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How often do thieves pick locks vs saw/cut? Anyone here have their lock picked?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

How often do thieves pick locks vs saw/cut? Anyone here have their lock picked?

Old 04-18-12, 09:08 AM
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gems
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How often do thieves pick locks vs saw/cut? Anyone here have their lock picked?

I'm just wondering, how important is a locks vulnerability to picking vs strength?

For example I'm looking at an Abus 92/80 which looks very hefty but there's a guy on youtube picking it in 2 minutes... kind of disheartening...

It's my impression that thieves mostly cut locks rather than pick them, but I'd like to hear others opinions/experiences.
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Old 04-18-12, 09:21 AM
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Usually it's a brute force or saw. This often can be done MUCH faster than picking a lock. Your typical bike theif doesn't spend the time researching picking individual locks and identifying them on the racks.
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Old 04-18-12, 09:30 AM
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Every key lock can be picked in next to no time. However it takes time to learn how to do so, which most aren't going to take the time to do. If a lock can be cut that is most likely the route that most will thieves will take.
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Old 04-18-12, 09:41 AM
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So you have to learn each lock huh? I think the Abus I'm looking at is not that common so maybe that's in its favor...

On the other hand I'm in NYC so if there's a thief that knows how to pick this lock he's probably here.
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Old 04-18-12, 09:47 AM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjI3wvCHxL8

this is good

holland bike thief
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Old 04-18-12, 09:51 AM
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Assuming a thief is desperate enough to steal a bicycle, I doubt he or she would have the time/resources/ability to learn how to pick locks, especially using the internet. I'm sure there are people out there that would do it, but that bike thief would be 1/100. Like "they" say, all locks are pretty much equal, because if a thief wants your bike he will get it. Locks are more of a deterrent since small angel-grinders are cheap and portable.
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Old 04-18-12, 09:51 AM
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Not really each lock, more each type of lock. IE. key lock with different amounts of tumblers, the more tumblers the tougher it is to pick. even a combination lock can be "picked" or shimmed. but again brute force can defeat nearly any lock out there.
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Old 04-18-12, 09:57 AM
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Axa lock faulty


this is really a true situation about a stupid lock design, I have seen it myself!
plenty more on youtube "axa lock"

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Old 04-18-12, 09:58 AM
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Master combo locks are NOT security.


Last edited by PhotoJoe; 04-18-12 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 04-18-12, 10:10 AM
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A bike thief that picks a lock is pretty rare in my experience. Lockpicking is a skill learned by studying lock designs and through practice, or by working as a locksmith. My father kept me busy as a kid by giving me things like doorknobs and locks to take apart and put back together, and one of our neighbors was a locksmith and a machinist so I learned a bit about lockpicking from him, but in most cases, getting past a lock is done more quickly by breaking the lock itself or by ignoring the lock and bypassing it altogether. Lockpicking is more useful when you want passage, but you don't want anyone to know that you gained access.

While it is a cool party trick to pick a lock for someone or to teach someone to pick a set of handcuffs, it is otherwise a pretty useless skill, and since most bike thieves are more "snatch and grab" types, they are generally just not intelligent enough to take the time to learn the skill.

Last edited by Stealthammer; 04-18-12 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 04-18-12, 10:13 AM
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try picking an abloy lock!
almost impossible and been around over 50 years
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Old 04-18-12, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by puchfinnland View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjI3wvCHxL8

this is good

holland bike thief
haha nice one
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Old 04-18-12, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by gems View Post
I'm just wondering, how important is a locks vulnerability to picking vs strength?

For example I'm looking at an Abus 92/80 which looks very hefty but there's a guy on youtube picking it in 2 minutes... kind of disheartening...

It's my impression that thieves mostly cut locks rather than pick them, but I'd like to hear others opinions/experiences.
What others said, most locks are brute forced. However, there are lockpicks. Rule of thumb:

Locks with ordinary, regular keys are most easily picked. These keys should be avoided:


As well as these:



Locks with "double" keys can be a bit more complicated:




Although all the above are not too hard to pick. This one is a bit more tricky, so look for something like that:

As well as this (not bad):



Originally Posted by gems View Post
So you have to learn each lock huh? I think the Abus I'm looking at is not that common so maybe that's in its favor...

On the other hand I'm in NYC so if there's a thief that knows how to pick this lock he's probably here.
Look at Abus website. They have a security ranking of their own for their locks-chains. Anything above rank 15 is decent. Anything above 20, 25 is very good (but very expensive).

If secured properly, not left lying close to the ground and so that lock can be easily accessed, these locks can buy you quite a lot of time (if thief doesn't give up in the first place and start looking for another easier target). However, nothing is 100% safe. Make sure you don't leave an expensive (looking) bike in the same place reugularly, or for a long period of time anywhere.

Last edited by Bike Gremlin; 04-18-12 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 04-18-12, 10:19 AM
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Erm...wrong forum?

Lock on road bike? Does not compute.
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Old 04-18-12, 10:21 AM
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Abloy, the unpickable padlock



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Old 04-18-12, 10:23 AM
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eh, i live in NYC and i have an abus steel-o-chain- square cut 7mm (i think). i think it's a pretty reasonable balance between security and portability as it's not insanely heavy but i've chained my bike (in daylight, mind you) all around NYC for reasonable amounts of time and not had a problem. in fact, on a group ride, someone stole another bike chained to the exact same pole as mine but didn't touch mine. from what i've seen, it's usually a cut-and-run thing in the city, but if someone wants your bike bad enough, they'll get it.

the only place i've chained it at night (as it's dark when i get out of training) is my kickboxing gym, but it's chained basically to the front of the building, right below the glass, so not only would it be visible from inside, but i think you'd have to be a total moron to steal a bike chained to a building full of fighters and fighters-in-training!

your mileage may vary.
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Old 04-18-12, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
Master combo locks are NOT security.

We had those in boot camp, just knock the dial off. 100% effective.
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Old 04-18-12, 12:14 PM
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I don't even own a lock and never leave my bike out of sight, or reach, if that option is available.
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Old 04-18-12, 12:43 PM
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bike shops seem to be able to pick the lock on my wallet consistently
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Old 04-19-12, 07:39 AM
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If you can't afford for it to be stolen, don't lock it up. Or make sure it is covered under some insurance plan. Also, yeah, wrong forum.
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Old 04-19-12, 11:56 AM
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I remember a while back there was one brand of U-lock (I forget which one now) with the circular keyhole design that could be opened in seconds by using the plastic cap from a pen. I've avoided such locks ever since.

And yeah, why are you locking your road bike? If it's locked, that means you're not riding it.

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