Review: Abus Bordo 6000 Folding Lock


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.

Video: The distributor, Hawley talks about the Abus Company and the Bordo line of locks.

The Good

  • Versatility
  • Innovative design
  • Quiet transportability
  • Ease-of-use
  • Outstanding Made-in-Germany construction

The Bad

  • 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:

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Don Palermini

Chicago-born Don Palermini became a cycling-based life-form in the sixth grade after completing a family road bike tour of his home state. Three years later he bought his first mountain bike to help mitigate the city's pothole-strewn streets, and began exploring the region's unpaved roads and trails. Those rides sparked a much larger journey which includes all manner of bike racing, commuting, on- and off-road bike advocacy, and a 20-plus-year marketing career in the cycling industry that landed him at his current gig with Santa Cruz bicycles. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, his four favorite words in the English language are "breakfast served all day," together in that order.

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  • Roger says:

    “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. The Bordo is in the same 2.5-to-3 pound weight class as significantly more stout U-locks.”

    Why not in the front pocket?

  • Jim says:

    Those are the only cons you can think of? How about 5 extra points of failure/attack at each one of those hinges?

    Send me one, I bet I can undo this in less than a minute with a cordless drill. U-locks might not be as compact, but the one piece shackle means you either have to cut the shackle or break the locking mechanism. This is barely a step up from a cable lock.

    • Dongoose says:

      The gist of my review was more secure than a cable lock, less secure than a u-lock, can be defeated with power tools, man it’s kinda pricey. A cable lock can be quietly and discreetly snipped–I’ve seen it done with bolt cutters still in a gym bag. the same cannot be said of grinders or drills.
      I know you can defeat it in your garage, but can you do it in public without getting noticed.
      Don P

  • dude says:

    I have an almost identical link plate lock from On Guard, looks like they may have discontinued it. Works great, and was only around $20.

  • JimmyDee says:

    I previewed one of these at a show and honestly was not that impressed. It’s *very* heavy compared to both my Kryptonite NY D lock and my Kryptonite chain. It seems like it has a lot of points of weakness too and susceptible to a number of types of attack. Lots of ways to work a lever on that thing.

    If I need a “convenience” based lock (make it less convenient to steal the bike, but no really serious security), I’m going with a light coil. If I’m going to lock the bike up somewhere where I feel real security is needed, I’ll go with something lighter and stronger.

    Also, what person who wants to be taken seriously on a level of engineering calls something that rotates on an axis to move on one dimension?

  • froze says:

    This lock is a lot of money, you can get D locks for less money with the same or better protection. Don’t let weight scare you, a good lock will be heavy, tougher steel is heavier, it’s just a fact of life, consider cheap light weight socket sets vs heavy expensive impact resistant socket sets, it’s the same principle. Also the Kryptonite Evolution D lock is heavier then the Abus not lighter as one poster made it sound like. So far tests that I have read concerning the this lock is that it’s just as tough as the D locks to defeat. However just like the D locks they make a lower security and a higher security version, so it depends on how much security you want and how much money you want to spend. The only real advantage I see with this lock is that if folds up into more a compact design and it has it’s own mount for the bike rather then a bulky D shaped lock taking up a water bottle mount.

  • Jon says:

    Hey guys, don’t mind to brake this locks. The Thiefs in germany don’t brake even the light Bordo, they just cut the whole frame and that’s it. So the lock is save ;)

    @Jim: Would be nice to see, how you are drilling a rounded, hardened steel bolt free handed with cordless drill. I Bet against you and and at least against one of your fingers :D

  • Kent says:

    How does this compare to the On Guard Doberman or On Guard Beast? I had a Doberman for a couple years and it even defeated a pair of bolt cutters once but finally had to cut it off when the key/lock failed while on biking vacation in Phoenix. Don’t know if I dare go that route again. I almost missed a couple rides with the lock sticking.

    The review implies that the Abus Bordo is strong than a cable, but not as strong as a U=lock but the first thing that popped up when I googled it was a youtube video of someone cutting through one (with a grinder) in 60 seconds. Plus it’s listed as medium risk theft deterent as compared to the On Guard locks which are high risk theft area.

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