High-quality bike locks and the manufacturer Kryptonite have become almost synonymous among many urban cyclists, and the Kryptonite New York Standard U-lock does not disappoint this association. It combines simplicity, functionality, and 16 mm of burly steel to form one of our favorite bike locks. Despite fierce competition, the Standard's optimal balance of security with versatility continues to secure it a top place. In this gear category, the trade-off of high security is significant weight, which is a downside for those who seek a lightweight option. But, our testers were willing to mount this lock and ride into high-risk environments with confidence. Our attempts to break this lock were ineffective with hand tools, including a cordless drill and a car jack; therefore, we are confident that it takes a miracle and some luck to break this lock with hand tools. Short of that, a thief will have to use power. Kryptonite is very confident that their lock won't break and offer $4,000 in bicycle protection to back it up. This bike lock is worthy of joining the group of other highly-rated biking gear, and we think it's most useful for cities, suburbs, and college towns.Editor's Note: We updated this gear review on January 25, 2022, to include additional sections on whether or not we would purchase this product and others to consider.
Kryptonite New York Standard U-Lock Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Very secure, mounts to bike, convenient size for locking up
Cons: Heavy, bulky to transport
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Kryptonite New York Standard U-Lock
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|Pros||Very secure, mounts to bike, convenient size for locking up||Wearable design, solid security, easy to use||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|
|Cons||Heavy, bulky to transport||Not lightweight, uncomfortable with some backpacks, pricey||Clunky mounting hardware, heavy||Locking mechanism stuck a few times, lackluster frame mount||Minimal security, can be compromised with the right tools quickly|
|Bottom Line||Our favorite all-around bike lock for high-security needs||The innovative design of this wearable chain lock increases this heavy lock's portability, which is great news for regular bike commuters||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|
|Rating Categories||Kryptonite New York...||Hiplok Original: Su...||OnGuard Brute STD||Kryptonite Kryptolo...||ABUS Chain Lock 120...|
|Ease of Transport (25%)|
|Ease of Use (20%)|
|Specs||Kryptonite New York...||Hiplok Original: Su...||OnGuard Brute STD||Kryptonite Kryptolo...||ABUS Chain Lock 120...|
|Measured weight (lbs)||4.5 lbs||4.3 lbs||3.6 lbs||3.2 lbs||0.5 lbs|
|Type of lock||U-lock||Wearable chain||U-Lock||U-Lock + cable||Chain|
|Primary materials/thickness||16mm Hardened Steel||8mm hardened steel chain, 600D polyester sleeve||16.8mm hardened steel||12.7mm hardened steel; braided steel cable||4mm hardened steel|
|Locking dimension||4" x 8"||33.5" circumference, 2" width||7.5" x 10.5"||U-lock: 4" x 9"; Cable: 4'||43" circumference|
|# of keys included||3 keys (one with HID light)||3 keys||5 keys||2 keys||N/A|
|Tin snips||No||No||No||No||Yes, requires two cuts to defeat|
|Bolt cutters, 36"||No||No||No||No||Yes, but not very easily. Requires two cuts|
|Number of cuts to free lock||2 cuts||1 cut||2 cuts||2 cuts||2 cuts|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Kryptonite New York Standard U-Lock features Kryptonite's top-of-the-line security technology. This award winner is the ultimate bike lock for security and convenience. The "U" bar is made of hardened steel 16 mm in diameter, which locks into a crossbar with a dual locking mechanism.
Kryptonite's New York Standard, Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock Mini, and Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain and Disc Lock are Gold rated in Sold Secure, an independent European lock testing organization that rates accepted products as Bronze, Silver or Gold. Kryptonite gives the Standard a 9 out of 10 security rating, and the Fahgettaboudit models a 10 out of 10. When comparing the two U-locks, our security testing showed a minimal increase in security for the Fahgettaboudit Mini. The Standard took 31 seconds to cut through with a grinder for only one cut. A thief would have to make two cuts to free a bike locked up with this lock, which means they would be throwing sparks all over the place for over a minute. The Fahgettaboudit Mini took 45 seconds.
