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  1. #1
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    2 U-Locks vs 1 U-Lock and a Chain?

    I am currently locking up a bike with the Kryptonite New York LS Bicycle U-Lock ( 4-Inch x 10.25-Inch) on the back wheel and the Keeper 880 Chain on the front. I have the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboutit Mini Bicycle U-Lock (3.25 x 6-Inch), but I am not using it because after reading various places the general consensus is to use two different types of locks so that a thief would require more tools.

    Recently I did some research into the security ratings of all my different locks and found out that the Keeper 880 has a rating of 6 while the Mini U-Lock has a rating of 12. What I am wondering is it advisable to start using the two U-Locks which means a thief would require less tools but would take more time. Or is it advisable to stay with the two different types of locks?

    Side note: I won't buy another chain, they get to heavy after the keeper 880(8 pounds+). And on the same note I'm not going to cycle with all three(nearly 15 pounds). Ten pounds is plenty.

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    The ratings you refer to are almost worthless: they don't test the locks with the tools that the more dangerous thieves use, such as bottlejacks - which zap any u-lock they can be placed inside of in seconds.

    Use the u and the chain. And try to arrange the u so that the space inside it is filled up with the frame and whatever you are locked to so that there isn't space for a bottlejack.

  3. #3
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    There's always a way to break any lock, quickly. I've heard the argument about more tools, but that wouldn't stop me if I were a thief. If I didn't have a problem using a bottle jack or an angle grinder, using a pair of bolt cutters wouldn't bother me much, especially since it's only a few more seconds. And I would think that most thieves that have elevated to the level of using angle grinders and bottle jacks are already equipped w/ bolt cutters, but not necessarily the other way around. Just a few thoughts, not necessarily right or wrong.

    I would be inclined to go with one u-lock & one chain, vs. two u-locks. With that said, the NY LS & the NY FU are both better locks than the Keeper 880. They are, in fact, two of the best on the market, so why not use them? The Keeper 880, in my opinion, is a waste of weight. I don't think it's a very good chain. Also, like "meanwhile" wrote, try to minimize the space left open by either the chain or u-locks, for bottle jacks, but also for leverage attacks.

    Good luck, & regardless of my or other's opinions, do what works best for you.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top Gunner View Post
    There's always a way to break any lock, quickly. I've heard the argument about more tools, but that wouldn't stop me if I were a thief. If I didn't have a problem using a bottle jack or an angle grinder, using a pair of bolt cutters wouldn't bother me much, especially since it's only a few more seconds. And I would think that most thieves that have elevated to the level of using angle grinders and bottle jacks are already equipped w/ bolt cutters, but not necessarily the other way around. Just a few thoughts, not necessarily right or wrong.

    I would be inclined to go with one u-lock & one chain, vs. two u-locks. With that said, the NY LS & the NY FU are both better locks than the Keeper 880. They are, in fact, two of the best on the market, so why not use them? The Keeper 880, in my opinion, is a waste of weight. I don't think it's a very good chain. Also, like "meanwhile" wrote, try to minimize the space left open by either the chain or u-locks, for bottle jacks, but also for leverage attacks.

    Good luck, & regardless of my or other's opinions, do what works best for you.
    So go with the two U-Locks is what you are saying?

    Also what confuses me is the recommendation of a chain at all. Any chain is only as strong as it's weakest point. The best chain locks are sold with padlocks that are essentially miniature U-Locks. So I fail to see why anyone would recommend a chain lock and a U-Lock when they both are dependent on a U-Lock (Any tools used to break a U-Lock could also be used to defeat a chain because the chains padlock is itself a U-Lock). Am I failing to see something obvious?

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    Quote Originally Posted by stoddcrew View Post
    So go with the two U-Locks is what you are saying?

    Also what confuses me is the recommendation of a chain at all. Any chain is only as strong as it's weakest point.
    Well, doh! The same is true for u-locks.

    The best chain locks are sold with padlocks that are essentially miniature U-Locks. So I fail to see why anyone would recommend a chain lock and a U-Lock when they both are dependent on a U-Lock (Any tools used to break a U-Lock could also be used to defeat a chain because the chains padlock is itself a U-Lock). Am I failing to see something obvious?
    Yes. ***You can't fit a bottlejack into the mini-micro U used to lock a chain.***

    The NY bike messengers association was recommending that it's members select only from chain locks, the last time I checked. But this will partly be a speed thing too. To make a U work in a high threat environment you have to use it very carefully.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
    The ratings you refer to are almost worthless: they don't test the locks with the tools that the more dangerous thieves use, such as bottlejacks - which zap any u-lock they can be placed inside of in seconds.

