The Chainlink

I'm flying out to NYC and renting a bike for 4 days.  Thought I'd take along an extra 5-foot cable to add to a U-lock.  I don't need to check a bag, but I don't want a problem trying to get through security either.  Anyone have experience with this?

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Yeah, I'm thinking about it, but checking a bag is $25. 

Another suggestion I heard was to buy a new lock and give it to someone at my destination when I'm done with it, or mail it home. 

Leah Jone said:

Yes, I've had to abandon a pedal wrench, but it was at least 10 inches long. Now I don't travel with my main cycling messenger bag and haven't lost anything else.

I would check the bag and avoid the annoyance all together.

I remember that crazy dude Ted Nugent used to travel on airlines with a billiard ball in a sock as a "personal defense weapon" in the post-911 era and got away with it.  

A U-lock makes a pretty effective war hammer -especially the heavy-duty ones.    Knowing how security works I would imagine that you might get away with it without a second glance sometimes, and other times get hassled for it.  Security theater is pretty much a joke these days.  

I'd either check it or just resign myself to surrendering it should they give any flack over it.  I really don't want to have to see the Two by two hands of blue dudes in a private room...

I recently went to poland with two pikes and tools. Out of Chicago everything was checked and I had ZERO hassles. On the return trip I accidently left a 4 inch wrench (15mm) in my bag and was searched, questioned, rescreaned, and had to throw it away. I asked to see in writing where the rule was from a supervisor and was told it is at their disgression! I would just check the thing!

+1, I've taken to flying southwest as much as possible, to avoid the worry of checking baggage.  

Even with a small suitcase, I hate having to lug it about the airport and if more people did it board and disembarking from a plane wouldn't be the headache that it currently is.  

If you're flying with a bike why can't would wrap the u-lock in bubble wrap and put it in the bike box? 

Daniel G said:

Fly one of the airlines which doesn't charge to check baggage, because I'd say 25% of the time they will stop you for the U-lock. The only reason they might not care the other 75% of the time is because the cockpits are barricaded anyway and the cabins are filled with heroes who will beat you to within an inch of your life if they so much as see you take too long to mix your cocktail. Planes can no longer be seized with small arms, stabbing implements, or blunt weapons. TSA's searching for explosives and incendiaries. The rest of what they do is simply trying to intimidate anyone who's up to no good.

The OP stated that they will be renting a bike at the destination, and wanted the locks as added security.

I took a U-lock and an assortment of small tools in my carry on a very recent trip to Texas. They looked through my backpack after x-raying it, but didn't ask any additional questions.

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