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Recent onguard experiences

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Recent onguard experiences

Old 01-22-09, 04:59 PM
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degnaw
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Recent onguard experiences

By searching the forums i've come across many horror stories of siezed locks and broken keys with onguard locks, but most of these date back two or more years - has anyone bought an onguard lock within the past year or so and had any problems?

Kryptonite locks seem to have much better support based on these same threads, but they're relatively expensive when compared to similar ones from onguard, especially since onguard U+cable combos (which look quite a bit like the bulldog combo, though it may be otherwise different) can be found at walmart for $15.
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Old 01-22-09, 06:04 PM
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I have actually had more of a problem with my Kryptonite U lock, than my Onguard padlock. The primary problem seems to be not inserting the key all the way in before trying to turn it (on both locks). So a little care by the rider can prevent such problems.
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Old 01-22-09, 06:12 PM
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People snicker when I say to use straight anti freeze for winter lock lubrication.

It really is an excellent product for a very specific application.....

When the weather gets nice again, rinse it out, and lube with light machine oil, or lock oil.

Back when I worked for a gas utility, we used it to lube locks on vaults, gates, under snow and ice, and never failed to have a lock open.
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Old 01-22-09, 06:49 PM
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I have one and have and have not had any problems. But I do not use it daily and I rarely lockup uncovered in the rain.

I could easily see breaking a key if you tried to muscle the lock into moving. They feel a bit flimsy but I do not have any concern with using mine.
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Old 01-22-09, 07:00 PM
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I bought one in August '08 so my experience is pretty recent. So far I love the lock. It's solid and strong, and has yet to seize, or fail in any way.

My only complaint is the dinky mounting thing that they supply with the lock. It sucked. I called OnGuard. That same day they sent me a brand new, previous-model lock with which the lady said they had more success. that one did work better. I just carry it in my pannier anyway these days.

But yeah, in my experience the locks are good quality and the CS is there to back it up.
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Old 01-22-09, 07:01 PM
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I have an older Brute ulock that gets used nearly every day and have not had any problems of it freezing up, but it does not get locked in the rain and doesn't get cold enough to freeze it.
I have used some wd40 to keep it smooth.

It does however have something rattling around inside it, but it has not affected it so far.


Scott.
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Old 01-22-09, 07:09 PM
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Onguard's parent company is Todson, same company that owns Topeak. I'd buy any of their products sight unseen any day of the week.
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Old 01-22-09, 07:33 PM
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I have two, a mini and regular sized u-lock, use one or the other depending on where I'm parking my bike. Never had a problem. Sometimes though, I have to rattle the key a bit to get it to work, it isn't exactly an easy lock (on either of them), but they aren't freezing up at all.

+1 for crappy bike mounts though, just Tuesday my mini came flying off the mount while I was going down the road. The other one, though, once it is locked into the mount, it ain't coming off without a lot of hassle.
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Old 01-23-09, 12:52 AM
  #9  
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My OnGuard mini (purchased summer of '08) is a PITA to use. So is my cheap Kyptonite. Both have to be fiddled with to use.

I bought the OnGuard thinking it would be lighter, but it's not, just smaller. I suppose it's harder to pry apart, but it is also harder to get around a pipe. Getting the crossbar on the shackle can be a problem, and then when you're past that, the lock mechanism can be tricky.
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Old 01-23-09, 01:10 AM
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I've had two of them freeze up on me, and one of them was nicely taken care of, lubed, and everything. I stopped buying On-Guard after that.
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Old 01-23-09, 10:03 AM
  #11  
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One of my locks is an OnGuard Mastiff. Has worked well for me so far, when paired w/ a cable lock. No mechanical probs, & I've left it out in inclement weather including freezing rain.
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Old 01-23-09, 11:11 AM
  #12  
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FWIW, the only OnGuard lock I own sucks. Don't know the model, but it's a combo cable lock. I used it VERY infrequently for less than a year (probably less than 10 uses), and the lock housing and mount all decided to disintegrate simultaneously. I will never buy another OnGuard product. Do yourself a favor and spring for the Kryptonite.
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Old 01-23-09, 12:54 PM
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Lots of negative opinions on this thread so I'd just thought I'd say I love my OnGuard Bulldog Mini.
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Old 01-23-09, 06:20 PM
  #14  
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I have an OnGuard Mini Bulldog combo and an Onguard Beast chain lock. Neither of them has given me any problems. Only once did the Beast need to be fiddled around with after being left locked overnight to the bike rack after it rained. I have only had the locks since September, so the time frame may be too short for full judgement.

The Beast has stayed locked to the bike rack for a few months now, only coming off when there are long weekends, and has not given me any problems being left out in the rain, sleet, snow, etc.
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Old 01-23-09, 11:10 PM
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Personal experience, I've found Kryptonite's CS top notch, so I always buy from them when possible.

I have both brands, and both have been good, however here in Texas the locks are not subjected to much in the way of temperature extremes. I do think Kryptonite's seem better made, but that is just me.

OnGuard does have some interesting pin tumbler keys on their low end cable locks. The cuts are on the side of the key similar to Mul-T-Lock keys, but without the telescoping pins. It doesn't affect pickability, but it does allow for more unique keys to be made, so less chance of one key opening someone else's lock.
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Old 01-24-09, 05:13 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by sk0tt View Post
I have an older Brute ulock that gets used nearly every day and have not had any problems of it freezing up, but it does not get locked in the rain and doesn't get cold enough to freeze it.
I have used some wd40 to keep it smooth.

It does however have something rattling around inside it, but it has not affected it so far.


Scott.
NO!! BAD!! Use lubricant specifically for locks, WD-40 evaporates too readily to give any lasting lubrication.

