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kryptonite kryptolok locked rear wheel

I found myself bike commuting in Pittsburgh, with only two bike locks sitting around. One, a cable lock that could be cut with scissors, and the other, an old Kryptonite New York chain lock, the kind which could be defeated with an even flimsier weapon – a Bic pen!

The remedy for this situation was the full-size Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 U-Lock with an included 4′ flex cable for extra security.

I was actually set on purchasing an OnGuard u-lock, since they were selling for only $30 for what appeared to be a similar quality level, and I figured I’d try something new.

But then I found this one (which retails for $45) selling on Amazon.com for $28.99 and jumped on it! It was one of those rare instances when you get a price change notification and the item dropped by a whopping $14 overnight!

No way I was missing that deal. That’s almost 40% off. (For a deal like that, you either need to work at a bike shop and order it at cost, or get super lucky and find it at Sierra Trading Post when there’s a coupon.)

Here’s the u-lock in its retail packaging:

kryptonite kryptolok u-lock as purchased

The lock is made from a 13mm hardened steel shackle and uses a pick- and drill-resistant disc-style cylinder. With it you get an extra cable, a mounting bracket, and two keys.

There’s also optional theft protection. You’ll see it as “$1500 theft protection in US and Canada” and think that means if your bike gets stolen while locked with this lock, Kryptonite will reimburse you (up to the $1500.) But that’s not the case. It’s actually just a theft protection “offer.”

To get the protection, you have to pay extra; it’s $10 to register. And you have to do so within 15 days of your purchase. And it’s only good for one year.

And even then, say your bike does get stolen, it’s a huge hassle to jump through the hoops to get your money. You’ll need a police report, lock receipt, bike receipt, insurance claim, the actual broken lock, and at least one key. Maybe more. It’s not even worth it unless you’re locking up a $1000+ bike (in which case, you might need to do the “buy two locks, one to use and one to break” strategy.)

kryptonite kryptolok u-lock key safe program

I like their free key replacement offer though. It takes like 10 seconds to register your keys, and there’s no charge. I registered right away! With this lock, if I lose my keys, they’ll send me two new ones for free! (But only one time; after that I’d have to pay.)

Speaking of which, the key is flat key, not something shaped like a Bic pen!

kryptonite kryptolok u-lock key

Not only is this style easier to use, especially in the dark, but it avoids that slight problem where anyone with a Bic pen can pick your lock!

Let’s get this thing mounted.

The included mounting bracket claims easy mounting to frame tubing 25-80mm whether it’s round, oval, triangular, or square, and features 360° rotation providing the ability to better fit and align with a bike frame’s specific geometry.

kryptonite kryptolok u-lock mounting bracket pieces

Placing the bracket isn’t particularly easy, though. You have to jam that nylon strap through the metal part of the bracket and pull it down tight, then screw it all together. It’s not overly difficult, you just have to be patient.

Even when you get it all together, good luck getting it to actually work on your bike! Just look at it on my Trek 800:

kryptonite kryptolok u-lock mounted inside front triangle

That’s a 21″ frame, and the lock barely fits in there. It takes up the entire front triangle. It’s so close to the bottle cage that I can barely carry a water bottle in it (I have to swing the lock out to the side a little bit, almost to the point where it scrapes my leg.)

I have to swing the lock the full way out before clicking the release button on the bracket. Otherwise, I’d be pulling the lock straight back into the seat tube!

Originally, we planned to mount this lock on a Trek 820 WSD, but had to rule that out immediately. The bracket won’t fit anywhere!

kryptonite kryptolok u-lock gear ties on rear rack

I had to get some 24″ Nite Ize gear ties and secure the lock to the rear rack. It works, but this solution cost an extra $5, and the lock takes up most of the space on the rack!

So keep that in mind. Not only is a full-size u-lock heavy, it’s difficult to mount it on your bike!

If you have a small frame, you’ll either have to carry the lock in your backpack or attached to the rear rack. Realistically, there’s only going to be room if you have a very large, traditional road bike frame.

Locking up your bike.

OK, so I figured out a way to carry the lock with me. Now, to see if the lock itself works!

If you’re new at this, they give you a simple diagram to follow on how to lock up your bike:

kryptonite kryptolok u-lock cable locking diagram

That’s the ideal way to lock up your bike when you can. You want the lock to pass through the frame and the rear wheel, securing them to a solid object. Since you also get a cable with this one, you can loop one end around the lock shackle and the other through the front wheel.

Here’s how it looks in real life:

kryptonite kryptolok locked rear wheel

kryptonite kryptolok locked frame

Note that the dust cover is flipped to cover the key hole. That helps prevent dust, dirt, and rain from getting down in there and gunking up the works.

You can also go around the front wheel and down tube:

kryptonite kryptolok locked front wheel

And here’s the full setup with the cable:

kryptonite kryptolok u-lock cable through front wheel

If you’re locking your bike for any amount of time, I recommend using both the u-lock and cable!

Why buy a u-lock with a cable?

Well, if you only have a u-lock, it’s going to be difficult to secure your frame and both wheels. You would have to remove your front wheel and place it next to your rear wheel, then feed the lock through both wheels. And that takes time.

If you have a cable, there’s no need to remove the front wheel. Just loop the cable through the front wheel. This prevents a casual passerby from walking off with your quick-release front wheel!

Plus, the cable is probably more secure than ‘locking’ quick releases that are generally a nuisance, and easily circumvented.

A determined thief could quickly cut the cable, but it’s probably not worth the effort for a front wheel and nothing else.

Would you want the mini version instead?

Most u-locks come in two sizes. This full-size lock is about 4×9″. The mini version is about 3×7″.

By pure coincidence, I parked my bike next to a bike locked up with the mini lock:

kryptonite kryptolok mini u-lock

Here are the pros and cons:

Full-size U-lock Pros:

  • Can lock to many different objects
  • Can lock two bikes together to a small object
  • More clearance for wide mountain bike tires

Full-size U-lock Cons:

  • Heavier, which means more weight to lug around
  • Difficult to mount on many bike frames because it takes up too much space

Consider your intended use before purchasing!

My final verdict is…

This is a good lock and it’s a good value. I’d say it’s strong enough for pretty much anywhere outside of the big cities (it should be plenty strong enough for places other than NYC, Boston, or San Francisco.)

If someone asks me for advice on a lock, I’ll probably direct them to this one first. There are options from OnGuard and ABUS, too, but if you can find this Kryptolok Series 2 U-Lock for under $30, get it.

Official website: www.KryptoniteLock.com

Buy online: www.Amazon.com

Product Review Details
Company: Kryptonite
Product: Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 U-Lock
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2015-08-27
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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