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Curbside Lock Review

Curbside Lock Review

Posted on 22 January 2021


IT'S ALL ABOUT THE LOCK!


If you've read our Bike Theft 101 post you'll know that the largest majority of bikes are stolen on the street by street-drug users. That means no matter what bike you buy, make sure you buy a good lock. Because it's the security of the lock - not the bike's value - that determines whether it will get stolen or not.


HOW TO CHOOSE?

TYPES OF STRENGTH

But, what determines security? To put it in the most essential terms, a lock is made of metal, and metal can only have two kinds of strength: tensile and yield. Tensile strength refers to cutting attacks, whereas yield strength has to do with the metals pliability, which we call a leverage attack. A good lock must have both, because high tensile strength doesn't override yield strength or vice versa.


TENSILE STRENGTH

A cable has low tensile strength because it can be easily cut with nothing more than a bolt cutter. That means you should never, ever buy a cable. Ever. When the U-Lock was first invented (by Abus, in 1971) the goal was to solve the problem of low tensile strength. And, it was a smart move. Cable locks are made of thin strands of wire, a U-Lock is solid metal.


YIELD STRENGTH

Back in the 80's neither Kryptonite or Abus realized their U-locks being bent. Back then all of their locks were made of highly pliable carbon steel, and that meant easy leverage attacks. To solve this, each company began heat-treating and alloying the steel (with boron, manganese, vanadium, etc) to increase density and yield strength. It took a lot of money and R&D, but it worked.


WHY ABUS?

Everyone knows Kryptonite locks. They are a North American success story. And, they certainly make very secure products. The problem we have with Kryptonite locks is not over security but quality. Abus locks are lighter, far more engineered, and they have way higher security for the same dollar. Want more reasons? The brackets don't break (the Kryptonite brackets all the time) and best of all, they don't rust. The rust issue is the big one. Finally, they are made in Germany instead of China. In a factory that they own.  

ABUS x CURBSIDE


Did you know that Curbside was the first company to import Abus into North America?

Being from the the great city of Toronto, where thousands of cyclists ride their bikes throughout wet, cold and salty winters - we needed top security that was engineered for cold. That's why in 2008 we approached Abus. Today, Abus sells across North America but Curbside still enjoys a special relationship. We order bulk quantities of locks that we feel meet the security needs of our market. That means the right lock, and the right price too!


KEY SECURITY FEATURES

Meet our friend Phil from the Abus Chicago office! He's in the massive Abus testing room (in Germany) where each lock goes through a series of tests that simulate the tools a thief would use. Well, that's also assuming the thief has the strength of several superhero's, because these tests go a little crazy!

LEVERAGE ATTACK


This is the most common attack against U-locks, in our experience. The thief attacks the lock with a crowbar, trying to 'pry' the lock open. The special Abus steel (also made in Germany!) withstands 1600nm of force. Despite this, the bike remains locked and the key still opens the lock flawlessly.


CARJACK ATTACK


While it is very rare to see a carjack used by street-level thieves, the Abus locks are made to withstand this too. In this video, the lock withstands 5500kg of pull (almost seven tons!), and nonetheless the bike remain secured and the lock still opened flawlessly. Dang! That's some engineering!


BOLT-CUTTER ATTACK


Bolt cutters are most often used on cables, but cheap U-locks also suffer. In this test, the Bordo Folding lock withstands 14 tons of force. We don't care how often you pump iron, no human can possibly get through this lock!


MEET THE LOCKS

Made deep in Germany's Ruhr Valley, in a lovely town called Wetter (which means: "weather"), these locks are fundamentally made for the cyclists of Northern Europe, who need top-level security, outdoor weather resistance, quality brackets, and investment grade quality. Crafted from German steel and tested to the wazoo. These are the locks we recommend.


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  • GRINDER ATTACK: 5/5
  • LEVERAGE ATTACK: 5/5
  • BOLT-CUTTER: 5/5
  • RUST RESISTANCE: 5/5
  • TRANSPORTABILITY: 1/5
  • MADE IN GERMANY

ABUS GRANIT CITY CHAIN


Recommended for daytime/night-time, all parts of town.

The highest security lock we sell. Insane theft resistance against street level and professional thieves. While not as easy to carry (does not come with bracket and does make some noise) this lock is perfect for anyone with a cargo bike. Made of 10mm super-hardened steel with proven PowerCell locking mechanism.

