Triathlon and Cycling are not exactly cheap sports. By the time you have bought shoes, wetsuits, goggles, jerseys, computers and the myriad of other kit that you need just to be able to begin training then there often isn’t a lot left over for a curry and a beer, let alone those expensive race entries. Your bike is the single greatest expense that any triathlete or cyclist faces and often hours and hours are spent choosing, customizing, cleaning and maintaining the perfect racer.
Considering the amount of time that is spent in the saddle compared to swimming and running, many bike owners don’t feel ashamed in saying that they feel a certain attachment to their bike and would be pretty upset if it were to go missing. This is where choosing the right bike lock becomes important and extreme care should be taken when picking your device of choice, whether it be Kryptonite, Albus or other, as there is more to choosing a decent security device than you might think.
Kryptonite are one of the largest and most trusted specialist bike lock manufacturer in the world. They offer an incredibly diverse range of different models for every occasion, ranging from lightweight cables to heavy duty chains and D-locks. If you pick your way through each line and model you will find that each has been designed with different functionality and a different level of security in mind.
Many serious triathletes and road cyclists spend upwards of £1000 on their racer, and with some time trial bikes starting at £3000+, a simple cable is not going to do the job when it comes to security. The Sold Secure rating is a seal of approval that is given to bike locks depending on the level of security they offer. There are three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold. Whilst bronze offers protection against only opportunist thieves, Silver offers a compromise between weight and security, and Gold bike locks offer the highest level of security possible, short of welding your cycle to the wall.
Many insurance companies recognize the Sold Secure seal of approval as the company offers an independent view of how secure different security devices are and as such some insurance companies will offer discounts on policies where a certain Sold Secure level device is employed. Some insurance companies will only offer insurance on racers of a certain value if a certain level device is employed, and some even insist that the cycle is secured using the right level bike lock even when it is in your home or garage. Checking your insurance terms and conditions is a must before you start looking at which security device to go for.
Considering the cost of most high end triathlon and road bikes, this bike lock review is going to focus on the high end Gold Sold Secure Kryptonite Bike Locks as these are the only level of security device that you should consider If you want to ensure the top security for your racer. The UK’s most popular cycle insurance company Cycle Guard requires that all bikes worth over £1500 are secured using a Gold Level device and I know that lots of other cycle insurance companies are following suit. Gold Secure devices are going to become more and more popular as more and more people get into cycling and triathlon, so what exactly are the your choices when it comes to Gold Level Kryptonite Bike Locks?
Kryptonite New York Lock STD
The Kryptonite New York STD is the best selling Secure Gold Level lock that Kryptonite offer. It is the shape of a conventional D device but has a reinforced 16mm U section and dual layer cross bar which is extremely tamper resistant and means that this baby is one of the toughest security devices that money can buy.
The U bar is large enough to fit round two frames and a rack, providing that neither bike has a water bottle cage or other object fitted to the frame. If you do have something fitted to this area, then the best way to secure the cycle is through the rear wheel and rear wheel frame section but this can get pretty fiddly if there is more than one bike involved or if you are attaching it to a busy rack.
The Kryptonite New York STD was my device of choice when I went touring around Holland as busy bike racks and high theft in the cities and hostels where I was staying meant that I needed something that I could carry around with me, attach to any rack I encountered, and also something where I could secure both my wheels and frame at the same time.
The New York STD is supplied with a bracket that allows your to attach the unit to your frame when not in use, but if you have a busy frame (two bottle cages and a bike pump) then it is best to carry the lock in a backpack. This also avoids the problem of rattling on extended rides where the bracket can work itself free due to the weight of the lock.
The New York STD is supplied with few sets of spare keys as well as a main key with a high power LED light. This is no only pretty useful when trying to unlock your bike when stumbling out of bars and clubs at 3am but I use it all the time just because I have it attached to my keyring and so take it wherever I go.
Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit
Size isn’t everything, and if you need something secure and small then the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit is the lock for you. Even more secure than the larger STD, the Fahgettaboudit offers a 12/12 secure rating compared to the 11/12 of the STD. Although it is slightly heavier, it is distinctly more compact and therefore it easier to cart around in a backpack or attached to your frame.
As it is just large enough to fit around one rack and one frame you might have a hard time securing your front wheel at the same time as your back wheel. If you need to make sure that both your wheels as well as your frame is locked up then I suggest either using the larger STD and removing your front wheel to secure (locking it up next to your back wheel/frame using the same STD lock) or buying a light but less theft resistant cable.
The Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit is supplied with three keys, one of which has a high powered LED for easy unlocking in the dark.