Abus’ versatile line of locks, cables and chains help secure your bike, peace-of-mind

Variety of styles and security levels offered to match your needs

Gear

Abus Cover Numbered

It would be easier to cut through the bike rack than try and defeat the six Abus locks securing this ‘cross-turned-commuter bike.

For the past several months we’ve been testing a selection of six bicycle locks from German manufacturer Abus. Ranging from a wispy pocket-sized folding lock, to a muscular chain lock originally designed for motorcycles, putting the locks through their paces presented us with an interesting challenge—how exactly to test them.

Rather than hacking at the locks with tools and cutters, or enlisting ex-cons to try and steal our bikes, we went with a more pragmatic approach. We would test them for things like convenience and compatibility with riding style, and presume they offer reasonable levels of security with the following caveats in mind:

  1. No lock is invincible. If somebody really wants to steal a bike they will, given the opportunity, tools and time.

  2. Thieves case their prey quickly and often times take the path of least resistance, meaning the appearance of a lock can often make a thief check-down to the next, easier option.

  3. How conspicuous and busy (or not) the place you lock your bike is, looms large in its likelihood of getting stolen (though target=”_blank”>not always).

  4. What you lock your bike to is fairly critical–it shouldn’t be something that can be defeated easily.

Given all that, we either live in a thieve-less utopia, got lucky (or weren’t unlucky), and/or used the lock most commensurate to the various bike values and risk levels involved. This is to say we have no losses to report, nor could we detect any attempted thefts. Here’s a look at the six locks Abus sent us, and in what circumstances we think they make the most sense.

Abus Ultimate 420 U-lock

1. Abus Ultimate 420 U-lock

The Abus Ultimate 420 is a good, all-around U-lock that provides a high level of security and requires the use of a bracket for on-bike transit—thankfully Abus’ version is more refined and less clackity than most. It can also be stashed in a backpack or messenger bag, but is too big for rear pockets, even on clothing built for carrying such, like Levi’s Commuter jeans. That size, however is an advantage if your steed has big tires and you’re trying to lock it all without using a supplemental cable.

Suggested use: Commuter/urban, mountain, road, on-car rack, at home
Security level: 10 out of 15
Size: 12-inch shackle
Weight: 2.5-pounds
Extras: Includes bike frame mounting bracket, X-Plus Coded Key system
MSRP: $64.99

Abus Bordo Lite 6050 Folding Lock

2. Abus Bordo Lite 6050 Folding Lock

This little folding lock is the most transportable and lightweight one in the bunch, but it’s also the least secure with its plastic-over-steel construction. That said, for short periods in low-risk situations with bikes of modest value, it’s perfectly useful. We used it for quick darts into the grocery store, locking the cruiser for a short stint at the library and the like. Its thin members also slide easily through helmet vents, making your lid easy-to-secure as well. We really liked its (and all the Bordos) carrying holster that can be Velcroed or bolted to water bottle bosses.

Suggested use: Quick trips, inexpensive bikes
Security level: 7 out of 15
Size: 33-inch circumference
Weight: 1.43-pounds
Extras: Includes holster-style carrying sheath
MSRP: $99.99

Abus Granit CityChain X-Plus Lock

3. Abus Granit CityChain X-Plus 1060

At nearly five pounds, this beast of a lock-chain combo is the kind of security product that makes thieves just keep walking. Though its heft and unruliness makes transporting a challenge without a well-balanced pack or bag, the CityChain X-Plus 1060 is what you want when bringing your bike inside from the mean city streets isn’t an option. We also used it to lock our bikes inside the garage, and even to secure our camp trailer on a couple trips. Abus pretty much threw every security trick and upgrade in the book at this model, earning it the company’s top security rating.

Suggested use: Commuters, urban riders, home storage
Security level: 15 out of 15
Size: 33-inch circumference
Weight: 4.63-pounds
Extras: Includes two keys (one with LED light); anti-scratch mesh sleeve
MSRP: $169.99

Abus Iven Steel-O-Flex 8200 Cable Lock

4. Abus Iven Steel-O-Flex 8200 Cable Lock

This braided steel Iven Steel-O-Flex 8200 is much lighter than it looks. At about an inch thick and 33-inches in circumference, the cable looks über stout, but is easily flexed to thread through bike frames, wheels, racks, etc. We kept the Steel-O-Flex in our car and used it for extra security when we had bikes on the rack, even though our carriers have built-in locks. The cable also saw duty on some urban errands and commuting as well.

Suggested use: Commuters/urban, road, mountain, on-rack
Security level: 8 out of 15
Size: 33-inch circumference
Weight: 3-pounds
Extras: Includes frame-mountable carrying harness, two keys, anti-scratch mesh sleeve
MSRP: $59.00

Abus Granit-X Plus 54 U-lock

5. Abus Granit X-Plus-54 U-lock

In terms of size, security, weight and carrying convenience, it’s hard to beat the Abus Granit X-Plus 54. The lock sports Abus’ top security level—15—weighs just over three mounds and, with its 9-inch shackle, is just big enough to fully lock a bike with it’s front wheel removed around a standard bike rack. It can also fit into a pocket, but ships with a frame-mount carrying bracket just in case.

Suggested use: Commuter, mountain, home, urban, on-rack
Security level: 15 out of 15
Size: 9-inch shackle
Weight: 3.2-pounds
Extras: Includes frame-mountable carrying harness, two keys
MSRP: $109.99

Abus Bordo Granit X-Plus 6500 Folding Lock

6. Abus Bordo Granit X-Plus 6500 Folding Lock

The Bordo Granit X-Plus 6500 is a folding lock on steroids. At nearly 3.5-pounds, the lock puts that heft to good use, earning Abus’ top security rating in large part due to its rubber-coated, hardened steel bar construction. Like the other Bordo models, it comes with a quiet, convenient holster-style frame mount.

Suggested use: Commuter/urban, mountain, road
Security level: 15 out of 15
Size: 33-inch circumference
Weight: 3.48-pounds
Extras: Includes frame-mountable carrying harness,two keys (one with LED light)
MSRP: $179.99

About the author: Don Palermini

Chicago-born editorial director Don Palermini became a cycling-based life-form in the sixth grade after completing a family road bike tour of his home state. Three years later he bought his first mountain bike to help mitigate the city's pothole-strewn streets, and began exploring the region's unpaved roads and trails. Those rides sparked a much larger journey which includes all manner of bike racing, commuting, on- and off-road bike advocacy, and a 20-plus-year marketing career in the cycling industry. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area and pedaling for Mtbr, his four favorite words in the English language are "breakfast served all day," together in that order.


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