Seriously Secure Bike Lock Needed

I bought Betty Foy to replace my stolen Jamis Commuter (well, and I decided that I needed a huge upgrade) and now I have to make sure this puppy never gets stolen. I need a serious lock.

I have a Kryptonite u-lock for Smurfette, which is what Greg uses for his Jamis. I definitely want something more secure for Betty Foy, though.

Abus Bordo X-Plus

Abus Bordo X-Plus

I have the Abus Granit Citychain (5.25 lbs) for my Oma. Super secure, but I want a lighter and easier to carry lock for Betty Foy.

I read an article in Momentum magazine the other day about a new Abus folding lock that looks genius. Much lighter and I could throw it in my bag or coat pocket easily. I’m a bit concerned that it’s so new, but Abus tests these products extensively during development.

This is the beefiest folding lock – Abus Bordo Granit X-Plus. Just over 3.5 pounds.

The Abus Bordo 6100 is a more affordable and lighter option (2.2 lbs), but the security number of “8” versus the Granit’s “15” does not sound so hot.

Has anyone tried this new Abus folding lock? Any lock raves?

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21 thoughts on “Seriously Secure Bike Lock Needed

  1. Steve says:

    I use this Kryptonite chain, but it is really heavy. I don’t notice the weight because I carry it in my pannier. I also make sure my renter’s insurance is up-to-date.

  2. dottie says:

    Steve, that’s a serious lock! Looks similar to the Abus chain I use for the Oma.

  3. Mark Muller says:

    Two locks are better than one. Whatever type of lock you use, use a second lock of a different type. Sheldon Brown article on the subject can be found here:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html

    If your aren’t sure about one of those folding locks, use one in addition to a u lock or heavy duty chain or heavy duty keyed cable lock.

  4. Betty says:

    I’ve been using the folding lock for about a year now and still have both my bikes on which I use it. It’s easy to handle and does not rattle or clank like some u-locks do. Unfolded it’s wide enough to attach your bike to railings if you want to. I highly recommend it!

  5. anna says:

    I haven’t tried the folding lock, but a lot of people use it here. Seems to be alright and safe. If you get one I would go for the heavier version and not the number lock. I have an Abus U-lock (level 8), and an additional light cable lock to lock my parts. I’m quite happy with that, but it’s pretty heavy of course. I think of buying a loop cable to use with with the U-lock: http://www.abus.de/us/main.asp?ScreenLang=us&sid=470699489090251060420098411324658&select=0104b09&artikel=4003318257186

  6. Tinker says:

    If its as wide as all that they’ll find a way toi use the width to provide mechanical advantage to break it as they began to do with the bigger U-locks, which is why we all switched to the mini-U locks. (Kryptonite Evolution Disk lock, tops the kryptonite roster.)

    You want the 4 foot New York Noose chain, which actually protects many motorcycles hereabouts. You can’t find it with a chain in the package, you have to buy them separately. Note that weight is not recorded for either of these. You buy protection and use it or take the chance that it gets stolen of course.

    But the chains are a massive improvement on any cable lock. (Going into shops I use a user resettable 13mm (1/2″) 4 digit cable but these are cuttable in seconds.Keeps Honest people honest, though.) The thieves have new technology, Li-on batteries that produce long enough life to cut a u lock, battery powered angle grinders, die cutters, abrasive wheels, and all that. Some guy in London has been using an industrial angle grinder to remove police boots from wheels around town, for free or nearly so.

    Don’t depend on a cable for long, and don’t use too big a lock, the big u-locks were being fractured with a Volvo jack, last I heard.

  7. Kinya says:

    I’m not an expert, but the folding lock looks like it could be broken maybe more easily than a U-lock. When I lived in NYC, I used a Kryptonite chain lock. It was really heavy, but it did the job and I never had my bike stolen. After I moved to Portland, I made the mistake of going with a lighter cable lock and my bike got stolen by someone who just happened to have a cutter. After that, I got a Kryptonite Evolution U-lock and use it in a combinaiton with a cable lock. I also try to park it in sight of lots of people as opposed to parking it away and out if sight of people passing by. The bike I had stolen was parked away from the main parking spot, so the thief was able to steal it out of sight of people.
    I do wish that we didn’t have to worry so much about it like in Copenhagen or in Japan where most people just have flimsy little frame locks on their bikes.

  8. Charlotte says:

    I agree with everyone advising two different locks, and parking in plain view.

    There is a lovely IndyFab that gets parked in Cambridge on the road median. It’s in view of several office buildings and I like to think that its owner is up at his/her desk, keeping an eye on it, while counting on all the passing traffic to also do the same.

  9. dottie says:

    These are all great tips! During the day at work, I park in Chicago’s very secure bike garage, where the bike police also park. I’m more worried about when my bike is parked in my garage at home (where my first bike was stolen, sad little kryp cable lock cut) or in front of any random restaurant, bookstore, etc.

    How about a Kryptonite NY Faghettaboudit u-lock wit a regular Kryptonite cable lock through the bolted on wheels? https://www.kryptonitelock.com/OutletProducts/Products/ProductDetail.aspx?cid=1001&scid=1000&pid=1095

    I’m trying to avoid having to carry an unwieldy chain, although I will if I have to.

  10. Trisha says:

    I saw those folding locks in Momentum, but had seen them elsewhere before — possibly just on the Abus website when I was looking for locking options. I wouldn’t hesitate to use one in Nashville but understand why you might want something that looks beefier in Chicago! The Faghettaboudit U-Lock is meant to be one of the best, and I think the U-lock/chain method is pretty hard to beat. If I were a bike thief I’d move to the next bike.

  11. You could try a lock with an alarm ( http://www.greenspeed.us/bike_alarm_lock.htm ). Thieves don’t find loud sounds to be advantageous to their work.

