The Bulldog DT provides solid security at a decent price. The included 4' cable provides increased versatility when used with this U-lock. It allows you to lock up all parts of your bike at once with no need to remove a wheel or saddle. The mounting bracket makes on-frame portability possible (just toss the cable in your messenger bag or pannier). It isn't the most secure lock reviewed, yet its sturdy enough to resist our attacks using hand tools. And if you're prone to losing your keys, this lock comes with five keys total, giving you more chances to misplace them than any other model.
OnGuard Bulldog DT U-Lock Review
Cons: Cable is awkward, unaesthetic
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OnGuard Bulldog DT U-Lock
|Price||$32.40 at Amazon||$104.93 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Relatively lightweight, cable included, inexpensive, versatile||Very secure, mounts to bike, convenient size for locking up||Large and strong U-lock, relatively lightweight, beefy mount||Wearable design, solid security, easy to use||Versatile, light (for a U-Lock), easy to use, value|
|Cons||Cable is awkward, unaesthetic||Heavy, bulky to transport||Not the highest security possible, expensive||Not lightweight, uncomfortable with some backpacks, pricey||Slightly less secure than other U-Lock models, bulky|
|Bottom Line||A solid U-lock and cable combination that allows for versatile, mid-security lockups.||This is our favorite all-around lock for high security needs.||If you prefer top-shelf quality, this German-made lock delivers a great product.||The innovative design of this wearable chain lock increases this heavy lock's portability, which is great news for regular bike commuters.||If you're looking for a U-Lock that will keep your front tire on (and you aren't in a dangerous area) and your budget balance, this is probably the lock for you.|
|Rating Categories||OnGuard Bulldog DT U-Lock||New York Standard U-Lock||ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U-Lock||Hiplok Original: Superbright||Evolution Mini-7 U-Lock|
|Ease Of Transport (25%)|
|Ease Of Use (20%)|
|Specs||OnGuard Bulldog DT...||New York Standard...||ABUS Granit X-Plus...||Hiplok Original:...||Evolution Mini-7...|
|Measured weight (lbs)||3.04lbs||4.49 lbs||3.28 lbs||4.31 lbs||3.51 lbs|
|Lock dimensions||4.5" x 9" (13mm thick) with 4' x 10mm Cable||4" x 8" (16 mm" thick)||9" x 4.25" (13mm thick)||1.5' long x 2"||9.35"x 5.6"x 1.6" (U-Lock); 4' cable|
|Type of lock||U-Lock + Cable||U-lock||U-lock||Chain||U-Lock + cable|
|# of keys included||5 keys (one with a micro-light)||3 keys (one with HID light)||2 keys (one with LED light)||3 keys||3 keys (one with HID light)|
|Primary materials||13mm Hardened Steel with Braided Steel Cable||16mm Hardened Steel||13mm hardened steel||8mm hardened steel chain, 600D polyester sleeve||13mm hardened "max-performance" steel with braided steel cable|
|Warranty/Manufacturer programs||$1,501 Theft Protection, Lifetime Warranty; Key Registration||$4,000 Theft Protection, Limited Lifetime Warranty, Key Safe Program||None||1-year manufacturer warranty||$2,500 Theft Protection (does not cover cable), Limited Lifetime Warranty; Key Safe Program|
|Unique Features||Comes with 4-ft cable||Keyhole cover, LED light on one key; dust cover over keyhole||Automatic keyhole cover, LED light on one key||Reflective sheath, curve key||LED light on one key; cable in addition to U-Lock; dust cover on keyhole|
|Tin Snips||Cable: Yes; U-lock: No||No||No||No||Cable: Yes; U-lock: No|
|Bolt Cutters, 36"||Cable: Yes, U-lock: No||No||No||No||Cable: Yes, U-lock: No|
|Number of cuts required to free lock||1 cut||2 cuts||2 cuts||1 cut||2 cuts|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The OnGuard Bulldog DT is a standard-sized U-lock that comes with a four-foot cable and a bracket to mount onto your frame. It offers mid-range security and doesn't cost a bomb.
OnGuard gives the Bulldog DT U-Lock a 65 out of 100 on their security scale. Sold Secure, an independent security testing company based in the U.K., rated the Bulldog a Silver (quality products rank Bronze, Silver or Gold.) This lock performed well in our security tests. We weren't able to use bolt cutters nor use a hacksaw (we tried for several minutes, only to make a barely noticeable scratch). We had heard that some professional bike thieves can use a pry bar if it is locked loosely (the more space inside the locked U-lock, the easier it is to get leverage), but we were unsuccessful. Finally, we reverted to the angle grinder to cut through the 12mm hardened steel shackle. Comparing the Bulldog to Kryptonite's Fahgettaboudit Mini or New York Standard's top-notch security points, it is in the mid-range security. That said, it is far, far better than the cable locks we tested. It's a U-lock, after all, and a solid one at that.
The cable part of the Bulldog is not included in OnGuard's $1,501 bicycle protection offer, and for good reason. The cable is a valuable part of the BullDog DT's package, but it can be chopped with ease. Easier, in fact, than the braided steel of the (same diameter) Kryptonite KryptoLok Series 2 Standard U-Lock. Not that either was too difficult to get through, but a note nonetheless.
Ease of Transport
The Bulldog DT comes with OnGuard's mounting bracket, which we found to be easier to use and more durable than Kryptonite's version. It carries on the side of the frame, though, instead of situating inside the main triangle of the frame, as in the ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 and Kryptonite U-locks. We preferred streamlined mounts. When trying to install the bracket, large diameter mountain bike frames were too large to accommodate installation. If you own a road bike, it will fit with ease. If you want to carry the Bulldog on your mountain bike, check with a bike shop first. It's ability to be attached to your bike frame added to our appreciation of the OnGuard design. Finding a way to transport the cable was a bit more difficult. It technically can be attached to the U-lock, then clipped onto the bike frame, but we found the cable to come loose. This was annoying and potentially dangerous, so we recommend stowing the cable in your bag while riding.
Ease of Use
Straightforward and simple, the Bulldog DT is easy to use. It features the same dual locking mechanisms as the New York Standard and Fahgettaboudit Mini, which means both ends of the "U" are fitted into the crossbar at the same time. Kryptonite's KryptoLok was, in our opinion, easier to use because of its "bent foot" design and was awarded accordingly. The five keys provided are also a plus.
We applaud the decision to buy a U-lock with a cable to secure both wheels and your frame. Perhaps the cable will even fit around your saddle stays. The Bulldog is a great choice for those of us wise enough to know how much that front (or, jeez, rear) wheel would cost to replace. A quick note on the lock-up: make sure you lock the secure part of this setup (the U-lock) to an immovable object. Do not wrap the cable around the bike and post and then secure the end loops of the cable to the U-lock. This effectively makes your U-lock a fancy cable lock that can be cut easily.
OnGuard is reasonable when it comes to pricing, and the Bulldog is no exception. If you are thinking about a cable lock, we'd recommend upgrading to this U-lock (or our Best Buy award winner) so that you don't have to buy it when your cable lock gets cut.
The OnGuard Bulldog is a solid lock that incorporates versatility with a fair price.
— Rylee Sweeney