From ‘adult’ puncture patches to a range of simple-to-fit lights, accessories brand Knog has a habit of creating quirky products, but none have been at the truly performance end of things. Now, though, it have the Strongman lock. This is based around the classic U-lock, with smoothed out edges and a liberal coating of silicone rubber that won’t scratch your bike.
It’s not style over substance either, because underneath the gummy soft-touch skin is a 14mm diameter hardened steel shackle that bolts into a dual-pinned lock mechanism.
Knog describes the Strongman as having a ‘Ghetto’ security rating – that’s one below War Zone, but above Slum and Crackhouse. It holds a Sold Secure Gold rating, and a 3/5 European ART rating.
The Strongman has fairly compact dimensions – the space it can enclose is 145x85mm (tapering down to 70mm). That means it works best on slim steel frames and slender carbon, but if your bike has deeper aero-style tube shapes, deep-section wheels, or is a mountain bike, you might struggle to find a decent way to fit it. The Strongman comes with a mounting bracket that attaches to the frame via a rubberised web strap, ratcheted up to tighten via an Allen bolt.
Security-wise, it’s tough. The double lock mechanism resists twisting remarkably well, helped by its compact dimensions (there’s less shackle to actually twist). The thick silicone coating makes it hard to get a set of bolt croppers to grip without first hacking away the silicone with a Stanley knife. The silicone also melts and gums up a saw blade and angle grinder.
The Strongman stood up to the first of our usual lock tests, a five-minute attack with standard tools, and in the subsequent power tool test the shackle took just over 30 seconds to cut through, and that was after a minute or so of cutting away the silicone cover. It all adds up to an impressive little lock.
It weighs 1,167g, plus another 104g for the bracket, and comes with three keys and a key code card should you need a replacement.
The Strongman did suffer from rust and sticking on the ends of the shackle though – so make sure you give it a wipe with an oily rag every week to prevent this from happening.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.