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Abus Bordo 6500A SmartX lock review: A lock without a key

    • 2642 posts
    August 9, 2022 10:34 PM EDT

    While working on our list of the best bike locks one of the things we identified was how much people appreciate folding locks. Bike shops tend to sell them a lot because they are convenient to use, and you get an easy-to-mount lock that’s got more adaptability than a U-lock. The problem is they aren't always the most secure option. The Abus Bordo series of locks bucks the trend by offering a Sold Secure Gold folding lock. To get more news about best smart door lock wifi, you can visit official website.

    Among the options for the Abus Bordo line of locks, the 6500 is the most secure but there are a few variations. The standard key lock is the most common available but there's also an alarm version with keys and the Abus Bordo 6500 SmartX at the top of the lineup. The SmartX is expensive and cutting edge, but does it work? After spending time testing to see what it was like to use, we are ready to share. If you've had your eye on the ultimate folding smart lock, keep reading to see our thoughts on using it.
    I'll say it a few times in this review but the Abus Bordo 6500 locks are essentially the same. That makes for nine variants spread between three model names with the differences being a combination of extra features and length. If you'd rather stick to a key lock, that's an option in either 85 or 110 cm, you can add an alarm to the key lock version, or there's the most feature-rich version which we are looking at specifically. The SmartX variation means there is no keyhole and instead it operates with a battery and Bluetooth.


    Like the KA version, the SmartX does include an alarm. It's not the main draw on this version but if it gets hit hard enough it will sound for five seconds before resetting. Keep messing with it and the full, 100db alarm will go off. Consider this feature a deterrent but not the main attraction; just because an alarm is going off doesn't mean someone will stop and help.

    What's more important for stopping a would-be thief is the same shared design across all the variants. That means a series of 15.5cm long, and 5.5mm thick hardened steel bars. Each one connects to the next with a shielded joint and there's a rubberized coating to protect the finish of your bike. If it's a lock with a key, the cylinder is well protected but, in this case, there's no lock cylinder to protect.

    Instead of a lock cylinder, the upper part of the 6500 SmartX features a rubberised outer with silver plastic. The plastic is entirely for show and the rubber is a protective cover that pulls to one side. Once pulled to the side the cover reveals a coated steel with a USB-C port on the side. In general, it's very non-descript because nothing actually happens here. Buried in the steel is a battery that lasts for about 6 months of normal use and below the USB port, you can see the Bluetooth antenna. On the very top, there's a status light that's visible through the cover. Red means unlocked and green means locked.

    There is also an included frame bracket. It's one of the things that endears people to the Bordo folding locks in general but in the case of the 6500 SmartX, it's a little different. The case actually looks exactly the same with a simple holster design and an upper gate that keeps the lock solid inside of it. What's different is that the weight of this lock precludes the use of the water bottle bosses and instead there's a system that tightens a bolt against included metal straps. The only thing to keep in mind is that the included instructions are generic to the whole lineup and make it seem as if the water bottle mounting bosses are usable, they aren't.
    There is some info here that could directly transfer from our recent review of the Hiplok Gold chain lock. This is a Sold Secure rated lock, meaning it's been independently tested and rated. As mentioned in that review, the Gold rating means it will take longer than five minutes to defeat the lock using hand tools including large bolt cutters and hacksaws.

    Also mentioned in that review is that the Sold Secure Gold rating does not test against a portable angle grinder. The reason for that is almost every lock on the market is an easy mark for an angle grinder. It takes under 30 seconds to cut through the steel bars of the Abus Bordo 6500 but there are some additional considerations for a folding lock. A quality U-lock will require two cuts to open. Meanwhile, a chain lock is challenging to hold still or might be very close to the bike frame. Those are both challenges a thief will overcome if determined but they do help. A folding lock is the easiest to cut with a grinder as it's simple to hold it still and away from the frame plus it only takes a single cut.

    If a portable angle grinder is a type of theft that worries you then the only option we've looked at that will protect against it is the Hiplok D1000. The heart of the usability of this lock is the app. That's an odd statement for a bike lock but that's the nature of the Abus Bordo 6500 SmartX. The added cost is about usability and that's all baked into the app experience.

    When you get your new lock the first thing you will do is install the Abus app and scan the included key card. It's important to know that the key card isn't a throwaway piece of packaging. You'll want to keep it safe and secure and treat it as your backup key. Worst case scenario you could effectively reset the lock by adding it as a new lock with the keycard. Don't lose it.

    Once the lock has been through the initial setup, it's ready to go. Despite feeling like it's solidly closed in the bracket, it's actually impossible to lock it with the steel bars folded, since you have to insert the initial bar into the lock farther than is possible without opening the links. When you are ready to use it, open it up and thread it around the rear wheel, the frame, and your chosen immovable anchor.

    The internal locked space is much larger on a folding lock than on a U-lock and that's one of the advantages. It's not actually as flexible as it initially seems though and definitely not as flexible as a chain. The last link, which connects to the top, can't bend past 90 degrees in relation to the top section. Then on the other side of the lock bars, the first bar doesn't rotate at all. The combination of the two limits makes for a long oval shape. Still plenty of room but perhaps not quite as expected.