Twisted cables are widely used, especially to tie up bicycles because they are cheap, light and easy to use. They have several advantages, but also some aspects that you need to be aware of.
Twisted cables are the lightest, easiest to use and – usually– cheapest type of mechanical anti-theft device. If they are long enough they allow you to tie up different parts of the bicycle, such as the wheels and frame, and anchor it to a fixed point, thus allowing it to be secured correctly.
They also allow other objects to be easily tied up, such as helmets, bags and quick release saddles, thus preventing them from being easily stolen. If they are in the form of a spiral, like the Viro Hawaii, Ibiza and Cayman, they have the advantage that when they are not being used, they wind themselves up, thus minimising the size and making them easier to carry.
The Viro Ibiza is even equipped with a LED light to make it more visible at night, which is an important safety factor for cyclists, that is unfortunately often overlooked.
The main weak point of twisted cables is that they can be cut even with small cutters. Poor materials, poor workmanship and inadequate diameters can render twisted cables very easy to cut, even in just a few seconds.
That is why it is important to use products made of steel and with a suitable diameter, of at least 8 mm (such as the Viro Hawaii and Ibiza ), and even better 12 mm, such as the Viro Cayman.
The second point to be aware of is the lock. The locks of very cheap products are often not very secure and rather easy to tamper with, both by lock picking and with brute force. Don’t be fooled by plastic sleeves, which are always large and showy, as they can hide extremely fragile locks. For this reason, you should use products from reliable manufacturers and avoid those which are too cheap (we have repeatedly found that, in the case of security products, cheaper almost always means less secure).
If you want a fairly good compromise between ease of use, price and security then you can use twisted cables, making sure to choose a good quality product and exploiting its full potential, by using it to always tie together wheels and frame, and all to a fixed point.
You can see the catalogue of Viro anti-theft devices for bikes here