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Master cable locks work?

Old 07-03-13, 02:46 PM
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bke92
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Master cable locks work?

Hi all,

I am new to this forum and just got a bike. My old bike was stolen years ago and wasn't secured with a lock.
Is a Master Cable lock efficient enough?

I commute from school to my place and vice versa on foot so far because I've
been afraid that someone will cut the cable lock as some people say that can happen.
I haven't been able to get a U-lock for now and the cable lock doesn't look like it could easily be sawed off.


Do I really need to worry about my lock being cut or do you guys think I should lock my
bike up near the security booth on campus to keep it from being stolen in broad daylight?
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Old 07-03-13, 03:10 PM
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Hardened security chain is much better than any Cable Lock bolt cutters cut regular chain and cables easily.

Abus Locks , such as this is better ... https://www.abus.com/eng/Mobile-Secur...ation/1500-Web.

available through Bike Shops , here they get them through J&B import-distributor.

there is the possibility to strip parts so make the front wheel, for example, harder to remove..
a non quick release axle fixing system ..
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Old 07-03-13, 03:22 PM
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Aside from cable locks being generally weak and not good for anything more than a quick stop, it would depends on how bad the bike theft is around where you're at, and what you are riding.
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Old 07-03-13, 03:25 PM
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Yes it will work, but is it good enough? A cheap or basic lock will only help for so long till someone sees you have the weakest security. Invest in a u lock. Make sure lock it to the frame, not the front wheel.
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Old 07-03-13, 03:32 PM
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It depends mostly on where you are and what the bike thieves tend to do. College campuses (campi?) are prone to lots of bike thefts, so you need something very effective.

As a general rule, you want to have one of the best locks compared with other bike commuters so that the thieves see your lock and move onto the next bike. Also, you want a less-desirable bike than average. If you like to own a nice bike, ride it on the weekends, and get a beater bike for commuting.

I had a hotshot racing bike in college. It was my pride and joy. I used a U lock, which was state of the art at the time. A thief dismantled the rack it was locked to and took a piece of the rack, with lock and bike. Probably tossed it in a van or pickup truck and then worked on the lock in the privacy of his garage. It hurt like hell. Don't let this happen to you. My roommate loaned me his beater bike, since he wasn't using it. I've owned a beater ever since then. Sometimes you get more attached to your beater than to your spiffy bike.
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Old 07-03-13, 04:08 PM
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You need a U lock and likely two. Most of the cables are easy to cut.

We have two kids on a major urban university campus with 50,000 students in the middle of a major city. Bike theft is rampant on campus but we have found ways that seem to work. Bikes are outside 24/7.

1. We use the Sheldon Brown locking method.

2. We use Pitlocks, this set.

3. When the bike is locked to the rack overnight, we recommend using a second U lock to lock the front wheel to the frame (through the rim into the main frame triangle. This lock can be left in place at the rack to prevent having to carry it all over campus. All of our locks are keyed alike for the entire family. This lock for the lock that is used when the bike is out and about. This lock for overnight storage on campus and added to the out and about lock with the longer shackle.

If you use one lock and a 4' cable, then you will need to take the cable with you. While this is potentially easy to cut, the thief has to have two different sets of tools to steal the whole bike and is not likely to go looking for just a front wheel. They would need one set to defeat the cable (to just steal the wheel) or a different set to defeat the U lock.

4. If you can, then park your bike next to someone not so careful (not hard to do - most students are horrible about locking their bikes). They will pick their bike, not yours. This quote applies.

The Pitlocks are expensive, but they can be moved from bike to bike and they are a major discouragement to thieves.

Our kids both have really nice university bikes. They are circa 1985 road bikes of the day with custom built wheels etc... They are not worth a huge amount but they ride and hold up way better than department store bikes. That said, we have not had a single issue with any of the bikes but have routinely seen others stolen from right next to ours.

Don't scrimp on the U locks. The crummy ones are easily defeated.

J.
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Old 07-03-13, 04:56 PM
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& if you go to the same rack every day you might consider leaving one heavy U lock on the rack,
and then just carry the 2nd one for secure stops at stores, for groceries and such on the way home..
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Old 07-03-13, 05:08 PM
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I lock up with just a cable lock and have had no issues (yet). Of course, bike theft is relatively low here compared to other areas and I don't exactly have it 'blinged' out...

Also note that cable locks are easier to use when it is warm, as they are more pliable. As the temps fall, they stiffen up, making it harder to bend/wrap.
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Old 07-03-13, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
It depends mostly on where you are and what the bike thieves tend to do.
+1 My son locked his very clean '81 Centurion on the rack outside his dorm with a $10 Bell cable lock last year with no problems. They very rarely have any bike thefts on his campus. At other colleges, I'm sure he would have been walking by the end of his first week.
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Old 07-04-13, 06:54 AM
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As others have said, this is very dependent on your area. Where I live I don't even carry a lock, I just park the bike outside the store - there's almost no crime here.
I've been in areas where a cable lock would be just fine - bike thieves are not career criminals but just kids screwing around and any deterrent will make them just keep walking.
In some areas pretty much nothing is "good enough" except a bike locker or using a folder and taking the bike inside with you.
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Old 07-05-13, 08:48 AM
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Yeah, sometimes I just use a bungie cord if I've forgotten my lock. I also used a broken cable with a padlock when I couldn't find my unbroken cable. I made the bike look locked. My drug store is in a poor neighborhood, so I wouldn't leave the bike unlocked there. But bike commuting is pretty rare around here (suburban NJ), so I bring my bike into the store. Since there is no danger of tons of people doing the same, the staff there don't tell me to stop doing it. Once they moved it to a better place while I was in the back of the store. I really appreciated it, though I was scared for a second to see my bike wasn't where I had put it.
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Old 07-06-13, 08:32 AM
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Nothing else really provides the security vs weight vs cost ratio like U-locks, which is why they're popular bike theft deterrent solutions. The longer the shackle they have, the more they weigh, the shorter the shackle, the less versatile they are. Scope out what you have to lock to at your campus destinations.

There's some real world evidence that the 'two lock method' provides greatly increased deterrence.

This leaves room for leverage and jacking and leaves you vulnerable to this (battery powered Sawzall, five seconds). This is more secure.

Last edited by tcs; 07-07-13 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 07-06-13, 08:39 PM
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In that case, I'll just bring the bike inside with me if I'm allowed to, until I get a u-lock. I've only seen one other student with her bike on campus but she doesn't use a lock at all lol. But it's not been stolen.
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Old 07-06-13, 08:45 PM
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The campus seems safe and is gated but some of the stores around there look like they'd be prone to bike theft.
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