Bike Locks: Any Thoughts on Those “Hand-cuff” Style Bike Locks?

Bike-cuff bike lock

I saw a bike locked up with one of these ‘Bike-Cuff” hand-cuff-style locks on my way to work the other day.  I see them around once in a while. A few years ago I thought about investing in one, but I never came across enough information about them to warrant me buying one. I’m very happy with my big ole ABUS Granit City Chain X-Plus lock just wondering if anyone else has used one.

Bike Cuff style bike lock

I went on a little internet search while writing this post and discovered that earlier this year Wired wrote a brief article comparing some of the more heavy-duty bike locks.  Seems they weren’t too impressed with the Master Lock Street Cuff.

The clever pivot point in the middle makes it hard to get any leverage with a tool. Unfortunately, the steel closures (which are small enough to limit your anchoring options) aren’t very thick. They resisted our saw for all of two minutes. Worse, it took only a couple of hard whacks with the hammer to bust open the locking mechanisms.

Do you use this style of bike lock?

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  • Amoeba

    No I haven’t got one. I avoided one because I was ignorant about potential thief attacks, so I didn’t know how to avoid the vulnerabilities.
    Having said that, they look vulnerable to twisting attacks. If you’re a person who leaves their lock attached to a secure point at work or college, make sure you lock both cuffs to the anchor point, otherwise someone could wreck your lock by twisting it while you’re not there. When you return, you’ll have no lock to secure your bike.

    I can’t help thinking that given two large adjustable spanners (perhaps with their handles extended by the pipe trick) snugly tightened over the links between the cuffs could be destroyed silently and quickly by torque fatigue / brute force. If I were a bike thief, I’d try that. Assuming it works, ride the bike to the thief’s workshop and remove the one remaining cuff at leisure.

    Similarly, your bike could be used as a lever and twisted to break the lock [OK I haven’t tried, but I know that U-Locks are sometimes broken with levers], so if there’s enough room to twist your bike, such a lock isn’t best used as primary security.

    Obviously, strong frames may survive the twisting attack unscathed, but easily damaged frames – Carbon & Aluminium may be wrecked. If your bike is wrecked by a thief trying to steal it, it’s still as much of a loss to you, as if it had been stolen.