This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bike Ring Locks revisited

It's been a while since I looked at the locks that I reviewed on an earlier post.  One system I use daily and like tremendously is the ring lock system which has become so popular in Europe.  The locks themselves attach to the seat stay of the bicycle and lock the rear wheel to prevent the casual "ride off" by a junkie on his way to the pawn shop.  They work quite well in low crime areas and there are two marketed in the US.  The one pictured below by AXA

and another by ABUS.

After several months of use, I must tell you I like the ABUS lock better.  The unit itself is made of steel, it's a little heavier but the unit works--all the time.
The AXA model on the other hand is lighter because it's made of plastic.  It also works, most of the time, after several tries.  The mechanism tends to stick, several times.  I've had to go through the process of turning the key and pushing the lock lever down repeatedly to get it to latch into place.  Although the lock is just as secure as their competitor, it's a damned nuisance when you are using it day in and day out.  I cannot recommend the AXA Defender because of this.   It's really not a well machined piece of equipment.  It does have one beneficial aspect, the key is captured in the lock when the lock is disengaged.  That means you cannot leave your key at home.  Cool, but not cool enough.  So they made it even cooler by providing this neat key

 which folds up
to fit in your pocket.  Cool, but what is the point?  It flips out like a switchblade might, a feature which might impress a 12 year old at the playground, but serves no purpose.  You might think it's intention was to keep the key from tearing up your pocket, so you can blame the other keys you carry.  Unfortunately that theory falls apart when you look closer.
The teeth for the tumblers are also recessed into the blade of the key.  The design makes the lock harder to to pick but the switchblade key is just only cool--maybe to a kid.
I'll take the Abus lock anytime.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hi, I see you have it installed with dual pivot brake. Does the female bolt go thru the mounting frame of the lock or something related? I have seen it installed with zip ties all over the web (?). Definitely not an option for nyc.
    I would be using it to secure my rear "weird threaded" sturmey internal hub since pinheads are not an option for whichever size they use. My front end is all pinheaded. Sheldons Browns method has been around but the weakness of a rim defeats the stiffness of a thick heavy ulock. Thanks in advance!

    1. No, the AXA ring lock has a proprietary metal band which attaches the lock to the seat stays. Those band is hidden by a plastic insert which fits over that part. The Abus is attached with a big plastic belt, either way attaches the lock to the inside of the seat stays. Any attachment method works, even zip ties because the lock is around the wheel between the seat and chainstays. If they break the lock free, it will only move about a foot.