9 min read
I’ve been using the Onguard Pitbull for the last two weeks and today I’ll take you through my findings in this review.
The OnGuard Pitbull is a popular D Lock used by many cyclists, as it offers many premium features at a very affordable price.
But is the Pitbull D Lock worth your money, and more importantly will it protect your bike?
Let’s find out.
Overview - OnGuard Pitbull Review
An Affordable D Lock That Ticks Nearly Every Box
Security Rating – Sold Secure Diamond
Weight – 1.61kg (3.55lb)
Shackle Dimensions – 11.5 x 23cm (4.53 x 9.06″)
Shackle Thickness – 14mm Hardened Steel
Warranty – Lifetime
The OnGuard Pitbull is one of the best budget bike locks on the market. For the money you pay, you’ll receive a bike lock with features that you’d only expect to find on a more upmarket lock.
OnGuard do produce a more secure D Lock, so if you’ve spent a fair amount of money on your ride, check the Pitbull’s big (but still affordable) brother, the OnGuard Brute.
As with any budget bike lock, operating the Pitbull is not always seamless and basic maintenance is advised to keep the Pitbull in good, working condition. However, for the price you pay it’s easy to see past the Pitbull’s small imperfections.
How Secure Is the OnGuard Pitbull DT 8005?
As previously mentioned, the OnGuard Pitbull has many features that one would only expect to find on a more premium bike lock. Many of these features greatly increase the Pitbull’s security.
OnGuard rated the Pitbull at 83/100 on their website, which places the Pitbull in their ‘Ultimate Security’ Category.
However, it’s obviously in every manufacturer’s interest to rate their bike locks as generously as possible on their in-house security rating systems.
Sold Secure awarded the Pitbull 8005 their prestigious Diamond rating, which means that the Pitbull is suitable for use in high-risk areas such as large towns and cities.
The Pitbull makes good use of OnGuard’s X4P locking mechanism.
The X4P system secures the Pitbull’s shackle in four different places, which greatly adds to its security and allows it to resist twist and hydraulic attacks (two popular methods used by thieves to steal bikes).
I don’t think that Pitbull’s quad-locking system provides a great deal more protection than a double bolted shackle that you’d find on most good quality D Locks. But hey, it means this D Lock isn’t vulnerable to the attacks noted above!
The Pitbull’s hardened steel shackle is 14mm thick. This means it isn’t quite thick enough to be considered bolt cutter proof, but a thief would seriously struggle to cut this with a smaller, concealable pair of bolt cutters.
A handy 3.9ft (1.2m) cable extension is supplied with the Pitbull, which allows you to secure your bike’s wheels & accessories without having to remove them.
Cable extensions provide a very minimal level of protection but will deter chancers and opportunist thieves.
After testing the Pitbull 8005 and its features it’s clear that it’s a very secure bike lock. This isn’t the most secure bike lock on the market, but its Sold Secure Diamond rating proves it’s one of the best.
If you use the Pitbull properly, it will provide a very respectable level of security for your bike whilst you’re away from it.
If your bike was relatively expensive, attracts second looks or has sentimental value, I’d recommend opting for the OnGuard Brute.
The Brute is very similar to the Pitbull, but has a bolt cutter proof 16.8mm shackle which will provide a better level of security for those with more valuable bikes.
How Practical Is the OnGuard Pitbull 8005?
Weight & Size
Weighing in at 3.55 lb (1.61 kg) the OnGuard Pitbull is slightly heavier than your average D Lock. Had OnGuard spent more time refining the Pitbull’s features it could possibly have been lighter, but it’s likely it would then cost you more to purchase!
The Pitbull 8005’s 14mm steel shackle measures 4.53” x 9.06” (11.5cm x 23cm) and is capable of securing two bikes rear wheels and their frames.
Combined with its braided steel cable, I was able to secure two bikes and their wheels. This makes the Pitbull a great lock for bike rides or for cycling with a partner.
The shackle and body are coated with rubber/silicone which will help to keep your bike free from scratches. Just like the OnGuard Brute, the Pitbull also features metal end caps, which protect your lock from damage if dropped.
If the Pitbull 8005’s shackle dimensions don’t work for you, there are other variants available such as the larger Pitbull LS which measures 4.53” x 11.5” (11.5cm x 29.2cm) or the smaller Pitbull Mini DT.
OnGuard Pitbull's Mounting System
Even though it’s bulkier than other D locks, I didn’t struggle to fit the Pitbull 8005 into my backpack, and it wasn’t uncomfortable to carry whilst riding. However, you’d probably be better off using the mount (supplied) if your bike’s frame allows.
