"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." —H. G. Wells
June 18, 2009 2:00 PM   Subscribe

Would you be willing to trust your bike to the Abus Granit Futura mini U-lock? (Either alone or as part of some u-lock/chain combo).

Anyone have experience with it? I'm tired of lugging heavy locks, and I've been told it has a good rep for what it is.
posted by regicide is good for you to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (17 answers total)
I always go with the chain/u-lock combo, except for that one time and my bike got stolen. So while I have no worthy information to add about the Abus, I'd recommend that whatever you do, do both.
posted by alon at 2:21 PM on June 18, 2009

Skip cable locks, lost a bike to one last year.
posted by Ponderance at 2:24 PM on June 18, 2009

Depends where you live, where you're locking it, how long you're leaving it there, how nice the bike is, etc. etc. etc.
posted by box at 2:27 PM on June 18, 2009

Response by poster: Downtown Toronto, outside on mostly main streets, rarely or never overnight but often til the wee hours, $600 hybrid.
posted by regicide is good for you at 2:30 PM on June 18, 2009

I would, but I mostly assume that my bike lock is there so someone can't just casually walk off with my bike. A determined thief can probably defeat just about any lock. My main theft deterrent is to park my $500 bike next to someone else's $2500 bike. It's worked so far.
posted by dersins at 2:52 PM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]

Downtown Toronto, outside on mostly main streets, rarely or never overnight but often til the wee hours, $600 hybrid

You're probably ok, as long as you don't leave it overnight. A hybrid won't have nearly the same frame/component resale value as a high end mtn or road bike, and a good U-lock should do the job. Rather than the complicated and easily cut cable, I'd swap out your quick-release wheel skewers with allen key or bolt-ons.

I've never used this particular lock, though I like the idea of a lighter system. I've used these for years, and have not had a bike stolen. But they weigh a ton.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 3:18 PM on June 18, 2009

The easiest rule of thumb is to get the lock that includes enough insurance to cover the replacement value of your bike. For a $600 hybrid, a lower end Kryptonite should suffice.
posted by randomstriker at 3:19 PM on June 18, 2009

Bikeradar.com (UK site) has some pretty mixed reviews of Abus locks (this specific one doesn't seem to be there) - some glowing reviews, some other models disappointing. We have a rating system in the UK called "sold secure" with different gradings ie bronze for UK, silver for better and gold for best. Is this lock rated on a scale like that?

Sadly I'd agree with the "locks are only a deterrent if someone REALLY wants your bike" comment, though you might as well get yourself a decent deterrent, eh?! And insurance. Definitely decent bike insurance!

The rule of thumb I've always been told is to pay 10% of your bike's value for the lock, ie you should look to pay $60 on a lock for your $600 bike. Does that fit with this lock?

Whenever I'm feeling particularly paranoid about where I'm going to leave my bike, I lock it with TWO D-locks, in the hope that bike thieves will think "oh for heaven's sake" and move right along... More of a visual deterrent than just the one D-lock and cable / chain.

(Does any of that help?...)
posted by monster max at 3:20 PM on June 18, 2009

Personally I just go with a mid'ish range U-lock for the frame, a cheap cable lock for the wheels intertwined with the frame, and maybe a thinner cable lock for the seat if it's quick-release.

I noted a video maybe a couple of weeks ago, found here:
that highlights some good practices.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 3:21 PM on June 18, 2009

I like the kryptonite evo mini a lot. It's in your ballpark size-wize. I usually use it alone, since I have a nice frame but mediocre everything-else-that-can-be-stolen, and the rest is all bolted on. The cable around the wheels isn't a bad idea though.

Additionally, it may be worth uglifying your bike a bit. Some duct tape, masking tape around the top tube/seat tube juncture, etc.

Note, with the mini-u locks, you cut down a bit on what you can lock your bike to. With a full sized u-lock, you can take off your front wheel, and lock frame, rear wheel, and front wheel all to the same thing. That setup is pretty tough to bust up, even with a breaker bar. With a mini, you're limited to the frame + 1 wheel. Of course, they're easier to lug around.
posted by craven_morhead at 5:23 PM on June 18, 2009

OH, and note that with most insurance setups that lock manufacturers offer, you have to be able to send them your broken lock in order to get your money. That may be very difficult.
posted by craven_morhead at 5:24 PM on June 18, 2009

OH, and note that with most insurance setups that lock manufacturers offer, you have to be able to send them your broken lock in order to get your money. That may be very difficult.

I work in the bike industry, and I know half a dozen people whose U-locks were broken. In all cases, the U-lock was found within a block of where the bike had been locked. A bike thief has no reason to take your heavy, broken, keyless U-lock with them -- especially when they want to make a quick getaway.
posted by randomstriker at 5:58 PM on June 18, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the input everyone, some good thoughts... I'm going with a chain/mini-u combo. I'm figuring the small size of the u will protect against leverage attacks (ie. the ol' 2x4), and the chain will add the "oh for heaven's sake" factor, as monster max put it, if nothing else. And, yeah, I swapped out the quick-releases. New bike. So excited.
posted by regicide is good for you at 9:11 PM on June 18, 2009

Fair point random. I was thinking more of the instances where you lock up your bike, but the thing that it's locked to is compromised instead, so the thief makes off with the bike/lock combo and deals with it later.
posted by craven_morhead at 12:15 PM on June 19, 2009

Seconding the Kryptonite evo mini.
posted by anthill at 4:57 PM on June 19, 2009

I have a Kryptonite evo mini. I can't lock the frame and the removed front tire to a parking meter (in Brookline MA). The lock is too small. I would go with a bigger one. I'm not sure it's that much lighter. I'm thinking about getting a new, different kind of lock.
posted by vilcxjo_BLANKA at 8:15 AM on June 20, 2009

vilcxjo's comment highlights the big trade-off of mini locks. They're easier to carry, but not as secure. Whether the trade-off works for you depends on where you'll be locking the bike, and for how long.
posted by craven_morhead at 10:32 AM on June 21, 2009

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