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Help! My bike lock is stuck!!

Old 09-15-11, 07:10 PM
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Help! My bike lock is stuck!!

This is not exactly "bike mechanics", but it is mechanical, and I thought you guys would know what to do. I have a cable lock with a four number combination. It is locked to my bike and my backrack on the back of my car right now. I put it on last night in not so great light, and I only got the pin in as far as the 3rd tumbler. It locked there, and now won't unlock. I tried lining up the correct numbers, and the pin won't come out, and neither will it go back in. I checked YouTube and there are dozens of great videos there for opening a bike lock like this, but they assume that the pin of the lock is completely into the lock - past all four tumblers. Do you have an idea how I can get this lock open without cutting it off?

Thanks
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Old 09-15-11, 07:43 PM
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Take a hammer to the combination lock or a hack saw to the cable and buy a better locking system!
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Old 09-15-11, 07:43 PM
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Try to drip some lube between the digits and into the gaps?

When it doubt use a hammer (to perhaps "unstick" it)?
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Old 09-15-11, 07:46 PM
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You might as well cut it off since you won't be able to trust it ever again. Use a cable cutter or diagonal pliers to nibble at the strands a few at a time, or use a hacksaw at the swage.
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Old 09-15-11, 08:31 PM
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Maybe I did not explain this very well. The locking mechanism has worked well. I have used it for a long time. It locks and unlocks easily. What happened was, I did not push the pin all the way into the locking mechanism before turning the tumblers because the light was bad and I could not see what I was doing. Somehow without it seating all the way into the locking mechanism, to lock it, i messed up how it unlocks. I would rather not destroy the lock or the cable, I just thought someone would know how the locking mechanism works better than I do, and might have a suggestion for unlocking it; not for destroying it.
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Old 09-15-11, 08:34 PM
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Yeah, side cutters or pliers should be able to go through that in no time...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7HbM...eature=related
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Old 09-16-11, 04:37 AM
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The numbers are based on the pin position so you can ignore the number wheel that is not engaged on a pin. Enter the number that would have been used for the first wheel on the second wheel, then the one that would have been second on the third, etc. For example if your code was 3456 you can ignore the first number and enter X345. That should line up the outside three wheels with the corresponding pins and release the lock. This assumes that the lock bolt engages the lock from the right. If the bolt engages the lock from the left, shift the numbers left as in 456X.

X = the unengaged wheel that you can ignore (doesn't matter what number it is set to)

Last edited by Myosmith; 09-16-11 at 04:41 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old 09-16-11, 07:25 AM
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Wreader, do you know the make and model of the lock?
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Old 09-16-11, 07:52 AM
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Thank you Myo. That makes sense, now. That is exactly what I was looking for. I will give this a try.
ecnewell.. I do not, but if I don't get it open quickly, I will look at it and let you know.

Thanks.
:-)
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Old 09-16-11, 08:53 AM
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You need a BABC.















Big A$$ Bolt Cutter
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Old 09-16-11, 09:13 AM
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c'mon... all you greenies advocating trashing something without trying to fix it! For shame! :-)
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Old 09-16-11, 09:28 AM
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Without proper information how can anyone recommend a fix? could you post a photo of lock and tumbler? Also I would assume that since it has been locked on your car for two days now that it is more important to remove it than to save a cheap lock, and yes I can say a cheap lock since is a cable lock that is a number locking system instead of a key lock with chain.
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Old 09-16-11, 10:16 AM
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I think Myosmith solution sounds good and the only thing I can think of if that don’t work is that your lock was the type that lets you pick the number. They have a ring that lets you turn the numbers with the lock open, the lock comes set to 0000. if with it not fully in the slot I'm not sure but that ring could be turned to let the number change. I would have to look at mine and see if that’s possible. Hopefully his fix works.
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Old 09-16-11, 10:19 AM
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Well, I tried Myo's suggestion. Since the lock is sort of upside down and at a bad position to see. I have to sort of squat a little and pull the cable away from the rack in order to see the numbers... I tried a few times, and then gave up. The weak part of this lock is not the metal cable, it is the locking mechanism, so I put a pipe wrench on one side and an adjustable crescent on the other and turned them in opposite directions and the pin broke like it was made of butter (well, almost). It was surprisingly flimsy considering the heft of the lock and the heft of the cable. :-(
So my next question is; what is a good lock? I see the u-shaped metal locks have a couple thousand videos on YouTube about picking them. Some have a star-shaped key, some have a round key. There are hundreds or thousands about picking these ones with the four number combination. Everybody but me seems to be able to open one in less than a minute. Endless streams about picking a keyed lock with next to nothing - like parts of a pen mainly. The locks with little round keys - like coke machine keys seems to be extremely easy to open. I can even open a regular padlock in about ten minutes without the combination. Is there a lock out there that will protect my bike? From what I am seeing on YouTube, and what I just discovered here in my own driveway; it is not the cable or the chain or whatever that is the weak link; it's the locking mechanism.
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Old 09-16-11, 11:00 AM
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"So my next question is; what is a good lock?"

