How to Pick a Bike Lock: Step-by-Step Instruction

This article is a comprehensive guide you will find helpful for picking any type of bike lock without keys.
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Last updatedLast updated: March 27, 2022
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Have you lost the keys to your bike lock, or they simply aren’t working properly? You’re probably at a loss for what you do, and you need to figure out something fast. Without a key, you are left with very few options to open your lock. But it pays to be aware of your options and know how to pick a bike lock in the event that you’ve lost your key or damaged your lock somehow. 

Picking a bike lock is difficult, but it is not impossible. In the worst-case scenario, you may end up completely damaging the lock, and you’ll need a new one. But in most cases, you should be able to get the lock open again on your own. Read on to discover how to open a bike lock without a key. 

What are the types of bike locks?

There are different types of bike locks that you can use depending on the size of your bike and other factors. What this means is that there is no universal method for unlocking a bike lock. Knowing how to remove a bike lock without a key begins with getting familiar with the different lock types. While there are different types of bike locks, each with varying strengths and levels of security, no lock is unpickable. The following are the major lock types for bikes. 

Combination bike lock

How to Pick a Bike Lock: Step-by-Step Instruction

Combination locks are arguable, the most common of all bike lock types.

Although it is very unlikely that you’d forget your combination, it still makes sense to know how to pick a combination bike just in case. The four-digit lock combination locks are the most common. But there are other types as well including cheaper ones with just three digits and more expensive ones with up to six digits. Regardless of the number of digits, most locks operate the same way, and the method of opening them (if you forget your combination) is the same. 

Key-based bike lock

How to Pick a Bike Lock: Step-by-Step Instruction

It is the most popular and easiest to attach kind of bike lock.

Key-based bike locks are fairly common as well, mainly because they are quite cheap. They are the easiest to pick, especially if you know the right process. With the correct tools or some improvisation, you are able to open your key-based bike lock in a matter of minutes. 

“Unpickable” lock

How to Pick a Bike Lock: Step-by-Step Instruction

New design features a keyhole that’s impossible to see let alone access with conventional picking tools.

Unpickable locks are often touted as the best type of locks for your bike. They are considered more secure and should be able to protect your bike better. While this should mean they’re the hardest to pick, they have some vulnerabilities too. Your basic knowledge of how to pick a bell bike lock may not work here. Nut if you know a few tricks, you should be able to unlock this type of lock with no stress too. 

Picking a combination bike lock

Picking a combination bike lock is not very straightforward since there is no lock to pick. Still, the process is quite easy Trusted Source How to Crack a Combination Bike Lock in Under 30 Seconds « Lock Picking :: WonderHowTo All you need is a bit of patience and you’ll have your figure out your combo in no time. lock-picking.wonderhowto.com . If you find yourself ever needing to pick a combination bike lock, here’s a simple procedure you can follow. 

  1. First, set all the numbers on the combination to “1” or the first letter in the combination (in the case of a lettered combo. 
  2. Tug at the lock on both sides. 
  3. If the dial is set to the right number, you will notice a gap in between each column and the hole between the dials. 
  4. If there is no gap yet, keep turning the numbers and tugging at the lock with each dial. Once you notice a gap, then you can be sure you have the right number. 
  5. Move to the next dial column and repeat step four again until you notice a gap between columns 1 and 2, 3 and 4, and so on. 
  6. In the last column, keep turning the dials and trying to open the lock until you get the last number correctly. 

And that’s it, you should have your combination lock cracked in no time if you follow this process. 

Cracking a key-based bike lock

It is very common for people to ask about how to pick a key bike lock since keys are easy to lose. You’ll be surprised at the number of people that lose their bike lock keys regularly. If you find yourself in this situation, here’s a simple procedure to follow: 

  1. Insert a torsion wrench into the bottom of the lock hole 
  2. Next, insert a pick into the top of the lock hole 
  3. Apply some pressure on the torsion wrench in the same direction as the lock turns 
  4. At the same time, rake the lock pick from the back of the lock to the front. 
  5. Repeat step 4 above as many times as possible until you’re able to pop the lock open. 

Opening an “unpickable” lock

One would expect an “unpickable” lock to be the hardest to open without a key. Ironically, it’s not difficult at all. While this lock claims to be able to keep your bike safer, as it turns out, there are very easy to unlock especially if you have the right tools. All you need is a bump key and a fist-sized object. If you don’t have a round bump key, you can improvise if you know how to pick a bike lock with a bobby pin, hairpin, or paper clip. 

