15 min read
Folding bike locks are still a relatively new concept. There aren’t many folding locks on the market that have received respectable security ratings, but the Trelock FS 500 Toro is one of the few.
Trelock kindly sent me a couple of locks to try out. I’d heard mixed reviews about some of Trelocks products, so I was looking forward to testing & reviewing their locks myself
How secure is the Trelock FS 500? Is the Trelock FS 500 Toro a good folding bike lock?
If you have any questions about this impressive folding lock keep reading, they’ll be answered in this Trelock FS 500 Toro Review.
Overview - Trelock FS 500 Toro Review
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Security Rating – Sold Secure Gold
Weight – 1.45kg (3.2lb)
Shackle Dimensions – 12.5 x 26cm (4.92 x 10.24″)
Shackle Thickness – 5mm Hardened Steel
Warranty – 2 Years
The Trelock FS 500 Toro is a top of the market, Sold Secure Gold folding bike lock. Weighing in at 3.2lb (1.45kg) it’s also the lightest Sold Secure Gold, folding bike lock on market.
Trelock implemented their own 5.5mm TREDUR speciality steel plates which are secured by flexible high-quality link bolts.
Thanks to its spring-loaded locking system the Trelock FS 500 can be easily operated in the dark; a feature most bike locks don’t provide.
Trelock rated the Toro at 5/6 on their in house security scale, it’s smooth to operate, and it provides the peace of mind you need to leave your bike secured whilst you’re away from it.
If you’re after a portable lock that provides top tier security, the FS 500 Toro is a great choice.
How Secure is the Trelock FS 500 Toro?
Trelock FS 500 Toro - Security Ratings?
The Trelock FS 500 Toro is one of the two Sold Secure Gold rated folding bike locks and is easily one of the most well built folding locks on the market.
The FS 500 was featured amongst the best folding bike locks and stood up well against the other locks. The only other Sold Secure Gold folding bike lock I Know of is the ABUS Bordo Granit X Plus 6500, which the FS 500 went head to head within my review.
Trelock rated the FS 500 at 5/6 on their in house security level which makes this folding lock one of their most secure products.
The FS 500 is also 2 star ART Security verified. ART are a Dutch security testing company, and their 2-star approval makes the Toro suitable for use with bicycles.
Quality of Materials
The FS 500 uses 5.5mm thick TREDUR hardened steel plates, which provide impressive protection for your bike whilst it’s locked.
I was extremely impressed with the feel and build quality of the FS 500, it’s designed to last and is built from top quality materials.
The 5.5mm plates that the FS 500 Toro uses aren’t thick enough to be considered bolt cutter proof, but it’s important to realise that there isn’t a bolt cutter proof folding bike lock on the market.
You should remember that folding bike locks aren’t designed to be the most secure bike locks on the market.
Instead, they’re designed to be highly portable and to offer an impressive security to weight ratio, two things the Trelock FS 500 does very well.
The links of a folding bike lock are often targeted as a weak point, however, Trelock decided to address this issue and produced incredibly high-quality Security Link bolts.
These links that allow the lock to fold are smooth and have no play, this keeps any rattling noise whilst riding (with the lock mounted) to a minimum.
Trelock state themselves that:
“Special deep link bolts with Trelock Security Link Technology, as well as the TREDUR® special steel, resists even the most brutal breaking attempts.”
I’m not a fan of plastic on bike locks. The FS 500 Toro does use some, but its high grade hardened plastic that feels robust and covers the lock’s metal mechanism housing.
It also helps to keep the locking mechanism dry and shielded from the elements.
I dropped the Toro accidentally a few times whilst testing it out and it didn’t even scratch, so I don’t think the plastic on this lock is going to cause any issues.
How Practical is the Trelock FS 500 Toro?
Weight & Size
As I’ve already covered, people who opt for a folding bike lock are looking for a compromise between security and portability.
At 3.2lb (1.45kg) the Toro is the lightest Sold Secure Gold rated folding bike lock on the market.
The FS 500 is over 0.2lb (0.1kg) lighter than the ABUS Bordo Granit X Plus 6500 (one of the only other folding locks to bear the Sold Secure Gold rating) and came out on top when compared in my review of the best folding bike locks.
When folded down into its mount the Trelock FS 500 is a very similar size to the Granit X Plus 6500. You won’t have any issues fitting either of these locks into your rucksack if needed.
When out of its mount and unfolded, the FS 500 (35.4”/90cm long) offers a larger locking area than ABUS’ X Plus 6500/85.
This increased locking area makes the Toro a good option for securing multiple bikes and provides plenty of room for securing the frame of your bike and both of its wheels at the same time.
