I mean, yeah, I've seen articles and videos where people have taken powertools to their U-locks and broken them or picked them in not too much time, but has anyone here ever had their U-lock broken or picked on the street by a thief? I'm curious because I've never heard of such a story despite the fact that I know it's not too hard to do.
I lost a bike in college that had a U-lock on it, got destroyed by a car jack or something that just split it open. Funny thing was I bought a dirt cheap junker to ride around campus but locked it up with my only lock, which happened to have cost me about 3 times as much as the bike.
I've always wanted to know this, too. Like OP, I know it can be done. But really, who walks around with a battery powered saw? The only thefts I know of are unlocked wheels, or when someone leaves their bike unlocked for a second while they go into a store or something.
The Bic pen thing works only for locks that have a circular keyhole.
I have seen a few severed U-Locks lately...
I also see dozens of bare frames locked to parking meters with U-Locks, where I suppose it was too much of a P.I.T.A. to saw through the lock?
I use u-locks... sometimes 2 of them + a Chain... That really just helps me with regard to my frame and wheels. Everything else can be removed in broad daylight by 7 foot tall men wearing nothing but utility belts and indian headdresses and noone will even look up from their iPhones to notice.