ebike security

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
Yesterday I helped release a bike from a ULock. The key was lost and the bike needing freeing. I've cut steel with my cordless DeWalt grinder before but never a lock, let alone a fairly heavy duty U Lock. I thought maybe the lock would be made of some kind of titanium alloy or something that would require Superman's heat vision to cut through, but no. It took about 10 seconds to cut the lock with my grinder w/cutting wheel. Maybe less. I guess I should have timed it. I think it was 1/2 inch steel, with a soft plastic cover to protect paint and make it look like a 5/8" lock. I didn't pay any attention the the lock brand, sorry.

I put on a nice little fireworks show for those few seconds, but that was over about the time it started. Because of that though, and because any reasonable person might have considered my behavior suspicious, we had a uniformed campus cop on site by prior arrangement.

The point is, use caution if you think a U Lock is enough to secure your bike. A bike thief could have done what I did yesterday in less time than a lot of people could get their cell phones out and start filming and he'd be gone before 911 answered the phone.

TT
 

RunForTheHills

Active Member
Region
USA
Yeah, the professional bike thieves do use an angle grinder. I think it is like 30 seconds per shaft for the best locks. Some locks you have to make two cuts. There are Youtube videos demonstrating how quick it is. The meth heads don't have one. They use diagonal cutters to make short work of any cable lock though. You have to be aware of where and when you are locking your bike up as well as what lock you are using. Another option is to get a folding bike like the Brompton and take it in the store with you. There are also GPS systems that can aid in finding and recovering the bike after it has been stolen.
 

RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
I know it's sad, but the bottom line for almost ANYTHING you own - if a determined and prepared thief wants what you have - it's gone.
Prepare your security to stop the opportunists - it's pretty well the best you can do.

And there's little you can do to stop vandals - some people are just wired that way and unfortunately it's getting worse.
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
Which U-lock brand and model was it?
Like I said, I didn't notice. I wish I did. The campus cop picked up the pieces and threw them away. I would have grabbed them if he didn't. It was a pretty inexpensive analog bike, so, guessing, it was probably a low-end lock from Walmart or Amazon. It looked good and would stopped (and did stop) honest people from helping themselves.

TT
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
They can because they only cut a few strands at a time of the cable with the wire cutters. It doesn't matter how thick it is.

I couldn’t help but thinking a metal pipe cutter would work even faster. This one states it can cut stainless steel.
 

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tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Ah, the joys of living in Lower Lumpa. Crime here is very low. The only bikes stolen were unlocked and subject to some asshat grabbing and dumping once they get to the part of town they needed a ride to.
 

RunForTheHills

Active Member
Region
USA
I couldn’t help but thinking a metal pipe cutter would work even faster. This one states it can cut stainless steel.
I am not sure that would cut all the way to the middle of the cable since it is designed to cut hollow pipes. Bolt cutters would be faster but the meth head can't discreetly carry them in his back pocket as he walks around looking for bikes with cheap cable locks on them. I read an article a few years ago where the journalist interviewed various levels of bike thieves. I need to see if I can find it again. The gist of it was that a if a professional bike thief wants your bike, he is going to get it. The druggies weren't looking for expensive bikes because they didn't want to go to prison for grand theft. They looked for cheap bikes with cable locks that they could easily steal and get rid of quickly. The author ended up recommending getting a U-lock and moving your bike around so that it wasn't always locked in the same place because the pros like plan their heists and will scope a nice bike out to come back later with their tools.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
I am not sure that would cut all the way to the middle of the cable since it is designed to cut hollow pipes. Bolt cutters would be faster but the meth head can't discreetly carry them in his back pocket as he walks around looking for bikes with cheap cable locks on them. I read an article a few years ago where the journalist interviewed various levels of bike thieves. I need to see if I can find it again. The gist of it was that a if a professional bike thief wants your bike, he is going to get it. The druggies weren't looking for expensive bikes because they didn't want to go to prison for grand theft. They looked for cheap bikes with cable locks that they could easily steal and get rid of quickly. The author ended up recommending getting a U-lock and moving your bike around so that it wasn't always locked in the same place because the pros like plan their heists and will scope a nice bike out to come back later with their tools.
Someone needs to do that test and report. I have a small pipe cutter but am not willing to destroy my good cables!
 

ruffruff

Well-Known Member
I know it's sad, but the bottom line for almost ANYTHING you own - if a determined and prepared thief wants what you have - it's gone.
Prepare your security to stop the opportunists - it's pretty well the best you can do.

And there's little you can do to stop vandals - some people are just wired that way and unfortunately it's getting worse.
My dad always said. "Locks are for honest people."
 

RunForTheHills

Active Member
Region
USA
Someone needs to do that test and report. I have a small pipe cutter but am not willing to destroy my good cables!
But there isn't such a thing as a good cable. Get a good U-lock and cut away! That being said, I do use a cable to lock my front wheel to the bike as well as a U-lock to lock the bike to the bike rack. A chain would be better, but who wants to carry a 10 lb chain around?
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
who doesn't know this?
I don't know. Several people here seemed to have found it somewhat interesting whether they knew it or not. I was a little surprised and I've been working with metal for decades -- just not cutting thick ULocks. The cop said it was an education for him seeing how quickly the lock fell apart. But thanks for the question.

TT
 

RunForTheHills

Active Member
Region
USA
I don't know. Several people here seemed to have found it somewhat interesting whether they knew it or not. I was a little surprised and I've been working with metal for decades -- just not cutting thick ULocks. The cop said it was an education for him seeing how quickly the lock fell apart. But thanks for the question.

TT
I think these kinds of topics are always good to bring up. While a pro is going to be able to steal your bike no matter what lock you are using, educating people on best security practices is a good thing. Thieves suck.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
A chain would be better, but who wants to carry a 10 lb chain around?
Me. And I think I am at around 15 lbs total. With a hardened Pragmasis noose chain and two motorcycle grade u locks, I am good for about 4 minutes of protection from an angle grinder. Nothing is going to save you from a thief with lots of time and an angle grinder. But outside of a grocery store or Costco (where it'll be parked later today in fact) job done as good as can be. Even if it wasn't a bigass cargo bike, a lock like this goes on the back rack.
PXL_20210318_223651227_full.jpg
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
They can because they only cut a few strands at a time of the cable with the wire cutters. It doesn't matter how thick it is.
That video had a $12 cable as I gave away to my retarded ex-yard man that never locks his bike anyway. I'm not trying to cut my $70 SS sling but nobody else has tried it in 3.4 years. I shop & work volunteer job with bike locked up all the time. Lost a couple of lights.
That lizard king bike would look funny with the front wheel stuck in a pothole. rider would not look funny laying on the ground. At least a yuba mondo or a ride-the-glide has the small wheel in the back.
 
Does anyone have experience with disc brake locks?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G9XDSRC?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details

I have been using this one and a u-lock. The audible alarm is pretty loud.

The disc brake lock shouldn't let anyone ride the bike away.....they could still throw it in a truck and take it if they cut the u-lock.....I also keep it on the bikes when they are in my garage....
 

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