Abus Bordo 6500 Folding Bike Lock Review
Abus Bordo Granit X Plus 6500
3.88 lb (1.76 kg)
33.5" (85 cm)
Other Security Ratings:
The Abus Bordo Granit X Plus 6500 is one of only two high security, folding bike locks currently available (the other being the Trelock FS 500). And it’s a great choice if you don't want to carry a bulky u-lock around.
However, the Bordo 6500 comes with a couple of surprises. So before you decide this is the best lock for you, read my full hands on review.
I’ll talk about how secure it is, how easy it is to carry around and use. And if it’s not quite right for you, I’ll suggest some alternatives.
How secure is the Abus Bordo 6500?
This is the first surprise. Abus themselves give it a 15/15, maximum security rating. And Sold Secure have tested it and awarded it a Gold rating. This makes it a high security bike lock for high risk situations.
Now times have changed, and there are quite a few Gold rated locks that also have 2/5 stars from ART. But most Gold rated locks have 3/5 stars if they're rated by ART.
So what do we deduce from this? Well, the Bordo 6500 is still a high security lock. But it’s at the bottom end of the Gold rating; other Gold rated u-locks will be more secure than the Bordo.
This is because folding locks are inherently less secure than equivalent u-locks. The bars are thinner than u-lock shackles. And the nuts that hold the bars together are also susceptible to attack...
In the video above, the LockPickingLawyer manages to shear one of the nuts holding the bars together with his "nut splitter". We should note that this isn't a commonly used tool and the lock was held in a vice at the time. So not typical street theft conditions!
But it does show that folding locks have this inherent security weakness around those nuts!
Also, the bars of the Bordo 6500 are just 5.5 mm thick. And this is significantly thinner than the shackles of Gold rated u-locks, most of which are at least 13 mm.
Having said that, when it comes to resisting bolt cutters, the width of the bars is important too. And the bars of the Bordo 6500 are significantly wider than any other folding lock (or indeed u-lock).
For instance, while the 5.5 mm bars of the 6500 are only 0.5 mm thicker than the bars of it’s little brother, the Bordo 6000, they are also 7 mm wider.
So while there’s plenty of videos of 30″ bolt croppers defeating the Bordo 6000, we’re unlikely to see any such videos of the Bordo 6500. It’s much tougher than that.
So, for sure the Bordo 6500 is much more secure than the 6000. In fact it’s far more secure than pretty much any other folding lock.
It’s an acceptable lock for high risk situations. It’s just not as secure as some of the other Gold rated u-locks.
Is the Abus Bordo 6500 easy to carry?
This is where folding locks really shine!
The problem with u-locks is that when you attach them to your bike, their center of gravity is away from the frame. And the frame mounts struggle to hold u-locks firmly in place when their weight is distributed in this way. This means they can work loose, rattle and even fall off.
Generally, the more secure a u-lock is, the heavier it is. And the heavier it is, the more weight is distributed away from the frame, and the more the frame mount struggles to hold the lock in place.
Some of the heaviest, high security u-locks don’t even come with frame mounts for this very reason.
Since folding locks collapse down into a neat, compact package, we shouldn’t have this problem, even with a relatively heavy, high security lock like the Bordo 6500.
When they’re in the case, their center of gravity is very close to the frame. And this means the frame mount has much less trouble holding them in place. There shouldn't be any movement, rattling or falling off!
The Bordo 6500 comes with a very sturdy plastic and rubber frame mount which can be attached to your bike in two ways…
If your bike has holes for attaching a water bottle mount, you can screw the frame mount into these. If not, the case comes with two thick Velcro straps that will fasten it anywhere on your frame.
There is a supper thick rubber strap that folds over the top of the lock once it’s in the case. And this keeps the lock firmly in place while you’re riding.
I tested the frame mount on two different bikes. One has the holes for a water bottle mount, so I was able to screw the case directly into the frame. While the other doesn’t, so I had to use the Velcro straps to attach the case to the frame.
