Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting chat

Lock expense...worth it?

EssexSuffolkEssexSuffolk Posts: 112
edited March 2009 in Commuting chat
My occasional commute/pub bike is "recycled" (legally, I hasten to add), and thus far has cost me only £60 to get in roadworthy condition. It's ideal for its intended use.

Currently I lock it up using a cable-combination lock which, I'm told, isn't the greatest. Question is, is it worth spending £40 on a decent U-lock? One half of me say yes, to replace the bike I have wouldn't be easy (but possible), the other half says, considering it was free initially, it's madness to spend £40. Help me decide!

Posts

  • If it gets nicked, how p!ssed off will you be, and how much will a replacement cost? That's the real price to weigh against the cost of the lock.
    Swim. Bike. Run. Yeah. That's what I used to do.

    Bike 1
    Bike 2-A
  • pete54pete54 Posts: 488
    It's not madness. Just because it's a cheap bike doesn't mean someone won't steal it, and you have to consider the hassle of replacing it, not just the cost.

    A decent lock should last years, so you shouldn't have to replace it when you get a better bike.
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    My occasional commute/pub bike is "recycled" (legally, I hasten to add), and thus far has cost me only £60 to get in roadworthy condition. It's ideal for its intended use.

    Currently I lock it up using a cable-combination lock which, I'm told, isn't the greatest. Question is, is it worth spending £40 on a decent U-lock? One half of me say yes, to replace the bike I have wouldn't be easy (but possible), the other half says, considering it was free initially, it's madness to spend £40. Help me decide!

    Well, it's not been free if it's cost you £60!

    How much would it cost you to replace it is more the question? And how long would it take you to do so?

    If the time and the cost above is worth £40 to you, then yes, you should get a decent lock.

    Also, if you're attached to it at all you should get the lock.
  • Mmmm, I hadn't considered the time factor. For that, £40 does seem reasonable. I am also growing attached to what was intended to be a dirty, unattractive machine, to deter thieves...ironic that I will end up riding this more than my lovely road bike!

    Thanks all, you've helped clarify some muddy waters there.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    EssexSuffolk
    another thought. do you have insurance? i guess not, but if you do get whatever lock they suggest and read the small print.

    A more expensive and "better" lock may make your insurance invalid. as it is not recommended.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • TopSpinTopSpin Posts: 36
    My bike was worth nothing but the hassle and expense of replacing it when it got stolen easily cost me a few hundred. I would get a d lock. Maybe be useful for your nicer bike too.
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    Avoid cable locks. Some chain locks are ok but the U/D Locks are generally the best.

    I'd get the U lock, a bike is your friend - you wouldnt want to lose a friend would you. :wink::lol:
  • fossyantfossyant Posts: 2,549
    Get a u-lock but make sure you fill it with bike - otherwise some oik will get a bottle jack in.......
  • richkrichk Posts: 564
    I got stopped outside my office a couple of weeks back by a student who couldn't believe his bike had been nicked "because it's sh1te & not worth anything" so hadn't bothered with a reasonable lock.
    There is no secret ingredient...
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    RichK wrote:
    I got stopped outside my office a couple of weeks back by a student who couldn't believe his bike had been nicked "because it's sh1te & not worth anything" so hadn't bothered with a reasonable lock.

    Was the same at my place, and she had an 8 mile walk home. Felt a bit sorry for her even if she did just buy a combination lock
  • BassjunkieukBassjunkieuk Posts: 4,232
    I'd get a lock! Funny as I was having a conversation about locks with a work colleague and my manager earlier after he asked what I use.

    I explained about my combination of U-Lock and cable lock and how I secure both wheel at the same time. I even managed to point out another cyclist who'd used a similar technique as we walked past the UCL :-)

    I said it was a bit heavy and my mate said he wouldn't want to carry it around as it's heavy and I just said I'd much rather carry a few extra KG in my bag then have to walk home :-)

    If your interested currently use one of these:

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 01ffe423a6

    I remember reading once that you should spend about 10% of the value of the bike on a lock, I know this means £6 in your case EssexSuffolk, but I think this one could be good value :-)
    Who's the daddy?
    Twitter, Videos & Blog
    Player of THE GAME
    Giant SCR 3.0 - FCN 5
  • Cable locks are rubbish - already had one bike go with 2 cable locks attached
    Snip snip and they are gone

    IMO £40 don't buy you that good a lock, my cheapest is £65 and if they are that bothered it just takes 5 mins tops to bust it.

