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ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U-Lock Review

If you prefer top-shelf quality, this German-made lock delivers a great product.
ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U-Lock
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Price:  $150 List | $126.07 at Amazon
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Pros:  Large and strong U-lock, relatively lightweight, beefy mount
Cons:  Not the highest security possible, expensive
Manufacturer:   ABUS
By Ross Robinson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 24, 2017
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The Skinny

Need a tenacious lock to last you years of rides and commutes? The ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U-lock should be on your short list. Cliche as it may sound, this German-made product starts and ends 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. It scores well across the board, with its only major drawback being its high price.

Competition among high-security locks was fierce. The best of the best leaves little room for shortcomings. This lock went head-to-head with the Kryptonite New York Standard U-Lock and came up just short. In the end, the New Yorker is slightly more secure and accompanied by an anti-theft protection program, which pushed it over the edge. If you want the best of versatility and security for overnight lockups, check out the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain and Disc Lock.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

The ABUS 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.

Performance Comparison


The included mount bracket on the ABUS Granit X-Plus is the sturdiest of all frame mounts we tested.
The included mount bracket on the ABUS Granit X-Plus is the sturdiest of all frame mounts we tested.

Security


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.

Our testers felt confident leaving their bikes secured with this ABUS lock.
Our testers felt confident leaving their bikes secured with this ABUS lock.

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. We were surprised that the Cocoweb Armbar Combo took the same amount of time to cut, despite being over $120 less expensive.

While inferior locks fell victim to hand tools  we had to use an electric angle grinder to defeat the ABUS Granit X-PLus U-lock.
While inferior locks fell victim to hand tools, we had to use an electric angle grinder to defeat the ABUS Granit X-PLus U-lock.

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.

After one cut from the angle grinder  a thief will need to make another before making off with your wheels.
After one cut from the angle grinder, a thief will need to make another before making off with your wheels.

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.

Insert the "U" and the crossbar into the frame mount separately.
This is the only model that offers two different bracket mounts at the time of purchase. The one we tested requires the user to lock it into the mounting bracket  while the other one doesn't.

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.


Note that this lock is quite large and might not fit within a small frame. If that's the case, you can install the mount facing back toward the rear wheel. When we tried this, the lock remained very stable, and it didn't impede leg movement.

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.

We dig the automatic keyhole cover of the Granit X-Plus.
We dig the automatic keyhole cover of the Granit X-Plus.

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.

Versatility


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 Cocoweb ArmBar Combo or Kryptonite New York Standard.


It's more versatile than the Krytponite Mini.

Locking up the wheel and frame to a standard bike rack on urban streets.
Locking up the wheel and frame to a standard bike rack on urban streets.

Best Application


The Granit X-Plus 540 is for city bike commuters who leave their bike unsupervised for long periods of time during the day. Folks who ride long distances will appreciate the weight savings in comparison to other high-security locks. It's overkill for rural use, but if you're locking up in a mid to high crime area, this lock is a great deterrent.

THis ABUS model weighs less than most high-security U-locks  which means it's less noticeable mounted on our frames or stuffed in our backpacks.
THis ABUS model weighs less than most high-security U-locks, which means it's less noticeable mounted on our frames or stuffed in our backpacks.

Value


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 included mount bracket on the ABUS Granit X-Plus is the sturdiest of all frame mounts we tested.
The included mount bracket on the ABUS Granit X-Plus is the sturdiest of all frame mounts we tested.

Conclusion


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