Back in February I wrote about the story of an interesting new bike lock that I had been following on Kickstarter. Today, I'm glad to say that my TiGr Lock finally arrived, and I've spent most of the afternoon reviewing it.
The first thing to mention about the TiGr lock is its size. The two feet long titanium bow was deceptively larger than I had expected. But upon picking it up, it was clear right away that the materials were solid, well-crafted, and quite sturdy. The bow itself even has a rubberized exterior to prevent scratching.
The end of the titanium two consists of two symmetrical prongs that fit into the locking cylinder. Naturally, the prongs are made from the same titanium that has been cast to produce the entire bow. This adds a degree of manufacturing continuity that gives the bow its overall stable feel.
The locking cylinder itself is made out of stainless steel, with each cylinder uniquely matched to its keys by order number - should it ever becomes necessary to replace a missing key.
The craftsmanship of the cylinder lock is impressive in its own right. The picture below does not demonstrate this clearly, but the opening ring of the cylinder is actually narrower than the inside of the casing. This allows for the prongs to nestle into place before the steel pin in the center is depressed. Once the pin is depressed, the prongs cannot be removed from the cylinder because the opening ring entrance is too narrow.
Once the prongs have been inserted, the lock looks like the photo below. The cylinder lock freely rotates around the prongs, but there is no way to remove them from the cylinder given the narrowness of the entrance.
Of course, what makes the TiGr lock a superb product is that it is incredibly light-weight and can be stored on the bike while riding. This is accomplished by two velcro straps that affix the bow to the tube of the bicycle.
If there is a down side to the TiGr lock, it has to be the velcro straps that secure the lock to the bike. Frankly, at $200 per lock, I expected something a bit sturdier - something akin to the quality velcro one might get from a Timbuk2 messenger bag.
Still, the velcro seems to do an adequate job. I haven't really felt it coming loose on a ride, and it's true that there are other alternatives for securing the lock should one really not trust the velcro straps that come with it. In the great scheme of things this is a fairly minor critique since the lock functions incredibly well. The picture below shows the straps and the lock on my bike.
Since the bow is attached to the bike tube, I suppose it's possible to lose a bit of leg room while pedaling, particularly on smaller framed bikes. But on my road bike, I haven't noticed this to be an issue, even though the lock attaches and leaves a small gap in places.
Finally, here is a picture of the TiGr lock firmly securing my bike to one of my dining room chairs. I'm sure this picture will become too embarrassing to leave up at some point, but for now I haven't thought to take a picture of my locked bike while out and about. You'll notice that the lock is plenty long and flexible enough to secure the bike to the metal arm of the chair. Not only does it secure the frame, but it also secures both tires as well. The nice thing about this is that you no longer need to carry around a cable to secure that extra tire to a D-lock. With the TiGr's flexible titanium bow, you can secure everything with only one instrument.
Finally, the TiGr lock comes with a pretty nifty key fob. And if you don't like key fobs, then I'm pretty sure that makes you un-American.
In all, I am rather impressed by the TiGr lock. It came exactly as advertised. It's light, weighing all of 1.5 lbs. It's secure, benefitting from both high-grade materials and excellent craftsmanship. And it's extremely elegant in its simplicity - as all elegant things are.
Not bad for a product that was only in the concept stage one year ago. I love innovation.
Update: As promised, here's a photo of the TiGr in action at my local Starbucks.