7 min read
An Introduction to the Lobster Lock
The Lobster Lock is an innovative new concept and producing a lobster lock review has been on my to-do list for a while now!
Recently the Lobster Lock has been featured in several youtube videos which have questioned the security this bike lock offers.
I’ve been intrigued to find out how the Lobster Lock compares to other folding bike locks I’ve used and reviewed.
With this in mind, I got hold of the Lobster Lock 1.0 and the newly released Lobster Lock 2.0 to:
- Compare the two models and identify the upgrades that have been made & find out if the upgrades were worthwhile
- Discover the value of bikes this lock is suitable for use with
- Determine whether or not I’d recommend the use of this bike lock
If you’ve been considering purchasing a Lobster Lock, I recommend you read this review.
I’ll cover any questions you may have and help you decide whether this lock provides adequate protection for your bike.
Overview - How Good is the Lobster Lock?
With its ability to attach to and operate directly from the frame of your bike, the Lobster Lock 2.0 is a super practical bike lock that is suitable for use in most situations.
The Lobster Lock uses 5mm heat-treated, hardened steel plates and hardened steel rivets, which will provide a respectable level of protection for low-mid range bikes.
Currently, the Lobster Lock doesn’t have a Sold Secure rating. However, Benjie, the Founder and inventor of Lobster Lock, let me know the Lobster would soon be submitted for testing.
Weighing 1.2kg (2.73lb), this folding bike lock is lightweight and is quick and easy to use.
If you’ve invested a substantial sum of money in your bike I’d be hesitant to use the Lobster Lock as your primary bike lock. Instead, use a Lobster Lock alongside a higher security lock for top-tier protection.
A large flexible shackle provides plenty of space to lock your bike to large immovable objects. What’s more, the Lobster Lock is available at a very reasonable price [Amazon].
|Lobster Lock Product Details|
|Lock Width:||5.8cm (2.28")|
|Lock Length:||26.1cm (10.3")|
|Shackle Depth & Material:||5mm Hardened Steel|
|Sold Secure Rating:||Not yet tested|
What Is the Lobster Lock?
The Lobster Lock is a creative new take on folding bike locks (an increasingly popular and versatile style of bike lock).
This lock gets its name from its two large hardened steel arms which fold out from its mount (resembling a lobster) and allow you to quickly and effectively secure your bike.
The main feature setting the Lobster Lock apart from other folding bike locks is its integrated mounting system. The mount this folding lock uses is joined to the lock which means no more frustration with fiddly bike lock mounts!
Sounds great you say, but how secure is this alternative folding lock? Let’s find out.
Security – How Secure Is the Lobster Lock?
As always, when purchasing a new bike lock, the security the lock offers will be a key aspect in determining whether it’s suitable for your circumstances.
If you’ve researched the lobster lock elsewhere online, you may have seen a video of the Lobster Lock 1.0 being picked open with a strip of aluminium.
If not, watch the video below, where I’ll demonstrate just how easy it was to defeat the original Lobster Lock.
Since this vulnerability was identified, the team behind the Lobster Lock quickly responded and replaced the wafer cylinder.
Fast upgrades like this are relatively unheard of within the bike lock market, but the same goes for wafer cylinder locks.
The addition of a disc detainer cylinder to the Lobster Lock has vastly improved the overall security it offers.
Originally, most people with basic understanding would’ve been able to open the Lobster Lock 1.0 without a key.
Now, only those that understand more advanced lock picking and have the correct tools (which are hard to come by) will be able to pick the Lobster Lock 2.0.
Apart from the new cylinder, no other major upgrades were made to the rest of the lock.
This is understandable as the Lobster’s 5mm hardened steel plates already provided a good level of protection against cutting and sawing.
Its hardened steel rivets also provide resistance against twist & hydraulic attacks.
I spoke with Benjie Gerry, the founder and inventor of Lobster Lock, about the security that the Lobster Lock offers.
As it stands, the Lobster Lock is not Sold Secure rated. Benjie let me know that it will be submitted for testing shortly, and they wanted to wait for the now upgraded cylinder before submitting the lock for testing.
From my experience, I’d expect this lock to receive either the Sold Secure Bronze or Silver rating.
