Kryptonite Evolution Mini bike lock

Concept: 1 out of 5
Execution: 4 out of 5
Yeah, but: It has a key with an LED light. Awesome.

The Long Version: Part of me wonders just how real the threat of bike theft is. Certainly it happens, and on an industrial scale: Toronto needs no proof of that. But are expensive bike locks an example of successfully preventing thousands of presumed dangers for every one that they actually thwart?

Bikes in the city can be broken down into two broad categories: cheap beaters that are left outside, securely locked and not very valuable, and expensive ones that are never left alone. My ride, a Xootr Swift, is the logical outcome of the second category: it's designed to fold so that it can fit in an apartment, not a suitcase. Naturally, I wanted a really good lock for those rare and brief times when I would need to leave it beyond arm's-reach.

I bought a Kryptonite Evolution-model lock for a couple of reasons. I stuck with the brand because of its reputation, which is backed by a guarantee that needs incredibly implausible conditions to pay out. I bought the Mini because it's the smallest model, making it lighter and harder to defeat by having the least amount of space for any lock-breaking tool to do its (his/her?) work.

But after spending two years with this lock, that last point seems a little foolish. If someone can break one of the bigger Kryptonite locks in the brief amount of time that I give them – never more than a few minutes, and always on busy streets – aren't I pretty much pooched anyway? Looking at it from the other direction, having a secure bike is a little like running from a bear: there's no need to be any better than the second-worst contestant.

Security is always a tradeoff between protection and convenience, and locking the bike with the tiny little Evo Mini is a hassel. There's a modest anti-theft advantage over the bigger U-locks at best, but a longer lock would be much easier to use with only a slight additional penalty in the extra weight and bulk that needs to be carried.

If these things weren't so expensive, I'd just re-buy a bigger size. At least the Mini is lighter for all of the times that I just chauffer it around the city.

Updated later that same day:

last updated 8 july 2011


  1. so you would recommend a bigger lock made from the same material?

  2. That would be the short version, yes. After all, I have no complaints about the strength of the lock – after all, my bike hasn't been stolen – it's just challenging to use.

  3. I think the Mini locks are best used with really thin road and track frames. I switched to a Mini because my other lock (New York Standard) would have left a lot of space for tools.


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