Shanghaiist has had a string of bad luck in recent months when it comes to locks. Say, for example, the lock on our door which swung closed behind us one Saturday night at 3am and left us stranded outside our apartment with only a towel to cover our modesty (long story).
Or, say like tonight, the Kryptonite lock on our beloved Dahon folding bike parked at the corner of HuaiHai and FenYang Rd jammed and broken with a metal blade after an unsuccessful theft attempt.
Pissed but still with the presence of mind to call local city information number 114 (Chinese language only) for lock picking services, 24 hour Ba Qian Shi Lock Openers (021) 6123-6123 were dispatched and arrived within 20 minutes of our call and had us back on our bike within 10. Total cost: 100RMB.
The two servicemen who showed up in a bright red QQ car looked like they were on their way to a nightclub, or at least some recreational crime, quickly assaulted our Kryptonite U-lock with picks, then pliers, before finally besting it with a hammer.
In the time it took them to free our bicycle and undermine our sense of home security (they pick door locks in 15-20 minutes), Shanghaiist was bestowed with the following bits of bike lock wisdom to thwart future theft attempts:
– Lock your bike to a rigid fixture, ideally through the frame. If you must leave it freestanding, lock it through the rear wheel looping in the frame.
– Cable locks “are worthless” as are any round-key locks which can be opened in seconds with a Bic pen. Sturdy U-locks with flat keys, not the brittle metal kind found at most local bike stores, are best.
– Thieves will often jam your lock in hopes that you will leave your bike where it is overnight, giving them more time and privacy to cart it away later.
Relieved that these guys were making a living doing honest work, Shanghaiist biked home and will be making our way down to Speed Cat tomorrow for a new bike lock or three.
Ba Qian Shi Lock Openers. 24 hour service hotline: (021) 6123-6123
Photo by Santo Chino found via the Shanghaiist Contribute page.