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Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Mini: The best bike lock ever?

Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Mini

New York Fahgettaboudit Mini Summary
Overall Score:4 Stars
Check Price:Check Amazon Price
Bar Thickness:18 mm
Weight:4.55 lb (2.06 kg)
Size (internal):3.25 x 6" (8.3 x 15.3 cm)
Kryptonite Rating:10/10
Other Security Ratings:Sold Secure GoldSold Secure Motorcycle GoldART 4 Stars

 

Introduction

The Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini. What is there left to say about this, probably the most famous of all U-locks? It’s the thickest. It’s (nearly) the heaviest. It’s indisputably the most secure. But is it the best U-lock for you? While it’s undoubtedly a fantastic bike lock, it’s certainly not for everyone.

In this review I look at how secure it is (there’s a clue on the photo), how easy it is to carry and use daily and what alternatives are available…

How secure is it?

With an 18″ shackle, the Fahgettaboudit is a rare beast. There are very few locks that can boast a shackle this thick. What’s more, it’s made from Kryptonites MAX-Performance steel which is triple heat treated for ultimate cutting force resistance.

No bolt cutters can crop this lock. It can only be defeated with power tools. It could take a thief with a portable angle grinder upwards of 5 minutes to get through one side. And even then, since the double bolted crossbar locks both ends of the shackle, it would need to be cut twice to free it!

Leverage attacks which might defeat other U-locks are rendered useless by the over-sized hardened steel cross bar. And because the Fahgettaboudit is a mini U-lock, if you lock your bike correctly, there’ll be no room for a thief to insert a hydraulic bottle jack that might be able to pop the lock open.

This extraordinary level of protection is reflected in it’s security ratings. Kryptonite themselves give it a maximum 10/10 rating. Sold Secure rate it as both Bicycle and Motorcycle Gold. And ART give it 4/5.

So yes, this is really is the most secure portable bike lock available today. The only other U-locks that come close are the 18 mm Kryptonite New York Lock M18-WL (which is is basically a standard sized version of the Fahgettaboudit) and the 16 mm Kryptonite New York Lock Standard. However the M18-WL is significantly heavier and the New York Lock Standard is less secure.

So the Fahgettaboudit must be the best bike lock ever then, yes? Woah, hold on a second! All this security comes at a price…

Is it easy to carry?

Although it’s a mini U-lock, the Fahgettaboudit is still exceptionally heavy. At 4.55 lb (2.06 kg) it’s actually one of the heaviest U-locks available. In fact, I could only find two U-locks that are heavier: the M18-WL mentioned above and the long shackle version of the OnGuard Brute!

In case you struggle to imagine how heavy this is, it’s the same weight as 5.5 cans of coke. That’s pretty heavy. And it doesn’t come with a frame mount! So this makes carrying the Fahgettaboudit a bit of a challenge.

Of course you could put it in your back pack or shoulder bag if you use one. But that sort of weight in on your back every day might start to get annoying. You could strap it to your luggage rack or put it in your panniers if you use them. I have heard of people wedging them in their water bottle cages. And some people fasten the lock through a belt loop on their jeans.

For many people these options weren’t acceptable and some have fashioned their own frame mounts, usually out of pieces of Velcro! If you google “how to carry a Fahgettaboudit” you will find loads of these home made solutions.

Otherwise, you could buy a separate, third party frame mount. Kryptonite themselves produce the “Transit H-Bar Handlebar Bicycle Lock Carrier” which is compatible with a wide range of bike locks including the Fahgettaboudit. Basically, it will fasten the lock to your handlebars by way of a plastic mount and some Velcro straps. However, be aware it doesn’t get universally good reviews!

Transit H-bar handlebar bicycle lock carrier

Two Fish also produce a handlebar mount that gets much better reviews. And note that although it’s specifically designed for handlebars, you can also use it to mount the lock anywhere else on your frame.