Both methods worked well. The frame mount fixed tightly against the frame and while there was some give owing to the rubber construction, there was no unwanted movement, no rattling and I felt secure it wouldn’t work loose over time.
However, while both worked well, I much preferred using the screwed mount. For starters, it felt slightly more secure and looked neater. But more significantly, with the Velcro method, you end up with excess lengths of strapping flapping about on one side of the mount.
Of course you could trim them down. But then you might run into trouble, if you move the lock to a bike with a fatter frame. It would be nice if there was a space that you could tuck the ends into. But at the moment there isn’t.
The compact folded form of the Bordo 6500 is also great if you need to transport it by some other method, such as a backpack. Folded down the Bordo 6500 measures just 7.75″ x 3″ x 2″ (19.5 x 7.5 x 4.5 cm). This is far smaller than any u-lock and makes it easy to slip into a bag.
Weight wise, the Bordo 6500 also performs pretty well for a high security bike lock. At 3.48 lb (1.58 kg), it’s lighter than most other Sold Secure Gold bike locks.
However apart from a couple of mini u-locks (which you’d expect to be lighter) there are other standard sized, Gold rated u-locks that are lighter than the Bordo.
So yes, it’s pretty light. But the real advantage of the Bordo 6500 is the way it folds down into a compact package.
And whether in the frame mount or in a separate bag, this makes it much easier to carry than a standard sized, high security u-lock.
Is the Abus Bordo 6500 easy to use?
Like all folding locks, the Bordo 6500 is pretty simple to use. It slips out of the frame mount very easily (which contrasts favourably with some U-lock mounts which are much harder to operate!).
Then you just fold out the middle bars (to make it easier to release the locked bar), unlock the mechanism and pull the bar closest to the key to unfasten it.
Actually getting it around your bike and an immovable object will be easy or hard, depending on your immediate circumstances.
In a quiet or empty bike rack, I find a standard sized u-lock easier to use than a folding lock. You just need to line everything up and push the shackle through.
With a folding lock you have to thread one end through the wheel, around the frame and then around the immovable object. It’s more fiddly, you need two hands, and it usually takes more time.
However, in a busy bike rack where it’s harder, (if not impossible) to line everything up, a folding lock is more useful.
In these circumstances, owing to it’s flexibility, it’s much easier to get a folding lock around your bike and secure it correctly. With a u-lock it may not be possible so you either lock your bike in a less secure manner or you find somewhere else.
So the flexible shape certainly gives you more options when you’re trying to lock your bike. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that the extra length of the Bordo 6500 will also make things easier.
Why? Because there is no extra length! And this is the second surprise...
I think, many people presume that folding locks are really long. But in fact the Bordo is just 2.75′ (85 cm). And this actually gives you slightly less internal locking space than a standard sized u-lock.
So the Bordo 6500’s advantage over a standard sized u-lock is it’s flexibility rather than it’s length.
Like all Abus locks, the Bordo 6500 comes with two keys. And if you already have other Abus locks that have the same cylinder, you can get this one keyed alike so that all your locks can be opened with the same set of keys.
It’s also worth mentioning that the lock is covered with a hardy plastic coating that should resist the weather well and has softer rubber edges that will protect your paintwork.
I’ve used the Abus Bordo 6500 for a couple of weeks and I think it’s a great lock. However, it won’t be for everyone. To help you decide, here’s the things I liked about this bike lock and the things I didn’t…
+ Highly portable
It’s pretty light for a high security bike lock. But more significantly, it folds down into a very compact package that’s really easy to carry around. Whether it’s tucked tightly away in the frame mount or slipped into a bag it’s extremely inconspicuous.
+ Lot’s of locking options
While the Bordo actually has slightly less internal locking space than a standard sized u-lock, the flexible shape means you’ll be able to lock your bike to things (and in ways) that would be denied to you with a u-lock. Lampposts for example!
