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U-lock size vs. weight

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U-lock size vs. weight

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Old 11-01-14, 03:26 PM
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ganchan
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U-lock size vs. weight

I have a fairly hefty medium-sized u-lock that I use to lock the rear wheel and rear triangle to railings. (I also run a cable from the front wheel to this u-lock.) My problem is that sometimes it takes me longer to secure the stupid lock than the duration of the bike ride itself, or so it seems. Finding the EXACT angle to get the u-lock through all obstacles so it can actually be locked takes forever. Obviously a longer u-lock would give me a lot more positional options and make the whole process quicker and easier. But the longer the u-lock, the heavier and bulkier to carry it becomes....

How have you weighed size vs. weight in your selection of u-locks for your bike? Have you ever found the need to go longer, and if so, did the longer u-lock pose any problems of its own?
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Old 11-01-14, 03:40 PM
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A little bit of hassle is a lot cheaper than the bigger hassle of theft.

I liked the foldable locks. ABUS folding locks - Locks / Bike Safety and Security Compactly stored. I have a u-lock now, but when money isn't so tight, I'm getting a folding lock again.
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Old 11-01-14, 03:46 PM
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The whole setup of wrangling bulky, heavy ULock and cable sounds like a major PITA to me, nevermind the size of the U.
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Old 11-01-14, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
The whole setup of wrangling bulky, heavy ULock and cable sounds like a major PITA to me, nevermind the size of the U.
until you get your ride stolen, then a u lock sounds pretty cheap

OP,
depends on how you normally carry the u lock.
if you have a frame mounted lock, the size doesn't matter. small, or large U.
Backpack, etc get what fits. the additional weight of a longer U is not much.

the form factor of the smaller ones is just more flexible for me, and it's safer.
It can be a hassle to find a skinny post sometimes but i've not had too many issues

Sullatto,
that folding lock looks pretty handy but I wouldn't use it for long term locking or in heavy theft areas like NYC or metro Boston
seems pretty good otherwise but all those links and easy to twist the flat links... u lock is a lot more simple and tougher

Last edited by cruiserhead; 11-01-14 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 11-01-14, 06:18 PM
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Weight tends to be the biggest factor to me. I had a heavy u-lock once because it had a good security rating. However because of the weight I never wanted to bring it with me. Eventually I bought a lot lighter u-lock and found myself riding more.

I also realized that some of those portable angle grinders will get through about anything. It would only take about 30 seconds longer with the higher security one however.
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Old 11-01-14, 06:42 PM
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exile, I agree you have to buy according to preference, location and duration of locking time.

a solid, secure u lock, once you get one with a good locking mech, and made of high quality steel,
they all weigh about the same.

The crappy, cheap ulocks aren't much lighter than a solid one.

If you are going for the really heavy duty ones, those are usually for "all day" parking type of situations
like the Krypo NY Fugetaboutit. those are usally left locked to the post you regularly park- not portaged on your ride.

it's harder to cut or break a smaller ulock, that's why you want it as small as practical.
all locks are just deterrents, they are not guaranteed to stop everyone.
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Old 11-02-14, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ganchan View Post
How have you weighed size vs. weight in your selection of u-locks for your bike? Have you ever found the need to go longer, and if so, did the longer u-lock pose any problems of its own?
I generally switched from Abus U-locks to Abus chains on the bikes under my care. They are a bit heavier than U-locks, but offer way more flexibility in securing bikes to permanent posts. There are claims that they actually offer more security than U-locks in that they are difficult to hold firmly for cutting. The only issue I encountered is that they are actually more cumbersome to carry on a bike than U-locks. I switched to bags attached to the bikes for carrying the chains.
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Old 11-02-14, 01:50 AM
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Originally Posted by cruiserhead View Post
that folding lock looks pretty handy but I wouldn't use it for long term locking or in heavy theft areas like NYC or metro Boston
seems pretty good otherwise but all those links and easy to twist the flat links... u lock is a lot more simple and tougher
Abus Bordo Granit X-plus has a higher protection rating than most their U-locks (15 vs 10 to 12).

The lock itself is very hard to pick on all the "Granit" series. Links seem sturdy and well made.


Even higher rating is given to their Granit and X-plus chains, but they are very bulky, heavy.

I find the folding Bordo a good compromise in terms of flexibility (you can lock around a post) and easy carrying.