Two Fish Fahgettaboudit U-lock mount

If you don’t want to mount the Fahgettaboudit on your bike, you could also look at third party holsters that strap the lock to your body! Fabric Horse do a very good value holster that attaches to your belt and fits a number of U-locks including the Fahgettaboudit. I especially like this one as it’s made from recycled seat belts! That’s not the Fahgettaboudit  in  the photo by the way. Its the bigger, New York Standard.

Fabric Horse Fahgettaboudit U-lock holster

So, while the Fahgettaboudit doesn’t come with a frame mount, there are plenty of alternatives. But the reason I’m talking about this so much, is that it’s really important that you find a way to carry the Fahgettaboudit that works for you.

There’s no point owning the most secure U-lock in the world if you can’t find a satisfactory way to carry it around every day. Because if carrying it is a pain, you’ll stop using it. And then your bike will be stolen. It’s the same with making sure it’s easy to use…

How easy is it to use?

The Fahgettaboudit is a mini U-lock. In this case, the internal dimensions are just 6.0”” (15.3 cm) x 3.25”” (8.3 cm). That’s pretty small. Measure it out with a ruler or a tape measure. See what I mean?

These internal dimensions are important because they will determine where and how you lock your bike. Everything you want to secure, including whatever you’re locking your bike to, needs to fit in that space. Now obviously whether this is possible or not will depend on what sort of bike your riding and where you’re trying to lock it.

If your riding a bike with a thin frame and thin wheels, you should have no problems locking the frame and the back wheel to a modern bike stand. However, if you’ve got a fatter frame, fatter tyres or the thing your locking your bike to is slightly fatter than a modern Sheffield Cycle Stand, you will probably struggle to secure the frame and the wheel. To be honest, if it’s a busy stand you may even struggle with a thin bike!

Now this is not the end of the world. You can always use the Sheldon Brown bike locking method, where you secure just the back wheel to the bike rack, but through the rear triangle of the frame. The idea here is that because the wheel cannot be pulled through the rear triangle, the whole bike is safe. I explain this locking method in more detail (with photographs!) on the how to lock your bike page. And while I don’t recommend it for long periods of time it’s OK for short stops.

A more long term solution would be to replace the quick release skewers on your wheels with secure locking skewers. In fact, there’s a whole series of methods that you can employ to protect your wheels and reduce or even eliminate the need to lock them together with your frame. And I talk about them in great detail on the wheel locks and seat locks page!

Much more important though, is that when you use a mini U-lock like the Fahgettaboudit, you do limit where you’re able to lock your bike. And if you live somewhere with few proper bike stands, your options may be very limited. So think carefully about your neighborhood, your bike and where exactly you routinely lock it. Will you easily be able to find places to secure it with a Fahgettaboudit? If the answer is no, then the Fahgettaboudit is probably not for you.

Another thing we have to talk about here is lock maintenance. Modern locks shouldn’t need to much looking after. But if they are left outside for long periods, especially in harsh weather conditions, you should be nice to them at least occasionally.

There are quite a few of reports of the Fahgettaboudit seizing up or jamming. I don’t think the Fahgettaboudit is more prone to this problem than any other high quality lock. I just think, it’s such a heavy beast, that when it does start to stiffen, it’s that much harder to fix. So try to avoid the problem even starting by cleaning and lubricating your lock regularly.

I go into this in much more detail on the how to stop your lock jamming page. But to summarize here: clean the mechanism with WD-40. Lubricate the mechanism with a Teflon based product such Finish Line or TriFlow. And add a smear of White Lithium Grease to the ends of the shackles and the crossbar holes. This will significantly reduce the chances of your lock jamming.

Does it include insurance?

The Fahgettaboudit is eligible for coverage by Kryptonites in-house Anti-Theft Protection. Under this scheme, if your bike is stolen as a result of this lock being defeated, Kryptonite will pay you up to $4,500 / £2,500 / €2,000 depending on the value of your bike.

I go into the ins and outs of this scheme in much more detail on the Abus vs Kryptonite vs OnGuard page. But to summarize here: you need to register as soon as you buy the lock, it’s not free and even though the Kryptonite scheme is far better than the equivalent OnGuard scheme, the chances of them paying out are slim. It’s much, much better to organize your own insurance separately.