The first step is to insert the bump key or any other object you’re improvising with into the lock hole. Next, you hit the bump key with the fist-sized object in the direction that the key turns in the cylinder, and that’s it. 

General methods to pick a bike lock

Unless you have bought a terrible lock, picking a bike lock should not be too easy. After all, the lock is meant to protect your bike from getting stolen. But that’s not to say it is impossible to pick. Here are a few general methods that work for picking the lock on different bike locks. Before you do the extreme and attempt to pick your bike lock, be sure to double-check and try to find the keys first Trusted Source Lost Keys to Bike Lock? | 8 Simple Steps to Unlock Your Bike Have you lost your bike lock’s keys? Losing keys is always a pain. Lost keys to bike lock can be a real pain, but hese 9 simple steps will help you! www.bikelockwiki.com

Use a lock pick set

How to Pick a Bike Lock: Step-by-Step Instruction

A lock pick set can help to get rid of the common problem quickly.

You can pick pretty much any type of bike lock as long as you have the right lock pick set and know what to do. If you can buy a pick set pick, you should know how to pick a kryptonite bike lock and pretty much any type of lock possible. But don’t expect it to be as easy as it looks in YouTube videos, especially with high hand locks. But for the cheap rudimentary locks that most people use on their bikes, you should be able to use some picking tools to get it opened. 

Use a plastic BIC pen

Perhaps the most unconventional way to open a lock you can learn is how to pick a bike lock with a Bic pen. This is an old-school method for picking locks, and this technique may not really work for most modern locks.

If your bike lock has a tubular cylinder, then this method should work for you. Just take a Bic style pen and remove the ink tube and the cap from it. Next, insert the plastic body of the pen into the tubular cylinder. You may need to press it firmly to get it into the lock. Once it locks into the cylinder, try wiggling and pushing it until the lock opens. But be careful not to press too hard so that you don’t snap the pen in the lock. 

Use a Shim 

Using a shim is another method you can use to open your bike lock if you’ve lost your keys. Note that this method is most effective for cheaper locks but may not work with more expensive locksets. But it is worth trying. You can make a shim out of any empty thin can. Just be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands when you do this since the metal can be quite sharp. Opening the lock with the shim involves inserting the pointed object into the locking bolt the same way you would with a pick pin and attempting to override the lock deadbolt. You may need to use more than one shim if the lock is double bolted. 

Cut a lock

How to Pick a Bike Lock: Step-by-Step Instruction

The easiest way to pick a bike lock is to cut it.

Finally, if all of these other methods don’t work, another approach is to cut the lock. Note that you should only resort to this if you have tried all the other methods and nothing seems to be working. In most cases, you don’t need any power tool. A simple pair of wire cutters or bolt croppers should be able to get the work done. This is the simplest way to remove the bike lock but comes at the expense of damaging the lock completely. 

Contact the Locksmith

Another very easy way to unlock your bike lock without a key is to get in touch with a locksmith. If you have attempted all the methods highlighted above, or you don’t want to go through the stress of doing so, you can simply call a locksmith instead. They have a great knowledge of different locking systems and will be able to get the lock open in no time. In most cases, locksmiths will also be able to open the lock without damaging your lock. But in rare cases, they may have to cut off the locks completely. Either way, locksmiths have all the right tools, and they also save you the embarrassment of loitering around your bike and being accused of stealing it. Of course, this method is probably more expensive than trying to do so yourself. It’s well worth it as a final resort, though.

Final thoughts 

Even if your bike costs less than $1000, keeping it secure with a bike lock when you have to be away is important. Of course, using a lock means there’s a chance you might lose your key at some point. Knowing how to open a bike lock without a key is one of those skills you don’t think you need until you actually do. You may suddenly find yourself stranded with a jammed lock or lost keys at any point, knowing any of these techniques will come in handy to help you unlock your lock and get you going in no time. Most of these techniques are pretty basic, and anyone should be able to use them. And if all else fails or you don’t know how to pick a bike lock on your own, you can simply call for the services of a professional locksmith to get you out of the fix. 

References

1.
How to Crack a Combination Bike Lock in Under 30 Seconds « Lock Picking :: WonderHowTo
All you need is a bit of patience and you’ll have your figure out your combo in no time.
2.
Lost Keys to Bike Lock? | 8 Simple Steps to Unlock Your Bike
Have you lost your bike lock’s keys? Losing keys is always a pain. Lost keys to bike lock can be a real pain, but hese 9 simple steps will help you!
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