Someone attempted to steal my girlfriend's bike tonight and they damaged the lock.

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Do you guys know if we can use the warranty to get it exchanged? The lock has a 2 year warranty and I'm planning to take it to Decathlon to check what they can do but in the meanwhile is there anything we could do?

  • 4
    Hi, welcome to bicycles! This isn't really an easy question to answer; it depends on the brand (and possibly the model) of the lock, the country you're in, whether or not you bought it from a recognized retailer or not... My suspicion is that this isn't the kind of damage covered by a warranty; think of your lock as an insurance policy for your bike, which you just used up.
    – DavidW
    Nov 7, 2019 at 18:40
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    Welcome to the website! The answer depends largely on the sale conditions and laws of your country. In certain cases it is your home insurance that is supposed to cover the costs. Honestly, the store has fulfilled its part of the deal: it sold you a lock that prevented someone to steal the bike, exactly the function the lock is meant for. If nothing else, I would be happy that the bicycle is still with me. Nov 7, 2019 at 18:41
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    @YujinKim That might be a separate question. It doesn't look like the damage to the lock is catastrophic; it looks like it's less than 10% cut through. What I've seen people do in a case like that is buy a piece of steel plumbing/gas pipe and put it over the damaged area like a sleeve. (I haven't looked carefully enough to see if they have friction-fit, glued or welded it.)
    – DavidW
    Nov 7, 2019 at 18:49
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    Out of interest was the thief stopped by someone while in the process? If that's the case I'm doubtful if the lock would have done it's job, even the toughest locks can be cut through quite easily with an angle grinder
    – Dan K
    Nov 8, 2019 at 7:14
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    Can you tell what material the inner part is? My educated guess would be that the outside material is aluminium, and the inner is steel, hardened steel. That would be a very good idea. And it means the lock is basically as secure as before, because the steel part is what gives you the protection. The could be there to prevent direct hits to the steel. That would mean it can be so hard that it is brittle, which sounds brilliant. Nov 8, 2019 at 9:10

6 Answers 6


Warranties exist to protect you, the consumer, against defects in materials or workmanship, not against deliberate damage. The purpose of a bike lock is to help avoid your bike being stolen, so if it has prevented a theft of the bicycle then it has done its job well.

Perhaps you can ask Decathlon and report back to us by answering your own question for future readers, that would be most useful.

You would have to explore if the damage is covered by any of your insurances, check local laws on any time limits to report the attempted theft by (to police etc).

Sometimes lock companies will offer private schemes to replace stolen goods, like this number one Google hit, but you would probably know about such a scheme if it was advertised on your product and you'd likely need to have registered the purchase.

In this case, you bought a lock to protect the bike, and it worked, which is great.

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    So, the warranty should at least get me a new lock if my bike does get stolen?
    – HAEM
    Nov 8, 2019 at 8:29
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    @HAEM but would you want another lock from them if it hadn't worked the first time? ;)
    – Sam Dean
    Nov 8, 2019 at 10:55
  • @HAEM: that's a good question, though. Never occured to me to ask.
    – WoJ
    Nov 8, 2019 at 12:20
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    @HAEM warranties are usually to replace goods defective through materials or workmanship, so not deliberate damage even by a third party, no. Policies and laws vary regionally anyway. I'm not sure where it is implied that you would get a new lock as a matter of course if the bike is stolen, please let me know which bit is unclear and I will clarify if necessary.
    – Swifty
    Nov 8, 2019 at 15:52
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    @HAEM I have assumed that the first paragraph you had inferred that if a bike lock is breached by a thief then it is automatically considered defective, but that is not the case so I have reworded it a bit
    – Swifty
    Nov 9, 2019 at 18:44

Some locks offer "insurance" where you can get a payout if their lock fails to protect your bike.

Of course there are caveats like "lock must be used" and "thief must leave lock behind" (for inspection for weakness) and so on, and even "lock must be registered with company"

The only places that can tell you details would be the supplier and the manufacturer.

Half-related, the lock has worked this time, but thief knows what is needed next time and may return with the right tool. I'd add another lock, or store the bike inside from now on. You've had your warning, don't ignore it.

  • I like this idea of adding another lock, perhaps a different style, or changing habits. I'd assume that failed theft attempts are less common than successful ones and the would-be thief might try again
    – Swifty
    Nov 8, 2019 at 7:00
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    As a side note over in the UK most insurers will only pay out if you have the correct level of bike lock for the value of your bike, hence why we have bronze, silver and gold standard locks. Most insurers will also ask for a picture of the lock prior to taking out insurance along with the certification standard from the lock manufacturers
    – Dan K
    Nov 8, 2019 at 7:11
  • I have heard that the insurance you get when you buy a bike lock is mostly window dressing and you are unlikely to qualify even if your bike gets stolen.
    – HAEM
    Nov 8, 2019 at 9:35
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    @HAEM concur, but its worth trying if the lock included any kind of rebate. Then again this lock succeeded in its task.
    – Criggie
    Nov 8, 2019 at 10:09

It still doesn't hurt to contact the manufacturer, but do not talk to as if they owe you anything. Do an open inquiry and see if there's anything they can do.

Companies can actually do things out of the ordinary and isn't only bound by warranties. Maybe they'll want your lock back to examine how it survived a theft and give you a replacement.

  • 13
    "I am happy that your lock actually prevented the theft of my bike" is a good way to entice them!
    – L.Dutch
    Nov 8, 2019 at 6:10
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    I worked for a mid-high end universal remote division. Had someone write a hilarious story about her dog and how she found it all chewed up, along with pictures (this is before Twitter and proliferation of cat and dog pictures.) Got a free warranty replacement because the warranty head liked the letter, and it was a wonderful contrast to the demands they typically get...
    – Nelson
    Nov 8, 2019 at 6:44
  • That might be something we'll try, thanks
    – Yujin Kim
    Nov 8, 2019 at 9:00
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    I upvoted this because I've had many instances where safety or security equipment was replaced by manufacturers for free when I let them know it had been destroyed while performing it's job.
    – dwizum
    Nov 8, 2019 at 20:55

Locks are consumables. Just like helmets, seatbelts and airbags, you're supposed to get a new one after it's used, even successfully.

In general, physical security devices are never about denying access. They are about delaying access. Delaying long enough that the chances of getting caught rise to the point that the risk becomes unacceptable (compared to the value of the items being stolen). Anyone can defeat ANY lock, given enough time. That's by design.

Your lock worked as it should. The bike was saved, your move now is to thank the manufacturer for a job well done and buy another lock. There is no claim to be made. Just like there is no claim about brake pads getting smaller from use.

As others have said, they MAY give you one for publicity, but that's quite far fetched.


You've misunderstood what a warranty is for. A warranty protects you against a defective product due to, e.g., errors in manufacturing or possibly design. For example, your lock's warranty might offer you a replacement if the locking mechanism jammed unexpectedly soon, or if the plastic coating on the shackle became brittle and cracked off.

Warranties do not protect against people actively trying to destroy the product. That's what insurance is for.


So i went to Decathlon and as expected the guy told me that he couldn't replace the lock (Oxford Sentinel plus btw). I asked him if he thought i should replace the lock and he said that unless, the guy had a lot of time or an electric saw thingy, the lock should be fine because he only removed the cover bit of the lock.

Anyway thanks for all your help!

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