ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U-Lock Review
Cons: Not the highest security possible, expensive
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Granit X-Plus 540 U-lock is a high security, high-quality lock. 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 with 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 four of five 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 lock that is more lightweight yet still structurally sound. Less-for-more engineering is what we expect from top German companies like ABUS.
A thief is going to 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 parabolic 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 and Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit 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 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 and Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain 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 manually slide shut the dust covers on other locks. Making this feature automatic is a nice touch which protects the locking mechanism for, hopefully, a longer life.
Being 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.
It's more versatile than the Krytponite Mini.
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 security may be. 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.
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.
— Ross Robinson