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Combination vs. keyed locks

Old 05-27-18, 05:42 PM
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Gresp15C
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Combination vs. keyed locks

I've noticed that most high-end bike locks are keyed, rather than combination. I'm wondering, are combination locks less secure, or is this just a user preference? I prefer combo locks, just because it means one less thing to carry around and / or lose.
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Old 05-27-18, 07:01 PM
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Most combination locks are VERY insecure. Many can be opened in just a few seconds by someone with minimal skills. Watch a couple of YouTube videos and you too can be an expert. Keyed locks can also generally be opened quickly but the skill level is higher and it requires lock picking tools.

Neither will keep an expensive bike safe. Keep it in a safe place and keep your eyes on it all the time if you are out with it.
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Old 05-27-18, 08:33 PM
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Mountain Mitch
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Bad guys usually just cut the lock anyways so get what you like.
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Old 05-28-18, 10:58 AM
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It seems like there's a neurotic obsession with keys and against combination locks by the people who make locks. I also prefer a combination lock. Since thieves seem to always just cut the lock anyways I don't really buy that there's a real security difference.

Unfortunately this has led to manufacturers only making low quality combination locks, which is a problem. I bought a kryptonite combination ulock, went to unlock it one day - wouldn't unlock. Respun the wheel several times, rentered the combination, etc, wouldn't open. I took an uber back to my car, drove my car back to my bike (had to pick up my friends bike who was with me) tried it one more time - it finally opened. Obviously the combination was correct something inside the lock was just defective. So I pitched it, and went to the more annoying higher quality key combination lock. Got a thing off amazon to attach my key to the lock whenever I'm not using it.
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Old 05-28-18, 11:03 AM
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I use both. I'd prefer the combo lock just because it saves me from having to remember the key. But like others have said if a thief wanted steal your bike no lock is going stop him; just delay. This is the reason I don't leave my 'nicer' bikes locked outside.
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Old 05-28-18, 12:31 PM
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I simply have a key ring on a ribbon hung around my my neck ..
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Old 05-28-18, 06:39 PM
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My lock keys are on the same key ring as my house key, so I never leave home without both of them.


So no combo lock for me.
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Old 05-28-18, 07:03 PM
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My key is in my seat bag so whenever I grab my lock, the key is nearby.
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Old 05-29-18, 12:17 AM
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I have a key ring with house key and lock key, which I leave locked up in the bike room at work. It's difficult to leave the house without the lock key.
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Old 05-29-18, 01:14 AM
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I like combination locks, but my combo lock is a fairly hefty cable lock... but these can be easily defeated with a good cable cutter, so it is getting less use.

The Old Master combo locks can be picked easily with a soda can. I don't know about the tumbler style that are on cable locks.

I do have a combo U-Lock, but haven't used it yet. For the U-Lock, I like my Kryptonite NY lock. Massively heavy, but it gives some peace of mind when riding more desirable bikes.

I had used a stripped out zip tie to attach the key to the lock which works fine, but also have a pocket in my favorite backpack dedicated to the key, and is a better option if the lock is transported in the open.
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Old 05-29-18, 05:43 PM
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Certainly the combination ones can be opened very easily .... as young kids me and a friend used to go to the train station and pick the combination sort on 3 / 4 bikes and swap the locks over from one bike to another ... we thought it was hilarious

Now I'm a grumpy old man, if I got the train back after a hard days work and some little (censored) had swapped my bike lock I'd have a complete sense of humour failure
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Old 05-30-18, 02:08 AM
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At least you can't lose the key for a combo lock.

On a related subject, I have a Kryptonite New York lock and I'm now down to only one key and have lost the tag with the key number on it. In my defence it is old and I've been through a divorce and numerous house moves since I bought it. Does anyone know if it's possible to get a replacement key?
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Old 05-30-18, 07:34 AM
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i have a key for my u lock and a key for my pad lock that goes with my cable. It also has a key to my shed and my house. I have to have the keys to open shed get bike and lock house so I usually have the keys with me.
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Old 05-30-18, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by jgwilliams View Post
At least you can't lose the key for a combo lock.
No ... but with a combo lock you just get to lose the whole bike instead

I actually use a combo lock but it's never far from me .... must admit having read this thread and seen this link posted in another currently active thread I'm seriously thinking maybe I should get something better.
How to choose the best bike lock in 2018 - The Best Bike Lock
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Old 05-30-18, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by jgwilliams View Post
At least you can't lose the key for a combo lock
unless it's the tag w the code that comes with the lock that you put on your key ring. personally I prefer keyed locks. cuz the combination is still something to deal with. I always have keys w me, house or car, you know?
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Old 05-30-18, 09:15 AM
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Nope, nicer locks are keyed. Just the way it is for most of the lock world.

That said, all I care to stop is the grab and go, so its cheap combo locks for me. I buy ones that are recodeable, and set them all to the same thing, and leave one hanging off each bike that regularly gets ridden to bike racks.
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Old 05-31-18, 12:18 PM
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PaulRivers
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Nope, nicer locks are keyed. Just the way it is for most of the lock world.

That said, all I care to stop is the grab and go, so its cheap combo locks for me. I buy ones that are recodeable, and set them all to the same thing, and leave one hanging off each bike that regularly gets ridden to bike racks.
Yeah, I do the same thing. Set all my combination locks to the same 4 digit combination so no risk of forgetting it.
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