Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Mighty Amsterdam lock - a product review

This is a terrible lock. It won't keep your bicycle secure. If
you insist on buying one of these, you can do so here, but I
recommend that you look elsewhere for a secure design
of permanently fitted lock instead.
We recently received a sample of the "Mighty Amsterdam" lock.

It's a bicycle look which looks a bit like the sort of wheel lock used on virtually every utility bike in the Netherlands, but it's not actually a real one.. Amazon describe it as "Straight from the Bicycle Capital of the world", but it's not really that either. If you use this to secure your bicycle in Amsterdam it'll likely be stolen. I've only ever seen one of these locks - our sample. Some retailers say it comes from Germany. I suspect it may really be made in China. In any case, it's merely a pretend "Dutch" lock and really not the same as a proper one.

How "not the same" ? Well, I'll show you. H@rry made a video of me at work a few days back demonstrating the lock. "Lost" your key ? No problem. A little bit of effort and it pops open without one:



The next day, my colleague Roelf found a slightly faster way to open it. Upward pressure is enough every time:


OK, so you can argue that perhaps it's a little less easy if it's mounted on the bike. That might be so. However, I still think it won't be difficult to open. And besides, why take the risk ?

A proper, secure, Dutch wheel lock
This is a real Dutch bike lock. It's very secure. Optional extra
cables and chains can be used with it to secure your bike to
fixed objects for even more security.
If you want a lock which mounts permanently on your bike and is actually secure, then what you need is a proper Dutch lock. The AXA Defender is one of the very best.

These are what we fit by choice to our own bikes. They're robust and reliable. Well made.

Optional cables and chains fit to a socket on the side for additional security without having to fumble around for a key.

You can buy the AXA Defender as well as the add on cables and chains (including the ART approved DPI 110in our shop but we don't, and won't, sell the Mighty Amsterdam or similar not quite real products.

Many quality products are made in China these days. The "Mighty Amsterdam lock" isn't one of them... Oh, and AXA aren't completely blameless. While the "Defender" really is very good indeed, a few of their earlier models had a fatal flaw and should be replaced.

8 comments:

l' homme au velo said...

I am always suspicious of something with the Logo of Mighty Amsterdam Lock it sounds suspiciously like a Rip off of a Marque Product.

Like a Dutch Bike that isnt and is really a Chinese Rip off.

I prefer Supporting European Manufacturers when I can especially if I know it is actually made in Europe.

There are not a lot left,a lot of Bikes are now made in Korea unfortunately. Also a lot of US Bikes are now made abroad.

So it is a Joy to have something actually made in Europe.

Anonymous said...

Since I live in the Randstad (The Hague, to be precise), where everything that isn't bolted on gets stolen, I use an extra bicyclelock with my AXA Standard Lock: a junkieproofed hardend steel chainlock:

http://www.fietspunt.nl/shop/showarticle.php/artid/206010/supid/0/name/Insteekketting_AXA_RL-100_Defender-serie_100_cm


The great thing is that these puppies have been 'junkie-proofed', ie: people with huge bolt-cutters have been let loose on them to see how long it would take to get them off. The hardened steel chains were either impossible to cut or it would take a lot of time, effort and special equipment. A bikethief would fastly prefer 'The Mighty Amsterdam' (what a name!) since a pair of small boltcutters (easily hidden in a backpocket) would be enough to cut right through it.

Marion

Anonymous said...

My wife & I have proper dutch-built bikes here in Australia (one of the only brands available here at the moment) and it comes with such a lock - AXA Defender ring lock. It also has a chip in it (?RFID) which they apparently use to register the bikes in The Netherlands. It has no function here.

We bought the optional cables to plug into the side of the lock - very clever & so quick to secure.

The other evening while heading home from a restaurant we noticed a scruffy looking bloke rummaging around our dutch bikes, parked with three other 'mountain' bikes (a very full bike rack by Australian standards...).

I decided to watch him as I knew he wouldn't have a chance with our bikes. Sure enough, he quickly moved onto the easier targets when he realised the lock wasn't going to be broken easily. When I confronted him, he ran off.

I suppose if he had bolt cutters he might cut through the chain. Bolt cutters would be fairly obvious and not the sort of thing you can hide in a jacket.

The beauty of the bike being on the heavy side means that for quick stops the ring lock alone is adequate. I can't see anyone running with my bike in the air for too long!

Paul Martin
Brisbane Australia

Oliver said...

I wouldn't even dream of using either of these in London if I ever wanted to see my bike again. They are both too thin and weak. Kryptonite NY Fahgeddaboudit is the only way.

David Hembrow said...

Oliver: Thin ? Weak ? The AXA lock is almost certainly stronger than you think it is...

jonbendtsen said...

I want locks that can be locked with 1 hand that carries something while the other hand carries a lot.

I have 2 Axa locks, one on the front wheel and one on the rear.

The front one can be locked with 1 hand, and is an Axa click lock, see http://axabasta.intermix5.nl/cat/front/item_info.asp?currentpage=1&pagesize=15&id=1&level=2&Svalue=&search=&lijst=&s1=&s2=&s3=&item_id=526

The rear lock is a Defender from Axa, http://axabasta.intermix5.nl/cat/front/item_info.asp?currentpage=1&pagesize=15&id=11&level=2&Svalue=&search=&lijst=&s1=&s2=&s3=&item_id=637 but it REQUIRES that i use both hands to lock it, which i find very annoying.

FreeTripoli said...

These Dutch horseshoe locks are absolutely superb, instant locking, perfect for the every day cyclist parking outside the shop and pretty secure overnight. Did I remember to lock my bike? Oh, look, I have the key in my pocket, therefore my bicycle simply must be locked!

I've now moved on from the SL7 (£10 in Haarlem all those years and two bicycles ago) up to the Axa Defender for my "LandRover Torreon" and I've hit a snag. Axa have changed the integral socket, it won't take my SL7 cable. Never mind, old piece of boat chain bolted to the wall, slide the Defender locking bolt through a link and, hey-presto, just as secure as before.

But - I've hit another snag with the new lock - unlike the claw fitting on the SL7, the "wind-up strap" fitting doesn't hold the lock securely. Clunk-click every trip has turned into clunk-squeak and rattle.

Anyone have a solution? I've added strips of inner tube to protect the paint and I can have new "wind-ups" for £4.99 - but I resent paying twice for a system that didn't work the first time.

David Hembrow said...

FreeTripoli: The "wind-up straps" usually work, but there's also another official solution: this type of mount has kept the lock on my town bike for many years. I also find it annoying, and un-necessary that the socket size was changed. We stock the new version of that too, both cable and chain. However, if your chain is working, there's nothing wrong with that.