Kryptonite Evolution Standard (Series 4 > New-U) Review
Kryptonite Evolution Standard New-U
3.5 lb (1.59 kg)
4 x 9"
Other Security Ratings:
The Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 Standard was a fantastic lock. But Kryptonite have upgraded it!
And the Kryptonite Evolution New-U Standard [Amazon] is even more fantastic! However, it is very similar to the Series 4, so rather than write a whole new review, I’m just going to update this (the old Series 4 review).
This gives me a chance to talk about what’s changed and explain to anyone arriving here looking for the Series 4 (which you can still buy), why they should go straight for the New-U instead!
So in this review of the Kryptonite Evolution New-U Standard, first we’ll look at how its evolved from the Series 4 (what’s different).
Then we’ll look at how secure it is, how easy it is to carry around, how best to use it. And finally if it isn’t quite right for you, I’ll suggest some great alternative bike locks.
Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 Standard vs Kryptonite Evolution New-U Standard
So what’s changed is the cross bar. On the Series 4, the crossbar is massive (and oval shaped). On the New-U it’s much smaller. In fact it’s around the same size as the crossbar on the less secure Kryptolok.
But Kryptonite have managed to reduce the size without reducing how secure the lock is (the New-U has the same in house and independent security ratings as the Series 4).
And they’ve achieved this with some subtle changes to the way the shackle locks into the crossbar (more on this later).
What’s important here is that a smaller shackle means a more lightweight bike lock. And while the Series 4 weighed in at a pretty heavy 3.75 lb (1.70 kg), the New-U is just 3.5 lb (1.59 kg). That’s over 6% lighter.
So, if the New-U is as secure as the Series 4 whilst also being significantly lighter, it’s really a no brainer: if you like the look of the Kryptonite Evolution Standard, go for the New-U over the Series 4!
So now we know what’s changed, let’s have a look at the New-U in more detail…
How secure is the Kryptonite Evolution New-U Standard?
At 14 mm thick, the shackle of the Kryptonite Evolution Standard is only 1 mm thicker than the less secure Kryptonite Kryptolok New-U. However, it’s made from a completely different type of steel.
This “max performance steel” is much stronger than the steel used in Kryptonite cheaper bike locks, and provides far more protection against cutting attacks from hacksaws, bolt-cutters and angle grinders.
The shackle is double bolted, so it locks into the crossbar on both sides. This means that it needs to be cut on both sides to open it and gives extra protection against twisting and leverage attacks which are often used to defeat cheaper u-locks.
And with the New-U, Kryptonite have given this protection an extra boost. At the bottom of each end of the shackle, there is a “scoop” cut into the steel. These scoops slot into “bumps” at the base of the crossbar.
This means that when it’s locked, the shackle is essentially anchored in four places. At the top, as usual, with the two deadbolts. And now also at the bottom with the two bumps. This makes for a stronger bike lock altogether.
In order to make this work well, the scooped ends of the shackle have to lock into the actual case of the lock, which means the holes for the shackle now extend all the way through the crossbar.
This should also stop moisture accumulating in the crossbar and reduce corrosion (which can fuse the shackle in the lock). So there should be less chance of the New-U jamming in this way. Bonus!
So, with these changes Kryptonite have managed to significantly reduce the bulk and weight of the crossbar while still maintaining the security of the Evolution Standard. It gets the same 8/10, in-house security rating as the Series 4.
And the independent ratings back this up. The Kryptonite Evolution Standard New-U has a Gold rating from Sold Secure. And it gets a formidable 3/5 stars from ART. Which is exactly the same as the Series 4.
This is a very secure bike lock indeed!
Is the Kryptonite Evolution New-U Standard easy to carry?
High levels of security usually come at a price: heaviness. And despite the New-U’s reduction in weight (from the Series 4), it’s still no exception to this rule.
