High performance racing bicycle technology and technique
Locks - Ottolock Cinch Lock Review
Thursday, January 3rd, 2019


Ottolock Cinch Lock Review


Robert Matusek


At first glance, I was more than doubtful that Otto Design Works can guarantee anti-theft security with its ultra-light bike lock. The Ottolock Cinch Lock is truly diminutive and doesn’t radiate a feeling of safety. For me the advertised practicality, lightness etc. won’t do. I wanted to test Ottolock’s claimed protection and robustness. According to Ottolock the Cinch Lock is stronger than a cable lock.




The bike lock market is flooded with lightweight locks, for a good reason. They are handy, useful in everyday life of any cyclist. So, to come up with a new product, these attributes wouldn’t be enough to make a breakthrough.


The design and the practicality are the main attributes I am looking for as far as ultralight locks go. So if Ottolock Cinch Lock gives the bike even more protection than a lock against opportunity thefts, I am happy.


First, the lock was tested in an environment where locking, unlocking, hence extremely frequent usage was on the daily menu. A CX-race is a great ‘battle ground’ to test products for their durability and practicality so the test went all day long and every single race weekend [mostly in Belgium and Holland].




The pit area is the perfect place to prove its worth. A U-lock is super secure as is a heavy chain lock, we normally use to secure not only bikes but also tool-boxes, etc. Mind you they can be ungainly and heavy in usage. We started to use and test this category of light locks, but they didn’t contribute to peace of mind as they are a far cry from the protection a U-lock or a heavy-duty chain lock is able to provide.


According to OTTOLOCK the Cinch is designed for quick stops and protects against opportunity theft. No question its weight is appreciated at just 145g, and it’s easily foldable, transferrable from one bike/venue to the next. OTTOLOCK provides different lengths as option, but I was satisfied with this 18 inch version.




A key is more secure compared to 3-dial combination, but in this case where every second counts and practicality is high on my priority list, I am OK with this option. My team mate had a different opinion though. For him the combination lock took him more time at first. It is a minor, negligible difference.


I have given it a try to prove its durability by twisting it with heavy tools just to get a notion how far can I go till I damage it. The point being, despite its sturdy build [for a light weight lock] consisting of multi-layer steel and Kevlar® bands (18mm wide) I wanted to make sure it is cut resistant enough.




Now, I didn’t cut it on purpose but [after all the lock needs to be kept/ tested long term] I was astonished how robust it is. So if it keeps its long-lasting traits I need to give kudos to OTTOLOCK. Another added value is created by a chip-resistant Cerakote® paint and Santoprene® plastic. That’s great as it doesn’t scratch or damage either the bikes or other valuable belongings this cable was attached to.




I won’t endorse it for whole overnight protection, mind you, rather it is designed for short period of time safety. It is not my first experience with locks like this, but the OTTOLOCK Cinch provided me with more protection and the durability, given the heavy-duty usage, is stunning. It will be tested under hard winter conditions, mostly, as indicated in race pit area. I’ll also seek feedback from other race mechanics. This test methods deviates a bit from a common place one. And this lock ends up in most cases among the commuter and messenger community. But I am content with the result and outcome since the OTTOLOCK Cinch proved not only its added protection [in context of light locks] but most of all its adaptability in other environments. The lock can be rolled up in no time and it fits it in your pocket, or just wrap it around a bike frame tube.


Ottolock Website



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