Category Archives: Products

BMW’s New Limited Edition Mountain Bike

By Stu Robarts, GizMag 

BMW has announced a new limited run bike. The Cruise M-Bike Limited Edition is a tribute to the company’s M Series of cars and uses what BMW calls the “characteristic Austin Yellow Metallic” of the BMW M division. Only 500 models will be made available.

Each of the 500 Cruise M-Bike Limited Editions comes with a specially made plaque and a certificate

Each of the 500 Cruise M-Bike Limited Editions comes with a specially made plaque and a certificate

BMW has been producing bikes for over 60 years and releases a new range each year. Its 2011 range included the Carbon Racer that was designed by the M division.

The Cruise M-Bike Limited Edition is a tribute to BMW's M Series of cars

The Cruise M-Bike Limited Edition is a tribute to BMW’s M Series of cars

Although the Cruise M-Bike Limited Edition isn’t designed by the M division, it does have features inspired from BMW’s heritage. The “Bullneck” at the front of the top frame tube, for example, is borrowed from motorcycle design and echoes the fuel-tank position.

BMW says the Cruise M-Bike Limited Edition makes use of modern design and lightweight construction elements. Its frame is made of hydro-formed aluminum frame and carbon components, which are said to make it both light and stable. The frame is also said to be very rigid, which BMW says helps to ensure maximum power transmission from the lowest possible effort of the rider.

The frame of the Cruise M-Bike Limited Edition is made of hydro-formed aluminum frame and carbon components

The frame of the Cruise M-Bike Limited Edition is made of hydro-formed aluminum frame and carbon components

Elsewhere, the bike has individually adjustable handlebars aimed at providing a more comfortable ride and hydraulic disc brakes from Shimano. Each model is provided with a specially made plaque and a certificate.

BMW hasn’t made any more specs available, but a listing on Germany’s ProcarShop shows a SR Suntour XCR 100 mm fork, Continental Cruise Contact tires on Rodi Airline rims, Shimano Deore gears and a Selle Royal Seta S1 seat. The listing gives the retail price at €1,400 (about US$1,500).

Source: BMW

Bicyclists Can Now Wirelessly Control Their Lights

By Ben Coxworth, GizMag

Headlights, tail lights and even turn indicators certainly make cycling safer, but reaching around to operate all those devices at once could be a bit awkward. That’s why Bontrager has announced its new Transmitr system. It allows multiple lights to be controlled from one handlebar-mounted remote, via the ANT+ wireless protocol.

Along with the remote, the system currently includes the 700-lumen Ion 700 RT headlight and the 65-lumen Flare RT tail light. Both lights are USB-rechargeable, and can be turned on and off plus set to different operating modes via buttons on the remote. They can also be operated directly, using controls on the lights themselves.

Additionally, if two of the tail lights are used side-by-side, the Transmitr system allows them to serve as turn indicators. In fact, a single remote can control up to seven (!) lights, along with displaying their battery status.

The Transmitr Remote is priced at US$70, with the Ion 700 RT headlight going for $160 and the Flare RT tail light for $80

Folding Bike Claims To Be Smaller Than Any Other

by Ben Coxworth,Gizmag

The whole idea behind folding bikes is that they can be made very small and unobtrusive for transit and storage. It would follow, therefore, that the smaller they can be folded down, the better. Well, Toronto’s Peter Boutakis claims that his company’s Helix bike can fold smaller than any other. It’s also got a snazzy lightweight titanium frame.

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When folded down, the Helix isn’t much bigger than its wheels

Pivoting on helical hinges, the two 24-inch wheels fold in against either side of the one-piece main frame and sit between the cranks. Once the handlebars have also been folded down, the seat lowered and the pedals flipped in, the end result is a package that measures 23 × 25 × 9 inches (584 x 635 x 229 mm). It’s only slightly wider than the crankset, and not much bigger than the wheels. Those wheels still turn when the bike is folded, allowing it to be carted along like wheeled luggage.

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Those wheels still turn when the bike is folded, allowing it to be carted along like wheeled luggage

Tipping the scales at 21 lb (9.5 kg), it’s also said to be the world’s lightest folding bike. It can’t actually claim that title, although it’s certainly still among the lightest.

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It tips the scales at 21 lb (9.5 kg)

Other features include spring-loaded locking mechanisms to help keep the bike feeling rigid on the road, internally-routed cables, disc brakes, and a 9-speed transmission. Plans call for all of the CWSR (cold worked stress relieved) titanium frames to be hand-welded in Canada.

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Other features include spring-loaded locking mechanisms to help keep the bike feeling rigid, internally-routed cables, disc brakes, and a 9-speed transmission.

Boutakis and his team will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise production funds for the Helix, starting early next month. At that time, a pledge of US$1,199 will get you one, assuming all goes according to plan. The retail price will be $1,499.

You can see the bike in action, in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUOnLx1-7BQ

Source: Helix Folding Bike

BTrack Safe Light can track your bike if stolen

Ben Coxworth, Gizmag

There are all sorts of high-tech locks designed to make your bike harder to steal, but what happens if it gets taken anyway? If it’s equipped with a BTrack Safe Light, you’ll know when it’s been nabbed and you’ll then be able to track its location via GPS. And because it’s a tail light, it will also make you more visible to motorists.

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The Btrack is easy to install and looks like an ordinary light.

The BTrack can reportedly be installed on the seat post within a few minutes. One USB charge of its battery should be good for about a month, depending on usage.

Along with its LEDs and GPS unit, the device also has an integrated accelerometer. Once you’ve parked your bike and locked it up, that sensor can be armed using an accompanying Android or iOS app. Then, should someone start messing around with your bike, the vibrations will be detected, and you’ll be alerted by a text message on your phone. In order not to be alerted every time the bike just gets nudged a little, it’s also possible to adjust the sensitivity of the alarm.

Once the bike has been stolen (and assuming that the thief hasn’t read this article, and taken the BTrack off), the app can then be used to pinpoint its current location on a city map. Because the device uses a SIM card to transmit its coordinates, users will be charged for data use.

The BTrack is made by Italy’s Sartori Bikes, which also manufactures a more advanced “Black Box” system for use on e-bikes. The Safe Light is available now via the company website, for €130 (about US$145). Similar functionality is offered by the $153 SpyBike and $129 BikeSpike units, which are more difficult for thieves to remove, although neither one doubles as a tail light.

Scarf from North45 keeps goggles fog free

By Ben Coxworth

Last March, we first heard about the North45 scarf. Created by Canadian entrepreneur Dimitri Poliderakis, it’s designed to keep winter sports enthusiasts’ faces warm while simultaneously not causing their goggles to fog up – a feat that regular scarves often can’t manage. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, it went on sale at the end of last winter. This winter I got a chance to try one out and I can tell ya right now … it works just as advertised.

The problem with a regular scarf/goggle setup is that when the wearer exhales through the scarf, their impeded breath isn’t able to get sufficiently clear of their face. As a result, if they’re not moving quickly or there isn’t a strong wind, the water vapor in that breath ends up condensing on the front of their goggles. It’s a problem that I certainly encountered last winter, when trying out a fatbike.

The North45 gets around this problem by diverting the user’s breath down and out of its bottom, away from the goggles.

Made from non-scratchy Merino wool, the main part of the scarf takes the form of a tube-like neck gaiter. Attached to that tube is a separate front flap that covers the user’s mouth and nose. A magnet in the top of the flap holds it in place against another magnet, which the user sticks onto the nose bridge of their goggles.

This allows the flap to hang slightly out in front of the mouth and nose, creating a passage for the breath to escape downwards. Additionally, if the user wants to stop and talk or take a drink, the flap can easily be temporarily pulled out of the way without having to pull the whole scarf down.

I recently tried the North45 out on a couple of fairly frigid fatbike rides, and it worked like a charm. I initially had some problems getting the one magnet to stick to the goggles using the included adhesive-backed silicone, but Poliderakis subsequently sent me a packet of Sugru adhesive putty, which so far appears to have done the trick. He will now be including the Sugru with all his scarves.

Other breath-diverting anti-fog masks do also exist, such as the Fog eVader. When I tried that particular product, however, I noticed that it had a strong neoprene smell. I also tried a similar one-size-fits-all mask made by another company, but found that its mouth hole wasn’t remotely big enough – as a result, I had difficulty breathing, plus the inside of the mask quickly got very wet and yucky.

The inside of the North45’s front flap does also get wet, but because it’s hanging out in front of your face, it’s not touching your skin. Additionally, the Merino wool helps wick away the moisture – although you probably still wouldn’t want to wear someone else’s right after they’d been using it.

The North45 scarf is priced at CAD$50 (about US$42), and is available in four sizes.

Product page: North45

  1. The North45 scarf channels its wearer’s breath out the bottom (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag)
  2. The scarf is temporarily attached to the goggles using included magnets (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag)
  3. If the user wants to stop and talk or take a drink, the flap can easily be temporarily pulled out of the way without having to pull the whole scarf down (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag)
  4. The North45 scarf is made from non-scratchy Merino wool (Photo: Ben Coxworth/Gizmag)

http://www.gizmag.com/north45-fog-free-scarf-review/35567/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=708d1d9e1c-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-708d1d9e1c-90631605

InterLock, a Hidden Bike Lock in Your Seatpost

Pete, Electric Bike Reports

Sometimes remembering to bring your bike lock is a pain and that is where the InterLock comes in. The Interlock is a very convenient lock because it is “hiding” in your seatpost and it is always on your bike.

Interlock-seatpost -2

You can see that the InterLock fits well behind the seatpost.

I am a fan of making the bike convenient and easy to use for everyday riding to work, errands, and cruising downtown. The more convenient it is to simply grab your bike and go, the better.

I look forward to the day when are bikes are “turn key” like a car.  They will be easy to ride (electric assist) and they will have all the convenient accessories to make riding your bike to work an easy choice.

The InterLock is one of those accessories that gets us closer to that fully equipped “turn key” bike.

The Interlock sells for $59.99 which is not bad considering that a seat post and a lock separately would be about that much total.

Here is a one minute [video] of how the InterLock works from the inventor and CEO of Interlock, Adrian Solgaard.

And here are some more pictures to give you further information:

Interlock-seatpost-lock -3

This is the InterLock removed from the bike. You can see that the cable of the lock fits in the seat tube of the frame of the bike. If you have a smaller frame, the cable may not fit all the way down. The seatpost comes in two sizes: 25.4 and 27.2 and you can get shims to fit your specific frame seat tube size.

 

Interlock-seatpost-locked-6

In this photo I have locked just the frame (and seatpost) to the bike parking structure. In most cases the InterLock cable is long enough to lock the frame and rear wheel to the parking structure, but with most e-bikes the rear wheel is bolted on so it is not as much of concern to lock it. If you need to maximize the cable reach you could remove the seatpost or lower it in the frame.

Interlock-seatpost-lock-close-up-7

Here is a close up of where cable comes out of the seatpost.

 

Pros

◦You will always have a lock with you and it is hidden well so your bike still looks good.
◦ It is very easy to use compared to spiraled cables that you have to unravel.
◦It can secure the frame and rear wheel (and possibly a front wheel if you remove it).
◦$59.99 is a reasonable price for a lock and seatpost.

Cons

◦The length of the cable is pretty good but it would be nice to have it a little longer to be able to lock to large parking structures (trees, etc.).  That may be difficult to achieve because there is limited seat tube space for varying sizes of frames.
◦It is not the most robust lock for leaving your e-bike for long periods of time in high theft areas.  It’s good for quick errand running or locking in low theft risk areas.

Overall I think the InterLock is a good lock solution.  It is nice to always have a lock on my bike.  It is easy to use and it further makes my bike more convenient for commuting and errand running.

Here is more information on the InterLock and this is where you can buy it.  And here is where you can get shims to fit your frame if needed.

P.S. Don’t forget to join the Electric Bike Report community for updates from the electric bike world, plus ebike riding and maintenance tips!

Veloloop Triggers the Traffic Light Sensors for Bikes

Ben Coxworth, Gizmag 
If you’re a regular bicycle commuter, then you have no doubt experienced the following scenario: you’re the only vehicle going in your direction at a controlled intersection and the light is red, but it won’t change to green because the traffic sensors embedded in the pavement can’t register your presence.

TrafficLoop-1

The Veloloop mounts to the bottom of your bike frame and triggers the sensors in the intersection

Well, that’s where the Veloloop comes in. It’s designed to make those sensors think that your bike is a car.

Embedded “inductive loop” traffic sensors work by creating an electromagnetic field in the surface layer of the road. When a sufficiently-large metal object – such as a car – stops above the sensor, it creates eddy currents within that field. This is detected by the system’s traffic signal controller, which causes the light to change.

Bicycles, in most cases, simply don’t consist of enough metal to trip the sensors. You can try to position your bike in exactly the right spot relative to the sensors’ looped electrical wires or wear magnets in your bike shoes), but the Veloloop looks like it’s considerably easier.

Traficloop-2

Once the Veloloop locates the signal, it “locks on” and then emits its own signal to trigger a green light

It remains in standby mode while the bike is in motion, but sets to work once an accompanying spoke-mounted magnet indicates that the rear wheel has stopped turning. Using its looped aluminum antenna, the Veloloop then starts by searching for the sensor’s electromagnetic signal, scanning a variety of frequencies. Once it locates the signal and “locks on,” it then emits its own signal. This affects the sensor’s magnetic field in the same way as the metal in a car, triggering a traffic light change.

The Veloloop is powered by two AA batteries, and can reportedly run for at least a year on one pair. Its California-based creators are currently raising production funds, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$99 will get you one, when and if they’re ready to go.

More details are available in the pitch video here.

Xeccom Lights Makes Biking After Dark Safer

Russ Lowthian

DSCF4099With Daylight Savings Time a thing of the past, until next spring, having a powerful bicycle headlamp can be a very important safety feature to maximize your cycling activities as the days grow shorter. Recently, here at HaveFunBiking, we were asked to review the Xeccon “Spiker 1210” Bike Light and “Geinea III” rear light. After using both of the lights in both commuting and trail riding scenarios, we found the Spiker 1210 with 1600 lumens, to the dollars invested, to a good buy.  For rear light visibility the new Geinea III also proved worthwhile to checkout.

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The light kit comes with several mounting options so it can easily be mounted to a bike helmet or to the handlebars.

For commuting one of our staff members with a night vision problem found the Spiker 1210’s, with 1600 lumens made all the difference. The light once again, allowed her the confidence to again safely ride after dark. With four steady light modes and four more strobe (Fast/Mid/Low/SOS) settings the Cree XP-G R5 LED lens can easily help alert oncoming motorists, while giving a person a wide beam to light to see the path or lane ahead – and in the high beam mode a riders has the visibility, at night, of a full two-lane width road under normal weather conditions.

The Xeccon 1210 kit comes with several mounting options so the light can be easily mounted to a bike helmet or the handlebars of a bicycle. In all of our tests, we found it was best to use the 1210 as a bar light to project a wide light pattern in front of the bike and use a smaller lumen spot helmet light as a companion, for added visibility. The light kit also comes with a lithium battery.

DSCF4103

Mounting the battery under the seat was one option that worked well

The Li-ion battery that comes with the 1210 is in a well-protected waterproof ‘brick’ casing that is rated at 7800mAh.  At full power, (high beam) it can light up the road or trail for approximately four (4) hours. On the low beam mode setting we found the battery will last up to 12 hours. To monitor the battery level the unit has a built-in color indicator light to show you what percentage of time you have before you need to re-charge.

For mountain biking at night we found the same configuration worked well by mounting the 1210 unit on the handle bars and using a second light mounted to the helmet. This setup made maneuvering the off-road single track trails, at night, equal to riding on a dark cloudy day or near dusk/dawn conditions.  Here is a U-Tube video showing how this light preforms on a single track course at night.

Xeccon’s Geinea III

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This little taillight shine bright or flashes a red beam of over 160 lumens.

This rear light has to be seen to be believed. This little beauty, the Geinea rear light will pump out 160+ real lumens of light, weighs only 23 grams, and is easy to mount and recharge. Housed in a red case this lightweight tail light has evolved to make it user friendly. Any one of the four modes (steady high, steady low, slow strobe and fast strobe) can be used in the day or night for safer visibility. Putting this rear light, side-by-side several other popular rear light models on the market we were very impressed. At night the light beacon shows the silhouette of a rider over 150 yards out and in daylight the strobe mode is eye catching.

The Geinea, has an optical lens reflector built into the aircraft-grade, waterproof aluminum casing and allows a runtime of  a little over an hour on the high-beam or it can last up to over six hours on the flash-mode. With a build-in 80mAh, USB rechargeable battery the Geinea III can be fully recharged in less than 2.5 hours using any number of electronic devices, having USB connections for charging.

Along with bicycle lights, Xeccon also makes lights for underwater diving, Here is their website http://www.cycling-lights.com/spiker_1210_cycling_light.html for more information.

Just an FYI, in the United States, Daylight Saving Time will again resume at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March, so a brighter light will come in handy for the next several months.

A Bike Designed To Pedal Across the Water

By Ben Coxworth , Gizmag 

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Pedaling across the San Francisco Bay

Last year, US entrepreneur Judah Schiller crossed San Francisco Bay on a bike – and no, he didn’t ride that bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead, he mounted it on a Shuttle Bike kit, which adds pontoons and a propeller to a user-supplied bicycle. Since then, Judah has been working on designing an all-in-one “waterbike” of his own. The result, the Schiller X1, was officially unveiled this month.

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It is easy to use for anyone who likes to be in and around water

Unlike the Shuttle Bike kit (which is designed to be carried in a backpack while the rider is cycling on land), the X1 has the “bike” built into it – it doesn’t require the addition of an existing bicycle. That said, it still does disassemble for transport in a car, or for storage in a closet.

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The saddle, handlebars, cranks and pedals are of the type found on regular bikes

Its frame is made from anodized aluminum, with much of its hardware being constructed from stainless steel. The saddle, handlebars, cranks and pedals are of the type found on regular bikes, while the inflatable dual-chamber pontoons, not surprisingly, are rubber. It also features LED lighting.

Power is transferred from the pedals via a Gates Carbon belt drive to a continuously-variable NuVinci 360 transmission, and then used to turn two propellers mounted on flexible shafts. In an arrangement that’s unique to the X1, steering is achieved not through a rudder, but by turning the two props to the left or right.

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Crft can see speeds as 10 miles per hour

The whole thing weighs about 45 pounds (20 kg), and can reportedly travel at up to 10 mph (16 km/h) “depending on rider ability.”

And no, the X1 is not cheap. The basic version will set you back US$6,495, while the limited-edition chrome-plated Founder’s Edition goes for $8,775. Shipping of the first units is expected to begin next month.

Should you not be feeling quite so rich, you might instead want to check out the similar Hydrobike, which is priced at $1,999.

My ABUS U-Lock Review

Tyler Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

Granit X-Plus 540 U lock

Parts that come with ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U lock

If you are looking for a secure way to attach your cherished investment to a bike rack, fence, or sign post; checkout the ABUS line of U-Locks. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been testing both the Granit X-Plus 540 and the Granit X-Plus U54 Mini. Both U-Locks are somewhat new to the market and as I have found are top of the line and worth the price.

ABUS U54 Mini

ABUS Granit U54 Mini U lock

My first thought when receiving these locks for review was their weight! The X-Plus 540 weighs 3.20 pounds, while the U54 Mini weighs 2.70 pounds. It could be caused by the “13mm temper hardened steel”, but regardless, these locks are tanks! After my review of these bike locks, I wouldn’t feel safe with some of the other U-Locks that I have looked at. They feel light and breakable. The extra weight of these ABUS locks was a small trade off in knowing that when I return to my bike, it will be ready to go.

IMG_20140807_192239_889There are a number of different ways in using both these ABUS U-Locks. For me, I found it best to lock the bike through the back tire and bike frame. My front tire was still vulnerable, but the back wheel and frame were secured. I found that the U54 Mini also had a wide enough build, that the back tire and frame could easily be locked, in most cases, like the X-Plus 540 model.

IMG_20140807_192213_840

If you’re someone that primarily goes on long distance rides, or pedals around on the weekends, I’d suggest purchasing the U54 Mini vs. the Granit X-Plus 540. The primary reason for this is its size; the U54 Mini is smaller and lighter making it easier to transport. With the Granit X-Plus 540 mounted on my Red Line road bike, I was not able to utilize my second water bottle cage. For someone biking long distance, making room for extra water storage will be priority over this mounted U-Lock. However, if theft is a major concern, the Granit X-Plus 540 is the way to go.

ABUS U lock key

ABUS U lock key

ABUS key LED light

ABUS key LED light

Both of these ABUS locks come with two sets of keys. What’s nice is both sets of keys have an LED light at the end. This makes it easy to lock/unlock while riding in dark conditions. Personally, I’ve used this LED light more as a light on my keychain than just for my bike. The battery is also very easy to exchange. It takes one coin cell battery that just slides out from the back of the key. Along with the keys, a code card comes with these lock. If I were to lose or break both keys, ABUS will be able to make new ones just by receiving the code on the card.

All ABUS locks feature industry leading corrosion resistance – perfect for wet, rainy and snowy climates. The keyhole itself has a metal cover that opens from the middle when pushed on by the key. This will secure water and road grime from entering the lock. 

Mounted ABUS U lock

ABUS U lock mounted on Red Line road bike

The X-Plus 540 also included a convenient mounting bracket that could be placed in a number of spots. For me, the best place was right under the top cross bar. Unfortunately, the instructions to this mounting bracket were in German. Looking at the pictures and guessing what parts go where, I ended up mounting the lock and to my surprise, the lock flew off my bike while riding!

Luckily there were YouTube videos that walked me through the proper way in mounting this lock. Once this lock is properly mounted (you will have to physically unlock the lock in order to remove it from the mount) it will not fall off your bike. This assures the lock is secured safely on the bike, as a 3 pound lock doesn’t feel too good on the foot!

ABUS U 54 Mini

Bianchi road bike with ABUS 54 mini

With the X-Plus U54 Mini, there was no mounting bracket, so I had to be creative and search for a place to store it while riding. If you’re someone that carries a backpack or rides with a luggage rack bag or pannier, storing the lock there will be the easiest. Otherwise, I locked it under my bike seat as it was resting on the back seat post bag.

ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U lock

ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U lock

More on the ABUS’ Granit X-Plus 540:
The ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 has a 15/15 security rating, and is ideal for urban areas. If you need a secure safeguard when making stops where you have to leave your bike, the X-Plus 540 provides strong protection with a patented 13mm temper hardened steel square, parabolic shackle, and a double bolting shackle/lock body.

With its patented ABUS Power Cell technology your bicycle investment will be provided the highest protection against hitting and pulling attacks. Plus, the 540 features the most advanced technology available for lock picking prevention with the X-Plus Key cylinder in a U-Lock.

ABUS U lock

Commuter using ABUS U54 Mini

More on the ABUS’ the Granit X-Plus U54 Mini:
The U54 Mini features the most advanced technology (the same as the U540) but in a short shackle version. The lock retains the wide profile of its full size siblings in the Granit X-Plus U lock family, making it ideal for use in cities that have reinforced parking meters available for bike parking and where a narrow shackle profile won’t fit.

The lock is double bolting, meaning that if any thief attacks the lock with a grinder will have to make two cuts, as opposed to one cut for other brands whose locks are single-bolting.

All in all, I’m a fan of these ABUS U-Locks and would suggest purchasing one of these two models. Suggested retail price of the Granit X-Plus 540 is $149.99 for the 9” shackle, and $159.99 for the 11” shackle. Suggested retail price of the Granit X-Plus U54 Mini is $109.00. Yes, they’re heavier and a bit more expensive than many other U-locks on the market, but the trade-off is security.

Be sure to visit your local bike shop to find these products to safeguard your bicycle investment! Or, for more on ABUS bike locks, visit: Keeping Your Bicycle Safe With ABUS Bike Locks.

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