The TiGr BLUE Mini+ is perhaps the most elegant bike lock out there. It is lightweight, has a straightforward attaching system and is easy to use. The main downside is the Sold Secure Bronze rating which makes it difficult to use as pretty much every insurer will require a Sold Secure Silver or Gold.
Simple mounting bracket
Sold Secure Bronze rating
By Stefan Abram
The TiGr BLUE Mini+ is manufactured in the USA and marries an elegant design with a lightweight build, producing a lock that tips the scales at just 470g.
This is an updated version of the original titanium design. Now made from high carbon steel, the lock is a little more robust and a little less expensive. It does, however, weigh a few grams more than its predecessor – which is still available to be bought, should you wish to surrender yourself completely to weight-weenism.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a perfectly secure bike lock. A determined thief will always be able to break through – with the right tools, knowhow and inclination. The main function of a bike lock is to prevent opportunistic theft and to persuade more systematic thieves to pick an easier target instead. But the principal function is really to comply with your bike insurance policy’s wording, so that you will at least get a pay-out if your bike is stolen.
In the UK locks, are tested for their security by the independent company, Sold Secure. There are three levels a lock can be awarded. The lowest is Bronze, with locks of this level only being suitable to guard against oppoertunistic theft. The next is Silver, which is generally sufficient for moderate crime areas and for bikes valued up to £1,000. The top level is Gold, which is for use in high crime areas and bikes worth over £1,000. However, it is important to check the wording of your bike insurance policy to make sure that you are using the level of lock that they specify.
TiGr BLUE Mini+ gets a polymer coating which not only protects the steel shackle from corrosion, but stops the shackle scratching your paintwork too. Although it might not look it from the photos, the shackle is actually extremely flexible and therefore quite easy to loop around your bike and immovable objects.
The bike mount attaches to the frame using the bottle cage bosses, rather than mounting directly to the frame with some form of straps, as other brands do. This means you do sacrifice a bottle cage, but on the other hand, it is quite simple to mount and dismount the bracket. The lock itself simply clips into the bracket, making placement and removal quite a simple process.
The most significant aspect of the lock's construction is the fact that it only receives a Sold Secure Bronze rating. Many insurers require – at the very least – that you use a Silver rated lock, if not Gold.
Interestingly, the Dutch lock rating company, ART, awarded the TiGr BLUE Mini+ a score of 2/5. Its scale goes up to include motorcycle locks, hence why the score sounds a little low. A score of 2/5 generally equates to either a Gold or Silver Sold Secure rating. The Abus Bordo Granit Xplus 6500, for example gets a 2/5 from ART and a Gold rating from Sold Secure.
So, it is a little surprising that the TiGr BLUE Mini+ receives such a low rating from Sold Secure. However, in order to be covered by your insurance, you will have to follow the wording to the letter and that may rule this lock out.
Only two keys are provided with the lock, but it is possible to order more should you need to.
The flexible shackle made it quite easy to swallow objects as wide as its greatest width. At 10.2cm x 20.3cm and giving a lockable area of 207cm2, the shackle is a little smaller than a more typically sized D-lock. But even so, I didn’t experience any real impediment when it came to reaching and looping around objects.
At 470g, it was incredibly lightweight and essentially unnoticeable on the bike. There is a smaller version, called simply the TiGr BLUE Mini which is smaller and weighs 44 grams less. But I would say unless you particularly want a smaller sized lock, you may as well go for the larger option as a the weight difference is barely perceptible.
Although the bike mount secures the lock only by clipping it in, the lock remained perfectly in place even over rougher roads. The simple clip mechanism did make mounting and dismounting the lock very quick to do.
Aesthetically, I think the TiGr BLUE Mini+ performed very well, certainly not detracting from the lines of the bike and adding its own almost swan-like profile.
The TiGr BLUE Mini+ is significantly lighter than Kryptonite Messenger Mini with U-Lock Extender, which weighs in at 1,109g compared to 470g, it comes with a bike mount and I think it is fair to say it is more stylish too. But on the other hand, the Kryptonite lock has a larger lockable area, takes up less space, is Sold Secure Silver and costs £25 less. So, which of these two locks is best for you very much depends on what your application will be.
A more direct competitor is the Litelok Silver Flexi-U, which has a claimed weight of 750g, has a larger lockable area, comes with two straps for mounting it to your bike, is Sold Secure Silver rated and costs just £79.99. Although again, I think it loses on aesthetics.
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