Monday July 30, 2007

The Kryptolok bike-theft challenge

$80 bike, $34 lock

OK, so here’s my new bike, replacing the one stolen in June. I decided to double the amount of money I spent on the previous ineffectual lock, and got a Kryptonite Kryptolok, $34 bucks.

Kryptonite has a five-level system to assign theft-proofness to their locks, which is — no kidding — 7, 8, 9, 10, and 12. This lock is a tame level-8, but it looks impressive enough, and comes with $1250 worth of theft insurance (no power tool exemption, but enough hoops that require jumping through that I’m not going to bother).

By the way, this $80 bike from Target is great. It absolutely eats the road, it’s got 21 speeds, front suspension, and a seat that can be adjusted/removed on the fly. I’ve been torturing it, riding through construction sites, on beach sand, through water, and it holds up like a champ.

So, it’s been in front of my building since Saturday, locked just like you see it here (I’ve been removing the seat and water bottle). Let’s see how long it lasts!

And yes, that amazing pink bike with sponge seat is theft-proof. It’s got a hardware-store chain with a master padlock, a flat front tire, and it’s been sitting out there, unridden, for years. An inspiration to abandoned bikes everywhere.

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  1. jordan    Mon Jul 30, 10:14 AM #  

    You should try to put the lock through the front wheel too – front wheel thefts are common since they’re so easy to detach even while the bike is locked. the rear wheel is harder since you need some equipments whereas for the front wheel you don’t need much.



  2. Christopher Jahn    Mon Jul 30, 10:42 AM #  

    I had a bike with a kryptolok stolen. The lock held up, as far as I know. But let me describe how it happened:

    Tired of lugging the bike into my apartment, I decided to lock it to something in the back yard. I removed the front wheel, and ran the lock through the rear wheel, the frame, one pedal, the front wheel, and the object I was locking it to.
    That object, unfortunately, wasn’t as secure as I thought it was; it was a guy wire for the telephone pole in the back alley.

    My thinking was this: even if someone cut the guy wire (a 1/2 galvanized steel cable), the bike wouldn’t be ridable. So why steal it?
    Well, steal it they did. They cut the guy wire, and probably threw the bike in a truck to take back to a location where they could take as much time as they needed to cut through the kryptolok with a plasma cutting torch.

    I suppose my bike ended up on one of those cargo ships on the Miami River, and is carrying a Haitian back and forth from the market.



  3. Jonathan    Mon Jul 30, 12:16 PM #  

    Alesh, that is not the way to do it. Instead of locking up next to a shitty bike you need to lock your bike next to a much more expensive bike. If there aren’t any expensive bikes around, many bike stores carry realistic looking fancy-bike decoys that you can carry with you.



  4. NicFitKid    Mon Jul 30, 12:45 PM #  

    Or how about camouflage? Paint on some instant rust, pull off the fancy-pants gears and convert it to a fixed-gear, single-speed. Nick and gouge some tears in the seat and voila!, unwanted bike. You might not even need to lock it anymore.

    This suggestion not vetted for practicality, applicability, or common sense. Attempt at your own risk.



  5. kingofrance    Mon Jul 30, 01:46 PM #  

    When people come in the shop looking for a lock we always ask if they keep their bike outside overnight. If the answer is yes, we tell them it will get stolen, it’s just a matter of time. I’ll give you 8 months, tops. If you have to leave it outside, try to rinse it off with fresh water whenever possible and use a teflon based chain lube (do NOT use wd-40).
    The Deuce & Deweys will let you bring your bike inside, Ted’s Hideaway won’t.



  6. Steve Klotz    Mon Jul 30, 01:50 PM #  

    NicFit bought the right ticket but he didn’t go in. The idea is to camouflage it so that it doesn’t look like a bike at all. Paint it up like a graffiti’d wall or an ornamental hedge and park it next to one. Or better yet — make it look like a homeless person — they’re invisible.



  7. alesh    Mon Jul 30, 02:23 PM #  

    It’s hidden from the street by a hedge, it’s an $80 bike, it’s got no seat, it’s got a $35 bike, there are hundreds thousands of bikes locked on the street all over the beach, and it’s still going to get stolen?

    Fine. Each time this happens I’m going to double the amount I spend on the lock, and double the amount I spend on the bike. I shall not be broken. Next up: an aluminum frame road bike and the NY Fahgettaboudit.



  8. Never had a bike stolen    Mon Jul 30, 03:02 PM #  

    I’ll say it again like I said it before.
    You require two different types of locks to foil a bike robbery.
    A Kryptonite AND A steel cable or chain.
    Most “neer do wells” are not equipted to deal with both, and it takes too much time to break two locks.



  9. Jonathan    Mon Jul 30, 06:35 PM #  

    You’re going from a 45lb bike and 5lb lock to a 20lb bike and 30lb lock?



  10. alesh    Mon Jul 30, 06:42 PM #  

    I was there(?)~

    I know. I’m tempted, at least for my primary location, of getting a secondary device that would then stay there. Laziness, mainly (plus I sort of wanted to give this Kryptonite thing a chance to shine on its own — call me an optimist).

    Jonathan~

    Yeah, and you should see the bracket that comes with the lock to attach it to the bike. An engineering marvel that makes the lock look downright primitive, and it came with its own manual!!



  11. dreaming    Wed Aug 1, 11:53 AM #  

    i lost an $800 bike from inside my underground parking garage on sobe. yeah it was locked w kryptonite. nobody gave a fuck. the building security tapes were so bad as to be useless. i didnt bother w a cop report. for what?
    i then bought a used $80 bike and a $30 krptonite u lock. so far, so good. the key is to look used and crappy, but still be rideable. the thiefs are looking to get the bets bike for their efforts.



  12. Marie    Sun Aug 26, 12:33 AM #  

    I would like that pink bike to find a nice home. I’m in Michigan, otherwise I would take it myself. Could you break the lock, give it a tuneup and sell or give it away on Craigslist?

    Also, I’m looking for a lightweight, easy to use lock for my own bike. I live in a low crime area and am more concerned with convenience than anything. I’m thinking either the Headland: Pocket Pivot Bike Lock 6.5 or the Master Lock Force 3 Standard Bike Lock. Of these three (including the Kryptolok), would anyone recommend one?



  13. alesh    Sun Aug 26, 08:27 AM #  

    The Kryptolok is working out great – bike is still there, and it’s super easy to get on and off, and comes with a very well designed bracket, which is good, because it’s a little bigger then a standard U-lock and wouldn’t have fit in the standard position inside my frame.

    A fancier Raleigh mountain bike moved in next to mine, so I’ve got fancy-bike insurance. It’s got a big Alcatraz chain with a mini-U holding the ends together.

    The pink bike is still there; I think it’s abandoned.