12 min read
An Introduction to the Foldylock Compact
Reviewing the Foldylock Compact has been at the top of my to-do list for a while now, so it’s nice to finally get around to it!
Since its release, there’s been a lot of hype surrounding the Foldylock and I wanted to find out if it lives up to it.
As always, with my in-depth bike lock reviews, I like to get hands-on experience and test each lock prior to writing. This way I’m able to thoroughly assess each lock’s performance which allows me to outline the strengths and weaknesses of the lock in question.
This is why, for the last month I’ve been working as a cycle courier and using the Foldylock Compact as my weapon of choice.
So what’s my honest opinion of the Foldylock? Well, have a read below and I’ll talk you through how the Foldylock Compact performed when put to the test, as well as who and what this impressively lightweight bike lock is suitable for.
Table of Contents
The Foldylock Compact – How Secure is it?
When purchasing a new bike lock, security should always be one of your key deciding factors.
The Foldylock Compact received the Sold Secure Silver rating. Many are confused by Sold Secure ratings, this simply means the Folylock offers a compromise between security and cost.
A Sold Secure Silver bike lock is a medium-security lock that can be used in medium-low risk areas. I was happy to use the Foldylock in higher risk areas, but only when I knew I wasn’t going to be away from my bike for long.
The Foldylock Compact features Hardened Steel 5mm plates, which are bolt cutter resistant. 5mm doesn’t seem like much when compared to D locks which offer 15-18mm thick shackles, but for a folding bike lock 5mm is relatively standard.
The video below shows how the Foldylock performed when attacked by a variety of different tools. Impressive.
The ABUS Bordo Alarm 6000A Folding lock also uses 5mm steel plates and is one of ABUS’ best selling folding bike locks. Just like the ABUS 6000A, The Foldylock Compact has received fantastic appraisal within the cycling community, which suggests it’s 5mm plates provide a good level of security.
ABUS were one of the first companies to release a folding bike lock, so it’s exciting to see Seatylock producing folding locks to an equally high standard.
When I first took the Foldylock out of its packaging, I was very impressed by its build quality. The lock feels extremely solid and its rivets don’t rattle as they would do on a cheap folding lock.
When compared to most bike locks, the Folylock’s locking mechanism is much more secure. Supplied with the lock you’ll receive three sidewinder keys. Sidewinder keys are cut using a laser, and are much harder for thieves to replicate.
Sidewinder keys and locking mechanisms are normally used with automobiles as they provide a higher level of security. Nice to have this for your bike!
Because the locking mechanism is complex, it’s also harder for thieves to pick and manipulate
The entrance to the keyhole of the Foldylock Compact is guarded by a 3mm thick steel plate. This steel plate has a narrow entranceway that prevents foreign object from being inserted into the mechanism.
Drilling is a common method used to defeat the locking mechanisms of cheaper bike locks. Thanks to the hardened steel keyhole cover, the Foldylock has strong defences in place to resist drill attacks.
The rivets of a folding bike lock are the pins that hold the links together and allow the lock to adapt its shape. Moving parts are targeted by thieves as they often provide a weak point in most bike locks.
Seatylock have gone above and beyond and used VSR riveting technology to make sure that the rivets of the Folylock Compact are resistant to both drilling and cutting.
When exposed to the elements, cheaper bike locks will quickly deteriorate. If metal corrodes it becomes expands, which places stress on its structure. Corrosion also causes metal to become more brittle, which would greatly reduce the security that any bike lock offers
Fortunately, Seatylock designed the Foldylock Compact to be completely rust free. The lock and its metal components are rust free and coated with a plastic layer that prevents deterioration. This feature greatly increases the usable lifespan of the Foldylock.
This plastic outer shell will also prevent the Foldylock from scratching your bike’s paintwork.
The Foldylock Compact - How Practical is it to Use?
If like most cyclists you’ve not used a folding bike lock before, the Foldylock will convert you.
Even though ABUS were one of the first to bring folding bike locks onto the market, Seatylock have had no trouble in matching their quality and revising many areas for a better user experience.
