Kryptonite KryptoLok 990 Combo Review
Cons: Heavy, wearability limited by waist size
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Kryptonite KryptoLok 990 Combo
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|Pros||No need for keys, versatile||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||Heavy, wearability limited by waist size||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||This chain lock does a good job balancing moderate security and convenience with a 5 digit combination and a deadbolt style locking mechanism||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 pit stop, these ties do little to prevent a real bike thief from swiping your ride|
|Rating Categories||Kryptonite KryptoLo...||OnGuard Brute STD||Kryptonite Kryptolo...||ABUS Chain Lock 120...||Hiplok Z Lok|
|Ease Of Transport (25%)|
|Ease Of Use (20%)|
|Specs||Kryptonite KryptoLo...||OnGuard Brute STD||Kryptonite Kryptolo...||ABUS Chain Lock 120...||Hiplok Z Lok|
|Measured weight (lbs)||5.8 lbs||3.6 lbs||3.2 lbs||0.5 lbs||0.1 lbs|
|Type of lock||Chain||U-Lock||U-Lock + cable||Chain||Reusable zip tie|
|Primary materials/thickness||9.5mm 3T manganese steel||16.8mm hardened steel||12.7mm hardened steel; braided steel cable||4mm hardened steel||Steel core security tie|
|Locking dimension||35" circumference, 1.5" width||7.5" x 10.5"||U-lock: 4" x 9"; Cable: 4'||43" circumference||16.5" circumference|
|# of keys included||N/A||5 keys||2 keys||N/A||1 key|
|Tin snips||No||No||No||Yes, requires two cuts to defeat||Yes|
|Bolt cutters, 36"||No||No||No||Yes, but not very easily. Requires two cuts||Yes|
|Number of cuts to free lock||2 cuts||2 cuts||2 cuts||2 cuts||1 cut|
Our Analysis and Test Results
A combination lock is a sure-fire way around the problem of lost or forgotten keys. The Kryptonite KryptoLok 990 Combo combines a simple 5-digit combo wheelset with a tough steel chain, and the result is a reasonably secure and versatile keyless bike lock. The downsides—it's heavy, cumbersome, and lacks the wearability featured on the chain-style lock from HipLok.
This chain lock uses 9.5-mm thick manganese steel links to create a 39" chain shrouded under a sheath of weather and abrasion-resistant nylon. At the connecting end, a deadbolt-style mechanism secures the terminal link, which is encased in rubber. The nylon is easily cut, and you can slide back the rubber case to get eyes on the steel link, but these features do make the weak points (the individual links) less obvious and more difficult to locate, and could slow down a thief, especially in the dark. If we didn't first remove the nylon sheath, our bolt cutters would slide off the links before biting into the nylon sheath. Again, the sheath itself isn't all that tough, but it adds a step on the path to destruction, and every extra step is a little more security.
Ease of Transport
This sucker is heavy (5.8 pounds), and we notice it as soon as we drop it in our packs. We also experimented with wearing the lock around our waists, but it's not optimized to be carried that way comfortably and was only an option for our scrawnier testers.
The best way we found to transport the KryptoLok 990 is to wrap it several times around the bike's crossbar and lock it. The nylon sheath will protect your fingers from getting pinched by the chain, and keep your bike from getting scratched. It's not very convenient, any way you carry it.
Ease of Use
The first step in using this lock is to set your personal combination (unless you just want to use the factory set combination, but you're asking for trouble…). It is as easy as flipping the "reset" lever, and you can't reset the password without knowledge of the previous one. We tried and failed to come up with a scenario where we could accidentally reset the combination. Kryptonite offers a combination registration program where you can register your code with them and give them a call if you forget your combination. Even easier is to make note of your combo digitally, saving it in a note on your phone or even emailing it to yourself.
Once you input the proper combination, you can open the lock by pulling the plastic cap on the end of the lock, releasing the dead bolt mechanism. The combination wheels rotate smoothly and the lock always popped free for us with little resistance. We're not much for speculation at GearLab, but simplicity often goes hand in hand with long-term durability, and this lock has a lot of moving parts.
Because the chain is 39" long (you can also purchase a longer and heavier version), you can lock your bike to a bigger variety of objects than even the largest of U-locks. We find the biggest advantage of this lock is that it allows you to lock both wheels and your bike frame to a standard rack without having to remove your front wheel. This saves you some time and gives you more peace of mind in sketchy areas.
The price is in line with most of the competition, and the Kryptolok 990 is unique from many models in its offering of keyless security. There are many chain-style locks on the market that are much less expensive, but few are as secure, and the Kryptolok's combination mechanism is much better than a simple combo lock connected to a chain that can be broken in 10 seconds with a pair of bolt cutters.
Without a doubt, this lock provides security and confidence when you leave your prized 2-wheeled possession locked up around town or on campus. It's heavy and it doesn't have a wearable option like our favorite chain style locks, though, which makes us hesitant to strongly recommend it over some other impressive models.
— Matt Bento
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