How To Break a U Lock

Day accidents are things that we have no control over. One of the worst things is losing the U-lock key. It might be stressful to get away with how to break your U-lock. Because we all know U- locks have indestructible features and designs.

Whatsoever, it would be best to learn how to break U-lock. You can check on the step-by-step guideline below. The article will also highlight more of the fundamental knowledge.

What is U – Lock?

U lock is a U-shaped designed tool that locks your wheel and the bicycle frame. It, therefore, maintains the position of your bicycle.

Places to Lock Your Bike

You have all heard of incidences related to theft along the streets. That does not mean that these victims are careless. Much guess is that most people make wrong choices on random U-locks while shopping.

Remember that it is possible to break any lock. You only need sufficient time and effort to make it happen. Thieves use powerful tools to break into your locks, with no one around noticing. Please pay attention to the best quality U-locks.

The cheaper version might cost you an entire bicycle. Either way, you might minimize theft risks by locking your bicycle in these safe regions.

A Firm Permanent Surface

Always pick immovable places that no one can easily dismantle or break. A higher secure spot is a cemented surface.

The Public Area Backed by CCTV Cameras

A surface with many social engagements might reduce bicycle loss rates.

CCTV inventions come with the benefits of capturing all activities happening in a targeted region. Therefore, thieves tend to stay away from these places. A high-trafficked region with security devices is a safer place to lock your bicycle.

How to use U Lock

When utilizing your U-lock, ensure the rear wheel alongside the bike frame are both within the lock.  Mount on a bike rack or other secure surface. It might be easy for a thief to steal your favorite bike when you lock it on a frame.

How to use U - LockIf you think of locking only your wheels, your bicycle frame becomes vulnerable to thieves. It is wholesomely simple to lock your rear wheels, bike racks, and frames with a single U-Lock.

For maximum security, consider the following approaches:

You can use two U-locks for your bicycle. You can place one of the U-Locks on the rear wheel, frame, and bicycle rack. Then, place the other U-lock on the front wheel, bike rack, and frame.

So that a thief might face double struggles when getting into your bike.

If the criminal decides on cutters, he or she will redo it four times. It is a time-consuming method, and in no time, therefore it can get caught easily.

Use U-lock for both of your wheels. If it is simple to disassemble your vehicles’ wheels, you might position the front wheel closer to the rear wheel. You can also lock your bike rack, wheel, or frame. The technique is very secure – no individual can pry your U-lock with a lever tool. You might need to have a rare U-lock, taller enough, unlike the standard ones.  Weight might be a concern. Typically, massive U-locks have heavier weights.

How to Break U Lock

Losing a U-lock key must be the craziest thing.

Before rushing to break your U-lock, you might want to take the following measures:

  • Search for a spare key.
  • Reach your lock manufacturer either through calls.
  • Report the matter to the police.

If none of the actions are useful to you, you might decide to take action into your hands by breaking your lock.

The simplest technique to break your lock is the use of a standard ballpoint pen. Otherwise,  you might apply force on your U-lock, dismantle it, which will make it worthless.

Use a Ballpoint

Look for a simple ballpoint pen to dismantle your U-lock. You can purchase a cheaper pen with a ballpoint end. There is no need for a fancy version. Consider a pen that you can easily remove the cap. Please stay away from pens that make it tough to remove the caps.

Remove the cap from your pen. You will have an open tube with a similar diameter to a typical lock key.

Insert the pen tube into your keyhole lock. The tube needs to get intact with the hole.

In case the pen tube cannot fit the keyhole, it might be impossible to break U-lock. Look for a pen that is perfect for a keyhole after removing the cap.

Make a twist of the pen while in the keyhole. Use your non-dominant hand to grip U-lock. Also, use a dominant hand to hold the ballpoint pen alongside twisting it and pushing it sturdily into U-lock. Using your wrist, utilize energy to push and twist the pen.

Please proceed with the twisting and add pressure on the U-lock. Halt the twisting once there is a release of a locking sound. If you are not certain about the open status of the lock, you can raise the bar to confirm, and you can take off the pen from the keyhole. That’s it. Those are the steps necessary to break your U-lock.

Use Air Spray and Hammer.

Purchase an air spray. It might be, however, daunting to break your U-lock using physical techniques. They become weak when you apply to spray on them to smash U-lock open. Look for an air spray online or at your nearest store.

Canned air sprays have contents of a chemical called difluoroethane. It adds a cooling effect on the lock to temperatures of about -25 degrees Celsius.

Adjust your U-lock. It might be easy to break your U-lock when it is not attached to any other object. If your lock is around a bicycle or a handle, it might not be easy to break, but it is quite possible.

Adjust your U-lock position to lie downwards towards a flat surface or a stable door.

Spray the keyhole with the canned air spray. Hold the can some feet away from the keyhole. Grip your canned spray and point it directly to the keyhole.

Take at least 30 seconds to spray the keyhole consistently. The bar will start to turn out white due to the chemical reactions and attain a chilling effect. Remember to aim the spray radius directly at the keyhole where you will do the hammering.

Initiate the hammering on the keyhole. After 30 seconds, the U-lock bar will start chilling and become brittle-like. Therefore, the breaking becomes easier.

Use the non-dominant hand to grip U- lock by the hand or against the used surface. Pick the hammer using the dominant hand and hit against the keyhole.

Put your fingers safer not to get hurt while doing the hammering. Stabilize and position U- lock effectively. You will notice some white substance in a misty form coming out.

Please proceed with the hammering until the U-lock breaks. It might take around 30 seconds until a piece dismantles from the bar. From then on, it will be simpler to break U-lock. Direct your hammering towards the shattered section on the lock. Several U-lock parts might come out, and the bar will entirely break. Do not rush as you hammer. You might get rid of the lock remains once done.

Use An Angle Grinder.

An angle grinder is a well-known tool useful for destroying U-locks and other lock designs. It is a more effective and faster option for cutting your U-lock. It would help if you were quite responsible when handling this tool. You might comply with the following precautions.

Wear gloves to safeguard your hands. You can put on goggles to keep your eyes safer from toxic materials.

Avoid putting on loose clothing as well as jewelry pieces while undertaking this activity.

Ensure you have an adequate disc size for your grinder, with no maximum speed limits.

Set the right angle on the grinder. Use both hands while doing that. You might settle on the range between 15 to 30 degrees. Grip the grinder some inches away before turning it on. Move the blade closer to one of the U-lock sides.

Several sparks might show up. Be calm. They are not harmful. Take your time until the cutting procedure completes. The grinder, unlike the hammering, requires no force. You might make several cuts to dislodge it completely. Once done, turn off the grinder tool and remove your U-lock.


Are you supposed to leave your bicycle on the rack when you lose your U-lock spare key? Of course, you should not. It would help if you had the bike to get to your work appointment or class. You might consider the outlined methods when breaking your U-lock.

Some of the methods are simple and less stressful than others. The ballpoint method is quicker, and you do not need expert knowledge. If the pen tube size becomes a concern, you might consider the other presented options.

Jonathan Tim
Jonathan Tim
A bicycle geek since early childhood spent his twenties as a mechanic in bike shops. His passions include flatland BMX, unicycles, cycle touring, mountain biking, and road riding.