At 3.5 lb (1.59 kg), the Kryptonite Evolution Standard New-U weighs about the same as 4.5 cans of Coke! And this is a pretty substantial amount of weight to be carrying around every day.
You can of course carry the lock in your bag, or attach it to your luggage rack or pannier. But I’d imagine that a good frame mount would be more convenient and preferable for most people.
The good news is that the Evolution New-U comes with a Kryptonite “Transit FlexFrame-U transportation system”, which basically allows you to fasten the lock to various parts of your bike’s frame.
The bad news is that, unfortunately, this frame mount (which is provided with most Kryptonite u-locks) is the target of many complaints.
These complaints usually concentrate on two issues. Firstly, that the instructions explaining how to fit the mount to your bicycle are impossible to follow. And secondly, that the mount doesn’t hold the lock securely in place so that it works lose, swings about and sometimes even falls from the bike!
While the instructions are a bit confusing, Kryptonite do provide a clear and helpful video on YouTube which should make fitting the frame mount quite straight forward...
In my experience, the FlexiFrame is a bit more fiddly to install that other frame mounts (such as the one from OnGuard and Zefal).
First you have to install a fabric belt onto the frame. And to do this properly you need to cut a piece of rubber underlay to fit your frame...
Then you have to screw the plastic mount (which the lock clips into), on to the belt...
It’s a bit convoluted and getting the belt on tightly can be frustrating. But with some perseverance, and following the instructions to the letter, it’s always worked out OK on the bikes that I’ve used.
So, some of the problems that people report may be due to the mount not being fitted correctly in the first place (due to not following the instructions properly).
Many others are probably due to the universal nature of the frame mount. Because it needs to fasten to all types of bike frames, invariably it won’t fasten so well to some of them!
Ultimately, I wouldn’t let any doubts you have about the frame mount put you off buying this lock. If you follow the instructions in the video, it will probably fit your bike perfectly and cause you no problems at all.
And if you do have problems, don’t forget there are alternative ways to carry the lock and there are even third party frame mounts available that might suit your needs.
Is the Kryptonite Evolution New-U Standard easy to use?
The Kryptonite Evolution Standard New-U has exactly the same dimensions as the Series 4. So that means it measures 4” x 9” (10.2 x 22.9 cm) internally.
And this should give you loads of options when you’re looking for somewhere to lock your bike. Bike racks, parking meters, railings and street signs shouldn’t present any problems. However as with all standard size u-lock, wider lampposts will be tricky!
I like to fasten it around the seat stay and the rear wheel as this keeps it well away from the ground.
However, although the 14 mm shackle can theoretically be cropped by the very biggest bolt cutters, (if the thief is heavy enough and the lock is close to the ground), in reality this is unlikely. So fastening it around the chain stays or seat post is acceptable as well.
The Kryptonite Evolution Standard is also available with a cable lasso, which you can use in conjunction with the u-lock to secure your front wheel. However, I’m not a big fan of these cables and I’d urge you to consider all the options before protecting your wheel with this (quite unsecure) method!
Also, if you need something longer (perhaps to lock up two bikes at once), then there's the Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 LS [Amazon] which is 2.5 inches (7 cm) longer and slightly heavier.
You get three keys with the Evolution Series 4, one with a LED light to help you find the key hole in the dark.
You are also eligible for the Kryptonite Key Safe Program which will (once you’re registered) send out replacements should you ever lose your keys. The first set is even free!
There’s a sliding dust cover over the key hole which should protect the cylinder from the worst of the street grime and dirt which might otherwise block the mechanism.
However, you need to be careful that in cold, wet conditions, water doesn’t collect and freeze behind the cover as this will also jam the lock.
I have written much more about lock maintenance, but the bottom line is that if you regularly clean and lubricate this lock, you shouldn’t have many problems.
Does the Kryptonite Evolution New-U Standard include insurance?
The Evolution New-U is eligible for Kryptonite’s Anti-Theft Protection Program which does act as a kind of insurance.
