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Are all U-Locks truly secure?(28 posts)

Are all U-Locks truly secure?Kristin
Aug 28, 2002 4:56 AM
I have a U-Lock from Nashbar that I paid $6.25 for. It came with a little key that looks uncomplex. I have no problem locking my bike with it for a short time, but I'm moving to a smaller condo and need to store my bike in the bike room. The room is locked (all building residents have a key) and there is a steel bar installed. Bottom line, is my U-Lock easy to crack? And if so, what kind of lock/chain system should I get to secure my bike?
Depends on how tenacious your thief is.Sintesi
Aug 28, 2002 5:21 AM
All locks are breakable and all a thief needs is time and opportunity. If you're using a U lock try not to leave enough space inside the "U" that a thief can get a significant pry bar in there, otherwise it can be over pretty quickly. Honestly, the more expensive the lock, generally the harder it is to crack. $6.95 from Nashbar might not cut it if you don't trust the security of the bike room. You might try multiple U locks (no cable locks or less than mondo sized chain), the idea is to make it take so long the bike messenger (sorry I meant thief) will pass it by. Another method is to put your bike next to a really nice looking bike in the hopes that they won't even notice yours.

Now if they made a lock that spit hydrochloric acid at the offender I would pay top dollar for such an item.
All bike thieves need to die bitter slow deaths.
WTF are you talking about?Ahimsa
Aug 28, 2002 3:11 PM
"the idea is to make it take so long the bike messenger (sorry I meant thief) will pass it by."

Hmmmm... you got experience to back this claim or are you just talking out yer ass?

Do you live in the basement? Come out every spring?Sintesi
Aug 29, 2002 4:53 AM
What could you possibly find wrong with such a statement.

Yeah I got experience. Worked at Blue Bird (few years ago think that was the name) and quit after three days because the people there were total brain dead chud. My best friend worked as a mess for a year.

If you got some romantic notions about BMs please let me disabuse you of this clap trap. BMs are abunch of either, dissaffected pimple faced kids, drunks, drug heads, hustlers, exploited impoverished Ethiopians and Ghanians, and/or the occasional musician. Yeah a lot on BMs are good but a lot ain't.

You want a stolen bike? Go ask a bike messenger and ask him where he got his.
Romantic notions (I could have danced all night)Ahimsa
Aug 29, 2002 5:42 PM
"Worked at Blue Bird and quit after three days....My best friend worked as a mess for a year."

Well sh!t man, If I'd only known of your vast experience in the bidness.


You know so much yourself. bleh back. nmSintesi
Aug 30, 2002 4:39 AM
re: Are all U-Locks truly secure?Akirasho
Aug 28, 2002 5:21 AM
... there have been numerous articles in cycling mags in the past regarding the effectiveness of locks, including U... and the overriding concensus is, that given the right tools and time... any lock can be broken (though some tests did "test" the patience of the testers... and they gave up (I think it was the Kryptonite New York link lock)).

Aside from foiling the lock... one has to consider what it's locked to (in England, they sell devices that bolt to concrete and/or cinder blocks for securing your bike...) There was one famous incident on one of the TV news mags where a bike was well secured to a parking meter... but the meter had been pre rigged to lift out of it's mount... zing!

The thing is... virtually any lock is better than none... and owing up to the abovementioned frustration, since most bike thefts are crimes of opportunity, anything you can do to make a thief look elsewhere or give up is a good thing.

While I've no first hand experience with the Nashbar lock (I've gone over to the braided steel type), you generally get what you pay for... you might consider investing in a Kryptonite... if peace of mind is of concern (albeit, only a piece of peace of mind).

My bikes are all kept inside... with the vast majority inside a locked basement... and the one's upstairs are often locked together with a Specialized Hard Rapper lock (the TV, however, is good to go).

Good luck!

We abide.

Remain In Light.
U-Locks are pretty easy to crackScot_Gore
Aug 28, 2002 5:29 AM
We had an "investigative" story on the TV news a few years back. They highlighted bike thief. The news team used convicted bike thiefs as their experts consultants. They confronted them with every kind of bike lock I've ever seen. With the right tools, they cracked every lock in less than 30 seconds. Specifcally the U-Lock they used a small one handed sledge and pounded on the cross bar until that little knob that interlocks with the "U" deformed and slipped out. It took 3-4 whacks and about 20 seconds.

I don't have any good suggestions for securing your bike. In a condo bike room your biggest exposure is from other residents vs the knowledgable bike theif. To a lay person a Colnago with a pulled wheel looks like a broken bike not a $4000.00 asset, so I'd pull a wheel and hope that your bike does not look valuable just broken.

my two cents

Who might get into the bike room?Kristin
Aug 28, 2002 5:48 AM
I kept my plain looking $450 Trek 720 in a commong bike room. There were a mess of bikes in there and many of them were shinier and prettier than the Trek. There was a RoyceUnion with a pretty paint job, never ridden with front shocks. But the Royce was never stolen. I doubt any of the residents know enough to have taken the Trek over another bike. What happened? My best guess is that the drug dealer, who lives in his mothers condo upstairs, ran into some trouble with one of his investors. Said investor made a deal with him, "Get me into the bike room and I'll forget the debt you owe." One thing is for sure, whoever nabbed the Trek knew something about bikes.

