This week I fought with my bike lock, and conceded defeat. After many months, including quite a few rainy ones, the locking mechanism stuck on my OnGuard Rottweiler armored cable lock. No amount of WD-40 or Tri-Flow lubricant would free it. I tried every key that came with the lock, in case my usual key was worn down. No luck. It wouldn't release.
Fortunately I work at the most bicycling-intensive university in the U.S., the University of California, Davis. I contacted the bicycle program staff at UC Davis' Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS), inquiring if they could help me. Of course, was the response. Within an hour two of TAPS' student staff arrived, just one stop on their busy day removing abandoned bikes and freeing stuck ones like mine. A few minutes of grinding, and my bike was free.
This Rottweiler is a pretty heavy-duty lock. Perhaps overkill in most situations. (Not as severely secure as the locks on my "always outdoors" bicycle.) On the other hand, I've never lost a bicycle to theft. As I describe on my Bike Commuting Tips site, my approach to securing a bicycle is to "outrun the bear." Make my bike more secure than others in the vicinity. Thieves will go for the easier target.
I'd be interested to hear if others might have had similar trouble with OnGuard locks. For the most part I've been very, very satisfied. But are OnGuard locks more vulnerable to corrosion than other bike locks? (Note: I did lubricate this lock fairly regularly.) Could there be another flaw beyond corrosion?
Image: Paul Dorn
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site