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Keyless bike locks? Skylock or Bitlock?

Old 10-28-15, 01:02 AM
  #1  
cobanja
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Keyless bike locks? Skylock or Bitlock?

Hi guys!
I'm new at this, and I am doing the small research before purchasing about new types of locks?
I've read some threads here about keyless technologies, but I'm still uncertain about them...
What does someone think about Skylock or Bitlock. They are "a bit" expensive (around 220NZD), but manufacturers promise almost unbreakable system? What do you think? Has someone got this locks here?
I'm worrying, because almost each my trip I see some notices, like these (on images).
Thanks for any help guys!
https://ogeo.azurewebsites.net/assets...2012-35-47.JPG
https://ogeo.azurewebsites.net/assets/img/IMAG0008.jpg
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Old 10-28-15, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by cobanja View Post
Hi guys!
I'm new at this, and I am doing the small research before purchasing about new types of locks?
I've read some threads here about keyless technologies, but I'm still uncertain about them...
What does someone think about Skylock or Bitlock. They are "a bit" expensive (around 220NZD),
but manufacturers promise almost unbreakable system? What do you think? Has someone got this locks here?
I'm worrying, because almost each my trip I see some notices, like these (on images).
Thanks for any help guys!
https://ogeo.azurewebsites.net/assets...2012-35-47.JPG
https://ogeo.azurewebsites.net/assets/img/IMAG0008.jpg
There's nothing "unbreakable" here. Their locks can be physically defeated like any other U-lock, and probably hacked into as well. Car keyless locks and ignition are vulnerable to hacking, and I have no reason to believe the locks you mentioned are fundamentally any better in that regard. Electrical lock/unlock feature makes the mechanism more complicated, and battery dependend.

If it were me, I'd buy a high quality normal U-lock from Kryptonite or Abus. They lack the coolness, but they're as solid as U-locks come these days.

--J
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Old 10-28-15, 06:54 AM
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IMO, those locks are rubbish. There is no reason to go from analog to digital when it comes to bike locks. I don't want to depend on bluetooth in order to unlock my bicycle. The wimpy alarms most of those types of locks carry are silly sounding and wouldn't really do much to deter theft. They have an option of letting you send other people an access key to unlock your bike for you - who even shares their bikes with random people?

Do yourself a favor and save some money and just get a tried and true heavy duty ulock from a proven brand.
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Old 10-28-15, 07:33 AM
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Here you go: Bulldog Combo STD #8010C ? OnGuard Bicycle and Motorcycle Locks

Keyless, and under $40 USD.
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Old 10-28-15, 07:45 AM
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i would only trust abus or kryptonite. Look into ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 or KRYPTONITE New York U-Lock.
I personally think abus is better
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Old 10-28-15, 02:53 PM
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But, what if that is not Bluetooth, but, for example, NFC? Those devices can stand up to half of year without recharging, huh... Some locks, by the way, have kinda code protected system, when you tap some combination on button there (without even using phone) - these locks are not Sky or Bit, I've just seen those models before. I'm just too lazy to take the key with me
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Old 10-28-15, 02:56 PM
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Here you go: Bulldog Combo STD #8010C ? OnGuard Bicycle and Motorcycle Locks

Keyless, and under $40 USD.
This one is good idea... Unless you forget the code)) By the way, what should I do, if I forget the code??
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Old 10-28-15, 03:18 PM
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Well, I've just looked at the bikes, which are parked near the second notice (second image), and some of them have Cryptonite, some of them have bulldogs, but the problem is still there. Maybe someone has got some experience with those "rubbish" keyless E-locks, or maybe there is some statistics for looking up. As you see on images, there is a big problem here(
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Old 10-28-15, 03:28 PM
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+1, Combination locks don't require a Key. Get a Code Tat .. like Auschwitz prisoners did..

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-30-15 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 10-28-15, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by cobanja View Post
This one is good idea... Unless you forget the code)) By the way, what should I do, if I forget the code??
You set the code to what you want when you get the lock. They will show you at the local bike shop if needed. I have the one I posted, and they showed me how to set my own combination. You won't forget it. Use your ATM pin if needed. Last 4 of social security number. Last 4 of phone number. It is easy to find one to use.
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Old 10-29-15, 07:51 PM
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I suppose, no one has the keyless lock, or at least some experience with them...
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Old 10-29-15, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by cobanja View Post
I suppose, no one has the keyless lock, or at least some experience with them...
You can be the first!

Myself, I've used combination locks for 40+ years. This thing doesn't solve a problem.
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Old 10-29-15, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by cobanja View Post
but manufacturers promise almost unbreakable system? What do you think? Has someone got this locks here?

Just read this article saying that 74% of stolen vehicles in France were stolen via electronic devices and that old techniques are losing momentum.
En France, 300 voitures sont volées chaque jour

Should give you a hint of things to come.
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Old 10-30-15, 09:46 AM
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Saw a kickstarter ad for one of those elocks, which is unlocked by using a cell phone app.

