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Old 10-05-07, 12:24 PM   #1
sug
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Best compact u-lock

Sorry if this is a repeated topic.

I'm trying to find the best compact u-lock that is

As compact as possible, can be carried in my pants' back pocket
Good security so it must be u-lock, not cables
City use (SF downtown) only for day - evening time
No overnight parking or parking in really bad neighborhoods

I currently use OnGuard Pitbull mini, but I find this rather heavy and big although I know it's a good quality lock.

Any recommendations?
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Old 10-05-07, 12:34 PM   #2
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This
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Old 10-05-07, 01:00 PM   #3
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Absolutely. And there's a guy who's selling them on eBay for about $75 shipped.
That's where I got mine. You'll pay $120 in a bike store in New York for one of these.
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Old 10-05-07, 01:58 PM   #4
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And there's a guy who's selling them on eBay for about $75 shipped.
That's where I got mine. You'll pay $120 in a bike store in New York for one of these.

If they're stolen that's not a very good advertisement for the lock.
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Old 10-05-07, 02:11 PM   #5
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Thanks for the link! I've bought stuff from the same person - they have another 'store' on eBay. I got eggbeater SLs for $75 as well - I doubt they're knocked off - I trust the eBay rating stuff.

I'm about to order one of these puppies, too (been looking just this week too).

I currently use an OnGuard U-lock - which is tough, and has already prevented my bike from being someone elses, but it's VERY heavy and is starting to get a pain in the ass to carry everywhere. I want a Kryptonite Evo mini, but the NY one will be good.
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Old 10-05-07, 02:20 PM   #6
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Thanks for the link! I've bought stuff from the same person - they have another 'store' on eBay. I got eggbeater SLs for $75 as well - I doubt they're knocked off - I trust the eBay rating stuff.

I'm about to order one of these puppies, too (been looking just this week too).

I currently use an OnGuard U-lock - which is tough, and has already prevented my bike from being someone elses, but it's VERY heavy and is starting to get a pain in the ass to carry everywhere. I want a Kryptonite Evo mini, but the NY one will be good.
You do realize that the NY U-lock is quite heavy, perhaps even heavier than the lock you are currently using., don't you?
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Old 10-05-07, 02:48 PM   #7
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You do realize that the NY U-lock is quite heavy, perhaps even heavier than the lock you are currently using., don't you?
Yes, but the size/bulk is very different than my current lock - weight isn't the only annoyance - I'm going to have to deal with weight regardless if I want a hefty lock - I don't know of any well rated locks that aren't a touch on the heavy side.
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Old 10-05-07, 03:05 PM   #8
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I have the NYFU. It is one heavy mo fo, but that's what makes it so tough. I would not want to carry it in my back pocket... even in a backpack it's uncomfortable if there isn't alot of padding or something between your back and the lock. Carrying it on a rack would be ideal I think.
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Old 10-05-07, 04:24 PM   #9
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Wow. Thanks for the info! I guess everybody loves NYFU. Yeah probably it's heavy but looks like noticeably more compact compare to OnGuard mini. Probably I should pick one up from the ebay store Bklyn mentioned.
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Old 10-05-07, 07:43 PM   #10
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The guy is apparently a licensed Kryptonite seller. At least he claims to be. My lock came quickly and in the real packaging.

As for carrying your lock, apparently the back pocket is so last year. All the kool kidz in my neighborhood are using these.

Actually, I haven't seen anybody with this contraption. But I'm usually pretty reliably ahead of the curve, so you can count on seeing these. And I am not an employee of King Kog.
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Old 10-05-07, 10:33 PM   #11
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I'm trying to imagine why you would even need to put the lock in your pocket
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Old 10-06-07, 12:11 AM   #12
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Bklyn>

ha! I've never seen this before. I guess I'm not one of those kool kidz... Good idea though. I wonder if somebody here actually using this.

dwoloz>

Actually, a lot of people (at least in SF) do this. Especially bike messengers use their back pocket because it's much quicker than taking it out from bags. They just clip the bike to parking meters in a sec and deliver the mail then jump back on to bike and go to next client.

I'm a graphic designer working in busy financial district. I need to jump around the town to go visit venders, delivering paper works and press checking at print shops all the time. So messenger style riding & parking make a lot of sense for my work.

Anyone here using this?
http://www.somafab.com/antijack.html (smallest one)

It's probably not as secure as Kryptonite, but it looked very small and light in person.
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Old 10-06-07, 12:36 AM   #13
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I've got an OnGuard mini (Pitbull? I forget,) for when I don't feel like lugging my Beast chain around. It's a little wider than the Soma one (3.5"; 6" long,) and it has a four-cyclinder locking setup. I've got a chained saddle, bolt-on axles, and a very, very confusing brake setup, so I feel pretty safe locking it to a railing by the top tube. No cable involved.
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Old 10-06-07, 03:13 AM   #14
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You may want to go with a good U-lock and use a pocket mini Ulock for locking the front wheel to the downtube of your frame of the bike while the good U-lock secures the bike to the post. That way you won't lose the front wheel as well and still have a mini unit ready.
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Old 10-06-07, 05:42 AM   #15
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I currently use OnGuard Pitbull mini, but I find this rather heavy and big although I know it's a good quality lock.

