Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-06-08, 02:36 PM   #1
frugihoyi
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Bikes:
Posts: 18
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Can't unlock my bike

I have a pretty thick "Citadel" chain that I use to lock up my bike. Saturday night, I went to the train station to retrieve my bike and I could not unlock it at all. I think someone messed with the lock, trying to get it open. Does anyone know how I can get my bike free? I'm going to go to a bike shop and see if they can help me. If they can't, then I think I will try a locksmith or try to get my hands on a tool to cut the chain, but either way it will probably be expensive. What do you suggest?
frugihoyi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-08, 04:00 PM   #2
J.C. Koto
apocryphal sobriquet
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Star City, NE
Bikes: 2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker "The Truckerino"
Posts: 1,072
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I'm not familiar with the lock - does the key not turn, or turn freely and do nothing. Is there a possibility that someone put glue or some other obstruction in the keyhole? Is there a key at all? Here are my ideas...

I'd first check for (and remove if applicable) any obstruction in the keyhole.

If water got inside and froze, thaw it out with a lighter, or with a lock "de-icer" product.

*If* the keyhole seems to have been glued, get some acetone and soak it. Strong nail-polish remover might work. After soaking for a minute or two, try the key again while it's still wet with solvent. Repeat until it works or you give up.

If the key turns difficult, *or* turns freely but doesn't engage, obtain a tube of graphite powder and inject that into the keyhole. Then try again a few times. You might have to give the lock a good, hard whack between doses of graphite.

If these don't work, search the web for any vulnerabilities for your particular brand, type, or model of lock (i.e. shimming, impact, etc). You might be surprised how easy it is to defeat locks this way

As a last resort, cut it, but be sure to bring proof that the bike is yours!
J.C. Koto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-08, 06:31 PM   #3
annc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 428
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If it's a cable then wire cutters should cut it (you just need the time). If it's a metal chain or u-lock then you'll need bolt cutters. In most cases, breaking and replacing the lock will be cheaper then getting a locksmith to open it.
annc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-08, 06:44 PM   #4
seagullplayer
Star of the Nursing Home
 
seagullplayer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern Indiana
Bikes: Schwinn, Mirada
Posts: 189
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Round these parts some hardware stores will loan you a set of bolt cutters, some might ask for a deposit if they don't know you...
seagullplayer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-08, 08:04 PM   #5
nahh
on your left.
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Blacksburg, VA
Bikes: Scott SUB 30, Backtrax MTB
Posts: 1,802
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
First off, bring proof when you go get your bike. This will keep you from getting...arrested if it's a really slow day for cops...
If it's a chain go purchase or borrow some bolt cutters and with some work you can get it. Some really awesome bike shops will (for a fee) get a mechanic to bike out there and defeat the lock for you if you're close enough. At any rate, if the lock isn't destroyed in the process i wouldn't use it again. If it turns out you can do the acetone, even that will damage internal parts, and you could end up having the same problem again.
nahh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-08, 10:49 PM   #6
frugihoyi
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Bikes:
Posts: 18
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the responses. It's a chain with a keyhole. I can put the key in and I think it goes all the way in, but it won't turn. I already tried the lighter. I also tried oil and I even tried oil and fire at the same time. If it was glued, that should have taken care of it, no?
frugihoyi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-08, 12:25 AM   #7
Marrock
Senior Member
 
Marrock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 1,921
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Not unless you could heat the entire lock all the way through to burn off the glue, kinda hard to do with just a lighter.

Get yourself the acetone/nail varnish remover and have at it, if that doesn't sort it out then you most likely have something jammed in there and cutting will probably be your only real option.
Marrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-08, 08:29 AM   #8
Garfield Cat
Senior Member
 
Garfield Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Bikes: Cervelo Prodigy
Posts: 6,165
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 88 Post(s)
The guys at the local fire dept have every kind of tool to break into anything.
Garfield Cat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-08, 12:51 PM   #9
geo8rge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 2,012
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
1) Contact citadel, they might have a suggestion.

2) look up bumpkey on the internet and try doing that with your real key.

3) read the many posts on cutting a lock with hand and power tools.

4) Call a lock smith.

I like the fire department angle. They might actually be helpful. I once saw the FDNY officers try to fish a woman's keys out of a storm sewer.
__________________
2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
1996 Birdy, Recommend.
Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.
geo8rge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-08, 01:01 PM   #10
Panthers007
Great State of Varmint
 
Panthers007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Dante's Third Ring
Bikes:
Posts: 7,479
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
One way, that is unfeasible for most, is to immerse the lock/chain in liquid nitrogen. Then smack it with a hammer. The metal will shatter. Know anyone at a university lab?
Panthers007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-08, 03:06 PM   #11
frugihoyi
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Bikes:
Posts: 18
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When I said I tried oil and fire at the same time, I mean I sprayed oil all inside the keyhole and then lit it on fire so it should have been burning all the way inside, but that did nothing.

I can't find the damn Citadel website...
frugihoyi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-08, 03:23 PM   #12
Marrock
Senior Member
 
Marrock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 1,921
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugihoyi View Post
When I said I tried oil and fire at the same time, I mean I sprayed oil all inside the keyhole and then lit it on fire so it should have been burning all the way inside, but that did nothing.

I can't find the damn Citadel website...
Yeah, I know what you meant, it still wouldn't have gotten hot enough for long enough to do any good.

Now if you had a Bernz-o-matic or some sort of butane torch, that might do it.
Marrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-08, 04:06 PM   #13
kuan
Twincities MN
 
kuan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Salsa, Cannondale, Surly.
Bikes:
Posts: 2,527
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugihoyi View Post
When I said I tried oil and fire at the same time, I mean I sprayed oil all inside the keyhole and then lit it on fire so it should have been burning all the way inside, but that did nothing.

