With a name like Kryptonite, you can expect quality. This budget lock delivers, which is why we named it a Best Buy for frequent riders on a tighter budget. The Kryptonite Kryptolok Standard offers some considerable perks; it's made of 13 mm hardened steel on its shackle, and in our experience, it lasted longer against our power tools than its similarly-price competition. Still, we see room for improvement in the frame mount, and if you have a more expensive bike or biking gear, we recommend locks offering higher security. That said, compared to bike locks in the review, we think this option is great for rides with tighter budgets that still need a moderate level of security.Editor's Note: We updated this gear review on January 25, 2022, to include additional information and new sections to help your decision-making process.
Kryptonite Kryptolok Standard Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Inexpensive, more secure than many in its price range, high quality
Cons: Locking mechanism stuck a few times, lackluster frame mount
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Kryptonite Kryptolok Standard
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|Pros||Inexpensive, more secure than many in its price range, high quality||Secure, includes 5 keys, price is nice||Lightweight, easy-to-carry, easy-to-use||Inexpensive U-lock, durable, good quality||Lightweight, flexible, easy to use|
|Cons||Locking mechanism stuck a few times, lackluster frame mount||Clunky mounting hardware, heavy||Minimal security, can be compromised with the right tools quickly||Lacks the security of better U-locks, clunky design, mount is not our favorite||Too small, minimal security|
|Bottom Line||This inexpensive U-lock offers versatility and security that is likely to fit the needs and budgets of many cyclists and commuters||This lock provides great security and versatility at an affordable price, and while not our absolute favorite, it's pretty close||If you're in the market for a highly portable and lightweight lock but without much security, this one has your name on it||The Bulldog DT is large and accommodating, but if you need a U-lock for higher security needs, this one might not be the best option||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||Kryptonite Kryptolo...||OnGuard Brute STD||ABUS Chain Lock 120...||OnGuard Bulldog DT||Hiplok Z Lok|
|Ease of Transport (25%)|
|Ease of Use (20%)|
|Specs||Kryptonite Kryptolo...||OnGuard Brute STD||ABUS Chain Lock 120...||OnGuard Bulldog DT||Hiplok Z Lok|
|Measured weight (lbs)||3.2 lbs||3.6 lbs||0.5 lbs||3.0 lbs||0.1 lbs|
|Type of lock||U-Lock + cable||U-Lock||Chain||U-Lock + cable||Reusable zip tie|
|Primary materials/thickness||12.7mm hardened steel; braided steel cable||16.8mm hardened steel||4mm hardened steel||13mm steel; braided steel cable||Steel core security tie|
|Locking dimension||U-lock: 4" x 9"; Cable: 4'||7.5" x 10.5"||43" circumference||U-lock: 6" x 11"; Cable: 4'||16.5" circumference|
|# of keys included||2 keys||5 keys||N/A||5 keys||1 key|
|Tin snips||No||No||Yes, requires two cuts to defeat||No||Yes|
|Hacksaw||No||No||No||Yes, eventually||Yes, quick|
|Bolt cutters, 36"||No||No||Yes, but not very easily. Requires two cuts||No||Yes|
|Number of cuts to free lock||2 cuts||2 cuts||2 cuts||1 cut||1 cut|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Kryptonite is a well-known name in the bike lock industry, and for a good reason; their locks are among the strongest bike lock contenders on the market. Kryptonite gives the Kryptonite Kryptolok Standard a "six" rating on its internal scale, which means it's designed for medium-risk situations. So, before rushing to the store to buy this model of U-lock, assess the situation in which you're looking to secure your bike. In other words, the Kryptolok, if used as intended, is a great way to secure your inexpensive commuter in a medium-risk situation. If you ask for more, chances are you'll need a beefier lock.
We admit we were skeptical about a "budget-friendly" U-lock. We have been let down before by budget models. We were pleasantly surprised by the Kryptonite Kryptolok Standard performance, which offers more security than U-locks in a similar price range, and this is due to the shackle, which is 13 mm hardened steel. The steel truly is hard — it took significantly longer to cut through than other inexpensive U-locks.
