The Chainlink

These new SmartPhone-Enabled bike locks - are they any good?

So I went to unlock my bike this morning.  It's locked with a 10 year old Kryptonite lock.  The key broke off in the lock.  Bummer.

I'm pretty sure I can rent a bolt cutter from Home Depot that will bust through this thing.  But I still need to replace it

In researching this, I see that as of this year there are all these smartphone enabled locks.  They add alarms and the lack of need for keys to the heavy metal locking features of the lock.  Some add keyless unlocking via Phone.

Are they any good?  Has anyone any experience, good or bad,  with them?

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I don't think bolt cutters will work on breaking the old lock. Kryptonites are a little strong for that.  I think the videos that are available on line have frozen the lock first or something.  It may require an Angle Grinder.  At least that's what the guy at Clark-Devon Hardware told me.

As good as the keyless car locks? When your phone battery dies ir the signal us unavailable or it's hacked...
I'm amazed your U lock lasted 10 years but I lock and unlock my bike 30 times a day.

Ha, guess I don't ride as often as you.  I managed to pull the broken piece out with a tweezers.  I still have a spare, and it works, but geez, have you ever tried ordering a new key from Kryptonite?  They have the most user-hostile web site I've ever seen.  If your model doesn't fit the names on their dropdown list -  good luck.  Their "Contact Us" link with a picture of a phone, takes you to a page with no phone numbers.  You can ask a question, but they've spent a lot of effort to intercept your question and send it to a bunch of canned FAQs, none of which apply, of course.  If you get that far, they have a submit request form that is will not accept input and not tell you why.  And email, we don't want your stinkin emails, nope, no way to contact them.

OK, I'll ease up on Kryptonite a bit.  There IS a way to call Customer Service by Telephone but you won't find it unless you go to the specific FAQ question "Can I call the Customer Support Team?".  It's not shown on the customer support page.

If it's the larger kind a small jack can pry it apart or you can freeze it to -20° and hit it with a hammer.

I have no idea about smartphone locks but if they are anything like everything else on my smartphone I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole. "Hey siri, unlock my bike?"

If your old U-lock is frozen and you got the key chunk back out what about using  Triflow or other lock penetrating oil? I just got a super glued car lock to work using that. (had to disassemble it first I admit) Or go buy yourself an angle grinder and a cutoff blade as suggested above. But I'd skip the smartphone or titanium or electronic lock and get something old style like an Abus 54/160 Granit (or a big chain and straight bolt padlock) and just remember to oil it every now and then. They seem less finicky than the Kryptonite locks - I had to get a locksmith to angle grind a K Evolution that froze a few years ago.

The lock isn't frozen, Allen.  What I think happened is that I have two Kryptonite locks, with keys that look the same and I wasn't as careful as I should have been, occasionally trying the wrong one and weakening the key.  A little oil would probably do some good.

Is that your real name, Allen?  If so, I like your parents' sense of humor.  If not, I like yours.

Maybe there should be some Bike Lock Enabled smart phones. To make a call you get out your bike lock and  you say "Locky, please dial....."



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