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I Think I'm Off the Ottolock Bandwagon

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I Think I'm Off the Ottolock Bandwagon

Old 05-30-19, 04:30 AM
  #1  
jpescatore
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I Think I'm Off the Ottolock Bandwagon

Saw a recent video by the "Lockpicking Lawyer" who tried out the new, improved, stronger Hexband from Ottolock - with handheld tin snips he cut through in seconds. Links to the video, along with Ottolock statement in response, in the Portland Bike blog post here.

I'll still use my older Ottolock for its intended purpose (keep the honest people honest at convenience store stops) but for riskier trips I'll go back to carrying my Kryptonite U lock and cable they all seem to recommend.

On a personal note, before the Ottolock I was using a keyed cable lock that I bought 20 years ago that protected my bikes overnight on the car many times even though videos showed how easy it was to cut through. I recently lost the key to that lock and sure enough, about 1 minute with an old bolt cutter and a pair of diagonal clippers was all it took.
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Old 05-30-19, 05:09 AM
  #2  
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I don't think that there is any reason to be off their bandwagon. As with all products, sacrifices need to be made and they defend their product IMHO in a proper manner. It has an intended use model.

Myself, I have 2 bike locks. One is a chain with a padlock and is heavy. We use that when we take our tandem to a BnB or similar. The other is a teardrop shaped lock with a small cable that I use when riding things like the Tour Divide.

I might have to look at the Ottolock.
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Old 05-30-19, 07:17 AM
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I don't leave my bike unattended and out of sight for any amount of time-- save for when it's on the rack on the back of the car, and in that case, it's Kryptonite U-Lock and a 15' cable combining to look like my bike is being attacked by a hydra.

When I'm out on a long solo day and I know I might have to make a stop to use the restroom or to grab a snack, I use a Knog Milkman. It's small enough to fit in a jersey pocket, and acts as the little bit of "stop someone from just walking away with it" security.

That's how I view locks like the Ottolock. And that applies to pretty much any lock under 2lbs, really. Security is heavy.
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Old 05-30-19, 07:31 AM
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It seems really expensive for what it is. I'm getting an aluminum u-lock for less than half the price. I think for the application where I would use an Otto lock, that is superior. You want the appearance that stealing the bike is too much trouble. Although, I'm not sure how many bike thieves walk around with a tin snips. Maybe they will in an area that is dense with Ottolocks
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Old 05-30-19, 07:37 AM
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I had no idea what an Ottolock cost-- and based on it's newfound pricepoint, I don't really see who that lock is aimed at. It costs about the same as a Krypto Evolution + cable, but offers a fraction of the security. I guess I was expecting like $20-25.
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Old 05-30-19, 07:53 AM
  #6  
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$75 for a lock that is less secure than a cable lock and looks easy to cut, so almost no deterrent value? No sale.
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Old 05-30-19, 08:18 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I had no idea what an Ottolock cost-- and based on it's newfound pricepoint, I don't really see who that lock is aimed at. It costs about the same as a Krypto Evolution + cable, but offers a fraction of the security. I guess I was expecting like $20-25.
Yes, $15 shipped from Alibaba is about right for an Ottolock. The market is rich people who want to lock their $10000 urban bike up at a rack outside starbucks where they can see it, but they don't want a snatch and run theft. Probably works for that, but just barely.
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Old 05-30-19, 08:21 AM
  #8  
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The Lockpicking Lawyer has a great Youtube channel. He's a very skilled lock picker and he delights in destroying lock company's marketing hype. I also like his deadpan delivery and no fluff editing style.

He recently demonstrated that a small, easy to conceal hand-held ratcheting cable cutter could snip four steel bike lock cables at once. He's also shown that a handheld Ramset tool can instantly destroy even the beefiest, most expensive padlocks. Lesson: never leave a bike you want to keep outside.
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Old 05-30-19, 08:31 AM
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Easy now. The Ottolock carries a rating of better than nothing. Which is the same rating I carry as a person. Overpriced and underachieving.
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Old 05-30-19, 08:39 AM
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The Ottolock does what it's supposed to do: provide a reasonable amount of security for a quick coffee stop or when your bike is in a low risk area. I'll be doing a fondo next weekend where I'll leave it locked up (for a few minutes while I register) among dozens of other expensive bikes. I'm sure Ottolock will be safe enough in that situation and it means I don't have to carry around a heavy lock all day. I'll also potentially use it at rest stops. Similarly when I go up to the cottage this year, I'll use that to lock up my bike when I stop in a small town for a snack.

I would not use it to keep my bike locked up outside downtown throughout the day though. That would be silly.

Last edited by OBoile; 05-30-19 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 05-30-19, 08:58 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
The Ottolock does what it's supposed to do: provide a reasonable amount of security for a quick coffee stop or when your bike is in a low risk area. I'll be doing a fondo next weekend where I'll leave it locked up (for a few minutes while I register) among dozens of other expensive bikes. I'm sure Ottolock will be safe enough in that situation and it means I don't have to carry around a heavy lock all day. I'll also potentially use it at rest stops. Similarly when I go up to the cottage this year, I'll use that to lock up my bike when I stop in a small town for a snack.

