OnGuard Brute STD Review
Cons: Clunky mounting hardware, heavy
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OnGuard Brute STD
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|Pros||Secure, includes 5 keys, price is nice||Inexpensive, more secure than many in its price range, high quality||Inexpensive U-lock, durable, good quality||Lightweight, easy-to-carry, easy-to-use||Lightweight, flexible, easy to use|
|Cons||Clunky mounting hardware, heavy||Locking mechanism stuck a few times, lackluster frame mount||Lacks the security of better U-locks, clunky design, mount is not our favorite||Minimal security, can be compromised with the right tools quickly||Too small, minimal security|
|Bottom Line||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||The Bulldog is large and accommodating, but if you're in need of a U-lock for higher security needs, this one might not be the best option||If you're in the market for a highly portable and lightweight lock but without much security, this one has your name on it||Great for preventing the "snatch and grab" while you pit stop, these ties do little to prevent a real bike thief from swiping your ride|
|Rating Categories||OnGuard Brute STD||Kryptonite Kryptolo...||OnGuard Bulldog DT||ABUS Chain Lock 120...||Hiplok Z Lok|
|Ease Of Transport (25%)|
|Ease Of Use (20%)|
|Specs||OnGuard Brute STD||Kryptonite Kryptolo...||OnGuard Bulldog DT||ABUS Chain Lock 120...||Hiplok Z Lok|
|Measured weight (lbs)||3.6 lbs||3.2 lbs||3.0 lbs||0.5 lbs||0.1 lbs|
|Type of lock||U-Lock||U-Lock + cable||U-Lock + cable||Chain||Reusable zip tie|
|Primary materials/thickness||16.8mm hardened steel||12.7mm hardened steel; braided steel cable||13mm steel; braided steel cable||4mm hardened steel||Steel core security tie|
|Locking dimension||7.5" x 10.5"||U-lock: 4" x 9"; Cable: 4'||U-lock: 6" x 11"; Cable: 4'||43" circumference||16.5" circumference|
|# of keys included||5 keys||2 keys||5 keys||N/A||1 key|
|Tin snips||No||No||No||Yes, requires two cuts to defeat||Yes|
|Hacksaw||No||No||Yes, eventually||No||Yes, quick|
|Bolt cutters, 36"||No||No||No||Yes, but not very easily. Requires two cuts||Yes|
|Number of cuts to free lock||2 cuts||2 cuts||1 cut||2 cuts||1 cut|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The OnGuard Brute STD is a tough, no-nonsense U-lock that's just big enough to secure your bike's frame, back wheel, and front wheel (should you choose to remove) to a standard bike rack. It includes a frame mount that maintains a surprisingly secure hold on the lock, while still providing easy removal. While it's a bit heavy, it's still lighter than similar competitors, and the heft boosts our confidence that our bike isn't going anywhere once it's locked up. Bikes are in high demand these days, and the Brute STD increases the likelihood that your bike stays yours.
Constructed from hardened steel and measuring 16.8 mm in diameter for the "U" section, the Brute STD only succumbed to an angle grinder after we made two separate cuts to the "U" section. That's as good as any lock we have ever tested. We could hardly scratch this lock with our standard bolt cutters. This lock requires two cuts to free a bike, and after a valiant effort with the hacksaw, we determined that while possible, cutting through this lock twice with a hacksaw would take the most determined thief all night. Onguard considers it one of the most secure locks they manufacture, giving a 97% security rating, and Sold Secure backs this up by awarding the Brute their illustrious Diamond rating. No beef here, this U-lock offers great security.
A lock of this security is the only type we regularly rely on when locking up our bikes and heading out of sight in urban areas where bike theft is more common. OnGuard does offer a bike theft warranty program, but we do not place much confidence in these sorts of programs from bike lock manufacturers. If your bike is stolen and you meet all of their (stringent) criteria, you might receive compensation for your lost ride.
Ease of Transport
At 3.6 pounds on our scale, the Brute STD is no lightweight, but it is a pound lighter than almost any other lock with the same level of security. A pound is pretty significant if you're overloading your little commuter pack with books, food, layers, and a laptop.
This lock's included frame mount system is very easy to install and has two different sets of screw lengths to accommodate a range of frame thickness. The lock snaps securely in place and can be released with a touch of a button. Bumps in the road are no issue for this mount — the mount holds the lock in place without much rattling or making a racket.
We do not love everything about the bike frame mount for this lock, though. Be considerate about where you install it on the frame since the lock will be next to (not underneath) your crossbar, and your thighs or knees could hit while you pedal (annoying). However, bikes with size Small frames might not be able to fit most U-locks and their mounts inside (and in-line with) the main triangle, making this mount that sits to the side more appealing.
Ease of Use
The bike is not going to lock itself, and there is no getting around kneeling to ground level while you fiddle the U section around the frame, between spokes and around whatever securing your bike to. This is the price of admission for any bike lock though, and OnGuard provides several features to make the process of securing your bike easier. The locking mechanism itself has a very smooth action, even after months of use.
The Brute STD comes with a generous smattering of 5 keys, including one with a little LED light to help find the keyhole in the dark. You've got 5 opportunities to lose your keys, and OnGuard has a key registration program so you can order (and lose) even more keys if you need to.
All U-style locks have limited versatility due to their size and rigidity, and admittedly, we wouldn't want to carry around a U-lock much bigger than this one. At 7.5" wide and 10" long, we could easily get two road bike wheels and the frame attached to any standard bike rack, as well as many of the more "artistic" racks around town. Doubling down and securing two frames is also a viable option most of the time with thin frames.
Fences and signposts are well within the wheelhouse for this lock, but if you often need to lock up to trees or wider lamp posts, you'll want to go with a longer (and often heavier) chain-style lock. We find that for most urban applications, the Brute STD is more than adequate.
This lock has a very competitive MSRP, quite a bit lower than its top competitors, giving it a great value. Not many bike locks of this style and quality clock in under a hundred these days, and this one does. If you're looking for the most security per dollar spent, this lock is it.
The OnGuard Brute STD is a strong contender among the U-locks, and while you could consider it a budget option, its quality is very close to its more expensive competitors. While the frame mount isn't our favorite, it works well enough, and we really appreciate the 5 included keys. It would take a very dedicated thief with power tools to defeat this lock when used properly, and at the price-point, that is enough to convince us.
— Matt Bento
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