What problem is this idea trying to solve? I've already got 25 other keys on the same key ring (not quite), relieving the burden of one key does not help.

So the idea is to pull out my phone, start the app, hit the unlock button, and wait for the crappy signal to carry? How is that any more convenient than reaching for a key which is hanging off my back pack? And what about when it's pouring down rain (don't use a case...gave up on them when my son destroyed a lifeproof)?

Gimmick.
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Old 10-30-15, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by cobanja View Post
I suppose, no one has the keyless lock, or at least some experience with them...

Kickstarter campaigns funding these widgets is because regular Bank Loans and even "Shark Tank" wouldn't back them..

Got a Blog with enough Followers, or write for a Magazine? Maybe the company will let you review One ..

Then try to replicate a Thief Trying to defeat it, not admiring its Tech Hipness..
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Old 10-30-15, 12:42 PM
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I think these locks look great and I'd buy a Skylock. Anytime I can get rid of a key is a good day for me. I also like that it locks both sides of the shackle not just one like most current U locks. Right now, I think the price is too high, but if/when that comes down, this would be great. I also think the tamper warning - while not fool proof - is a benefit.

One of my problems is trying to keep a family of four in keyed alike locks. This would solve that.

J.
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Old 10-30-15, 01:51 PM
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The biggest problem of these locks is that they are adding weaknesses above those already there by the fact there is no need of physical contact to actually defeat them. A thief with a hacking device in his/her pocket may stay unnoticed until the lock is defeated. Which also means that an embedded alarm could be useless if the alarm is using the same system.
This compared to conventional locks where as soon as a thief starts working on a lock there is no doubt about his/her intentions (or nearly)
In the article about car theft, the electronic strategy was prefer to previous techniques because it was stealthier and quicker.
En France, 300 voitures sont volées chaque jour

Also key locks have become good enough (since the bic pen period) that picking locks is painful according to some reviews.
https://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/a...-chains-44996/

Electronic locks on the contrary....
This Hacker's Tiny Device Unlocks Cars And Opens Garages | WIRED
Electronic High-Security Locks Easily Defeated at DefCon | WIRED

One of the pro of these electronic locks i see regarding theft protection is about the jamming-the-locking-mechanism-then-coming-back-later-to-finish-the-job strategy.

Last edited by erig007; 10-30-15 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 10-30-15, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
The biggest problem of these locks is that they are adding weaknesses above those already there by the fact there is no need of physical contact to actually defeat them. A thief with a hacking device in his/her pocket may stay unnoticed until the lock is defeated. Which also means that an embedded alarm could be useless if the alarm is using the same system.
This compared to conventional locks where as soon as a thief starts working on a lock there is no doubt about his/her intentions.
In the article about car theft, the electronic strategy was prefer to previous techniques because it was stealthier and quicker.
En France, 300 voitures sont volées chaque jour

Also key locks have become good enough (since the bic pen period) that picking locks is painful according to some reviews, some locks are virtually unpickable.
The best bike locks and chains - BikeRadar

Electronic locks on the contrary....
This Hacker's Tiny Device Unlocks Cars And Opens Garages | WIRED
Electronic High-Security Locks Easily Defeated at DefCon | WIRED

One of the pro of these electronic locks i see regarding theft protection is about the jamming-the-locking-mechanism-then-coming-back-later-to-finish-the-job strategy.

All you need to do is look at the youtube videos of people defeating any lock you can think of - all with relative ease and all within a minute or so. None of these locks are going to protect your bike from a determined and skilled thief. Some are better than others, but in the end, it's going to be if your bike is more inconvenient to steal than the one next to it. A good protection is to lock your bike next to somebody who doesn't know how to do it correctly and use a good lock.

Net of all of that is that I don't think it really matters and these locks will supply equal or better security to the standard keyed U lock.

J.
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Old 10-30-15, 02:04 PM
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I still fail to see how an electronic lock would perform any better than a key or combination lock, and why I should spend more money for something I have to use my cell phone for, which may or may not be out of juice at the time, or lost, or stolen, or left at home. Most modern, reputable U-locks also lock on both sides.
What happens when your lock's battery dies bc you forgot to charge it....if it has a combination then why even bother with the electronic portion?
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Old 10-30-15, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
All you need to do is look at the youtube videos of people defeating any lock you can think of - all with relative ease and all within a minute or so. None of these locks are going to protect your bike from a determined and skilled thief. Some are better than others, but in the end, it's going to be if your bike is more inconvenient to steal than the one next to it. A good protection is to lock your bike next to somebody who doesn't know how to do it correctly and use a good lock.

Net of all of that is that I don't think it really matters and these locks will supply equal or better security to the standard keyed U lock.

J.
That's exactly what electronic will do. It will make defeating it very easy. On a physical aspect it seems that there is no big difference between the strongman ulock and the skylock but on the former you would need to bring tools (probably a portable grinder which is big, heavy and require noisy work for about 1min and that put the thief at risk of being caught doing so) on the later lock you would just need to get near the lock with the hacking device in your pocket. What do you think is the easiest to do?

