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Are bike locks getting more expensive?

This topic contains 24 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  gg 10 mos, 1 week.

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rgrasmus

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Jan 15 2014 at 4:14pm #

I’ve been trying to price out locks from Kryptonite but they seem to keep going up in price:

http://camelcamelcamel.com/Kryptonite-997986-Black-Fahgettaboudit-U-Lock/product/B000OZ9VLU?

http://camelcamelcamel.com/Kryptonite-999485-Black-Fahgettaboudit-Chain/product/B001JPS200?


Erica

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Jan 15 2014 at 5:36pm #

those are their two most expensive locks, if I remember correctly. It’s not necessary to have that kind of protection in pittsburgh right now, I don’t think


Drewbacca

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Jan 15 2014 at 5:48pm #

Amazon always cycles through prices, on everything… just keep watching. You can sometimes snag one of the orange ones from REI on clearance.


Jacob McCrea

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Jan 15 2014 at 6:01pm #

Wow, those prices are staggering. I haven’t priced it out, but I have to believe a far cheaper alternative is to go to a Home Depot or Lowe’s and buy a foot or so of high-tensile transport chain and the best padlock that they carry. Then put an old inner tube over the chain. I can’t imagine you’d spend more than $35.


gg

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Jan 15 2014 at 6:46pm #

I have that NYC lock and love it. Heavy as hell, but I figure I might as well buy one lock and keep it for many years. It might be overkill, but one never knows. In a year or two that might be the standard one needs here. Hard to say, but I made the investment and hope to have it for 10+ years if not much more.


Pierce

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Jan 15 2014 at 7:05pm #

Is there any evidence that what would defeat a regular U-Lock wouldn’t defeat the $100 u-lock?

I.E. if I use a battery powered grinder or something, wouldn’t it cut through it just like a $40 U-Lock?


Jacob McCrea

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Jan 15 2014 at 7:36pm #

I doubt it. I work with metal quite a bit as a hobby and haven’t encountered any variety of steel that a battery-powered grinder or cutoff wheel won’t go through fairly quickly.

As for whether a Kryptonite lock is harder to pick or break apart with leverage, I don’t know but I’d hope so given the price!


Marko82

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Jan 15 2014 at 8:16pm #

I think there is higher replacement insurance on the most expensive models. But you could always increase your homeowners/renters insurance too so I’m not sure its worth paying for. And if you want to carry that much weight you could always buy & carry two better quality u-locks and absolutely double the grinder time and cover both wheels.


gg

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Jan 15 2014 at 9:00pm #

Pierce wrote:Is there any evidence that what would defeat a regular U-Lock wouldn’t defeat the $100 u-lock?

I.E. if I use a battery powered grinder or something, wouldn’t it cut through it just like a $40 U-Lock?

All U locks are not created equal. You want to make sure the U-lock will lock on both sides of the U, so the person trying to cut it will have to cut it twice, instead of just once and then twist the U. Also, the thicker you go the more time it will take a thief. Can they be beaten? Yes, but angle grinders are pretty darn loud and if you have a good thick U-lock they will have to grind through it twice. Quite a risk to the thief.

Here is a video of someone trying to get through a lesser U-lock than that crazy forgettaboutit NYC one. Even the angle grinder wasn’t very impressive and to cut that twice? It would take a long time and cause lots of sparks.


Benzo

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Jan 16 2014 at 9:21am #

FWIW, I love my Abus u-mini 40. Abus is a german company that specializes in locks. I got mine for about $50 – $60 bucks and it’s got a dual deadbolt and is made with hardened steel.

Here’s a review and factory tour gallery from urban velo.


rgrasmus

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Jan 16 2014 at 9:33am #

Thanks for the tips. I’m holding out for better prices as I can keep my bike in lab. However, I thought the general price trends for the past few months compared to the previous years were surprising. Not sure if it’s an issue of increased demand, or something different.


jonawebb

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Jan 16 2014 at 9:48am #

I think it is probably something more like Amazon was quoting prices from some retail source that was selling them at a discount, and isn’t doing that any more.


byogman

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Jan 16 2014 at 10:04am #

I’m really looking forward to riding my 20$ clown bike once I get the brake cable attached and then just not worrying so much about it being stolen.


edmonds59

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Jan 16 2014 at 10:23am #

^Watch out for the Hamburglar.


Drewbacca

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Jan 16 2014 at 2:09pm #

jonawebb wrote:I think it is probably something more like Amazon was quoting prices from some retail source that was selling them at a discount, and isn’t doing that any more.

No, seriously, Amazon is WEIRD. I bought a pair of Campy Athena Ergos for $104. No one else had that price, it was just random. They haven’t been as cheap again ever since. I’ve bought other things with wild random fluctuations (such as a kitchen stand mixer). Just look at the trends at camel-camel-camel. It’s crazy.

Point being, judge trends based on an average of local and internet retailers, but always treat Amazon as an outlier.


ericf

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Jan 16 2014 at 6:20pm #

Locks are still cheap when compared to the cost of a new bike.


rice rocket

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Jan 19 2014 at 9:55pm #

gg wrote:
Here is a video of someone trying to get through a lesser U-lock than that crazy forgettaboutit NYC one. Even the angle grinder wasn’t very impressive and to cut that twice? It would take a long time and cause lots of sparks.

That’s because he used the wrong disc.


gg

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Jan 20 2014 at 10:53am #

rice rocket wrote:That’s because he used the wrong disc.

