one tool as a Metabo, and that tool is an electricaly powered, hand held, metal cutting disc saw.

    C-run, what on earth could you hope to accomplish with that much C-4? I'm assuming you know that the bike would be utterly trashed if you used the whole piece.
    Last edited by Michigander; 07-05-06 at 07:48 PM.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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    Well, you could bust the lock, heat your MRE coffee, build a camp fire and save the other 3/4 of a block for tomorrow.

  18. #18
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    erm... anyone tried just using propane as a refrigerant? Take one patio heater gas can... apply hose to lock, and unleash the regulator.. PSSSHHTTT instant frozen lock

    If its your lock however then you probably have all the time in the world. Place a trolley jack inbetween the U and simply keep on jacking it up. At something around 10 tonnes im pretty sure most locks will die. (Kryptonite faggetaboutit ones maybe stronger.. but others.. pfffft.. it be dead).

    Old favourite in my area however is the scaffold pole + bunch of pikey chavish kids. 4 Kids using a scaffold pole as a lever will make short work of most U locks. Then if they fail... they'll just stab your tyres, tear your saddle, scratch the paint off of your bike, and kick the wheels in.

    Because they are little ba**ards for that around here.

  19. #19
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    Another thought... Thermite. Small piece of bluetack containing thermite placed around the U. Light.. Voila, nothing will stop it short of titanium.

    Hardened steel or Steel... will be eaten through in moments.

    Oh and if your going for explosives rather than blow the bike to bits, and possibly yourself in the process with that chunk of C4 above... why not just use Det Cord. The stuff cuts down mature trees in moments, im pretty sure if you wound some around the lock and detonated it... there wouldnt be much of a lock left, and the bike would be less harmed than with that block of boomy!

  20. #20
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M3ta7h3ad
    erm... anyone tried just using propane as a refrigerant? Take one patio heater gas can... apply hose to lock, and unleash the regulator.. PSSSHHTTT instant frozen lock .
    So what your saying is that I should freeze a lock with a low order explosive, then hit it with a hammer? I don't think so. Another fun and not yet mentioned option is to shoot the lock. Master locks may hold up to a .44 magnum, but the old rusted one I took to the range couldn't hold up to a surplus LRN bullet from my Mauser.
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  21. #21
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    Det cord might work if you use enough of it, depending on how strong the lock is. Shaped charges work much better with a lower net explosive weight (N.E.W.) for steel cutting.

    Comparing the power of a ******* cartridge to a ***** cartridge is like comparing a Tacoma to a Peterbilt.

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    lol.... depends if your comparing a .44 ******* cartridge with a .22 rimfire

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander
    What do you mean most people know the word sawzall? I've cut through several locks with mine, but a metabo will do it much faster. If you have a really tough lock that is extrodinarily heat resistant, I imagine that a metabo would be a little faster than a torch, but I don't know for certain because my primary experience with torches only involves brazing. Do you think a torch is bar none the fastest way to breach any high quality lock?
    I've always used the name Sawzall for any brand of that type of tool. I have never heard of a Metabo though. Sounds like it does the trick though.

    If you have access to a portable cutting torch, I would give a decent lock 15 seconds and maybe 30 seconds for Kryponite and OnGuards most bada** locks.

  24. #24
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    freezing a lock

    Well my friends I do not know what type "coolant you used but it was not done properly. And the harder and tuffer the steel used in the lock the better they shatter! Platinum schmatinum:-))

    I use electronics troubleshooting freeze spray in a can. It cost around $3-4 per can and you need to use the entire can and concentrate the freezing in one area near the shackle. You mayl need gloves to keep your skin from being damaged.

    Concentrate the spray in one area of the shackle near where the shackle and bar meet. Be sure to get coverage all the way around. When you see ice krystals standing out from the lock and the can is about empty you need to work fast. The metal will shatter if the lock is made cold enough and struck boldly enough

    Brace the back of the intersecting bar or massive portion of the mechanisim with the heavy backstop and strike with max, sheering force on the frozen area. I have done this many times and practice does make perfect. The blow is like a karate blow. Very fast and think of swinging through the point struck. I would recommend protective goggles.

    I am not sorry you do not have it figured out. We have enough folks doing it for the wrong reasons already.

    Disclaimer: I am not responsible and neither are the Bike Forums if you hurt yourself trying this!

    Slim

  25. #25
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Slim Chestnut,

    Coincidentaly, my crew was remodeling an office building today, and we played with a bunch of that stuff. At least I think we did. The stuff we wasted I believe is for keyboard cleaning and such. If it is the same product, it has a pretty low boiling point, but its certainly not as volatile as liquid nitrogen or R-12.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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