The downsides of the FoldyLock COMPACT are situational: meaning, if you live in a big city, attend classes on a large college campus, or (oddly) your commute bike costs more than some people's cars, then this lock is probably not for you. (We would recommend a U-lock like the Kryptonite New York Standard or to get your head examined because commuting on an expensive road bike is just asking for it to get stolen because, sorry, every bike lock can be compromised. Period.)
However, this little lock did impress us: it wasn't compromised with bolt cutters even when our tester used her whole body weight to break the lock. It also defeated several drill bits-- enough to make a thief think about the ROI of hanging out for several minutes with a growing pile of busted drill bits.
The FoldyLock's unique design allows you the flexibility (literally) to lock to some pretty unusual situations, like this dog-shaped bike rack. (Side note: they make dog-shaped bike racks?!?)
Honestly, this lock is pretty darn secure. It surprised us, given that it's portable and also fairly lightweight. Granted, we wouldn't lock up our lead tester's $10,000 time-trial bike with this lock as I dash off to Chemistry 101 at NYU, but for most low to medium security situations, this lock is a pretty solid deterrent. It proved unbreakable in our tests when it comes to hammers, wire cutters, hacksaws, and even bolt cutters (we so loved this!). We do suspect that a more seasoned bolt cutting thief might be able to compromise this lock, though.
Don't say we didn't try: our testers put their whole being into testing these locks, including the bolt cutters on the FoldyLock Compact. This little lock surprised us-- it withstood even our most aggressive assaults.
Where this lock faltered is when a bike thief employs serious tactics like a cordless angle grinder. It took our experts 11 seconds to slice through the Foldy, which isn't really that much time. It also didn't throw firework-sparks like some of the heavier-duty locks, oddly enough. While the Bordo stood up to an angle grinder a bit better (still compromised, but it took longer), it was easily defeated by a cordless drill targeted at its joints. The Foldylock was exactly the opposite: it withstood the drill and hacksaw but was sliced by the angle grinder quickly.
Before you ask us: "Am I seeing this right?" The answer is: yes, those are two mountain bike tires secured to a bike rack with no issues at all. We loved this lock for its ability to accommodate pretty much all situations you'll ride yourself into.
Ease of Transport
This is a big selling point for the FoldyLock COMPACT-- even though it extends to 33" when it's unfolded, it becomes a compact 7.45" long when it's folded up and ready to roll. So, if you're packing a bunch of other items-- books, a laptop, a camera, whatever-- the FoldyLock is not a big hassle to bring along for the ride. The lock easily fits inside of a bag, can be mounted to the frame or can easily fit inside a jersey pocket for the recreational cyclist looking for extra protection at pitstops.
The portability of the FoldyLock Compact made it a pleasure to carry around town. The bike mount adapts to your bottle cage, so you don't have to remove your bottle holder. It also comes with straps to mount to other parts of the bike frame.
It goes without saying that this is NOT the case with heavier U-Locks like the Kryptonite New York Standard or Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit which are both big and heavy.
Compared to the ABUS Bordo, though, the FoldyLock weighs about half a pound more and folding down to a larger, longer shape than the Bordo. Compared to the Ottolock Cinch, though, both of these locks fall short in ease of transport. The Ottolock is super lightweight (0.33 lbs) and can roll up even smaller to fit in jerseys, pockets, or packs.
Up close and personal with the FoldyCompact: the joints allow you to manipulate the lock easily. Due to the coating on the hardened steel, it really doesn't scratch up your frame as much as other options.
Ease of Use
It doesn't get much easier than inserting a key and turning the lock to either lock or unlock the product, although the Bordo does it — you don't need the key inserted to lock that lock. With the FoldyLock COMPACT, you need the key to turn the locking mechanism for locking and unlocking it. Nonetheless, with the turn of a key, your bike is locked up with minimal effort. The locking mechanism is smooth and easy-to-use. Additionally, the FoldyLock comes with three keys total, so if you're prone to losing things, you have not one, but two backups.
This model can lock a bike to pretty much any reasonable structure with relative ease. The six panels attached by rivets are flexible enough to wrap around pretty much anything. The only constraint, as with all locks, is the size. Yet, the dimensions of the lock are were enough to accommodate road and mountain tires in our tests.
View from above: the FoldyLock easily fits around most bike tires and locking situation. This instance kept our bike safe while on a quick stop to the local public library.
Other easier-to-use locks in our tests include the lightweight winner, the OTTOLOCK (which offers comparable security) or the minimal Hiplok Z Lok (which does not).
We parked this road bike outside our favorite cafe and it took only minutes for us to lock the bike to the rack using the FoldyCompact. It's hard not to love a lock that's easy to carry, easy to use and that's pretty secure.
The FoldyLock COMPACT is a highly versatile lock that will easily accommodate a road or mountain bike in most locking situations, similar to the ABUS Bordo 5700 and the OTTOLOCK. The individual folding plates do a pretty good job hooking up to tricky structures. Where this lock falters is in higher-risk areas. If you need a lock with similar versatility a high-risk area, we recommend the Kryptonite Evolution Mini with Cable that combines the security of a U-Lock with the flexibility of a cable.
Need to stop at a watering hole? The FoldyLock--which can fit into your jersey pocket--is a potential solution for low-to-medium risk situations.
This lock is best for short stops, low-to-medium risk areas, and cyclists who really value portability and versatility over security. Cafe-hopping or window shopping by bike are possible with the FoldyLock COMPACT because it won't weigh you down. Also, because it's so easy to use, it's a great option for the technically impaired among us, or as a lock for your kids if they happen to ride their bikes to school. This lightweight model mounts to their frame or takes up little space and weight in a bag, unlike U-locks that are, sometimes, simply too big, too heavy, and too much.
Is it tea time? The FoldyCompact is more than enough security for those stops when you're within sight of your bike. We also loved its versatility-- no matter what kind of bike rack you find, the FoldyLock accommodates pretty much anything (trunks of redwood trees excluded).
At $85, the FoldyLock COMPACT is slightly more expensive than the comparable Bordo and which you choose is really up to you. If you like the peace of mind of a bit more security, the FoldyLock might be worth the extra $5. If you value saving several ounces and five dollars, too, go with the Bordo. If you are one of those people who likes to color-coordinate everything, the FoldyLock comes in blue (pictured), orange, yellow, gray, black and creme.
Among the folding locks, FoldyLock ranks right up there with the best. While it won't protect your bike in high-risk situations, it does a great job on the schoolyard, at the cafe in a small town while offering no noticeable difference to your ride whether it's mounted to your frame or in your jersey pocket.
Our verdict on the FoldyLock: this highly versatile lock should be in your jersey pocket or your bag if you're riding in low-to-medium security settings. Avoid high-risk areas.