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Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
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Top Of The Best Key Chain Frames Reviewed In 2018Last Updated January 1, 2019
№1 – Acrylic Photo Snap-in Key Chain – 2×3″ (pack of 25)
№2 – Acrylic Photo Snap-in Business Card Size Key Chain – 2×3.5″ (pack of 25)
№3 – 12 Photo Frame Keychains
Seatposts come in three main diameter sizes: 27.2mm, 30.9mm and 31.6mm. If you have a look at your existing seatpost shaft, somewhere on it (usually near the bottom) it will say one of the numbers.
If your existing seatpost is 30.9mm then it will fit any new frame with a 30.9mm seat tube (obviously!) but it will also fit into any new frame that has a 31.6mm seat tube too. You just need to buy a 30.9-31.6mm seatpost shim to convert it.
This is a biggie. There are various types of rear axle design out there and your existing rear wheel may well have a strong influence in what new frames end up on your shortlist. Having to buy a whole new rear wheel is not a small amount of money.
Bracing allows thin driveside chainstay for extra clearance
Frame sizes >>> Size matters: why we’re all riding bikes that are too small
Standover: just make sure any new frame has enough standover for your leg inseam length. Simple. >>> The complete guide to mountain bike geometry
Full suspension or hardtail
A common thing is to go from a hardtail frame to a full suspension frame.
To buy a decent full suspension frame costs significantly more than buying a decent hardtail frame. Cheap full suspension frames will weigh a lot, may have durability issues and will usually sport outdated geometry.
Full suspension frames can often have more compatibility conflicts (than a hardtail) with your existing stuff, which necessitates you having to buy a significant amount of new bits (forks and wheels mainly).
The debate around full-sus versus hardtail has been around for decades. To put it bluntly, if you have more than £1,000 to spend on a frame, get a full susser. If you have less than £1,000, get a hardtail frame.
Canyon’s Grand Canyon cross-country hardtail
Cross-country bikes tend to use larger diameter 29in wheels — so are often referred to as 29ers — combined with lightly treaded, low-volume and fast-rolling tyres for maximum speed, though some brands offer them with 650b wheels — also called 27.5in.
They tend to use steeper head angles combined with longer stems and narrower bars for quick reacting handling and to place the rider into an efficient pedalling position.
The downside of this type of geometry is that it can make them harder to control on steeper descents, especially when combined with shorter-travel suspension and skinnier tyres.
Cheaper cross-country bikes will use alloy frames, but carbon is the default choice for top-end race bikes — although exotic materials such as titanium are sometimes seen. They tend to have a very wide range of gears to allow steep climbing as well as a high top speed.
Buy one if: you like pushing your heart rate as high as it’ll go and riding for hours on end.
Entry: £750 (hardtail), £1,000 (full suspension)
Good: £1,500 (hardtail), £2,500 (full suspension)
Brilliant: £2,500 (hardtail), £3,500 (full suspension)
This is the most popular style of bike because it can be used for pretty much anything.
Trail bikes have more relaxed angles to give greater confidence when descending and kit that’s designed to deal with more punishment. They use shorter stems and wider handlebars to help improve control at speed, while tyres will have more aggressive tread.
Enduro is a racing format in which the descents are timed, but you still have to pedal yourself around the course. That means that these bikes are designed to perform exceptionally well down steep and difficult trails but are still light and efficient enough to pedal back to the top.
The Mondraker Dune Carbon XR is an excellent — and expensive — modern enduro machine
Enduro bikes tend to have more travel than ‘normal’ trail bikes, and are almost exclusively full suspension. Most use around 160-170mm of travel at either end, paired to tough wheels and reinforced tyres. The suspension units they use are still air-sprung but tend to be heavier duty with a wide range of damping adjustments to tune their downhill performance.
Some have remotes that allow you to change the bike’s geometry and travel between a downhill and uphill mode. Many have just one chainring and a device to prevent the chain falling off paired to a wide range of gears at the back. Enduro bikes are also called ‘all mountain’ bikes as they’re ideal for riding in mountainous and technical terrain.
