12 min read
As E-Bikes become more popular and the average cost of a bicycle begins to rise, we need to take every measure possible to protect our two-wheeled investments.
I got in touch with ABUS who were happy for me to review their 770a SmartX D lock.
Released in 2019, the 770a is ABUS’ new smart bike lock and one of the first on the market from a reputable company.
Throughout this ABUS 770a SmartX review, I’ll break down the strengths and weaknesses of the 770a, which should help you decide if this lock is suitable for you.
I’ll also be showing you the best ways to use this smart bike lock, along with my top tips on how you can use the SmartX to increase the security of your bicycle, today.
This review is slightly longer than usual as I wanted to cover all of the tech in as much detail as possible.
First, let’s find out how secure the ABUS 770a SmartX is.
Overview – ABUS 770a SmartX Review
Security Rating – Sold Secure Diamond
Weight – 1.82kg (4.01lb)
Shackle Dimensions – 10.8 x 23cm (4.25 x 9.05″)
Shackle Thickness – 13mm Hardened Steel
Warranty – 2 Years
The ABUS 770a SmartX is the best smart bike lock on the market to date. It’s Sold Secure Diamond rated, double bolted, impossible to pick (since it doesn’t have a keyhole) and the app used to operate it is super user-friendly.
Weighing 4.01lb (1.82kg) the SmartX is heavier than most bike locks out there.
However, its KLICKfix mounting system does a great job of holding this smart bike lock in place whilst you’re on the move, meaning you won’t notice its weight whilst cycling.
Suitable for use with E-bikes and traditional pushbikes, the SmartX uses a loud 100dB alarm to scare off thieves.
It also uses Bluetooth, keyless operation to operate its locking mechanism, so you’ll no longer have to search for your keys before using your bike!
ABUS are leading the way with their pursuit of a smarter, tech-filled future. No other manufacturers are producing smart bike locks to the same standard as ABUS.
It’s worth noting that the ABUS 770a SmartX is an upmarket bike lock and isn’t the best option if you’re shopping on a tight budget.
If you’d rather view some top-quality budget bike locks read this.
How Secure Is the ABUS 770a SmartX?
The ABUS 770a SmartX is one of the first Sold Secure Gold smart bike locks on the market, until the recent release of the Diamonds category, Sold Secure Gold was the highest bicycle rating achievable.
The Sold Secure Gold’s description has now been slightly amended and means that the ABUS 770a SmartX offers “theft resistance against a higher selected tool list (aimed at preventing dedicated attacks)”.
This rating, alongside ABUS’ 15/15 maximum security rating suggests that the 770a SmartX provides a very respectable level of security.
The ABUS 770a SmartX’s 13 mm hardened, square shaft, parabolic shackle isn’t quite thick enough to be considered bolt cutter proof but provides a respectable level of protection from all forms of attack.
As I covered above, the 770a’s shackle is double bolted, which means either end of the shackle is secured by the locking mechanism.
Double bolted shackles greatly add to the security that any bike lock offers and make them much harder to defeat with twist or hydraulic attacks.
Hydraulic attacks are where thieves use a strong object (e.g. crowbar or scaffold pole) to put your lock under tension, eventually prying it open.
The 770a SmartX’s square shackle also offers excellent resistance from bolt cutters by placing more metal in the way of their jaws.
I’m yet to carry out a destruction test on this myself, but have heard from sources at ABUS that it can’t be cropped by hand.
As soon as I’ve done my own destruction testing with the SmartX, I’ll update this review with my findings.
Underneath the high quality plastic outer shell, is the mechanism housing which, along with its load-bearing parts are made from specially hardened steel.
This steel layer helps repel brute force attacks and protects the inner locking mechanism.
Moving away from the structure of the 770a, we have another important feature which significantly adds to the security that this smart bike lock offers. Its 100dB anti-theft, alarm system.
I’ve previously reviewed the best bike locks with alarms and the 770a held its own when compared with the best.
The video I made below demonstrates how the 100dB alarm system of the 770a works. It’s louder than it sounds.
After playing around with the 770a SmartX’s alarm, I can tell you this thing is loud. It’s not quite as loud as the Oxford Alarm D Pro’s 120dB alarm, but it’s louder than ABUS’ 6000a folding bike lock. (see video below for alarm testing!)