I think that I'm gonna keep the DeBernardi in my condo. I'm gonna trip over it at ever turn, but I'll know were it is.
Who might get into the bike room?Akirasho
Aug 28, 2002 5:58 AM
Kristen, sorry I missunderstood your initial post...

Indeed, there are several options available for indoor storage that, depending on the amount of room, might be viable for you (even consider a bathroom (set the bike in the tub till you need it (that's about three times a week for me)).

If your condo rules allow, you could had padded hooks to ceiling joists... or one of the vertical bike storage racks available at your LBS or online catalogs.

Also, when thinking of storage... think in three dimensions... you might be able to plaster it laterally to the ceiling (that would save a ton of space) and integrate the front wheel with a ceiling fan (ok, that's a bit stoopid... but I get points for brainstorming).

We abide.

Remain In Light.
I kind of like the bath tub idea.Spoke Wrench
Aug 28, 2002 8:31 AM
23+ hrs. per day it's out of the way.
This is a whirlpool tub. Only out of the way 22 hours a day! nmKristin
Aug 28, 2002 8:40 AM
Your actual experience trumps my conjecture, keep in the houseNMScot_Gore
Aug 28, 2002 6:02 AM
re: Are all U-Locks truly secure?StewK
Aug 28, 2002 5:51 AM
In a Bicycling Magazine article a year or two ago they "hired" a professional bike thief to break into locks. The only one he couldn't break into was the Kryptonite New York U-lock.
re: Are all U-Locks truly secure?NJRoad
Aug 28, 2002 8:15 AM
Even that one was breakable but required a car jack to do it. Like was stated above the trick is to fill so much of the space the theif can't squeeze anything between the U and the cross bar.
i'd keep it in your apartment.rufus
Aug 28, 2002 6:56 AM
i've got three bikes in my living room, and another frame upstairs in the bedroom, and my apartment isn't all that big, especially when you add in my stereo equipment, record and cd collection, etc.

as someone mentioned, if you are allowed to put small hooks in the walls or ceiling, you can save a lot of space. two of mine hang on hooks, one by the stairs, and the other in front of the little used door to the cellar, but they're usually just down on the floor leaning against something. i've seen kids in dorms that hang them in their windows, which may not be a great idea if you're on the ground floor.
The definition of small! Guess how much I'm paying for it.Kristin
Aug 28, 2002 7:04 AM
jesus, that's huge!rufus
Aug 28, 2002 7:09 AM
well, maybe not, but it's probably roughly the same size as my place, except my bedroom and bathroom are upstairs. otherwise, mine is the same or maybe just a bit larger than your living room/kitchen area.

i see two place right off to stuff your bike where it won't be too in the way, against the wall where it says "optional cabinets", provided they really aren't there, or against the counter separating the kitchen from the living room, on the living room side.
About 3000/moSteve_0
Aug 28, 2002 7:16 AM
in Manhatten
Well I can't really compete with NYC pricesKristin
Aug 28, 2002 7:45 AM
Its 40 miles outside of Chicago city limits and the price is $86000. Actually, that's a pretty good price for the amenities with heat included.
you make me sick!daneil
Aug 28, 2002 7:49 AM
j/k. but seriously that's not even close to small. come on down to my village 1 bedroom and i'll show you small. basically your living room is my living room, your dining room is my bedroom and my kitchen is about 5x10 with a very,very small bathroom off the kitchen. All told the legal rent is $1300/month. I love NY!
I envy you. I am paying $1500 for a studio. nmelviento
Aug 28, 2002 11:27 AM
Here's what you do.Sintesi
Aug 28, 2002 7:55 AM
Get a Pole Cat from Excel and hang your bike in the corner across from the fireplace. Couch goes next to bikes, entertainment center across from couch next to fireplace. Nice, cozy, views out the door, and at the fireplace and the TV, all the while bike by your side for loving occasional strokes.

You are set.
or even....Steve_0
Aug 28, 2002 8:02 AM
move the sofa out about a foot from the wall. Just keep the bike behind the sofa.
try thispukka
Aug 28, 2002 9:34 AM
The definition of small! Guess how much I'm paying for it.Skip
Aug 28, 2002 3:47 PM
I'd keep your bike in the condo, but make sure you dead bolt the front and well secure your sliding door. The sliding door is often the weakest link in.
They crack in seconds with a small car jack...spyderman
Aug 28, 2002 11:23 PM
I read it in a magazine somewhere... NYC has a big problem with theives using jacks on U-locks.
I don't know what bothers me moreKristin
Aug 29, 2002 5:59 AM
The thought of someone stealing my bike, or visions of someone swinging a car jack towards it!