In 2009, I bought a Kryptonite New York Standard bike lock. Since then, I’ve never had my bike stolen. No need to review further bike locks. The end.
But wait.. it’s now 2016. Have Kryptonite just been twiddling their thumbs?
It turns out the Kryptonite team has been harassing New York bike messengers with probing questions such as: what is the right length… (awkward pause)… for a bike lock?
As you can imagine, a New York messenger probably listed their bike lock priorities as follows:
- Balancing weight and security
- Quick and easy to use
- Fits a range of posts
- Orange is a good colour for a bike lock
Let’s take a look at how well the Kryptonite Messenger Mini+ hits these 4 important points.
Mini+ weight & security
As someone used to the 1.97kg heft of the Kryptonite New York Standard, the Mini+ feels delightfully light at 1.14kg.
As you would expect, with reduced weight comes reduced security. The Mini+ is rated 7 out of 10 by Kryptonite, compared to the New York Standard 9 out of 10.
This earns the Mini+ Sold Secure silver rating, as opposed to gold. It’s worth checking with your bicycle insurance company the lock rating they accept for coverage.
Is this enough to secure your bike in London? It’s intended for quick stops on its own and would be great for immobilisation when the bike is in sight but not within reach (think sitting in the park, pub garden, etc.). In combination with another lock, you’d probably be fine for longer. Everyone needs to make that calculation of how much weight they are willing to carry vs. the security offered.
It’s worth noting that Kryptonite offer a Global Anti-Theft Protection Offer. With the Messenger Mini+ you get £1,500 worth of cover. To qualify, you need to register on the Kryptonite website and pay a small yearly fee. I recommend checking the terms and conditions on the site.
Quick and easy to use
The Kryptonite Messenger Mini+ comes with an interesting new feature. It’s called the Extender and it allows you to lock your frame and wheel.
In practise, it’s a little fiddly to use. Inevitably, with anything fiddly that adds to my locking time, I ended up leaving the Extender at home, therefore turning the Mini+ into the straight Mini.
If you are locking your bike to a typical bike stand, then the mini is large enough to go through the rear wheel, frame and post.
Kryptonite also have another innovative new product called Gravity WheelNutz, which we’ll be taking a look at next week. In combination, this would mean you’d only need one lock to secure both wheels.
Fits a range of posts
Kryptonite have smartly increased the shackle dimensions, which gives a little more locking flexibility.
The Messenger Mini+ has a 3.75 inch by 6.5 inch locking dimension, which is a half inch wider than the current Evolution Mini.
In practise, this makes a difference and provides a decent range of locking options around London. You still won’t be able to get it around a lamppost of course. Only locks such as the Hiplock will be able to pull that off.
Orange is a good colour for a bike lock
The Kryptonite Mini+ is a nice, calm, safe feeling orange, which is important for a lock, especially when locating and excavating it from a large bag.
Beyond that, there are a couple of noteworthy features.
The first is a dust cover, which can be positioned above the keyhole. It’s a nice little addition, if not entirely necessary. After 6 years with the Kryptonite New York Standard, I’ve only needed to lubricate the lock once and it works as new.
With your purchase, you get 2 keys which come with a coiled wrist keychain. This is actually surprisingly useful. While fiddling with your lock, your keys can sit on your wrist.
As a long time customer of Kryptonite, the Mini+ is a welcome addition to their range.
It feels like a good balance has been struck between the internal locking dimensions, security and weight.
The Mini+ provides enough flexibility around London for locking options. Security is good, not great, so it’s not to be used in isolation. The upside of being a 7 out of 10 on the security scale is you get a lighter lock, which feels more convenient.
Overall, I’d be happy to recommend the Mini+ to friends and family. In fact, the lock is now securing my girlfriend’s bike and I feel confident that in combination with a Hiplock it’ll be safe.
As I said, we’ll be taking a look at Gravity Wheelnutz next week, which are designed with urban locking and utility in mind too and make they Mini+ a much more useable proposition.
The Mini+ is available on Amazon.co.uk for £35.95 with Prime delivery, huzzah!
Do you have a Mini+? What has your experience been with a smaller lock?
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.