What made the Kryptolok stand out in this rating metric was Kryptonite's choice to use hardened steel not only on the U part of the lock but also in the shackle. In other U-locks in this price point, this is not the case, and it's really the shackle that is the weakest part of the lock, not the U. The Kryptolok thwarted attacks with noticeably more vigor than other locks in this price-point, which in our opinion vastly improves its worth. This lock also has a dual-locking mechanism, meaning a potential thief would need to make two separate cuts before defeating the lock — something generally reserved for high-end (and pricy) locks. The additional braided cable should not (and actually cannot) be used on its own. We like it to secure our saddle or front wheel if we don't remove it and lock it with the rear wheel. Beware that the cable can be defeated by just about any tool in a thief's arsenal.
If you're locking up in a small town or a medium-risk area (at a coffee shop or a heavily trafficked area), chances are, this lock will likely suffice. Thieves are not likely to attempt to compromise a bike lock with an angle grinder — sending sparks flying and an ear-clenching noise — in full view of the public. Like any lock, it's equally important to consider the context in which you're locking your bike and not focus on the lock itself.
Ease of Transport
Full disclosure here: no U-lock is fun to carry around because they are heavy and clunky. However, some manufacturers, like Kryptonite, include a frame mount with the lock so you can carry it on your bike rather than your backpack. The included mount isn't the most straightforward to install, even with the enclosed instructions, but several online videos make installing this mount easy-peasy.
The quality of the mount itself is up for debate. If you're commuting on the smooth pavement (like we did for the first week or so), it offers zero problems. Bumpy road decreased our confidence, but we never lost the lock while in transit. It can rattle a bit, but nothing substantial. As with all U-locks, if you're riding an extra-small bike (< 50cm), chances are you're not going to be able to mount the lock to your frame, as the lock could be too big to fit in your frame.
The bike on the left (above) is a 56 cm frame, and the lock fits easily using the Kryptonite mount that comes with the lock. However, mounted to the bike on the right — which is a 52 cm frame size — notice that the lock takes up space where a bottle would typically go. If you have another option for hydration, it's not the worst thing that could happen. Luckily, there are other methods of taking the Kryptolok with you: it can attach to a rack on the back of your bike, or you can easily stow it in a backpack. Another option is a third-party U-lock mount. But, we only recommend buying this extra if you have already tried the Kryptonite frame mount and dislike it — it probably won't be an issue for most folks.
Mounting quips aside, the Kryptolok is one of the lighter U-lock models we tested, and for that, we gave it a bit of a boost. There's nothing worse than commuting with an extra 4 lbs, especially if your commute involves a climb! Note that the cable is best stowed in a bag for transport.
Ease of Use
We docked points for the Krypotolok in this rating metric because the locking mechanism itself was clunky, and, on a couple of occasions, it was sticky. We could understand this happening after months of use, but it seemed a bit ridiculous right out of the box. While we could always get the lock opened, it took us longer to use this lock than others included in this review. Once we decreased and added some lubricant, we didn't experience this issue anymore.
This lock works similarly to any other U-lock of its size. U-locks are not our favorite lock type to use frequently, but we generally forfeit a little ease of use for heightened security.
U-locks typically suffer a bit more than other locking mechanisms by their rigid design, which limits where you can lock your bike. The Kryptonite Kryptolok is not immune to this limitation. In other words, hope there are bike racks where you're bike commuting because the likelihood of finding something else that will work given the dimensions of the lock is slim.
However, of the U-locks, the Kryptolok performed reasonably well. The shackle is a bit over 11" long and almost 5.5" wide, which offers enough space to accommodate a road frame, two tires, and a bike rack (most of the time.) If you're riding a mountain bike frame or wider tires, you might not be able to fit all that into the lock. The Kryptolok offered much more versatility than smaller U-locks (which limited what you could lock your bike to) while not being too big and bulky to make carrying the lock around a feat of remarkable strength.
Should You Buy the Kryptonite Kryptolok Standard?
The Kryptonite Kryptolok Standard is a great economical option to consider for tighter budgets and moderate risk. However, if you have a higher-end bike or the neighborhoods where you are commuting aren't the safest, there are beefier and more secure locks out there that will put up a bit more of a fight than this model can.
What Other Bike Locks Should You Consider?
If you need more security than what this contender offers, consider looking into the Kryptonite New York Standard U-Lock. It's a more suitable option (not to mention award-winning!) for urban bike life when high security is needed.
— Rebecca Eckland
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