Ottolock on bike and rolled up

The age-old problem of bike locks is that they either lack security or they’re too bulky and heavy to carry – especially on a serious road ride. While many minds have attempted to find the ideal balance between these priorities a few folks from Portland, Oregon have come up with a unique solution: the OTTOLOCK.

The cinch-style OTTOLOCK is lightweight and flexible but also durable enough to resist cutting from pliers or bolt cutters. It’s quite small as well, rolling up to just 3” around and weighing about a quarter of a pound.

The OTTOLOCK has already more than doubled its funding goal on Kickstarter, and there’s still plenty of time left in the campaign. Read on to find out how this simple looking lock defeats cutting tools with its clever strap design…

There’s nothing cyclists hate more than carrying extra weight (especially road riders), so the OTTOLOCK’s creators partnered up with professional cyclist Jacob Rathe to showcase their product. He says no-one will carry a heavy chain or U-lock on a training ride, and everyone who’s seen his OTTOLOCK prototype wants one of their own.

Ottolock, inside band

The main feature of the OTTOLOCK is its cut-resistant band. Inside the 18mm wide strap a Kevlar band and multiple stainless steel bands are layered on top of each other, then coated in a very durable plastic called Santoprene. When pinched with a cutting tool the inner bands slip around on each other and reduce shear forces, making it extremely difficult for typical bolt cutters or pliers to cut through.

Ottolock, cut resistance

The lock uses a three number combination mechanism to open, and the combo can be reset to your preference. The lock’s head unit is made from ‘smash-proof’ aluminum, and the creators say the OTTOLOCKs have been rigorously tested for not only cut resistance, but smashing and pulling as well. It takes over 500 lbs of tensile force to pull an OTTOLOCK apart, and the production versions are slated to be even stronger.

Ottolock, tight on bike

With heavy-duty tools like angle grinders or hack saws, this lock can be defeated- thus, the creators say it’s not intended for overnight or long term storage in high-theft urban areas. For added security, the creators suggest cinching your OTTOLOCK as tightly as possible to make it harder to get leverage with cutting or prying tools.

Ottolock, storage options

The OTTOLOCK rolls up into a compact package so it easily fits in a jersey pocket or seat bag. The strap tucks neatly into a movable collar to keep it coiled up.

The lock can also be carried on your bike with the OTTOMOUNT, a basic strap-and-bracket assembly that attaches to any round tube between 1-2” in diameter. The mount’s strap is 5″ long, and it locks onto four tabs to hold it in place. The mounts are available in black or green.

Ottolock, specs

The OTTOLOCK will be available in a shorter Pro-Ride 18”, an all-around 30” and an extended 60” version. The complete unit (30” length) weighs just 115g. Of course the lock can be used for securing just about anything, not just bikes, so you just might find a few handy applications for it.

While the early bird deals are sold out, a 30” OTTOLOCK (Black, Green or Orange) can currently be had for $49 USD. The first units are expected to ship out for February 2017. The OTTOLOCK’s Kickstarter campaign ends October 12, and you can check it out here.


    • Chris on

      Except the overwhelming vast majority of cyclists don’t live in NYC. It’s like saying the only true test for a car is the Nurburgring. Might be true if you’re talking about a sports car but not so much if you’re talking about a sedan to be driven on public roads.

  1. Justin on

    So what Happens when you try and cut the strip on its “short” side? That’s what I want to know, it seems like it would cut a lot easier if you just rotate it 90 degrees then cut.

    • J on

      I assume you mean with a hammer and sharpened screwdriver? Are any of these locks for thief? I wrap that code lock around when I go into the grocery store to pause that opportunistic thought.

      • Evan on

        Brute-forcing is just checking every combination systematically until you stumble on the one that opens the lock. There are only 1000 possible combinations you can make from 3 0-9 rings, so a thief could, with surprisingly little time, check every combination and simply unlock the thing.

        It’s not a problem unique to this lock, but every combination lock, obviously, but it really does reinforce what the creators are saying – this is a cafe stop lock, not a long stop lock.