OnGuard cut cost with the mounting system supplied with the Pitbull. The multi-position mount is made from plastic and doesn’t feel very robust. The mount attaches to your bike’s frame and will fit frames 20-42mm thick (didn’t attach to my road bike!).
Four screws are supplied for attaching the mount (one longer pair and one shorter pair). It’s a bit of a faff to attach the mount to your bike’s frame, and takes longer than other styles of mount I’ve used. But again, for the price you pay, you can’t complain.
The mount is operated with a spring-loaded plastic button (seen above) which is stiff and fiddly to depress fully when new, which makes the operation clunky. At first, when the Pitbull was attached to the mount, it was a challenge to release it, but over time the sharp corners of the plastic rounded slightly and its operation became more fluid.
With daily use, I wouldn’t expect the mount to last a long period of time, but replacements can be purchased at a very cheap price online.
|OnGuard Pitbull DT 8005 Specs|
|Shackle Dimensions:|| 4.53” x 9.06” |
(11.5cm x 23cm)
|Shackle Diameter & Material:||14mm Hardened Steel|
|Sold Secure Rating:||Sold Secure Diamond|
Quality & Maintenance
OnGuard’s products aren’t built to last when exposed to the elements for considerable periods of time. The Pitbull is water resistant, but if it’s exposed to rain for long periods of time the inner working parts can become rusty and cause the lock to jam/malfunction. But you can prevent this happening!
The Pitbull will require more maintenance than a more premium bike lock. But for such an affordable price, you can’t expect perfection.
To prevent any bike lock form jamming, make sure you regularly clean and lubricate any moving/working parts.
I’ve put together a full guide on lock maintenance here, a quick read will help you to prolong the life of your bike lock.
Locking Mechanism & Operation
This impressive D Lock does feature an automatic sliding keyhole cover, which prevents dust and debris from entering the lock.
The Pitbull is supplied with 5 sidewinder Keys, which can be replaced if lost using the key-card supplied. One of these keys has an integrated LED which helps when operating the lock in the dark. These keys do feel cheap and quite flimsy, but I haven’t had any problems using them so far.
I’m yet to have any major issues with unlocking/locking the Pitbull 8005, but have found that you sometimes need to give the shackle an extra bit of encouragement into the mechanism before being able to lock this D Lock.
The Zefal K-Traz U17 (which is essentially the same lock and sells at a similar price) has smoother, spring loaded locking mechanism.
OnGuard Pitbull – Best Bits
- 14mm hardened steel shackle
- Sold Secure Diamond rated
- Quad bolted shackle provides resistance to all attacks
- Supplied with cable extension
- Anti-scratch coating
- LED integrated key for operating lock in the dark
- Metal end caps protect Pitbull from drops & knocks
Best Way to Use the OnGuard Pitbull
I’ve put together the complete guide of how to lock your bike properly, so have a look if you fancy increasing your bike’s security. Otherwise, the suggestions below are some of the most secure ways to lock your bike using the OnGuard Pitbull.
Most Practical Locking Method - Frame & Rear Wheel With Cable for Front Wheel
This is my go-to when out and about. Removing your front wheel is fiddly and time-consuming, especially for those who don’t have quick-release wheels!
Instead, use the extension cable to lasso your front wheel and encompass your rear wheel and frame with the Pitbull.
Most Secure Locking Method – Frame & Both Wheels
The braided steel extension cable could be cut easily with a pair of wire cutters. If you’re looking for the most secure way to use the Pitbull, or have an expensive set of wheels then lock both wheels and the frame with the D Lock, ignore the cable!
Included in the Box
- OnGuard Pitbull DT 8005
- OnGuard Braided Extension Cable
- 1x Onguard LED Key (with battery)
- 4x OnGuard Standard Key
- OnGuard Mounting System (with instructions)
- Key Replacement Code Card
OnGuard Key Registration
If you lose all five keys supplied with your OnGuard bike lock, your keycode card will allow you to get replacements cut.
I’d advise you to sign up for key registration ASAP after you purchase an OnGuard product. If you lose the keycode before signing up, you’ll struggle to get a replacement cut.
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.
Warranty & Anti-Theft Provided With the Onguard Pitbull
OnGuard do offer a lifetime warranty with their products, however this doesn’t cover general wear and tear.
Normally if you can prove your OnGuard lock has a defect in materials or workmanship, your countries distributor will be able to replace/repair it free of charge.
As I’ve covered I haven’t had any major issues or need to claim agaisnt this warranty yet, so can’t comment on the customer service/support.