– Can be fiddly to use
Despite the additional locking opportunities the Bordo gives you, I still think a standard sized u-lock is generally easier to use. I tend to lock my bike faster with a u-lock than any folding lock.
Abus locks can be expensive. Folding locks also tend to be expensive. So a folding Abus lock will always be expensive! You know you’re going to get the best quality with Abus. But there are cheaper Abus locks that offer better protection if that’s your priority.
Yes, there are more secure locks than the Bordo 6500. Some of them offer more more internal locking space. And many of them will be cheaper as well.
But the Bordo 6500 is one of the only high security, folding bike locks currently available. And folding locks have two big advantages over other types of lock…
Firstly, they fold down into a really compact shape that’s super easy to carry around. Secondly, the flexible shape gives you more locking options (even with a short lock like the Bordo 6500), so that places and things that are out of bounds with a u-lock, become feasible.
If these two advantages are important to you and you need a high security lock for high risk situations, then the Abus Bordo 6500 [Amazon] really is the best choice for you.
If you’re still not sure whether a folding lock (or even a high security lock) is right for you, check out my complete guide to buying a bike lock, where I go through everything you need to know!
Alternatives to the Abus Bordo Granit X Plus 6500
Of course, if the Bordo 6500 isn’t the best lock for you then there’s always loads of alternatives…
Looking for something more secure?
The Bordo 6500 is a high security, Sold Secure Gold rated lock. But since it only has 2/5 stars from ART, it’s probably at the lower end of that rating.
If you need something more secure, then you’ll have to go with a u-lock. How about the Abus Granit X Plus 540 which is also Sold Secure Gold but has 3/5 stars from ART?
Not only is it more secure than the Bordo. It’s also lighter and offers more internal locking space. All for around the same price [Amazon]!
True, you won’t be able to fold it down into a nice compact package like the the Bordo. It wont be as easy to carry.
But the frame mount is one of the best around, so you shouldn’t have the transport problems you get with other u-locks.
In fact, for me, the X Plus 540 is the best high security bike lock currently available. Check out my full review here.
Looking for something cheaper?
The Bordo 6500 is probably one of the most expensive portable bike locks you can buy! Personally, I think that if it meets your needs then it’s worth it.
But if you can’t stretch that far, then there’s plenty of other locks that will protect your bike just as well, for a fraction of the price.
The OnGuard Pitbull STD [Amazon] is also rated Sold Secure Gold. And with a 14 mm shackle is almost certainly more secure and only slightly heavier than the Bordo.
Obviously, like all u-locks, you can’t fold it up!
But the frame mount the comes with the Pitbull isn’t a bad one. And it’s usually less than a third of the price [Amazon] of the Bordo! Bargain!
Looking for something longer?
At 2.7′ (85 cm), the Bordo 6500 isn’t very long. If you need more length, but want to retain the same level of security, then you’ll need to go with a chain lock.
With 10 mm links, the Abus Granit CityChain X-Plus 1060 [Amazon] is also rated Sold Secure Gold and Abus themselves also give it a maximum 15/15 security rating.
What’s more, ART tested it too and awarded it 3/5 stars, so it’s actually more secure than the Bordo!
It’s available in four lengths: 2.8′, 3.6′, 4.6′ and 5.6′ (85, 110, 140, 170 cm). The problem is that chain locks are always more heavy. For example at 5.84 lb (2.65 kg) the 3.6′ chain is 68% heavier than the Bordo!
If you wanted something lighter, the 9 mm Abus CityChain 1010 [Amazon] is also Sold Secure Gold, although Abus only rate it as 12/15. It’s available at the same lengths as the X Plus 1060. But the 3.6′ version is only 50% heavier than the Bordo at 5.29 lb (2.4 kg).
Yep, chain locks are always much, much heavier than other bike locks. But if you need that extra length with out sacrificing security, they’re the only way to go!
Abus Bordo Granit X Plus 6500
3.88 lb (1.76 kg)
33.5" (85 cm)
Other Security Ratings:
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Last Updated on November 18, 2020 by Carl Ellis