Versatile Abus Bordo 6000 bridges gap between U-locks and cables…at a price
If you got caught stealing a horse back in the Old West, the penalty was stiff and quick–death by hanging, no questions asked. And while the theft of a bicycle is perhaps a bit less egregious, and our sense of crime and punishment more civilized, I must admit to some dark revenge fantasies in this regard.
Given the impracticalities–and perhaps slight inequity–of such punishment in this day and age, the best thing we bike lovers can do is try to prevent the theft in the first place…enter the Abus Bordo 6000.
The Bordo 6000 looks nothing like the traditional U-locks, cable locks and chains we’re used to. It actually resembles a folding carpenter’s ruler, and functions in a similar manner. Articulating via a series of rivets and long, narrow, rubber-coated steel plates, the Bordo opens to a total length of 90 cm and folds down to a manageable 20 cm length when not in use. A lock cylinder at one end captures the final plate, opening and closing with a turn of the key.
The Bordo’s unique configuration puts its protection level somewhere between the U-lock and cable/chain locks. Accordingly, Abus rates the Bordo 6000 at “good theft protection at medium theft risk,” meaning it’s a good bet for your commuter steed at the farmer’s market, but probably not the best choice for securing your pride-and-joy at Penn Station.
In use, the Bordo easily articulates through frame members and wheels, not to mention around bike racks, sign posts and small trees. The series of plates move freely and on only one dimensional plane, making the Bordo less of a wrestling match to use than coiled cable locks which spring back. It takes a bit of initial trial-and-error to learn the multi-link ropes, but once you do it becomes an easy scenario to manage.
If you want to secure a helmet along with your bike, the wide-but-flat profile of the lock plates slide easily through larger-sized helmet vents–a nice plus. The thickness of U-Locks and cables normally require a less secure routing through helmet straps.
Carrying a lock is always an annoyance, but the Bordo ensemble manages this better than most. The lock fits in an included hard rubber holster which secures to the frame via hook-and-loop straps or by bolting it to water bottle bosses. Both methods result in blissfully, rattle-free transport–a refreshing change from the annoying staccato of most U-lock/bracket combos. Leg clearance, it should be noted, is excellent, given the Bordo’s narrower-than-a-water bottle profile. This also makes the lock easy to carry in a rear trouser pocket if you’re so inclined.
Downsides? The Bordo ain’t light and it ain’t cheap. Though it provides more versatility, the Bordo is in the same 2.5-to-3 pound weight class as significantly more stout U-locks. A much larger consideration is price–at an MSRP of $129.99 the Bordo is twice as expensive as more protective U-lock and chain offerings from the likes of OnGuard, Kryptonite, Blackburn and others. These players also offer replacement cost theft guarantees up to a certain dollar amount–a peace-of-mind notably absent from Abus.
A quick YouTube search shows the efficiency and speed at which a battery-powered grinder can defeat just about any bike locking mechanism–U-locks, chains, cables and the Bordo 6000 alike. The Bordo, however, is notably immune to the more likely scenario of bolt cutters which are portable, silent and quite effective on cable locks. In most instances, locking your bike with the Bordo in a conspicuous place would prompt most would-be thieves to move along to easier pickings.
Though I like the Bordo 6000 in “around town” scenarios based on its ease-of-use, good transportability, thoughtful design, and quality German construction, the poor price-to-security ratio and lack of theft replacement guarantee are significant negatives. I applaud the design daring, but ultimately would choose a $70-$80 U-lock to deliver higher security and peace-of-mind, along with a replacement guarantee.
But if compactness, stealth and innovation are high on your list, then this product might be good for you. There’s a range of options in the Bordo line from $99 to $169 to fit your security needs and budget. This doesn’t have the bang for the buck of a big U-lock but then again, it doesn’t look like a U-Lock and it can just be an integral part of your bike.
- Innovative design
- Quiet transportability
- Outstanding Made-in-Germany construction
- High price
- Heavy for its security rating
- Lacks theft replacement guarantee
Abus Bordo 6000 At-a-Glance
- Multi-link, articulating/folding bike lock
- Steel constructed with 5mm thick rubber-coated bars
- Multi-mount carrying holster
- Two keys (can be keyed alike to other Abus locks)
- Available in two lengths, 75cm and 90cm (tested)
- Folded dimensions of the Bordo 6000 90cm are 20cm long x 6cm wide x 3cm deep
- Available in red, white or black
- MSRP/Weight: 90cm $129.99, 1220g; 75cm $109.99, 1030g
The available Bordo models are:
- Bordo Granit X-Plus 6500 85 cm – $169
- Bordo 6000 75 cm – $109
- Bordo 6000 90 cm – $129
- Bordo Combo 6150 85 cm – $99
More info at: www.abus.com