    I dunno if that’s the BEST alarm lock, but use the link for a frame of reference as to what is out there.

  12. Nico says:

    I have unquestionable confidence in my Abus level 15 u-lock.

  13. I have an AXA Defender on the rear of my Batavus which I use in conjunction with a Bulldog cable. I can use the cable to lock up the front wheel, bike to the pole and Brooks seat, all at the same time. If I need more than that, I then use my U-lock to lock the frame to the pole. The cable is not heavy, and the Defender keeps the bike from rolling away. With the U, that makes 3 locks you have to get through without serious bulk.

  14. Capateto says:

    Your Oma appears to come equipped with a framelock — is it the AXA Defender RL? If it is, you might consider getting a plug-in chain for it. That would help secure the bike in the back, and then the Abus Granit Citychain can take care of the front.

    As for the Betty Foy a shorter Kryptonite lock such as the Evolution Mini might do the trick. The shorter shackle makes it tougher for thieves because they have less space to work with (no way to get a crowbar in there). You could couple it with the 7-foot KryptoFlex 1007 cable to secure the wheels and maybe the 2.5-foot KryptoFlex 525 for the saddle and seatpost. I use the above on a 1963 Dunelt sport roadster in NYC, and so far no problems.

  15. Sigrid says:

    Thanks for doing this post – now I do not have to! I looked at the Kryptonite locks – the large ones seemed like they would accomodate more parking options, but they were heavy; the small ones seemed so small I wondered what I could actually attach my bicycle to. Often when I park my bike it is around a big street light pole and I need a cable (I have a good one), but I know those aren’t the best locks. In Minneapolis the following rules apply: Temporary bicycle parking is allowed at bike racks and sign posts. Bicycle parking is prohibited at trees, parking meters, traffic signal posts, light posts, and handrails. Oops, there goes my light pole parking…

    The more I read about bicycle locks, the more I realize how easy bicycles are to steal, and the more discouraged I get about taking the Pash out of my living room. I just linked to that bike lock website from your post yesterday and watched the video with the guy breaking into locks in 20 seconds… BUT…we can not live in fear of what might be. The best we can do is be smart and create discouragement so thieves move on to easier targets.

    However, like you, I don’t want to carry around an additional 10 lbs. when I can barely make it up the hill as it is… I look forward to seeing what you get.

  16. Ian says:

    I live/ride in SF and use the Faghettaboudit U-Lock on top of Pinhead components…locking front & rear wheel skewers, headset lock and seat lock. Best investment I’ve ever made for bike security. My bike in always where I lock it whether indoor or outdoor.

    PInhead: http://www.pinheadcomponents.com/

  17. Jonathan says:

    Love the Betty Foy! I ride my Atlantis everyday in NYC and lock it up all the time, but I’m still scared it will be gone one day. I had it clear coated so it looks like a pretty boring grey bike those who don’t know it. Of course, the downside to that is that it’s not as pretty as yours. The upside is that no matter how many times it gets mashed as I carry it up the stairs of my apartment or leaned into a sign post, it never looks scratched or scuffed. I lock with a kryptonite chain and mini u lock along w/ a cable that I run through the rails of the Brooks and the rear wheel. I carry the chain in my rear basket and even though I like that a lot better than when I used to carry it on my body, and the Atlantis can certainly carry a lot more, it’s still a bit of a drag. Still, it’s the only way I know of to feel even remotely comfortable leaving it alone in the big city. Locking skewers make me nervous b/c they assume someone’s not idiotic enough to take a hammer to them or do something else crazy. The mini ulocks can’t fit around much of anything for city locking and the big ulocks can be broken. The irony: buy an awesome bike, carry a ridiculous honking lock that makes it ride worse.

  18. Mike Hoffman says:

    The O-lock is the most misunderstood component of a European city bike. The U.S. company Breezer characterizes this feature of the Uptown model as providing slight, minimal security. No, the O-lock is *not* for slight, weak, minimal security (except in Denmark, in conjunction with their usage-culture and insurance arrangement). The O-lock is for *additional* security. It prevents ride-off theft, secures the back wheel that’s worth $300 with $200 geared hub. The O-lock secures the rear wheel to the frame, with the frame also secured to an object.

    In the bike-theft capital of Amsterdam, you own a good bike and a junker bike and an expensive chain lock. When riding to the city center, you take your expensive chain lock. You secure the back wheel to the frame using the O-lock, *and* you secure the frame and both wheels to an object.

    There are two distinct scenarios for the O-lock, and in both scenarios, the O-lock provides *more* security than the American usage equivalent — not less security! When you stop in a park, or out in the open, and you are 10-20 feet from your bike, you use the O-lock to prevent sudden ride-off theft — in contrast to in America, where in that scenario, you would use no lock. In the other scenario, when you lock up the bike to a secure object and walk away, you use a chain and/or U-lock, and also use an O-lock — one more lock than in America.

    In America, it’s common to see a locked bike with rear wheel stolen. That wouldn’t have happened with a convenient O-lock, as an additional lock that you always have, securing the rear wheel to the frame.

    — Mike Hoffman, author of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_city_bike

  19. Patrick in Chicago says:

    I would like to suggest the Xena Bullett locks w/ a built in alarm. http://www.lockitt.com/Xenabullett1.htm Locked up in a public space you have both a great u-lock and the added audible alarm for less then $150…combined with another lock I am starting to think of this as my new standard to strive for…But I have about 4 good u-locks and 2 chains & locks so I can’t justify the purchase yet…but will when I get a harry vs. larry! That would be so great! Great blog! Kudos to you both.

  20. Lawrence says:

    The lock sounds awesome — too bad I can’t find anyone selling it in the US. There are a few UK distributors but with shipping it comes to $170+!

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