I can't find the damn Citadel website...
Did people see you do that?
__________________
www.marrow.org
kuan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-08, 04:40 PM   #14
frugihoyi
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Bikes:
Posts: 18
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan View Post
Did people see you do that?
I'm not sure I don't think so
frugihoyi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-08, 08:58 PM   #15
gmcttr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: IN
Bikes:
Posts: 77
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It won't burn inside the lock. There is no oxygen inside the lock a split second after lighting
gmcttr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-08, 11:28 PM   #16
Marrock
Senior Member
 
Marrock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 1,921
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It'd probably be easier to hacksaw through whatever you have it chained to.
Marrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-08, 07:08 AM   #17
Alpha52
tilt head to right
 
Alpha52's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: on your left
Bikes: Trek, Specialized, Atala, Kona
Posts: 145
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugihoyi View Post
Thanks for the responses. It's a chain with a keyhole. I can put the key in and I think it goes all the way in, but it won't turn. I already tried the lighter. I also tried oil and I even tried oil and fire at the same time. If it was glued, that should have taken care of it, no?
Before you cut the chain, try spraying some carburetor cleaner in the keyhole. Get the aerosol can with the red spray tube, as you can force it down into to keyhole. Then work the key in and out a few times. Repeat if necessary.

I had a padlock that wouldn't open, and this loosened up the tumblers, which must have been stuck.

Good luck.
Alpha52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-08, 07:56 AM   #18
neilfein
Senior Member
 
neilfein's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Highland Park, NJ, USA
Bikes: "Hildy", a Novara Randonee touring bike; a 16-speed Bike Friday Tikit; and a Specialized Stumpjumper frame-based built-up MTB, now serving as the kid-carrier, grocery-getter.
Posts: 3,788
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
I'd contact the cops and let them know ahead of time you're gonna cut/jimmy the lock. They may even have some suggestions for you on how to do this. +1 on bringing proof of ownership.
__________________
Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

My bands:
Uke On! - ukulele duo - Youtube channel

Ukulele Abyss - ukulele cover videos - Youtube channel

My celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry's full-length studio album "Mended", available for download.

Artistic Differences - 8-track EP "Dreams of Bile and Blood" now available for download.
neilfein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-08, 09:18 AM   #19
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Bikes:
Posts: 8,897
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marrock View Post
It'd probably be easier to hacksaw through whatever you have it chained to.
Which still leaves the bike locked but at least you could carry it home. The odds are good the user does not own whatever it is locked to though. I wouldn't cut a bike rack or sign that belonged to someone else whether that be a company, individual, or municipality.
staehpj1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-08, 10:05 AM   #20
oakback
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 249
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Do you have a plug nearby? I would try an angle grinder with cutoff wheel. If it can cut a car in half, it could surely get through the chain.
oakback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-08, 10:37 AM   #21
mike_s
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 201
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I vote for setting a thermite reaction to melt the chain.
mike_s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-08, 10:52 AM   #22
frugihoyi
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Bikes:
Posts: 18
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Actually, one of the first things I tried was not cutting the piece of metal the chain is attached to, but unscrewing and removing it. But the screw was too corroded or whatever. Anyway, today I tried the acetone and it didn't work.

I noticed now that my key is a bit crooked. I don't know if that is the reason the lock won't turn or if this happened after my bike got stuck. I just tried to straighten the key with a clamp and a hammer. I think it's straighter now, but I messed up the teeth a bit. I'll try again tomorrow, but it probably won't work, so I'll see if I can get my hands on a bolt cutter.

I'm thinking of buying a kryptonite chain next (www.kryptonitelock.com/). They seem pretty good. What do you think, are those the best? I was thinking also of getting one with a combination lock so I don't have this problem again, but I read about how easy it is for thieves to figure out the combination. Or is that a problem only with the cheap ones?

I'm getting really tired of riding the bus...
By the end of this ordeal, I will be an expert in stealing bikes so watch out.
frugihoyi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-08, 10:56 AM   #23
Panthers007
Great State of Varmint
 
Panthers007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Dante's Third Ring
Bikes:
Posts: 7,479
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_s View Post
I vote for setting a thermite reaction to melt the chain.

Ahahahahahaha!! Watch him burn through the lamp-post and leave a 5' crater in the street - but the lock remains. Next Up: Semtex!
Panthers007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-08, 11:04 AM   #24
kirby999
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Georgia
Bikes: Schwinn Heavy Duty , Schwinn Cross-Cut, Raleigh Olympian
Posts: 155
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Battery powered Dremel tool with a cut-off wheel . Make sure you wear some safety glasses. I bought a bike recently from a yardsale, that had a Master lock cable lock , locked through frame and the guy's daughter couldn't remember the combination . It took longer to install the cutoff wheel on the Dremel than it did to cut the cable . Take an couple of extra wheels , a chain may take a little more to cut . kirby
kirby999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-08, 11:52 AM   #25
seagullplayer
Star of the Nursing Home
 
seagullplayer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern Indiana
Bikes: Schwinn, Mirada
Posts: 189
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirby999 View Post
Battery powered Dremel tool with a cut-off wheel . Make sure you wear some safety glasses. I bought a bike recently from a yardsale, that had a Master lock cable lock , locked through frame and the guy's daughter couldn't remember the combination . It took longer to install the cutoff wheel on the Dremel than it did to cut the cable . Take an couple of extra wheels , a chain may take a little more to cut . kirby

+1 Tool of all tools!
seagullplayer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:27 AM.