We all know the drama that extra weight can create on our rides. What better way to explain a slow climb or getting dropped from the group than blaming it on some extra, unnecessary grams you’re struggling to drag along with you? I’ve got your perfect excuse for a slow day on the bike–plus it’ll keep you from worrying when you lean your several thousand dollar, favorite road bike somewhere to take a bathroom or coffee break mid-ride.
What is this miracle I’m describing? The Abus Bordo Combo Lite lock. OK, all kidding aside, this lock lives up to its “Lite” name–fitting easily in your jersey pocket without much burden. But that doesn’t mean the others in your group won’t think it’s not the usual, weighty fare that’s dragging you down. Win, win, eh?
I came across the Bordo Combo Lite at Interbike, where I met up with the kind people from Abus–they were drawing quite the crowd with the offer of free messenger bags, and you know how cycling folk love free stuff–but I was scoping out carbon road bike friendly locks that you can take on your next training ride. The people at Abus handed me their new Bordo Combo Lite with the added mention that it’s become quite popular with several top pro women riders on their training rides. If it works for the pros, it should work for us.
Oh, well, and, yes, I did get a messenger bag on my way out. Beside the point. But they were pretty sweet.
Colors: Red, Black (Tested), White
Comes with a carrying case that straps directly to your frame or screws on in place of a bottle cage.
Weight: 1.43 pounds
How Secure Is This Puppy?
This lock is listed as a 6 on the Abus security scale, which falls into their mid-range, “Extra Security” level. Considering that the highest number on the scale is a 15, the Bordo Combo Lite will definitely keep your bike secure for those short periods of time when you have to run into the bathroom or want to stop for lunch mid-ride. And I know some of you are saying, “Oh I just watch my bike,” or “I just run in really quickly–I don’t need this thing.” Well, to you I would have to answer with wouldn’t you feel better knowing your expensive investment is at least somewhat protected against theft while you’re struggling to get your bib shorts back on in the bathroom?
While you may or may not want to use this lock for leaving your bike for long periods of time, those short stops that you know you’ll take on a long ride make this baby worth every penny. And just think, if you’re on a group ride and everyone leans their bikes up and leaves them while yours is locked up, whose bike will get picked off first? Not yours.
Just How Road Bike Worthy is This?
With a special plastic coating, this Bordo is designed not to mar your pretty carbon bike. Even the lock body is coated, so you won’t have to worry when clipping it through your frame. The handy dandy carrying case is a combination of plastic and rubber, so you can strap it around your carbon down tube without any trouble. In fact, I tested this on my Cervelo’s squared down tube, and it neither slipped nor scruffed a thing–it merely held tight without my having to cinch it down. Most probably due to the rubber grippers on the underside of the velcro straps (genius).
I took the Bordo Combo Lite on a few training rides, with and without the carrying case. Really, I wanted to see how feasibly this lock rides in a jersey pocket, and I was not disappointed. While 1.43 pounds might seem like a lot of weight back there, the lock didn’t feel too cumbersome. But that’s with one caveat. I found that when the Bordo sat links down, it pressed too much into my pockets. But with the combo lock side down, it rested much more comfortably. I’m not going to lie and tell you that you won’t feel it in your pocket, but it really isn’t very cumbersome–especially lock-side down and in your middle pocket. So, yes, you will know it’s there, but, no, it’s not so heavy or noticeable that you’ll want to ditch it somewhere.
As one who doesn’t like things messing with the clean lines on my bike, and who also uses both bottle cages on just about every ride, I like the idea of having a lock small enough to fit in a pocket. But if you’d rather carry this on your frame, the case works well. With a snap-down cover that keeps the lock firmly settled, I didn’t notice any noise or jiggling at all. A small note, however, the back side of the case has curved ridges of plastic (shown to the right) that fit pretty well on a rounded tube, but my Cervelo in all its squoval glory doesn’t quite allow for a contoured fit. If your bike also sports a non-round tube shape, you’ll probably want to be a bit more careful when tightening down the velcro straps to make certain that you don’t shape your frame to fit the case.
Also, since I ride a smallish frame (48 to be exact), there isn’t much extra space to fit the case except for the top-tube or in replacement of a bottle cage. My husband, who rides a 58, had no trouble finding a place for the case on his frame. Not a huge problem, but certainly something to be aware of if you’re an average sized woman like myself (yes, 5’4″ is average height. Not short. I’m sensitive about it. End of discussion).
Size: At just about 7 1/4″, the folded lock fits almost exactly inside my jersey pocket without sticking out of the top. The full circumference unfolded measures about 2′ 9″ and is meant to fit through your frame. I was able to get it through my seat tube, rear wheel and around a post without much trouble.
Combo: With a pretty easily set combo, you also don’t have to worry about carrying keys along with you. As long as you can remember your own personal 4-digit code, the tumblers slide pretty quickly into line without much trouble. Then a button on the side releases the links. Simple, eh?
Get the lock. Take it on all your training rides. The extra security will give you peace of mind when you’re out trying to enjoy your ride. Plus, the ease of use and carbon-safe construction will make this your go-to lock for every ride. And it really is pretty light, folks. Of course, if you’re the type who takes those skewer springs off because they’re too heavy, then I can’t help you. 😉
Get your own Abus Bordo Combo Lite at your local bike shop or even Amazon.com.
If you do pick one up, let me know! And be sure to ask any follow-up questions in the comments below. Happy riding!