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Bike Locks/Bike Theft

Old 03-23-22, 08:27 AM
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aggieian
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Bike Locks/Bike Theft

Hello all! I am a engineer currently working with a team of students to develop a new bike lock/anti theft bike. I was wondering what experiences you guys have had with bike theft/locks for some research. Thanks!
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Old 03-23-22, 08:59 AM
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Just make something that will defeat a battery powered angle grinder with a cut off wheel. Good luck on the project. I was in a group that had to come up with a simple trash compactor.
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Old 03-23-22, 09:03 AM
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More specific questions might be helpful in getting the answers you seek.

Some folks have had bikes stolen, some have not. Some incidents are thefts of opportunity, some are specifically targeted.

All locks can be defeated by a sufficiently motivated thief. An inexpensive battery operated angle grinder with cutoff wheel will go through most anything a bicyclist is willing to carry with them. Passers-by aren't necessarily a deterrent.

Lots and lots of info on youtube.



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Old 03-23-22, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by aggieian View Post
Hello all! I am a engineer currently working with a team of students to develop a new bike lock/anti theft bike. I was wondering what experiences you guys have had with bike theft/locks for some research. Thanks!
Bike locks keep away the un-motivated. They say "Don't steal me, steal that one without the lock." An ideal bike lock, made of unobtanium, is light weight, compact, and impossible to break/cut. Many of us never lock our bikes because we don't leave them in places or for amounts of time where a lock would be needed.
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Old 03-23-22, 09:15 AM
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I wish you luck and hope you are successful. A local park actually had some racks using a receiver hitch stolen. Don't know what they used, but they cut through the pin which held the rack into the receiver hitch. A motion activated LOUD alarm might be as effective as anything, One that could be mounted so it wouldn't be obvious, and wouldn't be easy to remove. And could send a notice to your smartphone. if it doesn't already exist.

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Old 03-23-22, 09:23 AM
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Most cables can be snipped through in 10-15 seconds. Most U-locks and security chains can be defeated by an angle grinder in 10-15 seconds. Aluminum shell locks like the SAF Altor will resist most thieves; however it weighs as much as some bikes and costs a bundle. As you improve lock security, there are many other things that become weak links. For example, a lot of bike racks are not bolted to the ground, or if they are, it's with simple hex nuts that can be unscrewed easily. Many bike racks are rather flimsy so the thief can easily cut or break them.

Bike security garages are the way to go. Yes the locks can be defeated, but the thief will avoid just because he or she won't be able to see the contents.

The best anti-theft bike is a rusty ugly one with bad tires parked next to a nice newish one. Many riders try to uglify their bikes for this reason.

Good luck on your project
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Old 03-23-22, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by aggieian View Post
Hello all! I am a engineer currently working with a team of students to develop a new bike lock/anti theft bike.
And this is exactly why to I would never buy shares in an IPO until I went to them in person to check them out.

But hey, some few Kickstarters do actually work.

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Old 03-23-22, 10:06 AM
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Perhaps some rubbery compound as an outer covering for the entire thing can gum up or expand from the heat of the cutoff wheel so it'll gum it up and slow the rotation of it or stop it entirely.

People do buy locks for bikes so whether or not they are effective for theft isn't so much an issue. There is a market for them. And besides, the design project is mostly for learning other things, not so much designing the end all be all device. Though it's nice when that happens.
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Old 03-23-22, 10:34 AM
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change the paradigm. "here's an app that finds someone to stand next to your bike while you go in the beer store"
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Old 03-23-22, 11:03 AM
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I'd love to see something built into the bike, to avoid needing to carry a D-lock around. I've genuinely never understood why bikes don't come with a small barrel lock that'd prevent the crank from turning, kind of like my trailer hitch has a barrel lock that prevents it from opening, or to prevent a bike battery being removed.
It wouldn't stop anyone lifting the bike and carrying it away, but it'd at least stop it being rideable, and possibly make it hard to safely remove.

