Lock Preferences



DancingLady

Member
Mar 9, 2015
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Since I am probably going to buy a new lock for my bike in the next few months, what kind of locks do you guys prefer?

I know there is no such thing as a lock that can't be cut, but do you think it's worth it to spend a fair amount on a lock, or are they all pretty much equally secure?

What about a chain and padlock? I have seen some people do that in my town. Anybody else do that?
 

mpre53

Well-Known Member
Feb 20, 2013
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Cape Cod, MA, USA
Like most roadies, I don't carry a lock, as I don't commute, and if I do stop during a ride, my bike is never out of sight. But my sense is that while any lock can be beaten, and at best will slow a thief down rather than stop him, a better lock will give you more time to discover the theft attempt and put a stop to it.

Not sure about a chain and padlock. The padlock part, yeah, Master locks are really reliable in my experience. But the kind of chain that will be difficult to cut would also weigh a ton. The hardened cable of a quality bike lock might be tougher to cut than a cheap, lightweight length of chain.
 

BeachyKeen

New Member
Mar 9, 2015
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mpre53 said:
Like most roadies, I don't carry a lock, as I don't commute, and if I do stop during a ride, my bike is never out of sight. But my sense is that while any lock can be beaten, and at best will slow a thief down rather than stop him, a better lock will give you more time to discover the theft attempt and put a stop to it.

Not sure about a chain and padlock. The padlock part, yeah, Master locks are really reliable in my experience. But the kind of chain that will be difficult to cut would also weigh a ton. The hardened cable of a quality bike lock might be tougher to cut than a cheap, lightweight length of chain.
I have a master lock chain, it's definitely very reliable but like you said, very heavy. I don't really notice the weight of it any more because I'm used to it I guess, and nobody's stolen my bike to that's a plus! I've seen a general rule-of-thumb thrown around that you should spend 10% of the total cost of the bike on the lock.
 

MotownBikeBoy

Active Member
Nov 24, 2012
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I always carry a cable/lock combo when I ride, because I do make short stops, such as a restaurant, convenience store, whatever, and I am just more comfortable locking it up if I'm going to be out of sight of it for more than a minute or so.

I agree, the more valuable the bike, the better the lock should be. But it also depends on where you are locking it up, and for how long. Overnight in a crime-prone area is going to be a different story than 20 minutes outside a suburban Starbucks.
 

BeachyKeen

New Member
Mar 9, 2015
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MotownBikeBoy said:
I agree, the more valuable the bike, the better the lock should be. But it also depends on where you are locking it up, and for how long. Overnight in a crime-prone area is going to be a different story than 20 minutes outside a suburban Starbucks.
Speaking of area though, I have known people to have bikes stolen from streets during daytime, outside busy stations etc. That was all in London though, which I think is one of the worst places for bike theft. I always tried to keep mine indoors whenever possible.
 

maydog

Well-Known Member
Feb 5, 2010
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I carry a 6' coated cable and lock combo. You bike is the most secure if you can lock through the front wheel and rear frame triange and wheel.
 

Kiprasn

New Member
Mar 7, 2015
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I would agree with the previous poster, 2 locks are better than none. From what I've read and heard best locks are chain based. Of course good looks aren't cheap, but I think it's better to invest into a lock than having to buy a new bike.
 

Volnix

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2011
2,883
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Locks are heavy...

Chain and padlock locks are apparently the safest locks at the moment, even safer then D-Locks. You can check the "safety" level of alot of brands of locks in the "Sold Secure" website. (An organization? or something, that issues lock companies with a "safety rating".)

2015 Catalog:

http://www.soldsecure.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Sold-Secure-2015-Approved-Product-Catalogue.pdf

On a D-Lock you might get lucky by cutting just one side and then twist it to brake the lock mechanism and release the bike?

On Chain - Padlocks you probably have to make at least 2 cuts, on one of the chain links or the padlock. (The pad-lock is too small to give you the same leverage for braking the lock mechanism as the D-Lock?)

Kryptonite now makes some "smaller" versions of chain - padlock combinations, with an integrated padlock:

By the way, I use a Kryptonite D-Lock and it's 2.5kg or something, these chains are 3+kg I think. :D

Also, just buy a used one from E-bay... I got mine "new" from ebay for 40euroz instead of the 60euroz they were selling on the shops. It also was supposed to be new, a used one would probably be cheaper.


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gavinfree

Member
Feb 19, 2015
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I'd spend a few extra bucks on a higher end lock, although buying used can help you save some money. I try to avoid situations where I have to leave my bike out of sight for more than a few seconds. It's better to avoid putting your bike out there where someone can see it and steal it, lock or no lock. It's amazing how fast a person can break most locks and get away with your bike!
 

DancingLady

Member
Mar 9, 2015
226
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Thanks for the tips, there are definitely a lot of options out there. I don't mind the weight, though. In always carrying stuff.
 

lectraplayer

Member
May 11, 2014
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I have cut one side of a common Master lock before, and then twisted it to release. You have to get the "open" side for it to work. A D-lock looks more secure to me.
 

Froze

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
4,712
375
83
NE Indiana
Believe it or not it depends on two things, how expensive of a bike are you locking up? and is the area you locking it up have a high crime rate?

