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U-lock vs. chain lock

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U-lock vs. chain lock

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Old 08-17-10, 06:14 PM
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vol
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U-lock vs. chain lock

(First, shouldn't there be a forum devoted to thefts and security?)

I don't understand why heavy chain locks are regarded as very secure. Each loop of the shackles of a chain lock is much thinner than the shackle of any of the U-locks. If the thief can saw through a U-lock, then they can certainly saw through a chain lock, no?
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Old 08-17-10, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
(First, shouldn't there be a forum devoted to thefts and security?)
We had one, but one of the moderators made off with it.
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Old 08-17-10, 06:25 PM
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The Ulock can be defeated, it just requires different tools then the chain. For the Ulock they usually use 'leverage' tools such as a car jack which attempts to defeat the device by applying enough pressure to have it break open or just prompting the locking mechanism to fail. For heavy chains, large bolt cutters are often used.

This is the reason that for maximum security people recommend that you have one of each. The logic being that a would be thief would have to carry both a leverage device and a bolt cutter to defeat your locks.

Of course, a portable grinder or circular saw with a metal cutting blade will easily cut through both, but those tools make a lot of noise and draw attention.
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Old 08-17-10, 06:26 PM
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We had one, but one of the moderators made off with it.
^ It was eventually locked down so no one could post
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Old 08-17-10, 06:34 PM
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Thanks for the explanation, SouthFLpix. My bike wasn't that expensive. All the locks and gadgets I buy for it will soon cost me more than the bike itself
(Why was that forum closed?)
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Old 08-17-10, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
(Why was that forum closed?)
It was getting too hard for the mods to steal bikes.
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Old 08-17-10, 07:31 PM
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Topic notwithstanding, this has been one of the funniest threads I've read in a long time!

It is a long held axiom of cycling that the weight of the bike plus the lock(s) necessary to secure it from theft always adds up to 50lb.
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Old 08-17-10, 10:21 PM
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I use both. Chances are no thief is gonna carry that many different tools and will move on to easier targets. Of course no locking method is 100% failsafe so get some insurance (you can usually add your bike to a homeowner or tenant's policy).
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Old 08-22-10, 12:40 PM
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Does anyone have any idea if the NY Fahgettaboudit 1410 chain (Kryptonite rating = 12) is really better than the NY Evolution 1210 chain (Kryptonite rating = 10). I would assume that the NYFU weighs a little more, but every website seems to have a slightly different weight. Also, looks like the NYFU has a slightly bigger opening in the lock portion, which may allow better access for tools, but a thicker shackle links. What do you think? Worth the extra 20 and weight? I'll prob use either in conjunction w/ one of the mini u locks if I'm leaving it locked for a while...
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Old 08-22-10, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
(First, shouldn't there be a forum devoted to thefts and security?)
NO. That would be a bad idea. No need to discuss all the personal 'little details and tips' on bike security on public forums. It just gives thieves out there more ideas on how to steal bikes. KISS= keep it secret stupid.
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Old 08-22-10, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
NO. That would be a bad idea. No need to discuss all the personal 'little details and tips' on bike security on public forums. It just gives thieves out there more ideas on how to steal bikes. KISS= keep it secret stupid.
Security by obscurity only works with passwords. Any decent locking method will be able to handle scrutiny.
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Old 08-22-10, 04:09 PM
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Although both kinds of locks have weaknesses; I choose to use a U lock with a accessory cable (midrange, from a reputable company such as kryptonite), portability being the deciding factor. I personally own one of those kryptonite NY chains and they are as heavy as they look; I only use it for longer lock ups in not so safe areas.
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Old 08-22-10, 09:06 PM
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Regarding the cable locks, people keep saying that, yes, it is easy to be cut, and you should not use it as the main lock for your bike, but should use it as a secondary lock, just to lock your front wheel to the frame. It sounds poor logic: if it's easy to be cut, what's the use to lock your wheel with it?? The thief will get your wheel, which you don't want to lose.
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Old 08-22-10, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
Regarding the cable locks, people keep saying that, yes, it is easy to be cut, and you should not use it as the main lock for your bike, but should use it as a secondary lock, just to lock your front wheel to the frame. It sounds poor logic: if it's easy to be cut, what's the use to lock your wheel with it?? The thief will get your wheel, which you don't want to lose.
Few thieves would go to the trouble to cut a cable to steal just the wheel - if they can cut a cable and get the whole bike it's worth the hassle.

My experience with cutting cables is that it's harder than just a snip with the bolt cutters - you end up more or less chewing through the cable, which takes a minute or two. I've never tried to cut a bike cable lock, though (what I've cut has been industrial wire rope), so I don't know how different it is. I suspect it's similar, in which case it's enough effort that it's not going to be worth it to a thief unless your front wheel is something really special.

For large wire ropes we used to use a carbon arc slice torch, which would make short work of any sort of lock - but the thief will have to have a truck-mounted welder and a decent-sized air compressor to run a tool like that.
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Old 08-22-10, 10:26 PM
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Ok, makes some sense. Some thief out there is reading, too
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Old 08-22-10, 11:02 PM
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But I've got a question cable and U-lock systems have me running the cable through the rear wheel to the U-lock, which is going through the front wheel, frame, and object. But if I ran it like that, wouldn't it be easy for a thief to just break the U-lock and get away with everything?
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Old 08-23-10, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by aley View Post
Few thieves would go to the trouble to cut a cable to steal just the wheel - if they can cut a cable and get the whole bike it's worth the hassle.

My experience with cutting cables is that it's harder than just a snip with the bolt cutters - you end up more or less chewing through the cable, which takes a minute or two. I've never tried to cut a bike cable lock, though (what I've cut has been industrial wire rope), so I don't know how different it is. I suspect it's similar, in which case it's enough effort that it's not going to be worth it to a thief unless your front wheel is something really special.

For large wire ropes we used to use a carbon arc slice torch, which would make short work of any sort of lock - but the thief will have to have a truck-mounted welder and a decent-sized air compressor to run a tool like that.
I often (1xweek or so) see cut cables lying around bicycle posts. Commonly I see thinner or cheaper cables cut, but also the thicker (15-20 mm) cables too. The cut ends always look like they were cut in a single stroke.

p.s. I use both a u-lock (NYFU) and a chain (PB something or other). I use two u-locks for my bike, and the chain for my trailer, as it is challenging to attach the trailer frame to anything else without folding it up.

If I can, I lock my bike beside another with a cable lock. This seems to be good security to me

Last edited by rajman; 08-23-10 at 09:19 AM. Reason: adding p.s.
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Old 08-24-10, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by TheGefish View Post
But I've got a question cable and U-lock systems have me running the cable through the rear wheel to the U-lock, which is going through the front wheel, frame, and object. But if I ran it like that, wouldn't it be easy for a thief to just break the U-lock and get away with everything?
You're correct. The cable (those with only 2 loops at either end) is meant to prevent theft of the front wheel only. If the cable is running through your front wheel back to the U-lock which is in-turn secruing the bike (rear wheel and frame), then "all one has to do" is break the U-lock.

That is why 2 seperate and differant types of systems are recommended. Each lock has the ability to lock onto itself.
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Old 08-24-10, 10:07 AM
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I keeping seeing people's review of locks saying the keys stuck or broke in the lock, that scares me to use keyed locks. If you can't move your bike from where it's locked due to a stuck key, miles away from home, that's not so much better than it being stolen. How common is that?
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