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Old 08-13-08, 08:14 AM   #1
Bruzer
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What to do with old bike locks?

I have some old bike locks from around the time of my first bike (the early 1990's). I have seen the videos and read about how easy locks are to compromise. I am not confident on the security these locks provide. One of them is an early U-lock with a round key that looks like it can be picked with a bic pen. Two others are coiled cable locks with flat keys that were fairly cheap when I bought them, so they must be easy to get into.

Are these locks good for anything besides collecting dust? I don't trust my bikes with these locks, and am plan to buy newer locks for my bikes. Even new locks are not 100% safe, but hopefully harder to break in than these old locks.

I have read a few posts here from people who have had their bikes stolen. I have not had one of my bikes taken. I have read articles and posts about techniques to keep bikes safer, but I guess we can never be 100% safe. Any good tips out there from those who lost their bikes?

What do I do with my old locks? Are there any other uses for these bike locks? I donate to Goodwill on occasion, but don't want to give them some old locks that offer little to no security. The unsuspecting buyer might think the locks are reliable and lock up their only bike with them. I can't think of anything else they would be good for, and thought you forum readers might have some ideas.
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Old 08-13-08, 10:33 AM   #2
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The old model U's with round keys couldn't be picked with a Bic. It was the later redesigns from the early 2000's. A 90's or earlier should be fine.

The cable locks should still be useful for securing wheels. Or for locking up other stuff.
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Old 08-13-08, 11:20 AM   #3
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I use an old crappy Wal-Mart cable lock to lock up a cooler on my porch
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Old 08-13-08, 02:18 PM   #4
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The old model U's with round keys couldn't be picked with a Bic. It was the later redesigns from the early 2000's. A 90's or earlier should be fine.

The cable locks should still be useful for securing wheels. Or for locking up other stuff.
I didn't know that the bic pen trick was limited to fairly recent mechanisms. I assumed that all cylinder locks were susceptible to this kind of attack. I guess I will have to give my lock a try with a bic pen. Are there any links that talk specifically discuss which locks are susceptible?
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Old 08-13-08, 02:20 PM   #5
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Are there any links that talk specifically discuss which locks are susceptible?
Your brand new bicycle u-lock is not safe!
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Old 08-13-08, 02:38 PM   #6
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"OLD" bike locks are steel & plastic..........RECYCLE THEM!!
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Old 08-13-08, 08:03 PM   #7
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I didn't know that the bic pen trick was limited to fairly recent mechanisms. I assumed that all cylinder locks were susceptible to this kind of attack. I guess I will have to give my lock a try with a bic pen. Are there any links that talk specifically discuss which locks are susceptible?
This is really old news. Did you take a look at the sticky near the front of this forum? Kryptonite replaced my lock several years ago.
If you don't trust your lock, trash it or recycle it or use it as an anchor. Give it to someone you don't like.
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Old 08-13-08, 09:02 PM   #8
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As long as the lock still works it is still useful to someone that has no lock. Security is as much how you lock it as it is the lock. I would donate the lock to our local charitable bike shop or some nice commuter I meet out on the road who needs one. Much like I have given away safety vests and patch kits from Bike to Work day.
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Old 08-14-08, 12:26 PM   #9
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Related question.
What do you do with an old lock that you lost the key for?
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Old 08-14-08, 12:32 PM   #10
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Related question.
What do you do with an old lock that you lost the key for?
If its a round key, a locksmith can use a pick and "impression" a key for it. A locksmith *can* do the same with the newer Abloy/Abus style of cylinders on most bike locks, but they have to be good at picking, have the tool that can do that lock, and don't mind taking the time to do that, as opposed to just brute force drilling the sidebar out.
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Old 08-14-08, 01:57 PM   #11
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If its a round key, a locksmith can use a pick and "impression" a key for it. A locksmith *can* do the same with the newer Abloy/Abus style of cylinders on most bike locks, but they have to be good at picking, have the tool that can do that lock, and don't mind taking the time to do that, as opposed to just brute force drilling the sidebar out.
Sounds more expensive than just buying a new lock.
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Old 08-14-08, 05:41 PM   #12
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Drop'em off at a Goodwill or Salvation Army, whatever you have in your area.
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Old 08-15-08, 02:19 AM   #13
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Sounds more expensive than just buying a new lock.
Depends. If you have the tools, its nothing to do. If you have to pay someone, it may be more than the lock, or it may just cost the price of a new key.
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Old 08-16-08, 10:03 AM   #14
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The old model U's with round keys couldn't be picked with a Bic. It was the later redesigns from the early 2000's. A 90's or earlier should be fine.

The cable locks should still be useful for securing wheels. Or for locking up other stuff.

The timing for this response is amazing! We have old, likely early 80's, Citadel U-locks from our bicycle touring days. We were wondering about sending one to college with our son's bike, also an old but well functioning Mt. bike. I have been out of the cycling world and only recently heard about U-locks being picked by bic pens. I don't want to "cheap out" and compromise the bike's safety, but would love to save the $$ to buy a new lock if it's not necessary.

Is there a general concurrance on the older locks being secure? Or any website articles you could send me to for more info?

Thanks!
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Old 08-16-08, 12:57 PM   #15
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http://farm1.static.flickr.com/231/5...db4c19d58d.jpg

As far as the susceptibility of bike locks- if most bike locks are imprevious to bolt cutters and some aren't, it may not matter which you use. The folks with bolt cutters likely aren't trying each kind to see which ones they can cut and which ones not (anyone ever get a big ding in their lock when it wasn't cut???). Ditto with the bic pen method, if it doesn't work on most locks, people likely don't think to try it much, either.
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Old 08-16-08, 06:51 PM   #16
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All a bike lock does is slow poor and less intelligent thieves down. If they want the bike the best lock is going to be defeated in minutes. 18v angle grinder with a cutoff wheel I own it in 60 seconds or less...

I'd put something on it that simply removes the "crime of opportunity" factor, and if it's really worth trying to treat like Fort Knox then look at not leaving it in the open/out of sight as fair game.

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Old 08-18-08, 10:32 AM   #17
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Is there a general concurrance on the older locks being secure? Or any website articles you could send me to for more info?
Far as I know,it's only the Kryptos that had this problem. It started when they did a redesign. Check out their website for info.

http://www.kryptonitelock.com/
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Old 08-18-08, 01:49 PM   #18
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B4r we pronounced ourselves to be lock experts, go ahead, try picking your lock. Just 'coz u read it somewhere they can be picked, u immediately think people are walking around all over looking for kryptonites.
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Old 08-19-08, 02:04 PM   #19
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Use them. Unless you are worried about carrying the extra weight around or somethhing like that use the old and the new. The more locks to take off the more work. The more work the longer the theft takes, and the more likely the theif will just move on. If nothing else they may come in handy when friends or relatives come for a ride and don't have anything. Something is better than nothing.
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