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Abus GRANIT X Plus 540: The best all-round bike lock?

Abus GRANIT X-Plus 540 best high-security lock

Abus GRANIT X Plus 540 Summary
Overall Score:5 Stars
Check Price:Check Amazon Price
Bar Thickness:13 mm
Weight:3.20 lb (1.45 kg)
Size (internal):4.25 x 9" (10.8 x 23 cm)
Abus Rating:15/15
Other Security
Ratings:
Sold Secure Gold ART 3 Stars

 

Introduction

This is one of my favorite bike locks. In fact, I’d go as far to say that its’s the best all-round U-lock available today.

It’s a top of the range, standard size U-lock that manages to combine the highest security and build quality with a relatively low weight. And of course it has a price tag reflects this achievement!

Abus Granit X-Plus 540 boxed

Abus Granit X-Plus 540 boxed

In this Abus GRANIT X Plus 540 review I look at how secure it is, how practical it is carry around and use daily and what alternatives are available…

How secure is it?

With a shackle that’s just 13 mm thick, at first glance the X Plus 540 may seem less secure than other U-locks in the same price range.

Abus Granit X-Plus 540 un-boxed

Abus Granit X-Plus 540 un-boxed

However, the Abus shackle is made from a special type of temper hardened German steel, cast in a patented, parabolic square shape. This makes it as strong as thicker shackles from other manufacturers. So you get the same level of security in a much lighter lock.

Indeed, Abus claim it can resist over 13 tons of cutting force which means that no bolt cutter can crop it. And because the shackle is pre-stretched, double bolted and uses a patented power cell locking mechanism, it can also resist 17 tons of pulling force.

Plus, don’t forget, the double bolted shackle means that any power tool needs to cut it twice to defeat it!

Abus Granit X-Plus 540 square shackle

Abus Granit X-Plus 540 square shackle

All in all, this means the X Plus 540 is a very secure bicycle lock. Abus themselves give it the maximum 15/15 security rating for bicycles. Sold Secure give a the highest possible Gold security rating. And ART give it a 3/5 stars security rating.

In fact, it’s the only 13 mm U-lock to receive three stars from ART. The only other U-locks with three stars are the 14 mm Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 locks.

And the only U-locks to surpass it with four stars are the 16 mm Kryptonite New York and the 18 mm Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini locks.

And all these locks are obviously significantly heavier than the X Plus 540. Compare the weights of Sold Secure Gold bike locks here.

Is it easy to carry?

The GRANIT X Plus 540 weighs 3.20 lb (1.45 kg). That’s about the same as three and a half cans of coke. It’s not light. But it’s certainly not heavy either. In fact it’s the lightest high security, standard size U-lock available today. Having said that, carrying it around in a bag all day will probably be too much for most people. So what’s the frame mount like?

In fact, you can buy the X Plus 540 with two different frame mounts (or with no frame mount at all). So make sure you check what it comes with before you purchase it. The EaZy KF bracket is for frames with diameters 28-36 mm. While the USH 540 bracket is for frames with diameters 15-36 mm.

There are a couple of videos (with some pretty serious music) on how to use the EaZy KF and the USH 540. But essentially, the EaZy KF is a smaller mount, into which you clip and unclip the shackle of your lock, while the USH 540 is a much bigger mount into which you actually lock your U-lock.

The EaZy KF is more discreet and can be used with one hand. While the USH 540 is much more obtrusive, and while while probably a bit more convoluted to use, it’s also probably a bit more sturdy.

Abus Frame Mounts

However both frame mounts have a much better reputation than the brackets that come with Kryptonite and OnGuard locks. There are far less complaints about Abus brackets. And if you’re someone who depends on decent frame mount then this will obviously be a significant consideration when choosing the best lock for you.

Is it easy to use?

The X Plus 540 is 9.0”” (23 cm) long and 4.25”” (10.8 cm) wide. This is a standard U-lock size and gives a fairly good range of options when you’re looking for places to lock your bike.

Abus Granit X-Plus 540 around front wheel

Abus Granit X-Plus 540 around front wheel

Abus Granit X-Plus 540 around back wheel

Abus Granit X-Plus 540 around back wheel

In fact, it’s slightly wider than many other standard size U-locks. You’re never going to have problems at bike racks, street signs and parking meters. But you still might struggle with thicker lampposts.

Abus Granit X-Plus 540 around traffic light

Abus Granit X-Plus 540 around traffic light

If you need something longer, the X Plus 540 is also available with a slightly longer, 12”.0″ (30 cm) shackle. This could be useful if you’re using it to secure two bicycles.

The X Plus 540 comes with two keys, one with a LED light to help you use the lock in the dark. And you also get a code card which enables you to order replacement keys should you lose one.