But then, I also don't understand why bikes aren't automatically registered somewhere too, to make it easy to check if it's stolen before purchase.
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Old 03-23-22, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Herzlos View Post
I'd love to see something built into the bike, to avoid needing to carry a D-lock around. I've genuinely never understood why bikes don't come with a small barrel lock that'd prevent the crank from turning
You mean like a Frame Lock such as these?
https://mobil.abus.com/int/on-road/Locks/Frame-Locks

Downside is they don't do much against the Throw-the-bike-in-a-Van type of theft if you don't add on the chain to go around something, which you then need to carry.


I also don't understand why bikes aren't automatically registered somewhere too, to make it easy to check if it's stolen before purchase.
That may vary by brand, but with the Trek bike I purchased a few months ago it was automatically registered with my name to Trek corporate. I haven't checked to see if that's something which one could call mark as stolen or call and check status on though.

That said, you've registered your bikes with BikeIndex.org, yes?
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Old 03-23-22, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by aggieian View Post
Hello all! I am a engineer currently working with a team of students to develop a new bike lock/anti theft bike. I was wondering what experiences you guys have had with bike theft/locks for some research. Thanks!
If your team could design an affordable, portable, lightweight lock capable of withstanding an electric cutting wheel attack, the entire team could retire millionaires at the completion of the project. No pressure, it’s just that we’re all counting on you.
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Old 03-23-22, 11:40 AM
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Hiplock D1000 survive grinder attacks but they have not started to ship at this time. No need to reinvent the wheel.

Bike theft is a trivial concern compared to getting hit by an inattentive motorist. Better to focus on a project to improve the visibility of a bike with its rider on city streets.
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Old 03-23-22, 11:41 AM
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I think this is a thing ... but a smart lock that can send the bike owner a text/sms notification if the lock is being tampered with would be a step forward from past bike locks. Otherwise, you just designing another lock that can be defeated by a motivated thief with enough time and the right tools.

Or just carry this around with you:



https://gearjunkie.com/biking/altor-...hest-bike-lock
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Old 03-23-22, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
If your team could design an affordable, portable, lightweight lock capable of withstanding an electric cutting wheel attack, the entire team could retire millionaires at the completion of the project. No pressure, it’s just that we’re all counting on you.
I just love how the OP is putting their entire R&D with students and strangers on the internet to make yet again a new product nevre seen before that will stop my $5000 asset from being stolen.
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Old 03-23-22, 11:49 AM
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Heavy duty super fancy bike lock from Amazon, etc. - $80+
vs.
Battery powered angle grinder from Harbor Freight - $29.95

Good luck finding the holy grail of cycling.
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Old 03-23-22, 12:33 PM
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I don't trust bike locks and I leave my bike nowhere!

I've yet to see a lock capable of protecting a bike, that I was prepared to carry with me due to the weight.

Our local train (BART) station has stainless steel boxes outside and you get to lock your bike inside one.
I don't even trust those.

I have a couple of pretty big cycling friends.
If you wind one of those through the frame and around a pole, that's as good as it gets.

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Old 03-23-22, 12:56 PM
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I've read and heard about the pros and cons of different locks a million times. This is what I use:
A combination 8mm cable lock for when I'm no more than 10m from my bike, like stopping to buy something to eat/drink;
and a heavy hardened 1m high security chain + padlock through the frame, a wheel and a lamp post or tree for when my bike is out of sight.
This has worked for me so far, my bikes are not expensive though.
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Old 03-23-22, 01:11 PM
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Been locking bikes on the mean streets of Philly for decades using a Kryptonite U lock (lately, an Abus after I lost the key to the Kryptonite) and cable. Never had a bike stolen except from inside my house, while I was home and awake.) But I am smart about where and when I lock outside. Sometimes when I tour I don't bother locking the bike when I sleep. All depends on where I am an who is around.
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Old 03-23-22, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by iride01 View Post
just make something that will defeat a battery powered angle grinder with a cut off wheel. Good luck on the project. I was in a group that had to come up with a simple trash compactor.
+1

