How many times have you heard someone lament leaving their bike outside for just a few minutes while running into a coffee shop only to come back outside and find their bike stolen?
As we all know, road bikes are not getting any cheaper these days, nor has their value as a target for thieves depreciated. So far this year we’ve lost two bikes to thieves ourselves—one that was locked and one when we left it unlocked and unattended for the proverbial “just a few minutes.” Oops!
Luckily, just as we have seen so many other road-specific accessories evolve and become lighter and easier to use, security systems that bring with them an acceptable level of portability have also been hitting the market lately. We got our hands on five of the most impressive to see what features they utilized to make them options for road cyclists.
If you’re looking for a lock that’s somewhere in the middle of weight and security, you may want to look into the Carlito. At just 395 grams, it isn’t too heavy to feel as though it’s a burden to carry around, yet it still boasts a thick 14mm shackle. The best part is that it is over-molded with a soft silicone layer to protect the steel and give it a sleek look and feel. *Editors Choice
The Ottolock is a new bicycle lock out on the market that is intended for those short breaks cyclists may take while out grabbing a coffee mid-ride. With a weight of just 120 grams, this lock can easily fit in your back pocket or, better yet, wrap around your saddle bag. With a patent-pending multi-layer steel and Kevlar design, the Ottolock is more secure than a cable lock and is extremely cut-resistant.
KRYPTONITE EVOLUTION MINI-5
If you want to give yourself the most peace of mind while locking your bike, take a look at the Kryptonite Mini.
Though much larger and heavier than most locks here (830 grams), the Kryptonite is made of 11mm of hardened
max-performance steel in a disc-style cylinder. With a center keyway that defends against added leverage attacks, this locking system will deter many thefts looking to take your bike.
HIPLOK Z LOK
The Hiplok Z Lok is a lightweight locking system that is used in a zip-tie style. At only 20 grams, this locking system is as lightweight as they get. With a low-risk security-style lock, you wouldn’t want to leave your high-end bike alone too long, as this lock isn’t designed to be unbreakable. Available in an assortment of colors, the Z Lok has a double-sided ratchet design with a reinforced steel core and comes with a universal release key. *Editors Choice
Price: $19.99 (for two)
For a lock that will give you added peace of mind for your high-end bike, take a look at the Abus Granit Plus 640. The Granit weighs 860 grams and is 5.5 inches wide and 8.5 inches long. The 12mm hardened steel loop offers a tough time for any thief to crack. Two keys come with the U-lock; one with a handy, integrated LED light. Abus locks have been German-made since 1924, so there’s no shortage of experience or quality.
The origins of the Ottolock
Jacob Rathe is a professional cyclist who has ridden for teams such as Garmin and Jelly Belly. He originally came up with the idea of the Ottolock and now oversees all the design, manufacturing, distribution and
marketing efforts for the company while still handling the full load of training as a professional cyclist.
RBA: Where did the concept of this new lock come from?
Jacob: In 2013 I was on a training ride and stopped for coffee. Back then I would loop my helmet around my rear wheel to slow someone down from riding away with it while I was inside. As I left, it hit me, why don’t I just have a small lock for this purpose?
This was a situation I experienced constantly, and there wasn’t a lock for bike “riding.” Rides often include coffee, burritos, beer and lunch, but there is always stress about what to do with the bikes. From my training rides, to Gran Fondos to mountain biking, there is an enormous category of bike riders that need a light and portable lock.
RBA: You’ve developed this lock while racing professionally full-time; how did you balance training and racing while starting this business?
Jacob: Actually, as a professional rider, I have a lot of spare time. This has been an engaging project to work on, but the reality is that Otto Design Works has executed the project.
RBA: Why does your lock stand out from the other locks on the market?
Jacob: I believe it is distinctly different from any other lock for several reasons. The number-one goal of the concept was to design a lock that was an everyday riding accessory; therefore, it had to have the same characteristics as all other bike accessories we already use—pump, saddle bag, lights, computer, etc. It couldn’t be too heavy or too bulky. It had to be aesthetically pleasing and secure. A unique feature are the different carrying methods we devised. Standard bike accessories brought on a ride come with an optional bike mount, and this lock had to as well. People cinch it around their saddle bags, use our mount, or put it in their jersey pocket.