There are bike locks, and there is the Abus Bordo Granit X Plus, a German-made, maximum security lock that gives bike owners the confidence to lock up and leave.
Rated 15 on a 15-point scale, the Abus Bordo Granit X Plus has been tested by more then 10 European safety and security organizations, including the SSF (Swedish Theft Protection Association), Varefakta (the Danish Institute for Informative Labelling), and the Art Foundation (a Dutch organization dedicated to preventing bicycle theft).
Since I ride a 30-year-old bike that’s probably only worth about $50, the Abus Bordo Granit X Plus is overkill for me. Still, I can now justify purchasing a much nicer bike in the very near future. (My cycling testers will be mad at me for not passing on this awesome lock to one of them, but I was too intrigued by the design to have someone else review it.) When my friend, who has a very expensive bike, saw the Abus Bordo Granit X Plus on my bike, the look of envy in her eyes made me a little bit afraid she’d steal it from me before I could test it (or let her know that I’d be loaning the lock to her to test until l bought a bike worthy if it.)
The Abus Bordo Granit X Plus has a sweet, compact design that unfolds into a chain-like link of flat hinged steel rods that allow enough movement that I have more options when securing my bike to a rack than I would with a rigid U-lock. At the same time, the lock is solid steel. Nobody is going to cut through it easy or quickly. If you leave your fancy bike in a visible place and use the Abus Bordo Granit X Plus lock, I think you can rest easy.
The key cylinder is no weak link, either. Abus claims that its lock cylinders are designed to provide a high level of protection against picking. Of course, nobody tried to saw through or pick the lock while I was testing it (at least I’m pretty sure nobody tried since I never saw any marks on the lock each time I returned to one of the bikes on which I tested the lock). Since nobody in their right mind would waste their time trying to steal my bike, I also used the lock on a friend’s $800 bike; she was completely as ease at the tea house while the Abus Bordo Granit X Plus kept her “precious” secured to the rack two blocks away.
So, back to my first impressions. The Abus Bordo Granit X Plus lock is very heavy. That’s because it’s made out of hardened steel. However, it’s still easy to attach to my bike because the lock folds into it’s own silicone case that’s designed with a rounded groove in the back, allowing the case to sit around the seat tube of the bike. I just place the case against the tube (it can also be placed on either the down or top tubes), then secure it into place with two thick nylon straps that fasten with a Velcro-like material. I like this design because it doesn’t rattle or move when I ride. I can also toss it into a pannier if I’m in a hurry, which is usually the case for me.
A single, wide strap wraps around the top of the case, holding the lock inside (although the lock fits so snugly into the case that I doubt it would fall out if I forgot to use the strap). Having said that, the lock slips out of the case very easily. I also have the option of screwing the case into the bottle cage frame, but I like using the velcro straps so I can use the lock on any bike.
I like that the Abus Bordo Granit X Plus comes with two keys: the main key, which is equipped with a small LED flashlight (I just squeeze the top of the key) that helps me see what I’m doing in the dark and a backup key in case I lose the main key. If I lose both keys, no worries; the lock comes with a code card if I need to order more keys.
Using the lock is easy. I just remove it from its case, unlock it, take the “free” arm of the lock and wrap it around my bike and the bike rack, reposition the arm into the lock, and turn the key to lock the arm back into the lock base. I like the Abus Bordo Granit X Plus lock’s design because it packs down into a small, tidy case, then it expands into a lock that is much easier to use than a rigid U-lock. It’s an excellent cross between a chain lock and a U-lock. I’ve never used a lock that felt so secure.
I’m not someone who buys expensive things for the sake of looking cool, but I am always willing to pay more for products that are top quality, function well, and will last for a long time. It only makes sense if you spend $800 or $2000 or more on a bike that you get the best lock you can.
The Abus Bordo Granit X Plus is available in three “colors,” black, read, and white. In all versions, the lock is the same color but the base and hinges have color.
Bottom Line: A super solid lock that packs small, has a unique design, and will give bike owners piece of mind when they have to leave their bikes locked up.
Manufacturer’s Site: www.abus.com