Wilko bike cable locks no good

Discussion in 'Cycling Archive' started by Gordon Freeman, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. Maybe this won't come to a surprise to many but I have just found to my
    cost that you can't trust a 10mm cable lock (such as sold for a tenner by
    Wilko in my case) to keep your bike safe even in the most public of places.

    I parked my bike among several others in a designated bike stand in a busy
    shopping precinct, and since it was the middle of the day and plenty of
    people around I had not taken my heavy D-lock (as it is about 1/6 the
    weight of the whole bike!) and instead used a 10mm Wilko cable lock, plus
    another skinnier cable lock to protect the second wheel as it has a QR

    I came back 20 minutes later to find both cable locks neatly sliced in two
    and no bike. The police tell me that although there are two CCTV cameras
    nearby both were looking the other way at the time so they have no leads to
    go on. I'd not thought people would be going around with bolt cutters in
    hand in broad daylight but obviously I was wrong! As you can imagine I'm
    kicking myself for thinking I could safely save a kilo+ of weight on my
    bike by using a lighter lock.

    It does make me wonder though, if a cable lock is no good in a public
    place like that, where is it good for? Maybe I could get a refund on the
    lock as being not fit for the purpose it was sold for? It was definitely
    sold as a bike lock and not just an accessories lock.

    My only consolation is that it will cost me about £70 less to replace the
    bike than it originally cost (mainly due to Wiggle discounting it to make
    way for next year's model).
    Gordon Freeman, Oct 28, 2015
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  2. Gordon Freeman

    Clive George Guest


    I discovered the same 25 or so years ago in Cambridge town centre.
    People have demonstrated many times that somebody with bolt croppers
    will be able to do their thing in broad daylight and nobody will stop them.
    It depends on the public place. What it is good for is stopping a
    drunken joyride or an opportunistic rather than planned theft. (visiting
    a bike rack with croppers = planned)

    It's probably fine in a quiet village, but probably not in a busy town
    centre. We use one when touring for example, but choose where to leave
    the bike.
    Clive George, Oct 28, 2015
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  3. Just to follow myself up, I was just browsing the lock reviews on
    road.cc website and I believe the Wilko £10 lock is an own brand version
    of the £15 Magnum CCL3, it looks identical except mine didn't come with
    a fixing bracket and was 120cm rather than 185cm. The road.cc reviewer
    said it took him 20 seconds to cut through the lock, so not an instant
    snip but not very reassurring!

    Gordon Freeman, Oct 28, 2015
  4. On 10/28/15 16:24, Gordon Freeman wrote:

    Sorry to hear of your woe.
    That's the problem - you had the sort of bicycle that sells well
    at thieves' fairs, oops, boot sales. Such a cable lock is fine
    for my bicycle, as it wouldn't sell in such places even when new.
    City centres are bad areas at all times, because everybody's business
    is nobody's business.

    On this matter, does anyone know of a supply of reasonable quality
    cables, like this but more resistant. Abus has the right technology,
    but doesn't seem to make anything.


    Nick Maclaren.
    Nick Maclaren, Oct 28, 2015
  5. Yes - I certainly can't find any, not even with more general searches
    for security products :-( What could be made is a cable like the ones
    we know about, but with (some of) the protection of ABUS Steel-O-Flex,
    giving a decent cable length for a tolerable weight. Not high security
    but better than anything else available long and light enough.

    Nick Maclaren.
    Nick Maclaren, Oct 28, 2015
  6. Gordon Freeman

    Clive George Guest

    I don't think there are any cables which aren't quite easy to cut. I'd
    recommend chain if you want length + flexibility, though it'll still be
    Clive George, Oct 28, 2015
  7. Gordon Freeman

    Tosspot Guest

    First point. Flay them alive with a sheet of A4 paper and boil them in
    lemon juice.

    Next. Very similar experience with British Transport Police. Whole
    bloody station covered with CCTV ("You'll go to jail for a hundred years
    if you don't have a ticket") and yet they couldn't find the scrotes that
    nicked my bike between about 15:00 and 20:00 on a summers day!
    No chance.
    Every cloud, but every bike gets personalised, and a new bike just ain't
    the same :-(

    Me, I'd go back to the first point...
    Tosspot, Oct 28, 2015
  8. In this case it's the council who run the CCTV in the shopping centre, I
    assume they had decided to prioritise pickpockets etc over potential
    bike theft. Or maybe a pretty girl walked by, I recall a study once
    showed that CCTV operators tend to spend most of their time looking at
    pretty white girls and young black men (though for rather different
    In my case I was able to pin it down to a half hour period but sadly not
    a lot of use as it turned out.
    Yes, I just dug out my heavy old mountain bike to use as a stop gap only
    to realise that the lamp brackets were on the stolen bike, so before
    I could go out on it in the dark I had to spend an hour cobbling some
    makeshift brackets together.
    Gordon Freeman, Oct 28, 2015
  9. Gordon Freeman

    Rob Morley Guest

    Ordinary cable locks are fine for discouraging casual theft, I've been
    using the same 6ft Squire one for thirty years(!) but if you have a
    bike that's attractive to thieves they'll make short work of it.

    Shackle locks aren't necessarily much better, as various demonstrations
    have shown they readily succumb to car jacks or even hammers, but those
    are less likely attacks in a busy public place in daylight.

    A big hardened chain (4ft x 1/2 inch) with a concealed-shackle padlock
    will deter those small bolt croppers favoured by thieves, and is often
    easier to use than a shackle lock as it will go around a wide lamp post
    or similar, also easy to carry, just sling it over your shoulder.