Commencal’s Supreme DH Race is a World Cup-ready downhill racer
As the name suggests, these bikes are about doing one thing; going down steep and technical tracks very, very quickly.
They have around 200mm of travel at either end, often using coil sprung suspension that’s optimised for pure traction and support, rather than pedalling ability.
To put up with the huge forces the bikes are put under, the forks have legs that extend above the head tube and are then braced together, known as a ‘double-crown’ or ‘triple-clamp’ fork. Again, aluminium is the choice for cheaper bikes, while pro-level machinery will be carbon.
Electric mountain bike
The Scott E-Genius 7Plus is an example of a modern electric mountain bike
Motorised mountain bikes are becoming very popular indeed, and it’s now possible to find electric mountain bikes in pretty much all of the disciplines listed above.
These bikes incorporate a motor and battery into their design and work by assisting the pedalling that a rider delivers. The power on offer is usually adjusted via a control unit at the bike’s handlebar.
These bikes are significantly heavier than their non-motorised equivalents but can make light work of climbing up the steepest of gradients. Don’t go thinking riding an e-bike is a piece of cake though, these can deliver a workout that many pros use to train with.
Dirt jump bikes
Dirt jump mountain bikes use tiny frames and often 24in or 26in wheels
As the name suggests, these are meant for hitting jumps or pump tracks.
They use tough frames that are easy to move about in the air, short-travel forks and often only have one gear for simplicity.
Singlespeed mountain bikes
Singlespeed bikes are few and far between, but those who like them tend to really like them
Popular with masochists, these bikes only have one gear.
The lack of moving parts means they’re simple to maintain and many people like to run them through the winter months to prevent damaging another bike.
They can be very cheap but many are also expensive, exotic bikes built by niche custom framebuilders. They’re usually hardtails or fully rigid.
Tec Accessories UFO
In this instance, UFO stands for Universal Flex Organizer, and we’re glad it does. The titanium ring has equally-spaced holes around the perimeter to attach keys independently instead of having them hang in one large bunch, making it infinitely easier to swap keys in and out.
Apolis Transit Issue Keychain
If you want to carry a key chain that looks a little more high-tech, pick up this Transit Issue Keychain from Apolis. Crafted in Los Angles from MIL-SPEC hardware and high-quality leather (you can choose from a variety of colors), it’ll keep your keys secure while still looking good.
Grovemade Brass Key Ring
Grovemade typically works in wood and bamboo and not metal, but they do it with their Brass Key Ring, and they do it well. Virtually indestructible, the handsome circular solid brass ring can hook to your belt loop and features a bottle opener.
Lock brand ratings are confusing!
All the good brands provide their own rating systems for grading the security of their locks and these are useful for choosing a lock from that one manufacturer.
Kryptonite, OnGuard and Abus all use different security ratings. Confused?
We can divide chain locks into two broad groups
Portable chains are easy to transport wrapped around your seat post and their relative length means you can secure your bike to a wide range of objects. However these chains will generally be no more than 1mm thick and are not as secure as good U-locks. And they are still much heavier than U-locks.
A super thick, core hardened steel chain with a heavy, top quality lock is perhaps the most secure way to lock your bike. However these chains are so heavy and cumbersome, that they generally work best as a second, stationary lock which you leave wherever your bike is regularly secured for long periods of time.
As with U-locks you should think carefully about what size and thickness you need and how you will carry it about if you need a portable chain.
I have selected and reviewed three great chain locks for you to look at below. And you can read more about the best chain locks here. Or compare the locks in a table of the most popular chain locks here.
The Best Mid-Security Chain: Kryptonite Kryptolok 95Mini
Folding locks are made up of a series of metal plates linked together by rivets. The rivets allow the plates to rotate so they can be folded into a tight package and then folded out to make a stiff shape that you can fasten around your bike.
Although the shackle is just 1mm thick, it’s made from a special “Max Performance” steel which makes it as strong as Kryptonites other 1mm shackle U-locks.
And this thin shackle means it weighs just 1.8lb (0.8kg) which is about the same as two cans of coke.
