The Chainlink

Product Review: ABUS Bordo 6100 Combination Lock by Commuter

By Peter Szabo

There are people who steal bikes. I know this because I, people I know, and people I care about have been the victim of the worst form of larceny I, and I’m sure you, can imagine.

 

While in the idyllic bubble of ignorance to the cruel pain I’d come to know, a combination cable lock seemed sufficient. Six feet stretched enough to secure the wheelbase of a 23” Schwinn Super Sport to most bike racks, trees, railings, parking meters, and any other semi-permanent fixture available when a rack was not provided or open.

As I began biking more and into the winter, the my bicycle cache was doubled to include a much newer and much shinier red Specialized mountain bike. One day, I found a familiar but cut cable lock and I have been trying to fill a void left by that  shiny red bike ever since.

Only surviving photo of the stolen Specialized

Everyone learns about the importance of a good strong lock in different ways. When you find a bike you really like and you want it to have and to hold forever, expect to spend three months salary on a—no but really, don’t go cheap on a lock. There are people in this world who steal bikes, and most of them do not carry power-tools with them to do so. With the image of my cut cable lock vivid in my memory, I bought a U-lock. Hardened steel, but one soon learns that even the biggest U-lock can’t lock to a lamp post or a tree without relying heavily a cable.

 

Enter: the ABUS Bordo 6100 combo. This lock is a miracle! As long as you don’t expect it to be weightless and create a forcefield around your bicycle preventing grit, slush, and miscreants from touching it, this thing does it all. No key to keep track of, no snippable cable, compact size, and it isn’t based on the false premise that you’ll always be afforded luxurious (read: standard, practical) bike racks to which you may lock your bicycle.

 

After wanting one of these locks for a while and finally having one, thanks to the kind people at ABUS, I was ecstatic. Now that the honeymoon phase has subsided, I have several thoughts about the lock.

Folding bike meets folding lock

 

The negative aspects of this product are fairly limited, but worth mentioning. My main complaint is that the rubber holster for the Bordo grips the rubberized exterior of the lock too well, making it somewhat difficult to remove and replace it. Secondly, the lock will rattle when in certain positions. I don’t mind the lock rattling, but sometimes I’m tricked into thinking my bike is rattling, so it gives me a momentary scare. Finally, the lock’s small folded size tricks me into thinking I can put it places where it’s best not to stash it. For example, I carried it in my handlebar bag on RAGBRAI for a couple days, making my handlebar bag a little too heavy and wobbly on descents.


The positive aspects of this lock, in my estimation, far outweigh the negatives. The holster can be affixed to your frame either with a velcro strap or two bolts. With a wheel lock or axle locks, it becomes the easiest to carry, most secure, lock-anywhere lock. It is the perfect mate for any bike I’d want to lock. Especially my Dahon Boardwalk!

Peter Szabo is a transportation and recreation cyclist who got his start repairing and building bikes for the Iowa City Bike Library. He now works in a Chicago-area bike shop and volunteers for his local Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission to improve active transportation opportunities in his community. He is a Chainlink Ambassador and will contribute articles in the form of product reviews, event coverage, bike-based travel writing, and more. Follow him on Instagram: @on_two & @bike_there

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Comment by Joseph Beemster on November 23, 2016 at 12:22pm

Great Article Peter

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