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Thread: Which U-Lock?

  1. #1
    Mo' Senior SSSasky's Avatar
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    Which U-Lock?

    I want a new U-Lock. I currently have MasterLock Street Cuffs, which I like, but are wearing out, and MasterLock is not willing to address the "Bic-Pic" issue. So I want to switch back to a U-Lock.

    I've had a Kryptonite New York Chain, and it really just annoyed me, so I know I don't want a chain.

    I'm trying to decide between the Krypto New York 3000, and something in the Evolution series. It's for my small tubed fixie, if that makes any difference. What are you guys using? Thoughts? Are there other brands I should be looking at?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Jonnys ilegitimate Father cavernmech's Avatar
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    If you can find em Abus makes some sweet locks.made in Germany....very tough.

  3. #3
    Senior Member jacobs's Avatar
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    I rock one of these in pink. Couldn't be happier with it:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW

    They're cheap, they work, and oh yeah, they're cheap.

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    Senior Member jasonsan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacobs
    I rock one of these in pink. Couldn't be happier with it:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW

    They're cheap, they work, and oh yeah, they're cheap.
    Those look nice.............but, for ages 6 and up? That's funny. I've never seen a 6 year old carrying a mini u-lock in his/her pants pocket.

  5. #5
    Senior Member jacobs's Avatar
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    I've seen at least 2 other couriers in Boston who rock these. They're kinda weird just because the inside of the U is so narrow it won't fit around some bike racks/poles and such, but if you're just locking the wheel to the frame most of the time, or carry a krpyto-cable, they're perfect.

  6. #6
    Senior Member jacobs's Avatar
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    Also: I got mine from that ebay seller, and he's a good guy to buy from. He was real fast, and the $8 shipping is a steal, as the postage alone cost $7.85 on mine.

  7. #7
    BIG RING Bikeophile's Avatar
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    Are you saying that you can pick your cuffs with a bic? That's the first I have heard of that. Crappers!

    If you have any loyalty to Kryptonite after their whole fiasco, check out their 2005 locks...All very nice and bic proof.

    I ride with a STOCK lock and a mini krypto myself...

  8. #8
    Iguana Subsystem dolface's Avatar
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    i use and onguard mini with all the plastic crap on the lockbar busted off.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jacobs's Avatar
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    Also, I should mention that I tired unsuccesfully for 15 minutes to open my lock with a Bic.

  10. #10
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    The April issue of "Cycling Plus" included the results of their editors extensive/intensive tests of locks. One surprising result: some locks from "big name" suppliers are junk...they can be opened in a few seconds with simple portable tools.

    "Junk" U-locks often LOOK like a Kryptonite, but test results show that most brand "X", "Y" and "Z" U-locks are total jokes...and the joke is on the guy who buys one. The ONLY brands of U-locks widely sold in the USA that did consistently well in the CP test are Kryptonite and OnGuard (and "Magnum by OnGuard).

    The New York 3000 has obtained the highest ratings in tests by "Cycling Plus", "Sold Secure", and the ART Foundation. The Kryptonite New York 3000 is the best lock widely sold in the USA. Period. It beats even the best available chain lock, the Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit.

    What sets the New York 3000 apart from its best competitor (OnGuard) is the exceptional resistance to cutting attacks and attacks with power tools. No lock widely available in the USA matches its overall performance.

    However, some folks do not want, or need to carry a four pound lock. The two pound mini U-locks from OnGuard are just as strong as a New York 3000 against attacks by manual tools. A $25 OnGuard Bulldog Mini around the rear wheel and a parking meter post can not be defeated by manual tools. An OnGuard lock can be defeated by portable power tools, but attacks using power tools against "average" priced bikes are unheard of outside of New York City, and perhaps at a few large urban universities.

    How much of a "joke" are the U-locks other than those by OnGuard or Kryptonite? Some of them can be opened in just FIVE seconds using a simple, cheap tool. To claim that a "Brand X" U-lock provides "security" may be a form of consumer fraud.
    Last edited by alanbikehouston; 05-08-05 at 08:48 PM.

  11. #11
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    I recently bought a soma fabrications (prolly just soma-branded chinese steel) ulock. Flatish key, pretty much like the krypto mini, but about .75 inches longer in the shackle. Makes it slightly easier to go around oversized parking meters w/o being too big to fit in the pocket. Secure enough (so far) for bay area riding, but the first few days of use (at about 50 lockings/unlockings per day) were a bit tough...I think there were filings or burrs left in the tumblers...it's pretty smooth now, though.

  12. #12
    Senior Member pharnabazos's Avatar
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    I read the report on locks mentioned by alanbikehouston and bought both the Onguard Pitbull Mini and the Bulldog Doubleteam. Both are available from airbomb.com for about $20 each ($10 shipping) and I used a coupon code (TPM77) for a 10% discount. The mini is 1/2 the weight and it takes minimal effort to lock the front wheel and frame to a parking sign or railing. It's not really very hard to open and close the lock, even though it's harder than most other locks.

  13. #13
    ass hatchet slopvehicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacobs
    I rock one of these in pink. Couldn't be happier with it:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW

    They're cheap, they work, and oh yeah, they're cheap.
    flat keys, right?

  14. #14
    Mo' Senior SSSasky's Avatar
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    It doesn't look like a flat keyed lock - looks like it's probably a tubular tumbler at the end, but I could be wrong.

    I think I'm gonna try and find the Onguard Pitbull mini...

    Is 5.5" shackle enough to get around at least a frame tube and a traffic / meter pole for most people?

