We really loved mounting this lock directly to the frame of our commuter bike. The frame size of this bike is 52, so keep in mind that smaller bikes will not have as much room for the lock as this one.
This titanium loop and lock look robust. Sometimes, that's all you need to deter a potential thief away from your bike. It fits around most frames and wheels, especially if you remove the front wheel and lock it to the back one. There's one huge caveat to this: if you have an aggressive mountain bike or a fat bike, there's no way this lock will go around both tires.
One of our critiques of this lock is its size. As you can see, you're limited on the amount of clearance...making sure you won't fit two mountain bike tires, the frame, AND a bike rack into the TiGr Mini.
When we pulled out our bag of lock-destroying tools, though, the TiGr feel much shorter than we expected. They easily survived the wire snips, but we were able to defeat it with a hammer and a hacksaw. We will admit, if you position this lock off the ground, it will be MUCH more difficult to defeat it with a hammer, and sawing through it with a hacksaw takes about 10 minutes. But, it's possible, and a hacksaw costs less than $10, as does a hammer.
It only took a minute with our hacksaw to get this far into the lock.
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. For comparison, the less expensive Ottolock Cinch was also defeated by the bolt cutters, but it took a few minutes of really cranking down. Unlike locks like the Kryptonite New York Standard U-Lock which requires two cuts to be fully 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.
Bolt cutters 1, TiGr mini 0.
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?"
This shows another angle of the lock mounted directly to the bike.
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) and it still fit on the downtube. The only 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 really sucks, and you might look into wearing something with ridiculously large jersey pockets.
The lock fits nicely into a backpack, though, and doesn't take up more space than a novel (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 obviously high quality and easy to use (just don't misplace the keys!).
Unlocking and locking the TiGr mini might take a little practice at first. Once you've done it a few times, using this lock is as easy as locking your front door.
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) but we are confident that you, like our reviewers, will get the hang of it rather quickly, and enjoy the convenience of such an-easy-to-use locking device.
The locking mechanism on this bike lock is easy to use.
We didn't rate the TiGr mini as highly here as other locks included in this review simply due to its size, which limits what you can lock your bike to (especially if you have a larger frame or wheels.) Even for 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 headed.
Its size limits what you can lock on your bike...and what you can lock your bike to.
If you have a good-looking bike, why not get it a good-looking lock to match? If the words sexy and bike lock are allowed to live together, they belong to the TiGr mini. Cyclists who have low to medium security needs who can't be asked to lug around a U-lock or chain should be drawn to this model, along with the Ottolock Cinch.
At $100, this lock is among the more expensive included in this review. We don't find it to have a ton of value, though, as many less-expensive locks provide the same or higher level of security.
For average security at a low weight, the TiGr mini isn't bad. It was a snug fit to get two of these deep-dish aero wheels and the bike frame clipped to a rack, but it's possible.
The TiGr mini is impressively lightweight but offers just decent security. Its limitations also include its size and shape, and it might not be suitable for fat or mountain bikes, or for areas that do not have bike racks. If, though, 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.