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Question about bike locks and biking problems in general

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Question about bike locks and biking problems in general

Old 09-30-15, 06:20 PM
  #1  
enigmamemory
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Question about bike locks and biking problems in general

Hi, I'm a student working on an assignment in college and I would like to inquire on this forum's experiences with bike locks. Opinions on typical bike locks, any problems they've experienced with them, as well as any preferences or ideas that might make your lives easier is all relevant information. In addition, any information on problems for bikers, especially city bikers, is also appreciated. Thank you for your time.
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Old 09-30-15, 07:53 PM
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Its not intuitive as one might think. Locking your bike is something you have to learn and also learn that it is important to do so. Check out Hal. He has 3 or 4 of these vids

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTA3JsZWiec
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Old 09-30-15, 08:13 PM
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Thanks. Are there any other problems with bike locks or general problems for bikers you can think of?
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Old 09-30-15, 08:49 PM
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An interesting question. How do you carry the lock on the bike, and how do you defeat it?

I'm thinking that a high security lock that can be neither cut with a bolt cutter nor broken with a car jack yet is easy to carry on the bike would be what you are looking for. I'd think about using some innovative shape to ward off bolt cutters rather than rely on heavy material.

Good luck.
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Old 09-30-15, 10:44 PM
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So often it isn't about preventing the bike from being stolen, it is about preventing bits and pieces, like the saddle, wheels and accessories from sprouting legs. You don't see car parts with exposed bolts inviting fenders, headlights and such to be removed.
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Old 09-30-15, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
An interesting question. How do you carry the lock on the bike, and how do you defeat it?

I'm thinking that a high security lock that can be neither cut with a bolt cutter nor broken with a car jack yet is easy to carry on the bike would be what you are looking for. I'd think about using some innovative shape to ward off bolt cutters rather than rely on heavy material.

Good luck.
http://www.amazon.com/Granit-X-Plus-...anit+x-plus+54
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Old 10-02-15, 10:53 AM
  #7  
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Lots of great info in this article regarding the strength of various locks: Best Bike Locks | Bicycling

1) all locks can be defeated.
Most cable locks can be cut by hand in seconds with a bolt cutter
Most U-locks can be broken in a minute with a hacksaw or a hydraulic bottle jack (including the Granit U-lock)
Hardened chain locks are tough to cut with a hacksaw and generally require power tools. The chain lock in the test above even ran the grinder out of battery!
Abus chains are nice and not crazy-expensive.

2) your lock doesn't need to be the best, but it needs to be better than the locks on the other bikes locked up next to it. Most thefts are opportunity driven.
If your bike has a cable lock and the other bike has nothing, his bike will get stolen first.
If your bike has a cable lock and the other bike has a U-lock, yours will get stolen first.
If you locked your bike up all alone, then your lock had better be pretty good.

3) Lock your bike smartly.
Run your lock through both wheels and the frame, and around the rack or pole. Many folks use a U-lock thorough the front wheel and frame, and then add a cable through the rear wheel (and maybe the seat rails).

4) Lock your bike in a smart place.
Don't lock it to something that is weaker than your lock (for example: small tree, chain link fence)
Don't leave it outside overnight if you can help it
Find a well lit spot, ideally one in view of someone's security camera

5) attractive bikes get stolen first.
Don't lock up a nice-looking bike in a risky environment
Remove your nice accessories (lights, bags, computer, maybe even saddle)
I once had my computer swiped off my bike in the middle of the day in a suburban area, just for mischief.
Some folks remove the decals from their city bikes, and add stickers, duct tape, spray paint, or whatever to make it look like a junk bike.
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Old 10-02-15, 11:11 AM
  #8  
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Here's what I've learned:

Use a lock that requires a grinder to defeat. This increases time to steal, cost to steal, and visibility during the theft. 3/8" Grade 100 chain, for example, is the minimum size and hardness to defeat a human portable pair of bolt cutters. I get mine from Tulsa Chain.

Lock your bike in a place where the thief will feel exposed. When I commuted to college, there were three of us, all on pretty nice bikes, who locked them to a railing inside a nice academic building. The cops never hassled us. I think they understood. In return, I did the courtesy of wrapping my chain in rubber so it wouldn't scratch the railing and of keeping my bicycle clean so there was no dirt deposited.

Get a QD seatpost and take the seat and post with you. Use little pedals - speedplay, crank brothers, etc... A thief can't ride away on a bike like that.
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Old 10-02-15, 11:24 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by enigmamemory View Post
Hi, I'm a student working on an assignment in college and I would like to inquire on this forum's experiences with bike locks. Opinions on typical bike locks, any problems they've experienced with them, as well as any preferences or ideas that might make your lives easier is all relevant information. In addition, any information on problems for bikers, especially city bikers, is also appreciated. Thank you for your time.
If the question is problems for cyclists in cities, the answer is lack of infrastructure and driver and pedestrian awareness.

Bike security is an issue but I would rather have a bike stolen than be hit by a car and I think just about every cyclist would agree.

Cyclists don't even universally agree that bikes lanes or helmet laws are good things or even actively bad things, because there are strong arguments both ways.

There is safety in numbers and the more other cyclists there are in the city, the more likely a driver will be looking for one, but then there are stats that show larger numbers of cyclists correlate with more bicycle fatalities.

But for me, bike security is a distant second to bike safety in the city.
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Old 10-02-15, 11:24 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Tim_Iowa View Post
Lots of great info in this article regarding the strength of various locks: Best Bike Locks | Bicycling

1) all locks can be defeated.
Most cable locks can be cut by hand in seconds with a bolt cutter
Most U-locks can be broken in a minute with a hacksaw or a hydraulic bottle jack (including the Granit U-lock)
Hardened chain locks are tough to cut with a hacksaw and generally require power tools. The chain lock in the test above even ran the grinder out of battery!
Abus chains are nice and not crazy-expensive.

