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How to Unlock a Kryptonite Bike Lock? – 4 Ways

Written by Gary Johnson / Fact checked by Henry Speciale

how to unlock a kryptonite bike lock

Locks help keep our bicycle secure when we need to park it outside or keep it on a rack. But what if you lost your key and can’t get a bike lock off? You will need to know how to unlock a Kryptonite bike lock in such a situation.

Let’s look at a few simple methods to open bicycle lock, as well as those that will help keep them usable even after unlocking. Keep reading to learn more.

What You’ll Need

  • Method 1: Hammer, Air spray (difluoroethane)
  • Method 2: Pen
  • Method 3: Shim tool
  • Method 4: Done without a tool

Ways to Unlock a Kryptonite Bike Lock


There are times when we lose the key or forget the lock combination and are unable to get the bike loose, and this can be a real problem. Until we can get a key replacement, our bicycle may be unmovable.

In such situations, calling a professional locksmith is a good idea, but there are other methods available for us to try. These are things you can do to open Kryptonite bike lock or other brands without key.

We will focus on simple methods that most people would be able to manage. Advanced lockpicking techniques or those that require a workshop are not included.

Method 1: Break a Kryptonite U lock with a hammer

Step 1: Pick up the air spray and point its nozzle into the keyhole. You need to ensure that the chemical in the spray goes inside the lock. This will lower the temperature of the entire mechanism and cause its structure to weaken.

Step 2: Hit the lock with a hammer aimed at the keyhole. Keep hitting until it breaks. However, do not expect to be able to reuse it.

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Method 2: Unlock with a pen

Step 1: Take a pen and remove the top cap; many have found that Bic pens are the best ones to use. Insert the pen tube into the keyhole; if it doesn’t fit, you’ll need a different one.

Step 2: Once you have a pen that fits, insert it into the keyhole while twisting. Continue doing this and occasionally rotating the tube while also applying pressure on the lock’s bar and shaking it loose.

Method 3: Picking Kryptonite lock with a shim

  • Prepare a shim tool; even something homemade from aluminum cans will do.
  • Find the side of the shackle that connects to the crossbar. Insert the shim into the gap or space where these two connect.
  • Slide the shim from one side to the other; you’re looking to unhinge the shackle from the mechanism inside the crossbar.
  • The shackle will come off once you apply pressure to the correct area. Note that this is not something you should expect to work on more advanced locks.

Method 4: Decode the combination

Step 1: Find dials with resistance

Bring all dials to the lowest number. Slightly tug the lock on each side then proceed to turn each dial; find all numbers where dialing away from them will present some resistance. There can be more than one for each dial.

Step 2: Try your combinations

If you were only able to note one number for each dial, using this combination will open the lock.

However, if there are more than one number, you can only brute force it by going through each combination. While this will be time-consuming, it is still better compared to having to go through every combination with 10 number dials.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why bother using a lock if it can’t prevent the bike from being stolen?

Locking a bike doesn’t mean it cannot be stolen. The objective is to make it difficult for any would-be thief to get what they want. In this way, the lock is more of a deterrent and may even discourage theft if the criminal thinks it would be too troublesome to bypass.

Applying the proper ways of securing the bicycle also helps. Such methods include finding a sturdy object to attach the bike to and locking both wheels of the bike using multiple locks.

Why won’t my Kryptonite lock open?

If you unlock it with key and it still won’t open, part of the mechanism may have jammed or corroded.

Lubricating it with Finish Line’s Teflon grease may help, and you can also try to pick a Kryptonite bike lock. If both of these do not work, there may be damage, and you’ll have to cut the lock to free the bike.

How do you unlock a Kryptonite bike lock if you forgot the combination?

Aside from cutting or calling a professional locksmith, decoding the lock is one thing you can do yourself, although it may take some time to complete. Refer to the fourth method above to proceed with the decoding process.

More advanced products such as the Kryptonite Evolution bike lock require a high level of skill to pick successfully. They also require special equipment such as a Kryptonite lock pick tool.

Is it possible to pick a Bell bike lock?

Yes, picking a Bell lock is similar to other brands; the difficulty changes depending on the type.

For example, the Catalyst 300 can be unlocked with a Z bar and an offset dimple pick in under ten seconds. Meanwhile, the Catalyst 750 requires a bit more work and uncommon tools.

How do I reset my Kryptonite lock?

Resetting is needed when changing the code for your Kryptonite combination lock.

To do so, unlock the device and find the reset dial at the side. Turn it until its indicator window is red.

Input the new code you want to use, then turn the reset dial back to its original position. Ensure that the new combination works before using it.


Being unable to unlock your bike can be quite frustrating. It’s a good thing you now know a few reliable ways on how to unlock a Kryptonite bike lock. Just don’t meddle with other people’s properties, so you don’t get into trouble.

Have you ever tried undoing a lock that you’ve lost the key or code to? Tell us all about your experience in the comments section below. We’ll be waiting to hear from you.

Always ride safely.

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