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OnGuard Brute Review – The Strongest Budget Bike Lock?

The OnGuard Brute is OnGuard’s Flagship D lock, and they claim it provides “Ultimate protection for high crime areas”.

I’ve used the OnGuard Brute for over three years now, and in this OnGuard Brute review, we’ll pick this lock apart and see if it’s worth your money.

Throughout my review of the OnGuard Brute below, I’ll also help you figure out whether or not this lock is suitable for your bike, alongside showcasing the most secure way to lock your bike with the Brute. 

Table of Contents
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    Overview - Is The Brute A Good Choice of Bike Lock?

    OnGuard Brute review
    Ease of Use

    Weighing 4.1lb (1.86kg) the OnGuard Brute’s name is fitting.

    It’s one of cheapest bolt cutter proof bike locks on the market, which makes it suitable for those looking for top tier protection for their bicycle.

    The Brute and the Pitbull were the first locks on the market to receive the new Sold Secure Diamond rating, which speaks volumes of the quality of OnGuard’s affordable locks.

    Much like OnGuard’s other bike locks, the accessories you receive are fairly flimsy.

    The mount supplied isn’t fantastic and doesn’t feel like it’s made to last, but replacements can be bought online or the Brute can easily fit into a backpack.

    Whilst not every aspect of the OnGuard Brute is completely polished, if you’re looking for the most secure bike lock at the cheapest price, look no further.

    OnGuard Brute Info
    Weight: 1.64kg (3.54lb)
    Internal Shackle Width: 11.19cm (4.41")
    Internal Shackle Length: 20.2cm (7.96")
    Shackle Diameter & Material: 16.8mm Hardened Steel
    Security Ratings: Sold Secure Pedal Cycle Diamond

    How Secure Is The OnGuard Brute STD 8001?

    OnGuard Brute Rating 97Rated 97/100 by OnGuard for security, the Brute is OnGuards most secure bike lock. It’s 16.8mm hardened steel TriRadius shackle is immune to even the biggest 42” bolt cutters, have a watch of how it performed against a pair of hydraulic bolt cutters in the video below.

    Recently the Brute had its Sold Secure rating upgraded to Sold Secure Diamond, which puts it in the category of the most secure locks on the market. 

    The Brute uses the same locking mechanism as OnGuards other D locks, the X4P Quad Locking Mechanism. Sounds fancy, but it simply means the Brute’s un-croppable shackle is secured in four positions.

    The X4P system provides great protection against twist & hydraulic attacks, but I don’t think it provides any more protection than a standard double bolted shackle that you find on most of the best D locks.

    However, for the price you pay, it’s incredible they’ve been able to implement this feature as double bolted shackles are normally only found on more upmarket bike locks.

    The new and improved Z-Cylinder provides protection from picking, pulling and drilling and is operated by 5 laser cut keys which are extremely hard to duplicate without the key card code supplied!

    I’m not a fan of plastic when it’s used on bike locks, the outer shell is the Brute is made from matte black hardened plastic, which could be cracked easily.

    OnGuard clearly opted for plastic on the exterior of the Brute to cut cost, and in doing so have provided us with arguably the best budget bike lock.

    OnGuard Brute Components

    If someone were to crack the outer plastic shell they would be met by a steel casing which protects the locking mechanism. The use of plastic on this lock doesn’t make it any weaker, but the plasticky feel might encourage a thief to have a pop at the Brute.

    I like OnGuard’s use of bold colours. The bright colours make their locks look intimidating which can be enough to send some thieves looking for a less secure bike.

    Unlike the OnGuard Pitbull, the Brute is not supplied with a cable extension lock. Cable extensions aren’t necessary, but they do give you an easy solution for securing your front wheel without having to remove it. Fortunately, these can be purchased at a very affordable price online.

    OnGuard Cable Extension
    What OnGuard say about cable extensions (Click to enlarge)

    When OnGuard designed the Brute, I think it’s pretty clear what their objective was, to produce the strongest D Lock possible whilst making sure it was affordable to all. I think they’ve nailed this.

    The Brute actually featured in my list of the strongest bike locks, if you’re looking for the strongest lock possible it might be worth having a look!

    How Practical Is The OnGuard Brute STD 8001?

    So, we’ve now established that the Brute is a very sturdy bike lock designed to fight off the most brutal attacks. But how practical is it?

    Weight & Size

    As I mentioned the Brute is almost exactly the same lock as the OnGuard Pitbull, the only difference being the 2.8mm increase in shackle thickness.

