PICKING BICYCLE CABLE LOCKS
This tip refers to the kind of bicycle lock that is
essentially a cable with a combination lock built right into it.
The lock body is a series of rotating discs, each with a number
stamped on it. To dial up the code, you rotate these discs until
the proper combination lines up in a straight row, and the cable
If you have an otoscope, you can use it to peer into the opening
that exists where the cable enters the body of the lock. This is
a very small opening, but most otoscopes have a magnifier and
this proves to be a big help.
down into this opening, rotate the disc closest to you until you
see the flat spot on the disc arrive at the top of the rotation.
Now move to disc 2 and do the same thing. After lining up the
flats of the first three discs, simply rotate the fourth disc one
number at a time until the cable releases. Now read the numbers as
they appear on the "picked" discs – this is the
correct combination of the lock.
If you do not have otoscope you can still pick this lock. Hold the
lock in such a way that you can apply a constant pull as if you
are trying to pull the lock open. Look closely and you will see
that the tumblers are being pulled to one side. The tumblers hold
the weight of your pull. Start with the tumbler that is on the end
and looks like is being pulled over by the weight of the pressure.
Turn the tumbler to each position. When you hit the right number
the pressure of your pull will no longer be affecting this tumbler
and the next tumbler will now carry the weight of your pull. This
will create a gap now between the first and the second tumblers.
Repeat this process applying pressure and watching the gap
created. You will notice that applying pressure will bind the
tumblers so in order to be able to turn them you will need to let
up and then pull hard to see the gap. Tumblers you have correctly
picked will move freely side to side. The remaining tumblers that
are holding the weight will be pulled to one side and will not
turn with heavy pressure.