If the bike is a $500 bike why lock it up with a $200 lock? if the bike is a $5,000 bike why lock it up with a $20 lock? Regardless if $500 or $5,000 bike I would use 2 locks of different materials or styles like a U lock and chain etc. The best lock to use to protect a $5,000 bike is to buy a $300 or so bike (used or new) and lock it up with $45 in locks and save the good bike for rides where you won't be locking it up.

Here's a little web site of the best locks that were tested, see: http://www.bicycling.com/news/featured-stories/smash-lab-bike-locks-broken

This is the best lock for under $50 for low priced bikes but I would add a second pad lock or Abus Discus lock for the cable instead of attaching it to the U lock because once that U lock is broken the cable is useless, anyway see: http://thesweethome.com/reviews/best-bike-lock/

Here is how to lock your bike; see: http://www.kryptonitelock.com/en/proper-lock-up/bicycle-lock-up.html

But I feel it necessary to warn you about something, and that's the bogus lock warranties that supposedly will pay X amount of dollars if you bike is stolen while using their locks. Bogus? say what you scream? Yes bogus because of all the loops you must go through in order to get the payout. Loops like the ones Krypto has: You must send in your original receipt and original UPC code cut from the box and send it in within 10 days of purchase. No big deal right? except when you have a claim they want another original receipt and the entire original lock packaging with the UPC code attached! HUH? Then they want a police report, great except most major cities won't come out to do a police report for a stolen bike. Then they want a slew of photos taken at the same time of day the bike was stolen showing the crime scene, what the lock/bike was locked up to, the undisturbed lock (how can you leave this till the next day to get a camera is a bit interesting), what they will decide from those pics if the crime scene was well lit with lots of pedestrian traffic. They want the original broken lock sent back. The lock warranty is only good for 2 years at which point you have to send money to reactivate it, then after that 2 year period you have to buy another lock and start over. When Krypto was questioned by a major bicycling magazine about how much money have they paid out in claims over the last 5 years Kypto's response was that it was a corporate secret...code for very little if any money has ever been paid out. Not sure about the other companies and their warranties, but I feel pretty confident that the others are close to the same thing as Krypto. There was a forum post once a long time ago on a different forum asking who had ever had their bike stolen while locked and if the warranty ever paid, several had their bikes stolen and none were able to get the insurance money.
 

Connie858

New Member
Mar 19, 2015
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The lock I carry depends entirely on where I am leaving my bike and which bike I am leaving. At the very minimum I will be using my D lock if I need to leave my bike anywhere.

If I am leaving the bike for any length of time greater than 15 minutes or so, then I carry 2 locks and settle for the weight. Both locks are gold rated and one has a security rating of 15 (out of 15). One is a cable lock and the other a short D lock. Short because I don't want to give anyone any room to yet a car jack in around both ends of the D lock; something that is surprisingly easy to use to break D locks. 2 types of locks because usually thieves are only prepared for 1 type of lock, so only carrying the tools to break 1 type of lock (apparently!)

But at the end of the day the best thing you can do is to make your bike less easy to steal than someone else's and make sure that you have situated your bike as close to the security cameras as possible. Also consider changing your quick release skewers for something more secure if you are concerned at all about your wheels being taken. Even just changing to allen key skewers will deter thieves if other bikes are 'more attractive'.

But at the end of the day, if you are not happy about locking your bike up somewhere, you should be listening to your instincts and not leaving it there at all.
 

kana_marie

Member
Mar 24, 2015
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The amount of money i spent on the lock would be dependent on how much I spent on the bike. For my starter bike I'm guessing it isn't going to be too terribly expensive so I'll probably go with a chain and padlock. I doubt too many people are going to think its worth it to pull out the bolt cutters for a pretty cheap bike.
 

kana_marie

Member
Mar 24, 2015
364
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The amount of money i spent on the lock would be dependent on how much I spent on the bike. For my starter bike I'm guessing it isn't going to be too terribly expensive so I'll probably go with a chain and padlock. I doubt too many people are going to think its worth it to pull out the bolt cutters for a pretty cheap bike.
 

JoanMcWench

Member
Feb 17, 2015
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I have a Kryptonite lock as well. I've always used them even though one of my bikes had been stolen while using it. I tend to believe it wasn't the lock that they destroyed but what I was locked to was removed. So, I've stayed loyal.
 

ABNPFDR

Member
Sep 24, 2014
212
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The only lock that ever get's put on any of my bikes is the one on the door of my house. Back in my army day's I had to take a locksmithing course and I became appalled at how easy it was to defeat virtually any lock in a very short amount of time. Locks are almost pointless. And for the record, when was the last time you saw a guy coat-hangering a car door and screamed "Theif". When was the last time you saw someone trip the door alarm at a store and security comes running. No one even notices. So If I take a perfectly placed hammer strike to your lock and go riding off on your bike... no one's going to notice.

If I HAD to... I mean HAD to. Like, I lived in Boston and rode my bike everywhere. I'd make sure that my bike was not worth the trouble stealing and lock it up with the cheapest lock I could find.
 

shilpa123

New Member
Feb 18, 2015
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I believe master lock should be quiet useful. I do believe that one needs to know what exactly what kind of lock they need and then think about buying it.
 

kana_marie

Member
Mar 24, 2015
364
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I wouldn't know where to start deciding on what lock I need. Anything more than a chain and padlock is new territory for me.