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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road.cc test report
Make and model: OnGuard K9 Link Plate lock
Size tested: n/a
Did you enjoy using the product? No
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
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 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.