Categories: Reviews

OTTOLOCK by OTTODesignWorks.com Review

by Julie Horton - Thursday, October 4, 2018

The search for a lightweight combination lock for my bike has officially ended!

My bike is my car, my exercise companion, one of my dearest friends, and as the years go by, the two of us have taken more to stopping for a mid-ride coffee, or a post-ride beverage or meal. Until recently this has been hampered by the idea of having to carry a heavy, bulky lock on a 30 or 40-mile ride. Perhaps you’ve had similar experiences and have joined me in using the “helmet lock” method. You know the one: you wrap your helmet straps around the frame and bike rack and delude yourself that if a thief did come along you would have time to intervene. I also had a mild flirtation with a tiny combination lock that was super light and fit easily in my tool pouch. However, I had to face the fact that the cable, or more accurately “string’” could surely be cut using a dull pair of nail clippers.

Then one day it happened! A brightly colored, rather odd locking creature caught my eye. Instead of a cable this lock features an 18mm (less than an inch) wide strap or band. The band can be coiled into a small package (3 or 4 inches in diameter) and is kept tidy with an attached cinch strap. There are three lengths (18, 30 and 60 inches) available. I opted for the 30-inch model. The 18-inch version weighs in at just 140g (less than 5oz), the 60-inch version is a hefty (no it isn’t!) 255g, or just under 9 ounces. Did I mention that it is also a combination lock? Yes, indeed! Though the numbers are small and will no doubt require that some folks use their reading glasses.

But is it secure? This lock is composed of multiple high tempered steel and Kevlar layers which the manufacturer says is more secure than a cable lock. I haven’t attempted to cut mine, so I will have to trust them! This lock is intended for short stops and to deter someone who happens to be walking by with cable cutters. No lock is 100% theft-proof, so use common sense and the style of lock that suits your situation. There are various videos online showing that the OTTOLOCK can indeed be cut if one is determined, but that should go without saying.

This lock is manufactured in the USA and with a price tag of $55 to $85 (depending on the size) is expensive but for the convenience, and security of keeping your best friend safe it is well worth the price.

PS. There is a video on YouTube touting that the OTTOLOCK is “junk” so I checked in with the manufacturer to hear their side. The response was immediate and sincere, so I thought I would share the nitty gritty with you:

“The lock was built without a catch key spring, which is a critical part of the lock’s function. It is not a chronic problem and has been isolated to a very limited past production period.”

I can also tell you that there are three of us here at ExperiencePlus! who own the lock and we all love them.

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Julie Horton - Julie Horton is the Purveyor of Cycling Adventures at ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours. She bicycled in more than 20 countries on a year long, self-supported bicycle tour around the world, which covered more than 14,000 miles. Her career in the adventure travel industry began back in 1994 when she started leading hiking tours in the USA, Europe, and far flung locations like Nepal and Thailand. After 10 years on the trail her desire to get back on the road led her to ExperiencePlus! in 2004. Her passion for traveling by bicycle and sharing the possibilities and plans with our travelers makes her "work" at ExperiencePlus! fun and gratifying. She looks forward to sharing her enthusiasm for traveling by bike with each of you and hearing of your adventures. Email Julie(at)ExperiencePlus.com

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