A big chain and a big padlock. BIG.

From what I've read, the chain on Kryptonite's NY Lock is extremely difficult to cut without an acetylene torch, which most common thieves aren't going to carry around. The locks, however, are pathetically easy to pick with just a Bic pen. I think a very thick-gauge Master lock would be better--it too can be picked, but the tools aren't as easy to come by. I would go with that chain and lock combo. Unfortunately, if a talented and well-equipped thief wants your bike badly enough, there isn't anything that can stand in the way.
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Old 09-16-11, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by ecnewell View Post
"So my next question is; what is a good lock?"

A big chain and a big padlock. BIG.

From what I've read, the chain on Kryptonite's NY Lock is extremely difficult to cut without an acetylene torch, which most common thieves aren't going to carry around. The locks, however, are pathetically easy to pick with just a Bic pen. ....Unfortunately, if a talented and well-equipped thief wants your bike badly enough, there isn't anything that can stand in the way.
Two falsehoods and a truth.

First of all no chain is difficult to cut with an acetylene torch, and the Kryptonite chain's high carbon content actually makes it a bit easier (at least you get a cleaner cut), but any thief using a gas cutter will go through a chain or lock in seconds.

Second, Kryptonite abandoned the Bic vulnerable tubular keyway years ago (2004 or 5) and recalled and replaced all those locks, so there's no longer any truth to the mythic Bic method.

The last unfortunately true. There is no thief proof method so security short of tying a big dog to the bike. It's more a matter of having more security than others so the thief can move to easier pickings. If everybody uses cables U-locks are very secure, but if everybody uses U-locks it's a level playing field again.
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Old 09-16-11, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Wreader View Post
c'mon... all you greenies advocating trashing something without trying to fix it! For shame! :-)
Well, hire a damn lock smith and don't bother us next time! Only kidding, but greenies? Really!
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Old 09-16-11, 08:15 PM
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Well, maybe that was an overstatement, Cyclomania.... I have seen some pretty radical sig lines on the forums, but now that you mention it, not on this thread, so I apologize.
I really wanted to fix it and not throw it away. I hate throwing stuff away, especially when I break it by doing something stupid to it myself. ;-(
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Old 09-16-11, 08:21 PM
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I really don't need a lock that will keep the bike safe from multiple well-armed, determined thieves. My bike is not worth that much, and I live in a very safe area. I just need something to lock it to a parking meter when I run in for a coffee or when I leave it on the car rack to go into the grocery on the way home from a ride. Just something, so that it is not an easy target.I had one of those big "U" shaped locks once upon a time.... like 20 years ago. Wonder if it is still around somewhere..... . The problem with a big lock is, where do you put it on the bike while you are riding? I seem to remember a little gadget that holds the "U" shaped lock under the seat, clamped to the seat post.
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Old 09-16-11, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Two falsehoods and a truth.

First of all no chain is difficult to cut with an acetylene torch, and the Kryptonite chain's high carbon content actually makes it a bit easier (at least you get a cleaner cut), but any thief using a gas cutter will go through a chain or lock in seconds.

Second, Kryptonite abandoned the Bic vulnerable tubular keyway years ago (2004 or 5) and recalled and replaced all those locks, so there's no longer any truth to the mythic Bic method.

The last unfortunately true. There is no thief proof method so security short of tying a big dog to the bike. It's more a matter of having more security than others so the thief can move to easier pickings. If everybody uses cables U-locks are very secure, but if everybody uses U-locks it's a level playing field again.
Actually what car repo guys do when a car is being protected by a dog, is simply throw the dog some meat laced with a sleeping agent, when the dog goes to sleep the car is taken. Dogs are stupid that way.

Here's the best site I found on how to properly lock a bike using a U Lock: https://www.missinglink.org/page/how-lock-bike But then to add to that, I would add a second lock made of a different material because then the thief would have to have two separate tools to defeat both locks, he's just move on to a bike requiring just one tool. A armored cable with lock would work, like from Master lock Quantum 30, or the OnGuard Rottweiler 5023 would serve that purpose. Then take the cable and hook it too exactly the same way the U-bolt is used around both tires, frame, and stationary object.