For a long time now, I’ve been using the ABUS Bordo Granit X-Plus 6500, which don’t get me wrong, is easily one of the best folding bike locks. However, after using the Foldylock Compact for several weeks the X-Plus 6500 feels clunky and slightly outdated to go back to.
Bearing in mind that the X-Plus 6500 is ABUS’ flagship Sold Secure Gold folding bike lock, it’s crazy to see Seatylock one-up them on almost every single feature.
Whilst the Foldylock Compact only offers the Sold Secure Silver rating, it seems as though Seatylock spent much more time focusing on the usability of their folding bike lock.
The best bit for me about the Foldylock Compact is how easy it is to operate. With all of the ABUS folding locks that I’ve used over the years, you have to completely unfold the lock to be able to pull the locking link out of the mechanism, which is a bit of a faff.
However, as soon as the key is turned to the open position the Foldylock’s shackle can be released and opened. I’ve found this allows for faster, less fiddly lock-ups. If you use your bike every day, this revised feature will save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run!
One key advantage of using a folding bike lock is the flexible shackle that they offer, that can be folded away into a compact package. Thanks to their flexible shackle, folding locks allow you to secure your bike to larger objects such as thick lampposts.
D locks feature a solid metal shackle, which doesn’t give you the same locking versatility as a folding bike lock.
Folding bike locks don’t offer much more locking space than your average D lock, but the ability to apart their shape is super convenient.
When unfolded, the Foldylock Compact has a 33.5” (85cm) locking circumference which provides plenty of room for securing your bike and its components.
Compared to the X-Plus 6500 (which also measures 85cm long) the Foldylock Compact actually offers a slightly larger locking area, due to the reduced width of it’s plates.
Weighing in at only 2.2lb (1kg) the Foldylock Compact is the lightest Sold Secure Silver folding bike lock on the market. The ABUS Bordo 6000, ABUS’ most similar folding lock weighs nearly 7oz (200g) more! Again, another characteristic that makes the Foldylock much more suitable for daily use.
I was able to secure two bikes and their wheels with the Foldylock, whereas I was unable to replicate this with the X-Plus 6500.
It’s safe to say, you really won’t struggle when securing your bike with the Foldylock.
The Foldylock's Mounting System
How to Mount the Foldylock
The hardened plastic mounts supplied with the Foldylock Compact are one of the best lock mounting systems I’ve come across.
You’re are able to mount the Foldylock in two different ways, which is fairly standard for a folding bike lock. However, the attention to detail that Seatylock gave this mount is anything but standard.
You can mount the Foldylock using its Velcro straps, or using your bike’s water bottle mount
Mounting the Foldylock Using Your Water Bottle Mount
The first, and in my opinion, the best way to mount the Foldylock is on your water bottle mount. This is normally located on the down tube of your bike’s frame, but can also be found on the seat tube.
Don’t worry if your bike doesn’t have a water bottle mount, I’ll shortly cover how you’ll mount the Foldylock to your bike, so keep reading.
Most bikes have two small hex bolts, which are operated using an Allen/hex key. Fortunately for those without the tools, Seatylock kindly include one of these in the box along with two spare bolts!
To attach the mount to your bike’s frame, remove the Foldylock from the mount. You’ll then want to loosen the hex bolts roughly two-thirds of the way, and slide the holes on the back of the mount over the now loosened bolts.
From here, pull the mount downwards slightly and tighten the bolts back up through the holes in the front of the mount. There you have it, job’s done!
Without trying to sound like a Seatylock fanboy, even attaching the mount is easier than with other folding locks. The three other Sold Secure folding bike locks I’ve reviewed needed the Hex bolts to be completely removed, before inserting them through small fiddly holes in the mount and eventually screwing back onto your bike.
Mounting the Foldylock Using its Using Velcro Straps
If you don’t have these hex bolts on your bike, then you’ll be able to use the Velcro straps that are supplied in the box.
Before attaching with the straps, take a look in the box. You will have received two small black rubber pads, that prevent the hard plastic mould from scratching your bike’s frame. They also help the mount to stay in place whilst you’re riding.
Push these rubber pads into the screw holes on the back of the mount.
Now take the Velcro straps and thread them through the two slots on the back of the mount. Placing the mount in the desired location of your bike’s frame, loop the Velcro strip through the plastic ring and tighten it by pulling the slack through.
