Kryptonite locks appear to be a popular choice, but do they hold their own and beat the bad guys?
This Kryptonite bike lock review shakes down their stack of security devices — revealing how hardcore these bike theft deterrents really are!
In this Kryptonite bike lock review, I’ll cover their:
Ultimate Security Bike Locks (New York Series):
High Security Bike Locks:
- Evolution 1016 Integrated Chain Lock.
- Kryptonite Messenger Mini+.
- Evolution Mini Integrated Chain Bicycle Lock.
Moderate Security Bike Locks:
The Kryptonite Story
I’d like to kick-off this Kryptonite bike lock review with some background on the company. Kryptonite began in 1971 when Michael Zane created the first U-lock — an innovative invention for the time.
The following year, Kryptonite attained a popularity boost when their lock was subject to a theft test by the Second Avenue Bike Shop in New York. The bicycle in question was stripped of its parts — but the frame remained safely in place for a month!
As time went on, Kryptonite received numerous awards for the quality of their locks. Then, in 1994, the anti-theft test was repeated, and Kryptonite once again passed with flying colors.
In 2004, a YouTube video showed up detailing how the industry-standard tube cylinder lock could be picked. Kryptonite not only re-engineered their locks to bypass this problem, but they were also the only company that replaced every one of their locks at no cost!
The same year, they introduced their easy-to-spot color-coding system. Today, they continue to build what are regarded as some of the hardiest locks on the planet — and they believe they have something to suit every cyclist.
What Makes Kryptonite Bike Locks Different?
Many biking aficionados talk of the stand out features Kryptonite offers, including:
Color-Coded Security System
Many love the fact that you can quickly and easily get an idea of the strength of the lock by its color.
- Yellow: Ultimate Security (9-10/10).
- Orange: High Security (7-8/10).
- Grey: Moderate Security (5-6/10).
The Kryptonite official site also offers advice on what lock would be best for which situations — based on the type of area, and how long you’ll be parked up for.
Key Safe & Combo Safe Programs
Another feature of Kryptonite bike locks is that they offer a Key Safe program. Although not all locks are included — it covers the majority of their products. Simply register your keys through their site, and if you lose them, they’ll replace them for you.
They offer the same with combination locks. Register your chosen number sequence with them — and if you forget it, get in touch with Kryptonite for further instructions.
Anti-Theft Protection Offer (ATPO)
Some locks include the option to join ATPO. This scheme offers reimbursement if your bike is stolen due to the lock being compromised by force. It’s only valid with certain locks, and you have to register within 30 days of purchase. There is also a yearly subscription fee payable.
How To Use A Kryptonite Bike Lock
The instructions on how to use your lock will depend on which one you choose. They sport various designs, each with some unique features, so you’ll need to learn exactly how to operate yours when you get it.
However, there are some general tips and tricks to remember when locking up your bicycle — such as, where you choose to secure it, and in which manner.
- Make sure you’re locking your bike to an immovable object.
- If possible, leave it in a well-lit area that has plenty of action.
- Lock it tight — the less room for tools to slide in, the better!
- Always secure the frame, rather than a wheel.
- Take your removable accessories with you — saddlebag, pump, water bottle, seat.
- Thieves will pinch parts too — secure anything with quick-release mechanisms — wheels, seat posts.
You don’t want to come out of the office to find this:
Kryptonite Bike Lock Review
Now let’s get to the good stuff in this Kryptonite bike lock review — the security devices and their features.
To cover as many situations as possible, I’ve chosen a cross-section of options. Each category includes a top-of-the-range lock, as well as a runner-up and a budget choice.
If you have to leave your bike in public in a major metropolitan area or on a college campus, Kryptonite recommends opting for this security classification.
1.Legend 1515 — Best Ultimate Security Lock
First up in this Kryptonite bike lock review is what I believe to be the ultimate security lock.
The chain links are heavy-duty, made in a six-sided design from 14mm thick manganese steel for maximum strength. They’re thick enough and close enough together that even if someone could squeeze a cutting tool between them, it would most likely be extremely tough to penetrate the steel!
In addition, you receive a New York Disc Lock to fasten the chain together. This deadbolt design delivers an extreme holding power — aiming to keep your chain secured in most situations.
I feel this chain and lock combination makes this quite formidable to potential thieves — hopefully, they’ll take one look at it and move on.
- 10/10 security rating.
