This is Knog’s high security offering, making it the most suitable product the company produces for London cyclists. The lock has a Gold rating from Sold Secure and is ART three star certified. Further, Knog has its own rating system, classing the Strongman as worthy of ’90-ghetto’ level security, only the second from the top, ‘100-war zone’. Reassuring. I guess? The lock can be found for sale on Amazon for around £62, which puts it a little above some other Gold rated locks, but about in line with Kryptonite’s offerings. The details direct from Knog can be found on their website.
With the lock you get a mounting bracket and allen key for your bike (coordinated to the lock, which comes in 3 colours), three keys, code card (should you lose all three) and instructions for fixing the lock to your bike, locking your bike and learning how to do these things in 6 different languages.
The Knog Strongman D-lock looks good. I have the white version to test, and while I hold no delusions that it will stay white for long, it does seem like it will wipe clean if I wanted to keep it white. The bracket actually fits on my bike and was easy to install – you loop the strap around the part of the bike you wish, in my case the top tube, and then use the provided allen key to ratchet it tight. The lock is locked into the bracket so I have no fear of it falling out as I cycle down the most potholed side street London town can throw at me. This is a nice change from Kryptonite locks I have used in the past as I never managed to get the bracket to fit my bike, and it didn’t lock the lock in place so it felt a bit flimsy anyway.
The Strongman is a good weight, coming in at 1.1kg. It is not as heavy as some other high security offerings, although that may be because it is a little smaller (200x130x35mm). This small size concerns me a little. I like to lock my rear wheel and frame to the bike rack as thus:
This is not really possible with this lock. Knog have recommendations for locking techniques, ranging in levels of security and they suggest that locking one wheel, front or back and the frame is more secure than just the frame. I have a pretty skinny frame on my bike, but fairly large clearances for thick tyres so the gap is too big to be bridged. This probably wouldn’t be a problem for single speeds, fixies and full road bikes and the space between the wheels and frame will be smaller. However, it is something to consider for those of you with oversized tubing or large wheel clearances.
The locking mechanism feels nice and positive. The key has to be pushed into the barrel and turning is smooth, unlike some other locks I have tried in the past.
Strongman testing phase
On the bike the lock looks fine. I prefer to not have something dangling from my top tube, but it is very convenient to not have to carry the lock in my bag, it makes locking up at my destination a bit quicker and it stops me accidentally getting grease on things in my bag. It does make a bit of a noise while riding. It’s not a big deal, just a bit clunky. As long as you remember it’s the lock and not impending doom from the bike all is good. I forgot on the first ride and was momentarily worried.
As mentioned, the lock is a little small for the geometry of my bike, but not too bad. Depending on the situation, for short time periods I am happy to just lock through the frame and it is perfect for that. As per our article on correct locking technique, this is not always the best approach as it leaves your wheels vulnerable to theft. As it is a little smaller, lighter and neater than my other locks, it is great to carry around when I may or may not be stopping without the penalty of excess. This is perfect for some of my uses as I have locking wheel skewers, so I can just lock through the frame on the fly if needed. It could also work well as a secondary lock as carrying two locks is generally safer than just one in high risk areas such as London town.
The silicone coating on the outside of the lock is reassuring and means I don’t have to worry too much about where I place the lock on my bike, it isn’t going to do much damage to my precious, perfect paint. The silicone coating also has another benefit – it melts when you try to hack into the lock. I personally have not tried this, but other reviews have tried breaking it and shown that the silicone is a security feature as well. Clever.
This is a neat lock. High security locks are never going to be light, but this one really doesn’t feel bad. The bracket works on my bike and it seems like it would work on most styles of tubing, the strap and ratchet mechanism are good. It is a little small but it could be a good backup to other methods, fit well with certain bike styles or be a good emergency lock. If this sounds like it would fit into your safety arsenal then head over here to become a proud owner.
Do you like the look of this lock, or have you been using it for a while? Let us know in the comments below!
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.