Attach Any U-Lock to Your Bike

Gear recommendation: This is the U-lock bracket you want to hold your U-lock! Kryptonite – $

attach abus u-lock to bike frame
Over a year of use and I’ve had no problems.

One day, I was putting my bike in the racks at work when someone next to me noticed my lock. “I love that lock!” she said. We immediately bonded over our favorite lock in the room lined with bicycles, and I noticed some silver shining on her lock. Her lock had a fancy piece of metal that helps attach her U-lock to her bike frame!

The one gripe I had about my favorite ABUS U-lock was that I had no good way to attach it to my bicycle. It doesn’t come with a bracket or u-lock holder that you can affix to your bike, so I was left putting it in a bag or pocket, or just locking it to the frame. While all of these solutions work, it’s nice to have a proper mounting bracket like the ones coming with all those Kryptonite locks.

Benefits include:

  • My bike bag has more space for other things.
  • I can fill my bag to the brim BEFORE taking the lock out to lock my bike. Sometimes I forget and then have to go digging for a lock after piling things on top of it.
  • It can bring the general weight balance of the bicycle forward if you used to put it in a rear bag or on your back rack.
  • My pants don’t fall down since I never have to put a lock in my back pocket again!

I had seen this bracket, the Kryptonite Transit FlexFrame U-Bracket, in previous online searches, but since the ratings were pretty bad I didn’t buy it at the time. After seeing it in action by my coworker, I was ready to give it another try.

The Results Are In

Don’t be turned off by the low ratings. Some of them outline doom and gloom, but I experienced none of that misfortune. I’ll be updating this post if the passing months tell a different story. Update: 1 year later and I’ve had no problems.

Installation was easy, and the instructions are clear. For the mounting hoster, just pull the strap tight while screwing the bracket onto the frame. As I was screwing it on, I could feel the rubber squish and really make a good tight seal. Since my frame is skinny, I had to cut the strap shorter once installed so it didn’t interfere with my back tire.

abus u-lock attached to bike frame with kryptonite bracket
Here it what the bracket holder looked like after I installed it on the bike and trimmed the excess strap. If you have a bigger frame it will still fit, and you may not have as much excess strap fabric.

As for the bracket on the lock, it was way easier than expected. I used my Swiss Army pocket knife to cut the outer layer of rubber just enough to slide the bracket on and tighten it to the lock with the provided allen wrench. Make sure your U-lock is around 13mm or 16mm diameter as the item description says, or you may have trouble fitting it on the lock. Smaller locks are probably ok as you can tighten the screw a bit, but it won’t even fit on a larger lock.

Cutting off the rubber of my abus lock to put on the bracket.
Here’s a picture after I cut the rubber from my lock, and before I put the bracket attachment on. The rubber I cut off with my Swiss Army pocket knife so the bracket could be attached. I first cut all the way around after choosing the right length, and then one cut down the side to remove it (You can see the slit on the bottom of the rubber). A small kitchen paring knife or other small knife would work best. Be careful.
Abus u-lock with bracket attached
The lock with the bracket on. There is more footage of my lock before I installed the bracket in my U-lock post.

Now that I have a designated place for my lock, it’s way easier to keep track of it! Not to mention all that red is pretty stylish. If you want to level up your bike locking even more, check out my post on how to secure your entire bike so that you you only need to lock your frame and everything else is secure!


Rattling noises

It seems that when I’m riding now there is a bit of rattling coming from the lock and the bracket. I’m not completely sure if it’s just the U-lock rattling with itself or with the bracket. It’s not a big deal, but compared to the silence when it was in my bag I notice it. I will be looking into ways to dampen the rattling sound. Update: After over a year of using this, I don’t really notice the rattling.

Could use some lube

When the bracket first arrived, I was so excited to try it out that I immediately put the two pieces together. That was a mistake. Without the weight of a lock and a frame to keep the pieces steady, it was difficult to unhinge them. I eventually got it unstuck, and once I attached the pieces to heavier objects it doesn’t get stuck as much, but I thought it still might benefit from some silicon grease.

After buying some silicone grease, I put a bit on and it definitely makes getting the lock in and out a bit easier. Before greasing, I’d sometimes hit my hand on the bike frame after finally getting the lock loose if I wasn’t careful.

silicone grease with u-lock in the background
The silicone grease I bought to lube the bracket. Does the trick. You can also see my favorite bike tool bag in the background.

Maybe no good for your carbon fiber frame

If you have a carbon fiber frame, exercise caution when mounting a lock. There is evidence that the compression of a bracket like this on the tube can cause it to weaken over time and possibly break. Honestly I hear stories of carbon bikes potentially breaking all the time, but I’ve rarely heard of it actually happening (stories welcome in the comments), so you’re probably fine, but if you’re worried about it maybe another u-lock holder solution is in order.

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