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Cable lock with combination or key lock?

Old 12-09-05, 09:17 AM
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BikeLite
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Cable lock with combination or key lock?

My lock combination will be the onguard bulldog mini plus the onguard doberman cable lock (key lock). On the cable locks do you prefer the combination or key locking mechanism?
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Old 12-09-05, 09:37 AM
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Combo, I always loose keys but only occasionally loose my mind.
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Old 05-28-10, 11:17 AM
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uciflylow
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I hate to resurect a post this old, BUT!

Last week someone hacked my combonation cable lock. I have read post after post of how they can be cut in a matter of seconds, but where I work isn't a crime zone so I thought it would be safe. To make a long story short my bike was thrown into the yard when I noticed it had been broken loose. On closer inspection it looked like the person had just pulled the top tube tight against the lock, given it a quick hard jerk and broken the inards of the combo lock! If you notice the key way that inserts into the locking body has shallow cuts in it and there are rings of steel or plastic that hold them in when set. These where stripped off the locking rings and keyway. I guess if it gives a little in each area it pops open! Now, I'm wondering if the key lock would be better myself?

I think the only reason the perp didn't ride it away was that I run eggbeater peddles and the fool couldn't ride it in plain sneakers. I can only hope he ruptured a testicle when he slipped off them! I am beginning to think I will use a small cable lock around the front wheel as well as a regular cable lock to deter the opportunist theif. Heck I have been looking at the Kryptonite New York Noose this has made me so paranoid!
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Old 05-28-10, 11:59 AM
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5 year old thread, that has got to be some kind of record. Should've just started a new one, but where's the fun in that?

I like key locks. I use a U-lock and a thick cable. The U-lock to lock a wheel and the frame to the rack, and the cable through the other wheel and my helmet. This stuff, I leave at the bike rack I use most often, so I don't have to carry the U-lock around.

I also have a big industrial grade padlock and another thick cable at home. That one, I use on the fly. For quick trips into stores and such.

I'm not sure what the concern is with cables. It seems to me that a bolt cutter wouldn't cut it, it would just smash it down. Not true? At any rate, I usually don't park for long in high crime areas, so the cable & padlock are fine for me.

I saw a youtube video that someone posted here a couple weeks ago where a NYC bike tech walked around critiquing locking techniques. I noticed a lot of the bikes in NYC have their seats chained to the bike frame too! That would really irk me, to have to resort to that. I would probably just get a cheap Huffy when it came to that point. Or use my folding bike a lot more often.
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Old 05-28-10, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by JeremyZ View Post
5 year old thread, that has got to be some kind of record. Should've just started a new one, but where's the fun in that?
Can anyone explain why contributing to an old thread is frowned upon? This seems to be a universal concept on most messages boards I've been on, and I've never quite understood why.
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Old 05-28-10, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by JeremyZ View Post
I'm not sure what the concern is with cables. It seems to me that a bolt cutter wouldn't cut it, it would just smash it down. Not true?
True, only because a bolt cutter is for cutting through solid round shape steel such as a bolt, the shackle on the lock or a link of a chain. To cut cable, they use cable cutter. The blade is different. The bolt cutter is made to smash the steel deforming and flattening it until it gives. A cable cutter is more like a sharp shear. It cut the fine strand of cable individually as force is applied until all strand are cut. Sort of like how a sissor can cut through a rope but cannot cut through a stick such as a chopstick of the same diameter as that rope. In reverse, you can use a hammer to smash through a chopstick but harder to smash through a rope.
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Old 05-28-10, 01:51 PM
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I like circular key locks, I find them quicker than trying to fumble with a combo version, especially on cold winter nights and in low light conditions.
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Old 05-28-10, 02:13 PM
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I will never again use a cable lock. 2 years ago I had a crappy $80 discount store bike chained outside my apartment for 1 day with a very solid cable lock. It was gone the next morning. Cable was still there, cut like it was nothing. My other, nicer bike U-locked to the same bike rack was never touched in 2.5 years of being locked there 24/7 (except when being ridden of course).
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Old 05-28-10, 02:40 PM
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alphas.... : That's good info, thanks.