    This small increase in shackle size does mean the Brute is 9oz (250g) heavier than the Pitbull, weighing 4.1lb (1.86kg).

    OnGuard Brute vs OnGuard Pitbull comparison of shackle size
    (Click to enlarge)

    This extra weight is noticeable, however, its smaller 4.53″ x 7.96″ (11.5cm x 20.2cm) shackle meant that I was easily able to fit the Brute STD 8001 into my backpack alongside a few other items.

    Mounting System

    The Brute is supplied with OnGuard’s multi-position mount, which is definitely not the best mount I’ve used.

    The Brute’s mounting system is made with a lightweight cheap plastic that doesn’t feel like it’s been designed to last. It’s stiff to operate at first but loosens up over time. 

    OnGuard Mount Doesn't Fit Bike Frame
    OnGuard locks are the only locks I've reviewed that not been able to mount onto the frame of my bike.

    The mount is designed to fit onto bikes frames that are 20-42mm thick.

    Unfortunately, my road bike didn’t fit into this bracket, so if your bike has a thicket frame, be ready to find another means of transport for the OnGuard Brute.

    Operation & Maintenance

    I found from time to time the Brute would need a bit of encouragement when locking, this only happened once or twice and a small adjustment of the shackle was all that was required to get it to lock.  

    The locking mechanism is guarded by an automatic keyhole cover, which prevents a build-up of dirt and debris inside the lock.

    The Brute isn’t fully watertight, so some basic bike lock maintenance is required to stop internal parts from deteriorating.

    OnGuard Brute Rubber Padding

    I’ve put together a guide which covers essential bike lock maintenance, have a read.

    If like me, you try to keep your bike’s paintwork in pristine condition you’ll be pleased to know the Brute has a soft silicone/rubber coating to keep your bike scratch-free.

    Metal caps on either side of the Brute’s body also prevent it from being damaged if dropped or knocked.

    One of the five keys supplied with the Brute 8001 features an integrated LED, which is handy when locking/unlocking in the dark.

    The keys do feel fairly flimsy and cheap, but as with the mount, OnGuard cut costs on auxiliaries to reduce the overall price of this impressive D Lock.

    OnGuard Brute – Best Bits

    • Best budget bike lock
    • Shrugs off bolt cutter attacks
    • Resistant to all forms of attack
    • Anti-scratch coating prevents damage to your bike
    • Metal end caps prevent damage to lock
    • Key replacement scheme
    • 16.8mm quad bolted shackle

    OnGuard Anti Theft & Warranty

    OnGuard Brute Warranty

    OnGuard offer a lifetime warranty with their products, which doesn’t cover wear and tear from general usage.

    If your lock has defects in materials or workmanship you can contact your countries distributor who should be able to replace/repair it free of charge.

    I haven’t had a reason to claim against this warranty, so I’m not sure how easy it is to make a successful claim. More information regarding the warranty can be found on the OnGuard website.

    OnGuard Anti-Theft Protection Offer

    OnGuard have an Anti-Theft Program in place which acts as an extra level of security. I’ve had a read through the T&Cs myself, and of course, they’ve made it as hard as possible to make a claim.

    With the OnGuard Brute STD 8001 you’ll be covered for up to $1251 for power sport and $5001 for bicycles.

    For any claim to be successful, however, you’ll need to make sure you follow OnGuard’s long list of requirements. They’re straightforward, but it’s a long list.

    Any theft which takes place where battery-powered or other electric tooling is used to break the lock is not claimable. If your bike is locked overnight in an area accessible to the public, you also won’t be covered if it’s stolen.

    As long as you don’t treat the ATPO as an insurance plan, you should be okay. For such a cheap lock to provide this free of charge, is impressive even if it’s not easy to claim!

    OnGuard Key Registration

    The keycard you receive with your Brute allows replacement keys to be produced should you lose the keys to your bike lock

    Keep this key card safe, it’s a good idea to sign up to the key registration scheme as soon as possible. 

    Currently, registration through the OnGuard website is only available to US customers. If you live outside of the US and wish to join the key registration scheme, you’ll have to contact your country’s distributor

    How Much Does The Brute Cost?

    When you compare it to other Sold Secure bike locks the Brute sits towards the top of the pack in terms of security, but the bottom in terms of price.

    It’s essentially a high-security bike lock sold at a very budget-friendly price. 