...You might not like the price, but you can't argue with the performance.

road.cc


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  • GRINDER ATTACK: 4/5
  • LEVERAGE ATTACK: 5/5
  • BOLT-CUTTER: 4/5
  • RUST RESISTANCE: 5/5
  • TRANSPORTABILITY: 1/5
  • MADE IN GERMANY

ABUS CITY CHAIN


Recommended for daytime/night-time, most parts of town.

Superhero level security lock against street level and professional thieves. While not as easy to carry (does not come with bracket and does make some noise) this lock is perfect for anyone with a cargo bike. Made of 9mm super-hardened steel.

...the super heavy duty CityChain 1010 is definitely one of the best.

cyclingnews.com


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  • GRINDER ATTACK: 4/5
  • LEVERAGE ATTACK: 5/5
  • BOLT-CUTTER: 5/5
  • RUST RESISTANCE: 5/5
  • TRANSPORTABILITY: 4/5
  • MADE IN GERMANY

ABUS GRANIT 540


Recommended for daytime/night-time, all parts of town.

The Granit XPlus 540 is the flagship bicycle U-Lock from ABUS. Ideal for urban settings and high quality bicycles needing strong theft protection, the 540 features a 13mm temper hardened steel square parabolic shackle and a double bolting shackle/lock body. Highest cut and leverage resistance for any U-lock.

...the toughest mother out there

cyclist.co.uk


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  • GRINDER ATTACK: 3/5
  • LEVERAGE ATTACK: 5/5
  • BOLT-CUTTER: 5/5
  • RUST RESISTANCE: 5/5
  • TRANSPORTABILITY: 4/5
  • MADE IN GERMANY

ABUS GRANIT LONDON 53


Recommended for daytime/night-time, most parts of town.

Made specifically for the UK market, this is considered the most leverage-attack resistant lock on the market. Like the UK, our experience is that leverage-attacks (crowbars, carjacks) are the most common methods used here in North America. This lock is a Curbside exclusive and our best seller.  

It not only looks like a really high quality lock but it feels like one too.

lockyourbike.org


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  • GRINDER ATTACK: 3/5
  • LEVERAGE ATTACK: 4/5
  • BOLT-CUTTER: 4/5
  • RUST RESISTANCE: 5/5
  • TRANSPORTABILITY: 4/5
  • MADE IN GERMANY

ABUS SINUS 471


Recommended for daytime use only.

Also made specifically for the UK market, this lock has the best security per dollar we've found. Most other locks at this price lack the same quality keys (and tend to break) or the same level 11 security level.

It's hard to find good security for a hundred dollars, but the Sinus 471 does it.

curbsidecycle.com


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  • GRINDER ATTACK: 3/5
  • LEVERAGE ATTACK: 4/5
  • BOLT-CUTTER: 4/5
  • RUST RESISTANCE: 5/5
  • TRANSPORTABILITY: 5/5
  • MADE IN GERMANY

ABUS BORDO 6000


Recommended for daytime use only.

Very popular with folding bike owners! No other lock is more compact or more transportable when not in use. Great leverage-attack resistance. Comes with holder for easy transportability.

...if compactness, stealth and innovation are high on your list, then this product might be good for you

mtbr.com


WHEELY SMART SECURITY

Unfortunately, the wheels on many bikes are super easy to steal, and very expensive to replace. These wheel kits ensure that your wheels are secured permanently to your bike, and that - in case you get a flat tire - still easy to remove by you and you only. These are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, because getting a wheel stolen is not only angering, but such a huge hassle.


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PITLOCK SET-03


Most North American bikes (like the Devinci bikes we sell) come equipped with quick-release wheels. That means each of your wheels remove in under seconds. Great if you want to put your bike in your car, terrible if your bike is your car. This set locks your wheels to your bike, and if you do want to remove them, only you have the key. Made in Germany.


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EVO ANTITHEFT SKEWER


Just like the Pitlock skewers (above) these also keep nasty thieves away from your wheels, but use a non-standard tool (which is very difficult to find) rather than using a special key. This lowers the price, but does increase the risk ever so slightly. Whatever you do, just make sure those quick release levers are replaced, wheels are expensive!


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PITLOCK LOCKING SET (NUTS)


This set is for folks who have nutted wheels on their bike but are scared that the thief might take the time to remove them. On many of the city bikes we sell, the front and rear wheels are very high value, partly because they might include internally geared hubs, disc brakes, dynamo hubs, or drum brakes. Highly recommended! Made in Germany.

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