At a whisker under £25 the Buffo isn't the most expensive U lock out there and in this case it's very much a case of you get what you pay for: resistance to attack is decent rather than exceptional and it's an acceptable deterrent for your town hack, but I can't help thinking you'd be better off throwing an extra few quid at your bike's security.
The lock itself is a fairly standard shackle and lock body fashioned from hardened steel. You get a decent frame mounting bracket and three keys. Abus rate the entry-level Buffo as a 6 on their scale that goes all the way up to 15, so we weren't expecting miracles but the lock put up a decent fight. We started off with the persuader which did a good job of mangling the shackle without actually pulling it loose. Then we went to work on the lock mechanism which didn't break either but was pretty easy to render inoperable, as it isn't well protected. That has the potential of leaving you with a locked bike and no way of unlocking it, which would be a pain.
The bolt croppers came out next, and in the end it was them that breached the defences after just over four minutes of fun. Had we started with them it would have been just half that. Enough of a fight to make it a worthwhile deterrent but the next level of locks above this (units like the Onguard Pitbull and the Master Lock Street Fortum) are significantly stronger – strong enough to resist most non-powered tools – and only about a tenner more, less if you shop around. Isn't your bike worth that?
Not a bad lock but an extra tenner buys you something really secure
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Abus Buffo 34 U-lock
Size tested: n/a
Did you enjoy using the product? I enjoyed attacking it!
Would you consider buying the product? No, I'd go a bit higher up the range
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 190cm Weight: 96kg
I usually ride: whatever I\\\'m testing... My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with Ultegra 6700
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.