Abus Granit X-Plus 540 keys

Abus Granit X-Plus 540 keys

As with all Abus locks, you are able to order your lock “keyed alike” so it matches the keys of another Abus lock you may already own. In this way, you can have one set of keys that open several different locks.

Abus Granit X-Plus 540 key hole

Abus Granit X-Plus 540 key hole

The mechanism is protected by an internal dust cover that’s pushed aside by the key when you insert into the key hole. This keeps the mechanism clean and dry without inconveniencing you when you’re using the lock.

Abus locks have a very strong reputation for build quality and reliability. The X Plus 540 is no exception and you can really feel that quality when you hold it. Everything clicks together with a very satisfying clunk and it’s a pleasure to use.

Conclusion

I think the Abus GRANIT X Plus 540 is probably the best all round U-lock available today. It offers an extremely high level of security. It’s a practical size that gives you loads of options when you’re looking for places to lock your bike.

And it achieves both of these things without being prohibitively heavy. In fact, it’s not much heavier than a standard size budget U-lock!

Moreover, the fantastic build quality guarantees long term reliability and it comes with a choice from two of the very best frame mounts. There really are no drawbacks to this lock.

Except perhaps the price. Often in life, the best stuff costs the most money. And the X Plus 540 is no exception. It’s usually at the very top of the U-lock price range. But what can I say? If you want the very best you need to pay a little more.

As I’ve mentioned before, buying a cheap lock is a false economy. Not only will a decent U-lock save you from having to buy a new bike and another, better lock. But a decent lock, well looked after, will last many years and maybe many bikes.

So if you can afford the price, I wholeheartedly recommend the Abus GRANIT X Plus 540. But as always, there are alternatives…

Alternatives to the GRANIT X Plus 540

If the GRANIT X Plus 540 is not exactly what you’re looking for, then there are a number of other locks which might be more suitable…

Looking for something cheaper?

Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 U-lockThe Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 Standard is very similar to the GRANIT X Plus 540. It’s almost the same size (just 0.5 cm narrower). And in terms of security, it’s also rated Gold by Sold Secure and has 3/5 stars from ART. I don’t think it’s quite as secure as the Abus lock, but it’s getting close.

And it’s around 50% cheaper than the X Plus 540! What’s the drawback? Well, the shackle is 14 mm thick, which means it’s a fair bit heavier (8.8 oz / 250 g) than the Abus lock. And the frame mount is nowhere near as good.

But if you looking for a U-lock that is the same size and offers almost the same level of security as the X Plus 540, at a fraction of the price, this is a very good choice.

Looking for something more secure?

Kryptonite New York Lock StandardThere aren’t many bicycle U-locks that are more secure than the GRANIT X Plus 540. In fact I can only think of two. The Kryptonite New York Standard is one. And the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini is the other. Both of these locks are rated Sold Secure Gold and get 4/5 stars from ART. But the Fahgettaboudit Mini is a very different lock so I wont look at it here.

The New York Standard is slightly shorter (2 cm) and narrower (0.5 cm) than the Abus lock but with a 16 mm shackle it’s also considerably heavier (1.1 lb / 520 g).

But if you’re looking for something that’s a little more secure than the X Plus 540 while still giving you lots of choice when you’re looking for places to lock your bike, this could be a good option.

Looking for something lighter?

Abus U-Mini 401 YellowThere aren’t any standard size locks that are lighter than the GRANIT X Plus 540 while still offering a comparable level of security. If you want a lighter lock, you’ll need to go smaller.

The Abus U-mini 401 Yellow is also rated Sold Secure Gold. And Abus themselves give it the same 15/15 security rating as the X Plus 540. But it’s much lighter (14 oz / 390 g).

Why? Because it’s tiny. Just 5.71″ (14.5 cm) long and 3.15”” (8.0 cm) wide. This can really limit your options when you’re looking for somewhere to lock your bike. But depending on where you live, what bike you ride it and you want to lock it, it could work well for you.

And if you’re looking for a lighter U-lock than the X Plus 540 that still offers a similar level of security it could be a good choice for you.

If none of these options are quite right for you, try my simple 3 step guide that guarantees to find the right lock for you and your bike!

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Abus GRANIT X Plus 540 Specs

Abus GRANIT X Plus 540 Summary
Overall Score:5 Stars
Check Price:Check Amazon Price
Bar Thickness:13 mm
Weight:3.20 lb (1.45 kg)
Size (internal):4.25 x 9" (10.8 x 23 cm)
Abus Rating:15/15
Other Security
Ratings:
Sold Secure Gold ART 3 Stars

 

Review Details
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Abus GRANIT X Plus 540 U-lock
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