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:
James: “I’m curious how their distribution has changed. I think REI used to carry Kryptonite, but now no longer does.”
- REI actually still carries Kryptonite, just less models than they have in the past. This is due to normal competitive market forces and REI purchasing decisions. In addition to carrying Kryptonite they also offer a less-expensive brand called OnGuard.
Andrew: “I’m curious what they ended up doing with all the returned locks. Sold as scrap?”
- Right now all the old locks are sitting in a warehouse in Kansas until they figure out what to do with them.
Michael: “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.”
- The warranty exchange program is now officially over. Seth said they “had to end it some time…we’ve closed the books. We figured 15 months was enough time.” He also stressed that this was a voluntary recall on their part and they were never legally obligated to replace any locks.
Tomas: “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?”
- Seth wasn’t too excited about titanium. Like steel, it can be cut and it is very compliant. He worries it wouldn’t be as secure.
Sonia: “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?”
- Seth said that locks should be treated like any part on your bike that requires regular maintenance. In a rainy climate, rust happens. He recommends using some grease, WD40, or steel wool to clean it out. He also recommended carrying the lock with the U facing down (so the holes are not as exposed to rain). I asked him about using all stainless steel internals and he hasn’t got back to me yet on that.
JA: “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.”
- Seth answered: “The longer the opening, the less secure the lock will be. You should try and leave as little space open as possible”.
Someone: “Have there been many instances where thieves used a battery-powered circular saw with an abrasive blade to cut through a Kryptonite?”
- According to Seth, you’d need about 50 blades and a very long extension cord or powerful battery. He said, “if someone can use a tool like that on your lock, than your bike is parked in the wrong place!”
Robert: “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.” (I’ve had this problem too!)
- Seth says that inside the cylinder is a series of discs (the amount increases with better locks) that must freely rotate 360 degrees. The key is to use a light touch on the key and finesse it around. When you try and jam it in quickly and go, you’re likely to have more problems. He also showed me a prototype key they’re working on to help with this issue.
If there’s anything else you’d like to ask Krytponite I can have Seth answer your questions in the comments. Thanks for submitting your questions and I hope the answers were helpful.