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!

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

 

 

Review Details
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Mini U-lock
Author Rating
4

10 thoughts on “Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Mini: The best bike lock ever?

  • June 28, 2016 at 6:30 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Carl, What an excellent site! Thank you!
    I’m not a spring chicken (61) and am an avid cyclist. I have a pretty expensive road bike and am going to spend a month at the beach taking care of my mother. I’d like to get the New York Fahgettaboudit Mini but worry about the weight. I am used to riding light and as an older woman, I don’t want to risk too much weight on my back. Sounds like the mounting brackets don’t work well, too. What do you think is the next best alternative? A few years ago, my bike was in back of my van in my driveway (mistake) and the thieves smashed through the glass and took the bike; so I’m pretty paranoid. Thanks again!

    Reply
    • June 28, 2016 at 8:15 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Mary,

      The Fahgettaboudit Mini is a really heavy lock! If you’re happy with a mini sized u-lock then I highly recommend the Abus Granit X-Plus 54 Mini which is almost half as heavy as the Fahgettaboudit.

      It’s not quite as secure as the Fahgettaboudit, (no other portable bike lock is). It is very secure though. I talk about it in more detail here.

      As with all mini u-locks, think carefully about whether it’s big enough to use in the streets where you ride. If it’s not you could try the big brother of the 54 Mini. This is the X-Plus 540, which is also very secure, is lighter than the Fahgettaboudit (despite being much bigger) and comes with a good frame mount.

      I hope that helps!

      Carl

      Reply
  • July 12, 2016 at 3:24 pm
    Permalink

    I’ll be receiving my Flux Trail e-bike in a month or two, so spending a bit on the lock will be worth it even in a low- to moderate-risk are in the suburbs outside Boulder (of course if I ride TO Boulder it’s bike thief paradise). Plus the fact I have motor assist means a heavy lock isn’t something I’ll be able to complain about 🙂

    So I’ll be utilizing the Sheldon method with this U-bar, but what about the cable to secure the front wheel – is there anything that makes one better than another? Awesome site by the way.

    Reply
    • July 12, 2016 at 9:53 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Chris,

      Nice bike! To be honest, all cable locks are pretty hopeless. The armored ones are better. But they’re heavy and expensive.

      If you’re going to use a cable to secure the front wheel of a nice bike like this, then the first thing you should do is get rid of the quick release skewers.

      Just replacing them with hex head skewers will vastly improve the chances of keeping your wheel. If you use a one of the more secure options, even better.

      With something like that and a cable noose, in a low risk area you will probably be OK.

      If you want to be even more secure then a mini u-lock like the Kryptonite Messenger Mini is a good, lightweight choice. Although in this case it will be too small to secure the wheel to the frame; you’ll need to secure the wheel to a rack or rails.

      Or since weight is not such an issue a 6 mm chain like the Kryptonite Keeper will be a much better choice than most cables.

      But as I say, if you get rid of the quick release wheels a cable noose should be OK in your case.

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
  • July 15, 2016 at 3:52 pm
    Permalink

    So, how do you feel about paring the Fahgettaboutdit with a Kryptonite cable (like this for example https://www.amazon.ca/KRYPTONITE-KryptoFlex-7-ft-Cable/dp/B01EX9RHE0/ ) for the front wheel, the seat, etc?

    Just got a new whip and am doing actual research into actual bike locks and this web site is a FANTASTIC resource! Thanks! Tell the bartender your next is a double, and it’s on my tab!

    Cheers

    Reply
    • July 15, 2016 at 4:49 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Clinton!

      These cables provide no real protection against thieves. They stop honest people becoming thieves! And maybe give you some piece of mind.

      The most effective thing you can do to protect your wheels and seat is to replace the quick release skewers. The cable will then give an addition (thin) layer of security.

      But if you’re cycling somewhere that’s risky enough to require a Fahgettaboudit, (and you’ve got nice wheels and seat) then a cable like this is not enough by itself.

      Have a look at the seat and wheels page for some ideas. It doesn’t have to be expensive. I just use the old bike chain method on my seat and have regular nutted bolts on my wheels.

      I’ve found that the thieves where I live are prepared to go through cables (and bike chains) to get to quick release seats but will generally leave seats without quick release clamps alone (as long as they are secured with something else).

      I hope that helps!
      (Mines a G&T)

      Reply
  • August 9, 2016 at 10:39 pm
    Permalink

    A friend just got her bike stolen in daylight, in a very busy street, with the bike frame secured to a immovable object.

    With that kind of heavy lock, picking its lock is the path of least resistance for a professional and only takes a few minutes.

    Reply
    • August 10, 2016 at 11:03 am
      Permalink

      Hi Vincent,

      Are you saying your friends bike was stolen while secured with this lock? If so, how do you know they picked the lock?

      Thanks

      Carl

      Reply
  • December 11, 2016 at 3:56 pm
    Permalink

    Hello Carl

    Thank you for this amazing website!but I still have some doubts I wish you could help me.
    The New York Fahgettaboudit Mini is the most secure U Lock, but it is not big enough to lock the frame and the wheel to a rack right?? Even the ABUS Granit 540 X Plus with 10,8 cm does not seem to feet around frame and wheel and a bike rack, and my bike and tires are quite thin. Maybe I am not understanding the proper way to use them.
    I have gotten my bike stolen from work, so I am a bit paranoid and i really want to invest in a good ( or two) good locks, but i am a bit lost because of this, they don’t seem to feet so i could lock the bike the right way as you showed us. I spend at work from 6 to 24 hours sometime, should I get a chain left there and a U lock- and which U lock ABUS granit 540 ABUS MINI or the Nyc Fahggettaboutit! Help!!
    Thank you so much

    Reply
    • December 11, 2016 at 6:34 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Maria,

      The Fahgettaboudit may be big enough to lock the frame and the wheel to a rack. It depends on what type of bike you’ve got…

      https://goo.gl/images/dKIqZI
      https://goo.gl/images/hL7NcC

      In the photos above, they manage it. But the bikes have thin wheels and frames. With a bigger bike you will probably struggle.

      But with the Abus Granit 540 X Plus you shouldn’t have any problems.

      Have you read the how to lock your bike page? The photos on that page show me locking the frame and a wheel with a lock that’s more or less the same size as the Abus Granit 540 X Plus.

      It should be easy.

      As to which is lock is best for you, it’s hard to say without knowing a little more about where you work and where you keep your bike at home.

      But in general I’d say the Abus Granit 540 X Plus is more practical than the Fahggettaboutit. It’s bigger, lighter, comes with a frame mount and is only a little bit less secure.

      If you were to use the Abus Granit 540 X Plus for portable security and keep a good thick chain at work (where you could use both locks) that would be a very secure combination.

      When you’re at work are you leaving the bike on the street or is there a private place inside work you can lock it?

      Thanks
      Carl

      Reply

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