Reviews You Can Rely On

Kryptonite New York Standard U-Lock Review

Our favorite all-around bike lock for high-security needs
Kryptonite New York Standard U-Lock
Credit: Kryptonite
Editors' Choice Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $143 List | $112.05 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Very secure, mounts to bike, convenient size for locking up
Cons:  Heavy, bulky to transport
Manufacturer:   Kryptonite
By Ross Robinson and Rebecca Eckland  ⋅  Jan 26, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 18
  • Security - 40% 9.0
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 4.0
  • Ease of Use - 20% 7.0
  • Versatility - 15% 6.0

Our Verdict

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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $112.05 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$74.99 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$80 List$50.44 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$15.28 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
69
69
66
61
55
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Very secure, mounts to bike, convenient size for locking upWearable design, solid security, easy to useSecure, includes 5 keys, price is niceInexpensive, more secure than many in its price range, high qualityLightweight, easy-to-carry, easy-to-use
Cons Heavy, bulky to transportNot lightweight, uncomfortable with some backpacks, priceyClunky mounting hardware, heavyLocking mechanism stuck a few times, lackluster frame mountMinimal security, can be compromised with the right tools quickly
Bottom Line Our favorite all-around bike lock for high-security needsThe innovative design of this wearable chain lock increases this heavy lock's portability, which is great news for regular bike commutersThis lock provides great security and versatility at an affordable price, and while not our absolute favorite, it's pretty closeThis inexpensive U-lock offers versatility and security that is likely to fit the needs and budgets of many cyclists and commutersIf 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...
Security (40%)
9.0
6.0
9.0
6.0
3.0
Ease of Transport (25%)
4.0
8.0
3.0
5.0
9.0
Ease of Use (20%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
Versatility (15%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
4.0
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
Hammer No No No No No
Hacksaw No No No No No
Bolt cutters, 36" No No No No Yes, but not very easily. Requires two cuts
Angle grinder Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
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.

Performance Comparison


Kryptonite York Standard U-Lock bike lock - peace of mind and this bike lock go hand in hand.
Peace of mind and this bike lock go hand in hand.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Security


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.

Even with a powerful angle-grinder, the New York Standard U-Lock...
Even with a powerful angle-grinder, the New York Standard U-Lock takes OVER A MINUTE to cut through. That's a lot of time -- and a lot of sparks.
The New York Standard defeated attempts by a cordless drill to...
The New York Standard defeated attempts by a cordless drill to compromise the locking mechanism.

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.

Kryptonite York Standard U-Lock bike lock - the car jack did little to the new york other than impose a dent or...
The car jack did little to the New York other than impose a dent or two.
Credit: Rebecca A. Eckland

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.

Kryptonite York Standard U-Lock bike lock - mounting the lock on the frame is the easiest way to transport the...
Mounting the lock on the frame is the easiest way to transport the New York Standard.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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.

Kryptonite York Standard U-Lock bike lock - while it's not exactly small, size isn't everything. our testers...
While it's not exactly small, size isn't everything. Our testers loved this heavy-duty lock because it combined versatility with hardcore security. And, for us, that's a win-win.
Credit: Rebecca A. Eckland

Versatility


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.

The only downside to the New York Standard has to do with...
The only downside to the New York Standard has to do with versatility-- you better make sure there's something like a bike rack where you're going. Other locking situations-- trees, fences, bridges, etc.-- are sometimes out of the picture due to the size and shape of this lock, and pretty much all U-locks.
Simple and secure, this model is truly the Standard other locks wish...
Simple and secure, this model is truly the Standard other locks wish to live up to.

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
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More