Do OnGuard MinPin Locking Skewers provide adequate security?

I read one review (http://www.rei.com/product/842891/onguard-minpin-keyless-3-piece-locking-skewer-set) saying that the skewers can easily be defeated. Another review (http://www.amazon.com/review/R3CTA0K40XLP1K/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B0077T7CR6&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=) said the skewers could probably be either broken or defeated w/ a magnet or pliers.

For anyone who has used these skewers, how would you describe the security that they provide?

2 Answers 2


I had these until the front skewer was defeated and the wheel stolen. I can't tell for certain what the method was because thankfully there was no damage to the fork. See the attached photo of scratches on the handle to the rear skewer - this makes me think a prying tool was used to apply enough force to snap something. I will not buy these again and I would not recommend them.

@Batman The bike could not have been inverted in order to remove the skewers. I see how in the picture it may look that way but in fact there is not nearly enough slack in the chain lock to allow that, especially with the front wheel intact - this was the first thing that I tested after the shop that sold them to me installed them. That said, the product is probably not intended to completely secure wheels. A better solution is to use additional high-security chains to lock the wheels to the frame. The reason that I like locking skewers is because I move the bike frequently and enjoy the convenience of not needing to use multiple locks or weave a chain through the wheels each time I lock up. In this case I left the bike in one place for too long (3 days) while I was preoccupied with moving. Lesson learned is to not do that again, or if I must to secure the wheels properly with additional chain locks. The reason that I am dissatisfied with the product is because it is marketed as something that is difficult to defeat, however I suspect that the quick release handles actually provide an easier opportunity for a thief to pry them off in comparison to the typical type of locking skewer that uses a key. I understand that no skewers are perfect, and all are susceptible to being defeated with brute physical force, but I think that the design of this product reduces its efficacy as a theft deterrent.

Front wheel theft - minpin defeated Rear wheel - minpin effective, scratched

  • 1
    To be fair, that seems to be a case where the bike was locked improperly - the skewers are only supposed to work if the bike hasn't been turned 90 degrees, which is clearly possible with that arrangement.
    – Batman
    Nov 7, 2014 at 1:15

I haven't used them myself, but I've been asked to remove a broken set. A customer came back to their bike and discovered that a thief had tried to force them and failed. But not before breaking both front and rear lever mechanisms. I got both off without damaging the rest of the bike at all, with a cutting disk in the grinder they come off in seconds. Anyone can buy a battery grinder for $99 and youtube has a collection of "bike thief being ignored" videos so I'd rate these as "casual thief" resistant.

Also, the "locked" mode is exactly like the "stuck" mode of a normal set of QR skewers. Unless someone knows that they're the special locking ones they'll just apply more and more force until something breaks. So every time you take it into the bike shop or put it on a vehicle you will need to attach a note to the bike to that effect. I hope they come with stickers or something.

Given that you're looking at spending money at all, I suggest something more effective. A set of Pitlocks cost about $105 from Peter White (US) or 95 euro from pitlock.de. And they're made from hard stainless steel so a cheap battery grinder will take a long time to grind one off.

  • used these for a couple months on my mountain bike. These are just a pain. They are hard to re-open, even when you are doing it right, especially on disc brake bikes. I also find the seatpost QR clamp ridiculous, who wants to flip their bike over to move the seat up / down (I'd rather stick with a bolt on seatpost).
    – Benzo
    Jun 25, 2013 at 12:51
  • @Benzo What is a pain? The OnGuard MinPin Locking Skewers that I referenced or the Pitlocks that Moz mentioned? Jun 25, 2013 at 20:56
  • With the PitLocks I have a keyring about 50mm in diameter with the pit on it, and that's enough to both lock and unlock. The hole is 5mm so you can put an allen key through it, or use a 15mm spanner. The latter will let you get them ridiculously tight (if you have a fixie and no chain tug, for example).
    – Móż
    Jun 26, 2013 at 2:39
  • OnGuard MinPin skewers were what I was referencing. I think the Pitlocks, while expensive, are the best skewer-based security you're going to find.
    – Benzo
    Jun 26, 2013 at 11:47

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