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  1. #1
    vol
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    How long does your U-lock last?

    I have used an OnGuard Bulldog U-lock for about two years, but yesterday after I opened it it just disintegrated. The barrel's two halves slid out of the enclosure, exposing the inside to be broken and almost shattered (they were apparently not made of metal, maybe plastic). I've been very careful to avoid dropping it, only dropped it 3-4 times in its lifetime, so I'm appalled by this. Thank the Lord it didn't happen when I had my bike locked outside. I preferred OnGuard to Kryptonite for it's price and name (Bulldog), but now I wonder if all U-locks disfunction after a handful of being dropped to the ground? What is everyone's experience? Does Kryptonite last longer?

  2. #2
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I have a couple of Kryptonite locks that are pushing 15 years old. Don't use them anymore because they are the ones that can be opened with a Bic pen. Not familar with the Bulldog, but if if is broke internally I would be concerned if it affected the locking ability of the lock.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    Sometimes you get what you pay for. I'd rather pay more for the better brand of lock and still have my bike because it is made to last. Don't get fooled by the name that some marketing whiz came up with. I had my original kryptonite lock for 20 years, and got it exchanged when the bic pen thing happened. The one that they sent me as a replacement spent 5 years on a rack outside the building where I worked- through 5 winters of snow, ice and salt, and it still locks and works fine.
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  4. #4
    weights are heavy Tober1's Avatar
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    I had two kryptonite locks that I only got rid of because they were big and filthy. My latest is going on 5 years with no issues. I don't see any reason why they shouldn't last forever assuming the lock stays clean and clear.
    I've heard ok things about Bulldog, I wouldn't be surprised if they offered a warranty.

  5. #5
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I have a Kryptonite that I bought in 1985. Every 5 or 10 years I squirt a bunch of WD-40 into the mechanism. I think I've gotten my money's worth.
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    Mine is 1985 vintage. Been dropped and bashed more than I can remember.

  7. #7
    vol
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    Thanks. Looks like Kryptonite is the way to go. I'm going to get a new one.

  8. #8
    vol
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    Does anyone know about how heavy the following locks are (and comparisons among them) (U-lock alone, without the cable or bracket)?
    1.
    Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 ATB Bicycle U-Lock (5-Inch x 9-Inch)

    2.
    Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 Standard Bicycle U-Lock with Transit FlexFrame Bracket (4-inch x 9-inch)

    3.
    Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 LS Bicycle U-Lock (4-Inch x 11.5-Inch)

    In the customer reviews, #2 gets more complaints about the weight than #1, which is surprising, since #1 is wider than #2. ???

    Thanks in advance.

  9. #9
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    The Kryptonite site has weights listed for each lock. You should really consider a Kryptonite Evolution Mini (5 or 7 - I chose the 7 for easier locking options) - it is only $10 more than the ones you have listed, but is way higher in the security ratings.
    http://treadrightly.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    vol
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    Thank you very much. I just went there and saw the weight info. My frame is thick so the minis will be too small. Also I usually park in relatively safe areas and not for too long time.

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    If you use the sheldon brown locking technique, you can get by with a smaller U lock.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tel0004 View Post
    If you use the sheldon brown locking technique, you can get by with a smaller U lock.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html
    Yep, this is what I use. The Mini 7 allows me to lock up fat mountain bike tires too .. would be tough to lock with a Mini 5.
    http://treadrightly.blogspot.com/

  13. #13
    your god hates me Bob Ross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    I have a couple of Kryptonite locks that are pushing 15 years old.
    I bought my Kryptonite lock new in 1995. I've never had a U-lock disintegrate from normal use...the only reason I've ever had to buy a new one is A) I lose the keys and am too lazy to contact the manufacturer about replacements; or B) a thief managed to successfully defeat the lock, destroying it in the process (which admittedly has only happened to me once).

  14. #14
    vol
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    After contacting OnGuard about the broken U lock, they asked me to send it back to them in order to get a replacement. Being that heavy, the shipping cost will not be worth it (shouldn't a photo suffice?!); besides, I can't trust OnGuard U lock any more. I just took another look at the broken barrel. The inside layer was plastic or plastic-like material, very brittle. Maybe that's how they made the lock relatively lightweight. Lesson learned: cheap and light = loss of quality.

  15. #15
    B A N N E D
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    Post some photos of this broken lock.

  16. #16
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    I haven't had to replace any due to failure. If I lose a key I get rid of it because if I lose the other key, it will take some time to cut the lock. And I don't want to mess with the police hassle if questioned cutting it
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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  17. #17
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tel0004 View Post
    If you use the sheldon brown locking technique, you can get by with a smaller U lock.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html
    I use his idea sometimes, that is:

    locktechnique1.jpg

    He says:

    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. It is indeed possible to cut the rim with a hacksaw, working from the outside to the inside, but first, the tire must be removed or cut through. It would be a lot of work to steal a frame without a usable rear wheel, the most expensive part of a bike, after the frame.

    I just tried cutting through an old rim, and it took my six minutes with a not-so-sharp hacksaw and a vice. It's not easy but easier than cutting a U-Lock (I'm guessing).
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  18. #18
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    I use his idea sometimes, that is:

    locktechnique1.jpg

    He says:

    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. It is indeed possible to cut the rim with a hacksaw, working from the outside to the inside, but first, the tire must be removed or cut through. It would be a lot of work to steal a frame without a usable rear wheel, the most expensive part of a bike, after the frame.

