PROS: Solid, Secure, Not too heavy, Comes with cable and mounting bracket, Cheap
CONS: Bracket difficult to install, still limited with where you can secure your bike due to smallness of the lock.
As I now live in Oxford I find myself cycling everyday in and around the city. This is great fun as there are hoards of other cyclists, literally everybody cycles here. However although it is good that there are a lot of cyclists there is also one downside, bike theft. In a city where there are lots of bikes there is bound to be a lot of bike thefts, Oxford is no exception to this rule. In fact outside London the Thames valley is the worst area in the UK for bike theft.
Knowing this I chose to take my cheap fixed gear bike and a good solid lock. The Kryptonite name is almost synonymous with security. So when looking for a new lock I knew where to look. It is quite easy to get a good quality lock for about £15 on the internet, just be careful where you are purchasing from as you don’t want a fake.
I was looking for a solid lock but one that wouldn’t weigh an absolute tonne, take up a huge amount of space, or cost a great deal. Fortunately the Evolution mini D-lock won on all these fronts. It also comes with a 4ft. ‘kryptoflex’ cable from most dealers, a good feature as it allows you to lock up both your wheels and/or your seat. However as my wheels are bolt on, and the front one is ancient and rusty, I rarely use this because I find it unnecessary for my needs and extra surplus weight to carry.
There are several different sizes to choose from within the evolution mini range, these go from 5” to 9”. I decided the five inch one would be too small and hinder my ability to always lock my bike to an immovable object, as is required for many bike insurance policies. In reflection this size would probably be perfect for the majority of situations and bike racks. So if you know where you will be storing your bike every day and if it is a regular bike rack then this size would probably be really good. I wasn’t so sure though, instead opting for the seven inch lock. These extra two inches mean that my lock can reach that extra bit further for those hard-to-reach locations storing my bike. To date I have not been stumped without a location where it wouldn’t fit around my bike and an immovable object, although a few times it has come close. As it is longer it is also slightly heavier and larger, in the grand scheme of things though these are pretty small D-locks and with a 13mm hardened steel shackle very secure.
They are so secure that they boast a sold secure silver rating. Also if you add the details of your bike online on kryptonite’s website then you get £900 of kryptonite protection, not bad for a lock you can get off eBay for £25! However I would read the small print of this if you get the lock, as there are several terms, which you have to meet before they fork out the money.
The Lock itself is kryptonite’s patented deadbolt, so pretty solid. It comes with three keys one of which is lighted, however I find this key bulky and a tad gimmicky so prefer to just use the smaller non-lighted ones. You also get kryptonite’s own frame mount, which is really good for keeping your lock snug, preventing rattling, whilst you ride your bike. The only thing about this is that it is an absolute b***h to put on your frame. The instructions that come with the lock are useless and it can be a very frustrating process. If you find yourself in this situation I suggest having a cup of tea then watching videos of how to do it on YouTube, you are not the only one who has struggled with this seemingly impossible task.
Overall this is a great solid lock that will keep you bike safe from thieves, however locks can’t do everything and if someone really wants to get through they probably will. So lock your bike sensibly, through the frame, and wheels if they are quick release. Make sure you leave it in a well-lit area, preferably somewhere under CCTV or where there is known police presence. Don’t leave your bike for over 24 hours in a public place and do everything you can to deter thieves from selecting your bike to steal. Generally they will be opportunists and go for the one that is locked with a rubbish lock, not secured to an immovable object. This is a great middle range lock and ideal for locking up low-mid priced bikes with. If you want to pay more there are more secure locks on the market.