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OnGuard K9 Link Plate lock



Neat design but level of security isn't as clever

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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OnGuard's K9 is a lock that promises 'near U-lock security' but fails to deliver in fairly spectacular fashion. It's a neat design and a good option to keep on the bike when you're nipping into the shops – it's more secure than a standard cable lock – but it's not one to rely on for real security.

The lock consists of a set of six steel plates and a cylinder lock, and the plates are articulated to allow the lock to fold down nice and small. The K9 comes with a neat holster to fit it to your bike, a key with a light and four spares. All in all, it's a pleasing design.

So to testing. We attacked it with our standard thief's armoury – 30" croppers, a persuader of similar length, a hammer, a hacksaw, a cold chisel and a screwdriver. The flat sections of the lock links looked to lend themselves very nicely to the croppers so we went with them first, and 20 seconds later the lock was history. Once it's cut it snakes out easily unlike a good U-lock which you need to cut twice. The links are supposed to be hardened but to be honest I've had a harder job cropping bolts with my bolt croppers, and I'd be hard pushed to tell the difference between the K9 and a strip of mild steel.

Okay it's not an expensive lock but the K9 talks a good game and when push comes to shove it doesn't walk the walk. If you want a fit-and-forget option to keep on your bike all the time then it's less cumbersome a U-lock but I'd rather have the better security, and there are plenty of U-locks around this price that are solid performers.


Neat design but it's no use as a proper security measure

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Make and model: OnGuard K9 Link Plate lock

Size tested: n/a

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
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Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:

Did you enjoy using the product? No

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? No

Overall rating: 3/10

About the tester

Age: 36  Height: 190cm  Weight: 98kg

I usually ride: Schwinn Moab, urbanised with 700cs  My best bike is: Trek 1.5 with upgrades

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, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

Dave is a founding father of, 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.

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dave atkinson | 6732 posts | 14 years ago

it was a lock of two halves when i'd finished with it  1

jezzzer | 327 posts | 14 years ago

dave can't you fit a few more ron manager-esque clichés in your conclusion?

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