The Chainlink

Product Review: ABUS Bordo 6000 by a Mountain Biker

By Marcelo Marcos

So, about the ABUS Bordo 6000... I know you swear by your U-Lock.They are small and sexy and easy to carry around. Problem is, I can't use a U-Lock. Why you may ask? They call it hydroforming.

Preferred way to carry the Bordo, underbelly

My mountain bike’s frame, like many other modern mountain bike frames in the market was manufactured using a technology that renders odd shaped structures of aluminum. The bike is also built up particularly burly due to the fact that it wasn’t built with the intended goal of commuting in Chicago. I’ve never managed to successfully lock my bike with a U-lock. 

This is why I have typically resorted to using chain-based bicycle locks or actual hardware store chains/locks to secure my bike. The former is rather inadequate by most standards and the latter is highly impractical. 

Enter the ABUS Bordo 6000.

Since I moved to this city exactly one year ago, people have been constantly reminding me that the locks I use on my bike are exceptionally inadequate. Some may even argue that my bike is the inadequate thing in the picture, but that is a discussion for someone with more money (i.e. single) or someone who is willing to allow themselves to drift out of the mountain bike/downhill scene. Not me in any case.

There’s a whole other discussion revolving around the fact that there’s probably no 100% thief-proof bike lock out there but that’s something I won’t address either. I’ve seen the YouTube videos of this and numerous other locks getting cut and I believe it. Instead, whenever I purchase a lock I think about how efficient it is at deterring opportunistic thieves and how much time it can buy me to leave my bike out of sight. Although most bike locks can be broken into, some will undoubtedly be better at deterring opportunistic thieves and will on average take longer time to be broken into. 

I’m into my third month with this lock and I couldn’t be happier. I’ll start with the pro’s first:

Form factor: I happen to know the cost of all the bike parts in my bike since I built it myself so I’m glad the Bordo is able to cover at least two of the parts that cost more than 50% of the package (the fork and the frame). Due to the hinges between the steel beams on this lock, it can be manipulated fairly freely to cater to non-bike-racks, odd bicycle frames or potentially more than one regular bike. 
Practicality: This bike lock weight could have easily been a con, if not for the holster that’s included with the lock itself. Weight can quickly become a problem for cyclists and it can be specially accentuated depending on its location. We all know that rotational weight on the wheels can kill but something close to the center of gravity can be more easily ignored when living in a flat city. I was immediately able to place this lock in front of my bottom bracket on the downtube where it happily sits out of the way and mostly unnoticeable. 
Build: The lock is well built. A commuter’s biggest fear can often be bolt cutters, angle grinders or prying bars. The steel beams are harder to cut than regular chains with bolt cutters and take significantly more time to get through with angle grinders. Prying bars that could potentially be used to snap U-Locks (not an easy task) are rendered useless with this lock. 

Cons:

Relatively new concept: Although this is mainly anecdotal, one thing that I’ve heard is that the lock is not commonly known yet and potential thieves may end up going at it thinking its an easy grab only to end up damaging your bike in the process. I can see this happening especially since the format is newer than most of what is out there. 

Now for the real test...

Two weekends ago I got to thoroughly test out the lock when I decided to follow my wife on her first ever Marathon, the Chicago Marathon. Not only was planning a route challenging, but detours and having to leave my bike locked while I cheered my wife on was going to prove nerve racking.

An officer directed me this way, I swear. Right after they made me take a 2 mile detour


Leaving your bike unattended sucks. After using this lock for a while I started to get comfortable with it but I was almost sure at some point during the marathon I was going to see some one try to snatch it. 

It stood up quite well to adapting to non-bike rack fixtures where it could be locked. The available "lockable" fixtures didn't cooperate and my bike frame didn't cooperate either, but I was still able to keep it securely locked. 

After having several opportunities to watch it from afar and stay on the lookout for suspicious activity, I started to feel more at ease with the lock.

At the end of the day I had a blast following my wife around the marathon course and taking in parts of Chicago that I'd never venture into. I had two extra locks for good measure but I started to ignore them towards the end of the race. I'm not sure I will ever feel comfortable locking my bike with the Abus for extended periods of time without me watching like a hawk, but at least it gives me some peace of mind for those moments when you just need to leave it behind for a few minutes. 

That's all I got for now anyway. I'll keep you posted if I ever end up losing my bike. Regardless, in my opinion, bikes are tools. They are meant to be used and abused. I hope I can manage to allow the bike to keep taking me to new places instead of limiting where I can go. And if the Abus allows me to do that with a little bit more peace of mind, then all the power to it. The lock is a win on my book.

Easy to attach to any part of the bike

Learn more about the ABUS Bordo 6000.

MSRP of $129.99

Marcelo Marcos started riding and racing mountain bikes in 2002. Since then, he’s taken on marathon races, bike camping, downhill racing, park riding and commuting. His day job as a finance consultant has led him away from his hometown in Mexico and onto Texas, Florida, North Carolina, L.A. and now Chicago. He currently enjoys mountain biking and photography in his off-time, and also serves as an ambassador for The Chainlink.

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Comment by Tom A.K. on October 20, 2016 at 2:04pm
Marcelo, I enjoyed reading about your test of the Abus Bordo 6000 lock while traveling the Chicago Marathon route to support and encourage your wife who was running. I hosted the Chicago Marathon Viewing Party by Bike here with friends and also had to lock up quickly and securely. This lock seems to be an adaptable lock for those of us with mountain bikes and different locking conditions. I was also trying lock up with chain locks like you. Time for an upgrade. Hope you and your wife enjoyed the marathon. Hope to see you there next year!
Comment by Tony Cambio on October 20, 2016 at 1:07pm

Based on my experiences with my own ABUS Bordo 5700, I've ordered several for customers!

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