Review tex-lock orbit and eyelet
When you travel around the world by bike, it's necessary to leave your most precious possession behind with an easy mind. Which bicycle lock provides enough security to prevent thieves from getting away with your bike? We have been using two tex-locks since 2 months: the orbit and eyelet with U-lock. In this blog you will find our honest opinion about these bicycle locks. At the end you can decide for yourself if these locks offer enough protection and convenience to take with you on a world tour.
Bicycle locks and ART certification
Of course, we can give our own opinion about these tex-lock bicycle locks, but we would also like to address a short technical explanation regarding bicycle locks in general. In order to have a reliable bicycle lock, it must be tested according to the ART mark. The ART is concerned with the testing and certification of locks for bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles (i.e. two-wheeled vehicles). The aim is to create a label to prevent theft.
Why is this important? First of all, it takes into account the latest techniques and technologies. The higher this ART label is, the better the protection against theft will be. More information can be found on their website. When you have your bike insured against theft, insurance companies also require you to have a lock that has at least the ART2 label. We have our own theft insurance with VAB which covers our bikes worldwide for EUR 70 per year/per bike.
In general you may assume that an ART2 lock will provide enough protection to leave your bike behind safely. The higher the label, the heavier the locks become and taking an ART3 to ART5 lock with you on a cycling trip is not very practical in our opinion. Both of our tex-locks have an ART2 certification and should persuade thieves to move on to an easier target.
How did we end up choosing tex-lock?
During our trip from Belgium to Spain, we had a big lock with us. It provided super good protection for our bicycles, but it was too heavy and not convenient to carry. It took up too much space in our panniers and it wasn't readily accessible. We could not attach the bikes the way we wanted to: not to each other, not around a tree, only around very small poles…
For our world trip we decided to start a new search for a bicycle lock and ended up with these ones from tex-lock. We needed a lock that was a little bit lighter, easier to carry and above all more practical to use. When we also noticed the textile of the locks are very flexible and would not harm our frame, we decided to go for it. The specifications below could be easy for you in making a decision for your own bicycle lock
Price: €139 to €159
Check tex-lock website for more details
Available in 3 sizes
Weight: 700g to 1200g
Length: 80cm to 160cm
Comes with a small U-lock (460g) or bigger X-lock (640g)
Price: €119 to €149
We use the Medium eyelet with U-lock
Check tex-lock website for more details
Would we recommend tex-lock
We can talk for hours about these bicycle locks (this is when you know things got out of hand), but we will not bore you with that. We will save you some time and get to the point quickly, so you can take your bike out of the garage and get out there.
In general, yes, we would definitely recommend these bicycle locks from tex-lock for a few reasons:
The sturdy but very flexible textile is a game changer for us. So far, we have not yet come across another ART2 certified lock that is as flexible as these.
This makes them practical to use. While riding we wrap them around our seat post. When leaving the bikes behind for a night’s rest we wrap them to each other, around a tree, a bicycle rack, someone’s mailbox, your own body… Whatever! Especially with the eyelet you can get crazy creative, definitely a winner here!
The textile does not harm your frame! (very important for us)
With the “click and go-system” (info on their website) the orbit is very quick in use.
In a time when everyone wants to be Insta-famous, these locks will make your pictures look great. It’s crazy to say, but we have finally found a lock that is attractive to the eye.
Not unimportantly, we leave our bikes behind with a sense of ease. A thief has to carry around at least 2 set of tools and needs several minutes (and a lot of noise!) to break these locks, so the chances are he/she will quickly move on to an easier target.
No downsides to tex-lock?
We are here to provide honest feedback for our readers; this also includes pointing out a few small downsides:
We feel the length of the Orbit is perfect for a city bike, but we would love to have seen it 20 to 40cm longer. We lock the bikes quite a lot while our panniers are still on the racks, this makes wrapping the orbit around another object sometimes a bit more difficult. (we are of course lucky to have both locks with us and the eyelet will then do the trick for both bikes)
The U-lock we use with the eyelet is plenty big for our trip, but there is one thing to notice. We have been using it for a month in quite cold weather and it doesn’t always open/close as smoothly as we’d like it to. Probably all locks have this problem and it’s nothing that some grease can’t help, but it can be frustrating when your fingertips have the tendency to fall off at 8 in the morning.
With a price tag of €119 to €159 they don’t come cheap, there are ART2-locks out there for less money. However, we do like to support smaller brands like tex-lock. In our opinion, they are worth the money but we’d understand if these would be above someone’s budget.
Which tex-lock is right for me?
To get to the point here, there is only one person to answer this question completely and that is you. We can only hope our short description can give you a feeling what to expect when you would buy one of these tex-locks.
Our preference goes out to the tex-lock eyelet with U-lock for a world trip by bicycle, because of its versatility. The ease of use outweighs the weight of the lock (see what we did there ;-)) When you have to lock your bicycle in all sorts of circumstances the eyelet will bring you further than the orbit in our opinion. If you are in search for a lock that can rapidly lock your bicycle in the city center, the orbit is definitely the right choice.
Do you still have questions about our tex-lock bicycle locks or are you looking for a nice composition for your cycling trip? Don't hesitate to contact us! Don't forget to use our 10% discount at tex-lock with this code (TXLRTM10) via this link.