Conclusion

The Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Mini is without doubt the most secure U-lock available today. In fact it’s the most secure portable bike lock, period. This is indisputable!

But that doesn’t necessarily make it the best bike lock for you. It’s not cheap. At around $100 in the US and £60 in the UK, it’s at the top end of the U-lock price range. That shouldn’t be an issue though: you expect to pay a bit more for the very best protection and the highest quality.

Much more important is that it’s very heavy and very small. Before you buy it, think carefully about how you’re going to transport it and where you’re going to use it. If you’re confident that carrying it around won’t be an issue and you’re sure that you won’t struggle to find a place to secure your bike, then this is a fantastic choice. It will provide you with the very highest protection you can get. And if you look after it, it should last many years.

But if you think you might have difficulty with the weight or that you won’t be able to lock your bike where you want to, then you should look at some of the alternatives.

Alternatives to the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini

Whether you’re looking for something lighter, bigger, cheaper or all three, there are plenty of alternatives to the Fahgettaboudit. Just don’t expect to find anything as secure, because you won’t.

Looking for something lighter?

Abus U-Mini 401 YellowThe Abus U-Mini 401 Yellow is around the same price as the Fahgettaboudit and is more or less the same size, being very slightly shorter and narrower. However it’s almost half the weight of the Kryptonite monster!

This is because the shackle is just 14 mm thick. Despite this, Abus give it their maximum 15/15 security rating and it’s also rated Sold Secure Gold. In fact it’s probably the lightest, high security U-lock available today.

It’s clearly not as secure as the Fahgettaboudit, but maybe you don’t need it to be. So if you’re looking for a small, light U-lock that still offers a very high level of protection, this could be the lock or you.

Looking for something bigger?

Kryptonite New York Lock StandardThe Kryptonite New York Standard is, as it’s name suggests, standard sized. So it’s internal measurements are 8.0”” (20.3 cm) x 4.0”” (10.2 cm), which should give you loads more options when you’re looking for somewhere to lock your bike.

Despite being bigger than the Fahgettaboudit, it’s also slightly (10 g) lighter. Again, this is because the shackle is thinner. Only 16 mm! Of course this is still bolt cutter proof. A thief would need to resort to power tools to defeat this lock. And like the Fahgettaboudit it’s rated Sold Secure Gold and gets 4/5 from ART.

No, it’s not quite as secure as the Fahgettaboudit. But if you’re looking for something a little more practical, while still offering an extremely high level of protection, it’s definitely worth looking at.

Looking for something cheaper?

OnGuard Brute MiniThe OnGuard Brute Mini is around the same size as the Fahgettaboudit, being slightly wider but also slightly shorter.

The shackle is 16.8 mm thick, so it’s definitely bolt cutter proof. And it features OnGuard’s quadruple deadbolt locking system which means the shackle would need to be cut twice to defeat it. OnGuard give it a 97/100 security rating and while it’s not rated by Sold Secure, there is no reason to think it wouldn’t be awarded the same Gold rating as it’s standard sized brother.

The best thing about this lock though is the price. It costs less than half as much as the Fahgettaboudit! In fact it’s less than half the price of all the other locks on this page. A bargain!

Just remember to clean and lubricate it regularly, because OnGuard locks are often not as well weatherproofed as some of the other brands. But if you’re looking for a high security mini U-lock at a rock bottom price, this is the lock for you!

If these locks aren’t quite right either, don’t forget my straightforward guide to choosing the best bike lock!

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Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Mini Specs

Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Mini

New York Fahgettaboudit Mini Summary
Overall Score:4 Stars
Check Price:Check Amazon Price
Bar Thickness:18 mm
Weight:4.55 lb (2.06 kg)
Size (internal):3.25 x 6" (8.3 x 15.3 cm)
Kryptonite Rating:10/10
Other Security Ratings:Sold Secure GoldSold Secure Motorcycle GoldART 4 Stars

 

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