    How annoyed will you be and how inconvienced will you be if it gets knicked.

    Tosh some emulsion over it, and really badly, then they cannot sell it.

    Cheaper to buy a new (2nd hand) bike unless you have to walk 20 miles or you attached to the bike.

    No easy answer. I have a sh1te bike to leave at Walthamstow - if it goes then I'm not surprised. Life's a bummer at times. OK i'm not helping, but you are not alone

    Stay lucky........................
    [1]Ribble winter special
    [2] Trek 5200 old style carbon
    [3] Frankensteins hybrid FCN 8
  • laughingboylaughingboy Posts: 248
    If I were you, I'd buy a lock that costs as much as your bike cost to restore.

    It will last you practically for ever.

    My rationale? If you buy cheap and your bike gets nicked, not only have you got to replace the bike, but you have to replace the lock. Which - having lost my bike - would make me feel like an utter nonce.

    Ideally, a bike lock should be as thick as the girders on the Titanic, should weigh more than a lead-lined Bank Safe, and - most important - should have a really tough-sounding name, like:
      XXXGranite New York State Penitentiary Rugged Extreem, or Tyson.

    Accept nothing less.

    A proper lock should take most of the fun out of cycling. :wink:
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    I suppose the thing to remember about locks is they really only slow down a thief, as if he wants it he'll have it. The point is to make it as annoying as possible for him to steal.

    Actually one of the lads at work had a great idea on stopping his bike being stolen. He stuck loads of sparkly pink stickers all over his. :lol:
  • katrumkatrum Posts: 7
    I got a very expensive 'Gold' level lock for a very cheap bike.

    My rationale was that any sensible thief would not expend the effort of overcoming my posh lock to steal a censored bike when wherever I park there are better or equivalent bikes parked with cheap easy to overcome locks.

    I have now bought a new (much better bike) and I am still using the expensive lock so actually it was probably cheaper in the long run than having to buy a second better lock to go with the better bike.

    I also keep a second lock at home so that my bike is secured with 2 d-locks in our bike parking lot. Interestingly the bike shed was targeted by thiefs a few months ago and the only bikes which were stolen were those with cable locks.

    If you are interested I've got a Kryptonite New York Mini it's main rival appeared to be the Abus Granite X which is the same price but I got a free Kryponite tyre cable from Wigggle which sealed the deal!
  • teulkteulk Posts: 557
    Combination cable locks are rubish - i could have your bike in few minutes, honestly. Py the extra and get a decent lock mate
    Boardman Team 09 HT
    Orbea Aqua TTG CT 2010
    Specialized Secteur Elite 2011
  • I am amazed, but grateful for, the number of replies my Friday musings on locks have generated. Needless to say, I'm off to buy a D lock at lunch...possibly spending upto £60.

    I also found uncurling my cable lock a bit of a faff over the weekend, which was added incentive!

    Cheers all.
  • dilemnadilemna Posts: 2,187
    I am amazed, but grateful for, the number of replies my Friday musings on locks have generated. Needless to say, I'm off to buy a D lock at lunch...possibly spending upto £60.

    I also found uncurling my cable lock a bit of a faff over the weekend, which was added incentive!

    Cheers all.

    Hope you bought an ABUS Granite X-Plus or Extreme preferrably x2 one for each wheel.

    I became the custodian of a Raleigh Carlton nice lug work when I was a student in the mid eighties. It had been left in the basement of a house I moved into. It cost me nothing except new tyres and a few quid on servicing it myself. I was absolutely gutted when it was stolen about a year later from college racks by local scum. I'd used a cable lock which was probably the bike's misfortune. Unfortunately Sussex police recovered it I say unfortunately as it had been badly vandalised but the frame was still good. So I took it back repaired it and then became very precious with it. I bought a good lock and it saw me through another 10 years until the frame died of old age osteoporosis.

