Abus Granit Steel O Flex 1000 lock review

abus steel o flex 1000 bike lock product image As a regular reader of this blog you may already be aware I’m a big fan of my Kryptonite New York 3000. It has kept my bike safe for over a year. Though, it is not without its limitations.

For a start due to the small diameter of the lock it’s tough to lock my bike around lampposts. It is also tough to carry around unless I have a backpack. Finally, locking it around the frame and the front wheel is rarely possible. Therefore, I’ve been searching for another lock that could take Kryptonite’s crown.

The lock that instantly stood out was the Abus Granit Steel O Flex 1000. It is one of the most secure locks you can buy. Sold with a well earned gold standard security rating, it is capable of resisting a wide range of attacks. The lock is a favourite amongst London bike messengers as you can secure it around your waist for quick access.

The main selling point for me is the wide diameter that means I’m able to lock my bike to wider objects and at the same time lock my front wheel. 

For the past week I’ve been using it in place of my Kryptonite and so far I’ve been very impressed.

Comparison of different Abus Steel O Flex locks and Kryptonite

Name Price Description
Abus Granit Steel O Flex 1000 £57.22 ($106) 100 cm diameter. 1.85kg weight.
Abus Granit Steel O Flex 80 £57.24 80 cm diameter.
1.55kg weight.
Kryptonite New York 3000 £56.95 ($70) 1.8kg weight.

 

abus granit steel 1000 secured to bike

When I travelled to the book launch for “Bicycle” I realised the convenience of this lock. Using my trademark behaviour of always setting off too late I saved time by securing the lock around my waist. Then, upon reaching my destination, I knew I could lock my bike to pretty much anything thanks to the wide lock diameter.

Now, of course, I realise securing this lock around my waist won’t earn me a position as the head of health and safety, but you have to love the convenience. If you cleverly choose not to take the risk then you will need a decent sized bag as the size and shape of the lock makes it tough to carry around.

The size isn’t the only thing that makes it tough to carry. The sheer weight is enormous. Though no more than other similarly secure locks. Once again you will have to make the tough decision between the price you are willing to pay, the weight you are willing to carry and how much you value your bike. If someone can come up with a bicycle lock that is highly secure and weighs next to nothing then I’ll be the first in line to buy.

I will be using the Abus Granit Steel O Flex 1000 when I don’t want to take a bag or I don’t have enough room in my bag. Otherwise, my old faithful Kryptonite will be in charge of bicycle safety.

What to like

  • Wide diameter which gives you more locking options
  • Option to store around your waist if not enough room in bag
  • Gives you good peace of mind as it is one of the most secure locks

What not to like

  • Weight, though this is a problem with all good bike locks
  • Size, very tough to store in a backpack so often no other option other than around the waist which isn’t particularly safe

Where you can buy the Abus Granit Steel O Flex

Here is a quick comparison of the prices. Note these are correct as of when I published the article but they are of course likely to change.

See also:

  1. Kryptonite New York 3000 lock review
  2. How to choose a good bike lock
  3. How to lock your bike
  4. 10 cheap and easy DIY bike projects anyone can do

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22 Responses to Abus Granit Steel O Flex 1000 lock review

  1. alien8 01/06/2010 at 9:24 am #

    from lfgss.com Stolen bikes thread:
    “It was an Abus Granit Steel O Flex 1000, they cut through it like a piece of string. I still have the lock which they just discarded on the ground and it there was obviously no struggle. ”

    Easily cut:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFaLmVqQibo&feature=player_embedded

    See http://www.lfgss.com/thread17938.html for ‘Locks that work’ and I’d recommend instead a larger D Lock and maybe a Xena alarm lock. (see that thread for the link)

    • Andreas 01/06/2010 at 2:11 pm #

      Hmmm… I must say I find the video a little unconvincing. That clearly looks nothing like the above lock.. obviously it is just the inside part? In tests in magazines and by the guys over on “Sold secure” it performs very well. Also saying “obviously no struggle” – did they come at it with an angle grinder? I appreciate you sharing the links however as it is good people make an informed decision.

      • Chris 15/09/2010 at 4:47 pm #

        There have been questions raised about Sold Secure’s test methods.

        IIRC They use a set of typical tools. Whereas the bike thieves apparently weren’t asdked and use a different set.

        Therefore the SS rating are needed for insurance, but what people want to know is how to lock your bike, what locks will keep their bikes and which to avoid.

        http://quickrelease.tv/?p=327.

