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Old 11-23-12, 10:30 AM   #1
SeanBlader
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Bad news

http://www.popsci.com/diy/article/20...s-bike-thieves

Maybe it's old news too, but it's discouraging none-the-less. It's less a problem for me, I don't own a bike lock yet, I take my bike inside the garage, and into the office when I ride there.
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Old 11-23-12, 12:26 PM   #2
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I doubt this would be effective against the new york fahgettaboudit.
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Old 11-23-12, 01:54 PM   #3
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I doubt this would be effective against the new york fahgettaboudit.
It probably would be (although it might take more time).

To the OP, if somebody really wants to steal an unattended bicycle, then they will.

(1) You want to make it as difficult as possible so they move on to somebody else's bicycle instead of yours.

(2) No matter what, it sucks when you get a bike stolen. But having a lock that has a anti-theft guarantee (like the Krytonite Fahgettaboudit locks mentioned above) means that if it happens to you, you'll at least be able to buy a new bike.

Cheers,
Charles
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Old 11-23-12, 02:14 PM   #4
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I'm not too concerned about this particular method of defeating locks. Works great on a lab bench, but not so easy on a typical bike locked to a rack frequently with other bikes right next to it. In that case getting the lock cold enough isn't as easy and it wouldn't be trivial to deliver the hard hammer blows cleanly without risking serious damage to the bike (and a smashed bike isn't worth much to the thief). Portable power tools such as angle grinders pose a much greater threat but are noisy and conspicuous in use.

I wouldn't put much faith into collecting based on the Kryptonite guarantee. AIRC there are quite a few documentation items required in order to collect and even if you have kept all of those you also need to return the broken lock. Hard to do if the thief decided not to leave evidence like that lying around.

Last edited by prathmann; 11-23-12 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 11-23-12, 02:35 PM   #5
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Yeah, ok.
After emptying a can of compressed air, it did nothing to break a mild steel cheapie u-lock.
Cut to just after having been dipped into liquid nitrogen for an unknown length of time, they smash the lock.

Just be on the lookout for someone carrying around a bucket of liquid nitrogen. Oh yeah if they spill it on the bike, it will probably shatter so look for the thief on the ground around the corner and beat him with the frozen pieces.
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Old 11-23-12, 03:45 PM   #6
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I'm not too concerned about this particular method of defeating locks. Works great on a lab bench, but not so easy on a typical bike locked to a rack frequently with other bikes right next to it. In that case getting the lock cold enough isn't as easy and it wouldn't be trivial to deliver the hard hammer blows cleanly without risking serious damage to the bike (and a smashed bike isn't worth much to the thief). Portable power tools such as angle grinders pose a much more greater threat but are noisy and conspicuous in use.

I wouldn't put much faith into collecting based on the Kryptonite guarantee. AIRC there are quite a few documentation items required in order to collect and even if you have kept all of those you also need to return the broken lock. Hard to do if the thief decided not to leave evidence like that lying around.
For Masterlock, I believe, you just need to show both keys and the police report...
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Old 11-23-12, 08:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
I'm not too concerned about this particular method of defeating locks. Works great on a lab bench, but not so easy on a typical bike locked to a rack frequently with other bikes right next to it. In that case getting the lock cold enough isn't as easy and it wouldn't be trivial to deliver the hard hammer blows cleanly without risking serious damage to the bike (and a smashed bike isn't worth much to the thief). Portable power tools such as angle grinders pose a much greater threat but are noisy and conspicuous in use.
+1

I tried searching for the chemical gas can and was having trouble locating one for sale. Did anyone notice how long it took to break that lock? They actually had to stop the film and start again. I suspect it took about 3 minutes to break that lock.

