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One expensive lock vs two cheaper locks?
Hi, I'm having trouble figuring out my best options for U-locks. What are your thoughts on one pricier lock from a reputable brand (e.g., this Kryponite KryptoLok Standard U-Lock with Cable for $47.09 with 20% off coupon) vs two less renowned locks (e.g., two of these Bell Catalyst 750 Long Shackle U-Locks for $39.58) ?

I was attracted to the Bell Catalyst partially based on lockpickinglawyer's review from a couple years ago - "I can't think of anywhere where you can get this much security for so little money".

Would it still be worth getting the one Kryptonite (or similar tier) lock over using two cheaper Bell locks? Am I cheaping out too much?

For reference, I plan on having my bike locked up all day while I'm at work (when we eventually return to the office), which will be in a satellite city of a large metropolitan area. Thanks in advance!
hey thanks for the video link! that's an impressive lock for such price -> especially for two locks, for the purpose of locking both wheels. i have Kryptonite Fahgettabouddit for urban use but of course it sits on much higher price tier with its 10/10 security rating.

what i honestly do not like about the Kryptonite lock that you have on the shortlist -> those cables are too weak for the city.

edit: Bell Catalyst 1 star reviews are not flattering and majority of the complaints are about the key jamming

- "The problem is when you try to remove the key... no matter how I turned it, it was completely stuck"
- Biggest issue noticed almost immediately is the lock mechanism gets stuck when turning the key to lock and unlock."
- "the key never consistently turned, always needed to be forced and eventually decided to quit"
- "The lock jammed after the 3rd use. Had to call a locksmith and pay $100 to get it cut off"
- "The lock is really difficult to use. The key does not turn smoothly. Rather, it binds while you're trying to turn it. It can take a lot of fidgeting to get this thing to work."
- "The lock pins jammed up after a few months. I was a little forceful with the key, but thats cuz it was sticking a lot due to getting wet."
- "I put the key in and out, I open and close the lock around 3 times until it stops working. Yes. Stops working completely. Won’t open, keys can come out but it’s a useless lock!"

and so on ...
Thanks for your insight. Those are some concerning reviews, but I guess that's just part of getting what you pay for.
The big question here for me is ... where will you lock the bike while at work? Is it gonna be on the street or in an office parking?
That's a fair question. To be honest, I'm not totally sure yet since we won't be moving to the new building until May. But I'm pretty sure it won't be on the street.
(04-04-2020, 08:38 PM)8jk8 Wrote:  That's a fair question. To be honest, I'm not totally sure yet since we won't be moving to the new building until May. But I'm pretty sure it won't be on the street.

That detail makes a difference in your decision (purchase) making. In my case, we have an underground parking where you can also leave a bike. It feels very safe, with surveillance. I still lock it with my Abus ultra 410 mini u-lock. I believe that it would be problematic to mess with your bike if it is parked someplace where people are passing by constantly .... and locked with those two Bell catalyst locks. Such as a parking spot next to the office building.
I hope you get to move into the new office in May.
I biked 80% of the time to my office the past year. My solution was to have a heavy 1/2" cable permanently locked to a stanchion in the stairwell (my "private" bike garage, I'm the only bike commuter). This way I didn't have to balance weight against security. I carry a lightweight cable lock on the bike at all times in case I stop at the store on the way home or something.
My point is, when you assess your new office, figure out if you can leave the lock/ cable/ chain/ whatever permanently installed. That will allow you to go heavier / bulkier in the trade-off between cost and weight.
Hope you find this to be useful advice.
In my opinion, chain locks represent the most common way to secure a bike from theft. It might be the only thing keeping your bike from becoming a thief’s next target. After all, a top-tier bike chain lock would have no issues preventing anyone from stealing your bike.
I just had to!

Take care,

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
OnGuard Pitbull DT can be had all day for like $25 on eBay.

Give that a look. It's what I use and it works really good. Very strong.

Although DT means it's a short lock. This is harder for thieves to work around, at the cost of restricting your ability to lock it to certain objects. It comes with a cable, but since this is easy to cut through, even with the design, I don't use it. It is suggested you can use the cable to loop through posts, then lock your bike from the rear wheel into the seat tube. A person who cuts the cable won't be able to ride away on it, but that doesn't mean they can't carry it away, or toss it into a vehicle.
I never lock my bike to anything that can be easily cut with a cheap bolt cutter. I know others who use a U-Lock and cable lock or two U-Locks and two cables. A chain and stout padlock is the best, but you might get some funny looks riding around with a chain and padlock hanging from the handlebars! Whatever you do, you need something that is secure. And don't be afraid to spend the extra money on a hardened steel chain and padlock.
I have the Pitbull DT lock. It's great—especially that it's a shorter one that makes it harder for criminals to work with basic tools.

That is also the take away. Being shorter gives you less flex to lock the bike up to just anything.

A standard U-lock will deter all basic theft. Unless you live in an area that's haunted by mass theft (like New York)—this is all you will need. Additionally, note that the best way to lock your bike up is by linking the rear wheel with the frame. You can typically slip a lock on sideways between the two and then lock it to the post.



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