  2. shannon 01/06/2010 at 9:36 am #

    I picked up a lock very similar to this when I was living in Amsterdam almost 10 years ago and have used it in London ever since. I agree, its very handy to be able to have a choice where you can put your bike, instead of having to use those horrible stands (where sharing with another bike isn’t always so great). I have ridden with it handing from my handle bars instead of around my waist, much more comfortable.

    However, recently the local yobs have cut through the first layer of plastic. Then a few weeks layer, with a second attempt they broke through the first metal encasement, exposing the steel cable at the very centre. I can no longer trust that they won’t finally cut through the cable — although it does still look very tough. I would say almost 10 years is a good period to have such a lock, but it won’t last forever, and like all locks, is not 100% inpenitrable.

    • Andreas 01/06/2010 at 2:12 pm #

      Sounds like you need to move the bike over to a new location! If they keep trying to go at it. Also may be a good call to change lock (or be sure you are locked up with two locks).

      • Woody 29/06/2011 at 12:06 pm #

        That is clearly not the answer. Sounds like you need a more effective deterrent/lock.

        Kryptonite NY is the only way to go.

  3. Craig 01/06/2010 at 9:51 am #

    Trouble with locks these days is that they make a mockery of the idiom that cycling is a light-weight easy way to get around town. I am often found cursing this fact as I load up with a two heavy duty locks and a long chain as I head into town for a quick errand. Again on arrival at location as it takes me longer to secure bike and removable parts against potential theft and or vandalism. And Again as I have reverse the whole process to go home. I wonder at this point if it wouldn’t be quicker and easier to take the car?

    • Andreas 01/06/2010 at 2:13 pm #

      It’s true. The locks take a while to apply and are a pain to carry. Unfortunately in a city such as london you need a great big lock such as the granit steel o flex. If only bikes were never stolen and you could just rest it wherever you want!

    • James 15/06/2010 at 10:15 am #

      Get a Brompton! No need for a lock 99% of the time as you can keep the bike with you.

      Although from bitter experience I recommend that on the odd occasion you do leave it, have a very good lock. I use one of the Abus Granit d-locks. They do a long one which gets around most things, but is pretty heavy.

  4. Thom H 01/06/2010 at 11:33 am #

    Tidy review, although on perusing lfgss.com it seems the steel o flex isn’t quite as secure as appearances suggest.

    The NY3000 is my reccommendation also. You also have no need for a bag with it – I use a Fabrichorse which attaches it to my belt wonderfully.

    • Andreas 01/06/2010 at 2:14 pm #

      Yep, the lfgss secure locks post is very useful. Would be interested in hearing some more opinions and stories from people who have used this lock.

  5. Corin 01/06/2010 at 9:44 pm #

    Interesting review and comments. I am thinking of increasing my locking capacity for when I need to leave my bike for longer periods and a night – trips to the cinema in the west end, for example.

    At the moment I have a d-lock (kryptonite kryptolok series 2, so not one of the heavy-duty high-end ones) which goes through the frame and rear wheel, plus a flex cable for the front wheel, which goes throught the d-lock and then I add a padlock on the basis of my odd theory that if a thief turns up with the right lock-pick for a d-lock they might be stumped by an old-fashioned padlock.

    Anyway, I was thinking of adding something like this Abus so the review is useful.

    You do mention the safety aspect, and I should add that a very close friend of mine was pushed off his bike a few months ago when he was wearing an Abus around his waist. He cracked his hip and almost had to have serious corrective surgery for it. I can’t say for sure that the Abus was the cause (well, the %$&^er who pushed him off was the real cause!) but people should be aware of the problems with wearing the lock around their waists.

    • Phil Russell 03/07/2013 at 12:44 am #

      [[[[[[[ CRAIG—–if you’re just “heading into town for a quick errand”, as you put it, maybe a cheap-and-cheerful bike is required, and deliberately kept looking grubby and unloved. I just read in a local paper, here in Brixton, that a bike gets stolen every single minute, in London.
      P.R.

    • Phil Russell 03/07/2013 at 12:56 am #

      [[[[[[[ OOPS! Sorry for the repeat response. But CORIN, I agree about the Abus worn around the waist being dodgy. I came off recently—I leaned left to turn left—(don’t ask)—but the bike went straight on. SPLAT! Sprained thumb, sprained wrist, bruised elbow, bruised shoulder, bruised ego—–and I imagine if my hip had landed on a thick cable instead of the tarmac, I might have had some hip-damage too. Another good way to injure yerself is to wear a lock around yer neck……
      P.R.