Battery operated angle granders are cheap and can be purchased at any Home Depot! Guess what? It take about 30 seconds or less to break that cheap u-lock with an angle grider. Also, bike theives don't worry about noise since they know that 99% of the population won't call the police. As for the one percent that may take action, all you have to say to them is I lost my key! Heck, you tell them this, they may even help you break the lock! LOL!
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Old 11-23-12, 09:43 PM   #8
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The entire video is flawed, both in its premise and its execution. Minus 13F isn't that cold; bike locks function in that temp all the time in the northern states. I'm not even sure if dry ice (at -109F) would be cold enough to embrittle the steel. And difluoroethane is a fluorocarbon, which is highly regulated. It's not your standard can of compressed air.
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Old 11-23-12, 11:09 PM   #9
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And that is why I always carry my bike up the stairs and leave it at my apartment overnight. That and refuse to leave my bike anywhere remotely close to downtown la
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Old 11-24-12, 05:13 PM   #10
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From the article:
Quote:
When cooled to –13F with canned air spray (actually the compressed chemical difluoroethane), even very tough locks become brittle enough to smash open with a hammer.
–13F? That's all? Around here in the winter, you wouldn't even need the "canned air."
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Old 11-24-12, 05:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
I wouldn't put much faith into collecting based on the Kryptonite guarantee. AIRC there are quite a few documentation items required in order to collect and even if you have kept all of those you also need to return the broken lock. Hard to do if the thief decided not to leave evidence like that lying around.
true - i looked up the claims procedures for the kryptonite - no broken lock to send in then no claim.
http://www.kryptonitelock.com/Pages/FAQ.aspx < then click on filing a claim

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Originally Posted by cplager View Post
For Masterlock, I believe, you just need to show both keys and the police report...
you don't have to send in the cut/broken lock but there are a couple more things than just keys and police report. Nothing more than kryptonite requests though. http://www.masterlockbike.com/pdfs/antitheft_1000.pdf
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Old 11-24-12, 06:24 PM   #12
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The article is a bit misleading.
This method (of freezing locks to shatter them) has been known about for decades.

The misleading part is that you can't do it with just one hand-held can of anything... When I have heard of this is, at construction sites thieves would look for BIG welding tanks full of nitrogen or oxygen, and use that to freeze locks on equipment trailers to break into them. They would have to blow off most of a full tank (a ~2000-3000 PSI tank that stands ~5-feet tall and weighs ~120 lbs) to chill one lock enough to shatter it easily.

What's much more likely today is somebody just cutting the lock with a battery-powered cutoff tool.
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Old 11-24-12, 06:56 PM   #13
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The article is a bit misleading.
This method (of freezing locks to shatter them) has been known about for decades.

The misleading part is that you can't do it with just one hand-held can of anything... When I have heard of this is, at construction sites thieves would look for BIG welding tanks full of nitrogen or oxygen, and use that to freeze locks on equipment trailers to break into them. They would have to blow off most of a full tank (a ~2000-3000 PSI tank that stands ~5-feet tall and weighs ~120 lbs) to chill one lock enough to shatter it easily.

What's much more likely today is somebody just cutting the lock with a battery-powered cutoff tool.
+1

No thief wants to hang around some public place banging a lock with a hammer for some unknown period of time.

A professional thief would just use an angle grinder, be done within a few seconds, and be gone!

Bike thieves are very time conscious...
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Old 01-10-13, 11:18 PM   #14
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Oh sh~~ Here I have one month of stable -13F(-25C) and below. Now I more concern about using Dahon as next winter commuter and not leaving regular bike for 8 hours even with krypto chain. Just because chain is strong in ice cold - doesn't meat that D-Lock will survive vs thift's hammer in the dark winter day at loud city.
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Old 01-11-13, 08:27 AM   #15
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I had my mountain bike stolen right out of my garage while my wife was working around the house on her flowers. I now cable in a work stand.
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Old 01-11-13, 08:57 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
a smashed bike isn't worth much to the thief
no bike at all is worth even less

i agree that this method isn't one that I would worry about too much though...
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Old 01-11-13, 09:48 AM   #17
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While possible, in theory, this article is a load. The ball demonstration was done with liquid nitrogen, not canned air, as I suspect the picture of the bike lock being smashed was done. Canned air get very cold but -13F as the article states, big deal it's that cold half of the winter in my back yard and I'll guarantee that steel does not become so brittle that you can easily smash it with a hammer. So unless theives are going to start carrying liquid nitrogen tanks around with them while they look for bikes to steal, I'm not to worried about this method becoming a problem unless they start making U-locks and chain out of plastic.

Of more concern are the portable battery powered grinders, recipricating saws, and bolt cutters that are available. There are HD hardened manual bolt cutters commonly available that will cut a New York lock or pretty much anything else you can get between the jaws. The good news is they are fairly expensive and weigh about 18 lbs. and are not something the average bike thief is going to cart around. Pros working with a pickup or van maybe.

Really, bike locks only work against walk-offs and opportunistic bike thieves. A serious career thief after high end bikes will get them no matter what lock you use. All you can do is make it as inconvenient as possible and hope he moves on to easier pickings.
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