ABUS uGrip Bordo 5700 Review
Cons: Less secure than U-locks, rotating plates pesky at times
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Bordo 5700 is a folding lock that consists of 6 steel plates connected by rotating rivets. Each bar is 5 mm thick and covered with a plastic shell. It offers low to mid security.
The uGrip Bordo 5700 is well-made and durable, yet it doesn't have a security rating from an independent integrity rating from an agency like Sold Secure or ART. It has a rating of 7/15 from ABUS, which we feel is accurate. For mid-security needs in rural areas, most towns, and some suburbs, this lock is an effective deterrent that takes more than a casual thief to crack, especially if you aren't leaving it out of sight for long.
The Bordo 5700 fared about as well as we expected during our shred-fest. It survived the wire cutters, and wouldn't open after many smashes of a three-pound hammer. The plates did bend after several hammer strikes, though. It succumbed to the hacksaw after seven minutes of hardcore sawing. With the joints being the obvious weak points of this lock, the 36" bolt cutters cut through the Bordo in 15 seconds of maneuvering. It took about 20-25 seconds for the angle grinder to shred through a metal plate of the Bordo.
Ease of Transport
The low weight and compactness of the uGrip Bordo 5700 are the best reasons to purchase this model. Folded up, its dimensions are 7" x 1.875" x 1.125", which won't fit in most pockets but hides away in a messenger bag or backpack. It weighs 2 lb 3.5 oz.
We love the mount included with this model. It works like a quick draw holster for the folded lock, which slides in and out with ease. Despite being easy to slip into its place, we experienced no rattling or fear of the lock falling out on bumpy rides. Mounted to the frame, we didn't notice the extra weight on all but the most ultralight bicycles, and it never brushed against our legs or impeded pedaling. Secure the mount to the seat tube or down tube of your frame using two large hook and loop fastening straps, which hold strong and don't slip. For an even more robust attachment to your frame, screw through the holes of the mount into the water bottle cage holes.
Ease of Use
This lock from ABUS is not the easiest to use of the folding locks reviewed, however. While the six metal plates made it more manageable with less rotating parts swinging around, we found the placement of the locking mechanism to cause unnecessary complications in some locking situations.
Granted, the entire lock operates smoothly, from inserting the key to manipulating the lock around wheels and frames. The key is similar to a house key and simple to see when it is fully inserted. Most other locks reviewed had keys that were harder to tell when they were inserted. This is an advantage for the Bordo because turning your key before it is fully inserted into the locking mechanism can jam a lock. The trouble though, is that the lock has the potential to face into the bike frame--i.e.: away from you-- so you have to unlock the Bordo blindly. This could be an issue if you're grabbing your bike after class at night or in inclement weather conditions when the last thing you want to do is fiddle with a bike lock. The Bordo comes with two keys and ABUS offers replacement keys for a small price.
The faster you can lock up your bicycle, the better. This lock quickly releases from its mount and snakes through your frame and wheel. It is unique in that you do not need the key inserted to secure it. We've all struggled in awkward positions when locking up our bikes. Leaning over your wheels or the bike rack, it's much easier if you don't have to insert the key and turn it to lock up, which comes with a satisfying snapping sound. This is what edged the Bordo over the Foldylock Compact in this metric.
U-locks and chains tend to be easier to use than folding locks, but it depends on the type of structure you are using to secure your bicycle. U-locks are easiest on standard bike racks, while chains are perfect for larger structures like trees or lampposts. We appreciate that ABUS attempted and succeeded to make a folding lock that is as easy to use as these other lock forms, although our reviewers wished it was just three-inches longer (which would make locking a bike even easier).
The mount is also a cinch to install. If you opt to use the sturdy hook and loop straps, the installation takes no more than 15 seconds. If you fasten the mount to the water bottle cage screw holes, it's straightforward and complete within a minute.
The uGrip Bordo offers solid versatility. It's large enough to lock up the frame and wheel to an immovable structure. The rotating plates are not as flexible as chains, but some of our testers found it easier to maneuver around structures with difficult shapes and easier than inflexible U-locks. Even with large bikes with cyclocross tires, it was possible to remove the front wheel to lock it up with the rear wheel and frame.
It's unlikely that you'll be able to lock up your saddle or panniers in addition to both wheels and frame, even after removing it from the seat post. If you're concerned, it's best to remove and take them with you. Furthermore, it can't reach back and also lock up a cargo trailer, and it's a poor choice for securing motorcycles and mopeds.
This lock isn't a bargain, but you're paying for quality. ABUS is a German company that has a great reputation for quality control. Expect it to last you for years. It's a prime example that middle of the road security can still be top caliber.
The ABUS uGrip Bordo 5700 is one of the best low to mid security lock in our review. It's well made, super transportable, and quite easy to use. If you don't need high-end security, don't waste your money on a heavy, bulky model. This lock is compact and lightweight, so there are less reasons to not bring it along, no matter how short your list of errands.
— Ross Robinson and Rebecca Eckland