It appears that any bicycle secured with a circular "barrel type" lock may be in danger of being stolen, given that the information about how to easily open these locks has spread all over the internet. We advise bicyclists to keep their bikes with them at all times, or to utilize the free attended bike parking at the Embarcadero Bikestation within the Embarcadero BART/Muni station. Building managers and businesses who ban bikes in their buildings should be urged to relax this ban, at least until lock manufacturers address this fatal flaw.
We have been receiving increasing reports of bike thefts in recent months, and it's unclear whether this is related to the glitch discovered in U-locks. Regardless, the SFBC is pushing the SF Police Department to ramp up their attention toward bike thefts, expand their sting operations, and to develop a better system for tracking serial numbers so that stolen bikes can be returned to their owners.
If you haven't already done so, this is an important reminder to do two crucial things that may make your bike recoverable if stolen:
- record the serial number of your bikes using this form (Adobe PDF, 486k)
- take photos of your bikes
Keep these materials in a safe place, in the unfortunate event that you may need them.
On Wednesday, September 22nd, 2004, Kryptonite released the following statement:
KRYPTONITE OFFERS FREE PRODUCT EXCHANGES TO ALL CURRENT OWNERS OF KRYPTONITE TUBULAR CYLINDER LOCKS
Lock Manufacturer Continues to Set the Standard for Security and Service
Canton, MA September 22, 2004 Kryptonite today announced that the company is offering free product exchanges to all consumers who are concerned about the security of their current Kryptonite tubular cylinder locks.
At no charge to them, consumers will be able to exchange their current Kryptonite tubular cylinder lock for a Kryptonite non-tubular cylinder lock. Kryptonite will begin exchanging products within a few weeks as it accelerates product availability.
"At Kryptonite, we understand the responsibility that comes with being the market leader. Since we learned last week about the possibility of compromising some of the industry's tubular cylinder locks, we have been working diligently to devise the best and most responsible solution to address the concerns of consumers and to meet the needs of our distributors and retailers," said Steve Down, General Manager of Kryptonite. "We decided to simplify and expand our planned product upgrade program so that we could expedite the process for consumers and eliminate any lingering doubt in their minds about their locks. Standing by our customers is the responsible thing to do for those who rely on our security products to keep their valuables safe."
Kryptonite is offering a free product exchange to consumers who currently have Kryptonite locks using tubular cylinders. To participate in the free product exchange offer, consumers can visit the company's Web site at www.kryptonite.com for registration instructions. As part of this effort, Kryptonite will initiate a swap program through direct communication with all of its distributors and retailers.
Mr. Down concluded, "At Kryptonite, we constantly remind ourselves of our responsibility to lead and offer solutions ? not excuses ? that strengthen Kryptonite's relationships with consumers and channel partners. By instituting the most comprehensive program possible, we believe our company has again taken the lead in providing unprecedented customer support and service."Kryptonite Exchange Program
Planet Bike Announces U-Lock Exchange Program
Here is the latest update on the status of our locks and our plan to help you out:
The On Guard U-Locks are pretty difficult to break into using the pen method, because of the different diameter cylinder, but we will be revamping them anyway.Â The other locks that use cylindrical keys have a percentage that can be opened easily, and a percentage that can't be opened.Â Please don't try to open your lock with a pen, as it can be difficult to return to the locked position.
We will have replacements for the On Guard U locks near the end of October that we will swap with customers for no charge.Â The Extra Guard U Locks, Terminator Cable Locks, Super Guard Locks and Fortress Locks all need to be retooled, so we won't have replacements in for 90 days, but after that we can swap those out too.Â If you own one of the latter locks and you need a more secure lock in a bad way, you are welcome to swap for the On Guard, which will be ready earlier.Â
We at Planet Bike thank you for your patience and for continuing to support us in our mission to strengthen grassroots bicycle advocacy groups.Â If you have any further questions, feel free to drop me a line.
Erik Olson Assistant General Manager Planet Bike 2402 Vondron Rd, Madison, WI 53718 P: (608) 256-8510 F: (608) 256-7990
Planet Bike donates 25% of profits to organizations that promote and facilitate the usage of the bicycle for the good of human kind and the planet