Thursday, July 11, 2013

Trelock FS 300: A Review

For years Christine and I have used u-locks and while such locks provide a good level of security, they are bulky and heavy. Also a u-lock isn't very adaptable when it comes to locking your bike to unusually shaped objects. The Trelock FS 300 is a different kind of a lock, more secure than a cable, more flexible than a u-lock. When the folks at Cantitoe Road offered me a Trelock FS 300 for review, I took them up on their offer.

At 750 grams the FS 300 is lighter than many u-locks. The lock consists of six metal plates that are riveted together. The plates are coated in a rugged plastic to keep the lock from scratching your bike and the rivets pinning the plates together look substantial. The lock folds into a compact package and comes with a nicely designed mount that can be either bolted to the bottle bosses on your bike or secured to your frame with some sturdy nylon hose-type clamps. The lock comes with two serialized keys and key replacement service is available. The locking mechanism is smooth and secure, consisting of a steel cam that rotates 180 degrees to completely capture the mushroom head of the last of the lock's pivoting plates.

Folded, the lock is smaller than a water bottle and unfolded the sum of the length of the plates is 85 cm.

Christine has always preferred to use a Camelbak or a bottle that she carries in her bike basket, finding that more convenient than reaching down for a bottle crammed between the twin tubes of her Allant's compact frame. The FS 300 lock fits into that space perfectly.

I have not tested the FS 300 by leaving a bike in a rough neighborhood overnight and I'm not going to destroy a perfectly good lock to see just how tough it is. My sense in examining the lock is that it could be defeated with some determined work with a saw, chisel, or a very big pry bar. While the manufacturer has a video showing the lock resisting a ton of leverage, I think a hardened steel u-lock is a better solution for the highest risk situations.

While u-locks may be the standard in security, they tend to be bulky and it's hard to find a good place to carry them, especially on smaller framed bikes. The FS 300 fits into tight places and is a good, medium security lock.

Keep 'em rolling,

Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
Issaquah, WA USA