The New York Standard is constructed with a burly dual locking mechanism in the crossbar, meaning that one cut through the "U" can't pull the "U" apart enough to get the bike frame out. This is one of a few compelling reasons to lock your bike through thick parts of your bike over thin spokes or even rear triangles. We struck the already cut "U" metal bars with a hammer to force the bars apart on this lock. Mid-level security U-locks were kaput after one cut with the grinder. It also took longer to bust through the 16mm steel of the New York Standard.
There is a reason these locks were named for the notoriously most likely-to-get-your-bike-stolen city in the world. This is an ideal bike lock if you live in a metropolitan area and expect to leave your bike on the street for more than a New York minute. The Anti-Theft Protection policy offers financial compensation if your bike is stolen when appropriately locked with this model. Be aware, though, that you must meet Kryptonite's somewhat stringent stipulations to cash in after an unfortunate theft. This lock is a powerful deterrent with a chance for compensation in worst-case scenarios.
Ease of Transport
Here, we come back to the dilemma of security vs. transportability. A more secure lock means more physical lock, and thus a heavier and bulkier transport. The Kryptonite New York Standard is pretty heavy, weighing a hair over 4 lbs, and also a beast of a lock to break into. To help this unavoidable problem, the Standard comes with a mounting bracket (the FlexFrame U Bracket) to attach that 4 lbs to the frame. Regarding U-lock mounts, though, the most secure bracket came with the ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U-Lock.
Say you are riding a comfy towny bike and you want to buy a New York Standard to mount on the frame. The addition of the lock increases your bike's weight by 10 percent, not a super noticeable difference. If you took that same 4 lbs and put it in you backpack, your shoulders and lower back may well take notice after a few miles.
A similar logic was applied to the Hiplok Original: Superbright when we examined how its 4 lbs of steel are distributed evenly around the rider's waist. Although the wearability of the Hiplok is a very good idea, the New York Standard is a better fit if you want to transport a lock on your bike instead of around your hips. Ease of transport is where the Standard beat the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock Mini. Even though the Mini is more compact, it weighs more.
Ease of Use
The New York Standard scores similarly to the other U-locks in the usability department. Dual locking sides mean that you have to slide the crossbar evenly onto the "U" part of the lock, which can take a little fiddling, depending on what you are locking your bike to. And, if you're new at this, expect a few "Cat 5 tattoos" (chain grease or dirt from the bike) to end up on your hands and forearms as you wrestle with the bike, lock, and whatever you are locking the bike to. However, of the standard U-Locks in this review, the Standard was our reviewers' go-to if other similar locks wouldn't work. It enabled our reviewers to lock bikes to racks, park benches, iron fences, bleachers — in other words, more than just standard bike racks.
When comparing the size of the New York Standard to the OnGuard Bulldog DT and ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U-Lock, they are all about 4" by 9", a natural size to get around a wheel, your bike frame, and the object you are locking to. The Fahgettaboudit Mini is a tad more time-consuming when locking up because of its much smaller size.
The Editors' Choice Award goes to the best bike lock tested, and we thought that the versatility factor of the Standard was important to consider. The New York Standard's 4" width and 8" length allows the bike lock to handle your frame, rear wheel, bike rack, and detached front wheel to most bike racks.
If you want to cover all your bases, this lock is as good as they come. You will have trouble locking to awkward structures like trees and lampposts, though. If you need high security but don't lock to standard racks often, the Hiplok Original: Superbright model is a better option. For the optimal combination of versatility and protection (but forget about portability), the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain and Disc Lock is your pal.
Should You Buy the Kryptonite New York Standard U-Lock?
The Kryptonite's New York Standard U-Lock is a workhorse in the bike lock world. A thief most certainly needs power tools to get through the thick metal and burly locking mechanism. It is heavy in hand and initially on the wallet, but the quality of the lock and design is worth the investment. Plus, if you consider the cost of replacing a stolen bike and lock, you might be able to justify this contender's upfront cost. Therefore, we suggest this option for cyclists who need high security and prefer to transport the lock on their bike instead of hips.
What Other Bike Locks Should You Consider?
If you don't need such a high level of security, and you prefer to wear your bike lock around your hips, we suggest checking out the Hiplok Original: Superbright. This award-winning contender is worth consider, especially if you have some nice biking gear you would like to secure.
— Ross Robinson and Rebecca Eckland
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