While Sold Secure have not yet rated it, Kryptonite give it a 7/which is the same rating as it’s highly regarded (Sold Secure Silver) Evolution range of U-locks.
You can check out how it compares to other small, light U-locks here.
While Sold Secure haven’t tested the Mini, it’s bigger brother gets a very respectable Silver rating and since it has the same 63/100 in house rating from OnGuard, it’s safe to assume it offers the same level of protection.
So, if you’re “Lower Risk” and attracted to the low prices of cable locks, you’ve got no excuse: the OnGuard Bulldog Mini is also really cheap, but will protect you bike much, much better.
Check out how it fares against other mini U-locks here.
Very highest risk situations, Stationary security. Extremely heavy! Keep this at home or at work. This is not a lock to carry around on your bike!
Lower risk situations. A cheap, small, lightweight alternative to a cable lock.
Only one of these locks is trustworthy! Which one is it?
U-locks vs Chain locks vs Folding locks
So if we all agree that cable locks are rubbish, how do we choose between a U-lock a chain lock and a folding lock?
I talk about the pros and cons of U-locks and chains in much more detail in the U-lock vs chain lock page.
But to summarize here: if you’re looking for a lock that you can carry around with you every day, then a U-lock is generally the better choice. U-locks provide the nicest balance between security, practicality and price. So they are usually lighter, cheaper and more secure than portable chains.
Of course, there may be good reasons to choose a chain over a U-lock. For instance, maybe you need the greater locking options that a long chain offers. Or maybe you don’t like the frame mounts that come with U-locks and prefer the ease of wrapping a chain round your seat post. But in most cases, U-locks are the best option for portable security.
If on the other hand you’re looking for a lock that stays in one place, at home or at work, then a big, heavy chain is the better choice. A thick chain with a strong lock provides the highest possible level of security for your bike.
They are more difficult to attack with power tools, impossible to bolt crop and immune to bottle jack attacks. You can secure multiple bikes with one chain. And they also work well with good ground anchors. Just don’t try to take them with you when you nip to the shops!
But what about folding locks? Just like U-locks, folding locks are best suited to mobile security. And they address two of the main problems that we can face with U-locks: their limited size and how difficult they can be to carry around on your bike.
Because they are longer and more flexible, you will find more places you can lock you bike up. And because they are so compact when folded up, they are much easier to transport. They also compete well with U-locks in terms of weight.
Abus vs Kryptonite vs OnGuard
Kryptonite also produce high quality locks. While not quite up to the standard of Abus, they make up for this with exceptional customer service. This includes free key and lock replacement in certain circumstances and the best of the anti-theft protection schemes.
OnGuard have had a slightly poorer reputation for both quality and particularly customer service. However, in recent years they have significantly improved the build quality of their locks. And they beat both Abus and Kryptonite in terms of price. OnGuard locks are nearly always the cheapest of any locks at the same level of security.
So if you want the very best quality go for Abus, if your looking for the best price go for OnGuard and if your looking for the best customer service go for Kryptonite!
Evaluating Privileged Account Security: Considerations –CyberArk Software, Inc
A key chain is a series of keys that can be created to help ensure secure communication between routers in a network. Authentication occurs whenever neighboring routers exchange information. Plain text authentication sends a plain text key with each message, and plain text is vulnerable to snooping. Key chains allow a rotating series of keys to be used for limited periods of time to decrease the likelihood of a compromise.
Cisco explains router-to-router authentication.
This tip explains how to implement a key chain in RIP. distributed ledger technology (DLT)
Distributed ledger technology (DLT) is a digital system for recording the transaction of assets in which the transactions and… going dark
Going dark describes a scenario in which communication appears to have ceased, but in reality has just moved from a public…
Know Your Intentions
There are bikes designed specifically for certain types of riding, so knowing what you will use the bike for is huge when selecting a complete. Do you want to ride mostly street? Park? Dirt? Flaltand? For the most part, any bike you buy can be used to ride everything. Buuuut, there are key factors on completes that make certain bikes better for certain disciplines of riding. Below is a simple breakdown of different types of bikes, but like I already said, most bikes you can buy today will be ready to shred on anything.