All in all, this 100dB alarm will do a great job of scaring off thieves. It’s also loud enough to grab the attention of passers-by, should any thieves continue tampering.
I’ll cover more about how to use the alarm later in this ABUS 770a SmartX review.
How Practical is the ABUS 770A SmartX?
Weight and Size
Weighing 4.01lb (1.82kg) the 770a SmartX isn’t the most lightweight bike lock on the market, but it’s also not too heavy to carry whilst cycling.
The 770a easily fit into my small backpack, and it wasn’t uncomfortable to ride with.
However, instead of riding with the 770a on your back, you’ll be better off using the KLICKfix mounting system, which I’ll cover in detail just below.
When you consider the amount of technology packed inside this D lock it’s understandable that it weighs slightly more than even the best D Lock.
You should pay attention to a lock’s dimensions when purchasing a new bike lock.
The SmartX’s 13mm hardened steel shackle offers 4.25″ x 9.05″ (10.8cm x 23cm) of locking space to secure your bike’s components. A reasonable size with enough room for multiple locking options.
Keep reading, and I’ll teach you the most effective ways to lock your bike with the SmartX.
You can view the most up to date and competitive price for the 770a SmartX on Amazon here.
|ABUS 770a SmartX Info|
|Shackle Diameter & Material:||13mm Hardened Steel|
|Sold Secure Rating:||Sold Secure Diamond Bicycle|
ABUS 770a SmartX Mounting System
The KLICKfix mounting system supplied with the 770a SmartX is one of the best bike lock mounts I’ve used to date.
It’s super low profile compared to other mounts I’ve used and can attach to almost any position on the frame of your bike.
Unlike other bike lock mounts, you’re unable to attach the KLICKfix using your bike’s water bottle screws. Instead, the two rubber-coated metal straps are an effective, yet fiddly way to secure this mount.
How to Attach the KLICKfix mount
- First, you’ll need to attach the rubber plate to the back of the plastic KLICKfix mount. This will stop the KLICKfix from scratching your bike’s paintwork and will help to hold the 770a in place whilst you’re riding.
- Next, with the hooks facing downwards, thread the straps through the hole at the bottom of themount so that the hooked end is secured by the small metal plate.
- From here, wrap the straps around the area of your bike you wish to attach the KLICKfix to. From here thread the straps back through the opening and out the other side of the mount.
- Now, using the hex key supplied, tighten the two hex screws until they hold the straps firmly in place.
Once the KLICKfix is attached, (as long as you’re happy with its position) cut its straps so that they don’t get in the way whilst cycling.
I was sceptical as to how the tiny KLICKfix mount would cope with the weigh of the SmartX, but it held strong and was virtually silent whilst riding.
I warn you, fitting the mount is quite fiddly, it’s worth reading the instructions before attempting to attach it!
Once the mount is attached to your bike, slide the mounting clip of the SmartX into the open end of the KLICKfix, and it will click into place. To remove the 770a SmartX, pinch the silver clips together, and the lock should slide out.
Quality & Maintenance
I’ve used and reviewed many different ABUS locks before, and have always been impressed by their manufacturing. Unlike some of the cheaper locks I’ve reviewed, there are no rough edges with the 770a SmartX.
Out of the box, I knew the SmartX was a sturdy, well-made bike lock. The plastic used on its outer shell is high grade and is made to last.
Unlike some other brands, ABUS don’t use harmful solvents in the when producing their plastics.
Some solvents used in the production of plastics are harmful to the environment, factory workers and the the user of the end product.
It’s good to hear that ABUS pay attention to their manufacturing processes and the impact that this can have on us all!
A soft rubber covering coats the outside of the SmartX. This will prevent it scratching your bike whilst locking up, whilst this is a fairly standard feature, it’s always good to see.
The only real downside to using a smart bike lock is that they need to be charged or have their batteries replaced.
Fortunately, the SmartX’s lithium battery lasts up to three months (depending on usage), and if its level is low, the ABUS SmartX app will let you know the lock needs charging.
A USB-C cable (provided in the box) is used to charge the SmartX and works with any USB plug. When you receive the SmartX, make sure to fully charge it, this way you know the battery will last several months.
Apart from having to charge the battery, there isn’t a whole lot else needed to keep the 770a SmartX in working order.
An occasional clean and a bit of lubrication should do the trick. I’ve put together a complete guide of bike lock maintenance here, have a read.