2) your lock doesn't need to be the best, but it needs to be better than the locks on the other bikes locked up next to it. Most thefts are opportunity driven.
If your bike has a cable lock and the other bike has nothing, his bike will get stolen first.
If your bike has a cable lock and the other bike has a U-lock, yours will get stolen first.
If you locked your bike up all alone, then your lock had better be pretty good.

3) Lock your bike smartly.
Run your lock through both wheels and the frame, and around the rack or pole. Many folks use a U-lock thorough the front wheel and frame, and then add a cable through the rear wheel (and maybe the seat rails).

4) Lock your bike in a smart place.
Don't lock it to something that is weaker than your lock (for example: small tree, chain link fence)
Don't leave it outside overnight if you can help it
Find a well lit spot, ideally one in view of someone's security camera

5) attractive bikes get stolen first.
Don't lock up a nice-looking bike in a risky environment
Remove your nice accessories (lights, bags, computer, maybe even saddle)
I once had my computer swiped off my bike in the middle of the day in a suburban area, just for mischief.
Some folks remove the decals from their city bikes, and add stickers, duct tape, spray paint, or whatever to make it look like a junk bike.
Only cheap ones

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgHxV2iCcQs
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Old 10-02-15, 11:46 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Bikerdave222 View Post
Umm, I'm not sure what your point is. Cheap u-locks can be cut by a hacksaw, and all u-locks can be broken by a hydraulic bottle jack. Wasn't I clear?

I'm not trying to point fault that you used a decent u-lock for your example. I'm just trying to point out that a good chain lock will survive what a good u-lock can't.
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Old 10-02-15, 01:50 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Tim_Iowa View Post
Umm, I'm not sure what your point is. Cheap u-locks can be cut by a hacksaw, and all u-locks can be broken by a hydraulic bottle jack. Wasn't I clear?

I'm not trying to point fault that you used a decent u-lock for your example. I'm just trying to point out that a good chain lock will survive what a good u-lock can't.
I'm now using 2 u-locks, including this one --> Abus Granit X-Mini
as due to it's small length, it is perfect for going around my back wheel and seat tube, leaving no room for a hydraulic bottle jack.

So if a thief used a hydraulic bottle jack to break my larger u-lock, because he can't use it to break my smaller u-lock, he would have to carry away my bike.
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Old 10-02-15, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
I'm now using 2 u-locks, including this one --> Abus Granit X-Mini
as due to it's small length, it is perfect for going around my back wheel and seat tube, leaving no room for a hydraulic bottle jack.

So if a thief used a hydraulic bottle jack to break my larger u-lock, because he can't use it to break my smaller u-lock, he would have to carry away my bike.
Cool, that sounds more secure than just one larger (vulnerable) U-lock.

Personally, I use a burly Abus 8900 chain.
But, I don't leave my bike locked up out doors overnight or in high risk areas. If I did, it would be an old, "crappy" bike.
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Old 10-03-15, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Tim_Iowa View Post
Cool, that sounds more secure than just one larger (vulnerable) U-lock.

Personally, I use a burly Abus 8900 chain.
But, I don't leave my bike locked up out doors overnight or in high risk areas. If I did, it would be an old, "crappy" bike.
The only reason why I have not used chains to date is that I always saw them as being too heavy to provide the level of protection I want against bolt cutters and mobile angle grinders, compared to their u-lock cousins.

However your point about how a hydraulic bottle jack can't be used against them is a very good one, that I had pretty much forgotten about, even though now my Abus Granit X-mini does provide the sort of protection I am after from a hydraulic bottle jack.
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Old 10-03-15, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
The only reason why I have not used chains to date is that I always saw them as being too heavy to provide the level of protection I want against bolt cutters and mobile angle grinders, compared to their u-lock cousins.

However your point about how a hydraulic bottle jack can't be used against them is a very good one, that I had pretty much forgotten about, even though now my Abus Granit X-mini does provide the sort of protection I am after from a hydraulic bottle jack.
Checking at amazon a standard hydraulic bottle jack has a 20/30-ton load limit more or less. A 16mm chain from ***** for instance seems to requires 39-ton load to break according to Zanx post that gave a 16mm chain for testing to a firefighter (had to push the firefighter jaws of life beyond its specs), though one limit is about shear load and the other one about tensile load.
Zanx post here:
***** chains. - Bike Chat Forums

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Old 10-06-15, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim_Iowa View Post
Umm, I'm not sure what your point is. Cheap u-locks can be cut by a hacksaw, and all u-locks can be broken by a hydraulic bottle jack. Wasn't I clear?

I'm not trying to point fault that you used a decent u-lock for your example. I'm just trying to point out that a good chain lock will survive what a good u-lock can't.
Point was the guy spent a half hour with a grit saw cutting the u lock not a couple of minutes. As you said only the cheap ulocks are cut so quickly with hack saws. A chain is good too if made of hard alloy steel.
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Old 10-07-15, 12:05 AM
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Locking a bike is like the old diver's joke about sharks. If attacked, you don't have to outswim the shark, you just have to outswim your buddy.

Likewise with bikes and locks. All that matters is that your bike is either less appealing than others nearby or locked more securely. The object isn't to deprive the thief of his livelihood, just to get him to pick on someone else.

Following that logic, a big U-lock is overkill in a small town where most bikes are locked with lightweight cables. OTOH- it may offer little protection in major cities where all bikes have U-locks, and some have 2.
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