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  1. #1
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    The differences in locks

    Yes, I am a newbie. I'm sorry. However, what does a $100 Kryptonite NY Lock provide that a $10 Bell U-lock from Wal Mart not? Both are made out of hardened steel.

  2. #2
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    There are a number of differences. Its like comparing some strange unknown brand bicycle from a department store to a high-end Cannondale. Yes, both have two wheels, but there are a number of differences:

    Lock cylinder. Likely the Bell will have a 4-pin tumbler lock, or something that is cheap to make. The key may even have a plastic cover on the bow. Looks decent, but any good thief who knows how to pick locks will have it open in seconds. Any decent U-lock will most likely have an Abus/Abloy clone cylinder [1]. Yes, it *is* pickable, but its time consuming and there are no known ways to easily pick it with some pick ***.

    Shackle hardness. Yes, all shackles will fall to power tools, but its a time difference. Time is against thieves side. If a U-lock is cuttable with a set of bolt cutters, it will be cut and the bike taken compared to a U-lock that will require a grinder or a cutting torch. There are different types of hardened steel, some grades softer and easier to cut than others.

    How the shackle is held in the lock. Cheap U-locks won't use anything on one side, medium grade will use a bent food (Kryptonite's staple for decades), high-end will have the locking mechanism lock both sides, forcing a thief to make two cuts to get the lock off, or have to cut/crush at the locking mechanism, where the lock is usually the thickest and most well-protected.

    Drill resistance. Low-end U-locks have none, medium and higher have discs or ball bearings which will spin.

    Bumping/Ace Lock resistance. Higher end U-locks are resistant to the "backdoors" found in a number of locks these days, be it pick guns, bump keys, the much talked about Bic Pen, or shimming.

    With everything pretty much, you get what you pay for. A $10 lock will keep a kid brother off a bike. A $100 lock will keep all but a dedicated professional thief whose living is bike theft off your bike. Assuming the locks are used properly.


    [1]: For the details on Abus/Abloy cylinders, go to www.lockpicking101.com, and search on abloy. There are a good amount of threads. Abloy locks have been around since 1917, and to pick them, its less picking, than figuring out the detainer disk combination.

  3. #3
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    One is marginally harder to cut than the other, but anyone that really wants your bike can get through the NY lock in less than 1 minute with power tools.

    How long you leave your bike parked somewhere is usually the determining factor. Thieves stake out bikes and if they see its left someplace a long time, or regularly left someplace, they can plan to steal it.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho
    One is marginally harder to cut than the other, but anyone that really wants your bike can get through the NY lock in less than 1 minute with power tools.
    More like 20 minutes when they were tested. That's why it's more expensive than locks that are easier to break.

  5. #5
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    It's also important to consider how nice your bike looks on the rack vs. all of the other bikes and that if yours is significantly harder to steal a professional thief will likely move on to something else.

  6. #6
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    Both "Cycling Plus" and "Sold Secure" publish the results of lock tests. What the results show is that the typical $15 Wal-Mart lock can be opened in under thirty seconds using just portable manual tools. In contrast, a $75 u-lock from Kryptonite or OnGuard were still intact after an hour of work, when only manual tools are being used. When expensive power tools are used, the $15 locks last two seconds, and the $75 locks last for ten minutes, or more.

    If your bike is worth more than $300 or so, and you leave it locked in public view for more than five minutes at a time, you need a lock that is "gold" rated on the Soldsecure test website.

    www.soldsecure.com/Leisure.htm.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho
    One is marginally harder to cut than the other, but anyone that really wants your bike can get through the NY lock in less than 1 minute with power tools.
    Both "Cycling Plus" and "Sold Secure" got similar outstanding results for the Kryptonite New York locks. Their tests included the typical power tools actually used by crooks, not the sorts of "super" power tools that might be available at a multi-million dollar Nascar car building facility.

    And, with the power tools that are actually used on the streets by crooks, the "Gold" level locks lasted ten minutes, or more. Ten very loud minutes, where a crook would be drawing attention from anyone within two or three blocks hearing distance.

    As a result, in my own crime ridden city, it is unheard of for a bike to be stolen using power tools. Crooks prefer silent tools, and target bikes that have cable locks, and $15 u-locks from phony lock companies such as Master lock.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    Both "Cycling Plus" and "Sold Secure" got similar outstanding results for the Kryptonite New York locks. Their tests included the typical power tools actually used by crooks, not the sorts of "super" power tools that might be available at a multi-million dollar Nascar car building facility.

    And, with the power tools that are actually used on the streets by crooks, the "Gold" level locks lasted ten minutes, or more. Ten very loud minutes, where a crook would be drawing attention from anyone within two or three blocks hearing distance.

    As a result, in my own crime ridden city, it is unheard of for a bike to be stolen using power tools. Crooks prefer silent tools, and target bikes that have cable locks, and $15 u-locks from phony lock companies such as Master lock.
    Well, I'm not going to quibble over 1 minute, versus 10 or 20, but if you believe crooks are worried about drawing attention, watch the following.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZbklkFuFk-4
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
    1988 Ducati 750 F1

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho
    Well, I'm not going to quibble over 1 minute, versus 10 or 20, but if you believe crooks are worried about drawing attention, watch the following.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZbklkFuFk-4
    That is a true video, in NYC or another large town where pretty much everyone is anonymous and interfering with someone likely will bring more trouble than not. However in suburban areas or areas that are privately owned where people generally know what's accepted and normal versus out of the ordinary, someone plugging an angle iron in a nearby streetlight base and going to town on a bike will be quickly intercepted by either a security guard or the local police.

    Also, due to the carnage of the past week, I'm pretty sure people will be more aware of anything out of the ordinary.

    To sum up... in big cities, people can have at it with power tools in broad daylight... other parts of the country, 15-30 seconds with the iron out may land the person at the business end of some pointed questions.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho
    Well, I'm not going to quibble over 1 minute, versus 10 or 20, but if you believe crooks are worried about drawing attention, watch the following.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZbklkFuFk-4
    That shows the reaction of passersby to a person cutting locks. The person actually owns the bike-- a fact that is not apparent to the passersby, but which nevertheless would have some effect on the attempt to break a lock. The bike owner cutting his own lock is in no fear of getting caught. The bike thief in the same situation is always at risk of having the true owner return to catch him in the act. Don't mistake the reactions of the passersby with what the thief is thinking as he's spending 10 or more minutes with a power tool cutting a lock on a bike he doesn't own.

    Is it possible that an experienced thief could pull this off (especially if the thief has cased out the bike over a period of days or weeks)? Yes. Is it likely that a thief would risk getting caught by the true owner when their are other bikes, locked only with a cable lock, nearby? Not in my opinion.

  11. #11
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    Not familliar with the bell. I know for a fact cheap U locks can be opened with a pry bar. It is also possible to open some with sledge hammer hits. You do not need to spend $100. In NYC I use a kryptonite combination U lock and a cable lock.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
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