The Lobster Lock has similar specs to the ABUS Bordo 6000, which was Sold Secure Silver rated, but has recently been downgraded to Bronze.
When the Lobster Lock has been submitted for Sold Secure testing, I’ll update this article with its security rating. As previously stated, I expect this rating to be either Bronze or Silver.
Practicality - How Practical Is the Lobster Lock?
The Lobster Lock claims on its packaging to be the “first attachable bike lock”, which isn’t quite true. However, it’s definitely the first attachable folding bike lock I’ve come across.
Frame locks are another type of bike lock, which are popular in Europe, and attach to your bike’s frame at the top of your seat stays. The LINKA smart bike lock (shown below) is a modern-day example of a traditional style frame lock.
Whilst many cyclists choose to use traditional frame locks, they’re less practical than the Lobster Lock.
This is because they simply prevent your rear wheel from rotating, rather than locking your bike to an immovable object.
When testing the Lobster Lock, I could lock my bike within seconds to any immovable object I tried.
It even offered enough internal locking space to secure my bike to large lampposts, something most other bike locks would struggle with.
Weight and Size
Weighing 1.24kg (2.73lb), the Lobster Lock is fairly lightweight for a folding lock of its size. What’s more, you’ll hardly notice the weight of this lock as it remains directly attached to the frame of your bike.
If you’re tired of carrying around an awkwardly heavy bike lock that’s hard to carry whilst riding, the Lobster Lock would be a great replacement.
For my readers that enjoy knowing every small detail, I’ve included all of the dimensions you’ll want for the Lobster Lock below!
Lobster Lock Shackle Dimensions
Lobster Lock Shackle Length
Lobster Lock Folded Dimensions
Lobster Lock Width
As I’ve covered, unlike other folding bike locks I’ve reviewed, the Lobster Lock utilises a smart integrated mounting system.
The Lobster Lock screws into your water bottle cage mounts using two M5 Hexagonal bolts (Allen key bolts).
Mounting the Lobster Lock takes 2-3 minutes and is slightly fiddly, but once it’s mounted, it will remain in place for as long as you use it. (see images below for mounting instructions)
Some cyclists don’t like using their water bottle mounts to mount their locks because it reduces the amount of fluid you can carry whilst cycling.
Insert the Top Hex Screw
Loosely Screw the Top Screw Into Place and Insert the Bottom Screw
Use a Hex Key (Allen Key) to Tighten Both Screws
Your Lobster Lock is Now Mounted
Fortunately, the innovative minds behind the Lobster Lock made it possible to attach a water bottle mount to the top of the Lobster Lock.
This is especially helpful for bikes that only have one bottle cage mount position, for obvious reasons.
One other upgrade the Lobster Lock 2.0 received was three small plastic ridges which prevent the lock from rattling whilst cycling. If, like me, you enjoy a smooth and rattle-free ride, you’ll appreciate this lock.
When the Lobster Lock is folded away, two small spring-loaded latches hold the hardened steel plates in place. Further reducing the noise made by the lock whilst riding.
Locking Mechanism & Operation
The upgraded disc detainer cylinder the Lobster Lock uses is smooth to operate and isn’t stiff like some cheaper folding locks.
Beside the keyhole, there are small markings that read “On” and “Off”. Why they don’t read “Unlocked” and “Locked” or “Open” and “Closed” is slightly beyond me. However, this doesn’t have any effect on the way the Lobster Lock works.
You won’t be able to remove the key until it’s returned to the locked or “Off” position. This means you can’t mistakenly leave your bike unlocked, thinking you’ve locked it up.
One feature the Lobster Lock lacks is a keyhole cover. Many bike locks use keyhole covers that prevent dirt and grime from entering the locking cylinder.
Again, this won’t hugely affect your usage of the Lobster Lock, but if you regularly cycle on dusty bike paths or use the lock daily, you should clean and lubricate the locking mechanism more often.
Read this and learn how to prevent your bike lock jamming and how to clean your lock’s cylinder.
Quality & Maintenance
The Lobster Lock is constructed from durable, quality materials. The mounting system this lock uses is made from strengthened, reinforced plastic.
