Why Cable Locks Suck
By Brad Quartuccio
Cable locks are great as a secondary deterrent to theft, but in all but the most idyllic neighborhoods should never be used as a primary lock. There is a reason beyond style most cyclists in the know carry around u-locks—they want to keep their bikes. Locking up with a cable as your primary lock in any city in the United States is a surefire way to have your bike stolen.
Many of the missing bike stories around town begin with cable locks being cut. It’s startlingly easy to do with a simple pair of cable cutters available at any bike shop or well-stocked hardware store, making it an easy crime for even the most hapless of thieves. Even large cables can be cut with minimal technique by working around it in a chewing motion. The pictured 10mm braided stainless steel cable took just four cuts with bicycle cable cutters to sever—no time at all and with remarkably little effort or finesse.
It’s true that any lock can be defeated, but at least u-locks and heavy cut resistant chains require more serious tools to get the job done. Reserve the cable lock for secondary position only and be that much more likely to keep your bike yours.