- Includes Anti-Theft Protection offer.
- Qualifies for Key Safe Program.
- 14mm, six-sided manganese steel chain links.
- Anti-drill, anti-pull protection system.
- Locks can become sticky if used in humid climates.
2.New York Legend — Runner Up Ultimate Security Lock
I’ve chosen this as my runner-up in this Kryptonite bike lock review because I feel you may have to compromise on portability. Weighing around 15 pounds, it’s unlikely you’ll want to carry this very far. Therefore I would suggest it’s more suited for securing your bike in a fixed point — your home.
This lock-and-chain combo gets the top security rating by Kryptonite. The shrouded padlock shell with a 16mm steel shackle offers ultimate protection.
The nylon cover is a nice touch — not only should it protect the chain from dust and gunk and the elements, but it could also save your frame’s paintwork.
You’ll get three ergonomically designed stainless steel keys, which can be enrolled in the Key Safe program.
- 10/10 security rating from Kryptonite.
- 15mm round chain links.
- Lifetime warranty.
- 30-inch long chain.
- Weight and bulkiness limits portability.
3.New York Lock Standard — Best Ultimate Security Budget Lock
This is the classic U-Lock design and suggested as the most hardcore of their U-designs — indicated by the yellow classification.
The shaft is constructed from 16mm hardened steel, and is said to be able to withstand bolt cutters, handheld cutting tools, and bending.
The cylinder has a Hardened Double Deadbolt style that’s patent-pending and offers added protection against thieves who try to twist or cut it. It locks on both ends of the cylinder, not just one — an impressive increased safety feature, in my opinion. According to the guys at Kryptonite, the lock is pick and drill-resistant.
Also included are two stainless steel keys, plus one with a key fob and LED light. This I could find highly useful — as you don’t have to fumble around in the dark trying to unlock it!
- 9/10 security rating.
- Includes Anti-Theft Protection offer.
- Qualifies for Key Safe Program.
- 16mm hardened steel shackle.
- Lifetime warranty.
- Constant exposure to wet weather may accelerate rusting or jamming.
Kryptonite suggests their High Security locks are suitable for use in metropolitan areas for all-day safe lock-up, or in the suburbs all day or overnight.
1.Kryptonite Messenger Mini+ — Best High Security Lock
In my opinion, although this is classified in the high security category, it’s a two-in-one lock that not only looks super high-tech but adds an extra element of safety — thanks to its unique design.
It has two U-shaped lock parts — one to hook your to bicycle frame and the other to secure a wheel. The extender element can be attached to either the front or back wheel. Hence, if your bike has quick-release axles, this may be a feature you’d appreciate.
The crossbar and cylinder lock also has a reinforced cuff to make breaking into it even more of a challenge. It’s also intended to be pick and drill resistant.
This particular bike lock weighs only 2.6 pounds, so carrying it around shouldn’t be too difficult. However, it does lack a mount, which means you’ll probably have to transport it in either panniers or a backpack.
- 7/10 security rating.
- 11mm hardened steel shank.
- Includes 2 free keys and Key Safe Program.
- Bentfoot double deadbolt design.
- Lifetime warranty.
- Inclusion of a mounting bracket would be an improvement.
2.Evolution 1016 Integrated Chain Lock – Runner Up High Security Lock
This chain lock has a slightly different design in comparison to the ultimate security model I mentioned earlier in this Kryptonite bike lock review — but it’s still made from the same heavy-duty materials.
With a 63-inch chain, I feel this is long enough to thread through wheels, frame and around an anchored post. It features durable Manganese steel chain links of 10mm thick, including a cover to keep the chain safe and your frame paintwork scratch-free.
Taking into account the weight of almost 10 pounds, I feel that this lock is likely to be suited towards shorter journeys combined with long park ups — a day at the office or college.
- 8/10 security rating.
- Nylon sleeve for protection from external elements.
- 63 inches in length.
- Suitable for commuters.
- Heavy-weight lock — might be too much for some riders.
3.Evolution Mini Integrated Chain Bicycle Lock — Best High Security Budget Lock
This is a scaled-down version of the previous lock. In my view, this suggests it could be suited towards those looking for something slightly more manageable to carry with them.
Manganese steel is the material of choice with a 10mm thickness and an 8/10 Kryptonite safety rating. The end link design features patent-pending technology that fixes the chain to the deadbolt mechanism. The idea is to eradicate any spots that could be considered prime cutting points.
