Street Cuffs – SNAP!


As a product reviewer for Commute By Bike, I am providing my unbiased opinion of any products provided to us by any company. I do not posses any type of relationship with the products company or parent companies. Companies that send in their goods to be reviewed do not compensate me in any way.

Product: Master Lock Street Cuffs (1-Link)
Cost: I’ve found from $49.00 – $90.00
Weight: 2 lbs. 14 oz.
Here’s what the basic advertisement says:
  • Like handcuffs, but for your bike, these cuffs are virtually impossible to cut because they fit snugly, leaving no room for pry bars.
  • Ratchet locking design allows you to get a snug fit around any size bike tube,
    plus lets you connect to fixed objects with a variety of shapes
  • The link that connects the two cuffs has a pivoting action that denies a fixed anchor point,
    preventing the use of leverage
Here’s what I say:

When I went to test the ‘hardness’ of the lock, I was totally unprepared for the ease at which it would break. I took it into my yard and set up my video camera. Before I filmed, I needed to set up the lock and bike, and just get a feel for how I would proceed. I slipped one cuff over a fence post,  clasped the  other end  to a frame of a junk bike. I lifted the frame and played with it for about 30 seconds. I was able to line up the ‘pivoting’ link so that when pressure was applied, it did not pivot. Just when I found that sweet spot  where the frame acted like a crow bar, I barely pushed on it and SNAP! It broke!  Crap! I didn’t get it on tape. Dangit too, because I really liked the way the lock looked and wanted to take it on my commutes!


OK – I know ANY lock is ultimately defeatable.  But with NO tools and  absolutely NO experience, 30 seconds is all I needed to break the cuffs in half,  and  did  NO damage to the bike.  If I really wanted to be fast, with only an adjustable wrench the pivoting link could be held at the right angle to allow it to be broken almost as fast as you can lift the bike and push it back down. I know my Kryptonite chain or my Master Lock Cable would make a pretzel  out of  a  frame  before it would break away like the cuffs did.
These cuffs may have  been defective. Unfortunately, I only had this one set to test. At the spot where it broke, the metal looks very porous with microscopic holes like pot metal. It does have a chrome veneer, but that wasn’t enough. I pried the plastic sheath off of one of the cuffs to reveal the broken part more clearly. It’s exactly 1/4″ in diameter.  Being high carbon, or  porous, it has absolutely  NO flexibility. In my pictures you can see the white or grayish  circle, that’s the little rod that broke. It connects the link to the cuff.


I really hate it the lock  broke that easy. I swear I can break anything given enough time and resources, but that was not my plan. I just wanted to be sure a casual thief could not make away with my bike. I also really liked the concept of the cuff design; in some ways it does seem like a better idea than a u-lock or chain. I guess I’ll never know.


As it is, I can’t recommend this lock.
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