Brake and Resistance System and Flywheel
The brake and resistance system and the weight of the flywheel are perhaps the most important factors to consider before purchasing an elliptical trainer because these systems control the durability of the trainer, overall feel of the machine, and how loud the machine will be when in operation. When looking for an elliptical trainer, look for machines with eddy current brake systems that use magnets to create resistance. Electronic magnetic resistance systems are the most common and also the smoothest type of brake and resistance system because there are essentially only three parts: the servo motor that moves the magnets into position, the magnets that create the resistance, and a computer board that signals the motor when to move the magnets. Electromagnetic brake systems allow users to control the resistance by simply pressing buttons on the console or handle bars, while manual brake systems use a tension knob that does not allow for an adjustable resistance level (though manual brake systems are quite rare now). Because this system uses magnets on the flywheel to provide tension, the weight of the flywheel is also very important. Basic and standard trainers will have flywheel weights around 1pounds on average, but more elite trainers will have flywheel weights well over that, around 1pounds or more. The heavier the flywheel, the smoother every stride will be, but flywheel weights are not always posted, so be sure to ask about the flywheel weight if not posted. Brands have multiple names for this type of brake and resistance system, some calling this “silent magnetic resistance” or a “quiet drive system.” Either way, look for this feature for the quietest operating machines that also creates a very smooth and natural feel.
Customizable options are great if multiple people use the same elliptical trainer, but these options are also ideal in general for people who want to change things up or work multiple muscle groups. Possible customizable options include an adjustable stride, adjustable pivoting pedals, or an adjustable incline. Some trainers in the more elite category offer electronic or automatic adjustable incline based on built-in workout programs that automatically adjust based on the program and muscle groups being worked, but more standard trainers lack this feature. A customizable stride means that you can set the stride or length from front to back of trainer, shorter, usually at about 1inches, or longer, up to 2inches, depending on the brand and price point. Longer strides are ideal for taller people, while of course shorter strides are best for shorter people, but stride length variations can also be used when targeting specific muscle groups. Adjustable pedals are not offered on all trainers, but this feature is ideal if you can find it because the less you have to lift your foot to meet the motion of the stride, the less strain you put on your lower body. Some models even feature pedals that pivot with the natural stride motion of your legs. Fixed movement trainers are typically less expensive, but having the option to adjust several features on trainers make for a more comfortable and customizable experience.
This survey is done by the lender to make sure the property is worth the price you’re paying before they approve the mortgage.
It is not an extensive survey and will not identify all the repairs or maintenance that might be needed.
Typical cost: £150-£1,500 depending on the value of property.
Some lenders might not charge you for this, depending on the type of mortgage product you select.
Communication is important when things go wrong
When problems occur, it’s worth making the effort to stay in touch with the seller via your solicitor and estate agent.
It’s often possible to rescue the situation by keeping the lines of communication open.
It’s still not too late to change your mind
It is better to pull out rather than risk buying a property that might cost you more than you can afford in the long run.
If you decide not to buy, you can pull out and cancel your mortgage application before you have exchanged contracts.
But you might lose some of your money depending on how far you’ve gone in the process.
How to Shop for a Mattress
I assume you’re reading this guide because you decided you need a new mattress (and not because you’re just curious about what’s going on in the world of mattresses these days). Perhaps your current mattress is hurting you, or you wake up tired. Maybe you just want a bigger size. Maybe you’re moving and don’t want to lug your old mattress from place to place. Whichever is the case, my goal is to help you select the right mattress so you don’t make a mistake and so you don’t pay a penny more than you have to.
A mattress is perhaps the most important piece of furniture in your home. If you get the recommended hours of sleep per night, you will spend at least 1/3rd of your life in that mattress. That means if you keep that mattress for years (which is about the average), of those years will be spent on it. However, many of us don’t think about our mattresses and how it impacts our lives every day.