The way U-locks need a thin post to tie a bicycle to makes them useless to me in many places I park my bicycles.
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Old 11-02-14, 10:25 AM
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I have a Bordo on the frame .. , and hang a Chain-lock from the handle bars .. Bike Friday Pocket Llama.
the chain gets used when I cannot reach something more distant than the nearby post or bike rack.
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Old 11-02-14, 10:46 AM
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I personally buy the smallest U-Lock and use's Sheldon Brown's Lock Strategy (securing just the rear wheel to a rack) and depending if my front wheel uses quick release, I'll run a cable up.
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Old 11-02-14, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by cruiserhead View Post
until you get your ride stolen, then a u lock sounds pretty cheap
Unfortunately, I've had more bikes stolen than most, from my 5spd Huffy BMX in 5th grade, to a $3800 Fat City Yo Eddy and an $1800 Cannondale M800 back in the early '90s back in college. Still, I'm not at all interested in lugging around pounds worth of bulky locks. I carry insurance, and am pretty confident in my resourcefulness, so as in the past, stolen bikes get replaced. I do miss my Yo, though; it had metallic plum paint and I did custom polishing and gold anodizing on bars, cranks, seat post, and rims...it was dope looking, and I made a lot a friends on that bike from folks who stopped on the trail to pay a compliment!
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Old 11-02-14, 01:14 PM
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I like to have a bicycle that is uglier and better locked then the rest. Makes it safer.

I also want to make thugs work for it. No lock that can be picked in a minute, or cut in no time. If it gets stolen still, what can you do? But I do my part to make it as hard as possible.
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Old 11-02-14, 02:31 PM
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I used to swear by Kryptonite, but have since switched to an Abus Granit. Lighter than Kryptonite, seems better manufactured (Kryptonite lock mechanism would seize on me a few times... once I didn't have any oil on me to help loosen it up, and that was... interesting!) Is it a hassle to carry compared to a smaller lock? Well, sure, but I find struggling with finding just the right angle for a little lock more of a hassle. I tend to carry so much stuff anyway, that a lock doesn't make that much difference. I tend to just lock it to the rack (unless I'm riding my fancy bike without a rack, though I'm not doing that a lot these days.)
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Old 11-02-14, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Unfortunately, I've had more bikes stolen than most, from my 5spd Huffy BMX in 5th grade, to a $3800 Fat City Yo Eddy and an $1800 Cannondale M800 back in the early '90s back in college. Still, I'm not at all interested in lugging around pounds worth of bulky locks. I carry insurance, and am pretty confident in my resourcefulness, so as in the past, stolen bikes get replaced. I do miss my Yo, though; it had metallic plum paint and I did custom polishing and gold anodizing on bars, cranks, seat post, and rims...it was dope looking, and I made a lot a friends on that bike from folks who stopped on the trail to pay a compliment!
Details on bike insurance?
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Old 11-02-14, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by cruiserhead View Post
until you get your ride stolen, then a u lock sounds pretty cheap

OP,
depends on how you normally carry the u lock.
if you have a frame mounted lock, the size doesn't matter. small, or large U.
Backpack, etc get what fits. the additional weight of a longer U is not much.

the form factor of the smaller ones is just more flexible for me, and it's safer.
It can be a hassle to find a skinny post sometimes but i've not had too many issues

Sullatto,
that folding lock looks pretty handy but I wouldn't use it for long term locking or in heavy theft areas like NYC or metro Boston
seems pretty good otherwise but all those links and easy to twist the flat links... u lock is a lot more simple and tougher
If someone wants to steal your bike, they're going to steal your bike. Any lock system/setup is only a minor inconvenience to someone who wants to steal your ride.

I'm not saying don't bother locking your bike mind you....but hope there's easier more juicy bike-thief quarry nearby.
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Old 11-02-14, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cruiserhead View Post
all locks are just deterrents, they are not guaranteed to stop everyone.
Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
If someone wants to steal your bike, they're going to steal your bike. Any lock system/setup is only a minor inconvenience to someone who wants to steal your ride.

