Many cyclists are familiar with this problem: you want to get going quickly, but the bike lock is stuck. No matter what you try, the locking mechanism will no longer open.
A jammed bicycle lock at home is already annoying. On the go, however, this can be an even bigger problem.
In the following sections you will find out why a bicycle lock is jammed and what you can do about it.
Bicycle lock can no longer be opened - causes
Bicycle locks not only have to protect against theft, but also withstand other stresses such as environmental influences. The bicycle lock is outdoors most of the time and is therefore exposed to all weather conditions.
Many locks have a special protective device that protects the locking mechanism of the bicycle lock or the cylinder from dirt. No matter how well sealed this can be. Moisture, dust or other dirt get inside the lock and affect its functionality over time.
Use of force – break open the bike lock
First of all, you should examine the lock for possible signs of forced entry or the use of force. If the bicycle lock worked perfectly the previous days, it is usually not due to a lack of care. An alarm system could prevent this.
An attempt may have been made to pick your lock. In this case it may be that the locking mechanism is badly damaged and can therefore no longer be opened.
Then unfortunately the only thing that helps is to grab a bolt cutter or a flex to cut through.
Soiling of the bicycle lock
If there are no signs of violence on the lock, then the locking mechanism is probably fouled by a combination of water, dust, and dirt (including corrosion).
Splash water from puddles, dust in summer and numerous rain showers form a coating that gets deeper into the lock with every locking and unlocking of the bike.
Beneath this crust of dirt, the metal begins to rust. Over time, the lock wears out or its functionality is affected.
You should avoid this if the bike lock is jammed
- If your bike lock is jammed, the first thing we advise you to do is remain calm. Impatient shaking can lead to a broken key or damage to the lock.
- You should not use washing-up liquid, because soapy water washes away the dirt particles down to the smallest corner instead of removing them. The combination of water and soapy water, i.e. soapy water, promotes the formation of rust.
Although cooking oil greases the bicycle lock, it binds solid substances. This means that the grease hardens over time and forms a tough layer of dirt. The lock is therefore even more dirty than before.
- If possible, we recommend mounting or putting on the bicycle lock so that the opening points downwards. So no rainwater can get in.
Bike lock stuck? - Use home remedies
If the bicycle lock is stuck due to possible dirt, this can be removed with a cotton swab, a toothpick or a bent safety pin, for example. However, you should be careful not to push the dirt further into the lock.
So that your bicycle lock can be opened easily again, we recommend that you keep an oil or silicone spray handy in the household for machines of all kinds. Due to the water-displacing property, penetrating oils are able to spread in all directions and displace moisture from even the tightest of spaces.
However, these two products also bind dirt in the long run.
Graphite spray is the best way to oil your bike lock. It has the positive properties of oil and silicone spray, but does not bind any dirt.
If the bike lock is still stuck despite home remedies, then we recommend professional help. Find a locksmith or workshop. If even a trained employee cannot open the lock, the only option left is to break open the lock.
Bicycle lock care for prevention
You can minimize the likelihood of a stuck bike lock by maintaining it regularly. Regular bike lock care requires minimal effort, which prevents a jammed lock.
Save yourself hassle and expense by preemptively adding penetrating oil to your bike lock a few times a year to fight deposits and corrosion.
Find out now which bike lock is right for you
Each lock variant offers its individual advantages and disadvantages. A comprehensive overview that compares the security, comfort and price of all types of bicycle locks can be found in the guide to bicycle locks.