Last edited by erig007; 10-30-15 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 10-30-15, 02:21 PM
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1. I think it's a stupid idea.
2. I've been wrong before.
3. I have three locks on my commuter - one has a flat key, one has a cylinder key, and one has a rotary combo.
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Old 10-30-15, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
That's exactly what electronic will do. It will make defeating it very easy. On a physical aspect it seems that there is no big difference between the strongman ulock and the skylock but on the former you would need to bring tools (probably a portable grinder which is big, heavy and require noisy work for about 1min and that put the thief at risk of being caught doing so) on the later lock you would just need to get near the lock with the hacking device in your pocket. What do you think is the easiest to do?

No, if and until it's hacked. until then it's safer.

I'd also say that the majority of bike thieves are not sophisticated. Most of them (at least in the urban venue where it's an issue for us) tend to be doing it for the drug money. They don't have the patience or time to figure out hacking. In point of fact, that's just plain funny. Now the serious hackers who are bike thieves - nothing is going to stop them including any of the top flight locks by any manufacturer if they want your bike. These are not your usual thieves.

I'm pretty confident in saying that ultimately I'd bet there is no difference between the two locks in practice in terms of relative theft rates when all is said and done. Most of the thefts are a lot more due to improper locking than to defeating the lock, not even close. My kids have had their bikes for a combined total of 7 years around a major urban university where bike theft is epidemic and at least 4 of those years where the bikes are out 24/7. Far and away the reason bikes get ripped off is a poor locking job in general, less to the quality of the lock. And it's easy to verify because all you need to do is walk around and look at the bike carcasses remaining (or wheels) or bikes without parts etc... A decent lock, pitlocks, and locking in areas where other bikes are not locked properly has been a winner for us. No issues and have even had bikes stolen from right alongside my kid's bikes. Our bikes are actually pretty nice bikes - racing bikes from the 1980s with handbuilt wheels etc.... We have a lot of experience at this.

So I think these are just fine and no worse (and probably better in many respects) than the other good locks out there - all of which can be defeated by dedicated thieves in short order. And if that happens? That's what insurance is for.

J.
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Old 10-30-15, 03:52 PM
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The Keys to Open the Better Bike locks are more complicated than the one to open the front Door, to my House .
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Old 10-30-15, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
No, if and until it's hacked. until then it's safer.

I'd also say that the majority of bike thieves are not sophisticated. Most of them (at least in the urban venue where it's an issue for us) tend to be doing it for the drug money. They don't have the patience or time to figure out hacking. In point of fact, that's just plain funny. Now the serious hackers who are bike thieves - nothing is going to stop them including any of the top flight locks by any manufacturer if they want your bike. These are not your usual thieves.

I'm pretty confident in saying that ultimately I'd bet there is no difference between the two locks in practice in terms of relative theft rates when all is said and done. Most of the thefts are a lot more due to improper locking than to defeating the lock, not even close. My kids have had their bikes for a combined total of 7 years around a major urban university where bike theft is epidemic and at least 4 of those years where the bikes are out 24/7. Far and away the reason bikes get ripped off is a poor locking job in general, less to the quality of the lock. And it's easy to verify because all you need to do is walk around and look at the bike carcasses remaining (or wheels) or bikes without parts etc... A decent lock, pitlocks, and locking in areas where other bikes are not locked properly has been a winner for us. No issues and have even had bikes stolen from right alongside my kid's bikes. Our bikes are actually pretty nice bikes - racing bikes from the 1980s with handbuilt wheels etc.... We have a lot of experience at this.

So I think these are just fine and no worse (and probably better in many respects) than the other good locks out there - all of which can be defeated by dedicated thieves in short order. And if that happens? That's what insurance is for.

J.
And then 74% of stolen vehicles in France are stolen using electronic devices. And it's not just in France by the way this wave of thefts via electronic devices is happening as well in UK, in US... Should be what to expect when electronic ulocks will arrive in big enough number.
Here for instance in Los Angeles
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/16/st...eves.html?_r=0

Also from the article above (the most plausible answer) it's not about figuring how to hack something but just about buying the proper device and using it. That anyone can do that.

Last edited by erig007; 10-30-15 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 10-30-15, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Juha View Post
If it were me, I'd buy a high quality normal U-lock from Kryptonite or Abus. They lack the coolness, but they're as solid as U-locks come these days.

--J
Originally Posted by bmthom.gis View Post
Do yourself a favor and save some money and just get a tried and true heavy duty ulock from a proven brand.
Originally Posted by magomaev View Post
i would only trust abus or kryptonite. Look into ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 or KRYPTONITE New York U-Lock.
U-Locks can be defeated the same as any lock.

https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...ocus-bike.html


Honestly I'd be fine with some kind of NFC lock (where you have to hold the "key" near it to unlock it). There'd be no lock to pick and no long-range wireless signal to intercept. The only thing you'd have to worry about is the battery (which should last a super long time as NFC uses barely any power).
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