Seatylock Foldylock Compact Review
Cons: Less secure than U-locks, not quite long enough, heaviest folding lock tested
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Our Analysis and Test Results
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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 few bucks. 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 several colors.
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.
— Rebecca Eckland