If you opt to take the cover, should your bicycle be stolen as a result of this lock being broken, Kryptonite should pay you up to $2,250 or £1,000 depending on the value of your bike.
I go into much more detail about the anti-theft protection offered by all the brands in the Abus vs Kryptonite vs OnGuard page.
But to summarize here: these schemes are not free, you need to register as soon as you purchase your lock and they impose certain conditions that make it difficult to make a successful claim.
I would advise you to take out separate, specialized bike insurance or get your bicycle covered by your home insurance policy instead, as this will offer more reliable protection.
Kryptonite Evolution Standard New-U Review Summary
The Kryptonite Evolution New-U Standard is one of the very best portable bike locks available today.
It’s a practical size. It provides one of the highest levels of security. And as with all Kryptonite locks, you get fantastic after sales support.
It is a heavy lock though and you may have some trouble carrying around daily. So check the weight before you commit to buying it.
But if you live in a big town or city or cycle on a university campus, you probably need a lock which is rated Sold Secure Gold. And Sold Secure Gold locks are either heavy or small.
If you are confident that you can always find a place to lock your bike in a bike rack then you might want to consider a Sold Secure Gold mini u-lock. But if you feel you might need more options, then a standard sized u-lock is a better choice.
In which case, the Evolution New-U is a great value, standard sized u-lock, offering a high level of security at a very reasonable price. So could it be the lock you’re looking for?
But if you’re still unsure, then my complete guide to choosing the best bike lock may be of help.
Alternatives to the Kryptonite Evolution New-U Standard
If you’re looking for something lighter, something cheaper or even something more secure then there are of course alternatives.
Looking for something lighter?
The Abus Granit X Plus 540 [Amazon] is a very, very secure bike lock.
Just like the Evolution New-U it’s Sold Secure Gold and was awarded 3/5 stars from ART.
In actual fact, I think it offers slightly better protection than the Kryptonite lock.
And it also comes with a better frame mount and is almost 9% lighter than the Evolution New-U!
So what’s the catch? Well, it’s significantly more expensive. But usually the best things in life cost a little more!
And for me, the Granit X Plus 540 is the best all round portable bike lock available today. So if the Evolution New-U is just a little too heavy, and the extra cost is not a significant issue, this could be the best lock for you.
Check out my hands-on review of the Abus Granit X-Plus 540.
Looking for something cheaper?
As always, OnGuard offer a similar product that costs just a little less!
The OnGuard Pitbull STD [Amazon] is around the same size and weight as the Evolution New-U.
And it also has a 14 mm shackle and a Sold Secure Gold security rating.
But the OnGuard Pitbull is usually much cheaper than the Kryptonite lock.
You won't get the same level of after sales support and you may need to be slightly more careful with your lock maintenance.
But the OnGuard Pitbull is a very secure lock at an incredibly cheap price. So if you’re looking for the ultimate value for money in a high security lock, this could be the one for you!
Looking for something more secure?
There aren’t many locks that are more secure than the Evolution New-U.
However the Kryptonite New York Standard [Amazon] is one of them.
With a 16 mm shackle it’s rated 9/10 by Kryptonite, Gold by Sold Secure and has 4/5 stars from ART.
Of course this means that it’s also much heavier than the Evolution New-U. In fact, at 4.35 lb (1.97 kg) it’s almost 24% heavier.
But along with the New York Fahgettaboudit Mini it’s one of the most secure bike locks available today.
And if you’re looking for a standard sized u-lock that’s even more secure than the Evolution New-U Standard, it’s probably the best lock for you!
The alternatives aren’t right either? Don’t worry, my simple 3 step guide will find the right lock for you and your bike!
Kryptonite Evolution New-U Standard Specs
Kryptonite Evolution Standard New-U
3.5 lb (1.59 kg)
4 x 9"
Other Security Ratings:
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Last Updated on December 2, 2020 by Carl Ellis