If you were after something lighter, the Foldylock Compact is a great choice. It gained the Sold Secure Silver rating, it’s smaller and weighs nearly 1.1lb (0.5kg) less, making it a great choice for regular everyday usage.
|Trelock FS 500 Toro Specs:|
|Shackle Width:||4.92" (12.5cm)|
|Shackle Height:||10.24" (26cm)|
|Shackle Material:||TREDUR speciality steel|
|Security Ratings:|| Sold Secure Gold, |
ART Level 2
Mounting system – Trelock FS 500 Toro Review
The mounting system the Toro uses is great quality and provides a convenient way to transport the Trelock FS 500 whilst cycling.
The mounting system weighs 0.23lb (0.1kg) and is made from sturdy hardened plastic.
You can mount the lock onto the water bottle holding area of your bike with the two small hex screws supplied in the box.
If you use a water bottle mount and don’t have more than one mounting area don’t worry.
Two high-quality plastic straps are supplied with the Trelock FS 500 which allow you to secure the mount to the most convenient position for you on the frame of your bike.
Once the mount is attached in position, the Trelock FS 500 Toro slides inside and a rubber strap is pulled down to cover it.
When using this folding bike lock for the first time, the strap was stiff and took a good pull to get into place.
However, the stiff strap made sure that the Trelock Toro was held in position whilst mounted, and reduced the rattling noise which most folding bike locks make when riding.
After a few days of regular usage, the rubber strap became ever so slightly more flexible which made it much easier to pull over the lock.
Quality & Maintenance
Trelock’s attention to detail is fantastic. Out of the box, I could tell that the FS 500 Toro was going to perform well. Its rivets are super smooth when folding, unlike the X Plus 6500 which is slightly rattly when folding.
As with any bike lock, general maintenance is required. Moving parts require slightly more attention, which means any folding lock will take slightly longer to clean & lubricate than a D Lock would.
For the practicality and portability that a folding lock offers, this small sacrifice is easily worth it if you’re considering one.
Locking Mechanism & Operation
Trelock spent time perfecting the locking system of the FS 500 Toro. It’s the only folding lock that I’ve reviewed which has an automatic locking feature.
Once you’ve partially inserted the locking end of the shackle into the mechanism, the spring-loaded lock takes over and does the rest for you. The video below shows exactly how this works.
This locking feature makes securing your bike in the dark much easier and drastically improves the everyday usage of this folding lock.
The locking mechanism is smooth to operate, and I’m yet to experience a single jam whilst using the Toro.
Trelock advertises that the FS 500 uses an “IN-X cylinder with reversible key”, this isn’t really anything to write home about as reversible keys are a standard feature from almost every manufacturer.
The Toro’s keyhole is protected by a sliding keyhole-cover which keeps the mechanism free from grime.
Is the Trelock FS 500 Toro Worth Its Price?
The Trelock FS 500 Toro is competitively priced when compared to similar quality folding bike locks.
Folding bike locks demand advanced engineering and therefor more complex machinery is required for their production. This tends to make them more expensive than your standard D Lock.
This being said, for a top of the range, Sold Secure Gold folding bike lock, I would consider the Toro to be reasonably priced.
Best Way To Use the Trelock FS 500 Toro
When I was out and about, the Trelock was super easy to use. Its Sold Secure Gold rating gave me the peace of mind to leave my bike secured in busier areas.
It’s flexible shackle also allowed me to secure my bike’s most expensive components without a struggle.
I offer an extensive guide on how to lock your bike properly, have a read if you fancy increasing your cycle security skills.
Easiest Locking Method
The easiest and most convenient locking method with almost any bike lock is to carry a cable extension with you whilst you cycle.
This will allow you to quickly secure your bike’s most expensive components without having to remove them.
The Trelock easily offers enough room to secure your back wheel and frame, from here also the cable through your front wheel and lock the free end with the Trelock.
Whilst cable extensions offer minimal security and wouldn’t take long to cut through, they are designed to prevent chancers and opportunist thieves.
The Kryptonite 710 will also save you from having to remove your front wheel.
Most Secure Locking Method
If you worry about your bike when it’s locked in a public area, this one’s for you.
Removing your front wheel and using the Trelock to secure both wheels and the frame of your bike is the most secure way to use the FS 500 Toro.
By encompassing all of your bike’s most expensive components with its 5.5mm hardened TREDUR steel plates, most bike thieves won’t stand a chance.
Whilst this method takes slightly longer due to the removal of the front wheel, it’s worth it for the increased security it provides.
