Bike locks are a depressing reminder that some jerk will steal your beloved steed given the opportunity. So, when a couple of locks come along that I genuinely like, it’s cause for happiness. The Knog Milkman Combo, and Strongman exist at opposite ends of the lock spectrum. The Milkman is a handy-dandy, ultra-portable combination cable lock and the Strongman is basically a silicone coated girder.
Knog are just plain different. They take dreary products like lights and locks, then apply a unique design aesthetic. The Melbourne-based company’s ethos is to “smash the mould, challenge the status quo, and revolutionise the way we think about lights and locks.” To the cynical, that might sound like idle buzz-speak, but I’ve tested multiple lights and locks. There is certainly nothing idle about it.
The Milkman Combo lock is perfect for when you’re not leaving your bike unattended for long. It’s pocket-size with its outer case measuring 7.5cm x 7.5cm x 2 cm. Inside is a 90cm retractable braided steel cable that will plug into a zinc die-cast latch. It’s locked and unlocked via 4 rotating dials.
It’s a great lock for running errands, or leaving outside a pub. The cable won’t put up much resistance to bolt cutters, but it’s clearly not designed to. This is for quick and easy locking/unlocking somewhere you feel is relatively safe from thieves with industrial tools. Being able to slide it into my pocket was great. Sometimes you just don’t want a chunky D-lock hanging off your belt loop.
After the nuclear apocalypse there will only be two things left: cockroaches, and bikes that have been locked up with a Strongman. The first thing I did after picking it up was put it on some scales. It’s a hefty 1.1kg. This isn’t a lock, it’s a middle finger to bicycle thieves.
The Strongman body is made of investment cast steel with a 13mm hardened steel shackle that locks on both sides and it’s all coated in silicone. Its single-piece design gives potential thieves very little opportunity to apply leverage to it. It’s unlocked with a disk style lock barrel and the lock boasts ART 3-star accredited and Sold Secure Gold Rated. There’s also a cool key registration system where you can get keys for your lock reproduced if you lose the 3 you’re given. There’s a frame mount included too.
Despite its vast bulk, the Strongman is quite compact. Its reach is limited, but it’s enough to attach one of your tubes to something solid. Don’t expect to wrap up one of your wheels with it though. The silicone coating means you won’t ding up your frame. It’s a cracking lock, when I could be bothered lugging it around.
The Milkman Combo and Strongman are both excellent situational locks. The Milkman Combo has your back when your bike is getting left in a low-risk environment. Light, portable, and keyless, this became my favourite daily lock. Leaving my bike unattended for several hours had me reaching for the Strongman. It is a protective fortress for your bike. You can use it with confidence until bike thieves have portable laser cutters.
Both locks are available on KNOG’s website. The Milkman Combo retails for $32.95 AUD and the Strongman is $109.95.
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