In this post, I will go over the basics on selecting the correct mattress. Elsewhere on the site, I will go into more detail on each of these topics and more, but this will be enough to get you started. choosing a mattress
If you can find a mattress that keeps you in proper alignment while not causing any pressure to your body, you’ve found a good mattress for you. There are some other minor factors to look for. They include motion transfer, edge support, and temperature.
Selecting the Right Mattress Store
Your first order of business will be to choose a store to shop at. Feel free to pick several to shop around at, especially if they’re near each other. There are several types of stores out there. I will give the pros and cons of each.
How to Test for Support in a Mattress
The most important factor in finding the correct mattress is proper support. You need the mattress to push up on your body to counteract your body weight. So that means get a hard, firm, stone-like mattress, right? Wrong.
Your body isn’t a straight line. Whether you sleep on your back, side, or stomach, your body has curves, and a mattress must come up to support the curves and arches of your body (similar to how a good shoe will have arch support). Consider the image below to illustrate:
You’ll notice that the mattress dips down around her shoulders and hips, but her spine is in proper alignment. If the mattress were too hard, her hips would be pushed up and her shoulders would be pushed up, and her spine would not be straight. If you’re in this position for too long, you can wake up with a back ache.
Additionally, if you keep changing positions to try to keep your back in alignment, you’re not getting into the deeper stages of sleep, which causes you to wake up tired. The same exact consequences occur if a mattress is too soft, and you’re in it like a hammock. You want a mattress to contour to the shape of your body to hold it in its neutral alignment.
How to Test for Comfort in a Mattress
The second most important criteria to selecting the right mattress is comfort (or as you may hear it called, pressure relief). If a mattress is too hard, it can cause pressure to your body. This cuts off circulation and pinches nerves (ever wake up with a “pins and needles” feeling in your hand?), and will cause you to change positions frequently.
If you’re frequently changing positions, your sleep is fragmented and you don’t get into the deeper stages of sleep (such as REM sleep). This means you’ll wake up tired, even if you thought you got hours of sleep. When you’re trying out the mattress, you should be able to lie in one position without moving around for at least a few minutes. If you can do that, you’ve found a good mattress.
Those are the two main criteria. If you find a mattress that keeps you in proper alignment which doesn’t cause pressure to your body, you’ve found a great mattress for you. To help fine-tune it from there, there are a few other things to consider.
There are several other criteria that you can look for when searching for a mattress.
Motion & Separation: If you share your bed, you want to minimize motion transfer. If your partner gets in or out of bed, or changes positions, you run the risk of being woken up if the mattress transfers too much of that motion to your side of the bed. Try the mattress in the store with your partner, and have your partner switch positions while your back is turned to see how much motion you feel.
Temperature: Another issue some people have is heat retention of the mattress. Most good mattresses these days have features to help mitigate this (advanced foams, phase change materials, ventilation, etc). The biggest risk here is with cheap memory foam mattresses.
Edge Support: You want a strong edge support on your mattress, particularly if you sleep near the edge of the bed, or sit on the edge of the bed often. Most of the average or better innerspring mattresses use the upgraded foam encasement around the edge, but some of the very cheapest mattresses just use a steel rod on the side. Foam encasement is better. Memory foam mattresses don’t often have a separate edge support because of the nature of the foam (it’s designed to take the shape of your body, even when you’re just sitting on it).
The mattress shopping experience
Walking into a mattress store can be an intimidating experience. When you first walk in, you’re likely to see a sea of white rectangles and what you perceive to be a slimy, sharky, salesperson out to rip you off. You might be tempted to throw up your hand, say “I’m just looking,” and run out of the showroom and buy online.
Luckily, the real mattress shopping experience isn’t nearly as bad as I just made it sound, and in this section, you will be better prepared to know where to shop. In this section of the guide, I will walk you through the process of actually trying out the mattresses and selecting the right one, as well as give you some tips to get the best possible price.
Choosing a mattress store
Your first order of business will be to choose a store to shop at. Feel free to pick several to shop around at, especially if they’re near each other. There are several types of stores out there. I will give the pros and cons of each.