  15. #15
    Survival of the Fitest TheDL's Avatar
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    I used a OnGuard Mini-U with my old road frame, perfect size. With my current touring frame though the Mini-U shackle isn't wide enough. So I had to get a OnGuard Bulldog MTB Standard. In both cases I use a cable to secure the front wheel.
    ...take your protein pills and put your helmet on...
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDL
    I used a OnGuard Mini-U with my old road frame, perfect size. With my current touring frame though the Mini-U shackle isn't wide enough. So I had to get a OnGuard Bulldog MTB Standard. In both cases I use a cable to secure the front wheel.
    The lock should go around your rear wheel, just behind the seat tube, not around the frame. The OnGuard Mini will fit around even a mountain bike wheel and a post the size of the post on a parking meter. Buying a larger size lock and putting it around your frame leaves the rear wheel unsecured, and leaves empty space inside the "U" for crooks to insert their favorite leverage tool.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeophile
    Are you saying that you can pick your cuffs with a bic? That's the first I have heard of that. Crappers!

    If you have any loyalty to Kryptonite after their whole fiasco, check out their 2005 locks...All very nice and bic proof.

    I ride with a STOCK lock and a mini krypto myself...
    Just a note about the Kryptonite fiasco...

    Kryptonite does not make the lock cylinders. They buy them from elsewhere and assemble the locks. There are only a small handful of companies that make tubular locks, and as far as I know all of them are susceptible to impressioning attacks (the bic pen thing).

    The fact that Kryptonite went out of its way to replace the lock cores on all of their products despite the obvious financial hit shows that the company really cares about security. If anything, the whole fiasco just solidified my loyalty to Kryptonite because I know if anything should go wrong with my locks in the future, they will cover it.

  18. #18
    mmm...vegan pancakes
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    go yoshi. masterlock, and all the other companies didn't do anything about this. and like he said, it's not even just bike locks this can happen with. try it on a soda machine, the older ones have the barrel keys, and you can open those with them too. just be sure to fill out the warranty card with your new lock, and if anything should happen, you'll get reimbursed. unless of course you lock your bike to a pole with no top or something. but im definitly on the kryptonite bandwagon these days.

  19. #19
    Mo' Senior SSSasky's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone: I ordered the pitbull mini from Airbomb, with the coupon. I tried to buy it in Canada, but the Canadian importer doesn't bring in the pitbull mini for some reason. Mad props to Pharnabazos for the coupon code.

    Word.

  20. #20
    Happy Cycling HexagonSun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crusty_pedals
    unless of course you lock your bike to a pole with no top or something.
    oh, snap!

  21. #21
    Senior Member jacobs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSSasky
    It doesn't look like a flat keyed lock - looks like it's probably a tubular tumbler at the end, but I could be wrong.

    I think I'm gonna try and find the Onguard Pitbull mini...

    Is 5.5" shackle enough to get around at least a frame tube and a traffic / meter pole for most people?

    not a flat key. circle.

  22. #22
    Senior Member jacobs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HexagonSun
    oh, snap!
    Isn't that the Bob Jackson that got stolen and is on FGG and everything?

    If so, it's her own damn fault for locking to a parking meter with a chain.

  23. #23
    Survival of the Fitest TheDL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    The lock should go around your rear wheel, just behind the seat tube, not around the frame. The OnGuard Mini will fit around even a mountain bike wheel and a post the size of the post on a parking meter. Buying a larger size lock and putting it around your frame leaves the rear wheel unsecured, and leaves empty space inside the "U" for crooks to insert their favorite leverage tool.
    Yeah, I know. I did/do put the U through the rear wheel and around the seat tube. But when you got 18" long chainstays you need a wider U to get it around the seat tube as well.
    ...take your protein pills and put your helmet on...
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  24. #24
    hateful little monkey jim-bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDL
    Yeah, I know. I did/do put the U through the rear wheel and around the seat tube. But when you got 18" long chainstays you need a wider U to get it around the seat tube as well.
    Most of the time I don't bother locking through the seat tube. Sometimes I'll go around the rim/tire and one chainstay, but most of the time I just grab the rim/tire inside the stays and secure that to a meter.

    If they really want it, they'll have to destroy the rear wheel to get it, and none of my bikes are that appealing.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDL
    Yeah, I know. I did/do put the U through the rear wheel and around the seat tube. But when you got 18" long chainstays you need a wider U to get it around the seat tube as well.
    Why does it matter how long the chainstays are? The U-lock should not be "around the seat tube" or around the frame. The ONLY objects inside of the "U" shackles should be the rear wheel and the post of the parking meter. The frame and the seat tube should NOT be inside of the "U".

    The post on the parking meter sits up against the left chain stay, just behind the left crank. The U-lock is placed on the upper front of the rear wheel, about 19 inches or so off the ground, with the shackle running through the gap between the rear tire and BEHIND, not around, the seat tube.

    This technique allows you to use a "Mini" U-lock with any road bike tire, and any hybrid tire, and most mountain bike tires, with enough space remaining to go around a parking meter post. With a "Mini" lock, the result is a "snug" fit, with not enough space left open to insert "breaking" and leverage tools.

    The ONLY reason to use a U-lock larger than a "Mini" lock is if you have really beefy mountain bike tires, or if the available locking posts in your neighborhood are more than three inches wide. But, even then, a lock the size of the New York 3000 is plenty big (with a 4 inch by 8 inch opening).

    Those extra big U-locks with openings of 5 inches by 10 inches, or 5 inches by 12 inches are waay too big for safety...they leave empty space to insert a ten dollar tool that will break most U-locks in mere seconds.

    "Bike Locks for Dummies" by Sheldon Brown

    www.sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html

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