  2. Ck on

    I want to like it, and I want it to work because there are plenty of times where I park my bike at a cafe or convenience store and get super paranoid about my bike walking away, but I am just not certain it’s as strong as the video makes it out to be.

    • Topaz on

      Totally! I couldn’t invest based on that flimsy footage of failed attempts to bust it. Give to a ‘tame’ bike thief, and if it survives 5 mins I’ll sign up to it as a short stop lock for low crime areas.

  3. Dan on

    Who taught these “real life people” how to use tools. Here let me hold the bolt cutters in the middle of the handle, leverage be damned.

  4. Timothy Guarente on

    They are more secure, but then you need to carry the key.
    I use a combo lock for coffee stops, etc, in my small town. It’s plenty, and I can’t lose the key.

  5. Christian Samuelsen on

    The weak point is that it is not resistant to heat. $20 spent can get you a micro torch that heats enough to melt metal; 40 seconds and your bike is gone. And yes, thieves think of carrying that kind of stuff around in their vehicles.

  6. CTT on

    The problem with these kinds of locks is that appearance is a deterrence also. Regardless of its actual locking ability, a lock that looks flimsy (like this lock) will invite thieves to try to break it, often damaging your bike in the process. A thief may skip a lock that look super tough so they don’t waste their time, saving your bike damage in the process.

  7. Stephen Keller on

    Three digits is inadequate. Assuming two seconds per combination attempt, it only takes about 30 minutes to try the whole range. That means in 50% of the thief stands a good chance of opening the lock within 15 minutes. That’s assuming the owner has bothered to randomize the setting after locking the bike. A quick thinking thief would probably just roll the whole set back a few notch and find the combination. Passersby barely pay attention to someone cutting through a U-Lock with an angle grinder. I imagine they’d never give a thought to someone taking a little long at “unlocking” a bike. A brazen thief could sit at a bike trying all the combinations without raising an eyebrow. Adding a single digit would up the brute-force time to over five hours and a five digit combination would bump that over two days. It seems to me the OTTO sacrificed security for the sake of cost on this design.

    Of course, I doubt this thing would stand up for more than a couple of seconds with a decent pair of strapping cutters.

  8. Leee on

    Looks like it could be cut in a second flat with a branch cutter bought at Home Depot, the same size as a bolt cutter. The shear force on the super sharp blades would slice through the strap like butter. So the thief just has another tool in car for these.

  9. Andy on

    Calm down people. As someone who’s had 4 bikes stolen in 2 years, everybody knows that the only real way to lock your bike is with 2 u-locks. I wouldn’t hold this company to the fire just because they came up with a strong and compact security device.

    And to bikerumor: fix your mobile ad server page redirect Please. Seriously, it’s a f-ing nuisance and I’ve had to copy paste this comment 4 times. What is the point of having users visit your site if you’re going to bounce them off in 5 seconds????

  10. Roger on

    Always keep in mind that Kickstarter isn’t “selling” you anything….you’re donating free money that doesn’t have to be paid back. [deleted]

  11. Jake on

    Bike thieves qet caught selling whole bikes on Craigslist, they just want the components. They can cut a carbon frame with serrated knife, aluminum or steel with a hacksaw, and most bike racks with a cheep pipe cutter from Harbor Freight in seconds. Locks are highly overrated.

  12. Seattle Raindrop Dodger on

    Coffee lock? Who stops for coffee? Beer, ladies and gents. That’s the only beverage worth dismounting for.

  13. Jim Wilcox on

    Someone comes out with a good idea but it gets criticized because it is not total solution. All locks involve a compromise. The lightweight feature makes this a good touring option for short-term security.

  14. Jeff_Campyman on

    I see this as most others that replied here as a quick temp use item. Running into the local Coffee Shop or corner store while on a ride. It’s not meant to be used to lock your bike up all day anywhere….
    I can’t wait for it to hit the market, I see myself getting several…1 each for me, my wife and my son.

  15. Chad Keele on

    They only showed the lock being smashed by small side cutters or large bolt cutters. If they tried with small tin snips or large garden sheers, there would be different results!


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