I'm not saying don't bother locking your bike mind you....but hope there's easier more juicy bike-thief quarry nearby.
I'm glad you agree
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Old 11-02-14, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeybikes View Post
I personally buy the smallest U-Lock and use's Sheldon Brown's Lock Strategy (securing just the rear wheel to a rack) and depending if my front wheel uses quick release, I'll run a cable up.
I've seen discarded wheels that were cut through with a cheap hack saw at a local university campus.
Just saying...
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Old 11-02-14, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Sullalto View Post
Details on bike insurance?
I added a $5k or $10k rider on my homeowner's insurance 10-11yrs ago to cover bikes specifically; I don't recall the details exactly, but still expect my insurance to provide some reimbursement. In the past, for the actual thefts, I was covered through my parents' homeowners-- Oh! i forgot that I had a '89 GT Karakoram k2 that got ripped, and the payout on which allowed me to get the Fat-- and my renter's insurance (which covered the Fat theft, and gave me the funds to get the Cannondale [used] and pocket the difference, which I used to get a motorcycle). After the C-dale got vic'd, my renter's had a payout limit within a certain time period, so that didn't go in my favor, but yet I managed to get together enough for a 2nd hand Bridgestone MB3, so it worked out. I might have had to sell my Diamondback Master TG road bike to make it happen, but I don't recall exactly, as it was back in '93 or so.
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Old 11-02-14, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
I've seen discarded wheels that were cut through with a cheap hack saw at a local university campus.
Actually, no you haven't. A number of posters here will promise you that never happens.
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Old 11-02-14, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Slaninar View Post
Abus Bordo Granit X-plus has a higher protection rating than most their U-locks (15 vs 10 to 12).
And Abus' best Ulocks are 15s while their lightest weight Bordos are 7s.

I've seen a number of posters indicate they thought they were getting Granit X-Plus level of protection from their Bordo 5700s or 6050s. Shrug. Their bike.
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Old 11-02-14, 09:20 PM
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ok... here's my patent-pending idea: Add a layer of aluminum over the u-lock shackle and barrel - angle grinders choke on aluminum - and wrap the whole thing in kevlar fabric to defeat hacksaws. Might slow thieves down.
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Old 11-02-14, 09:24 PM
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I vaguely remember a video showing a breaking of a Bordo type lock without any tools, just by turning the frame around to stress the lock until the lock broke.
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Old 11-03-14, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
I vaguely remember a video showing a breaking of a Bordo type lock without any tools, just by turning the frame around to stress the lock until the lock broke.
Yes, the "regular" Bordo, not the Granit X-plus version. Heavier, thicker, more expensive.

Originally Posted by tcs View Post
And Abus' best Ulocks are 15s while their lightest weight Bordos are 7s.

I've seen a number of posters indicate they thought they were getting Granit X-Plus level of protection from their Bordo 5700s or 6050s. Shrug. Their bike.
Bordo Granit X-plus cost a little more (I paid 70 euros for it) and it has a protection level 15.

"Regular" Bordo is not very good. Like you said.


Here's what I'm talking about:

Cheaper one:
http://www.amazon.com/Abus-Bordo-600...rds=abus+bordo

The good one:
http://www.amazon.com/ABUS-6500-Fold...rds=abus+bordo


For those saying that if thieves want to steal your bicycle will steal it anyway, I can say that a worse looking better locked bike than the others will always be their last choice. Also, if they need more than 10 minutes to mess with a lock, they are more likely not to even try.

Finding a cheap, ugly looking bicycle in good condition is hard, takes time. So I do my best to kipe my bike safe.

Last edited by Slaninar; 11-03-14 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 11-03-14, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by asmac View Post
ok... here's my patent-pending idea: Add a layer of aluminum over the u-lock shackle and barrel - angle grinders choke on aluminum - and wrap the whole thing in kevlar fabric to defeat hacksaws. Might slow thieves down.
You're too late, I've seen U-locks advertised with something very similar to what you are describing. A soft outer coating to defeat cutting wheels and kevlar/steel cable to defeat hacksaws.

I personally use a chain and a medium U-lock. I use the chain to attach the bike to the rack/post and the U-lock to attach the rear wheel to the bike. I personally find it next to IMPOSSIBLE to use the U-lock to lock the bike to ANYTHING other than a thin sign post or rack. The majority of the time, I'm not locking to those types of things, so U-locks are useless. It's not that it's not long enough, but with my frame geometry I always have to have the U-lock at an angle, which makes it impossible to fit over thicker things.

Also, 2 locks are better than one. If a thief wants to steal a bike on the rack where you're locked up, he'll skip yours if there is easier prey. (Assuming you have 2 locks.)

There is a video somewhere (pretty sure I found it on here a long time ago.) about a guy who tells people how to lock up in NYC (or some other big city.) He goes through and cuts through small cables in half a second and shows good ways/bad ways to lock up. IIRC he had long hair.

I never understood the whole "cable attached to a U-lock" thing. If the thief wants to steal your bike, he still only has to cut through one lock. And cables are cut in half a second with a pair of cable cutters. They offer nothing but a slight inconvenience to someone who wants to steal your wheel/bike.

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Old 11-03-14, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
You're too late, I've seen U-locks advertised with something very similar to what you are describing. A soft outer coating to defeat cutting wheels and kevlar/steel cable to defeat hacksaws.

Damn! I guess it isn't patent pending after all. Do you know where the locks you referred to can be found or what they're called?
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