Long, long ago. At an Interbike far, far away, we tried cutting an OTTOLOCK with bolt cutters. We put dents in the outer shell of the strappy lock, but we couldn’t cut through the kevlar reinforced, stainless steel layers. Impressive.
Recently, OTTO got an update, and version two features some strong new improvements, which we were able to give a full test.
OTTOLOCK BIKE CINCH LOCK TECH SPECS
After checking out the original version of the OTTOLOCK, we’ve noticed the R&D department has clearly kept their ear to the public–directly applying user feedback to their updates. Now featuring Cerakote® ceramic paint that makes for an ultra-durable, mar-free finish, and a smoother lock engagement with reinforced tip.
We tested the 30″ lock in classic OTTO Orange. But here are all the available iterations:
SIZES: 18”, 30”, 60”
COLORWAYS: Flash Green, OTTO Orange, Stealth Black
MSRP: $55 (16″), $65 (30″), $75 (60″)
AVAILABILITY: OTTOLOCK Site
The OTTOLOCK packs a big punch in a very portable shape. Resilience is its middle name, but it’s still designed for short-term security. I found it to be perfect for those quick pit stops when you don’t want to leave your bike leaning up against the wall all by its lonesome.
Which means that cyclists on long rides can pack this little lock in their jersey pocket and feel comfortable stopping to refill bottles or hit the restroom.
At first, I wasn’t certain that the $65 price tag would be appeal to me. But after looking at similar locks in this price range, none that I found offered the type of security and portability that the OTTOLOCK boasts. Not many locks can thwart bolt-cutters like this one, and to be safe from power tools, you’re looking at a very hefty investment (pun intended). For this reason, I think the OTTOLOCK holds its ground rather well.
The real key to using any lock is knowing your surroundings and weighing your options.
EASE OF CARRYING
At 151 grams (confirmed by our official scale), the 30″ carries pretty easily in a pocket without feeling overly heavy or bulky. If you’re fond of wearing jerseys that don’t have decent elastic at the waist–say a club cut–you’ll likely find that it’s heavy enough to make your jersey sag. But for more popular race-cut fits, you won’t have a problem. The weight of the lock tends to disappear once you’re churning the pedals for a bit.
Of course, you can also pop it on your frame with the OTTO Mount, which is also pretty handy for securing all sorts of things to your frame.
And this might be the coolest thing about the OTTOLOCK–it will secure to your saddle rails, around a saddlebag, or just about anywhere you want to coil it up where it won’t get in the way of your pedal stroke.
Personally, I liked the ease of just popping it into my jersey pocket, but I like that OTTO gives me lots of options.
HOW WELL IT WORKS
While I didn’t take bolt cutters to it like last time, I did notice the overall heavy-duty feeling, and high, made in the USA quality. The band is only 3mm thick, but the kevlar is ultra tough. A definitely giant step up from cable locks.
The ratcheting-style mechanism of the lock is smooth and very quick to engage. Ultra easy to use.
The 30″ lock fits easily around a top tube and cinches to a bike rack, no problem. I was also able to wrap it through a wheel, the frame, and around a bike rack as well. It took a little more thought, but it worked! The longer, 60″ lock, should span a much greater area and lock in both wheels as well.
But for short-term pit stops, the 30″ is basically the perfect balance of size, weight, and portability.
Reviewing locks is a tough one, because it’s a game between owner and thief. There will always be someone out there with a new way to destroy your lock. But understanding your surroundings, locking your frame up properly to a secure bike rack, and knowing what your lock is meant to do helps you decide which security measures are the right choice for your situation. In certain parts of the country, there’s just no way I let my bike leave my side–no matter what (even if I do get some sideways glances as I lean my bike against the church pew).
With a simple combo style, the OTTOLOCK lets you easily set and re-set a 3-digit number. So, if you’re a hater of keys, this is the lock for you. But, with only 3-digits here to work with, the potential for a thief to guess your number by trial and error means you’ll not likely want to leave your bike out long term.
The OTTOLOCK is really meant for things like those jaunts into the coffee shop, when you know you really need an extra layer of protection.
The push button engages without much force–after you’ve input the correct combo–then you are able to pull out or push in the ratcheting strap. It takes a little pulling, but nothing too tough. Overall the mechanism worked consistently and smoothly.
While any lock can be thwarted by thieves with their myriad of power tools and tricks, the OTTOLOCK fills a gap in the market that calls for an ultra-portable, ultra-strong lock. Cable locks have got nothing with their quick-bolt-cutters-and-they’re-done fallibility. Plus cable locks are heavy, difficult to carry, and anything but sleek. U-locks are ultra heavy and pointless to carry when you’re on a training ride. Just no competition here.
The OTTOLOCK, by comparison is a great idea for short-term security that is easier to carry than a cable lock, and ratchets closed in a flash. Perfect for an extra layer of protection on your car rack too. Because of its ease of use and weight-weenie qualities, It’s become my go-to pit-stop lock these days.
You can buy the OTTOLOCK at the official website.