Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Best way to cut a thick rope lock?

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Best way to cut a thick rope lock?

Old 09-06-16, 12:21 PM
  #1  
WesDrakeSanborn
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Best way to cut a thick rope lock?

So I bought a bike on craigslist for $100 and I was skeptical because the guy said there is a rope lock(one of the cheap ones) on the frame of the bike and he can't get it off himself, he said he has the receipt for the bike with the matching serial number, so I checked everything out even called the store he got it at and confirmed it was bought there he told me he forgot the code for the lock.

I have tried bolt cutters to no avail, what other options would I have to get this off? it is one of those cheap rope locks like this https://www.walmart.com/ip/Bell-Spor...-LOCK/17619568

but it is the thicker variety, any advice? I am going to harbor freight for some tools in a few

Weston Drake Sanborn
WesDrakeSanborn is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 12:29 PM
  #2  
Booger1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Gaseous Cloud around Uranus
Posts: 3,741
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 2 Posts
Angle grinder will cut it like butter.
Booger1 is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 12:53 PM
  #3  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 30,027

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1498 Post(s)
Liked 454 Times in 269 Posts
If you clamp the cable in a vise it will cut easily with an ordinary hacksaw.
__________________
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 12:54 PM
  #4  
wschruba
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,526
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 466 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
You need to adjust/sharpen your bolt cutters if they're not going through that. Or do the above stuff, it'll work fine as well.
wschruba is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 12:57 PM
  #5  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 21,538
Mentioned: 71 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13381 Post(s)
Liked 4,667 Times in 2,618 Posts
I was going to say hot knife, but that's not a rope. So bolt cutters or hacksaw.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 01:05 PM
  #6  
jefnvk
Senior Member
 
jefnvk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Metro Detroit/AA
Posts: 8,212

Bikes: 2016 Novara Mazama

Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3634 Post(s)
Liked 71 Times in 41 Posts
You could do what I did when I did the same thing, and sit with it in front of a TV one night and try every combination, then you have the added bonus of a cheap lock...

But yeah, any cheap cable cutter should take care of that. Dremel tool with a cut off wheel should, too. Worst case, you could probably bash the locking mechanism with a hammer and break it.
jefnvk is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 01:17 PM
  #7  
KBentley57
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Madison, AL
Posts: 693

Bikes: 2010 Felt DA, 2012/6 Felt F5, 2015 Felt AR FRD

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
+1 hacksaw, angle grinder, anything. Otherwise, one combo every 3 seconds gets you a little less than three hours total combo checking time for 0000 - 9999.
KBentley57 is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 01:20 PM
  #8  
Camilo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,829
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 347 Post(s)
Liked 131 Times in 86 Posts
It's a cable, not a rope. I'm really surprised your bolt cutter didn't work, but any or all of the suggested tools should do the job.
Camilo is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 01:34 PM
  #9  
alcjphil
Senior Member
 
alcjphil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 4,197
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1057 Post(s)
Liked 422 Times in 288 Posts
Cut the lock, not the cable, even if your bolt cutter is dull, it should be able to cut right through the lock
alcjphil is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 01:36 PM
  #10  
Fastfingaz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,354
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 159 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Might not be that cheap,,, if you got to go through all that
Fastfingaz is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 01:48 PM
  #11  
cyclist2000
Senior Member
 
cyclist2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Up
Posts: 4,398

Bikes: Masi, Giant TCR, Eisentraut (retired), Jamis Aurora Elite, Zullo, Cannondale, 84 Stumpjumper, Waterford, Tern D8, Bianchi, Gunner Roadie, Serotta, and looking for a Brompton M6R

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 248 Post(s)
Liked 1,363 Times in 395 Posts
Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
You could do what I did when I did the same thing, and sit with it in front of a TV one night and try every combination, then you have the added bonus of a cheap lock...


I have done this, the benefit is not wasting a cheap lock.
cyclist2000 is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 01:51 PM
  #12  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 24,968
Mentioned: 202 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13033 Post(s)
Liked 1,723 Times in 1,303 Posts
Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
It's a cable, not a rope. I'm really surprised your bolt cutter didn't work, but any or all of the suggested tools should do the job.
Look up "Wire Rope"... a very common term, especially in some professions.

Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
You need to adjust/sharpen your bolt cutters if they're not going through that. Or do the above stuff, it'll work fine as well.
The problem with many "bolt cutters" and similar tools is that they tend to flatten the cables rather than cutting them.

Cable cutters, on the other hand, have round cutting surfaces that keep the cables bunched together for easier cutting.

I tried to cut a cable lock a while ago with a hacksaw or ordinary wire cutters, and was quite impressed at the resilience.... but I also know that a good cable cutter can make quick work of them. Or, at home, a grinder if a cable cutter is not available.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 01:53 PM
  #13  
VegasTriker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sin City, Nevada
Posts: 2,387

Bikes: Catrike 700, Greenspeed GTO trike, , Linear LWB recumbent, Haluzak Horizon SWB recumbent, Balance 450 MTB, Cannondale SM800 Beast of the East

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 389 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 81 Times in 62 Posts
If you own a circular saw that uses 7" blades you can use a metal cutting abrasive saw blade to make fast work of the cable. To see what I mean, see here DEWALT 7 in. x 1/8 in. Metal Abrasive Saw Blade Bulk-DW3511 - The Home Depot I've used this to cut lots of different types of metal. The only one that was difficult was a lock and cable that I got at a garage sale. Never heard of the brand of lock that was on the cable but it was extremely hard to cut. You can cut the hasp on most locks in less than a minute but that one took about 10 minutes. Too bad I didn't have the key.
VegasTriker is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 02:06 PM
  #14  
baldilocks
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Indiana
Posts: 426

Bikes: Giant ATX Lite & Schwinn Mesa

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 153 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
If your not used to using a grinder or cut off wheel, I'd use the hack saw. Use what you know, safely. I also think putting it in a vise was a good idea. Personally, I like this.