    Use the u and the chain. And try to arrange the u so that the space inside it is filled up with the frame and whatever you are locked to so that there isn't space for a bottlejack.
    One last thing, if I were to get a chain lock, what would be the lightest chain lock available that is just as secure as my U-Lock (assuming the U-lock is being used properly).

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    Quote Originally Posted by stoddcrew View Post
    One last thing, if I were to get a chain lock, what would be the lightest chain lock available that is just as secure as my U-Lock (assuming the U-lock is being used properly).
    Ok. I wouldn't buy a bike branded chain and micro-u. Instead I'd get a piece of high security chain and a high end padlock. This is

    1. Much cheaper

    2. Gets you a better padlock design. High end padlocks aren't designed to look cool and bike-ish or to carry out Kryptonite's branding strategy, just to stop people stealing stuff. Often quite important, valuable and dangerous stuff.

    This article will tell you what you need:

    http://www.living-room.org/security.htm

    And this lock is the sort of thing you should look for - it's a "closed shackle" design. See how the shackle is protected attacks by the body of the lock? Get one that will have as little space as possible for a prybar or jack when the chain is inside - depending on the chain you might be able to thread it through itself and then lock through only one link to secure it.

    42549059.jpg

    Other advice: if your bike is a really good one and parked in a high threat area then pro thieves will be willing to wreck the frame just to get the components - cutting through a bike frame takes seconds, then you throw it in a van. There are places I just wouldn't leave, say, an Ultegra level bike - the ebay price of the brifters alone make it worth stealing.

    The only want to possibly deter thieves of this type is to "uglify" - you dremel the logos from those brifters and splash or spray them with dayglo paint in ugly colours, drool epoxy on the rims and repeat, cover the frame in dozens of pain in the ass stickers, fill hex key slots with bbs held in with hot melt glue (you can chip the melt glue out for a field repair, and then a magnet helps with the BB.) In this way you reduce the value of components, increase the hassle of stripping the bike, and make your components recognizeable. You still need a good lock though.

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    Also: don't leave your wheels on unsecured quick releases! If you can't guarantee putting a chain through them every time you lock then either get security skewers or fasten them with hose clamps (or whatever those widgets people use are called.)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
    Ok. I wouldn't buy a bike branded chain and micro-u. Instead I'd get a piece of high security chain and a high end padlock. This is

    1. Much cheaper

    2. Gets you a better padlock design. High end padlocks aren't designed to look cool and bike-ish or to carry out Kryptonite's branding strategy, just to stop people stealing stuff. Often quite important, valuable and dangerous stuff.

    This article will tell you what you need:

    http://www.living-room.org/security.htm

    And this lock is the sort of thing you should look for - it's a "closed shackle" design. See how the shackle is protected attacks by the body of the lock? Get one that will have as little space as possible for a prybar or jack when the chain is inside - depending on the chain you might be able to thread it through itself and then lock through only one link to secure it.

    42549059.jpg

    Other advice: if your bike is a really good one and parked in a high threat area then pro thieves will be willing to wreck the frame just to get the components - cutting through a bike frame takes seconds, then you throw it in a van. There are places I just wouldn't leave, say, an Ultegra level bike - the ebay price of the brifters alone make it worth stealing.

    The only want to possibly deter thieves of this type is to "uglify" - you dremel the logos from those brifters and splash or spray them with dayglo paint in ugly colours, drool epoxy on the rims and repeat, cover the frame in dozens of pain in the ass stickers, fill hex key slots with bbs held in with hot melt glue (you can chip the melt glue out for a field repair, and then a magnet helps with the BB.) In this way you reduce the value of components, increase the hassle of stripping the bike, and make your components recognizeable. You still need a good lock though.
    I can't find the Quadrachain that was mentioned in the article anywhere. I would buy the 2 foot length in an instant. Do you have a link to a store I could buy that chain?

    Also I found the kasp 190 that was in the picture but it is really expensive. Will something like this
    http://images.drillspot.com/pimages/3534/353404_300.jpg
    american lock suffice?

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    I'm in the UK. The last time I needed chain I bought it in a hardware store. Make sure that it is hardened boron steel and that the links are hex or quad and a decent cross section (check the article or make sure you match a bike product here.) I can't help you with a store as I'm in the UK. You might phone large local hardware stores, steel yards and locksmiths if you can't find what you want on the net.

    The Kasp I showed was illustrative on the type of lock only - you don't need that exact model. If the lock you buy is of that type, a good brand that you trust (I don't know US lock brands) and the maker gives it a reasonably high security rating, then you should be fine.

