Is this a good lock?

Frostybikes

New Member
Region
USA
I own this bike lock, but I havent used it yet.



Everything says to buy a more expensive lock, and I plan to buy a better one soon, but whats wrong with this one?

It has a 12 mm shackle, its double bolted, and it seems relatively sturdy.

One concerning thing is I cant find this model anywhere outside of walmart though.

What do you think? Is this a good lock?
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
There is steel, and there is recycled scrap metal that looks like steel. Somebody two days ago ground through a U-lock in 30 seconds cutting a friend's lock off that lost his key. Words don't describe an alloy, unless it comes with an ASTM test report.
So if you want a u-lock, buy Abus. And cables, none sold in bike shops seem to be difficult to cut with diagonal cutters. Try this one, $65 in the 6' length https://www.mcmaster.com/8942T15
If weight is no problem, buy 6' of pawag chain from westhostlogging.com The chain from Austria with square stock links. And an Abus granite padlock.
Two devices of different type are better than one. Puts you one up on the bike locked to the next post.
 
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Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
There is steel, and there is recycled scrap metal that looks like steel. Somebody two days ago ground through a U-lock in 30 seconds

Ten seconds. That was me. This lock is fine for honest people and/or really cheap bikes. It's about like untying a shoelace for a thief.

TT
 

retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
There is steel, and there is recycled scrap metal that looks like steel. Somebody two days ago ground through a U-lock in 30 seconds cutting a friend's lock off that lost his key. Words don't describe an alloy, unless it comes with an ASTM test report.
So if you want a u-lock, buy Abus. And cables, none sold in bike shops seem to be difficult to cut with diagonal cutters. Try this one, $65 in the 6' length https://www.mcmaster.com/8942T15
If weight is no problem, buy 6' of pawag chain from westhostlogging.com The chain from Austria with square stock links. And an Abus granite padlock.
Two devices of different type are better than one. Puts you one up on the bike locked to the next post.
What a crock of BS. Recycled steel is still steel. Any lock can be cut in 30 seconds with the right tool. Hint, that tool can be bought pretty cheaply at Home Depot.
McMaster's cable? It's still a cable, and can still be cut quickly with the right cutter.

The truth is that with ANY lock, you're just buying time these days, the days of cheap power tools and cheap diamond cutoff blades. Some locks will give you more time, but not much. If someone wants your bike, with enough time they'll have it. And don't expect bystanders to do anything.
 

Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
If someone really cares about this topic and believes in locks Casey Niesat (sp) has a great video of "stealing" his own bike in public in NYC.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Cables are bottom of the barrel in terms of security. You can use small diagonal hand cutters to just cut a few wires at a time rather than trying to cut the whole thing at once and be thru the thickest cable in a disgustingly short time. And then of course there are tools that are bigger that cut thru more effectively than hand cutters.

The quality of the steel is an issue.

An angle grinder will make short work of anything, so part of your locking strategy is location. We're talking 10 seconds for crap and up to 1 1/2 minutes for the really good (expensive) locks. Quantity is also a factor. A 12mm shackle on a U lock is a kid's toy. Also the expensive U locks - after a single cut they swing loose, but the good ones require you to make a second cut - doubling the time needed to get thru. So lets say you were using a top product with a 90 second cut thru time - that just became 3 minutes and maybe a blade change.

If cable is garbage, what else is there? Boron steel chain. Kryptonite and similar chain has an extended cut time ("extended" means not ten seconds), and you need to cut twice, but their links are short meaning a lot of extra weight versus a long link chain like a Pragmasis.

A second u lock never hurt simply to make the next bike over more attractive. Or the car. Each of these two are 16mm.

PXL_20210318_223651227_full.jpg


What about freezing attacks? Keep the chain up off the ground and make it all as inaccessible as possible. Also realize the angle grinder stories are MOSTLY 'fraidy cat BS. Great stories to tell but reality is most thefts are opportunity crimes where the easiest thing to steal with little effort gets stolen. If you lock the bike in a back alley and leave it for a day, then yeah kiss it goodbye.

