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We’re all searching for the best bike locks for our valuable rides . While there are a lot of options out there, a few stand out in particular – ABUS and Kryptonite are some of the first names that come to mind in this scene and for a good reason.
However, I will also go over some of the other models in both lineups in case you were curious about other Abus and Kryptonite locks. Both ABUS and Kryptonite have some tricks up their sleeve, so find out more in this showdown!
This review is un-paid, not sponsored, and has no ads – just my raw opinion. Read my transparency page for more information.
Table of Contents
Strength – the strongest bike lock is…
You wouldn’t be looking at a bike lock review without being keen on a tough lock.
The reality is that if a thief wants a bike, they’ll get it. Either by angle grinder, lockpicking, or some other contraption. However, this depends on the thieves skill and toolset.
What we look to do is deter thieves as much as possible.
Abus Bordo 6000
The Abus Bordo lineup uses a folding lock mechanism similar to a yardstick. With ~1/4″ thick steel bars fastened by steel rivets, it’s a tough nut to crack… unless you have a nutcracker.
ABUS Bordo vs nut splitter
Nut splitters are fairly uncommon tools and while a seasoned bike thief may have one, it’s less common than say an angle grinder or bolt cutters.
I’ll let this nut splitter vs Abus Bordo video speak for itself – yes a nut splitter can be used but it’s an annoying and possible dangerous job – not a thieves favorite for sure.
ABUS Bordo vs angle grinder
The soft outer material will do some work by potentially clogging up an angle grinder, however single the entire lock is ‘flexible’ and is a nuisance to hold down while angle grinding, it does quite well here. Still, angle grinders are pretty much going to defeat any lock out there.
ABUS Bordo vs hydraulic bolt cutters
The thick bars require 2 proper cuts in the right position to cut in half with a hydraulic bolt cutter. Again, the flexibility of this lock makes it irritating as shown in this video on someone trying to chop the link pin, however it’s definitely do-able.
ABUS Bordo vs lockpicking
As for lockpicking, the Lockpicking Lawyer had a very tough time with the Bordo 6500, which means 95% of thieves won’t be able to pick it so easily. Very well done by ABUS here!
So overall it’s a fairly tough lock, and I give it a very good rating and these principals apply for all of the ABUS lock series.
Kryptonite Evolution U-Lock
In classic U-Lock fashion, the Kryptonite Evolution has a very thick steel core surrounded by a soft material also made to gum up angle grinders and protect your bike frame.
The real threats to the Kryptonite locks are angle grinders, hydraulic bolt cutters, and lockpicking – lets go over how it fares:
Kryptonite vs hydraulic bolt cutters
Since the lock itself is easier to affix and hold still while trying to chop, it’s a little easier than the Abus lock.
However, this thick steel core is definitely requiring a very large set of bolt cutters and something most thieves will not be carrying around unless doing theft with a van as transport.
Kryptonite vs angle grinder
This thick core takes a little longer time to break through with an angle grinder, but this is really a matter of seconds anyways and no safe is truly safe from an angle grinder.
Still, definitely possible to be broken with enough time by a ballsy thief carrying around a small angle grinder.
Kryptonite vs lockpicking
Lockpicking Lawyer had a fairly hard time with lockpicking the Kryptonite Evolution & New York U-Locks – much harder than with other bike locks, so I’d say they’re fairly resilient to that method of attack.
Overall, the Kryptonite lock also has some strengths and vulnerabilities just like the ABUS lock and I’ll just call it a tie here for fairness’ sake.
Versatility – the most flexible bike lock is…
The Abus Bordo has the versatility of a chain lock while the Kryptonite locks are simply bound to the dimensions of a U-Lock.
However, Kryptonite includes a steel cable with their U-locks, though this is more to lock your front/rear wheel at the same time. If you can’t get your frame close enough to the lock point, you’ll not be able to secure it to that object.
Of course you can use the cable to lock around large objects, but overall the ABUS Bordo series are much more versatile in the objects you can lock around – trees, thick poles, etc, while retaining the strength factor.
There have been dozens, if not, hundreds of times where I’ve been out with a friend and I’ve have no problem locking up, while his Kryptonite lock has a real hard time finding the right object to lock to.
Portability – the most portable bike lock is…
At 2.69 lbs (1.22kg) for the ABUS lock and 3.75 (1.70kg) for the Kryptonite lock parts, the ABUS Bordo 6000 definitely pulls ahead in this department.
Too, the ABUS locks come with a rubber holder which can mount to any tube on your bike frame, while the Kryptonite lock comes with a clip-on U-holder. If you’re keen on bikepacking, keep in mind the amount of space your lock will take up.
The ABUS Bordo 6000 is substantially lighter & smaller to store & carry than the Kryptonite lock, making it a good sum better for portability.
Practicality – the most practical bike lock is…
Considering the three factors known above, in my opinion the ABUS Bordo locks are more practical due to how much easier it is to affix to objects, how much lighter, and more compact it folds up.
That’s not to say the Kryptonite lock is bad by any means – it’s much less annoying than a chain lock, however it just can’t compete with the Bordo and its flexible-bar system.
Other things to consider
Kryptonite is so confident in their locks strength that they have an Anti-Theft Protection Program which essentially will cover the cost of the bike (up to x $ depending on lock), or the insurance deductible – whichever is lower – for a small annual fee.
This is a pretty awesome little feature and while there are some caveats to this and limitations to which countries it’s valid in (most of EU & NA), I’d highly recommend reading the above link to understand what they offer. I’m not sure how easy it is to file a claim and get reimbursement however, so YMMV.
ABUS does not have such a program.
Replacing lost keys
Both ABUS and Kryptonite have key placement options. ABUS locks typically come with 2 keys, while Kryptonite locks often come with 3 keys.
Both key replacement services cost ~$10 + shipping, but it’s well worth it to have a few extras on hand, just in case.
Other Kryptonite & ABUS bike locks discussion
ABUS has a variety of Bordo locks with different features or tricks. They have padlock/code-type locks which forgoes the need of a key, and Bordo locks with an alarm built-in. Having heard these ABUS alarm locks go off before I can definitely vouch – they’re loud!
The famed LockpingLawyer uses this Kryptonite lock for his personal bike which is a really big endorsement. Heavy, bulky, and clunky – I personally wouldn’t use this lock, but it’s absolutely not a bad idea if you’re wanting the highest in lock security.
Kryptonite has their popular ‘Fahgettaboutit‘ lock which was inspired by New York of course. Thicker, beefier, and heavier, it’s made so you can promptly forget about it on the streets. Only angle grinders can make work of it.
Are these locks worth it? Well, I think the alarm lock definitely has an advantage, though they’re prone to being tripped by passer-bys who a fiddling with their own bike.
Honestly, every lock is vulnerable, no matter what – it’s just how much of a deterrent is it to a thief is the question.
Of course, it depends – do you want the absolute strongest lock, one with the best portability, or one with an insurance system?
Personally, I went for the ABUS Bordo 6000 with a separate bike insurance policy – it costs $5/month but now I have double peace of mind – a heavy duty lock and insurance. Yeah, it’s a little costly but hey, well worth it knowing I’ve got my butt covered.
Check out my individual Kryptonite Evolution lock review and ABUS Bordo 6000 review for more specific details about these locks.
Any questions, please feel free to ask – I’ll gladly reply as soon as I can 🙂 Peace!
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