OnGuard Anti-Theft Protection Offer
OnGuard also offer Anti Theft Protection. In the event of your bike being stolen whilst secured with this lock, as long as you have met the necessary security requirements, you can claim up to $2251 for bicycles, or $751 for power sport.
After having a look through the many T&C’s of this program it’s not as glamourous as it sounds. It won’t cover you for theft where any battery powered are used and the list of other security requirements you have to meet is definitely on the long side.
You can find out more about the ATPO on OnGuard’s website.
Is the Onguard Pitbull Worth Its Price?
OnGuard’s locks are hard to beat when you consider the quality of lock you receive for the price you pay.
The OnGuard Pitbull is one of the cheapest Sold Secure Diamond bike locks on the market and is a worthy investment for anyone on a tighter budget.
It’s unlikely that an OnGuard bike lock will last you as long as a more premium lock would, but if you take good care of it and frequently lubricate its moving parts you’ll greatly increase its usable life.
As covered above you’ll also receive a lifetime warranty.
You can check the most up to date and competitive price for the Pitbull here [Amazon].
How Does the Onguard Pitbull 8005 Compare to Other Bike Locks?
I’ve already mentioned how similar the Pitbull is to the Zefal K-Traz U17. The U17 doesn’t provide the same Sold Secure Diamond rating, but all of the other features are almost identical (apart from the mechanism housing).
The U17’s locking mechanism does operate more smoothly, but it lacks the silicone covering and doesn’t feel quite as sturdy.
The Pitbull’s 14mm shackle will offer more protection than any folding bike lock, as their links only go up to 5.5mm thick. But won’t offer as many locking options. See slider below for example.
The OnGuard Pitbull also have the versatility of a chain lock. if you want to be able to secure your bike to larger objects like lampposts, a chain might be a better choice for you. This being said, the Pitbull offers enough space to secure your bike to almost any immovable object you’d find on the street.
Alternative Options to the OnGuard Pitbull
More Versatile Than the Pitbull
Today’s Best Deals:
The Foldylock Compact is the lightest Sold Secure Silver rated folding bike on the market. This is the only bike lock that I’ve tested which is 100% silent whilst you ride, a feature which I really appreciated.
It’s 5mm hardened steel plates provide a good level of security, whilst being fully adjustable to encompass even the largest of lampposts. The plates are bolt cutter resistant and are connected with anti-drill & saw strengthened rivets.
Read more about the Foldylock Compact here.
Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Mini
More Secure Than the Pitbull & Higher Quality Materials
Ah yes, the Fahgettaboudit Mini, my favourite and arguably the best and most secure D Lock on the market.
The Fahgettaboudit Mini is part of the Kryptonite New York range, which features all of Kryptonite’s most secure locks (designed for the high risk area of downtown New York!).
The Mini is built with 18mm thick Max Performance Steel which makes it totally immune to even the largest bolt cutters.
The Fahgettaboudit has a smaller shackle than the Pitbull, which isn’t ideal for securing multiple bikes, but when used with a cable extension you’ll have access to the most secure portable locking solution out there.
I cover the Fahgettaboudit Mini in more detail here.
A More Lightweight Option
Today’s Best Deals:
The TiGr Mini is the lightest lock I’ve reviewed and rightfully earned it’s place amongst the best lightweight bike locks.
This futuristic lock weighs in at a mere 0.9lbs (0.4kg)! For you scientists out there you may have already figured from the name that the TiGr is made from Titanium.
Titanium is extremely lightweight but is incredibly strong, which makes it a great choice of metal for bike locks.
Its only downside its price, as it’s a premium material that’s hard to work with the TiGr mini is sold at a higher price.
If like me, you ride a carbon bike the TiGr mini is a great choice for shorter stops, however, I wouldn’t recommend this for longer lock-ups if you ride an expensive bike.
If you’re interested have a read of the in-depth review here.
Summary – Is the OnGuard Pitbull a Good Bike Lock?
After testing the Pitbull in a variety of locking scenarios, overall I’m impressed. The most impressive aspect of this lock, for me, is the price that it’s sold at.
There isn’t another Sold Secure Diamond bike lock retailing at such an affordable price.
If you’ve invested a considerable amount of money in your bike, it might be worth looking at a more secure bike lock, the OnGuard Brute is a more secure similarly priced option.
Whilst the Pitbull does a great job at resisting all forms of attack, It isn’t bolt cutter proof.
That being said, the Pitbull 8005 is definitely a great choice of lock for a less valuable bike or for those on a tighter budget.
If you’ve decided the Pitbull isn’t the lock for you, take a look at the 8 best bike locks on the market or the best cheap bike locks if you’re on the hunt for a bargain!
Lock it or lose it.