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Modified Bike Lock (aka uber, epic, mega lock!)

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Picture of Modified Bike Lock  (aka uber, epic, mega lock!)
Yup, I just had a couple bikes stolen from me.  So you bet your buns I am not only incredibly angry at the person who hopped my fence and stole my bikes, i am super paranoid now too.  We are in full crisis lockdown mode at Chez Angie...so much so, you would have thought someone came and rooted through MY fridge and sat around and watched MY new episodes of Real Housewives on MY Tivo.  But hey, my whole thing is that it never hurts to be extra cautious.  Within a matter of hours after the theft took place, I put in an alarm system in my house and motion sensor lights on my patio and brought all our bikes inside the house.  But keeping our living room stocked full of bikes this isn't exactly a long term solution.  I need to be able to keep all of my bikes (and my boyfriend's bikes) outside, and feel comfortable in the fact that the next piece of scum who hops into my yard will be super moded that they can't take any of my goods. Having 4 U-Locks with 8 keys (because they come in pairs) just wasn't the solution for me either.  And 4 locks?  that can get expensive! 

Thankfully with a little creativity, some fancy welding work, and a pretty good sense of humor, the modified, uber, epic, mega lock was born!
 
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Step 1: Things you're gonna need

  • U Lock (we used an Onguard Bulldog 5006 Pitbulll Mini Series Lock- retailed $45)
  • MIG Welder**
  • Cut Off Wheel
  • Angle Grinder (24 grit grinding disc)
  • Two metal rods cut to desired length.  We used hardened steel at 40" in length; long enough to lock up 4 bikes.   (be sure that the diameter of the rods are the same or close to that of the original lock)
  • Vice Grips
  • Plastic accordion tubing
  • Spray Paint

**If you don't own a MIG Welder (gasp!) and live in the SF Bay Area, near Detroit, MI, or Raleigh, NC, don't fret.  You can use the welder at the Tech Shop!  ***
3366carlos4 months ago
im liking it!
glorybe1 year ago
That is a nice, custom lock that you have created. One hint is that most thieves carry either chain cutters or cable cutters. Most thieves do not carry both. So also use a chain.
Having said that there is no padlock like device that will stand up to two minutes of attack if a thief knows what he is doing. One answer is long prison sentences for the first instance of bicycle theft. Knowing that stealing a bicycle will be a life ruining experience will tend to stop most sane people from such a crime. Thieves are the greatest obstacle in getting people to use bicycles and not use cars. The theft of a bike is actually an assault upon all of society. It is in effect, a form of terrorism that alters society just as bombs and bullets do. Matter of fact more people die in bicycle thefts than in bank robberies. It is a serious crime but treated as a joke by the law.
angelabchua (author)  glorybe1 year ago
Thanks! I totally agree. Scary to think people die over bikes though. In regards to this i'ble, this lock is mainly a cost effective way for us to refrain from buying 3-5 U locks, ontop of the cable lock.

we do use two types of locks for this set up (modified lock, and a cable lock). We also installed a motion sensor flood light right above the bikes. I want to attach a red LED light to it as well for added funsies. Then when the light goes off, and the potential perps see the little red LED, they think its a camera attachment as well.

Add it to the laundry list of "To Do" Projects in my house. :D
caitlinsdad2 years ago
Well, I used to use a truck-sized steering wheel club on my Honda, and they laughed at that but it never got stolen.

This is a question for the welder, wouldn't it be better to cut the stock on a matching bias and at different spots on the length and then weld them for a stronger joint? It seems you have hardened steel that just meets up at a point and then you fill in with weaker welding metal. It would probably be easier to just crack and snap the joints if they saw the weld.
angelabchua (author)  caitlinsdad1 year ago
The welds are ground down, and then painted over to create a seamless finish. And then to add to it, we covered the entire metal bit with tubing, so you can't see the two welding points, even if we had left them as is.

I guess you could have the welding points at different spots to prevent someone trying to snap or crack at the joint, but if someone came in, ripped the tubing off, snapped giant rods of steel, took four bikes, jumped over my fence with them, and then rode off into the sunset... bravo! They deserve the bikes at that point! That is dedication hahaha
While I do applaud the creativity, pelase do not confuse this as a means of actually protecting your bike any better than any other lock system out there. The weakness is still in metal - commercial locks just don't make them thick enough or dense enough to thwart a determined thief. And that is understandable, since who wants to carry a lock that is heavier than the bike itself!

As I work with a cycle-taxi company, sometimes we have to retrieve stolen taxis or hotel rental bikes. So we have a battery-powered mini circular saw with steel cutting blade. Goes through the same kind of metal locks and steel in about 20-30 seconds on average.

Saw: $300 USD (average)
3 bikes: $300-$500 each for the cheap ones (average)
profit: $600-$1000 and the saw pays for itself on the first useage.

Indoors or in a locked garage is usually the better 'addition' to make it harder to steal. Can always hang the bikes from a wall or ceiling if you need space - and can become 'wall art' ! :-)
AlThorpe2 years ago
Hi, Thanks for posting this and sorry you had bikes stolen. I've lost a couple myself and found it to be a very trying experience.
My interest for commenting is your headline and last photo that shows three bikes vertically mounted, how? Is this some propriety device you can point me at or do you need to write me another instructable ;-) Al
angelabchua (author)  AlThorpe2 years ago
It totally sucks! Sorry that you have had to go through this.

