I have an extra-large 4-digit combo U-lock by Kryptonite. Never been broken and can be locked all the way around both my frame and wheel. Much better than the keyed variety and will span many objects that the small one cannot.
The first major high-price purchase that I made completely on my own as a child was a bicycle. I needed one desperately for my commute to and from school, so I picked out the one I wanted, worked hard to earn enough money, saved every penny, and achieved my goal. Rejoice! I loved that bike… And then some jerk decided he loved it too an stole it from the train station bike rack by cutting through the dinky little lock I had purchased with it. Why did no one tell me that a chain wrapped in plastic was practically just for looks and not enough to protect my grand purchase?
Years later (years wiser) and I have purchased many bikes and many locks since that scarring event. I’d trashed lock after successive lock for accumulating rust, flimsy keys getting bent or lost, combination dials that no longer turned, etc. But the Kryptonite lock was the only one that was not replaced as a result of damage and/or frustration. The materials and construction are solid and reliable and it provides a feeling of security when used. It even makes me feel safer while in transit – it’s heavy enough to be a self-defense weapon…
Having used a Kryptonite lock for well over 15 years, I have enjoyed several aspects of this lock’s design. Of course, the security of the lock has ensured that my bicycle has remained my own. But on a more practical level, the shape of the lock was an improvement over the wire cable and padlock in several ways.
The placement of the lock on the bicycle has a natural fit on the frame just below the seat that enables easy and convenient storage. The part of the lock “stem” near the keyhole is just enough to fit into an unobtrusive holder that remains on the bicycle. The holder not only keeps the lock firmly in place, it prevents lateral movement that would cause the lock to be in the way of cycling. In addition, it allows for quick and easy removal of the lock when needed for use.
This convenient storage was a huge improvement over the cable and padlock, as they were forever moving around the stem of my seat while riding. The end result being that the padlock made many scratches on the bicycle frame end even removed paint. The cable and padlock also was much more time consuming to remove from the bicycle and put back on again.
The size and shape of the Kryptonite lock also make it easy to use with pretty much any frame designated for locking bicycles. But more commonly, I use the Kryptonite lock to secure my bicycle to a sign post (e.g., No Parking, Stop, Yield), which are typically in abundance. With a quick turn of the key, I can unlock the lock, maneuver the lock around the post, and lock the bicycle and front wheel in just a few second. The no-hassle usage is greatly appreciated.
Finally, the original lock I bought with my bicycle more than 15 years ago is still working. I have never had any issues with its functionality, but I’ve had to make sure that I never lost the key either. Definitely a quality product.