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