Need a tenacious lock to last you years of biking and commutes? The ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U-lock should be on your shortlist. Cliche as it may sound, this German-made product starts and finishes with quality. Bike locks aren't feature-rich, but ABUS made sure to throw in a few user-friendly surprises, including an automatic dust cover and a sturdy-as-heck frame mount. And, when it comes to high security, this is about as lightweight as it gets. Compared to the tough competition in our best bike locks review, it scores well across the board, with its only major drawback being its high price. It's overkill for rural use, but this lock is a great deterrent if you're locking up in a mid to high-crime area.Editor's Note: We updated this gear review on January 25, 2022, to include helpful information to aid your quest to find the best bike lock for your needs.
ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U-Lock Review
Cons: Not the highest security possible, expensive
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|Pros||Large and strong U-lock, relatively lightweight, beefy mount||Wearable design, solid security, easy to use||Very secure, mounts to bike, convenient size for locking up||Secure, includes 5 keys, price is nice||Inexpensive, more secure than many in its price range, high quality|
|Cons||Not the highest security possible, expensive||Not lightweight, uncomfortable with some backpacks, pricey||Heavy, bulky to transport||Clunky mounting hardware, heavy||Locking mechanism stuck a few times, lackluster frame mount|
|Bottom Line||If you prefer top-shelf quality, this German-made lock delivers a great product||The innovative design of this wearable chain lock increases this heavy lock's portability, which is great news for regular bike commuters||Our favorite all-around bike lock for high-security needs||This lock provides great security and versatility at an affordable price, and while not our absolute favorite, it's pretty close||This inexpensive U-lock offers versatility and security that is likely to fit the needs and budgets of many cyclists and commuters|
|Rating Categories||ABUS Granit X-Plus...||Hiplok Original: Su...||Kryptonite New York...||OnGuard Brute STD||Kryptonite Kryptolo...|
|Ease of Transport (25%)|
|Ease of Use (20%)|
|Specs||ABUS Granit X-Plus...||Hiplok Original: Su...||Kryptonite New York...||OnGuard Brute STD||Kryptonite Kryptolo...|
|Measured weight (lbs)||3.3 lbs||4.3 lbs||4.5 lbs||3.6 lbs||3.2 lbs|
|Type of lock||U-lock||Wearable chain||U-lock||U-Lock||U-Lock + cable|
|Primary materials/thickness||13mm hardened steel||8mm hardened steel chain, 600D polyester sleeve||16mm Hardened Steel||16.8mm hardened steel||12.7mm hardened steel; braided steel cable|
|Locking dimension||4.3" x 9"||33.5" circumference, 2" width||4" x 8"||7.5" x 10.5"||U-lock: 4" x 9"; Cable: 4'|
|# of keys included||2 keys (one with LED light)||3 keys||3 keys (one with HID light)||5 keys||2 keys|
|Bolt cutters, 36"||No||No||No||No||No|
|Number of cuts to free lock||2 cuts||1 cut||2 cuts||2 cuts||2 cuts|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U-lock is a high security, high-quality lock, and one you might consider when locking up different biking gear. The 13 mm thick steel bar is specially-hardened, shaped into a parabolic square, and coated with a 3 mm layer of rubberized protection. The lock body houses a double-bolted shackle for increased security. The list price of this model is steep at $150.
ABUS themselves give the Granit X-Plus 540 their highest security rating, 15/15. Independent rating agencies appear to agree with ABUS, with a "Gold" rating from Sold Secure and three out of five stars from the Dutch organization ART.
Only the Kryptonite New York Standard U-lock and Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit U-lock Mini surpass it with a 4 of 5 stars from ART. But wait, how is it so strong with only a 13 mm steel U bar? The Granit X-Plus gets its strength from a patented, temper-hardened steel bar in a square shape. The deviation from classic U-lock designs (thicker bars with cylindrical shapes) creates a more lightweight yet still structurally sound lock. Less-for-more engineering is what we expect from top German companies like ABUS.
A thief will need power tools to steal your bike when using this lock correctly. Hand tools like wire and bolt cutters, hammers, and hacksaws proved futile when we attacked the Granit X-Plus. The angle grinder took about 35-40 seconds to cut through the curved bar.
This lock has a dual locking mechanism, meaning that both ends of the "U" lock into place in the crossbar. After making the first cut, the U bar opened 3/4 of an inch. This might be enough for a thief to pry the lock and bike away from a thin bike rack spindle. For most bike racks, though, it will take two cuts to free the bike.
Ease of Transport
Ease of transport is the most lightweight, high-security U-lock. It still weighs 3 lbs 4.5 oz, though. Due to its weight, it's easier to transport than the Kryptonite New York Standard U-Lock and Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock Mini.
You have two choices of mounts when you purchase the Granit X-Plus. We bought the version with the USH 540 Bracket, which is significant and robust. It's the only mount that required locking the U-lock into the bracket and unlocking it when removing it. While this might seem like an extra step, you need to unlock your lock anyhow to attach it to a structure, so this didn't bother us. The mount allows for a few options when attaching it to your bike and comes with rubber tube adapters to fit a broad range of circumferences. Connected to the mount, we never lost confidence that the lock would arrive with us. We also experienced zero rattling, and it didn't interfere with our pedaling.
Ease of Use
The Granit X-Plus 540 is straightforward with a few extras to increase its ease of use. It comes with two keys, one of which has an LED light for better visibility when unlocking in the dark.
The Kryptonite New York Standard U-Lock and Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain and Disc Lock also have keys with lights, but they are much bulkier on a key ring. The lock operates smoother than Kryptonite locks, which sometimes takes some finagling to get the key into the lock.
This lock has an automatic rain and dirt cover that slides out of the way when the key is inserted and snaps back into place after the key is withdrawn. A small detail, but we sometimes forget to slide shut the dust covers on other locks manually. Making this feature automatic is a nice touch that protects the locking mechanism for, hopefully, a longer life.
As one of the larger U-locks in this review, it's a bit easier to secure two wheels (with one removed, of course) and the frame to an immovable structure than with the Kryptonite New York Standard U-Lock.
It's more versatile than the Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7 U-Lock.
Should You Buy the ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U-Lock?
The ABUS Granit X-Plus 450 is an effective deterrent, and we felt confident with this U and crossbar hugging our frame and wheels in urban environments, where bike theft is more frequent. Its price tag is intimidating, but ABUS backs the price with quality construction and design. This lock lasts a long time.
What Other Bike Locks Should You Consider?
The price of this model is its biggest downfall. It's tough to drop $150 on a lock, no matter how high its construction integrity and level of security. We expect this lock to last a very long time, perhaps longer than all the other U-locks we have tested over the years. For this price, though, we would appreciate a theft insurance policy similar to that of some Kryptonite locks. We think you should check out the Kryptonite New York Standard U-Lock or the OnGuard Brute STD to save even more money.
— Ross Robinson
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