Use your brain. Spend REAL money on a proper lock. You've done what you can. Now go ride.
 
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RunForTheHills

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
It is better than just using a cable. The U-lock is for locking the bike to a rack and the included cable is for securing the front wheel. There are, of course, much better locks available. There are other ways for breaking a cheap U-lock besides using an angle grinder. Thieves can use bolt cutters and or they can use a pry bar. The most expensive locks like the Kryptonite New York Fahgettabout or top end Abus locks can't be defeated with those tools and need two cuts (both sides of the shank) with an angle grinder. How expensive is your bike and how safe is the neighborhood you are locking it up in? Are you going to leave the bike locked up in the same place for hours at a time or overnight? I would say that if you spent over a thousand dollars (most ebikes cost at least twice that) for the bike, invest in a decent lock and not a Wally World special.

MTA: I agree with Indianajo that the steel used matters and I don't see anywhere in the description that the lock is made from hardened steel (high carbon and heat treated to resist cutting).
 
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sc00ter

Active Member
Any lock is better than no lock BUT, how bad is crime in your area? If you live in a high crime area like New York jump straight to the best lock you can find! If your in an area with low bicycle theft than that lock should be fine for now. The overall idea of a lock sometimes is to make a thief move onto an easier target with a cheaper lock, or no lock. The saying goes, If a thief really wants it, they'll get it. The idea is to slow them down or discourage them enough to move onto the next bike. Look into a SKUNK LOCK! Seriously! It's a real thing!
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
OnGuard is a quality brand of lock, but this seems like it's a low end lock for them made for big box retailers, as most OnGuard locks cost about 4 times that price.

Like @indianajo said, steel matters. No idea what steel is in this one, nor the key cylinder setup.

The big giveaway is that they only offer $500 in anti-theft coverage compared to most of the locks on their website which offer 10x that. (not saying it's easy to collect). :)

Their higher end Bulldog U-lock, for example, has a 16.8mm hardened shackle, and a quad locking mechanism. According to a LockpickingLawyer video, the cylinder isn't MUCH harder to pick than an Abus or Kryptonite, but because OnGuard is far less common on bikes, a picking as opposed to cutting thief might find it more trouble... the whole "security through obscurity" theory. :)

If I have to lock up outdoors for any length of time, I use an OnGuard Boxer mini U-lock with their Beast chain.
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
A second u lock never hurt simply to make the next bike over more attractive.
I 100% agree with this.

I live in Toronto, and if I'm leaving my bike for any amount of time (say, grocery shopping) I use multiple locks, and lock up near a decent quality bike that just has a crappy single lock.

Our city's bike racks are littered with cut no-name u-locks. I LOVE locking up near a Specialized bike with a cheap u-lock through the frame, and it's not all that uncommon to encounter that! :)
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
On a related note, I just got a couple ABUS keyed alike mini u locks (granit x-plus 54) and a matching ABUS granit city 1060 chain. Ordered them keyed to match an x-plus 54 I already had, super convenient. I like the 54 because it fits well around a bike frame and parking meter with no space to spare - no room to jam anything inside it - and it’s comparatively quite light. The chain has an integrated lock. Too heavy for travel except with a car, but a good deterrent at home.

As noted, anyone with an angle grinder and a minute or two can get through this stuff, but taking an angle grinder to a decent u-lock on a busy city street is a way different risk profile than a bolt cutter and a cable or conventional padlock.
 

retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
HaHaHaHaHaHa! Aluminum/brass/tin/copper content matters.
And that was my point. The issue is not recycled content. It's how the starting iron/steel was alloyed, how it was heat treated (case hardened) and how the lock is built and sized. You can't generalize too much.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
Wants a lock made of this stuff:

 

theemartymac

Well-Known Member
I always check this guys channel after seeing a lock that looks cool. This video is a good start, it's his own setup.


And he does some very good destructive testing videos as well that show the inherent weaknesses of pretty much every common design. I don't stress about the picking on complex keyways, as few thieves go that route when the destructive option is so damn fast and easy.

And he did discus that gigantic Altor. I would need a dedicated pannier just to carry it! lol