Tigr Lock Review – Not your typical bike lock

Bike locked with the Tigr Lock

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.

Lighter than most locks

The Tigr lock comes in six different flavours:

  1. 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)
  2. 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)
  3. 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)
  4. Short – 0.75” (19 mm) wide. 3-Bar™ security rating. (Weight: 435g)
  5. Standard –  0.75” (19 mm) wide. 3-Bar™ security rating. (Weight: 510g)
  6. 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.

Review

The good:

  • Incredibly light
  • Stores easily on your bike frame
  • As strong, if not stronger depending on the attack, as most midrange bike locks

The bad:

  • $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.

9 Responses to Tigr Lock Review – Not your typical bike lock

  1. Skippy 12/07/2013 at 7:42 am #

    SAD to see that the Insurance Cos require their Clients to spend so much money on specific LOcks as they heap excessive premiums on them !

    Next you will have to take an oath not to allow the bike to be in public without a Guardian and that they will be allowed to pay ONLY 1/2 the cost if you do not have 3 witnesses and photos of the thief !

  2. Goonz 12/07/2013 at 10:31 am #

    I first saw that lock about 2 years ago when they were still raising donations for it. From that point I have wanted one and will still get one when I get around to it. Surprised it does not have Sold Secure rating yet so will potentially wait till then.
    Looks good though and being so light is a real bonus.

  3. Caspar 24/09/2013 at 3:25 pm #

    Seems like the TiGr Lock is about as safe as it looks – that’s to say, not safe at all, as German product testing orgnisation StiWa found out.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kb8YoT9Q9VA

    • Kensington 21/07/2014 at 2:18 am #

      Is that the 19mm or the 32mm version?

  4. Maxwell 26/09/2013 at 1:54 pm #

    This lock is crap – have a look at this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kb8YoT9Q9VA it can be broken within 5 seconds…

  5. Andreas 28/09/2013 at 5:34 am #

    It’s worth forwarding the post on Facebook from Tigr about their lock in response to the video:
    https://www.facebook.com/TiGrLockPage/posts/657031897649070

    It explains the difference between the 1.25 and the 0.75mm versions. If anyone is looking to buy this lock I’d thoroughly recommend the thicker edition which has been security tested.

    • Arno 03/08/2014 at 3:53 pm #

      Yep – old topic. But anyway: Do you really believe that just 0.5 mm more material (1.25 instead of 0.75) will make a *significant* difference?

      There are good reasons why secure locks are made of solid hardened steel rods with at least 10 mm diameter and not just 1.25 mm thin strips.

  6. doglover 02/09/2014 at 7:54 pm #

    Arno – there is a big difference between 0.5 inches and 0.5mm

    Check it out: https://www.google.com/search?q=convert+inches+to+mm

    There are good reasons not te read comment sections

  7. Arno 02/09/2014 at 8:16 pm #

    Ok – I mixed up the units. This is even worse then – since the material will not be thicker, just wider. But even a 1.25 inch wide metal strip can be cut easily with the right tools if it’s not thicker than the 0.75 inch wide one. It will then not not 5 seconds but maybe 10 or 15 to get through – who cares?

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