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Coiled cable lock frustration

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Coiled cable lock frustration

Old 04-13-11, 07:08 PM
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kjmillig
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Coiled cable lock frustration

Do you carry a coiled cable lock? I'm frustrated with it getting tangled or catching on spokes while trying to lock up quickly to run into a store. Is there some trick that I don't know about? Should I scrap it for something else?
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Old 04-13-11, 07:19 PM
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I don't use cables because they are generally less secure. I use a U-lock and I have skewers that require an allen key; no levers on the skewer. Definitely not the most secure thing, but should be enough to prevent opportunistic theft.

I use a U-Lock and put the around the back rim and both seat stays. Easier done if the bike has disc brakes. If you have V-brakes, it may be doable but the brake parts might get in the way. If done correctly, the crossbar will be horizontal so it's possible to lock the bike to bigger posts.

Alternatively, I stick the lock around the rim and the chain stay but the crossbar won't be horizontal so there's less clearance for the post or object that the bicycle is locked to. This has the downside that the lock might get greasy from the chain or chainrings or hit the front derailler if you're not careful.
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Old 04-13-11, 07:27 PM
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Here's what I use:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html

but if you are in a low crime area, you can use locking skewers like these:

http://www.pinheadcomponents.com/com...28c444e336.jpg

Otherwise get a short enough cable to run through the front wheel and attach to the U lock.

.... and that was my first post too.

J.
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Old 04-13-11, 07:32 PM
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If you like your bike, it's better to toss the cable and get a lock that isn't so easily cut. U-Lock or a thick chain.
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Old 04-13-11, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
Here's what I use:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html

but if you are in a low crime area, you can use locking skewers like these:

http://www.pinheadcomponents.com/com...28c444e336.jpg

Otherwise get a short enough cable to run through the front wheel and attach to the U lock.

.... and that was my first post too.

J.
I'm not sure of the specifics of this video, but locking only the wheel seems to leave a vulnerability. This guy cut through the wheel quite easily.
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Old 04-13-11, 08:26 PM
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I use a cable for short errands in low-crime suburban areas that lack posts or other affordances that can accept a U-lock. Cables are also nice for locking multiple bikes together on a family outing.

If I will parking for long periods of time, or in the same place repeatedly, I make sure to bring my U-lock instead, and I go out of my way to find a solid post or similar structure that will fit it.

I use locking skewers and usually just lock the frame. I can also fit the U-lock around the seat tube and the rear wheel at the same time on my bike.

Here's my bike locked up at the local Starbucks:

Last edited by sggoodri; 04-13-11 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 04-13-11, 08:31 PM
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The first two images here depict the methods I described above:

http://www.mechbgon.com/lock/index.html

My lock is 4x8" model but I have disc brakes and it can fit around both seat stays and the rim. I do not lock it diagonally like in the second photo.
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Old 04-13-11, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jsdavis View Post
I'm not sure of the specifics of this video, but locking only the wheel seems to leave a vulnerability. This guy cut through the wheel quite easily.
Then put the U lock around the seat post (i.e. frame) AND the tire.

Also, look at the price of a new rear wheel. Without the rear wheel, the bike loses a lot of value.

There's also another video around that shows it to not be quite so easy for a properly built bike tire - it's hard to cut when the rim is in compression from spoke tension (it jams up). I just can't find it.

What I can tell you is that my son rides his bike year round at the University of Minnesota, an urban campus, and this has worked for him (and therefore, me). The bike is outside 24/7.

Finally, any lock can be defeated. The trick is to make your bike more difficult than the others nearby.

