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I noticed when I got some Pinhead Wheel Locks that they came with an extra funky looking washer that looks like this:enter image description here

They didn't describe much about it, but I did find some information about them:

  1. It seems like without the washer you can use a Gator Grip Socket to unlock them.
  2. Pinhead responded to this discovery by creating these washers and making this video. But in the video they didn't describe how exactly they work to thwart the Gator Grip attack.
  3. They give them for free on their website to people who don't already have them.

I like to keep my bike fully secure from thieves, so I use and recommend the Pinhead wheel locks. I'd like to understand more how they work.

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As I was writing the question I realized how they work, so I'll do this Q&A style. The Gator Grip Socket works by forming to the Pinhead lock no matter the lock positions. However, it's larger then the key, so when you put it on, if there's something else blocking the way that doesn't turn (like the pog security washer), then it won't work.

So technically if they created a new tool that was like the Gator Grip Socket but smaller, you might be able to still unlock the Pinhead locks with it. But even that would be unlikely because of the way the pog security washer juts out that would block you from getting a secure seal on it.

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  • Just curious if you've tried removing the nuts using a Gator Grip socket after installing the washers. It looks to me that even with the socket on an angle, you could, with a careful application of torque and a lot of pressure, still get a good enough grip to unscrew it. Of course, my first thought was to use a pair of angled needle-nose pliers like those. They'd likely be deep enough to clear the washer and would still get the nut off if you were determined. – FreeMan Apr 2 at 18:10

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