I would not use it to keep my bike locked up outside downtown throughout the day though. That would be silly.
My opinion is that a lock of that level of security should not cost so much, not that it has no practical use.
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Old 05-30-19, 09:03 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
My opinion is that a lock of that level of security should not cost so much, not that it has no practical use.
And I suppose that is the problem with this lock, that it provides no extra security or portability over a simple cable lock, yet through marketing it misrepresents itself as being more secure while costing much more.
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Old 05-30-19, 09:08 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
My opinion is that a lock of that level of security should not cost so much, not that it has no practical use.
That's certainly fair. IMO it is pretty pricey. It is, however, small, light and fits easily either in a jersey pocket or wrapped around my saddle bag. I got it as a gift, so I'm not too upset about the price, and it is more convenient that a typical cable lock IMO.
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Old 05-30-19, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
The Ottolock does what it's supposed to do: provide a reasonable amount of security for a quick coffee stop or when your bike is in a low risk area.
Given that you can easily cut the lock with a $20 pair of tin snips, I'd say this lock provides no security at all or certainly not any more than a $8 cable lock from Target.
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Old 05-30-19, 09:20 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
Lesson: never leave a bike you want to keep outside.
I'll be heading out for a three day camping tour tomorrow morning. Highly doubtful I will lock my bike while I am asleep in my tent.
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Old 05-30-19, 09:22 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
Given that you can easily cut the lock with a $20 pair of tin snips, I'd say this lock provides no security at all or certainly not any more than a $8 cable lock from Target.
Saying it provides none at all is silly. It stops any casual thief, which is, IMO, a significant majority of them. It also makes your bike a much less inviting target than the unlocked bike sitting beside it.

The $8 lock is, probably, heavier and more difficult to carry than the Ottolock, but certainly a cost-effective choice.
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Old 05-30-19, 09:26 AM
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At some point, calling something, that is too easily defeated, a lock is amounting to a scam or a fraud.
Not every consumer is going to spend the time to do thorough research on the internet.
They will be mislead by marketing hype and buy with false expectation.

Last edited by mtb_addict; 05-30-19 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 05-30-19, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
At some point, calling something that is so easily defeated a lock is amounting to a scam or a fraud.
Not every consumer is going to do thorough research on the internet.
They are mislead by marketing hype and buy with erroneous expectation.
They definitely shouldn't be saying it's more secure than a cable. It clearly isn't.
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Old 05-30-19, 11:29 AM
  #19  
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Well, it's more secure than a cable ... not more secure than a cable lock, though .....

If I got one for free I guess I'd use it. But I cannot see any other way .....
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Old 05-30-19, 12:47 PM
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If a thief is carrying around a tool in order to steal a bike, they'll more likely choose a battery powered angle grinder in which case your u-lock or just about anything else, won't be much better than the Ottolock.

As has been said over and over, there is no bike lock that will guarantee it won't be stolen.
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Old 05-30-19, 01:08 PM
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buy more Meth , or an expensive Power Tool to steal bikes ... usually it's not buying a tool that is chosen.
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Old 05-30-19, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
If a thief is carrying around a tool in order to steal a bike, they'll more likely choose a battery powered angle grinder in which case your u-lock or just about anything else, won't be much better than the Ottolock.

As has been said over and over, there is no bike lock that will guarantee it won't be stolen.
That's absurd. Angle grinders cost more, and make a hell of a lot of noise, not to mention taking a lot longer to cut through than the demo videos.

No bike lock can guarantee complete protection, but for $75, I expect a lot more difficulty for the thief than this.
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Old 05-30-19, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by jpescatore View Post
...I'll still use my older Ottolock for its intended purpose (keep the honest people honest at convenience store stops)...
In other words, Ottolock performs as advertised, has a great security to weight ration, and lives up to the hype.

Comparing an Ottolock to a U lock is like comparing a Jeep to a Porsche. Both are fine tools for a specific application, but neither is especially well suited to perform a task it wasn't designed to do.

I'm a big fan of the Ottolock, and it goes lives in a jersey pocket on 80% of my rides. Great protection for a lunch or bathroom stop. If I need more security than Ottolock can provide, I'll take the bike inside, or I won't stop.

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Old 05-30-19, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
... rich people who want to lock their $10000 urban bike up at a rack outside starbucks...
Nice.
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Old 05-30-19, 01:27 PM
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I feel for people who live somewhere or in a situation they have to lock a bike outdoors in a public place for extended periods. Like a commute to a workplace without indoor storage.

I do NOT feel for people too damn lazy to plan their routes around bike friendly stops OR bother to do long rides with a group where someone can watch the bikes while people grab a Gatorade.

Solo touring you'll probably be prepared anyway.

The Otto is designed for expensive bikes where someone like Phil Gaimon wants a cookie near the end of a solo ride but doesn't want someone to pip their bike while standing in line.

Me? I solve it because I don't mix business and pleasure. I plan accordingly my hydration and feeding for long solo training rides to depend on nobody.

Pleasure rides, either keep it short and sweet and drive your car to your "treat" or ride with buddies who can watch the bikes at a stop.
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