How To Open A Bike Lock Without The Key Or Combination

by Daniel on

You should never open or attempt to remove a bike lock that you do not own. With that being said, there are many reasons that you might need to open your own bike lock without a key or the correct combination. There are a few methods that you can choose from when you are looking for how to open a bike lock, and at least one will always work.

1. Shim A Bike Lock

How to open a bike lock with a shim is straightforward, but it will not work on every bike lock. Shimming is specifically designed to open padlocks with exposed shackles. The shackles of these padlocks must also use spring-loaded locking pawls to secure the shackle. 

It is best to know if your lock fits this description before getting too deep into using this method to open your bicycle lock. You are able to make a bike lock shim from a soda can, and you will need at least two. Insert one shim on each side of the shackle, starting with the side that has the least amount of space. 

Make sure our shims are on the correct side of the shackle so they will touch the locking pawls. Press both shims down simultaneously, and the lock will open. If the lock does not have a spring release, then you may need to pull the shackle.

2. Picking A Bike Lock

If you need to know how to open a bike lock that uses a key, lock picking is going to be the most universal solution. It is extremely important to know how to pick locks before attempting something like this, but even a someone who has never picked a lock before could pick open many cheap bike locks. It comes down to having the right tools and the proper technique.

You will need at least two tools that you can purchase given enough advanced notice or if there is no rush to unlock your bike. Alternatively, you can attempt to fashion improvised lock picks, though this will make it more difficult to open your bicycle lock (especially if you have little to no experience with this process). 

Also, if you have invested in a high-security lock, this will likely be impossible for beginners. In all likelihood, you are going to need to leave this to the professionals.

3. Specific Bypasses For Bike Locks

Many locks can be opened in a certain way due to a design flaw. Information on these specific bypasses for most of the bike locks that have these weaknesses is widely available. For example, American padlocks, which you may be using with a chain, have an easy to make or purchase bypass tool

You can also open some Kryptonite and Master Lock bike U-locks with a plastic pen. Finding out how to open a bike lock with a specific bypass comes down to the method you use to gather information. The internet is going to be the most reliable user-friendly resource. 

All you have to do is type in the name of the bike lock you are using (make and model) with the word “bypass” or the phrase “open without key.” If you are trying to bypass a combination lock, you can try the reliable decoding methods in the next section.

4. Decoding Combination Bike Locks

Combination bike locks have a relatively universal way of being opened even when you have forgotten the combination. Simply pull on the lock, just as you would to open it. Move each wheel until you find one that feels as if it is more difficult to move than the rest. With the binding wheel determined, move it one letter or number at a time.

Once you have the correct piece of the combination, the lock will do something different than it has with the previous numbers. The wheel might lurch, it could become much harder to move, etc. 

Once you find the first wheel, just repeat this process until the combination is complete. The lock will then release under the tension you have been maintaining. There may be a slight variation in this process, but for the most part, that is how to open a bike lock with a combination.

5. Cutting Bike Locks

If any of the aforementioned ways for how to open a bike lock are done incorrectly, you could damage your lock, but cutting your lock will always irrevocably break your bike lock. Most bike locks can be opened with a pair of standard bolt cutters. For cable bike locks, it is best to cut the cable. 

If you are using a padlock and a chain, it is best to cut the shackle lock, because in most cases, you only need to make one cut. But if the lock is stronger than the chain, that should be your focus.

Bolt cutters might not be enough to get every bike lock open. For high-security locks composed with hardened steel alloys may require the use of power tools. 

Remember that cutting a lock open is the most extreme way of how to open a bike lock, and you should not attempt this unless you are looking to replace the lock you are breaking open.

The Benefits Of Calling A Los Angeles Locksmith

Sometimes your bicycle is not locked up near your home or is parked somewhere you have access to tools. Because you will be limited as to how to open a bike lock based on the supplies you have, a locksmith might be the best chance you have to get your bike lock open. 

A locksmith in Los Angeles can come to you no matter where you are in the city with all the tools you need to get you back on the streets and riding your bike again.

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