I’ve heard from others that the 770a doesn’t perform well when exposed to bad weather. So I wanted to put this to the test.
Using my garden hose, I gave the SmartX a good watering for longer than two minutes.
I made sure to target all areas of the lock, and made sure it got wetter than it would do if it were locked to your bike in the rain.
I then left the SmartX for two hours to see if the water would have any effect on its electronics. Nothing. The lock worked fine, and the water-resistant covers seemed to have done their job.
If I used the 770a SmartX daily, I wouldn’t leave it out in the rain for longer than 48 hours. To be fair though, I wouldn’t advise you to leave any bike lock exposed to the rain for longer than 48 hours!
If left exposed to the elements for days on end will eventually enter the system, and nothing good will happen.
The ABUS website states that the SmartX is “weather resistant” not weatherproof. So use your common sense and don’t leave it out in the rain for days on end!
If you use an outdoor bike shed the SmartX will stay dry and will work well for you.
Locking Mechanism & Operation
Unlike traditional bike locks, the ABUS 770a SmartX uses keyless locking. For some of you, this may sound scary and super high tech, but it only takes a few days to get used to.
If you find yourself scurrying around at the last minute, looking for your keys, in a rush not to be late for work, then keyless locking is the solution for you.
To operate the 770a, you need to download the SmartX app from the Google Play Store for Android users, or the App Store for iPhone users.
The instruction manual supplied will help you get the 770a set up on your app. Essentially all you need to do is scan the QR key card and enter some personal details.
Then you’ll be good to go. At the bottom of the review, I’ll talk you through the customisable features within the app and a few of the SmartX’s other important features.
How Much Does the ABUS 770a SmartX Cost?
If you’ve read through the SmartX’s features above, you probably won’t be surprised that this lock is expensive when compared to other bike locks.
This bike lock isn’t designed for those on a budget, so if you’re looking for a smart bike lock that’s budget-friendly, check out the Oxford Alarm-D Pro. It’s a Sold Secure Gold rated bike lock with a significantly louder 120dB alarm.
Otherwise, the best price I found for the ABUS 770a SmartX was on Amazon here.
When you consider all of the tech packed into this impressive lock, its price is slightly more justifiable, however where it’s new technology this is undoubtedly an expensive bike lock.
Locking Your Bike With The ABUS 770a SmartX
Most Secure Locking Method
When securing your bike, you should prioritise the most expensive components. Most of the time, this will be the wheels and frame of your bike.
The SmartX doesn’t come with a cable extension. I’d consider buying one if you’re planning to purchase this smart bike lock.
The most secure way to lock your bike with the 770a SmartX is by removing your front wheel and securing both of your wheels and frame at the same time.
If you don’t fancy removing the front wheel of your bike every time you lock up, get yourself a cable extension or Hexlox. Either of these will work well alongside the SmartX and will make sure that thieves and chancers can’t steal your wheels!
Included With the SmartX
- ABUS 770a SmartX
- KLICKfix mount
- 2 x Metal mounting straps
- Lock & mounting instructions
- Allen key
- USB-C cable
- QR key card
ABUS 770a SmartX Warranty
ABUS provide a two-year warranty with the 770a SmartX which guarantees it to be free from workmanship and manufacturing defects.
I regularly speak with contacts at ABUS who say if you ever have an issue with one of their products, get in touch and they’ll do their best to help you out.
It’s reassuring to have friendly customer service and the two-year warranty to rely on, especially when you consider the 770a SmartX isn’t the cheapest lock!
How Does the ABUS 770a SmartX Compare to Other Bike Locks?
Oxford Alarm-D Pro
The Best Bike Lock with Alarm + Budget Friendly
Today’s Best Deals:
I know, I’ve already raved about the Oxford Alarm-D Pro twice in this review. But to be honest, it’s an incredible lock. The Alarm-D Pro uses a thick 14mm hardened steel shackle to secure your bike which easily repels most forms of attack.
Just like the 770a SmartX, the Alarm-D Pro is Sold Secure Gold rated, meaning no major sacrifices are made on security.
For the price you’d pay for the SmartX, you could nearly buy four of these locks. Read my in-depth review of the Alarm-D Pro here.
Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Mini
No Batteries – No Nonsense
I’ve used the Fahgettaboudit as my primary bike lock for the last few years and haven’t had a single issue with it.