You can always buy a mattress online. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of sites you can choose from. You can even go to Craigslist and get somebody’s used mattress for free (eww).
Pros: You get to shop for a mattress without leaving your house, you can shop dozens of companies quickly, and you’re likely to find a low price. In fact, websites like US Mattress tend to have the lowest prices anywhere. There are also direct-to-consumer mattresses like Leesa, Nest Bedding, and Ghost Bed which sell good mattresses at reasonable prices.
Cons: You can’t try the mattress! This is a huge risk to take with your money and your health. In the previous section, I talked about testing the mattress for comfort and support. How can you make sure the mattress contours to your back and doesn’t cause pressure on your side unless you try it?
If you buy one online without testing it, be sure to get one with a free return policy. The aforementioned online stores Leesa, Nest, and Ghost Bed are popular options for this. The free return policy completely negates the only con of buying online.
In fact, if all of this seems like a bit much, it would not be a mistake to just buy a Leesa, try it out, and if you don’t like it just send it back and iterate from there.
Another exception: If you try a mattress in person, you can buy the same or similar model online if you can do the comparison shopping. In fact, this is the strategy I recommend in my mattress negotiation guide. (Read more about buying a mattress online here)
Like department stores, furniture stores will also often have a section dedicated to mattresses. This is sensible, since a mattress is a piece of furniture.
Pros: It is convenient to have a whole bedroom set and a new mattress delivered at once. Sometimes they’ll give you a very low price on a mattress if you’re buying an entire bedroom set.
Cons: The salespeople aren’t usually specialized specifically on mattresses (though this varies by store). The selection is usually a little smaller than a mattress specialty store (but again, this varies)
In the store
Alright, so you’ve selected a few stores to go to and you’ve checked out some online mattress stores to get a general lay of the land. Next, you need to set aside some time to properly try the mattresses. This is not a purchase that should be made over a lunch break or in a few minutes. Set aside an afternoon to go mattress shopping. Expect to spend up to an hour or so in a mattress store trying mattresses.
Next, you walk into a store, gaze upon the sea of white rectangles and are approached by a salesperson. What do you do?
The biggest thing to realize is that the salesperson is there to help you. Most salespeople I work with genuinely want to help you find the right mattress. The slimy “used car salesman” stereotype is somewhat uncommon (though not unheard of) in the mattress business. Just give him or her a chance to help you. Most of the better stores will have a process in place to help find the right mattress. But the key is to take the time to try the mattresses.
Once you’ve narrowed down which mattresses offer the proper support and relieve the most pressure, it’s important to spend some time on that mattress to make sure it works for you. If you’re having trouble deciding between two mattresses, spend several minutes on each one.
Whichever you can spend longer in one position on without tossing and turning is likely the better mattress.
Try it on your back, try it on your side. Remember to check for proper support and comfort.
How to negotiate for mattresses
I have a mattress negotiation guide, so read that for an in-depth treatment of this topic. I will just summarize here.
The prices of mattresses are negotiable at most retailers and on most brands. In mattress shopping, the general strategy is to play one retailer off of another. Most places have a price guarantee. So if you get a quote from one place, you can take it to a competitor and have them beat the price. Take that price to another competitor and get an even lower price. You can also look up the mattress online (like at US Mattress) and get the retailer to match the online price. This is the easiest, least painful way to negotiate on mattresses.
If you don’t have time to go back and forth between retailers, online prices are usually the best as long as you are good at comparison shopping. So you can find the mattress that works best for you, and then just buy the comparable model online.
Even though the specific model names will usually differ, a Platinum Luxury Plush at one retailer will be virtually identical to a Platinum Luxury Plush at another retailer.
There are two basic categories of mattress.
Innerspring. These are the traditional mattresses with springs (or coils if you prefer). They can be all tied together or individually wrapped
Specialty foam. These will usually be made of different types of foam. Two categories of specialty foam are latex and memory foam.