Whilst I’m not keen on plastic components, the plastic the Lobster Lock uses is super robust. For argument’s sake, I dropped the lock onto concrete from a height of about 5ft (1.5m), and it merely scratched the outer plastic casing.
Seeing as the Lobster Lock will be permanently mounted to your bike, it’s not going to be dropped. But my test shows it will easily withstand any knocks and bumps that it may take whilst in use.
I was also keen to measure the width and depth of the 5mm hardened steel plates. I do this because some brands I’ve noticed like to round up their measurements instead of providing precise details.
Trying to remove the outer layer of plastic from the steel plates was not easy. Even with a small hacksaw, it took me a good ten minutes to remove enough outer casing to take a measurement.
Impressively resistant and durable materials all-round.
How Much Does the Lobster Lock Cost?
For how practical the Lobster Lock is and for the superior materials it uses, it’s sold at a very reasonable price [Amazon].
It retails at a similar price to several quality folding bike locks, and although it doesn’t yet have a Sold Secure rating, the Lobster Lock will provide a respectable level of protection for your bike.
I’d recommend using the Lobster Lock with your bike in medium-low risk areas.
How to Use the Lobster Lock
The Lobster lock can be used to lock your bike’s front or rear wheel, depending on the mounting positions your bicycle provides.
If possible I suggest using the Lobster Lock on your rear wheel, as this is generally the more expensive wheel to replace.
Once mounted, using the lobster lock is fairly self explanatory. Simply fold the arms out and lock the frame & wheel of your bike to an immovable object.
When using the Lobster lock, you must make sure to encompass your frame within the shackle when locking up.
If you don’t, a thief could simply remove the hex key bolts (Allen key bolts) and walk off with your bike.
Make sure you encompass your frame when locking up.
Included With the Lobster Lock
1 x Lobster Lock 2.0
2 x M5 Hex Key Bolts (Hex key required)
2 x Coded Keys
Lobster Lock FAQ's - With Benjie Gerry
I wanted to find out some more details about the lobster lock, so I asked Benjie a few questions which he was happy to answer.
Benjie explained to me that the idea for the Lobster Lock came from his frustration with existing bike lock mounts and how fiddly they were to use.
“As a student, I had a U-Lock with a very disappointing mount that had all sorts of problems from getting jammed to not preventing the U-Lock from swinging around while riding. From there I had to resort to either resting the lock on handlebars or carrying it in my bag.”
This led Benjie to the idea of producing a more suitable lock that uses an integrated, cleaner mounting system.
“We are more than happy to replace defective units or accept returns on the rare occasions that we run into them, within a year of purchase”
Introducing several new products, increasing security, lighter weight locks, providing a range of different coloured locks.
How Does the Lobster Lock Compare to Other Bike Locks?
Foldylock Compact – A More Versatile Lightweight Folding Bike Lock
The Foldylock Compact has been one of my favourite bike locks for a long time now. It’s super portable, easy to use and is completely silent whilst riding.
Unfortunately, the Foldylock doesn’t attach directly to your bike’s frame, so it takes slightly longer to lock your bike with. However, we’re only talking a few seconds to have your bike locked.
If you want to find out more about the Foldylock Compact, you can read about my complete review here.
LINKA Lock - A Smart, Keyless Bike Frame Lock
The Linka Lock is the only frame lock that I’ve reviewed in detail, and it really impressed me with its smart features.
Unlike the Lobster Lock, the LINKA has the ability to connect directly to your smartphone. The LINKA also auto-unlocks when you approach your bike, meaning you won’t have to spend another second searching for your keys.
If the sound of this interests you, check out my full review of the LINKA lock here.
So there you have it, my complete Lobster Lock review. You should now understand a little more about this alternative bike lock and the benefits it provides.
I’ve enjoyed using this lock with my bike and will definitely use it with one of my fixed-gear bikes moving forwards.
It provides a quick and effective way to lock your bike to almost any immovable object, and its mounting system keeps it out of the way whilst cycling.
If you have any questions regarding the Lobster Lock, or if you feel I’ve missed any information, leave me a comment below, and I’ll get back to you right away.
As always, lock it or lose it.
Ciao for now!