J.
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Old 04-13-11, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
There's also another video around that shows it to not be quite so easy for a properly built bike tire - it's hard to cut when the rim is in compression from spoke tension (it jams up). I just can't find it.
Yes, it should be hard to do that. From Sheldon:

Some will object that felons might cut the rear rim and tire to remove the lock. Believe me, this just doesn't happen in the real world. First, this would be a lot of work to steal a frame without a useable rear wheel, the most expensive part of a bike, after the frame. Second, cutting the rear rim is much harder than you might think. Since the rim is under substantial compression due to the tension on the spokes, it would pinch a hacksaw blade tight as soon as it cut partway through. Then there are the wire beads of the tire, also difficult to cut.
Apparently, it depends on the wheel.

Honestly, I don't see a reason not to put the lock through the frame too when possible.
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Old 04-13-11, 10:43 PM
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Also, OP, should you decide, in spite of pleas to the contrary, to continue using your coil lock, try sliding several loops through the spokes together (as if there were a solid disc) rather than trying to thread the thing through like a rope.
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Old 04-14-11, 07:06 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by kjmillig View Post
Do you carry a coiled cable lock? I'm frustrated with it getting tangled or catching on spokes while trying to lock up quickly to run into a store. Is there some trick that I don't know about? Should I scrap it for something else?
I notice that cables become more difficult to deal with as the temperature drops. In summer they are very pliable, in winter very stiff.
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Old 04-14-11, 08:15 AM
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I use a crappy $8 coiled cable because it's all I need in this area. Usually I carry and use nothing, and still haven't had anyone even come close to my bike. But when I do carry it, I just toss it in the bottom of my pannier.
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Old 04-14-11, 08:34 AM
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I always carry a coiled cable lock because the weight is negligible. I only use it when I will be running into a store for 5 minutes or less, often within sight of my bike through the windows. This will not stop a thief, but it discourages opportunistic type theft where someone might see an unlocked bike and decide to ride off with it.

When I plan to lock my bike for any significant length of time, I use a mini U-lock. However, I definitely see the value in carrying around a cable lock. They are lightweight and convenient for quick stops. For example, say you decide to stop at Subway to pick up lunch. The cable lock is probably all you need for that quick 'impromptu' stop.
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Old 04-14-11, 09:03 AM
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Do you carry a coiled cable lock?
No my cable lock is not coiled, it has 2 loops, and I use a padlock.

I also have a frame mounted ring lock and a chain from NL. AXA Brand.
Its the most convenient.
the lock is attached to the front face of the seatstays ..
chain loops around front wheel and then something solid.
pin on chain fits in catch on side of lock.

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-14-11 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 04-14-11, 09:04 AM
  #15  
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My cable lock is all I need in my area. I have a nice 6 or 10' cable I bought from Lowes and a a padlock. I can lock to almost anything. It's not a high bike theft area because there are so few. All I need to do is keep someone from walking off with it as a crime of opportunity. I don't have a desirable bike anyway.
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Old 04-14-11, 09:09 AM
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I carry a U lock and a cable. The U-lock is far better security, no doubt about it. I lost a bike last year to a thief because the cable just isn't enough (funny thing -- since that time the transit cops have put notices up at that metro station telling cyclists to use U-locks!). The thieves stole every decent quality bike that wasn't u-locked at the station that day, as far as I could tell.

But, as many know, there are times when there's nothing available to which one can attach with a U-lock, so I carry the cable as a back up. I also use it to secure the front wheel and other things if I'm going to leave the bike for any length of time in a sketchy situation (like said metro stop!) And, as others have mentioned, cables are nice for locking multiple bikes on outings. Also, I suspect some of the very high quality (and therefore very expensive and heavy) cables are near average U-locks in security.

However, I suspect your issue is with the pre-coiled type of cable. I do not use that sort. My cable can be looped easily enough, but isn't the pre-coiled type. I used those in HS and college, and I know your annoyance. The only solution I ever found was to keep the cable in a fully stretched position for an extended period, to try to 'uncoil' it (kind of like when a phone cord loses its 'springiness') -- it doesn't solve the problem, but it might diminish it enough to reduce the annoyance to manageable levels.