  11. #11
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    ..But remember that even a heavy chain can be cut! Thieves can use power tools or high end bolt cutters with extra long arms.

  12. #12
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    I spent ten years as a CNC Machinist in the medical and aerospace industries before getting into Computer Science. There are a lot of guys out there that know a lot mor ethan I do, but I can steal any bike if I don't mind a crowd. I don't steal bikes, I jus tknow how. I have knowledge of unusually hard metals and their characteristics and I can also defeat any bicycle lock. I can pick most combination locks by feel in under a minute. I must say I see alot of people using the U lock through the back wheel, "back wheel to steel" method, and it is very disappointing. I have stolen bikes (testing) with the NYFU lock going through the back wheel by simply cutting through the tire, rim and all in about five-eight seconds. REAL quick. Give the bike a big heavy yank (being 6'-4" helps), and thus yanking the U lock through the cut in the rim, and you've got yourself a new, used bike with a crappy back wheel. It's also on YouTube too. I have used about everything to cut through these different Kryptonite locks. Pad locks with covered shackles are good, except against the two pound mallet attack or the grinder. The grinder will go right through teh whole body of the lock, but the shackle is quicker because a very small section is still exposed. The lock combination that I am unable to defeat <in a reasonable amount of time> is a Kryptonite New York Noose over the top of the upper, rear triangle and down through the wheel and frame locked to the bike rack, along with a NYFU (Fuhgettaboudit) through the top tube and around the bike rack with a cable through the front wheel to NYFU lock. My bike is Kona freeride bike so it has the through axle in the front which is an additional annoyance when stealing, but the more annoying a job is, the less anyone wants to do it. The NY Noose uses a mini U lock for the chain, which has several links and a big ring that the chain itself slides through creating a loop type application, but the shackle diameter is very thick and the "U" is so small the only thing anyone can get in there is a flat head screwdriver, providing you are using it on the Noose. The purpose of the mini U lock is that it can't be leveraged. It is so stout, that the strength-to-diameter ratio is excellent. The chain it is used with is even stronger, that makes the mini U the weakest link; which is still pretty damn strong. The three foot bolt cutters can go through it, but one handle has to be put on the ground, and then I sit and bounce (I wiegh 340) on the handle and after about a few minutes it goes through the mini U lock. It ruined the bolt cutters, dented them real bad. But they won't work on the Noose, the links are just way too hard and they have a hexagonal profile, and again, it ruined the bolt cutter jaws, it dented them so far in I couldn't use them anymore. It made big marks on the links, but no fracture. The grinder worked on all the locks, but it took about twenty minutes with an air compressed wheel grinder and several new diamond wheels. The acetylene torch melted the NYFU a little, but could not cut it, and the NY Noose was even tougher against a torch. The triple heat treated Boron Manganese steel was harder than I thought. A six foot A-2 pry bar and three big greasy guys can start to work the NYFU lock loose, but the frame got ruined on the test bike and was bent pretty bad, un-rideable. Yup, you can break through any lock if you have the tools, the time and the know how. I know that with the correct tools, and the correct know how, it would take a really good thief about twenty minutes to get my bike if he had a partner. I used to put the locks low, but working a pick on the ground is easier because you can lay all your tools right next to your head and make quick work of it. If the locks are up high, I can't ge the leverage I need from the three foot bolt cutters, but the disc picks and bic pens can still be used. So up high, I eliminate at least one break method. So, I chose these locks and these postitions to lock my bike up so that at least it has a fighting chance of being there when I get back. I carry them in a trunk bag mounted on a post mount rack. Since I am heavy, I cannot feel the weight of the locks when I ride except when climbing a 10%+ grade hill. Jaws of life worked pretty good, used two batteries and took three minutes. But they are real big, cost alot, and I think you have to be a firefighter or law wenforcement to purchase one. The new ones are battery operated so they are way slower but still useful and more portable that way. Use a copule locks and keep em up high, no combination locks. Try to get one flat-keyed lock and one round-keyed lock.That way if some smart ass actually knows how to do the bic trick on the disc lock, you still have aflat key to defeat. The more tools a thied needs to take your bike, the more likely that he will leave it alone. Always park your bike out in the open. Maybe when you get back to your bike, the only reason you will have a crowd around your bike is because you have a cool looking bike with a crazy locking method. Just be ready for all of the "I know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy that can get all of those locks off in ten seconds. . ." There's always one. Your reply should be, "Well, if my bike comes up missing, now I know what you look like." Hope this helps and happy trails.
    All locks do is keep honest people honest. But a good lock will deter, at the very minimum, the opportunistic thief.

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