The ABUS Granit X-Plus U 54 Mini (quite a mouthful isn’t it?) has been my daily use lock for the last three months since ABUS sent it over for review. When it originally arrived it looked a little more like this: First Glance. I used it for about a week, and while it did its job well (my bike was secure), the bulky plastic cover over the main body of the lock was bothering me. It made the lock unnecessarily bulky and in my opinion looked tacky.
Here is how I removed the plastic cover: unlock the body of the lock from the shackle and remove the key. Take a flat head screwdriver starting at the small tabs on either end of the plastic body, and carefully pry the silver and black plastic pieces apart, starting at one end and working to the other. I was able to separate the black and silver plastic pieces without damaging them so they could be reinstalled if I so chose. Underneath I found the bare metal body of the lock, which had a nice clean appearance and resulted in a more compact lock. To be specific the body of the lock measured 170mm x 50mm with the plastic cover and 155mm x 36mm with just the bare metal.
I have been using the lock without the plastic body with no complaints. It is obviously a high quality lock. The key action is smooth and consistent. None of the key-jiggling or sticky-lock problems I’ve experienced with other locks. As the lock engages and disengages you can feel a secure click. I guess when you have been in the lock business since 1924 you probably have this side of things pretty nailed down. I haven’t found any draw backs to having the plastic cover removed. Perhaps one could cover the metal body in a section of inner-tube if they are worried about the possibility of chipping the paint. I typically lock up with the body portion of the lock over the tire, so this is not an issue for me.
Side by side comparison with the Kryptonite Evolution Mini I had been using for the last five years.
|Weight||1160 grams||870 grams|
Besides the obvious greater weight of the ABUS (hopefully this translates to a more secure lock) the only drawback I found was that it was too wide to fit comfortably in the back pocket of most of my pants. I usually carry my lock in the side pocket of my bag (which the ABUS fits in fine), but every once in a while I do like the convenience and speed of stowing the lock in my back pocket.
The thing I like the most about the ABUS Granit X-Plus U 54 Mini is its ability to easily secure your frame and rear wheel, something my Kryptonite Mini could almost never accomplish. The photo below shows the lock securing the frame and rear wheel of my Davidson Cross-Commuter with 32mm tire and fender! The shape of the shackle and slightly increased width and length give the user a much wider range of locking options and result in being able to more securely lock a single bike. Locking up two bikes is also a much easier task with the ABUS, so next time your buddy forgets his lock he will owe you one.
Overall I am very pleased with the ABUS Granit X-Plus U 54 Mini after my modification to the body of the lock. It is a high quality lock that I feel it is more secure and easier to use than my old Kryptonite Evolution Mini. I think the slight increase in weight and size is a manageable trade-off for the added security. I plan on keeping my Kryptonite for a spare and jaunts on the bike where I don’t bring a bag, but for the day to day the ABUS is here to stay. It retails for $109 and can be had at your local bike shop, or if you have to you can of course order one online from any number of retailers. You can check out the full line of ABUS bike locks here: ABUS Bike Security.