Since all locks can be defeated, I believe building in a wireless notification to the user, the lock is being moved or tampered with (mercury switch and/or electrical current interrupted by cutting) would be useful. The anti-tamper capability should be loudly stamped or decaled on the lock as a further deterrent. Maybe include something like an Apple AirTag so the bike if stolen can be tracked.
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Old 03-23-22, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
I think this is a thing ... but a smart lock that can send the bike owner a text/sms notification if the lock is being tampered with would be a step forward from past bike locks. Otherwise, you just designing another lock that can be defeated by a motivated thief with enough time and the right tools.

Or just carry this around with you:



https://gearjunkie.com/biking/altor-...hest-bike-lock
Ha, I thought of this too. The Lock Picking Lawyer has a video on it, and I laughed when his hands got in the frame. Baby Hands!
13 pounds!


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Old 03-23-22, 02:09 PM
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Hiplock's (In my opinion) deceiving video. Link in this story.
That Hiplock looks like it's pretty hard to cut. But look closely. The disc cuts in partway, then suddenly wears down very fast, with clouds of dust. I think they are twisting the grinder so that the disc wears down on the sides, not just the edge. Then the replacement discs are handled the same way.

Its seems that often, a manufacturer makes a "hard to cut" bike lock video, where they either aren't trying (I see ottolock took down their "failed to cut it with bolt cutters" video), or are using the wrong technique.

I'm guessing it's about 90 seconds to make one cut on the hiplock. That's still a long time, with lots of noise. Does it require a second cut to pull the bike free? I don't know.
Try a diamond blade instead of the inexpensive cutoff wheels.

Like the lockpicking lawyer mentions, it's likely easier to cut the bike rack! Or the no parking sign, etc.

Last edited by rm -rf; 03-23-22 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 03-23-22, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Hiplock's deceiving video.
That Hiplock looks like it's pretty hard to cut. But look closely. The disc cuts in partway, then suddenly wears down very fast, with clouds of dust. They are twisting the grinder so that the disc wears down on the sides, not just the edge. Then the replacement discs are handled the same way.

I'm guessing it's about 60 seconds to make one cut. That's still a long time, with lots of noise. Does it require a second cut to pull the bike free? I don't know.
Try a diamond blade instead of the inexpensive cutoff wheels.
Yeah, the manuf isn't exactly an impartial testing source.

I watched some other videos and they were able to get through the lock but needed 2-3 or more discs to manage it. They don't seem to be up to shenanigans and they seem to go through the discs FAR faster than I ever do with my cutoff wheels. Still, I'm not familiar with the other youtube folks so maybe they're all cahoots with hiplock as well, I don't know.

In the end it of course isn't proof against angle grinders, but it does appear to be more resistant.

The other part nobody talks about is how quickly the angle grinder can go through whatever the bike's attached to...

Edited - I'd linked the videos but didn't realize they've be parsed.


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Old 03-23-22, 06:43 PM
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I wouldn't bother. There are plenty of gimmicky locks out there. Security doesn't need gimmicks it just needs years of experience building locks like say ABUS does. You need good staff, good material quality and lots of really good testing to go above and beyond playing for a sticker. Certified Gold sounds great but if you are building a lock to just get that sticker and not going well past it you might always not bother.

The Altor lock is very cute it looks like an inflatable toy from a bar/bat mitzvah party or something.

Given enough time you can get through anything so it is about being smart. However the app to find people to stand by your bike while you do stuff is actually a brilliant idea.
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Old 03-23-22, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
However the app to find people to stand by your bike while you do stuff is actually a brilliant idea.
“Hey! Where are you? My bike is gone”

…”At home”

“I paid you to stand by my bike.”

…”I am.”

”Well, where is it?”

…”In my living room.”

”Where do you live? Hello? Hello?”

John
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