Locks, a fable


This topic contains 11 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Drewbacca 1 yr, 6 mos.

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Jun 12 2012 at 1:12pm #

Yesterday, I had a meeting at 4:30, and I planned to get there on my little Raleigh folder, which was locked in the nearby garage. I left the office with 45 min to get there, plenty o time. Except when I got to my bike, the cylinder in the ulock was frozen. I had just locked it there in the morning, so this was inexplicable. I fiddled with it for 5 minutes or so, figured it would be worse to break off the key, so I double timed it on foot to the South Side. So frustrating. Fortunately I was wearing a wicking golf shirt or that would have been ugly. Made it only 10 min late and everyone was gracious and it was fine.

I came back this morning with a can of WD40, pumped the cylinder full of oily goodness, and it opened instantly.

The moral is, if you use your lock all the time, and it is out in the weather, or just over time, shoot some light lock oil or something in the cylinder every so often. In fact, when you lube your bike, do the lock too, think of it as part of the bike. Those little precision plates do not like to dry out. Save much cursing, if that is a goal.


Private Message

Jun 12 2012 at 1:34pm #

I tend to keep some chain lube handy in my messenger bag. A little squirt of lube in the keyhole might make things slide more smoothly in a pinch.

I put a little burst of triflow spray in there every now and then to be safe and keep my lock from jamming up.


Private Message

Jun 12 2012 at 2:04pm #

Kryptonite actually recommends WD40 as a cleaner/degreaser and then some waxy Teflon lube (which they suggest may be found in, say, a bicycle-selling establishment) every month or so: in other words, treat it kinda like a bike chain. Convenient.

And now I realize that I have not done this in months. Oops. Thanks for the reminder.

Eric Lundgren

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Jun 12 2012 at 2:09pm #

Thanks for the reminder I haven’t done this for a while either.

mr marvelous

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Jun 12 2012 at 4:23pm #

After reading this just lubed up an old lock I stopped using because it was always jamming and difficult to lock/unlock now it works like new. Thanks for the great tip.


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Jun 12 2012 at 6:22pm #

for the last few weeks, i actually found that saying ‘come on, you son of a b—-‘ got my lock to work. she got tired of the abuse and stopped working. i was just about to head outside to clean n’ lube the bike, so i’m glad i read this! good ideer.


Private Message

Jun 12 2012 at 7:11pm #

@parvipica ‘come on, you son of a b—-‘

Hey! Our locks have the exact same combination!


Private Message

Jun 13 2012 at 2:15pm #

I’m more worried about the abuse my key takes than the lock itself. I guess that is why onguard includes a million extras.


Private Message

Jun 13 2012 at 4:17pm #

Also to whomever it was that locked their bike against mine so that I had to squeeze the back of my hand against your casette to unlock my ulock when I finally did get it open, just, thanks.


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Jul 12 2013 at 9:43am #

My main lock was giving me a lot of resistance lately and though I kept using it, I was afraid the day would eventually come when I was just stuck with (a) a bike perma-locked down somewhere or (b) a useless lock. Rather than trashing it, or waiting for a crisis and looking for an angle grinder, I dropped a few drops of lubricant in the other day, and within a minute it was working good as new! My belated thanks for the tip/reminder.


Private Message

Jul 12 2013 at 10:42am #

Happened to me over the winter.

Forze badly enough that once I didn’t lock my bike at work. Chain lube cured all.

Well, that and ceasing to use abusive language when talking to it. ;)


Private Message

Jul 12 2013 at 10:52am #

On a not even remotely related note…

My iphone mic stopped working and the phone was only useful via speakerphone or headset. Then I threw it in the freezer for fifteen minutes and now it works fine! Thank goodness I tried that before resorting to WD-40. :D

as for u-locks, they make great replacement horse-shoes. But seriously… I have nothing to add. Glad you got your lock off without resorting to more destructive methods.

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