It’s 18mm hardened steel, max performance steel shackle is impossible to cut with bolt cutters and sends a clear message to thieves…. Fahgettaboudit!
The Fahgettaboudit Mini is available at a much more budget-friendly price than the SmartX and provides a better level of security for your bike.
You can read my in-depth review of the Fahgettaboudit here.
A Super Lightweight Titanium Alternative
Today’s Best Deals:
The TiGr Mini is the lightest bike lock I’ve ever reviewed. Out of all of the bike locks I’ve reviewed, it offers one of the best security to weight ratios.
Weighing just 0.9lb (0.4kg) the TiGr is for those who don’t want to carry extra weight whilst out and about. It’s over four times lighter than the 770a SmartX and is ART level 2 certified, which makes it suitable for use with bikes.
ABUS 770a SmartX App Guide / Troubleshooting Tips
The SmartX’s keyless function operates using your mobile phone’s Bluetooth signal. When the lock senses your phone is nearby, it automatically opens the locking mechanism. To remove the lock, all you’ll need to do is pull the lock apart.
This drastically reduces the amount of time you spend unlocking your bike.
The unlocking distance is fully adjustable within the app. Tap on your lock’s settings and scroll down to find the distance slider (shown above).
I adjusted mine so that my phone has to be within 30cm of the lock before it unlocks. This prevents the lock from opening unless I want it to.
Disabling the Keyless Feature
If you want to disable the keyless feature, use the button within the app (shown in image above). Once disabled, to open the lock you’ll be required to use the slider on the underside of the 770a SmartX to open the lock.
To use your lock without keyless operation, you’ll still need to have your phone nearby. When this function is disabled the 770a won’t be searching for your Bluetooth signal, so won’t open unless the slider is pressed.
ABUS 770a SmartX Alarm Feature
Activating the Alarm
Once you’re ready to lock your bike, press the slider to unlock the 770a SmartX. Then, firmly close the lock around your bike.
To activate the alarm, wait until you hear the double locking tone and then press the slider until you hear another higher pitch dual-tone.
3D Position Detectors will be continually monitoring whilst the alarm is active. If movement if sensed in all three directions, the alarm will give a warning sound for five seconds before entering the full 100dB alarm cycle. The main alarm cycle lasts at least 15 seconds before resetting.
Deactivating the Alarm
If you’d prefer not to use the alarm, don’t slide the slider once the SmartX is locked. Only when you slide the slider (a second time) and hear the dual high pitch tone, will the alarm be active.
Adding Multiple Users to Your SmartX
Within the app, click on your SmartX and scroll down. Click “add new user”. From here, you may have to grant the SmartX app permission to read your contacts. Next, select your contact within the app to and fill in their details. You’ll then be able to send them a code which enables temporary or unlimited access.
Much easier and safer than leaving your keys under the doormat!
Bluetooth Location Finder
When you lock your bike with the SmartX, your phone will remember it’s last known location and will set a marker on the map. If you’re securing your bike in an area you’re unfamiliar with this feature can come in handy when locating your bike later on!
Navigate to the point on the map to find your bike. Take note that this is not a GPS tracker. The location displayed is only the last known locked location of your bike.
Adding the Details of Your Bike
Within the SmartX app, you can add the details of your bike including its make & model, serial number and a picture of your ride.
It’s worth taking note of these details. If a thief stole your bike, the police would ask for its information. This way, if they retrieve your bike, you have proof it’s yours!
Learn about what else you can do to stop thieves targetting your bike here.
If the alarm is activated whilst you’re away from your bike, you’ll receive a notification when you come back to it.
Make sure to check that everything is okay and no one has been tampering with your bike whilst you’ve been away.
As long as your Bluetooth is connected to the SmartX you’ll receive this alert as soon as the alarm is triggered. Giving you time to investigate before your bike is stolen!
Don't Lose Your QR Key Card!
You must keep your QR Key Card safe. Unlike other ABUS products, you’re not able to order a replacement if you lose it. Keep it somewhere safe and don’t share it with strangers.
Summary – ABUS 770a SmartX Review
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! I know that this review was longer than usual, but I wanted to cover this smart bike lock and its features in as much detail as possible.
I enjoyed using the ABUS 770a SmartX, it’s one of the first smart bike locks I’ve used, and it was much easier to operate than I’d initially expected.
As always, lock it, or lose it.