dynodonn: When you say circular key lock, do you mean the key is cylindrical with dents cut out of its outside, or do you mean the key is tubular? Be careful if you have a tubular key type one; there was an issue a while ago in which they were quickly make obsolete with Bic pens. (search youtube for 'Kryptonite bic')

colleen c: Also good info, as usual. I didn't realize they made cutters just for big cables.

chandltp: I only mentioned it because the original topic was asking what type of locks folks prefer, and yours was more of an alert to avoid a certain type. Sometimes, it is frowned upon because the original post was a question from a member who is no longer active. (usually when a forum newbie discovers the search feature, but forgets to check the date before replying) Of course it is no big deal though. Carry on!
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Old 05-31-10, 04:30 AM
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The reason I resurected this thread? The origonal question was never realy answered and I was searching for the same answer. I bought a U lock and a large braded cable key lock. One problem I have is that there are no bike racks where I work and I have to tie to a tree outside the door! Cable cutters will indeed make short work of cutting, because that is what they are designed to do. I'm still looking at getting a noose type chain and leaving it on the tree at work. Maby this will prompt the administration to put in some real bike racks! I was just dumb founded at how easly the combonation lock was defeated with no tools of any kind and was wondering if the key lock mechenism would be a little more sturdy.
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Old 05-31-10, 08:42 AM
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Neither. Cable locks for themselves are pretty much useless. Instead take a good quality chain or u-lock. That's the correct answer.
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Old 05-31-10, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by JeremyZ View Post
I saw a youtube video that someone posted here a couple weeks ago where a NYC bike tech walked around critiquing locking techniques. I noticed a lot of the bikes in NYC have their seats chained to the bike frame too! That would really irk me, to have to resort to that. I would probably just get a cheap Huffy when it came to that point. Or use my folding bike a lot more often.
it's the way of things here. but if i am going to ride 30+ miles in the city i want to ride a good bike. but i don't worry about a cable through the seats, i just take my seat and post with me

in nyc i use a big kryptonite 3'3" chain around my front tire, bike rack and frame. then i use a mini kryptonite series 2 u-lock through my back tube and rear tire, then take the seat off. half the time we ride in the city it is 2-4 of us, so we don't even bring locks, just watch our bikes while 1 of us runs in to grab food, etc..
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Old 06-01-10, 03:52 PM
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Definitely a combination lock for me. I use all the same combination on all my combination locks so I only have to remember one combination (for most you can reset the combination to whatever you want). A cable lock just has a reputation for being so easy to cut, I see no point in the additional hassle of a key.

I only use a cable lock in 2 general situations -

1. Just to make sure someone doesn't walk off with it in 2 seconds. For example, I'm at a restaurant where I can see the bike (I don't live in NYC or something crazy like that). Or where I work, the bike rack is monitored by security guards and video and it's a good neighborhood - sometimes people leave their bikes unlocked on the stand, and other people use a cable lock with very expensive bikes. Or on group bike rides where other people often leave there bikes just sitting on the grass without a lock at all.

2. In conjunction with a ulock - say, to lock up the front wheel, but the frame is locked with a ulock. In this case, keeping track of 2 different keys for 2 different locks is a pita, I prefer the combination lock.

If you have a combination lock that someone was able to jerk open, it is entirely possible that the same level of key lock might be broken from the same action as well.
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Old 06-02-10, 06:41 AM
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I love the Master combination padlock. https://www.masterlock.com/apps/maste...tial/homeyard/

You can get it at home depot or Lowes.

I have a U-lock on the bike rack at work, which I leave there. I also have a long 9 foot cable combined with the combo padlock. When I go on evening rides with my wife and kid in the trailer I can cable through all three conveyances and lock them up together to an immovable object. Not necessarily high security, but way more expedient than trying to individually lock two bikes and a trailer.
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Old 06-02-10, 09:36 AM
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Lucky me, I get to park my bike in the cellar at work. I carry an onguard 6' thin cable combo lock
with a small light on it so I can unlock it in the dark.
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