Seatylock Foldylock Compact review£64.00

Ultra practical folding lock

BikeRadar score4/5

The Foldylock Compact from Seatylock is a highly portable bike lock that folds up like an old-fashioned measuring rule.

Weighing just over a kilo (plus a few grams for the optional plastic bike mount), it’s a very tidy piece of design, which comprises a series of steel-cored links held together by rivets. A plasticky coating on the links means it won't damage your bike, or whatever it is you're locking to.

The Foldylock's substantial lock barrel is neatly integrated, and the whole thing folds down to a package measuring just under 19×6×4cm at its widest points.

Seatylock isn’t the only company making folding locks, the Abus Bordo has been available in various versions for over a decade, for instance, and there are a handful of other comparable products on the market, but the Foldylock is a particularly neat execution of the concept.

How secure is a folding lock anyway?

The lock ships with three keys
The lock ships with three keys

It’s important to note that this review is based on using the Foldylock over the course of several months, but I haven’t subjected it to destructive testing. Next time BikeRadar carries out a major locks test we’ll make sure the Foldylock is included.

Having said that, the Foldylock does have a Sold Secure Silver rating, which means it’s survived attacks in testing using a variety of tools for at least three minutes. The precise testing protocol isn’t published for obvious reasons, but this is the same rating that a lot of mid-range D-locks (and the similarly priced Abus Bordo 6000 folding lock) earn. 

Compared to a D-lock’s shackle, the Foldylock’s plates are comparatively thin making them potentially more vulnerable to croppers and angle grinders. On the other hand, the articulated design means it would be hard to get much leverage on it using basic tools.

Using the Foldylock

I locked my bike outside using the Foldylock Compact for several months without issues
I locked my bike outside using the Foldylock Compact for several months without issues

I’ve been using the Foldylock for the past few months, locking a bike during the day in the open in all weathers. After some particularly heavy rain there was a slight stiffness in the links but it didn’t affect the lock’s operation. The locking mechanism itself didn’t suffer either. As with any lock, it would benefit from periodic lubrication.

Because it folds down to such a small package, mounting the Foldylock within the front triangle of your frame works well, better than than it does with many D-locks. The mount uses either your bottle bosses or Velcro straps — I used the former and it was rattle-free.

The on-bike mount is tidy and doesn't rattle over bumps when mounted to the bottle bosses
The on-bike mount is tidy and doesn't rattle over bumps when mounted to the bottle bosses

The Foldylock is long enough to go through both a frame and front wheel when you’re locking to a typical bike rack, signpost or similar.

Verdict: not the cheapest, but very effective

The Foldylock is a smart piece of design that offers much of the convenience of a cable lock, but (at least in theory) a level of security more comparable to that of a D-lock.

The Foldylock is long enough to lock both the frame and front wheel of your bike
The Foldylock is long enough to lock both the frame and front wheel of your bike

It’s more expensive than conventional locks with an equivalent security rating, but the extra outlay is worth it if you need something compact and would benefit from being able to mount your lock on your frame rather than carrying it.

Matthew Allen

Senior Technical Writer, UK
Former bike mechanic, builder of wheels, hub fetishist and lover of shiny things. Likes climbing a lot, but not as good at it as he looks.
  • Age: 27
  • Height: 174cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 53kg / 117lb
  • Waist: 71cm / 28in
  • Chest: 84cm / 33in
  • Discipline: Road, with occasional MTB dalliances
  • Preferred Terrain: Long mountain climbs followed by high-speed descents (that he doesn't get to do nearly often enough), plus scaring himself off-road when he outruns his skill set.
  • Current Bikes: Scott Addict R3 2014, Focus Cayo Disc 2015, Niner RLT 9
  • Dream Bike: Something hideously expensive and custom with external cables and a threaded bottom bracket because screw you bike industry.
  • Beer of Choice: Cider, please. Thistly Cross from Scotland
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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