My advice? Buy a decent U-lock and solve both issues.
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Old 04-14-11, 09:22 AM
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I keep my cable lock in a pannier. When I was in high school I wrapped it around the seatpost (but that one was thinner and wrapped tighter, my current one would run into my thighs if I did that). My son just puts one loop through his rack and lets the rest of it dangle. Mostly it coils back on itself and doesn't get caught. He is not Type A so if it does buzzzzz in his spokes (this is non-drive side) he doesn't care.

My wife also wraps hers to her rack but clamps it in place w/ the rat trap snap thingy her rack has.
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Old 04-14-11, 12:44 PM
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I use a u-bolt on the front wheel and frame and then i have a cable lock threaded through the seat, frame, and rear wheel. My cable lock is coiled also. It only takes a couple seconds to pull several coils through the wheel. I really don't understand how it's that big an inconvenience unless you're in the middle of a race to go buy groceries or something...
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Old 04-14-11, 01:40 PM
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I do use a U-lock myself, but I also have a cable lock. The cable lock is definitely more versatile, but less secure. I'm confused on how it gets stuck on spokes when it is locked? Mine has a protective rubber sheath around it.
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Old 04-16-11, 07:10 AM
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Cable locks are great. They do the job, roll up conveniently to hang from the rear of your saddle, relatively lightweight, and don't scratch your bicycle.

I can assure you of this with great confidence; no lock provides you with more security than a cable lock. What I mean is that a thief can cut through any lock just as easily as a cable lock. All a thief needs is a small hand-held drill with a 75 cent cutting wheel on it. I do it all the time when I am asked to clean up bike park areas. In fact, the Kryptonite locks are easier to cut than cable. 40 seconds tops and I can cut through any U-lock.

IMO, heavy U-locks are just clunky, heavy, and scratch up bikes. U-locks also limit your locking options.

SO... To use your cable lock easily, wrap your cable around the tree or post or bicycle rack FIRST, then just poke the ends of the cable through your wheels and "click" lock them on the ends together. This way, you are only pulling about 16" of cable through your wheels.

The goofy way is to try to pull the long cable through your wheels first and then wrap around the tree/post/etc. If that is what you are doing, "Ya", that would be a PITA.

Last edited by mike; 04-16-11 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 04-16-11, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by mike View Post

SO... To use your cable lock easily, wrap your cable around the tree or post or bicycle rack FIRST, then just poke the ends of the cable through your wheels and "click" lock them on the ends together. This way, you are only pulling about 16" of cable through your wheels.

The goofy way is to try to pull the long cable through your wheels first and then wrap around the tree/post/etc. If that is what you are doing, "Ya", that would be a PITA.
Boy, I struggled with this just the other day. I carry both a thick-coiled cable lock and a U-Lock. I stopped at a take-out food place to pick up dinner, and the only thing to lock the bike to was a 18" diameter tree. I elected to use my cable lock, of course, and to get it through the spokes and rear triangle, around the tree, back through he frame, then - because I was feeling really anal, guess - through my cheap helmet was like wrestling with a hungry boa constrictor.

Yesterday I stopped at the same place. Realizing that I could lean the bike against the same tree and that it was always in full view from inside the store, I just grabbed my U-Lock, locked it through the rear wheel and around the seat tube, hooked the helmet on my seat, and just went inside to do my business while keeping one eye on the bike! Much easier.

But I'll keep your tip on handling the cable lock in mind. thanks.
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Old 04-16-11, 09:47 AM
  #22  
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I use a U lock and cable. When locking up I step on one cable end and pull it straight, then weave the other end through the bike rack, frame, both wheels, around the handle bars going between them and the brake cables (it is an 8 ft cable), even through a toe clip basket, then secure it with the U bolt through the frame on to the bike rack.
Nothing will stop a determined thief but it helps to make it look like your bike will be a time consuming pain in the rear to rip off.
Got to admit every time I lock up it pisses me off that there are people who will simply help themselves to the hard earned fruit of other people labor.
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