As for the bike rack, you are in luck! Good old fashioned store bought rack that bolts into the studs on your wall. We have these at the Instructables HQ also.

The one I have is made by rubbermaid, and you can probably just google "Rubbermaid vertical bike rack" and see what pops up!

Good luck and thanks for checking out my i'ble!
Hiyadudez2 years ago
Haha, that's awesome :D

Nice work, 5*.
angelabchua (author)  Hiyadudez2 years ago
isn't it totally ridiculous?! Thanks!
Ridiculously amazing! :D
Excellent!!! Congratulations for your instructable. It is a great idea.
angelabchua (author)  alejandroro52 years ago
Thanks!
glorybe2 years ago
Bike and motorcycle thieves usually don't carry cutters for all situations. Some have chain cutters while others have cable cutters while others attack the lock portion. It can be wise to combine a chain and a cable in such a way that they would need more than one tool. Usually they will go for the easy targets and in general avoid hard work. That is why they are thieves to begin with.
criggie glorybe2 years ago
They also want to get in and out quickly, which is related to but not the same as easy.

Personally I use a piece of snig chain on my bike stash. The chain passes through two holes in the wall then fastened by a decent padlock which is inside the garage.

8mm snig chain could be cut but not in reasonable time by hand-tools.
criggie2 years ago
You need to ride uglier bikes.

I've found that the more cool stuff on a bike the more likely it is to walk off. So if you don't *need* a drink cage and front shocks, etc then don't have them.

Quick release anything is just asking to be quick-released.

Black bikes are more stealable than coloured bikes. Clean and shiny bikes are worse than beaten up ones.

So my bike has a scummy looking water-damaged cardboard on a carrier instead of a flash mudguard/fender. It has no flash light fittings permanently attached. The handle grips are crappy foam. But the bearings are perfect, rims are true, brakes work stunningly, and the tyres are properly inflated.
dantistus2 years ago
This is a great idea, thank you for sharing it! I have been to Finland 2 weeks ago, and was really amazed by the fact that almost nobody locks their bikes there. Of all bikes I saw, only ~15% were locked. It was a real shock to me, in Ukraine those would be stolen in minutes.
angelabchua (author)  dantistus2 years ago
Isn't that amazing?! I have almost no faith in people.... it's great that some places are still safe!
Oh yes, Finland and the people there are amazing!
You might want to use a different lock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=fvwp&NR=1&v=o-LWGJzglho
I've seen various lock busting videos... I am so paranoid! That is why i have ANOTHER cable lock too. hahah

I'm about one more bike steal away from just hiring someone to stand in my bike yard.
ZoeM2 years ago
I feel your pain - my lovely road bike was stolen just the other week, love the idea of creating a super lock!
angelabchua (author)  ZoeM2 years ago
ugh, that sucks, and we can wallow in our pain together. I actually found mine on Craigslist! The person who stole it posted it two days later. Now this case is in the cops hands
That's awesome, I'm still hoping whoever stole mine will be dumb enough to post it on Gumtree or something, I've been scouring the web constantly since it went! Not to mention trawling dodgy markets... still no luck though. It's probably about time I come to terms with the fact I will just have to buy a new one and possibly create a super lock!
EmcySquare2 years ago
Very nice... but...
Are you sure the overall security still holds?
angelabchua (author)  EmcySquare2 years ago
Thanks! It is totally secure. For one, its over a fence. The previous theft was almost a crime of opportunity in that we didn't lock our bikes up (and never felt I should have to in my own fenced in yard) So if someone comes to jump over again, the gigantic U lock is enough of a deterrent, even if it didn't function. And to top it off, we have locked the seat posts and wheels together with a long cable lock.
Sounds great !!
I'm a bit paranoid about bike theft... you know... so I've studied it a bit on Youtube.
Looks like 99% of thefts are just of opportunity.

Anyway those U Locks can be easylly (and silently) broken with a portable car-jack: put between bars and lift...
The only "safer" (never 100%) way seems to be to use 3 different locks (like : cable + ulock + chain) so that the thief must have 3 different sets of tools... unlikely.

Happy Ridings !!

angelabchua (author)  EmcySquare2 years ago
good to know! thanks! happy ridings to you too!
Amazing! Great idea and wonderful step-by-step.
Jayefuu2 years ago
HA. This is amazing. I saw this briefly yesterday and didn't go further than the thumbnail. I didn't realise it was you, I'm glad you sent the link round, it's possibly one of my favourite ever Instructables now!
angelabchua (author)  Jayefuu2 years ago
Yay! That means a lot to hear that from someone as brilliant as you! Thanks James!
wilgubeast2 years ago
That's awesome. Take that, bicycle thieves. Moded!
angelabchua (author)  wilgubeast2 years ago
SUPER moded!
canida2 years ago
This is awesome.
frenzy2 years ago
Also good for ulock jousting.
angelabchua (author)  frenzy2 years ago
jousting.
trombone.
long distance tickle fights.
giant kebab skewers.

and more! WOW!
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