    I think the best combination of convenience and security is possibly
    afforded by something like the Abus Steel-O-Flex cable locks
    which are a thick cable encased in sections of hardened steel tube, so
    they're too big for all but the largest bolt cropper, or an angle
    Rob Morley, Oct 28, 2015
  10. Yes, but the requirement that really isn't being met is different.

    Let's say that you have one of those, a U-lock or a Bordo. What is
    also needed is a long, flexible cable to tangle up other components,
    passing lamposts and so on. The available loop cables are completely
    insecure, the secure chains have no rings at the end and so won't fit
    over those, and there seems to be little else. The best long chain /
    cable I have found is the ABUS Phantom 8950, but it's not ideal, and
    uses a separate lock.

    Nick Maclaren.
    Nick Maclaren, Oct 28, 2015
  11. Gordon Freeman

    Clive George Guest

    Yes, they are surprisingly tedious to cut. Some form of grinder is
    probably the best way.

    (friend had one with no key. I can't remember if I was extracting a bike
    from it, or just seeing how hard they were to cut open).
    Clive George, Oct 28, 2015
  12. Bad luck.

    I've never lost a bike, aside from a Brompton. I carry two locks; one
    D-lock, one cable. I expect the average member of the chavousie will carry
    one tool; so if you have two locks of different types, it is hard for

    Also, for daily use, I generally ride my Triumph roadster, which looks
    like a wreck.
    David Damerell, Oct 29, 2015
  13. Yes. The real killer is that none of the chains come with rings on the
    end, so can be used only with special, heavy padlocks. What I (and, I
    assume, other people) would like is one that can be locked by a U-lock,
    Bordo, Steel-O-Flex or similar. Simpler and lighter. Just like one of
    the loop cables, but resistant to at least hacksaws and the smaller
    cable cutters.

    Even with a chain and padlock, the problem is finding out how they fare
    relatively to a high-end cable lock, like the ABUS Phantom 8950. There
    is no point in spending more money for a heavier and less secure device!

    Nick Maclaren.
    Nick Maclaren, Oct 29, 2015
  14. As far as I can discover, the best 2 metre product that is more secure
    than the ABUS Phantom 8950 as a secondary lock is the noose version of
    the 11 mm of this, at nearly 80 quid and over 4 Kg:


    Nick Maclaren.
    Nick Maclaren, Oct 29, 2015
  15. Gordon Freeman

    Rob Morley Guest

    Brilliant - a 6 metre chain for the tandem, only £30 and 2kg per
    metre. :)
    Rob Morley, Oct 30, 2015
  16. I was in Wilko yesterday and noticed they are now selling a chain lock for
    £14.99, made by Masterlock who I know make a top-rated U-lock. The chain
    looks pretty good (8mm IIRC) but the lock is a combination one, I've never
    trusted those.
    Gordon Freeman, Oct 31, 2015
  17. Gordon Freeman

    Jolly polly Guest

    Unfortunately most locks/chains/cables can be broken one way or another.
    Also frustrating is the fact the police seem to do very little in most cases
    when a cycle has been stolen other than issue a crime number so you can
    claim on your insurance if you have any (maybe they don't have the manpower
    but there are a lot of folk looking for work! hint). I've had two cycles
    nicked in three months, so am now paranoid about leaving my cycle locked and
    unattended. It does appear (to me at least) that cycle crime does indeed
    pay. I don't know the answer, I wish I did.
    there's plenty of videos on you-tube about this problem, like
    but no real solution as yet.
    Jolly polly, Nov 1, 2015
  18. Gordon Freeman

    kimble Guest

    I reckon the only real solutions for high-risk areas are either a sturdy
    lock combined with a sufficiently cheap bike that you can afford to keep
    replacing them when stolen, or a folding bike that you never need to
    leave locked up outside.

    kimble, Nov 1, 2015
  19. I had a bike pinched in central London in early 2007. I did the crime
    reporting thing, got the insurance, got a replacement, and thought no
    more about it.

    Several years later, the police contacted me to say they'd recovered
    the bike. I'd moved out of London by then, but I drove over to pick it
    up. They didn't tell me details of the recovery, but I got the
    impression that they'd been arresting some local kids, got the bike
    more or less by coincidence, and checked the frame number against
    their list.

    They were technically correct: the frame was still there.
    Unfortunately pretty much everything else had been stripped; the Nexus
    hub gear was replaced by a basic derailleur of some sort (but the
    single front gear was still as it had been), the rear wheel was
    several inches smaller than the old one, there was no rear brake and
    the front one wouldn't stand up to actual use, the mudguards and rack
    were gone, and so on.

    Getting it back to something like original condition would have cost
    me more than buying a new one, so I ended up giving it to my LBS for
    parts. (The insurers weren't interested; I did check with them first.)

    Roger Bell_West, Nov 1, 2015
  20. I looked at the possibility of a folding bike a while ago but they seem
    to be very heavy for such small looking things, I think the lightest one
    I saw was 14kg which was almost as much as my mountain bike. I wanted
    something I could easily carry up a lot of stairs and the only thing
    that seemed light enough for my purposes was a 9.4kg aluminium road
    bike. If I'd been able to find a folding bike of that weight I would
    have given it serious consideration.

    Someone should make a folding bike with paniera that turns into a
    two-wheeled shopping trolley when you fold it, it would be a neat way to
    get round restrictions on taking bikes into shops or on public
    transport, and you could just wheel it along without having to carry it.
    Gordon Freeman, Nov 1, 2015
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