Kryptonite Kryptolok Standard Review
Compare prices at 2 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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Our Analysis and Test Results
Kryptonite is definitely a well-known name in the bike lock industry, and for good reason; their locks are among the strongest contenders on the market. Kryptonite gives the 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, the Krypolok 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 before. We were pleasantly surprised by the performance of the Kryptonite Kryptolok which clearly offers more security than U-locks in a similar price range. This is due to the shackle, which is made from 13 mm hardened steel. And the steel really 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 actually 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 that a potential thief would be required 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 our front wheel if we don't remove it and lock it with the rear wheel. Do 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 in 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 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 to just focus on the lock itself.
Ease of Transport
We're going to offer you a disclaimer here: no U-lock is fun to carry around because they are heavy and unwieldy. This is why some manufacturers like Kryptonite have included frame mounts along with the locks so you can carry the lock on your bike and not in your backpack. The mount included with this lock isn't the most straightforward with the included instructions (granted, there are several online videos that 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 be attached to a rack on the back of your bike, or it can be easily stowed 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
The Krypotolok was docked points 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 right out of the box, it seemed a bit ridiculous. While we were always able to 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 any longer.
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 their heightened security.
U-locks typically suffer a bit more than other locking mechanisms by their rigid design, which really 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 of 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 really 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.
We think this lock offers strong value for a person looking for a solid U-lock for their inexpensive commute bike in medium-risk environments. Of the U-locks in this price range, the Kryptolok offers pretty decent protection without a hefty price tag, which is why we gave it our Best Buy on a Budget Award. However, if you have a higher-end bike or the neighborhoods in which you are commuting aren't the safest, there are more secure locks out there that will put up a bit more of a fight than this model can.
If you're locking your modest commuter in a neighborhood where bike theft isn't a major concern, the Kryptonite Kryptolok Standard is a great economical option to consider, which is why we gave it a Best Buy Award for tighter budgets and moderate risk. However, if you have an expensive bike, and you park it in higher risk areas (like a college campus), we recommend looking for a beefier lock or a way to bring you bike indoors.
— Rebecca Eckland