    Don't buy Kryptonite New York D-lock as this was the one I used to secure my Brompton which was opened by BIC f****g biro and nicked.
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
  • TopSpinTopSpin Posts: 36
    dilemna wrote:

    Don't buy Kryptonite New York D-lock as this was the one I used to secure my Brompton which was opened by BIC f****g biro and nicked.

    Hey Dilemna,
    When did you buy your lock? I know the biro opening was the case with a lot of locks several years ago but it's not the case now. At least fingers crossed as I have a new Kryptonite and it seems pretty sturdy.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Until 2004 Kryptonite locks used the tubular pin tumbler locking mechanism. In 2004, videos circulating on the Internet demonstrated that some tubular pin tumbler locks of the diameter used on Kryptonite locks could be easily opened with the shaft of an inexpensive ballpoint pen of matching diameter. Trade website BikeBiz.com revealed that the weaknesses of the tubular pin tumbler mechanism had first been described in 1992 by UK journalist John Stuart Clark[3]. For an article in New Cyclist magazine he teamed up with a bike thief to show how easy it was to break in to the majority of bicycle locks then on the market. One of the methods he revealed was the ballpoint pen method. His article led to follow-ups in bigger circulation bicycle magazines and a BBC TV consumer rights programme also carried a feature on the pen method. Some UK trade distributors of bicycle locks using the tumbler mechanism withdrew the products from the marketplace and introduced locks which were more pick-proof. Following BikeBiz.com's report about this 1992 knowledge of the pen method the lock-picking video received widespread attention by the mainstream media and after a few days of negative publicity the company responded with a lock exchange offer. However, lawyers in the US and Canada had already launched class actions against the Kryptonite Corporation, citing the 1992 revelations on BikeBiz.com Kryptonite Corporation later settled the claims out of court despite the fact the 1992 magazine article had not featured a Kryptonite lock and Kryptonite employees said they were unaware of the 1992 article.

    The Kryptonites were redisigned in 2004, and product recalls offered - only suspect if it has a circular lock and key.

    In tests the New York Lock performs about as well as the Abus Granit X-Plus. The New York uses a harder 16mm shackle, whereas the Abus uses a 13mm square section shackle. The latter cuts faster with power tools, but requires 2 cuts. In the C-Plus tests the Kryptonite lasted a few seconds longer to attack, but very little in it (about 1'50" with an angle grinder if memory serves). I would be confident of either lock (currently using Abus, have used Kryptonite).
  • katrumkatrum Posts: 7
    I've posted this elsewhere - I had an old kryptonite lock with the style of key that was susceptible to biro attack.

    I missed all the publicity about their security as I wasnt' cycling at that point (me vs car, car won and I rather lost my nerve).

    However when i started cycling again last year I e.mailed kryptonite in the US and they sent me a shiny new kryponite lock in return for my old one.

    This good customer service was another factor in my decision to purchase a new kryptonite lock. The locking mechanism has been altered and rather cunningly the key now comes with a little light to make it easier to unlock in the dark!
  • I feel I had to reply, given the number of responses to my original post. I got one of these in the end:
    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=19330

    A good compromise between weight, price (24% off) and security (it's "Gold" rated). I had tried to buy this locally, but LBSs seemed to only stock the more expensive New York models, or the much cheaper U-locks.

    Thanks again.
  • MrChuckMrChuck Posts: 1,663
    I agree that it's not so much the cost of the bike but the cost of replacing it that you need to consider.

    I don't know why people keep banging on about this Kryptonite biro thing- it was 5 years ago!
  • steve345steve345 Posts: 1
    I feel I had to reply, given the number of responses to my original post. I got one of these in the end:
    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=19330

    A good compromise between weight, price (24% off) and security (it's "Gold" rated). I had tried to buy this locally, but LBSs seemed to only stock the more expensive New York models, or the much cheaper U-locks.

    Thanks again.

    I've been looking at this lock also. Its seems pretty good. However, I don't think is is Gold rated. Every web site that I've seen it on says its Silver Sold Secure.
Sign In or Register to comment.