And I do have multiple U locks but it will defeat the purpose. :-p

Last edited by sug; 10-06-07 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 10-06-07, 07:29 AM   #16
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The lightest, most compact u-lock that gets a "silver" rating is the OnGuard Bulldog Mini TC...it is the standard Mini with the bulky plastic cover on the cross-bar removed. There is lighter or more compact u-lock that has dual locking bolts.

The Kryptonite Evo Mini is the lightest "good" u-lock, but it has only one locking bolt, which is probably a little less secure than the OnGuard two bolt design.

Neither of those locks is tough enough to use in downtown Houston if the bike will be out of sight for more than three or four minutes. They are "coffee shop" locks, that will keep your bike safe for a minute while you grab something to drink...if your bike will be parked for hours, you need the Fahgettaboudit or NY lock, or something equally serious.

Several of my bikes have rear racks and saddle bags. I've noticed that when a lock is carried on the rear rack, it doesn't matter what they weigh...you don't even notice they are on the bike.
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Old 10-08-07, 11:55 PM   #17
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Try the kryptonite evolution mini...
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Old 10-09-07, 07:04 AM   #18
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I wish I could use a mini. Problem in Boston is lack of things small enough to lock it around.
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Old 10-09-07, 07:17 AM   #19
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So messenger style riding & parking make a lot of sense for my work.
Notice the word "style" in this remark. Let's face it. It's all about style and looking like the *real* messengers. I have an OnGuard Mini and it is mounted to my frame. I doubt that you can get out of your pocket quicker than I can get it out of it's mount.
Admittedly, I am the opposite of cool. But then again, I never ever worried about the weight of my lock

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Old 10-09-07, 08:22 AM   #20
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Notice the word "style" in this remark. Let's face it. It's all about style and looking like the *real* messengers. I have an OnGuard Mini and it is mounted to my frame. I doubt that you can get out of your pocket quicker than I can get it out of it's mount.
Admittedly, I am the opposite of cool. But then again, I never ever worried about the weight of my lock

Duppie
if you actually read his post you'll notice he might as well be a messenger. He may not work for a courier service but his riding is evocative of a messengers and has the same needs and concerns as a messenger does when concerning locks.
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Old 10-09-07, 09:22 AM   #21
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I hear you. But I still don't understand the question that OP posted. What makes a mount on your bike unworkable as a solution?
I'm scratching my head, and the only reason that I can come up for carrying your lock in your pocket has do to with image. But, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Modern locks, even small ones, are heavy, so if that is a concern, use a mount.

As to my comment on whether he is a real messenger, I obviously don't know whether he is or not. But what I do know that folks that *want* to look like a bike messenger often end up looking more like a messenger than messengers themselves. Most messenger here in Chicago don't ride carefully maintained Bianchi Pistas with their nice chrome upswept bars, their brandname jeans carefully rolled up, and their retro look woolen campagnolo cap. Most messengers ride old bikes and look rather grungy (which I totally understand, because all day in Chicago traffic makes you sweaty and dirty)

Of course I may be wrong about all this, so maybe someone can put me straight about why people carry their locks in their pockets.
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Old 10-09-07, 09:52 AM   #22
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I hear you. But I still don't understand the question that OP posted. What makes a mount on your bike unworkable as a solution?
I don't get that part either. I've got an old-skool kryptonite that rides in a bracket, it's not in the way, and it's as fast to deploy as if it were in my pocket or in some cool gizmo around my waist (another piece of gear to buy/carry/break/lose). Why not use the bracket? Or do what my cubemate does and just put it around the seatpost and jam one end up under the seat? He commuted almost every day last year and it worked for him.
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Old 10-09-07, 10:28 AM   #23
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I wish I could use a mini. Problem in Boston is lack of things small enough to lock it around.
True dat.

Bike Parking is currently my single biggest gripe with riding in Boston. For as bad a rep as it gets, I don't find it too difficult... until I try to park. I've got a mini, and I occasionally have to lock it to a sign post, which I don't really like doing.
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Old 10-09-07, 10:32 AM   #24
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I don't get that part either. I've got an old-skool kryptonite that rides in a bracket, it's not in the way, and it's as fast to deploy as if it were in my pocket or in some cool gizmo around my waist (another piece of gear to buy/carry/break/lose). Why not use the bracket? Or do what my cubemate does and just put it around the seatpost and jam one end up under the seat? He commuted almost every day last year and it worked for him.
For Me, 90% of the time I'm leaving my U-Lock locked to the bike rack at work. Only when I'm going somewhere other than home after work do I need to bring my lock with me. So yeah, I ditched the u-lock mount on the frame in the name of "style." It would be left empty 90% of the time anyway, just looking ugly. The lock fits just fine in my back pocket, and I forget it's there.

When I was commuting longer distances, bringing my lock, the frame mount was a problem. It would be fine for a few days, but then it would loosen from constant docking/undocking and swing around on the frame pretty easily until I got off and tightened the mount.
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Old 10-09-07, 10:41 AM   #25
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I had a U-lock bracket actually break from a bump, and the lock fell off onto the ground. I'm using a Twofish Lockblock on the handlebars now (even works on both the hybrid and the roadie).
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