    View the most up to date price for the Brute here [Amazon]

    Best Ways To Use The OnGuard Brute

    The Most Secure Way to Use the Onguard Brute

    Best way to lock your bike with the OnGuard Brute

    As with almost any D Lock, the best and most secure way to lock your bike will be locking the frame and both of your wheels with the D Lock.

    This was possible with the OnGuard Brute and minimal space was left inside the shackle which further prevents twist and hydraulic attacks.

    Buy an Extension Cable For Locking Your Front Wheel

    OnGuard Brute with extension cable
    For bikes with quick release wheels like mine, an extension cable will save you plenty of time and potentially a wheel!

    If your bike uses quick-release wheels like mine, it’s a bit of a faff to constantly have to take the front wheel off whilst locking up.

    Instead, invest in an extension cable and you’ll save yourself some time, whilst preventing chancers from nicking your wheels.

    Included With the Onguard Brute Std 8001

    • OnGuard Brute STD 8001 D Lock
    • 4 x OnGuard Standard Keys
    • 1 x OnGuard LED Key (with battery)
    • OnGuard Mounting System (with instructions)
    • Key Replacement Code Card
    OnGuard Brute review unboxing

    How Does The OnGuard Brute Compare To Other Bike Locks?

    Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Mini

     Better Quality, Better Security

    Kryptonite New York Fahgettadboudit Mini Bike D Lock



    I use the Fahgettaboudit Mini is to secure my bike, and I’ve never had an issue since purchasing it. The difference in the build quality of these two locks is extremely noticeable. The Faghettaboudit uses almost zero plastic and has a much more premium feel to it.

    This mini D Lock operates smoothly and with its 18mm Max-Performance steel shackle it’s 100% guaranteed to be impossible to crop by hand cutter. This is arguably the best bike lock on the market and will do you proud, even in high-risk areas.

    If you have the budget to afford this lock, you won’t regret it.

    For more information, read my in-depth review of the Fahgettaboudit.

    Trelock FS-500 Toro

    A More Versatile Option

    Trelock FS500 Toro review folding bike lock



    Today’s Best Deals:

    Trelock are owned by Allegion PLC the same parent company that owns Kryptonite. They produce locks of a similarly high standard to Kryptonite, the FS-500 Toro actually outperforms all of Kryptonite’s folding bike locks.

    This 5.5mm Hardened steel folding lock received the Sold Secure Gold rating as well as 2/5 stars from ART the Dutch security rating company.

    Folding bike locks are more versatile than D locks as they provide an adjustable locking shackle. The Toro is also more compact and weighs less than the OnGuard Brute.

    If you’re interested, you can read more about the FS 500 here.

    TiGr Mini

    The Best Bike Lock for Defeating Thieves

    TiGr Mini Lightweight bike lock



    Today’s Best Deals:

    I’m not aware of a respectable bike lock that’s lighter than the TiGr Mini. Whilst the Mini doesn’t have a Sold Secure Rating, it gained 2/5 Stars from ART which makes it suitable for use with bicycles.

    I wouldn’t use this lock for long term lockups, but it’s perfect for shorter ‘café stops’ or for use as a secondary bike lock. It weighs 0.9lb (0.4kg) thanks to the titanium used to craft its V-shaped shackle and is easily transportable using its clip-in mounting system.

    It is relatively expensive for a bike lock without a Sold Secure rating, but if you ride a lightweight bike and wish to keep it that way, this could be the one for you.

    Read my complete review on the TiGr Mini here.

    Summary - How Good is the OnGuard Brute?

    As we found out in our recent review of the best cheap bike locks, the OnGuard Brute is a great quality low-cost lock that took our “Great Deal” accolade.

    It’s bolt cutter proof, quad bolted and resistant to all forms of attack.

    Whilst its operation isn’t always as slick as a more premium bike lock, this can be overlooked easily when you consider how much cheaper it is.

    If you do opt for the OnGuard Brute STD 8001, I’d advise you to purchase a cable extension separately. This will save you plenty of time in the long run and save you from having your wheel pinched!

    If you’re looking for a cheap bike lock that offers great security for your bike, read our review of the 8 best cheap bike locks.

    Remember, lock it or lose it.

    Recent Updates:

    Author of This Post:
    James Grear (Lead Editor)
    James Grear (Lead Editor)

    Understanding how devastating it is to have a bike stolen, I've researched & immersed myself in the world of bicycle security since 2013.

    I then built BikeLockWiki in 2019 to share everything I'd learned with the worldwide cycling community so that cyclists can improve their bike security skills and make informed decisions when purchasing new products and services.

    Learn More about Me & BikeLockWiki here.

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