    I just tried cutting through an old rim, and it took my six minutes with a not-so-sharp hacksaw and a vice. It's not easy but easier than cutting a U-Lock (I'm guessing).
    Battery powered mini grinder... cuts through rim and tire in under a minute.... U-lock in under 3

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  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    Not a fan of Sheldon's lock technique, at all.
    There is at least one U-Tube video showing someone going through a mtb tire and rim in like thirty seconds with a standard muscle powered hacksaw.
    When he developed his theory, the compact hacksaw was the preferred tool of the bike thief (cheap and easily 'tossed', if 5-0h starts sniffing too close).
    In today's economy of cheap imports, Bolt Cutters, have replaced the hacksaw as the "go to" weapon of choice in the thief's arsenal. A small set of cutters can easily be concealed along a forearm under the sleeve of the ubiquitous 'Hoody', larger cutters can be carried inside 'lowrider' baggie jeans, snipping thru rim and tire in under 20 seconds, in near complete silence (especially when compared to any power tools).
    As far as destroying the rear wheel, again, I feel that Sheldon's advice is showing it's age.
    My experience in Downtown L.A. over the years has shown me that thieves have No Problem using the before mentioned cutters to snip even 'Armored' Cable Locks, freeing the rear wheel of some other victim's bike.

    I very much Prefer a modified Sheldon lock up, where by I 'capture' at least one of the seat or chainstays inside the u-lock,along with the rear wheel and anchor object. The prospect of cutting through chainstay or seatstay destroying the frame as well as the rear wheel absolutely stops all but the most hardcore thief.
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  20. #20
    vol
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobba View Post
    Post some photos of this broken lock.
    Pictures:

    onguard1.jpg onguard2.jpg

    See the broken plastic layers?

    Whaddya think? Is Kryptonite different?

    P.S. Not only the internal layer is plastic, but the external shell (the two halves in the pictures) is plastic, too. The only metal parts are the core (bottom of the pictures) and the "U" shackle, and the sliver keyhole cover.
    Last edited by vol; 05-11-13 at 08:55 PM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member 009jim's Avatar
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    When you buy something, be very suspicious of it's quality if the name sounds like your expectations for the item. For example, I wouldn't buy a car made by a company called "Rocket" nor would I buy a lock made by a company called "Bulldog". However, I note that this form of marketing does work extremely well on a great many people. I do however make exceptions when there is abundant concrete evidence that the product is high quality despite the childish name. My U-lock is an ABUS.

  22. #22
    B A N N E D
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    Looks like you're not the only one it's happened to.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jef/8508977156/

  23. #23
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    i had an on guard lock a few years ago
    the cheap plastic carrying bracket broke and the lock fell out while riding
    and it got run over by all three axles of an articulated city bus
    and it still worked after although not as smoothly
    it eventually got very sticky and difficult to open
    so i stopped using it

    edit:

    i am confused by the failure of the lock

    the pictures seem to show a plastic cover and a metal sleeve
    and metal shackle and locking mechanism

    the plastic was just a cover for looks and maybe to keep rain off
    and the metal shackle and lock mech are capable of locking the bike with exactly the same security as when it was brand new
    unless i am missing something

    also maybe it broke because someone was trying to break it while it was locked
    Last edited by Wilfred Laurier; 05-12-13 at 12:56 PM.

  24. #24
    vol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
    i am confused by the failure of the lock

    the pictures seem to show a plastic cover and a metal sleeve
    and metal shackle and locking mechanism

    the plastic was just a cover for looks and maybe to keep rain off
    and the metal shackle and lock mech are capable of locking the bike with exactly the same security as when it was brand new
    unless i am missing something

    also maybe it broke because someone was trying to break it while it was locked
    I was going to leave work and unlocked the lock. As I I was going to close the lock I felt the barrel loose, and easily pulled it apart. I tried to put it back together without success, because the broken plastics couldn't be put back to the original positions. (Even if I could, I wouldn't want to risk it being unable to be unlocked due to the damage.) No, never a sign anyone tried to break it, and unlikely for all I know. It's either due to the few times (no more than 5 in 2 years) it was dropped on the floor, or when the bike went on bumping road (very rarely, as I only ride on city's asphalt streets). I took good care of it. As you can see the lock still look pretty new, compared to the other one linked by cobba above.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    I was going to leave work and unlocked the lock. As I I was going to close the lock I felt the barrel loose, and easily pulled it apart. I tried to put it back together without success, because the broken plastics couldn't be put back to the original positions. (Even if I could, I wouldn't want to risk it being unable to be unlocked due to the damage.) No, never a sign anyone tried to break it, and unlikely for all I know. It's either due to the few times (no more than 5 in 2 years) it was dropped on the floor, or when the bike went on bumping road (very rarely, as I only ride on city's asphalt streets). I took good care of it. As you can see the lock still look pretty new, compared to the other one linked by cobba above.
    my confusion was about the question of whether or not the lock still locks

    the plastic cover was obviously not a structural part of the lock
    and the lock likely is just as secure without the plastic as with the plastic
    if it still functions as it is supposed to

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