If your just locking the bike to a bike rack on your car then just get the one of the mentioned cable locks since a U-bolt won't work for that anyways.

But any lock can be defeated either by tools of destruction (especially battery powered angle grinders will make mince meat of any lock in less then a minute), or by a lock picker which are slowly becoming more popular in big cities, and no lock is pick proof if the thief as practiced on it. so if your worried about parking the bike somewhere only to find it gone when you come back then buy a beater and park and lock it instead. With a beater you can buy cheaper locks as well. Kind of like spending $350 on superior locks to protect a $2,000 bike, or buy $65 worth of ok locks to protect a $150 dollar bike...which is cheaper? Which bike would you rather lose?

Last edited by rekmeyata; 09-16-11 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 09-18-11, 11:37 PM
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rekmeyata is right on the money. I've seen thick u-locks get cut through like butter with a blow torch (the guy's key broke off in it). So, if someone wants your bike bad enough, then they're going to have it. The most you can do is make theft so inconvenient that it isn't worth the time. Multiple u-locks, cables, chains, padlocks, remove the front wheel and seat, etc etc.

My bike is only worth around $30, hence I don't bother with much security. I've only used a flimsy cable lock for years in a high theft area and it's never disappeared (probably because thieves realize it's a POS bike). OTOH if I had a $3000 custom carbon fiber race bike, I'd invest in significantly more security.
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Old 09-19-11, 08:48 AM
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If you live in a low-crime area and don't have a very expensive bike, I'd recommend an OnGuard U lock. They sell for under $30 and are very strong. Get the smallest size that will fit over your bike and a parking meter--this will make it difficult for a thief to fit a pry bar in there to open the lock with force. These locks don't test well against power tools, but it doesn't sound like most thieves in your area will have them.

I'd advise against a cable lock. These can be clipped with bolt cutters, which are commonly carried by bike thieves everywhere.

There are a lot of resources online with lock reviews, where magazines like Consumer Reports have timed how long it takes thieves to break all different kinds of locks with all different kinds of tools. Here's one: https://www.consumersearch.com/bicycl...est-bike-locks Since all locks are breakable/pickable, your best bet is to make thief take more time than he is willing to commit (balanced with your budget and the amount of extra weight you're willing to carry around).
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Old 09-21-11, 11:10 AM
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Disturbing Trend

There is a disturbing trend emerging in a nearby city (which was named one of the Top 10 bike friendly cities in the US). Bike theft is up with the local college being a big target (no surprise) but with the increase in theft, bike security is on the rise and a lot of big U-locks and cables or both are showing up. The disturbing part is that if thieves can't easily steal the bike, they badly vandalize it as if to punish the owner for thwarting them. Cut tires, cables, spokes, and chains, smashed rims, stolen seatposts, etc. The U-locks themselves are being used as leverage points to help bend or crack the frames. In just a minute, a POed wannabe thief can destroy a bike beyond repair leaving the locks intact.
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Old 09-21-11, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
There is a disturbing trend emerging in a nearby city (which was named one of the Top 10 bike friendly cities in the US). Bike theft is up with the local college being a big target (no surprise) but with the increase in theft, bike security is on the rise and a lot of big U-locks and cables or both are showing up. The disturbing part is that if thieves can't easily steal the bike, they badly vandalize it as if to punish the owner for thwarting them. Cut tires, cables, spokes, and chains, smashed rims, stolen seatposts, etc. The U-locks themselves are being used as leverage points to help bend or crack the frames. In just a minute, a POed wannabe thief can destroy a bike beyond repair leaving the locks intact.
That's a wonderful trend! I know they also were stripping parts off bikes if they couldn't get the bike. But again all the reason to buy a beater and ride it to those places instead of a nicer bike.
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Old 08-02-17, 03:48 AM
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reset a stuck combination cable lock

No need for drastic hammering. In the dark it is easy to 'reset' the lock by mistake, as you rotate the numbers to lock it, because the pin is not fully inserted and by mistake you rotate the reset part. So, then the pin may not go in with your usual combination. To find the 'new 'combination' put the tip of the pin in and gently turn the tumbler numbers, one by one, from right to left, maintaining gentle pressure pushing the pin in, and you will feel the click as each number is found, and the pin will go in at each successful new number. Once you can slide the pin fully in and out of the 'new' number you can then reset it back to your original combination. Yay!
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