08 June 2019

How Safely Is Your Bike Parked?

What's the difference between true love and an STD?

Only one of them is forever!

Not many things in life are "forever". (On a purely semantic level, nothing is, because, well, none of us is forever!) One thing that that doesn't last for eternity is security, at least the kind provided by bike locks.  Sooner or later, someone figures out how to pick, break or hack even the best security device.

That is what happened with the Ottolock.  Given that it's a light, flexible band, I am not surprised.  I imagine that there isn't much consternation among Ottolock's creators, either:  The Portland (where else?) company acknowledges that it's not a primary theft deterrent.  It should be used only for short durations in low-theft areas, or in conjunction with a stronger U-lock, according to company representatives.

Still, I can see the egg on their faces when "Lock Picking Lawyer" posted this video showing how easily he cut the band:


  1. I want to click the dislike button but I guess that is disliking the post not the subject.

    Having lost a loved beautiful bike to thieves my approach was to make the replacements as undesirable looking as possible which of course made them less loveable!

    Is it actually possible to make a bike secure using something that is still possible to carry!?

  2. Coline—I don’t think we ever get over losing a beloved bike!

  3. Seems the Ottolock is not a whole lot better than a bike helmet strap through the spokes.

  4. This post inspired me to look for my Trek "flimsy cable worthless combo" lock. It has the advantage of being almost nothing in weight while making any potential thief have to go back to the car to actually get out the clippers, giving me enough time to get back to my bike. None of these light solutions are going to stop a real thief, but sometimes, 30 seconds ie snough of a delay...

  5. Steve and Mike--Both of you are right. I think bike helmet straps, bungee cords, "flimsy cable worthless combo"s and other cheap/light securing devices are good only if you are going to be away from your bike for a few seconds and it's within plain view and easy reach. Otherwise, you use a Kryptonite U-Lock or something as good.