Search results for: 'electric cut off'

baldilocks is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 02:22 PM
  #15  
Slash5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Southern Ontario
Posts: 1,888
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 259 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I've read that pruning shears will cut locks like that. Bolt cutters just mash it flat.
Slash5 is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 02:37 PM
  #16  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 11,562

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Timberjack, Expert TG, Samba tandem

Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2239 Post(s)
Liked 898 Times in 590 Posts
Originally Posted by KBentley57 View Post
+1 hacksaw, angle grinder, anything. Otherwise, one combo every 3 seconds gets you a little less than three hours total combo checking time for 0000 - 9999.
This sounds wrong. 10,000 combinations x 3 seconds = 30,000 seconds = 500 minutes = 8 hours 20 minutes... or 4 hours 10 minutes if you have exactly average luck and the combination is 4999. Am I making too-simple assumptions?
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 02:39 PM
  #17  
hankaye
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: 1/2 way between Hatch and T or C, N.M.
Posts: 240

Bikes: '95 Specilized StumpjumperFS

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Howdy All;

A 1" Cold chisel and a 4 lb. hammer. It's basic and will give you a good work out at the same time.
Oh yea, place the cable or lock on a hard surface or the force of the hammer blow will dissipate into
the softer surface.
Also an excellent way to work off any frustrations or angry thoughts. Some may call it therapy.

hank
hankaye is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 02:43 PM
  #18  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 11,562

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Timberjack, Expert TG, Samba tandem

Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2239 Post(s)
Liked 898 Times in 590 Posts
Originally Posted by hankaye View Post
Howdy All;

A 1" Cold chisel and a 4 lb. hammer.
Not entirely unrelated... my wife recently wanted to bust open a geode and chose from my toolbox a wood chisel that belonged to my grandad. so long, chisel! Fortunately my grandad bought cheap tools and I have a lot of them, so other than him, it wasn't anything special.
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 02:50 PM
  #19  
hankaye
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: 1/2 way between Hatch and T or C, N.M.
Posts: 240

Bikes: '95 Specilized StumpjumperFS

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Darth Lefty, Howdy;

My most sincere condolences for the chisel . Did she bust the rock open?

hank
hankaye is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 03:01 PM
  #20  
FullGas
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 688
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 172 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
fire...?

oxy-acetylene rig should take care of that in about 2 secs...
FullGas is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 03:06 PM
  #21  
Camilo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,829
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 347 Post(s)
Liked 131 Times in 86 Posts
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Look up "Wire Rope"... a very common term, especially in some professions.
]

Yea, sorry about that. I'm familiar with that term. But he just wrote rope, not wire rope. I was thinking he might be a non-English speaker and didn't know the term cable or as you point out, wire rope.
Camilo is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 03:15 PM
  #22  
KBentley57
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Madison, AL
Posts: 693

Bikes: 2010 Felt DA, 2012/6 Felt F5, 2015 Felt AR FRD

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
This sounds wrong. 10,000 combinations x 3 seconds = 30,000 seconds = 500 minutes = 8 hours 20 minutes... or 4 hours 10 minutes if you have exactly average luck and the combination is 4999. Am I making too-simple assumptions?
It was a slip of the calculator on my part . However, I gave a bike to a friend, with this cable lock, and he actually did set down one evening and try all combinations until he found the one that worked! I asked him how long it took, and he said about 3 hours, so he must have gotten luckier than most. There's also techniques to guessing the most probable combinations (by excluding combos that probably aren't built into most locks, such as XXXX, X,X+1,X+2,X+3 , and so on) that may help.

also: https://www.instructables.com/id/Unlo...it-cable-lock/

Last edited by KBentley57; 09-06-16 at 03:39 PM. Reason: spelling and link
KBentley57 is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 03:45 PM
  #23  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 11,562

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Timberjack, Expert TG, Samba tandem

Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2239 Post(s)
Liked 898 Times in 590 Posts
Originally Posted by KBentley57 View Post
It was a slip of the calculator on my part . However, I gave a bike to a friend, with this cable lock, and he actually did set down one evening and try all combinations until he found the one that worked! I asked him how long it took, and he said about 3 hours, so he must have gotten luckier than most. There's also techniques to guessing the most probable combinations (by excluding combos that probably aren't built into most locks, such as XXXX, X,X+1,X+2,X+3 , and so on) that may help.

also: Unlock 4 digit cable lock
Wish I'd know about this before gumming up my bench grinder on the last one
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 09-06-16, 04:01 PM
  #24  
McBTC
Senior Member
 
McBTC's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 3,797

Bikes: 2015 22 Speed

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1512 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
This sounds wrong. 10,000 combinations x 3 seconds = 30,000 seconds = 500 minutes = 8 hours 20 minutes... or 4 hours 10 minutes if you have exactly average luck and the combination is 4999. Am I making too-simple assumptions?

... the last wheel may be 'free' and it looks like only 1-6 numbers (or maybe 0-6 numbers) on wheels 1-3 so--e.g., 216 to 343 combinations... or, about 17 minutes at the most?
McBTC is offline  
Old 09-07-16, 09:51 AM
  #25  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 11,562

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Timberjack, Expert TG, Samba tandem

Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2239 Post(s)
Liked 898 Times in 590 Posts
Originally Posted by hankaye View Post
Darth Lefty, Howdy;

My most sincere condolences for the chisel . Did she bust the rock open?

hank
Yes! It has some interesting curlicue stalactites inside but I haven't been able to snap a decent photo of them with my cell phone. I admit if it hadn't worked or it was boring, I'd be more upset about the chisel.
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.