Bike locks are a must-have for any cyclist who lives in the city. While U-locks are generally thought of as offering the highest degree of protection, they can be limited in what objects they can fit around to lock a bike to. At the same time, cable locks are more flexible but are generally thought of as less secure. Straddling these two camps are the ABUS Bordo folding bike locks. I’ve tested the particularly burly Granit X Plus 6500 over the last few months in the wilds of downtown Spokane.
Abus Bordo Granit X Plus 6500 Features:
- 5.5 mm steel bars with extra soft 2-components coating to prevent damage to the bicycle’s paintwork
- Colour-matching silicone cover for the lock body with “soft touch” properties
- Link construction offers compact folding
- ABUS Link-Protection-Shield offers high saw protection of the links
- The bars, the links, the case as well as supporting elements of the locking system are made of special hardened steel
- ABUS X Plus cylinder for extremely high protection against manipulation, e.g. picking
- Two keys are supplied with the lock, one LED-lighted
- ABUS Code Card for additional or replacement key
- MSRP: $179.99
Do security and convenience go together?
I think the first thing to be said about folding locks is that, well, they’re just not as secure as a high-security U-lock. Mind you, the Granit X 6500 is a very high-security folding lock that would easily outperform medium-security U-locks. But there are aspects of folding locks that are inherently less stable than a U-lock. For one thing, the joints at each end of the bar represent a possible point for attack. For another, the bars are thinner than high-security U-locks; the Granit X has 5.5mm bars while strong U-locks might have a 14mm thick bar. So for steel of identical strength, thinner bars are weaker than thicker bars.
My point here isn’t to dish on folding locks, but to clarify what they’re best used at. Folding locks have a major advantage over U-locks in that they’re more versatile and easier to transport. They may not be as theft-proof overall, but it’s also true that if you can’t get your U-lock to fit around something then it’s not exactly secure either. This lock gives just shy of 3 feet of locking space, similar to a long U-lock and with slightly more internal space thanks to the squared corner.
That said, I’d say the Bordo Granit X Plus 6500 is among the most secure folding locks that money can buy. The German brand Abus is an exceptionally well-regarded lock manufacturer and the Granit X is the premiere folding lock in their line. The 5.5mm hardened steel is designed to resist corrosion, shock and temperature effects. The rivets are tempered and theft-resistant, helping to fend off effects from an angle grinder or pry attempts from bolt cutters. You can see that type of attack on a (weaker) Bordo 6000-series lock here. Generally I’d say that the Granit X is the only ‘high security’ folding bike lock on the market, for those of you riding fancy commuters or who simply live in areas with high rates of bike theft. It’s also priced at that point, too – it’s hard to find a more expensive folding bike lock.
In addition to be strong, the Granit X is designed to be gentle on your bike. The steel linker bars are all coated with a double-layer of plastic to help protect your frame from abrasion over time. There’s also the important aspect of transportation. A difficulty with high-security U-locks is that they’re very heavy and don’t carry well on a bike frame. For locks that include a frame mount, the leverage exerted on the mount by the lock often wears down the mount over time and causes it to fail. In comparison, a folding lock exerts very little leverage on its mount when stored because it’s so much more compact.
The carrying case for the Granit X 6500 is very well-built. It’s a tough rubberized material that latches securely to hold the lock. It has two mounting options: a no-slip velcro and a direct water bottle mount bolting option. I was content to use the no-slip velcro and it worked very well for me as I rattled around Spokane’s remarkably bumpy city roads. The straps are cut quite generously and will likely leave extra strap flapping around. You can trim that to fit your frame. Abus also includes two keys for versatility
So who should consider a high-security folding lock? Well, here’s what I see. They’re more versatile overall, especially when the bike rack is crowded or if what you’re trying to lock around is irregularly shaped. It’s also more versatile for mountain bikes and can fit over frame/wheel combinations that a U-lock just couldn’t. But the fact remains that they’re weaker than high-security U-locks. So, make your call!
- Very versatile design
- Perhaps the strongest folding lock available
- Thoughtful features like a lighted key and convenient locking options
- Excellent frame mount/carrying case
- Heavy and expensive (like any high-security lock)
- 5.5mm bars still fall well short of 14mm U-lock standard
The Bottom Line: Abus Bordo Granit X Plus 6500
The Abus Bordo Granit X Plus 6500 could be a great fit for your needs, and it’s largely unique within the field. If you need a strong, versatile lock then it’s hard to beat this lock. That said, if you truly need either pure strength or pure versatility, then a U-lock or cable will be your best bet. The Granit X straddles the middle of these extremes quite convincingly. While anecdotes can’t ever be taken too seriously, I did lock up my flashy orange carbon fiber Cannondale in downtown Spokane on multiple occasions. So, if nothing else, this lock earned my trust!
Buy Now: Available from Bikewagon.com