Innovative and secure bike lock for town duties

Master Lock's Street Cuff is basically a pair of handcuffs for your bike. One end goes round the frame and the other round a Sheffield stand, railing or other bit of street furniture. There's a hefty rotating linkage joining the two cuffs together and the whole thing is made from hardened laminated steel.

Attacking this lock is a tricky task. you can't twist it because of the articulated joint in the middle, and you can't lever it open because the small diameter of the cuffs means the standard tools won't fit inside. We gave it a good old go with the big croppers but only managed some cosmetic damage, and trying to prise the rivets apart wasn't successful either; it survived the full 5 minutes intact, and the locking mechanisms still worked too.

What you can't do, obviously, is lock your wheels up too; at least not without carrying a cable to slot through the cuff. That's a disadvantage, and so is the fact that the design does limit your locking options a bit. Neither is insurmountable though, and if you want a decent town/pub lock then the Street Cuff is certainly worth considering.

The Cuffs aren't particularly heavy at 1175g and they fold down pretty small too; they come with a bottle cage mount as well which is handy. They're not cheap at RRP but a quick dart online suggests you can have a set for about £50, and at that kind of money they're good value.


Innovative and secure bike lock for town duties

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Masterlock Street Cuff lock

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

# High security 3" (7.5cm) cuffs allow locking to a parking meter, fence posts or another bike

# Pivoting Link prevents a fixed anchor point, taking away the use of leverage to defeat

# Hardened laminated steel construction with hardened pivot link is virtually impossible to cut

# 12" (30cm) long for convenient locking

# Compact design folds in half to fit in seat bag, back pack or pocket

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well: hard to attack and didn't succumb to our thieves' armoury

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The design makes it hard to attack

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

It can be fiddly to lock your bike up; you can't lock the frame and wheels

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 190cm  Weight: 98kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.


handlebarcam [1322 posts] 8 years ago

If you want a decent town/pub lock then the Street Cuff is certainly worth considering.

I've never heard of the "pub lock" classification for locks. This might fit more into the "bondage club lock" segment of the market, although only if you remember to buy two.

Recumbenteer [178 posts] 8 years ago

AFAICT, not Sold Secure rated.

As soon as I saw it I could think of several, possibly more than several potential attacks / vulnerabilities. Note: I'm not a bike thief.

I'll only mention one: The key way. It looks very like the famous Bic-pen KrAptonite one. I wonder if it was a crap locking mechanism which means it isn't Sold Secure rated?

I have an idea about attacking the link too, but ... I'd better not say any more.

Since it's possible to get a SS-G rated lock for ~£50 incl. postage, I'll not touch this thing. (I'm being polite).

Not interesting if you've got insurance.

surreyxc [50 posts] 8 years ago

great for the bike, the bedroom and civil arrests!

Tony Farrelly [2995 posts] 8 years ago

Having been involved in lock testing for the past 14 years I'm less less inclined to put all my faith in a Sold Secure rating than you Recumbenteer. I've seen a Sold Secure Silver rated lock popped in 20s and then seen the feat repeated on another one - without the aid of portable power tools or bolt croppers.

The Street Cuff design has been around for yonks and level of security it offers has evolved to meet the escalating threat - it has always performed pretty well in tests it's limitation being the handcuff design itself. AFAIK it has a pretty solid reputation. As for the lock? That's a 10 point tumbler which is a different beast to the cheap disc locks that fell prey to bic attack back in the day.

SlowCoach [7 posts] 8 years ago
1 like

Recumbunteer - to correct factual errors in your response:
1) this lock is Silver Sold Secure rated
2) this is not the Bic-pen pickable type lock - its considerably more sophisticated
3) I don't know who your insurer is, but it's on my insurer's approved list and appears on other major insurers approved lists

I like this because it's more compact than most locks of a similar security level. If I'm concerned about wheel loss I remove my front wheel, fit one half of the lock round the rear wheel within the rear triangle (see Sheldon Brown for this technique), pass the other half of the lock through the front wheel and then lock to a Sheffield stand.

Anecdotally, I've heard of one ex-bike thief rating this lock as a lot more secure than average because he would "really have to spend time and think about how to crack it - its much easier to move on to the bike next door with the D lock because I know how to crack them and will be tooled up. Why make life hard for yourself dealing with the unknown"