- 4.5 / 5 Bee's Knees -
Never short on humor, Knog has released what I would consider its most phallic product yet, the Frankie Cable Lock. If at first glance you suspect this is a review of a sex toy, believe me you’re not alone. Not only does the Frankie command a double (or triple) take when passed in a local bike shop, it even smells a bit adulterated as well. Being that many personal products are manufactured of silicone as with this lock, it exudes all of those same attributes. But why construct this lock of silicone to begin with?
Importantly, the construction of this lock is not entirely silicone but rather a silicone veneered steel braided inner cable with a fiber core. Starting at the center, the fiber core provides a stiff element that mashes or changes its form under the pinch of a bolt cutter. Attacks from toothed tools are also made more challenging as the fiber core shifts around and resists easy cutting. In similar fashion, the braided steel layer reinforces the fiber core and offers the same mashing, warping characteristics to slow would-be thieves. Dressing the Frankie in a frame protecting shell, a silicone over-mold completes the lock nicely. Construction of each element exceeds expectations for this pricepoint except for some minor fringes of silicone that remain near the key hole. Overall, the cable comes out to 13mm in diameter while the inner security workings measure 6mm.
In practical terms, the usability of this lock and its similar counterparts (combo etc.) is excellent. There is a slight limitation with the 700mm length (2’ 3.5”). Since the lock connects in a full circle, this length gives you minimal support for wrapping around larger hosts (trees or light posts for example). 1,000 unique key combinations ensures a relatively personal lock. Actuating the lock is simple, intuitive and confidence inspiring with the 8mm shackle.
Hopefully you’ve had the opportunity to read my review of the Knog Milkman lock posted just last year. While the milkman is far from indestructible, its portability and “keep ‘em honest” intent made it the perfect lock for those exact situations. Differing from that mantra, the Frankie steps up the security to require greater tools and greater effort to hack. In addition, its sultry silicone outfit is an ideal material to protect your bike so long as you ensure the silicone doesn’t have any abrasives on its surface (dirt, sand, road grime, etc.). At a claimed weight of 360g, the Frankie is a sexy balance of moderate security, reasonable weight and considerate texture. While the Frankie is for external use only, I suspect you could round up some tail with a little liquid courage and some suggestive bike lock innuendo. For your bike and yourself: stay protected! Happy rides!