Quite possibly one of the best bike quotes I’ve ever heard is that bikes locks are the prophylactics of the bicycle industry. We all hate using them, but at the end of the day we welcome the protection. Ideally, we’d live in a society where there was no need to lock up your bike, but until that magical day comes along companies like ABUS will continue to put out products that are easy to use and keep our bikes safe.
One of the problems we all face when it comes to locking our bikes, is the added hassle of transporting the locks. Generally, the better the theft protection, the heavier the lock. Clearly, this is an issue if you don’t want to be carrying around anvils in your backpack. The ABUS Granit Plus 640 directly addresses this issue with a lock that is very light, but still offers a 12 out of a total of 15 on the ABUS Security Level rating.
While the Granit 640 plus will protect your ride, ABUS is getting ready to bring in a line of product to the U.S. that will also protect your head…
The Granit 640 Plus replaces the Granit 64 which was one of ABUS ‘ best sellers, so why mess with a good thing? Ultimately that decision came down to making a lock that was not only lighter, but stronger as well. Using a wider lock profile and a slightly thicker shackle that measures 12mm instead of 11mm, the protection factor has been bumped up from an 11 to a 12 even though the weight has gone down, thanks to the use of weight optimized alloys and a special hardening technique.
When it comes to the ABUS locking mechanism one huge benefit over their competitors comes from the four locking points on the shackle. Because each side of the shackle has two locking points, you can’t just cut one side of the lock and twist the remaining piece of shackle open. That means that a thief will have to use a grinder to cut through both sides of the lock in order to steal it since bolt cutters can’t make it through the shackle. Clearly it’s not theft proof, but it buys you time – and that time means hopefully someone will catch the thief in the act, sparing your bike.
Shipped with two keys, one of which has a built in LED light, the keys use ABUS s’ special Plus cutting profile which has up to 250,000 variations. So chances are pretty high that you won’t find two locks keyed alike.
Available in short and long (6″ or 9″ shackle), the short locks will be offered in red and grey soft touch finishes for $99. The Long will come in grey soft touch only and bump up the price to $129 and will include their TexKF bracket for mounting the lock to your frame. Both locks will be shipping in February along with a new ABUS website which will be easier to navigate.
OK, we’ve known that ABUS is expanding into helmets for awhile. In fact, they’re already selling in Europe and in Canada, but the U.S. is next. When asked why ABUS is producing helmets (which isn’t exactly a logical step to follow from locks) ABUS ‘ North American Marketing and PR Manager Joan Hanscom equated it to ABUS wanting to be more of a “bike company” than just a lock company. They also see the opportunity to introduce a number of helmets that have more features than just protection as illustrated by their commuter line. Between the Urban-i V.2, the Pedalec, and the Hyban, all three helmets have integrated LED flashers in the rear of the helmet. Pressing on the light itself cycles through the steady and flashing modes, and the location makes it easier for motorists to see the light.
The Pedalec takes integration a step further and adds a rain fly that stows in the rear of the helmet when not in use. When needed, the cover attaches to two posts at the front of the helmet and looks like it would block most of the rain while still allowing some ventilation.
The Hyban is technically their entry level urban helmet, but it should be very popular due to the high impact shell. Commuters often lock their helmets to the bike or throw the helmet in a bag, etc. which can take its toll on a light weight helmet. The ABS shell of the Hyban should hold up to the abuse of the streets better, while still offering plenty of ventilation all without the look of the typical skate helmet. Already available in Canada for over a year, ABUS plans to have a formal launch of the helmets in the U.S. by Interbike later this year.