Repeat this process for both straps and that should hold the mount in place.
My bike has a wide, thick frame which the Velcro straps only just fit around. For most bikes however, this won’t be an issue, some people have even said there is too much excess Velcro strap!
If possible, I’d definitely recommend mounting using your bike’s water bottle mount, as this is the most secure way to mount the Foldylock.
How Easy is it to Remove the Foldylock from its Mount?
Unlike most other folding locks on the market, the Foldylock isn’t held in place by a rubber strap. This makes accessing the Foldylock much more convenient as it isn’t fiddly and only take a split second to remove from the mount.
To Insert and remove the Foldylock, give it a gentle push or pull and it will pop out. To begin with, it can be quite stiff to insert and remove, but it will loosen up over time.
If like me you find any rattling noises incredibly annoying whilst you ride, then you’re in for a treat. I haven’t had the pleasure of using a truly silent bike lock until now. No noise what so ever from the Foldylock, just rubber and tarmac.
Using the Foldylock Without its Mount
The Foldylock Compact is small enough to be stored in a rucksack, without taking up too much space.
I was also able to fit the Foldylock into the front pocket of my jeans, that being said this wouldn’t make for the most comfortable ride.
The go deeper into your pock than in the image below.
The Foldylock Clipster is a great option for those who are constantly on the move, and may have been a more suitable option for me whilst I worked as a cycle courier.
The Clipster is the exact same lock, with the addition of a flexible plastic clip on the back that holds the Foldylock in place whilst you travel with it in your pocket, or clipped to your bag.
The Best Way to Use the Foldylock Compact
When securing a bike, it’s a good idea to prioritise the most valuable components. In most cases, this will be the wheels and frame of your bike.
The rear wheel has the cassette attached to it, which normally means it’s slightly more valuable than the front wheel. So I’d suggest securing the frame and your rear wheel with the Foldylock.
It may be helpful to have a read of my guide on how to secure your bike properly if you want to lock your bike in the safest possible way.
If you’re fortunate enough to have quick release wheels on your bike, you may choose lock the front wheel and, as it’s much easier for a thief to quickly remove it and get away without anyone realising.
If both of your bike’s wheels have a quick release skewer, then it’s a good idea to secure both wheels if you know you’ll be locking up for a while. Unsurprisingly, the Foldylock Compact has a large enough locking area to allow this.
If you’re worried about your wheels being pinched, but don’t fancy constantly taking your front wheel off, a cable extension will work well alongside the Foldylock Compact.
This takes slightly longer to set up when locking your bike, but will prevent chancers from nicking one of your wheels.
Included with the Foldylock Compact
Included in the box with your Foldylock, you’ll receive everything you need to get set up.
I’ve already covered the Allen/Hex Keys and straps you receive for the mount system.
You’ll also receive three laser cut sidewinder keys, along with a key duplication card. This small plastic card displays a code which you should keep hold of.
Even better, you can register your Foldylock online to receive a free two-year warranty. The key duplication code is entered into the website which verifies your purchase and saves the code on your account, so that should you need to order replacement keys in the future, it’ll be there waiting for you.
You’ll also receive a small booklet of instructions, that provide help when attaching your Foldylock to your bike.
How does the Foldylock Compact Compare to Other Bike Locks?
I’ve already compared the Foldylock to the ABUS Bordo Granit X-Plus 6500 and even though the Foldylock doesn’t offer the Sold Secure Gold rating, I think it stands its ground well against this titan.
Whilst the Foldylock can out-manoeuvre most D locks, its shackle is only 5mm thick. The steel plates used by the Foldylock Compact have been designed in a way that resists bolt cutter attacks.
Ultimately though, a good quality D lock’s shackle will offer more protection for your bike. Most D locks have a shackle of at least 12mm, so will provide more resistance to bolt cutters.
Due to their thicker shackles, the majority of D locks will weigh much more than most folding bike locks. Carrying a bulky, heavy bike lock when you cycle doesn’t make for a comfortable ride. Which is why so many are opting for a folding bike lock.
