The TiGr mini, made of titanium, is sleek and cool and looks unbreakable. While the last part is not correct, we nonetheless have an appreciation for this lock due to its lightweight, portable design that gives you a little more security than a cable lock. It's not the cheapest lock in our lineup of bike locks by any stretch. We think this grants the TiGr lock a second look, especially if you're looking for a lock that you want to carry along with you. While this model looks secure, our testing showed that it failed to stand up to multiple typical tools among bike thieves. It succumbed to bolt cutters in just a few seconds. Therefore, we don't recommend it to secure your expensive or irreplaceable biking gear.Editor's Note: We updated this gear review on January 25, 2022, to include additional information and to share our stance on whether or not this product is worthy of consideration.
TiGr mini Review
Cons: Limited use, expensive, not as secure as it looks
Manufacturer: TiGr Lock
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|Pros||Lightweight, easy to use, portable, pretty fly for a bike lock||Wearable design, solid security, easy to use||Very secure, mounts to bike, convenient size for locking up||Secure, includes 5 keys, price is nice||Inexpensive, more secure than many in its price range, high quality|
|Cons||Limited use, expensive, not as secure as it looks||Not lightweight, uncomfortable with some backpacks, pricey||Heavy, bulky to transport||Clunky mounting hardware, heavy||Locking mechanism stuck a few times, lackluster frame mount|
|Bottom Line||This slick-looking lock is a lightweight option for cyclists who prefer a U-lock design||The innovative design of this wearable chain lock increases this heavy lock's portability, which is great news for regular bike commuters||Our favorite all-around bike lock for high-security needs||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|
|Rating Categories||TiGr mini||Hiplok Original: Su...||Kryptonite New York...||OnGuard Brute STD||Kryptonite Kryptolo...|
|Ease of Transport (25%)|
|Ease of Use (20%)|
|Specs||TiGr mini||Hiplok Original: Su...||Kryptonite New York...||OnGuard Brute STD||Kryptonite Kryptolo...|
|Measured weight (lbs)||1.0 lbs||4.3 lbs||4.5 lbs||3.6 lbs||3.2 lbs|
|Type of lock||U-Lock||Wearable chain||U-lock||U-Lock||U-Lock + cable|
|Primary materials/thickness||3.175mm titanium||8mm hardened steel chain, 600D polyester sleeve||16mm Hardened Steel||16.8mm hardened steel||12.7mm hardened steel; braided steel cable|
|Locking dimension||5" (at widest point) x 11"||33.5" circumference, 2" width||4" x 8"||7.5" x 10.5"||U-lock: 4" x 9"; Cable: 4'|
|# of keys included||2 keys||3 keys||3 keys (one with HID light)||5 keys||2 keys|
|Bolt cutters, 36"||Yes, quick||No||No||No||No|
|Number of cuts to free lock||1 cut||1 cut||2 cuts||2 cuts||2 cuts|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This titanium loop and lock appear robust, and sometimes, that's all you need to deter a potential thief away from your biking gear. It fits around most frames and wheels, especially if you remove the front wheel and lock it to the back wheel. There's one huge caveat to this, though: if you have an aggressive mountain bike or a fat bike, there's no way this lock will go around both tires.
When we pulled out our bag of lock-destroying tools, the TiGr felt much shorter than we expected. They easily survived the wire snips, but we could defeat it with a hammer and a hacksaw. We will admit if you position this lock off the ground, it will be much more challenging to defeat it with a hammer, and sawing it with a hacksaw takes about 10 minutes. But, it's possible, and a hacksaw costs less than $10, as does a hammer.
Most surprisingly (and contradictory to a highly viewed video on youtube), this lock took no longer than five seconds for us to snip through it with 36" bolt cutters. Unlike locks like the Kryptonite New York Standard U-Lock, which requires two cuts to be entirely defeated, the TiGr only requires one cut to free a bike. A pro thief with the right tools could get away with your bike pretty darn fast with the right tool.
Ease of Transport
If bulk and weight make you balk at U-locks and chains, this is where the TiGr mini shines. At only one pound, you're not going to notice the extra weight of the lock much, no matter if it's mounted to the frame of your bike or in your backpack. Granted, you're not stuffing this thing in a saddlebag or your jersey pocket unless you have a ridiculously large saddlebag or jersey pockets, in which case you might get some weird questions like: "Is that a TiGr in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"
The bike mount was one of our favorite features. It's easy enough to secure to the top or down tube, replacing a bottle cage. We tested this on some pretty small bikes (a 48 size road bike frame), which still fit on the downtube. The bad news? You're out a water bottle, which isn't the end of the world for most commuters. If you're using the lock in conjunction with longer training rides, though, having only one bottle on your frame is a bummer, and you might look into wearing something with ridiculously huge jersey pockets.
However, the lock fits nicely into a backpack, and it doesn't take up more space than a book (not a hardbound dictionary), unlike some of those U-Locks out there.
Ease of Use
It doesn't get much easier than a lock and key, and the TiGr mini certainly delivers in that respect: the locking mechanism is high quality and easy to use (just don't misplace the keys!).
For those of you who have trouble with the pat-your-head-and-rub-your-stomach-type activities, there might be a bit of a learning curve on how to remove the lock (you have to squeeze and pull at the same time to release the lock and squeeze and push to reattach it). Still, like our reviewers, we are confident that you will get the hang of it rather quickly and enjoy the convenience of such an easy-to-use locking device.
We didn't rate the TiGr mini as highly here as other locks included in this review simply because its size limits what you can lock your bike to (especially if you have a larger frame or wheels.) Even for a road bike, though, larger structures, like trees and lampposts, are obviously out of the question, so you better hope there's a bike rack where you're heading.
Should You Buy the TiGr mini?
The TiGr mini is an impressively lightweight and portable lock that offers just decent security. Its limitations also include its size and shape, and it might not be suitable for fat or mountain bikes or areas that do not have bike racks. If you want more protection than a cable lock but hate the heaviness of other U-Locks on the market, this lightweight option might be just the solution to unlock the lock dilemma.
What Other Bike Locks Should You Consider?
The Hiplok Original: Superbright is an award-winning wearable option that brings solid security wherever you roam. It's also slightly cheaper than the TiGr mini. However, if a lightweight, low-security option is what you seek, we suggest looking into the ABUS Chain Lock 1200 Web.
— Rebecca Eckland
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