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A life of crime

  • 3rd May, 2007 at 8:54 AM

Originally uploaded by qousqous.

One of my coworkers came up to me after work on Tuesday night.

Uhm… Could you give me a hand? he asked.

I went over to his bike, parked by the kitchen, and he showed me the lock. The handle of his key had snapped off as he'd tried to force the lock open. The thing was jammed shut.

We fiddled with the key for a while, locking it in a set of pliers and wiggling it back and forth. Futile.

It got stuck before, once or twice, he said, but never like this.

At first, I thought that sawing through the lock might be a good idea. But then I remembered that we had a power drill in the office. About two minutes later, we had shattered bits of lock, and the bike was free!

That was far too easy.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
3rd May, 2007 13:22 (UTC)
I read somewhere that in a pinch, a car-jack can be inserted into the U and expanded, which will deform and pop out the lock - havent tried it myself.

3rd May, 2007 14:58 (UTC)
A standard car jack probably won't fit. The original hack was to use one of the tiny jacks from a VW beetle.

3rd May, 2007 15:45 (UTC)
That would make a lot of sense. But it'd still be too big to carry in your pocket.

I suppose if I were a criminal, I'd carry a gun. Then I'd carjack someone for their car jack.
3rd May, 2007 14:44 (UTC)
What's frustrating is that even if you DO get a good lock, some thieves who fail at obtaining your bike will smash the wheels in and such to ensure that no one else can have it if they can't.

That's happened to Chris's bikes several times in the past.
3rd May, 2007 16:38 (UTC)
Oh man, that sucks. :(
3rd May, 2007 15:04 (UTC)
Cheap lock. A real kryptonite is made of hardened high-carbon steel, and should be proof against just about any cutting tool. Easier to pick it (although even that's a lot harder since the whole "ballpoint" incident prompted them to change the design)

3rd May, 2007 16:29 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that drilling out the lock is the best way to go. Getting some titanium bits should let you chew through them.
3rd May, 2007 16:47 (UTC)
Depends. Many high-security locks have a ball bearing in the axle. A drill will just spin on it.

3rd May, 2007 15:53 (UTC)

Get one of these and you're golden. Too bad it costs and weighs as much as some bikes.
3rd May, 2007 16:37 (UTC)
I suspect that against power tools, this guy isn't going to do very well either.
3rd May, 2007 16:55 (UTC)
But it will keep that theiving Superman at bay.
3rd May, 2007 16:59 (UTC)
I wouldn't put money on that if I were you. They test these things by locking up bikes in high-theft urban areas. The bikes tend to get stripped for parts before anybody defeats the lock.

You can get through them with the right tools, but these tend to be a)expensive b)non-portable and c)loud. If a pro does break out a power tool, they tend to go through the anchor rather than the lock, then lift the bike into a vehicle so they can spend some quality time with the yooie.

Really, a pro will tend to cut and lift an entire rack at once rather than waste all that effort on a single bike.

The best rig is a krypto on both front and back wheels locked to the frame and the post of a chain link fence, gears facing into the links. I wouldn't bother with the really high-end locks -- I use a cable and a cheapish u-lock myself, but then I ride a crappy bike.

3rd May, 2007 22:14 (UTC)
Well, it's a good thing criminals don't have power tools then!

3rd May, 2007 18:21 (UTC)
Is that a picture of the actual lock? You could likely break that with a few good hits with a hammer...
3rd May, 2007 18:40 (UTC)
No, that was for illustration purposes only.
11th Apr, 2008 11:04 (UTC)
I think i remember a few years ago watching a video on youtube showing how to unlock those cheapo ones using a bic pen in about 30 seconds.

found it!!

you really do get what you pay for when it comes to bike locks, that's a lesson i learned the hard-way when i was younger, the very same holds true for car racks (of any sort). The cheap ones can easily be ripped off in no-time, leaving you without your bike/surfboard/kayak, etc.....

However I guess that's a catch 22 for you in this case, ohh well.. i never go for U-locks anymore... too risky.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )