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96 of 98 people found the following review helpful
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I purchased both this lock, and the OnGuard Bulldog MINI TC 5013TC Bicycle U-Lock. These are the two locks that are considered to be near the top of the list for U-Lock security.

The very top is the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboutit Mini Bicycle U-Lock (3.25 x 6-Inch), but I decided against that one due to weight and cost issues. My bike is old and new was only about $1000 when new, and so it isn't going to be the target that a more expensive bike would be.

Between this lock and the Bulldog Mini, both are high security. The reason I was in the market for a lock was that I had a cheap U lock cut with a pair of bolt cutters by an apartment manager unhappy that I had locked a bike to a railing. He sliced through that cheap U-lock silently, like butter, and both of these locks have been tested against that and neither lock was cuttable by bolt cutters. However, both can be defeated by a determined thief with power tools and a couple of minutes.

Both locks give you several sets of keys (at least 4) and let you either write down a code or register the code and they'll send free keys if you ask. Both locks include one lighted key, but the thing is huge and takes up so much room on my key chain that I took it off because I've really never needed the dim light it provides. Nice concept, but worthless - you can feel the key hole if it's pitch black.

Neither lock has a decent mounting system. They both come included with one that really only works on a 21" frame, the biggest bike for the tallest riders, because it needs too much space to pull out to mount it on the seat tube. Me and everyone else I've seen just ends up hanging the lock over their handlebars. The lock is rubber coated so it won't scratch your handlebars. If you do that, and you will, be sure to remove the mounting piece on the U lock that clicks into the mounting bracket. Click the bracket onto it and twist the mounting piece off. The mounting piece can be seen as the thick collar over the left post of the U lock where it meets the cross piece. Neither lock is impervious to the elements: you'll need to do a once per year spray inside with either WD-40 or, with graphite powder you can get at the lock section of any hardware store. Either one will keep it operating like new.

There are three basic differences between this lock and the Bulldog Mini. First is the size. The Bulldog barely fits over my mountain bike tire and the smallest pole, like those used for no parking signs. It DOES fit over a parking meter, but many parking meters have had a pipe slipped over the pole that holds them to prevent people from hacksawing the meter off and this lock will not fit over that outer pipe. The series 4 is big enough to fit everything. UPDATE, the Bulldog Mini has been increased in size and so it now will fit over larger poles of parking meters.

Note that it isn't necessary to lock both your tire and the bike frame unless your frame is really expensive. Just lock the part of the tire that is inside the frame triangle underneath and behind the seat. The bulldog can't fit over both the tire and the seat tube, while the kryptonite can, but it isn't necessary. A thief would never take the time and effort to try to cut all the spokes, and bend the rim to force it through the frame triangle, and if he did he'd wreck half the cost of the bike.

Second is the key and locking mechanism. The Bulldog has a key that breaks off easily and the lock has to be fully seated to work. That means you have to shove the crosspiece in as hard as you can and shove the key in as hard as you can to turn the key without breaking it. Because of the small size, it's not always possible, and you find yourself looking for another pole about 10% of the time. The series 4 has a much stronger key and the mechanism is more forgiving - it doesn't need to be shoved in and is therefore easier to use. Because it fits around everything, that makes it really easy to use.

The last issue is weight. Here is where the Bulldog has the Series 4 beat. The Series 4 weighs about 3.5 lbs and the Bulldog weighs about 1.75 lbs. It makes enough of a difference that I find that the Bulldog mini, with all of its faults, gets the nod and that's the one I tend to use for my cheaper bike, a Trek 7000. I also have a much more expensive looking bike (Trek 8000 - $1800 new), and I use the series 4 for that one because a cable is not going to keep someone from stealing the tire.

You might also consider the Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 U-Lock 3 x 5.5" as a compromise, but the heavier cross piece of the smaller series 4 is still going to make it weigh more than the Bulldog Mini, and probably not that much less than the regular size series 4, so you'd probably be happier with either of those.

I also have a thin (3/8") 6' cable, much thinner than the 7' OnGuard Akita 5043 Bicycle Security Cable (Lock Not Included) that I place over the ends of the U lock before I lock it that fits through the front tire, and the seat and the mountain bike rack on the back of my bike to keep them from walking away. 6' is the minimum size you need to go through everything. The 7' cable linked above is very thick and very heavy, though it provides slightly better security. You'll want to decide whether you want better security or much greater convenience, and then buy the cable to match. My thought is that it is just about as easy to cut a thin cable as it is a thick one. I haven't seen the thin 6' cables at Amazon, though they are in many bike stores.

I've used the thin cable and the Bulldog Mini locking only the rear wheel through the frame triangle on my Trek 7000 in some of the worst neighborhoods in San Francisco, and no one has ever touched it. But note: if you leave your bike outside overnight, and it's worth more than about $300 used, you can pretty much kiss it goodbye in San Francisco, particularly if it is left in the same place several nights in a row. And don't even think about a cable as your primary lock. I've seen $50 bikes stolen with thick cable locks - they are just too easy to cut. The cable lock is only for accessories used in conjunction with a solid u-lock, never as a primary lock.

UPDATE: it's still working fine, but I have added a second, lighter weight U-lock for my front tire. Cables of any thickness are just too easy to cut. I use an Eveloution series 2 for my front tire. I's lighter weight and easier to cut than this series 4, but no one is going to go through the trouble for a front tire.
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87 of 92 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2008
Verified Purchase
For such a sturdy, heavy-duty, ridiculously strong u-lock, the key used to operate this thing is ridiculously flimsy.

The key snapped off IN THE LOCK the first time I tried to unlock my bike from a rack. >=(

Five minutes with a hacksaw only managed to scratch the steel. Seeing that I had to call in the heavy artillery, I got an angle grinder with a diamond blade. After about 20 minutes of 120 dBA flying sparks, I successfully extricated the bike.

I give the lock 5 stars, but the key rates a big, fat 0.
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2007
Verified Purchase
I just moved to Chicago and needed a new lock. I had a flex lock, and my bike was stolen within the first month I moved here. I have bought a new bike, and Two locks. I'm now using this lock, in combination with the Bell MaxGuard Heavy-Duty Cable(12mm). I carry all this extra weight, because Chicago is 2nd in the nation(next to New York) for bike thefts. It works great alone, but I feel safe with the flex cable combined. There was another Kryptonite Evolution with a flex cable, but the cable was only 10mm.

If you are buying this for the insurance purposes, then I'd suggest looking at the fine print before hand.

The only other Kryptonite lock that is supposed to be tougher than this, would be the Kryptonite NY Fahgettaboudit U-Lock. It was $75 though, and this one was only $42. People wrote that they have problems trying to fit everything with the Fahagettaboudit lock. This one fits both heavy tread tires, my frame, and almost every post/bike stand that I've attempted.

9/17/11
Still using the same lock, but now have a commercial grade Master Lock and cable to pair with the Kryptonite. I've had a bike stolen since the review was first published, but that was because someone broke in and the bike wasn't locked while it was inside.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2007
Verified Purchase
This is a solid lock that doesn't add so much weight and inconvenience that you will begrudge the security it provides. As other reviewers have said, it fits well around all sorts of bike stands but still fits reasonably well on a bike or backpack. Though they do emphasize the ease of mounting these locks on your bike, remember that you will sacrifice the water bottle holders if you do that (most likely). Also, the insurance requires that you jump through several hoops (before the bike is stolen, mind you). If you don't think that you are going to have your bike appraised and fill out the paperwork, then don't factor the insurance into your purchasing decision.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2007
Verified Purchase
Gladly, I have no evidence that the Kryptonite Evolution STD Bike Lock has actually thwarted any potential thieves. However, it certainly looks as if it would make a thief choose a different target. Holding the unit in the locked position, one cannot feel any play, or hear rattling from the joints. The key and lock mechanism have worked smoothly every time. The key only releases when in the locked position. Because it always turns smoothly when locking I feel the chance of bending or breaking the key is effectively eliminated. By the way the key come with a small flash light built in to it. I have been grateful for the key's light on several occasions. The STD sized Evolution lock has allowed proper locking in situations where a smaller lock might not have worked. The mounting bracket connects easily to your bike either inside the frame or on your seat post. I like that you can feel and hear your lock "click" into the mounting bracket. However, even when securely mounted the bracket allows the lock to sway side to side when riding which constitutes a minor annoyance. My experience with this lock would warrant a rating of 4.75 stars.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2007
This is a somewhat heavy lock, but I live in a relatively high-crime area so I'd rather carry around an extra pound than have my bike stolen. This lock might be overkill in a smaller city, but for protecting your bike in a larger city this lock is perfect.

If weight is of high concern if might be better to invest in some locking axles and buy a smaller lock just to lock the frame; however if you're considering buying the smaller version of this lock be advised that it is not much lighter, as the weight comes mostly from the locking mechanism and not the U-shaped bar.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2009
Verified Purchase
Overall, I would say this lock is really good. It's going to protect your bike very well in most locales. For extra safety I got a cable lock that I loop through this and around other portions of my bike. I'm pretty satisfied with it so far, but I will go over the items that bother me about it. The blue LED key is also pretty awesome.

The biggest issue is it might not fit all bike models well, both in locking and mounting it on the bracket. I ride a Cannondale Quick series bike. I was hoping this would fit around both the Seat Tube and the rear tire for good security, but in most situations it is only able to fit around the Seat Tube because the lock is fairly narrow. If I want it to fit around both I have to position it at a skewed angle which usually isn't possible in many locking situations.

As for attaching the mounting bracket: the Top Tube and Down Tube on this bike model are not cylindrical, instead they are shaped like a triangle, which means you can't mount this lock on either. Having a water bottle cage on either the Seat tube or down tube also makes mounting this bracket pretty difficult. It took me over an HOUR of deep frustration to finally find a place on my bike to mount the bracket and lock where it wouldn't get in the way of my legs when riding. It was midway down on the left side of the Seat Tube with the U of the lock facing upward, but I also had to angle the bracket out away from the bike at a really weird angle, I also had to loosen and angle the silver bracket mount on the lock itself differently.
If you don't plan on bracket mounting this lock then you can ignore all this, but if you do, be warned, you might be in for a LOT of aggravation.
Now that it's mounted it works fine, no problems.

The Kryptonite key replacement/registration is a nice feature but a bit annoying. You goto their website, which is unsecured (very obnoxious) and register your personal info and key serial #, except there are two numbers printed on the key and I'm not sure which is the serial.

The anti-theft protection offer is also better than it sounds, as you have to jump through a LOT of hoops to benefit from it if your bike is ever stolen.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2008
This is a nice lock, but contrary to the specs it does not weigh 2.35 pounds. If you pick it up it's pretty obvious that this listed weight isn't right. I weighed it on my kitchen scale and it came in at 3.3 pounds, so I don't know where that 2.35 came from. That scale is pretty accurate.

It should also be noted that the theft reimbursement warranty is also only for one bike for one year.

It's still a solid lock and better than what a lot of people use. I don't regret buying it, but don't buy it because you think it's lighter than the alternative.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2007
It is a quality lock. Like the rubberized outside and the cover for the key hole. I dont like the weight and the caution you have to take to make sure the key is all the way in, otherwise it wont unlock/lock.

CSS
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2011
Verified Purchase
I've only had my Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 Standard Bicycle U-Lock with Bracket (4-Inch x 9-Inch) for a day, so I don't know how I'll feel about it after some use, but I do want to make a couple of comments.

I first bought a Kryptonite New York LS Bicycle U-Lock ( 4-Inch x 10.25-Inch), but it was too large (12.3" x 6.6" x 1.8") to fit in the side or top compartments of my Topeak MTX Trunk Bag DXP with Side Panniers, and at 4.5 pounds, it was just too heavy. I looked at other Kryptonite locks available on Amazon and found this one. According to Amazon, the dimensions of this lock are 0.8" x 3.9" x 11.8" and it weighs 2.2 pounds. Wrong!! It actually measures 1.8" x 6.6" x 11.6" and weighs 3.33 lb.

I will be keeping the lock because it is just enough smaller than the New York LS lock to fit, assembled, in the DXP top compartment. If I take it apart, it will fit in the DXP site compartment. I'm disappointed that the lock is larger and heavier than Amazon says, but it will do the job.

As others have said, the bracket is a pita, and the lock and bracket will not fit on my Specialized Sirrus hybrid frame unless I remove the Topeak Modula Cage Waterbottle Cage. No real problem for me because I will keep it in the Topeak DXP. When I ride with out the bag, I can bungee the lock to the Topeak Explorer Bike Rack.

I'll do an update when I have more experience with the Evolution lock.

UPDATE 15 May 2012: I've had the Evo lock for over a year in SO FL and used it countless times. It's always smooth and easy to lock and unlock. The U shackle is long enough for almost anything I've wanted to lock the bike to. The Evo looks a lot more solid than many competing U-Locks, and while there are stronger, heavier locks out there, the bottom line is that I still have my bike. You just have to decide what weight/security trade-off you want to make. High bike theft area = heavier lock. So far, I have only praise for the lock.

I also have found another use for the Evo: locking the wooden gate on my side yard. I drilled one 13/16" hole through the 4" x 6" post and another through the gate itself. I slide the Evo through the holes and lock it. No thief with a bolt cutter is getting through that gate!
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