Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock Mini Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Compact, extremely secure, heavy-duty
Cons: Heavy, limited versatility, expensive
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The New York Fahgettaboudit Mini belongs to Kryptonite's New York U-Lock line and is just as sturdy as the rest of the family. This bike lock measures a compact 3.25" x 6.25", and is 18mm thick.
This is hands down one of the toughest bike locks we tested. Sold Secure, the U.K. independent testing organization gives it a Gold rating (products can meet Bronze, Silver, and Gold standards). Kryptonite offers $5,000 in bicycle protection, which is enough to make most bike owners feel safe. Additionally, the Fahgettaboudit Mini earns a 10 out of 10 from Kryptonite's security scale. After trying as hard as we could to break into this U-Lock, we agree that it is made for New York. Hand tools don't work on the Fahgettaboudit.
Less expensive U-locks can be opened with a pry bar or even from a beating from a hammer, but the Fahgettaboudit is just too much Kryptonite MAX Performance Steel for that. We got through the 18mm shackle after 45 seconds of angle-grinding, but then couldn't get the shackle off of the bike rack. Both ends of the shackle are locked into the crossbar so tightly that we had to make another cut to open the lock. The other models that came closest to the Fahgettaboudit were the New York Standard and the New York Fahgettaboudit Chain and Disc Lock. All three resist pry bars and necessitate power tools and require two separate cuts of an angle grinder to free the bike. The ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 also required two cuts to defeat it.
Ease of Transport
This product is compact, which makes it nice to shove into a backpack or pannier. It is heavy, though, weighing 4 lbs 11.1 oz. To say our testers found the lock's presence "very noticeable" is putting it mildly, and is definitely one of this lock's major drawbacks. (And if you drop this thing on your foot, let's just say it's going to leave a mark). The New York Standard earns its keep in this category because of its ability to be carried on the frame while riding by utilizing the included frame mount. The Mini doesn't come with a mount; if you like carrying your locks on the bike frame, this one requires you to purchase an aftermarket bracket separately.
Ease of Use
This is where the Mini really took a hit in our scoring metrics. This model is great if you're running skinny road tires on your commuter hog, but what if you're rocking a mountain bike? When our testers took fatter-tired bikes to test this lock, they found that the size added an extra layer of logistical complication to using a U-lock. Often, you couldn't just "slide the lock over both wheels and the frame" and be done with it. With thicker tired bikes, we had to weave the open u-lock into the back stay and then through the two sets of spokes to lock the bike up. This left us with a series of Cat 5 tattoos, which detracted from its overall ease of use. It's also not a very secure method.
Kryptonite does a great job of creating locks that work smoothly. One of our testers poured sand into the crossbar holes to see if it gummed up the locking mechanism, but this piece continued to work normally. The issues we came across occurred when some of the testers tried to lock their bikes around poles that were too big for the Mini. The larger diameter ABUS Granit X-Plus and KryptoLok Series 2 Standard U-Lock is much easier to use in this regard. The New York Standard has a larger capacity when locking and is just a smidgen less burly (16mm shackle thickness instead of the Mini's 18mm).
This category, along with ease of transport, is where the other U-locks, such as the New York Standard, outperformed the Fahgettaboudit by design. We liked the Standard's option of locking both wheels and frame to a bike rack whereas the Mini can only secure the frame and maybe a skinny wheel. Forget about locking fat tires with this model unless you like chain grease all over your hands or the reminder of what it's like to put on your "skinny jeans" just after the holiday season. If you buy a cable and add it to the Fahgettaboudit Mini, the combo would earn more points on our versatility scale, but the Mini alone scored significantly lower. City dwellers that own expensive bikes might do well to use two Fahgettaboudit's to lock up both wheels and the frame, since a cable might not survive long (and neither would your front wheel).
This lock is definitely on the expensive side. The Fahgettaboudit Mini is an investment. Granted, it is a high quality, high-value lock with a lifetime warranty. We think it is worth the cost if you run narrow (rather than wide) tires and if you know that your destination will always have a specialized bike rack. If these two things are true, then this lock is one that you could leave your bike outside with peace of mind.
The Fahgettaboudit Mini, apart from having an awesome name, is the most secure and compact of all the locks we tested. The hardcore security adds some extra weight; the Mini is one of the heaviest of locks tested. We think the compactness of the Mini is what draws commuters and everyday bikers to this lock, but we also recognized--and experienced--its downfalls. The New York Standard, the Mini's larger brother, ended up winning our Editors' Choice Award, given its increased versatility and portability.
— Rylee Sweeney and Rebecca Eckland