I'm looking for a reliable locking system for my wheels to prevent being stolen, specifically for the front wheel as I always attach the rear one together with the frame with the U-lock.

I look for something easy, not an additional wire or U-lock. I found several systems ranging from 15€ (Zéfal, Point) to 36€ (HexLock - this is pretty cool and seems secure to me).

Back to Zéfal Lock'n'Roll - wouldn't it be possible to break it just with a pliers, using it to unscrewing the nut at the other side of the lock? It seems a plain nut to me and even don't have cone shape to avoid to be caught and unscrew with the pliers.

So do I am right? Anyone can confirm it? Is then more secure than a plain nut?

3 Answers 3


Reviews state that its pretty easy to break into.

To quote the road.cc article above:

In locked mode, attempts to prise them open with my hands proved reassuringly futile. However, a wander round the web suggested they were readily defeated using heavy-duty pliers or a magnet… The latter worked but I later discovered slight play in the skewer permitted this. Fully home and it wouldn’t budge but pliers demolished them in 48 seconds, freeing the front wheel Similarly holding the acorn end with pliers and rotating the cam also induced release. Configuring each so they open in a different position might slow ignorant, opportunist thieves to the point they go in search of easier pickings but regrettably the existing design is too easily overcome.

If you want a quality product, look at something like Pitlock skewers which are pretty difficult to grab onto, and can also be installed for things like seatposts and stuff (Pitlocks have been around for years and are generally well regarded).

Alternatively, lock your wheels properly with good quality U-locks or chains. For example, if you catch the rim in the rear triangle of a standard diamond frame, you can't remove the wheel from the bicycle or the frame without cutting the lock or the rim (which is extremely unlikely to happen).

One thing about security is that bad security looks very close to good security a lot of the times (and assessing good security is often based on trust; if Bruce Schneier says a computer security system is good, you might feel okay about it; if Joe Schmoe on twitter says so, you probably wouldn't put any stake into it). So, do your research on any products that you may consider buying from quality sources.

Also, be aware of your threat model. If you live in certain areas, things like these aren't going to be worth it cause the threat of people stealing wheels is negligible. In other areas, it may be redundant with the locking strategy you always have to employ. Anyway, things like security skewers and bolts are for relatively casual thieves; remember that you need to avoid them walking away with the whole bike first.

I'm always cautious with things off Kickstarter, but the idea of Hexlox looks similar to the Pitstopper from Pitlock; the question is if one (or both) of the implementations are acceptable in quality. In any case, both Hexlox and Pitstopper look inferior to the original Pitlock system IMO (but I haven't done any tests with either of them). The Point system doesn't look very secure either and I've never heard of the company either.

  • *1 You only have to have better security than the nicer bike next to you.
    – RoboKaren
    Jul 8, 2017 at 6:42
  • @RoboKaren that is only valid if the bike near you is of higher value. Or even if is a bike next yours. Jul 8, 2017 at 17:44
  • That's why I always park next to nicer bikes than mine. Colnagos with chain locks are my favorite.
    – RoboKaren
    Jul 8, 2017 at 17:57
  • Or someones not trying to grab the entire rack with their pickup.
    – Batman
    Jul 8, 2017 at 18:04
  • 1
    I'm inclined to believe a review which said they got a magnet to open it rather than a video which didn't succeed at it (it's a safer thing to believe); the guy in the video may have been doing it wrong.
    – Batman
    Jul 8, 2017 at 20:22

I've used those skewers for years. never had a wheel stolen. had the whole bike stolen, though

the reality is that you will never stop someone who is determined enough to bring a specific tool. it's easier to use a car jack to bust a U-lock than it is to fiddle with pliers on the "acorn" end. or drill out the bolt. the purpose of these locking skewers is to have the convenience of quick releases but with the protection of a regular bolt (or slightly better). most of the cyclists I know didn't know how to open them, a random thief will simply walk up, try to open it, and move on when they fail to open. like I said, if a thief is bringing tools, you've already lost.

that said, if you ALWAYS ride with a tool bag, then you should just get one of the "keyed" bolts and take the next step up in security. also, I read about the pliers attack and got out a pair of pliers and "rounded off" the acorn end until I couldn't grip it anymore, then put a little grease on it.


I love these wheel security products, and I always use them for peace of mind. It's much simpler than carrying a cable around with me everywhere. I wrote a post about many different options, and made a video where I install some on a bike.

As for the Zéfal Lock'n'Roll specifically, I used those a while back and they served me well. Never stolen, however I wrote in my post how they can be hard to close and sometimes get stuck when opening. They've made it very difficult for me to take off the wheels myself! After trying out some of the other options, I much prefer the Pinhead or another keyed option.

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