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Old 12-14-10, 06:35 AM   #1
slipknot0129
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Can you cut a wheel off with a bold cutter?

Im gonna use sheldon browns method to lock my bike. Having the ulock around the tire. The only way they could get the ulock off is to cut through the wheel. I got a kryptonite fahgettaboudit mini ulock. Can you cut a wheel off with bolt cutters? I got touring bike wheels if that makes any difference I dont know.

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Old 12-14-10, 10:25 AM   #2
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If it's a REALLY bold cutter, you shouldn't have any problem.
If you mean a BOLT cutter, a tool that cuts bolts, the answer is yes. It's aluminum with a rubber tire on it; you could probably worry your way through it with a Leatherman tool in a couple of minutes. A thief could also just take the wheel off, leaving it attached to the lock and walking away with the rest of the bike. Always lock the bike through the frame.

Last edited by Velo Dog; 12-15-10 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 12-14-10, 10:34 AM   #3
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If it's a REALLY bold cutter, you shouldn't have any problem.
If you mean a BOLT cutter, a tool that cuts bolts, the answer is yes. It's aluminum with a rubber tire on it; you could probably worry your way through it with a Leatherman tool in a couple of minutes. A thief could also just take the wheel off, leaving it attached the the lock and walking away with the rest of the bike. Always lock the bike through the frame.
The tension on a rim from the spokes makes cutting a wheel very difficult. Also, locking with the Sheldon Brown method, as mentioned involves attaching the wheel right behind the seat tube. The lock is inside the rear triangle. Removing the wheel will not release the frame.
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Old 12-14-10, 12:45 PM   #4
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How would cutting the wheel release the bike? Lock the bike through the frame AND the wheel...
I always lock mine through the frame and front wheel, because it seems the more likely to be snatched up by an opportunist.
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Old 12-14-10, 12:49 PM   #5
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Old 12-14-10, 01:00 PM   #6
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Thanks for the clarification
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Old 12-14-10, 01:28 PM   #7
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How would cutting the wheel release the bike? Lock the bike through the frame AND the wheel...
I always lock mine through the frame and front wheel, because it seems the more likely to be snatched up by an opportunist.
I dont think my fahgettaboudit mini would fit on the wheel and frame.
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Old 12-14-10, 01:47 PM   #8
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The tension on a rim from the spokes makes cutting a wheel very difficult.
I can (and have) cut spokes on a road rim with tin snips within a minute. Boltcuttters vs spokes and a rim? Not long at all!
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Old 12-14-10, 02:10 PM   #9
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I can (and have) cut spokes on a road rim with tin snips within a minute. Boltcuttters vs spokes and a rim? Not long at all!
Fair enough. I've never had anyone tamper with my locked bike, but I tend to go overboard.

Here is what Sheldon Brown had to say about it:
"Some will object that felons might cut the rear rim and tire to remove the lock. Believe me, this just doesn't happen in the real world. First, this would be a lot of work to steal a frame without a useable rear wheel, the most expensive part of a bike, after the frame. Second, cutting the rear rim is much harder than you might think. Since the rim is under substantial compression due to the tension on the spokes, it would pinch a hacksaw blade tight as soon as it cut partway through. Then there are the wire beads of the tire, also difficult to cut."

From http://www.sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html
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Old 12-14-10, 02:14 PM   #10
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Im just gonna lock it how sheldon brown shows. If someone got away with it then I know they would have anyways. I do need something to lock my front wheel.
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Old 12-14-10, 02:38 PM   #11
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Fair enough. I've never had anyone tamper with my locked bike, but I tend to go overboard.

Here is what Sheldon Brown had to say about it:
"Some will object that felons might cut the rear rim and tire to remove the lock. Believe me, this just doesn't happen in the real world. First, this would be a lot of work to steal a frame without a useable rear wheel, the most expensive part of a bike, after the frame. Second, cutting the rear rim is much harder than you might think. Since the rim is under substantial compression due to the tension on the spokes, it would pinch a hacksaw blade tight as soon as it cut partway through. Then there are the wire beads of the tire, also difficult to cut."

From http://www.sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html
Ture! The way I see it, a lock is a deterrent. If somebody wants your bike, they are going to take it, a lock just slows them down. With the way people are nowadays, they'll take the bike with you on it!

Yes, the frame is the most expensive part and the rear wheel the second. Unlike the poster above, I'd lock the rear wheel for sure. A cable allows for the lasso type locking of all parts. But then you have to worry about the seat.
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Old 12-15-10, 02:44 AM   #12
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I loved Sheldon and his advice. But at times, he was off. The expensive parts are always moot, but for me, the second most expensive parts on a bike are the shifters/brake levers. A rear wheel might be $200, including the cluster. The brifters will be $400-$500 at least.

I agree with Beanz -- a small pair of bolt cutters will go through spokes like a hot knife through margarine. If the OP is that concerned, he should invest in a lock that will satisfy his fears... one that will go through the wheel, the frame and the post. Some people even use two locks, so they can secure both wheels without having to remove the front one every time they park the bike.
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