Alternative Options to the Foldylock Compact
Folding bike locks do cost more than your average D lock, this is mainly due to the complexity of their design and the advanced tooling required to manufacture them.
For the benefits that the Folylock Compact provides it think it’s sold at a reasonable price. However, I always like to give a full range of options to my readers.
If you’re looking for a Sold Secure Silver folding bike lock, they don’t come much cheaper than the Foldylock. I never recommend Sold Secure Bronze rated locks as they only “Provide protection against the opportunist thief”.
I also wouldn’t recommend a bike lock without any recognised security ratings (Sold Secure, ART) as these tend to be cheaply made and provide less protection for your bike.
The Onguard Brute - A Cheaper Alternative
The Onguard Brute is one of the most affordable Sold Secure Gold D locks. It retails at a price that is affordable for most cyclists and provides impressive security for your bike.
The Brute features a 16.8mm Hardened steel shackle which is bolt cutter proof and is built to resist even the most brutal hydraulic and twist attacks.
This lock is so impressive that It made it into my article covering the best D locks on the market. Take a read if you’re interested.
The sacrifice you’ll be making with this lock is its lifespan. The materials used on the Brute aren’t the best, and are likely to show signs of wear and tear over time.
Something you wouldn’t see from the Foldylock Compact.
The Trelock FS500 Toro - A More Secure Folding lock
I’ve already covered a lot about the ABUS X-Plus 6500, which is a great folding lock if you’re looking for a more secure option.
The Trelock FS500 Toro is also a very good choice of Sold Secure Gold folding bike lock. Remarkably, it retails at a price not that much more than the Foldylock.
Neither of these are as lightweight or compact, but they will provide a higher level of security for your bike.
If you’re interested in learning a little more about these, have a read here.
The TiGr Mini - A Lighter Alternative
If 2.2lb (1kg) still isn’t lightweight enough for you, you’ll be please to hear there is a featherweight bike lock available.
The TiGr Mini weighs 0.9lb (400g) and gained 2/5 stars from ART. Yes, you read that correctly.
On the ART website it states that 2/5 Stars means a lock is suitable for bicycles. But take this with a pinch of salt. The ART rating system isn’t specifically designed for bicycles, so doesn’t offer the same detailed breakdown as Sold Secure ratings.
This 2/5 rating roughly translates to Sold Secure Silver, which makes the TiGr mini a reasonable lighter weight replacement to the Foldylock. Just remember, it isn’t Sold Secure Certified, so it may not offer the same level of security.
I covered the TiGr Mini in more depth here.
Who are Seatylock?
Seatylock are the innovative company behind Foldylock. They are innovators within the cycling security industry and are made up from a team of cycling enthusiasts. Locks for cyclists, designed by cyclists, that explains a lot!
Seatylock offer a fantastic range of practical security products, most of which, you probably think don’t exist. Take a look and you’ll see what I mean!
Beginning as a Kickstarter crowdfunding project in September 2014, Seatylock’s first invention was a removable saddle which also functions as the bike’s lock. Hence the name!
Led successfully to their initial goal of $40,000 by leader Oren Livne, the hype for Seatlock quickly spread. In just 59 days Seatylock’s idea had raised over $130,000 from backers around the world.
The Seatylock can still be found on their store today, with more variations of saddle available.
This was the birth of Seatlock, and the beginning of a new era of bicycle security.
Foldylock Compact Review - Summary
The Foldylock Compact continues to impress me.
I was only planning on using the Foldylock Compact for testing before putting this review together.
However, I’ve found myself coming back to use it for bike rides and short cafe stops where my bike will remain nearby.
The Foldylock is not designed for securing super expensive bicycles for long periods of time or in high-risk areas.
If you’re a cyclist who doesn’t want to haul around a hefty D lock or chain lock, the Foldylock Compact is the solution. It combines the characteristic of these locks into one, secure, lightweight package.
It will do a fantastic job of securing your bike in medium/low-risk areas, or in communal bike sheds.
I’ve tried to go into as much detail as possible with this review, but if you have any questions, drop me a comment below and I’ll get back to you right away!
If you’re not convinced the Foldylock is the bike lock for you, then check out some of my other recommendations below!