  6. James 12/06/2010 at 9:31 am #

    This was the lock I used when my bike was stolen. CCTV video showed them getting through it with bolt cutters. My personal experience is that this lock should never be used as a primary lock. Mini Fahg is the only thing I’d ever use.

  7. Peter 14/07/2010 at 8:56 pm #

    mine’s held to my rack with an old inner tube. it fits between the wheel and the rack nicely and slips out to lock my bike. my waist is a bit to broad for it to fit comfortably round never mind health and safety

    there was an abandoned bike locked with one on my estate and everything was stripped off the bike but the frame and the wheel – they had a go at the lock but didn’t get through

    though of course nothing is impenetrable

  8. Piers 25/08/2010 at 10:25 am #

    My bike was stolen the other day, using this lock. They cut straight through it, in a busy area near Moorgate London.

    I have also heard of people in the shop complaining that the key snapped in the lock, when accidentaly droped on the floor

    Not sure the quality is that great on this

    • Teyah 05/08/2011 at 6:24 pm #

      Wham bam thank you, ma\’am, my qsuetions are answered!

  9. Shreds 19/12/2010 at 10:59 pm #

    Many moons ago I read about Abloy locks, and despite the price and comparatively few locksmiths who sell them, combined with a cast, not welded chain threaded through an old MTB inner tube and I have found that this has been a good solid combination in high risk city centres, usually combined with a couple of different make D locks and it usually provides the required deterrent.

  10. Amoeba 20/12/2010 at 11:32 am #

    alien8 Mentioned the Xena alarm lock.

    While looking at the Dutch ART test house website, I happened upon this statement from ART

    XENA ART chains have no choice
    dinsdag juni 22 2010 Tuesday, June 1922 2010
    Bent u van plan een ketting van het merk XENA te kopen dan willen wij u waarschuwen dat er al 2,5 jaar geen kettingen van XENA meer zijn goedgekeurd. Are you planning a chain of brand XENA now we would warn you that there are already 2.5 years no more chains XENA approved. Op de site wordt de suggestie gewekt dat dit wel het geval is. The site is the impression that this is the case. De XENA kettingen die tot 8.1.2008 van een ART goedkeur waren voorzien blijven deze goedkeur behouden tbv de voor die datum afgesloten diefstalverzekering. The XENA chains to 01/08/2008 ART acceptance of an acceptance, these were provided to keep serving the then ended theft insurance.

    As I understand it this means that ART believes that Xena is claiming their products to be ART approved, when they aren’t.

    I was looking at a Xena alarmed U-lock, but when I started checking, I found they weren’t approved.

    I have seen one their products advertised by a retailer (can’t remember who) with Sold Secure Gold prominently displayed on the packaging, when the product isn’t listed by Sold Secure. Whether this was old stock that was SS-G approved, I don’t know.

    AFAICT, very few of their products are Sold Secure rated.

    They make lots of impressive claims on their website and I have been unable to confirm approved status for most of their products. Their website is very misleading regarding product security approval, one could easily conclude that this misleading is intentional. I was certainly misled initially. I only realised my error when I tried to confirm the approval with SS.

    Don’t take my word for it, look for yourself.

    In other words, I would treat Xena’s (and any other manufacturer with a vested interest in selling their product) claims regarding Sold Secure and ART as BS. When one claim can’t be confirmed, it makes all their other claims look less than trustworthy too.

    The golden rule is:
    NEVER TRUST THE MANUFACTURER’S CLAIMS.
    ALWAYS CHECK WITH THE TEST HOUSE BEFORE PURCHASE.

  11. Amoeba 20/12/2010 at 12:14 pm #

    Example of misleading advertising:

    Retailer advert
    Product: Xena Bullet Lock Alarm [XBL2-35]
    Note Sold Secure badge on packaging. Sold Secure do not list this product. This product was on sale from this advert on 10 December 2010
    http://www.webcitation.org/5usCtEnFp

    Yes I know this is for motorcycles, but it is an example. I emailed the supplier about the product no-longer being currently SSG approved, unsurprisingly I have had no reply.

    A motorcyclist could very well be misled into buying this lock, have his motorcycle stolen and find his insurance claim refused, because his lock wasn’t SS approved.
    I call that dishonest!

    The web page is still active.

    • Amoeba 20/12/2010 at 12:28 pm #

      Sold Secure have been contacted about the misleading advert.

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