The total chain length reaches 21.5 inches and weighs 4.4 pounds. If you would like an extra dose of security, it’s also eligible for the optional ATPO scheme and the Key Safe program.
- 10mm six-sided chain links.
- Disc-type cylinder is drill resistant and pick-proof.
- Ergonomic keys, plus LED light key included.
- Weather-resistant nylon sleeve.
- Affordable lock option.
- Shorter chain length may limit places to lock up.
Moderate security locks are proposed for rural areas, and short stays in metropolitan areas or suburbs.
1.Keeper 785 Color — Best Moderate Security Lock
The Kryptonite rating on this lock stands at 5/10, but for me, it still appears a chunky, intimidating-looking bike lock for deterring thieves.
The chain links are slightly thinner, at 7mm, but they’re made from Kryptonite’s trademark manganese steel, so they should be sturdy. The bike lock length reaches 33.5 inches, which I propose is long enough to secure the frame and one wheel, plus around a railing or post.
In terms of the lock, the cylinder has been designed to make it difficult to pick or drill, enhancing the safety factor. The locking mechanism appears pretty straightforward to use, and with two keys included, you have a backup.
For this particular model, the nylon chain cover is available in varying colors — choose from red, grey, purple or black to match with your bike!
- 7mm, four-sided manganese steel chain links.
- Patent-pending end-link design increases safety.
- Various colors available.
- Chain isn’t long enough to wrap around both tires.
2.Kryptolok U-Lock with Flex — Runner Up Moderate Security Lock
For this part of this Kryptonite bike lock review, we’re back onto the classic U-lock design.
The disc-style cylinder and 12.7mm steel shaft are a formidable combination, and the cable is a nice addition, which I feel may provide versatility.
I like the fact that you can secure your bike frame, and then use the cable to do the same with a wheel — adding that extra deterrent as well as enabling more location opportunities to secure your bike.
A neat feature is that this lock is built to fasten in two places to the shackle. This means anyone who attempts to pinch your ride would very likely need to cut both sections of the lock— not just one.
This set receives a 6/10 Kryptonite security rating.
- U-Lock plus cable for extra security.
- Cable length 48 inches.
- Hardened double deadbolts.
- Includes FlexFrame U-bracket.
- Mounting the lock may not fit with some bike designs.
3.Keeper – Best Moderate Security Budget Lock
For me, the final pick in this Kryptonite bike lock review covers the essentials of bike security, yet it doesn’t involve a second mortgage to pay for it.
The traditional U-shape design should enable clipping your ride to poles or railings simple. It may look basic, but it gets a 5/10 Kryptonite rating, on par with others I’ve picked for this line-up.
It’s constructed from 12mm hardened steel, with a deadbolt that’s been redesigned to prevent theft by rotation means. You’ll also get a bracket that makes transporting this lock convenient — it’s quite light, at slightly over 2 pounds, but a bike bracket is always helpful.
The keyway is reinforced to add an extra layer of protection, and the vinyl covering means it should be able to withstand the elements — and safeguard your bike from scratches.
- Simple but effective design.
- Reinforced keyway collar for extra protection.
- Vinyl covering.
- Includes transportation bracket.
- Mounting bracket compatibility may not work with all frame sizes.
Kryptonite Bike Lock Review Conclusion
Next to looking after yourself on the road, you need to make sure your bike is safe and secure — you can’t ride anywhere if your wheels disappear! Where you park your bike makes a difference, as does the lock you use.
In my opinion, if you want to protect your ride against the boldest of thieves, the New York Fahgettaboudit Chain & NY Disc Lock could be your new bicycle bodyguard.
It may look like just another chain, but I’d go as far as to say — this is like an anti-theft machine! The 14mm, six-sided steel chain links claim to be resistant to bolt cutters, hand tools, breaking by leverage, smashing, and twisting. The New York Disc Lock that fastens the chain ends together is also drill and pick-resistant.
Within my high security picks, the dual-lock Kryptonite Messenger Mini+ would be my best choice. And if a moderate safety lock is all you require, I’d suggest the Keeper 785 Color — it’s not too heavy, yet it’s a tough-looking chain.
But if you’re serious about security, I’d go straight for the New York Fahgettaboudit Chain & NY Disc Lock — it’s the king of Kryptonite bike locks.