Also, some Kryptonite locks can be opened with nothing more than a Bic pen.
But as mlts22 seems to know, most locks exist only to keep honest people honest...

I can only advise that you make your bike less desirable than the next one on the rack (multiple locks are intimidating) and ask around. I've found a surprising number of businesses open to the idea of me leaving my bike in the mud-way.
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Old 01-24-09, 08:14 AM
  #17  
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Note the tag still on the Onguard Lock above and note the missing pin in the photo below. Have a look at this blog post. One of the folks that posted a comment had a Onguard u-lock fall apart in his hands as he was locking his bike. Not confidence inspiring!

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Old 01-24-09, 09:18 AM
  #18  
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My onguard ulock hasn't seized on me. However I only use it once a week or so and have only had it for 6 months. I'd hate to have it seize; it'd take hours to saw through that thing!
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Old 01-26-09, 09:32 AM
  #19  
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First On-Gaurd I had rusted shut as I leave my U-Lock on the bike rack here at work. Performance Bike swapped me out a new one, and I keep a gallon zip-lock over the hasp. 6 months later and it looks as good as the day I got it.

If you buy On-Gaurd, keep it protected against the elements and shoot a little light machine oil in there once in a while (4 times a year should be more than enough IMHO).
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Old 01-26-09, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Bezier View Post
Lots of negative opinions on this thread so I'd just thought I'd say I love my OnGuard Bulldog Mini.
+1. I have a Bulldog Mini and I'm very pleased with it. I also have an OnGuard Rottweiller shielded cable I'm happy with.
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Old 01-26-09, 02:58 PM
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First off, I am a locksmith. Have been for twelve years. I know exactly how all of these locks work.

NEVER use WD40 on any lock EVER for the purpose of lubrication. It is meant to be used as a water displacing cleaning agent. If your lock is seized, rusty, grimy, old, horribly gunked up........use WD40. spray, wait 5-15 minutes, whack with a mallet or deadblow hammer (or hammer if you don't mind scarring it up). Try your key. Repeat. Run the key in and out rapidly many times. Repeat these steps. If your lock still refuses to open, buy a new one.

Use any TEFLON based lubricant (tri-flow is what my industry uses, almost exclusively) on all locks for routine lubrication. These work better than anything out there, including 3-in-one oils, household oils, and machine oils. You should lubricate your locks at least 6 times a year. More often in bad weather, especially on bike locks which tend to get a lot of road particulates in them. Spray some tri flow into the keyway and on all other moving parts/surfaces. Run the key in and out, and turn back and forth several times to work the lubrication in. This will exponentially prolong the life of your locks.
Believe it.

I also use tri-flow to lube my chain frequently (almost daily). Just spray on, turn cranks or freewheel, wipe off. It is great stuff.

As to ON GUARD locks vs. KRYPTONITE.
I have seen more lock failures with the on guard brand than the kryptonite. In fact, I have never had a customer bring in a kryptonite lock that was broken in any way, only to have them removed from bikes, or keys made.
They function almost identically, and can be defeated in exactly the same ways. So neither is more secure than the other in my opinion. However, the kryptonite brand locks DO SEEM to be built quite a bit more robustly, with tighter tolerances and cleaner machining. I own two of them.

So, for lasting, quality operation, I go for the kryptonite over on guard. It is best, IMO, to invest a little more cash into your locking system.

Best lock of all out there would be a kryptonite NYC chain with a heavy duty grade 1 MUL-T-LOCK padlock. Not very convenient, rediculously expensive, and perty dam heavy though.

Last edited by crawdaddio; 01-26-09 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 01-26-09, 06:06 PM
  #22  
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I have a Onguard Pitbull DT. It is a upgrade over the older model and has the "M-Key" upgraded lock that is suppose to be a little more robust. It has a cover over the key hole and the locking pins are forked over the U bolt making it a bit stronger. Other then being heavy as all hell I have no complaints after nearly a year owning it but I don't use it everyday.
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Old 01-26-09, 06:50 PM
  #23  
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Hey, Mr. Locksmith -- what about graphite?

I always thought that was the thing to use on locks.
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Old 01-26-09, 07:25 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by SlimAgainSoon View Post
Hey, Mr. Locksmith -- what about graphite?

I always thought that was the thing to use on locks.
^
Powdered graphite (extremely fine) was considered the best lubricant for cylinder plugs (only) (the part that the key actually goes into) for many, many years. And it works really well......

...Until any kind of liquid, dirt, gunk, particulate gets in there. Bike locks get A LOT of foreign material into them. On interior door locks, where you won't see that happen, it works really well.
Once some foreign material gets into the cylinder, the graphite attaches to it and clumps up. It happens all the time when some 'genious' maintenance man has a lock issue and thinks that WD40 is a magic cure all. That makes everything even worse and more sticky when it dries. This negates its effectiveness entirely.

Don't use graphite on your bike lock.

Last edited by crawdaddio; 01-26-09 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 01-26-09, 07:57 PM
  #25  
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I have only and will only use one kind of lock and that is the Kryptonite Kryptolok Combo U:



And the reason is I hate carrying around keys that can get lost. I even have an electric combo lock for my house front door. Life is so much easier this way. A few months ago my best friend who now lives out of state had a unexpected business meeting here in town and wanted to spend some time with us afterwords. We were actually out of town so I gave him the combination to get in the house and the combination to the U-lock if he wanted to go for a bike ride. Saved him hotel and car rental!

If you live in a bad area then this lock probably wouldn't be good enough for you since it's not that thick. You would probably want to go with the OnGuard 5012C Bulldog DT Combination U-Lock & Cable
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