Beyond these two major categories, you’ll find a few other types of mattresses. Some manufacturers make air mattresses, that use air chambers instead of coils for the support. Also, there are still some waterbeds around, in which water is used for the support. I honestly don’t know as much about these two categories of mattresses, and they make up a small part of the mattress industry, so I won’t go into them here. The biggest air mattress manufacturer is Select Comfort with their Sleep Number bed. There are several small waterbed manufacturers.
Most mattresses you’re likely to run into are the “innerspring” type. They have metal coils inside of the mattress with foams and fibers on the top.
The lower priced mattresses tend to use the older style coil in which they’re all tied together. The hourglass-shaped ones are called “Bonnell” coils, but other manufacturers have stronger variations on that type (like the “offset” coil and the “continuous” coil). These are generally a little less expensive than the individually wrapped coil, but don’t contour as well and transfer more motion.
On the left are Sealy “classic” coils that are all tied together. On the right are the higher end individually wrapped coils.
The better innerspring mattresses will use individually wrapped coils. This type of coil allows the mattress to contour to your body from the coil level, which give better support and causes less pressure. Additionally, wrapped coils are better at separating motion from side to side on the bed. So if one person bounces around or changes positions, the partner will not feel it as much. The downside? They’re usually more expensive.
The foams above the coils will have varying densities. You can get a mattress with firmer foams on the top or softer foams on the top. Some will be in the style of a “pillowtop” (which means the manufacturer sewed an extra cord around the side of the mattress to indicate it has a good amount of foam).
Don’t pay too much attention to the exact title of the mattress. One company’s “cushion firm” might be similar to another company’s “luxury firm” or even a “plush.” Just spend some time on each mattress and check for comfort and support, regardless of what the mattress is called or whether or not it’s technically a “pillowtop.”
How much to spend
The mattress industry does itself a disservice by advertising like this, because that’s usually the absolute rock bottom as far as price and quality go.
I’ll give a breakdown of what you can expect at each price range. This will vary by retailer and by region. If you live in the northeast, the prices will be towards the higher end, if you are in the middle of nowhere, the prices might be a little less. Additionally, these prices are for queen sized mattress and boxspring sets. Subtract ~100-300 for the boxspring, or multiply by ~50% for a king. (Note: These are what I consider the “real” prices for the mattresses, when they’re on sale. Retail prices might be much higher)
USA: usually 3-business days Other American countries: usually 7-business days
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Within 180 days
If the damage is related to the screen, this situation should not be considered to be included in the scope of this warranty.
If you would like to repair this product, please return it and we will forward it to our repair centers. In this case, you should be responsible for paying the return shipping fees and the repair fees. If there will be any further costs occurred during the return or repair process, you should also be responsible for this.
How we tested
Our testing pool after a few rounds of security testing. Photo: Duncan Niederlitz
For the previous version of this guide, we researched the different rating systems from foundations such as ART and Sold Secure, and we spoke to professional bicycle thieves. Although we learned a lot from that experience, this time we needed to get our hands dirty and see what all these locks were really made of. There is only so much that one can glean from third-party experiences and ratings, and this notion was proven by the many discrepancies we saw this time around between the security of locks rated the same (from the same rating institutions) and our own testing results. In addition, we scoured the Web for every lock review we could, to determine what lock-defeating methods other testers had employed, what locks and lock types were commonly tested, and how they all fared. No single review had tested as many locks in as many ways as we hoped to do, so we knew it would be difficult to make any comparative judgments on the locks we had chosen unless we did all the tests on all the locks ourselves. So we did.
To best test all of our chosen locks, and to feel assured that we were thorough enough to recommend something that would possibly be the only thing standing between a thief and your favorite (or only) ride, we needed to understand the tools available to a bike thief, as well as the pros and cons of using them from the perspective of a criminal. From our experiences working in shops over the years, and interviewing thieves themselves, we created a list of the most common tools that bicycle thieves use to defeat bike locks. This list covered the tools that thieves could effectively use against the assortment of locks we had chosen, and it became the checklist that our group of locks would need to go through in testing.
Lock picks: These are the smallest, quietest, and most portable tools to carry, but they’re also the ones requiring the most skill to use. Different locks require assorted tools and pose varying degrees of difficulty to pick; however, once a thief has the tools and the proficiency to quickly open a particular lock, it merely becomes a matter of walking the streets and looking through racks of bikes for a target lock they recognize as being easy to open.
