The Classic - Cycle Oregon

Questions for Kryptonite?

Posted by on January 26th, 2006 at 8:10 am

A visit to PSU Bike co-op

Just a quick note…one of Kryptonite‘s top tech guys is in town and I’m meeting him for dinner tonight. Do you have any questions you’d like me to ask him? I plan to touch base about the latest in bike security and hear what they’ve learned about lock design since the Bic Pen Fiasco. It should be interesting, but thought I’d see if you guys have anything in particular you’d like to know (especially the messengers out there who know a thing or two about locks).

According to Kryptonite, Portland is one of their biggest markets.

While I’m on the topic, the Oregonian covers the Sara Stout Stolen Bike Saga in the paper today. Astute readers will remember my coverage on this back in October.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • James January 26, 2006 at 8:14 am

    I’m curious how their distribution has changed. I think REI used to carry Kryptonite, but now no longer does.

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  • andrew morton January 26, 2006 at 8:35 am

    I’m curious what they ended up doing with all the returned locks. Sold as scrap?

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  • Michael January 26, 2006 at 8:40 am

    I finally found the keys to an old vulnerable Kryptonite lock. When I tried to register it for a replacement, they said NO! That I waited too long. That stinks! I have already lost one good bike – stolen by opening a Kryptonite. They should not put a time limit on making good on their failed products.

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  • Tomas January 26, 2006 at 10:06 am

    Are they going to come out with a Titanium lock that is just as strong as a regular lock but weight a fraction of the poundage?

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  • Sonia Connolly January 26, 2006 at 10:29 am

    I got a non-Bic-vulnerable replacement lock about a year ago, and both ends of the U are rusting. The lock is only out in the rain in a locked position, either hanging off the bike as I ride, or locking up the bike. I had my old lock for almost 15 years and never had that problem.

    A) Why is the new lock rusting?
    B) Is there anything I can do about it?


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  • Evan January 26, 2006 at 10:32 am

    I had some trouble with some older New York U-locks in the past, that Kryptonite was thankfully able to address. In fact, their service was excellent when it came to trying to figure out why my lock mechanism would not work properly. Turns out the rubber coating was too thick and the opening was too small, and it would not let the key fully turn. I believe they have since increased the opening for the key, which completely solves this problem, but for those few who may have the same lock and can’t get it to work quite right this is worth mentioning. The easy solution is to cut away a little extra rubber around the key opening and that should stop the binding. I know some people out there may like to criticize Kryptonite, but my experience with them has been top notch.

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  • Scott B January 26, 2006 at 11:16 am

    Michael and others with locks still needing replacement,

    Kryptonite has stopped the voluntary replacement program but if you go to you can still get them replaced. I just sent three locks into kryptonite and I haven’t got the replacements yet but it looks like it should all work out. Basically they are doing the same replacement program as before but not through their own website.

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  • Joel January 26, 2006 at 3:48 pm

    Kryptonite has done a good job lately designing high-quality locks that respond to the threat of increasingly resourceful bike thieves. They’ve all come with a serious drawback: weight. The New York line is a beast. Where is the company going in terms of reducing weight on their product?

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  • Jessica Roberts January 26, 2006 at 3:52 pm

    They took over a year to replace my lock, even though I called and restarted the process halfway through (and they had no record of my first claim). I was unimpressed.

    Still glad they replaced it, though.

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  • Michael January 26, 2006 at 4:04 pm

    “We are unable to accept this Kryptonite U-Lock Class Action lock exchange claim under the terms of the class action settlement. For more information please contact 1-877-484-8196. For information about the voluntary lock exchange program go to”

    It goes around in circles on the web without success and the phone call goes off to /dev/null.

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  • Jonathan Maus January 26, 2006 at 4:06 pm

    Here are some questions I’ve received via email:

    “I think they need to come out with the ‘Portland Lock’ that is rust proof. I have the heavy duty ‘New York’ U lock and it’s super secure but due to all of our Portland rain, it’s getting pretty rusty in the connections and I have to bang on it with a wrench to get it apart. Kryponite said I could send it in for a replacement but I’ve only had this lock for a year. Will I have to do this every year?”

    “I’ve been kinda unhappy with the current key+lock barrel mechanism on the ulocks. Customers mention that the key often gets “stuck” or kinda turns without actually turning the lock mechanism when they don’t quite put it
    in all the way.”

    “The replacement U-lock that I received is too narrow/squat to fit around the bike racks that have a wider circumference, the frame, AND my fat tire. Locking two bikes together is nearly impossible.”


    “Have there been many instances where thieves use a battery powered circular saw with an abrasive blade to cut through a Kryptonite?”

    “I never did return my locks that were supseptible to the bic pen attack. Is it
    too late?”

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  • Robert January 26, 2006 at 4:37 pm

    The new pattern locks seem to be a bit sticky–very sensitive to full insertion of the key. I’ve always been able to get mine to work, but have noticed that they have this problem to a greater degree than with other types of locks.

    Other people have commented on this.

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  • jacquelina January 26, 2006 at 4:47 pm

    The barrel mechanism on my replacement lock of only one year ago had a tendancy to snag and not turn without some jiggling. Eventually they key would not turn at all and I had to have my lock ground apart to get my bike freed. This is either a quality control issue or a design flaw. Either way, I’ve heard of others who have had this same problem.

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  • Jordan January 26, 2006 at 10:16 pm

    With the barrel mechanism the does not work properly, has any one tried putting some chain lube or other light oil on it? I think that might help.

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  • Morgan January 27, 2006 at 8:57 am

    Yes, actually. I think they need to come out with the ‘Portland Lock’ that is rust proof. I have the heavy duty ‘New York’ U lock and it’s super secure but due to all of our Portland rain, it’s getting pretty rusty in the connections and I have to bang on it with a wrench to get it apart. Kryponite said I could send it in for a replacement but I’ve only had this lock for a year. Will I have to do this every year?

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  • josh m January 28, 2006 at 12:21 am

    i have no questions, only good things to say.
    After a night of booze and painpills(never again)i ended up w/ someone else’s lock in my bag, in a hungover state, i was in front of stumptown trying to unlock the lock to lock my bike up and broke my key off. after getting home and pulling two locks out of my bag, i realized the mistake. I lost my other key for my lock, so I had no keys and two locks(one w/ a broken key in it). I wrote kryptonite and explained what happened. I was planning on paying the $$ to buy replacement keys, whoever it was just told me to send the lock in w/ the broken key and they’d rekey it for me, also, that they’d just send me two new keys for my current lock, since I was smart enough to register it with them prior. So, next week, two new keys for my lock. woowoo.
    AMazing customer service. Plus, i just love the lock. now I just wish the mini’s were a bit cheaper.

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  • JohnQPublic January 29, 2006 at 10:52 pm

    I emailed Kryptonite with the following question. Here’s a answer from Kryptonite if anyone is curious:

    ” When will Kryptonite be releasing a mini (pocket) sized version of the New York Lock?”

    Thank you for contacting Kryptonite. The NY Fagettahboutit small u-lock is supposed to be coming out in the spring time. Around April or May.

    Kryptonite Customer Service
    437 Turnpike St.
    Canton, MA 02021
    (781) 828-6655

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  • […] A few weeks ago I asked if you had questions for Kryptonite because I was going to meet with one of their tech guys, Seth Samson. I printed out all of your questions and brought them to dinner. Here are your questions followed by answers I managed to scribble down over beers and Chinese food: […]

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