Included in the Box
- Trelock FS 500 Toro
- Trelock FS 500 Mount
- 2 x Trelock Keys
- 2 x Hardened Plastic Straps
- Instruction booklet
Trelock Key Replacement Scheme
If you lose the keys supplied with your Trelock, it’s super easy to get new keys cut. The keys supplied with your lock will have a code on the side, it’s worth taking note of this code (I make a note on my phone).
If you lost both keys or just needed a few spares cut, the key replacement procedure Trelock offer is super straightforward.
Replacement keys with postage normally cost around $15 each (including shipping), which is a similar price to most other manufacturers.
Just make sure you take note of the key code, otherwise, if you lose both keys, you’ll have to buy a whole new lock!
Trelock FS 500 Toro Warranty
Trelock stand by the security of their products and offer a two-year warranty on all of their products.
If during the first two years after purchase, your lock is faulty or you have any issues with it, contact Trelock support and they’ll do their best to help you.
Their products will be free from material and processing defects for the first two years and if not, they’ll repair or replace your faulty lock.
More can be found on the Trelock website.
How Does the Trelock FS 500 Compare to Other Bike Locks
The Most Secure Folding Bike Lock
The Foldylock Forever is Seatylock’s newest addition o their range of top-quality folding locks.
The Forever is currently the most secure folding lock on the market and whilst it received the same Sold Secure Gold rating as the Trelock FS 500, its 6.5mm hardened steel plates offer an increased level of security.
The Forever is slightly heavier and more expensive than the FS 500, but if you’re after a highly portable lock that provides a large number of locking options and provides great levels of security, look no further.
You can read or watch my in-depth review of the Foldylock Forever here.
Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Mini
One of the Most Secure Portable Locks on the Market
The Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Mini is a titan when it comes to security.
This mini D Lock boasts a whopping 18mm hardened steel shackle, which is impossible to cut with hand-powered bolt cutters (the go-to tool for thieves).
I’ve used the Fahgettaboudit Mini for the last three years with my bike and although my bike was relatively expensive, no one’s ever tried anything funny.
I can’t say for sure, but I’m fairly certain that just the appearance of this chunky D Lock is enough to discourage most thieves.
Whilst it’s not as compact or as portable as the FS 500, the Fahgettaboudit is the best portable bike lock on the market and will take incredible care of your bike.
A Budget Friendly, Sold Secure Diamond Top of the Range Lock
Sold Secure Recently introduced a Diamond Bicycle rating to their security ranking system and the OnGuard Brute was one of the first locks to be awarded it.
This budget-friendly D lock has a 16.8mm hardened steel, quad bolted shackle which is immune to even the biggest bolt cutters and can withstand the most brutal attacks.
It’s noticeable that corners have been cut with the Brute’s accessories to keep the overall cost down, but it’s understandable when you consider how much this lock sells for.
If you’re looking to spend as little as possible and security is one of your main priorities the OnGuard Brute is a great choice.
Trelock originally part of Winkhaus GmbH & Co. began their journey in the security industry in the middle of the 19th century. Winkhaus manufactured windows and worked in ironmongery to begin with.
In 1866 when a company from Dusseldorf ceased production of padlocks, Augustus Winkhaus decided to produce the locks himself, and so the security manufacturing began.
Since then a lot has changed. In 2001 Trelock became independent through a management buy out and is now managed by and the Irish security company Allegion Plc. Allegion Plc also own and manage the well-known bicycle security company, Kryptonite and AXA.
Trelock have high standards when it comes to manufacturing and produce some of the most secure bike locks on the market.
Summary - Trelock FS 500 Review
The Trelock FS 500 Toro is designed to last, it’s sturdy, secure and I had no problem operating it.
Previously to reviewing this folding lock I had been using the ABUS Bordo Granit X Plus 6500 for over two years.
I’ve now replaced the ABUS lock with the Trelock and enjoy its increased portability and smoother operation.
I’ve been happy to secure my bike in high-risk areas using the FS 500 and will continue to use this lock moving forwards.
Trelock FS 500 Best Bits:
- Large locking area for multiple bikes
- Automatic locking shackle
- Sold Secure Gold rated
- 5.5mm TREDUR hardened steel
- Lightest gold-rated folding lock
- Suitable for use in higher risk areas
- ART level 2 certified
- Two-year warranty
- Secure mounting system
I genuinely struggled to find any issue with this lock, apart from the fact that it’s only supplied with two keys.
The FS 500 Toro is reasonably priced compared to the X Plus and will do you proud.
If the Trelock isn’t right for you, check out my other suggestions below for some super-secure recommendations
Remember, lock it, or lose it!