Cable cutters: Thieves carry out a large number of bike thefts (possibly most of them) using a simple pair of diagonal wire cutters. These tools are easy to carry in a pocket, quiet, and simple to shoplift if not owned already. Unfortunately, the only reason simple diagonal cutters are so effective is because people continue to lock their bicycles using only a braided steel cable and a padlock, or a basic cable lock, even though such devices provide only the lowest level of security and should be used only as accessory locks in most situations. A good set of bypass cutters can cut these locks in a single pass, and a tiny set of diagonal cutters can do so with multiple snips.
Hacksaw: A hacksaw can be quiet and can work through a nonhardened lock fairly quickly. Most chains from the hardware store, cheap U-locks, and cable locks can be defeated with a hacksaw. The main drawback for a thief is that a hacksaw can be slow on a thicker lock, may catch and bind while trying to cut through a cable, and takes some physical effort to use in general. It is a very cheap tool to come by, though, and an easy one to carry and conceal.
Bolt cutters: Because so many bicycle thefts go unreported, it is difficult to collect accurate data on exactly how many bicycle thefts are committed each year, and especially to know the ways in which all those thefts are carried out. From my experience working in shops over the years, though, I’ve heard hundreds of stories of stolen bikes and seen many cut locks, and most of them (not including snipped cable locks) have been cut with bolt cutters. Bolt cutters can be quite small, usually 1to 2inches long. They’re quick to cut through a lock, cheap, portable, and easy to conceal. They don’t work on every lock, but for the ones they do work on, it’s only a quick snip and a free bike. Once thieves know which locks they can cut with the cutters they are carrying, it is again just a matter of walking the streets looking for a target lock and bike.
Cordless drill: This is a rarer tool for bike thieves, as it works well on only a few types of locks, and most of those are also easier to defeat using other methods, but occasionally drills do see use (most often during an unsuccessful attempt to drill out a lock’s core). The locks that drills do work well on (such as folding locks) have become more popular, though, and the reduction in noise and size over an angle grinder makes a drill a tempting tool for a thief to employ as more folding locks become available.
Angle grinder: A thief with a battery-powered angle grinder will defeat any lock if given enough time. For the thief, the biggest con to the grinder is the noise and sparks it emits as it grinds through hardened steel. In the past, cordless tools didn’t have the power for such uses, but battery technology has advanced enough that they can perform just as well as their corded counterparts, and thus they have changed the landscape of bicycle security. It’s hard not to notice one of these tools, but a thief who can mask the noise and is brazen enough to use one will probably be successful in stealing the bike.
Even the more basic disc-detainer locks we brought were very hard to pick.
The reason is that the OnGuard locks all used a very simple version of a wafer lock, which functions slightly differently than an ordinary pin tumbler (like the ones found on a standard door lock) but can be picked in a similar fashion. Either the simplicity of the lock or possibly the low tolerances of the mechanism made it too easy to pick, which prompted us to dismiss the various bike-lock models from OnGuard. The other locks we reviewed used more secure mechanisms, with most of them (and all of our recommendations) being disc-detainer mechanisms. Instead of containing pins or wafers that need to be aligned to the proper height, such mechanisms have a series of discs that all need to be aligned within the cylinder; the disc-detainer design requires specialty tools and some level of skill, so the simple raking technique we used on the OnGuard locks doesn’t work on it. The ease of picking the OnGuard locks was unfortunate, because the locks did well in our other tests; OnGuard previously used disc-detainer mechanisms on its locks, one of which I have personally owned for years. (We made multiple attempts by phone and email to get OnGuard’s
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Key Chain Frames wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Key Chain Frames
- №1 — Acrylic Photo Snap-in Key Chain – 2×3″ (pack of 25)
- №2 — Acrylic Photo Snap-in Business Card Size Key Chain – 2×3.5″ (pack of 25)
- №3 — 12 Photo Frame Keychains