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TiGr mini Review

This slick-looking lock is a lightweight option for cyclists who prefer a U-lock design
TiGr mini
Credit: TiGr
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Price:  $125 List | $109.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Lightweight, easy to use, portable, pretty fly for a bike lock
Cons:  Limited use, expensive, not as secure as it looks
Manufacturer:   TiGr Lock
By Rebecca Eckland ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 26, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 18
  • Security - 40% 4.0
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 8.0
  • Ease of Use - 20% 8.0
  • Versatility - 15% 4.0

Our Verdict

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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
TiGr mini
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TiGr mini
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$109.00 at Amazon
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Lightweight, easy to use, portable, pretty fly for a bike lockWearable design, solid security, easy to useVery secure, mounts to bike, convenient size for locking upSecure, includes 5 keys, price is niceInexpensive, more secure than many in its price range, high quality
Cons Limited use, expensive, not as secure as it looksNot lightweight, uncomfortable with some backpacks, priceyHeavy, bulky to transportClunky mounting hardware, heavyLocking 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 designThe innovative design of this wearable chain lock increases this heavy lock's portability, which is great news for regular bike commutersOur favorite all-around bike lock for high-security needsThis lock provides great security and versatility at an affordable price, and while not our absolute favorite, it's pretty closeThis 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...
Security (40%)
4.0
6.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
Ease of Transport (25%)
8.0
8.0
4.0
3.0
5.0
Ease of Use (20%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Versatility (15%)
4.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
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
Tin snips No No No No No
Hammer Yes No No No No
Hacksaw Yes, eventually No No No No
Bolt cutters, 36" Yes, quick No No No No
Angle grinder Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Number of cuts to free lock 1 cut 1 cut 2 cuts 2 cuts 2 cuts

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


TiGr mini bike lock - we really loved mounting this lock directly to the frame of our...
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.
Credit: Rebecca Eckland

Security


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.

TiGr mini bike lock - one of our critiques of this lock is its size. as you can see...
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.
Credit: Rebecca Eckland

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.

TiGr mini bike lock - it only took a minute with our hacksaw to get this far into the lock.
It only took a minute with our hacksaw to get this far into the lock.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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.

TiGr mini bike lock - bolt cutters 1, tigr mini 0.
Bolt cutters 1, TiGr mini 0.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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?"

TiGr mini bike lock - this shows another angle of the lock mounted directly to the bike.
This shows another angle of the lock mounted directly to the bike.
Credit: Rebecca Eckland

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!).

TiGr mini bike lock - unlocking and locking the tigr mini might take a little practice at...
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.
Credit: Rebecca Eckland

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.

TiGr mini bike lock - the locking mechanism on this bike lock is easy to use.
The locking mechanism on this bike lock is easy to use.
Credit: Rebecca Eckland

Versatility


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.

TiGr mini bike lock - its size limits what you can lock on your bike...and what you can...
Its size limits what you can lock on your bike...and what you can lock your bike to.
Credit: Rebecca Eckland

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.

TiGr mini bike lock - for average security at a low weight, the tigr mini isn't bad. it...
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.
Credit: Rebecca Eckland

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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