OTTO DesignWorks saved the world when they released the OTTOLOCK, filling a nearly-neglected security niche between sturdy U-lock and crappy little braided cable. The clever rubbery ribbon and diminutive numeric lock mechanism was a great form factor for low-risk situations, and OTTO has ratcheted up the security dial with the new, beefier OTTOLOCK Hexband.
“But wait, they look exactly the same!” Look under the hood, and the secret is revealed….
The Hexband molds six steel layers plus aramid fiber under its anti-scratch Santoprene ribbon, doubling the amount of steel compared to the original OTTOLOCK. This adds up to a heavier unit compared to the original (375 grams compared to 260 grams for a 60-inch version), but the weight still pales in comparison to a standard U-lock. Like the original, the Hexband coils up into a tiny form factor when not in use.
Three months testing the 30-inch Hexband revealed, through ease of portage, how limiting the classic U-lock actually is. The Hexband slipped easily into a large saddlebag for a couple’s ride to a winery out of town, allowing enough spare room to carry an extra set of shoes and providing enough length to cover two frames. The three numeric dials on the lock cylinder were a little finicky, but the ability to avoid carrying a key was a fair trade-off.
OTTOLOCK still describes the Hexband as predominantly a theft deterrent, not a long-term security solution. Still, the option of a beefier version to the original could add valuable peace of mind during quick stops, bike tours, on a roof rack and a whole host of other creative uses.
The Hexband comes in the aforementioned 60-inch version as well as two additional options: a 250-gram, 30-inch model and a 190-gram, 18-inch spec.