What if I told you that a bike lock exists that weighs about a third of a typical lock and offers the same level of protection?
You’ll probably look at me like I’ve lost my mind. You’d tell me that can’t be possible and you’d stop reading my cycling blog.
Don’t click away yet, I’ve got something pretty unique to share with you.
The story of a miracle bike lock
The Tigr lock first appeared on the internet in a Kickstarter campaign aiming to raise $37,500. Once cyclists spotted the campaign and started sharing it on cycling blogs, the campaign crushed its target and ended up with over 100,000 dollars worth of funding.
A new bike lock was born. I predicted that within a few months we’d be seeing it featured all over cycling magazines and in shops up and down the UK. The revolution was here!
When that didn’t happen, I searched for the reason.
Two came to mind:
- The lock hasn’t been certified by Sold Secure so it’s hard to know if it really keeps your bike safe (plus, it means your insurance would be invalid if your bike is stolen with this lock as it is unknown to bike insurers)
- People simply didn’t trust that a bike lock with such a different design would keep their bike safe
That begs just one question:
How secure is the Tigr lock?
The Tigr lock hasn’t yet been certified by Sold Secure in the UK. The lock has been tested and certified by ART Foundation which is based in Holland. According to their results, the lock is rated as level 2 out of a maximum of 5. In the ART scale, locks rated at 4 or 5 are primarily suited to motorbikes.
The ART rating can’t be directly converted to the Sold Secure rating. However, the Abus Granit X Plus 54 (£55) is rated as 3 out of 5 on the ART Foundation scale. As is the Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 (£45). Both locks are very common in London.
A worrying German YouTube video however, shows how quickly the lock can be cracked:
(I don’t speak German so I’m guessing that they were testing their thinner edition here). If you speak German please leave a comment below and let me know exactly which model they tested.
Update: A newer video has surfaced from BikeNYC that shows the 1.25” (32mm) version of the lock resisting some rather savage attacks. I’ll let the reader take a view as to the security of the lock. The full BikeNYC review has their thoughts.
Lighter than most locks
The Tigr lock comes in six different flavours:
- Short 18” (46cm) – Short enough to fit in most backpacks and messenger bags – 1.25” (32 mm) wide. 5-Bar™ security rating, ART® Certified (Weight: 618g)
- Standard 24” (61cm) – Long enough to capture both wheels on road bikes and most hybrids. – 1.25” (32 mm) wide. 5-Bar™ security rating, ART® Certified (Weight: 760g)
- Long 30” (76cm) – Long enough to capture both wheels on more bikes including most mountain and touring bikes. – 1.25” (32 mm) wide. 5-Bar™ security rating, ART® Certified (Weight: 902g)
- Short – 0.75” (19 mm) wide. 3-Bar™ security rating. (Weight: 435g)
- Standard – 0.75” (19 mm) wide. 3-Bar™ security rating. (Weight: 510g)
- Long – 0.75” (19 mm) wide. 3-Bar™ security rating. (Weight: 622g)
You can choose between short, standard and long and 19mm wide or 32mm wide.
The Kryptonite New York 3000 weighs around 2kg, if you pick the 24″, 32mm version you will have reduced the weight by nearly a third.
Easy to store
The Tigr lock fits around your top tube and is secured in place with two velcro straps. This is useful as it means you won’t hit the lock as you pedal and you don’t need to carry a lock in your backpack.
When I cycled, I used a top tube protector to protect the frame from scratching. However, the Tigr is sheathed in an ultra-clear PVC sleeve that protects the bike so there shouldn’t be any issues there. Recent versions of the Tigr lock have silicon o-rings at the lock bows for added protection.
Using the Tigr Lock
Depending on the size of lock you choose to buy, you can lock your frame, front and rear wheel to a post. However, I highly recommend using the Tigr lock with a second lock for extra security.
Using the lock is a little complicated. To use it you need to undo both the velcro straps which go around the titanium loop. Then pull it off the bike through the front brake cables. You then get the lock in place between the frame, wheel and post you are locking it to. Finally, you get the locking mechanism out your pocket, line up the ends perfectly and then snap the locking mechanism shut.
It takes some getting used to and will probably take longer than using a typical d-lock.
- Incredibly light
- Stores easily on your bike frame
- As strong, if not stronger depending on the attack, as most midrange bike locks
- $200 is more expensive than most high end d-locks which arguably offer more protection
- Not yet certified in the UK so you probably wouldn’t be covered under your insurance (Sold Secure certification is next in line)
- The locking mechanism is separate to the lock so it will weigh down your pockets unless you have a frame bag or backpack. A good workaround this is locking the cylinder onto one end of the bow so it is locked open.
- A little fiddly to use so takes longer than a d-lock to secure your bike (not great if you are already late for an appointment!)
The Tigr lock stands out. Use it around London and people will stop you to ask questions about it. The design is unique and I love how light it is. For me personally, it can’t replace my D-lock as it doesn’t offer enough security. If you are leaving your bike in a low-risk area, then it’s a great alternative to heavy d-locks, as long as you are prepared to spend extra.
This is also a great lock for bike touring where space and weight are at a premium, as well as that weekend ride, where you are out in the countryside and you don’t need your heavy d-lock.
The Tigr Lock website has more info about the lock as well as links to other reviews.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.