Home Forum Bike Forum How many combinations does a 4 number lock have?

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• How many combinations does a 4 number lock have?
• 4x3x2x1?

Because if it is, that isn’t many, and a bike thief could soon go through them all to get the lock open.

Thanks

dasnut
Member

depends on how many numbers.

decimal, hexadecimal etc.

assuming you mean a 4 digit lock: 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 for decimal (10000)

Grimy
Member

As above, if its a 4 digit lock with 0-9 as each option, then surely its 10,000 if you count 0000 through to 9999? or is that too much like common sence and the real answer is some stupid math rule that just dosent play out in real terms?

I mean a lock which has four dials with 10 numbers on each that you turn to a preset combination to make it open, instead of a key.

Base 10.

headfirst
Member

All numbers up to 9999, plus 0000. So 10,000 like what he above said

RealMan
Member

I mean a lock which has four dials that you turn to a preset combination to make it open, instead of a key.

Base 10.

So you’ve got the choice of numbers from 0000 up to 9999 then..?

So 10,000 numbers to choose from? Say it takes you 3 seconds to check a number. It will take you 30,000 seconds to check all the numbers. Which is 8 hours 20 minutes. Obviously it’s very unlikely to be the last number you choose, so on average, just going through the possibilities one at a time it will take about 4 hours to find the right code.

That’s assuming no breaks and your fingers don’t fall off.

or is that too much like common sence and the real answer is some stupid math rule that just dosent play out in real terms?

😀

aracer
Subscriber

Did you really want to know the number of combinations though, or just how long it would take a thief to find the combination? If you’re talking about a typical cheap bicycle combination lock with 4 barrels, then I reckon I could find the combination in under a minute (certainly managed that last time I tried).

Oh 10,000, I feel much better now!

Thanks

aracer, no it’s an Abus combination padlock.

The real answer is, as aracer has alluded to, not enough to deter an experienced thief…

aracer
Subscriber

One like this?

A quick google provided a video showing somebody breaking one of those the same way I’d break a bicycle lock on the first search page.

Oh, good job I’ve got one of these too then:

aracer
Subscriber

I don’t think a little multi-coloured square is going to help much 😉

Rob Hilton
Member

Obviously it’s very unlikely to be the last number you choose

Rob doubts this; he believes it’s certain to be the last number you choose.

Bugger! I never manage to upload images successfully! It’s a picture of a snarling Dobermann.

RealMan
Member

Rob doubts this; he believes it’s certain to be the last number you choose.

🙄

You know what I mean.. 🙂

People are naturally lazy. I think the first 8 solutions I would try are just flipping each dial one number either way. I reckon that would open quite few.

headfirst
Member

People are naturally forgetful. I bet it would be someone’s birthday or anniversary. So that narrows down the options. Especially if you know who’s birthday. And can remember when it is.

IanMunro
Member

So 10,000 numbers to choose from? Say it takes you 3 seconds to check a number. It will take you 30,000 seconds to check all the numbers. Which is 8 hours 20 minutes. Obviously it’s very unlikely to be the last number you choose, so on average, just going through the possibilities one at a time it will take about 4 hours to find the right code.

/Makes note to change combination to 9999

goldfish24
Member

Anyone that knows how can do a combination lock in a matter of minutes. I don’t know how, but I know that the bloke who nearly nicked my bike did…

Standing outside the pub smoking, I noticed a chap bent over next to my bike. I walked over to find him just as he removed the expensive 4-digit combination lock from my bike. Can’t have been a minute since I had last looked in that direction. As I exclaimed in part shock part anger, his girlfriend told me “it’s his bike”. Needless to say, I informed the pair otherwise as they walked off and I stood there wandering what had just happened. The decision to throw a punch arrived far too late.

GW
Member

Anyone that knows how can do a combination lock in a matter of minutes. I don’t know how, but I know that the bloke who nearly nicked my bike did…

I do too, and it takes seconds, not minutes. you also do it by feel rather than looking so you can do them while looking out for anyone coming.

andrewh
Member

Obviously it’s very unlikely to be the last number you choose

Rob doubts this; he believes it’s certain to be the last number you choose.

It wil only ever be the first number if you try to be clever and start at the back. Then it’s still the last.

Rob Hilton
Member

^ Rob believes you are playing games with him, this displeases Rob.

Be warned: You wouldn’t like Rob when he’s displeased.

partyboy
Member

Why would someone bother to go through the combinations on a cheap lock anyway when a set of bolt croppers would do the job in a matter of seconds.

fibre
Member

Like GW said above, you don’t try combinations it’s just done by feel.

It’s all down to how much play there is in the mechanism, to crack a very cheap one you just pull on both ends whilst turning the combination, one wheel at a time starting from the first combination barrel. On the cheap ones there is enough play that it will jump into place when you hit the right number (when pulling on both ends of the lock), it does take as long as how quick you can turn the barrels (secounds). The better quality ones take much longer as you have to be able to tell the slight difference in feel when you hit the right number. Either way it’s easyest to do it “blind” as you can concentrate on the feel more.

If you are concerned about bike security then buy a sold secure rated d-lock or heavy chain. Not a cable or combi lock.

No i’m not a bike thief, but we do like to test new locks at work.

RealMan
Member

I do too, and it takes seconds, not minutes. you also do it by feel rather than looking so you can do them while looking out for anyone coming.

GW the other night..?

GW is right and fibre is spot on. I nicked a prolific bike thief last week who specializes in combo locks. He moves the bike to a different part of town re-locks it and leaves it a while. Then if and when he is stopped he can say it is his and Show the lock off.
Partyboy, not carrying bolt croppers means not risking getting nicked for going equipped, which even with a piddling penalty is an evening in the cells not stealing and not scoring.

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