Nice to have a power supply and run a cord. Also, that isn’t a NYC Forgettaboutit lock. Not sure of the quality of that one and it is way thinner than the one I use, plus I have a chain with big lock, so they need three cuts to take my bike. How do you think they will run a cord? There might be a cordless option. Maybe no one will see someone cutting the U-lock, TWICE, not just once. You can’t get the bike off the rack with one cut if it is a quality U-lock. There will always be a way to steal a bike, but the best solution is to make it as hard as you can. What do you suggest? I think I will keep the best option and hope a pro doesn’t come along, but that pro still might get caught. They then will have to ride the bike away or throw it in a van or something, not to mention walking up to the rack with an angle grinder and hope no cyclists or anyone will notice them setting up, cutting away with a ton of noise, removing the bike and taking it away.


jonawebb

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Jan 20 2014 at 11:15am #

There’s a hierarchy here:
Worst bike lock (light chain, combination lock) — require no tools, just force, or tricks w/combination lock.
Cable lock — requires cheap wire cutters and time, or better cutting tool and no time.
Cheap U lock or chain — requires hacksaw and time, or bolt cutter and no time.
More expensive U lock — requires angle grinder, some time.
Best U lock — requires angle grinder w/diamond wheel and more time.

In every case there’s a way to defeat the lock, you just have to have the right tool. Note that battery operated angle grinders cost $100 or so.


Pierce

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Jan 20 2014 at 11:16am #

Do your locks have anti-social engineering mechanisms on it?

“Hey, are you stealing that bike?”
“No, I lost my damn keys, so now I have to cut through my locks. Kind of sucks because this is a $100 lock too.”
“Yeah, that does suck, good luck.”

How many people in the bike theft section are like “And my bike was right next to the security guard too!” It’s a lot easier to steal under the false pretense of security

That being said, again, we have no evidence of people walking around with angle grinders here yet.


rice rocket

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Jan 20 2014 at 12:41pm #

gg wrote:

rice rocket wrote:That’s because he used the wrong disc.

Nice to have a power supply and run a cord. Also, that isn’t a NYC Forgettaboutit lock. Not sure of the quality of that one and it is way thinner than the one I use, plus I have a chain with big lock, so they need three cuts to take my bike. How do you think they will run a cord? There might be a cordless option. Maybe no one will see someone cutting the U-lock, TWICE, not just once. You can’t get the bike off the rack with one cut if it is a quality U-lock. There will always be a way to steal a bike, but the best solution is to make it as hard as you can. What do you suggest? I think I will keep the best option and hope a pro doesn’t come along, but that pro still might get caught. They then will have to ride the bike away or throw it in a van or something, not to mention walking up to the rack with an angle grinder and hope no cyclists or anyone will notice them setting up, cutting away with a ton of noise, removing the bike and taking it away.

I don’t care what you use or own, I was just telling you that you’re naive to think it takes 3 minutes or whatever that guy ended up taking for a standard lock, because he used the wrong disc.

Also…I have a portable angle grinder on order, who wants to test this?


Drewbacca

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Jan 20 2014 at 12:59pm #

Pierce wrote:That being said, again, we have no evidence of people walking around with angle grinders here yet.

I think that the best theft deterrence (for the pros) is a lack of easy resale. From what I’ve seen in Chicago, it’s really easy to offload a stolen bike… there is a chain of swap-meets “swap-o-rama” where a good number of stolen bikes end up. There is also the annoying “chicago bicycle trader” group that keeps reincarnating on fb (which is mostly a bunch of young thugs passing around stripped parts). I think the population density creates a market for the pros, that fortunately doesn’t exist in Pgh (and hopefully, never will).


edmonds59

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Jan 20 2014 at 1:11pm #

Pierce wrote:That being said, again, we have no evidence of people walking around with angle grinders here yet.

Last year, my top- level On Guard U lock seized up completely while on the ex-rack in the Macy’s garage, WD40, PB Blaster had no effect on unlocking it. So I came back at about 8:30 in the evening with an angle grinder and 100 ft of extension cord. Being concerned about arousing suspicions, I found an attendant and told him the lock was seized and I would be cutting my bike loose. He looked at me with as much concern as if I had just told him we live on earth and breath air, and said “…uh, ok”. Cut the bike loose, it took about 30 seconds, and I was on my way. It literally took me longer to wind up my extension cord. ‘Cause I’m neat like that. The presence of a guard most likely means nothing to the likelihood, or not, of theft.


cowchip

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Jan 20 2014 at 6:07pm #

I must say if i ever encounter someone cutting a lock off i will take thier pic and if they don’t like that too bad . I think everyone should call them out . If it is your bike then why would you object ? YOU don’t want your pic taken , no problem ill call the cops that looks like my friends bike !!!


gg

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Jan 21 2014 at 4:51pm #

cowchip wrote:I must say if i ever encounter someone cutting a lock off i will take thier pic and if they don’t like that too bad . I think everyone should call them out . If it is your bike then why would you object ? YOU don’t want your pic taken , no problem ill call the cops that looks like my friends bike !!!

If I saw someone cutting a U-Lock with a grinder, I would call 911 without talking to the person cutting. I am sure I am not alone. It would take more than 3 minutes in total to take a bike with a top quality lock. It would take longer with my set up, but I am over the top for Pittsburgh. Two of my bikes are sort of expensive, but to be honest, they mean more to me than money. I hope to ride both of those bikes till I am dead, but we shall see.

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