We first reported on Abus’s SmartX project last year, but after plenty more development time the SmartX locks are finally available.
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The heart of the new lock is the same construction as the standard Granit — super-tough lock body, parabolic shaped shackle, Abus’s own highest security rating of 15, and it’s also just been awarded gold Sold Secure status — but it’s the electronic side of things where it gets interesting.
When you first purchase the lock it comes with a Keyless ‘Go’ card which registers you as the lock’s administrator, and as the owner the lock then pairs to your phone.
The Keyless Go smart system is controlled by Abus’s own app, available on iOS and Android, and uses a private, Abus Bluetooth protocol. Abus tells us that when your phone’s operating system updates, any changes made to Bluetooth in the updates won’t mean your lock stops working.
The Keyless Go system means that you don’t need to touch your phone or hit any buttons within the app after initial setup because the lock senses when you’re close and automatically opens.
Locking is simply a case of putting the SmartX lock on your bike and flicking the small switch contained on the lock’s base, it then enters what Abus calls detection mode. Once you are away from the bike the lock’s alarm comes into play and at the first sign of any interference it will sound five short (but loud) beeps, warning whoever to stay away.
If movement continues to be sensed the lock then sounds its full 100db alarm for 20 seconds, and if the movement doesn’t cease it will repeat the alarm. The app records where the bike is parked via your phone’s mapping and GPS (though doesn’t yet offer GPS tracking), so if you’ve parked your bike up somewhere unfamiliar at least you’ll know where to find it again.
With the keyless entry system you can define the parameters, such as how far away you are before the lock locks or unlocks, and it features a transportation mode so the alarm won’t sound or the lock unlock from its frame clamp because you’re within the Bluetooth range.
When you become the administrator of the lock you can add up to eight other users, so if you share a cycle parking spot at your office with co-workers you could share a lock. Or if, for some reason, you can’t get back to your locked bike, a friend or partner can pick it up for you.
Users are notified about their lock privileges via SMS or WhatsApp messaging, so you could add a user without having to meet up first.
If the worst happens and you lose your phone, you can scan the Keyless Go card’s QR code to reset the lock so you won’t be stuck with an unlockable bike. The same goes for battery life, which Abus says is around six months on normal daily use. It recharges via a Micro USB-C charge port on the Lock mechanism’s flank.
Pricing starts around £200 depending on lock size, and mount bracket inclusion etc.
Abus tells us the Keyless Go system is its first step into a new series of smart locks with a version that can take a SIM card and a version with built-in GPS being explored.
Abus seems to be on a mission to not only eliminate keys completely on its smart range, but also help reduce the number of keys for us all with its keyed alike program, where you can order multiple locks that all work from the same key.
Abus has also introduced Your Plus for electric bikes. Because Abus is the lock supplier for pretty much every e-bike battery on the market (Shimano, Trek, Bosch, Specialized, Haibike, Continental, and many more), when you purchase your e-bike you can also buy a lock or locks that can share the same key as your bike’s battery, which is ordered through your dealer and delivered to the store in a matter of days.
If you’ve already invested in an expensive Abus lock and are about to buy an e-bike equipped with an Abus lock system, your dealer can order a custom lock barrel to match your existing lock and fit it in store to your brand-new bike.