The Ultimate Guide: How To Pick A Bike Lock
No matter what type of bike lock you are dealing with, we have you covered. From the good ole Master Bike Lock, to the “U”, to the combination locks, to the “unpickable” – we have broken down the best strategies for learning how to pick a bike lock of all sorts!
There are many different types of bike locks. The majority of these locks rely on the thickness and strength of the part of the lock that secures it to an object. However, what bike locks are not good at is preventing people from picking those locks. Often times, people are worries about someone with bolt cutters stealing your bike. What everyone should be afraid of is a crafty lock picker coming by and nabbing your ride. We are here to show you exactly why that is. You may be looking for the best bike lock for NYC or looking to unlock a bike lock of your own in Santa Monica – either way, follow the steps in our guide and learn it all.
Combination Bike Lock
There are several different kinds of combination bike locks, however they all operate on similar mechanical operating systems. The most common tend to be the standard 4 digit bike lock. These bike locks come in may different styles, some with numbers and some with letters. Cheaper locks can be as low as 3 digits and the more expensive ones can go up to 5 or 6 digits. Regardless of how many columns one of these have, they all operate the same and if you know how to pick a bike lock then they are all equally un-secure and easy to open.
Key Based Bike Lock
Key-based bike locks are prone to picking. Because these locks have to be relatively inexpensive in order for people to purchase coupled with the fact that they have to be somewhat small in order to be portable, it leaves them open to being easily picked. Two of the main manufacturers of these are Kryptonite and Master Lock. If you have read through our other How To Guides, you will already know that Master Locks are very easy to pick. It’s no wonder that these locks are even easier to pick then your standard padlock. These locks use the pin and tumbler set-up.
The “Unpickable” Lock
I will start by saying that the idea of the unpickable lock is a good one. After all, we want our locks to be as secure as humanly possible. However, these locks miss the mark big time. They feature a mechanism inside the lock body to help prevent typical round style lock picking. The failure of this lock lays in the fact that the mechanism inside the lock body is not enough to stop the lock from getting picked by using the bump key method. We show you how to pick the unpickable bike lock down below, so check it out.
Now let’s get to cracking this combination bike lock faster than you can say bolt cutters. Just follow these 6 simple steps and you will be off to the races, here we go:
Step 1: Set All Numbers To The #1
Step 2: Give it a hard tug on both sides
Step 3: In between each column and hole in between the dials, there will be a gap if that is the right number
Step 4: Give it a tug and check in the first column if there is any gap. Keep turning to the next number and tugging to see if there is a small gap between the column 1 and column 2. Once you pull and there is a gap, that is the right number.
Step 5: Move on to the next column and repeat step 4 until you have gaps in between columns 1&2, columns 2&3 and columns 3&4.
Step 6: For the last column, simply keep turning and trying to open it until you have the last number lined up.
And KABOOM! There you have it, an easy way to crack a bike lock in almost no time. So now if you have forgotten your combination or you get a free bike lock because it is locked without a combination, you can make quick use of it. Now you just have to hope no one else knows about this.
If you are anything like me, you have lost your bike lock key more than once. Here is how you pick a bike lock without a key…
Method 1: Traditional Lock Picking
This method is the same for most pin tumbler locks. If you want to see this method performed more in depth, head over to our How To Guides section for more pin tumbler style lock picking tutorials.
Step 1: Insert torsion wrench in bottom of lock hole
Step 2: Insert pick in top of lock hole
Step 3: Put tension on torsion wrench in the direction that the lock turns.
Step 4: Simultaneously rake the pick from the back of the lock to the front of the lock
Step 5: Repeat Step 4 over and over again until you pop the bike lock straight open.
This method is the exact same as picking padlocks, check out the graphic below:
Arguably the most hilarious part of picking the “unpickable” lock is that it is absolutely the easiest one to pick given the correct tools. These locks were created to keep you more safe, but will the? Learn how to crack these open and we will let you be the judge.
1. Bump Key
2. Hard fist sized object
In order to do this the fastest, you will need a round bump key, however, you can also improvise one by cutting a chunk of soda or beer can, using paperclips, safety pins or hairpins.
Step 1: Insert bump key into lock hole
Step 2: Take hard fist sized object and hit the bump key in the direction that the lock cylinder turns.
That’s It! Seriously? Yes, seriously. These things are so easy to pick it’s crazy, it definitely goes to show you that marketing is really easy and effective but bike lock security is often not. This method should take you about 5 seconds once you have a bump key, effectively awarding it the least secure bike lock available.
If there is any sort of bike lock that you would specifically like us to show you how to pick, hit us up by going to the Contact Form and leaving us a message. Now you know how to open you bike lock without a key, crack the combination and pick the “unpickable” – Cheers!
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