Cyclists who seek bike gear might initially be attracted to this lightweight and portable folding lock. However, it's not for everyone. Although the ABUS uGrip Bordo 5700 scored high in portability compared to some hefty bike locks in the review, it disappointed reviewers with the placement of its locking mechanism. Made in Germany, this model is a smooth operator built to last. The joints rotate without any stiffness and allow for versatile lockups to awkward structures. While the locking mechanism works smoothly, users will have to pay attention, and the folding plates tend to flop around and smack bike frames. However, the lock is lightweight and compact, making it easy to transport in a bag or attach to the bike frame. It doesn't offer robust security, but folks living in lower crime areas will dig how easy this lock is to bring with and use.Editor's Note: We updated this individual gear review on January 25, 2022, to include sections that discuss whether or not we would purchase this bike lock.
ABUS uGrip Bordo 5700 Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Lightweight, easily portable, quality construction and design, flexible
Cons: Less secure than U-locks, rotating plates pesky at times
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ABUS uGrip Bordo 5700
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|Pros||Lightweight, easily portable, quality construction and design, flexible||Secure, includes 5 keys, price is nice||Inexpensive, more secure than many in its price range, high quality||Lightweight, easy-to-carry, easy-to-use||Lightweight, flexible, easy to use|
|Cons||Less secure than U-locks, rotating plates pesky at times||Clunky mounting hardware, heavy||Locking mechanism stuck a few times, lackluster frame mount||Minimal security, can be compromised with the right tools quickly||Too small, minimal security|
|Bottom Line||A nice balance of moderate security and ease of transportation||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||If you're in the market for a highly portable and lightweight lock but without much security, this one has your name on it||Great for preventing the "snatch and grab" while you make a pit stop but does little to prevent a real bike thief from swiping your ride|
|Rating Categories||ABUS uGrip Bordo 5700||OnGuard Brute STD||Kryptonite Kryptolo...||ABUS Chain Lock 120...||Hiplok Z Lok|
|Ease of Transport (25%)|
|Ease of Use (20%)|
|Specs||ABUS uGrip Bordo 5700||OnGuard Brute STD||Kryptonite Kryptolo...||ABUS Chain Lock 120...||Hiplok Z Lok|
|Measured weight (lbs)||2.2 lbs||3.6 lbs||3.2 lbs||0.5 lbs||0.1 lbs|
|Type of lock||Folding||U-Lock||U-Lock + cable||Chain||Reusable zip tie|
|Primary materials/thickness||5mm steel bars||16.8mm hardened steel||12.7mm hardened steel; braided steel cable||4mm hardened steel||Steel core security tie|
|Locking dimension||31" circumference||7.5" x 10.5"||U-lock: 4" x 9"; Cable: 4'||43" circumference||16.5" circumference|
|# of keys included||2 keys||5 keys||2 keys||N/A||1 key|
|Tin snips||No||No||No||Yes, requires two cuts to defeat||Yes|
|Hacksaw||Yes, eventually||No||No||No||Yes, quick|
|Bolt cutters, 36"||Yes, 2 seconds||No||No||Yes, but not very easily. Requires two cuts||Yes|
|Number of cuts to free lock||1 cut||2 cuts||2 cuts||2 cuts||1 cut|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The ABUS uGrip 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 7 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. When 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 easily slides in and out. 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. Screw through the mount holes into the water bottle cage holes for an even more robust attachment to your frame.
Ease of Use
This lock from ABUS is not the easiest to use of the folding bike locks we reviewed. While the six metal plates made it more manageable with fewer rotating parts swinging around, we found the locking mechanism placement to cause unnecessary complications in some locking situations.
However, 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 easily visible when fully inserted. Most other locks reviewed had keys that were harder to tell when they were inserted. Therefore, we consider this 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 because 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 Seatylock 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 to make a folding lock as easy to use as these other lock forms. However, our reviewers wished it was just three inches longer (making the task of locking a bike even more manageable).
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, removing the front wheel to lock it up with the rear wheel and frame was possible.
It's unlikely that you'll be able to lock up all your biking gear, such as 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.
Should You Buy the ABUS uGrip Bordo 5700?
This lock isn't a bargain, but you're paying for quality. ABUS is a German company with an excellent reputation for quality control. It's well made, super transportable, and relatively easy to use. Don't waste your money on a heavy, bulky model if you don't need high-end security. This lock is compact and lightweight, and we think you can expect it to last you for years.
What Other Bike Locks Should You Consider?
The Seatylock FoldyLock Compact is slightly more expensive than the comparable ABUS uGrip Bordo 5700. But, if you like the peace of mind of a bit more security, the FoldyLock might be worth the extra few bucks. And, if you are one of those people who wants to color-coordinate everything, the FoldyLock comes in several colors.
— Ross Robinson and Rebecca Eckland
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