- 4.5 / 5 Bee's Knees -
Maybe I’m wrong in saying this but something leads me to believe that more cyclists than myself are a little mischievous by nature. We’re not talking grand larceny or arson, nothing that wild. Now…when the only thing standing between me and a world class road complete with twists and hills galore is a sign that reads: “Danger - Road Closed - Washout Area,” my right-shoulder devil shouts just a bit louder than his level-minded left counterpart. So what does this have to do with a bike lock? Please read on.
Every Knog product I’ve owned or tested has been unique and for lack of a more appropriate word cool. The milkman combo continues the tradition mating all the features you’d expect from a combo lock and maybe a few more. Here are the construction basics: a durable polycarbonate body, generous 90cm braided cable (nearly 3 ft) with a 6.5mm stainless steel locking pin, and a permanent housing structure to further promote strength. All of these features add up to a lock that is…well…actually not that secure, its more of a “keep ‘em honest lock.” See, the intent of the milkman is not to achieve New York City security, there are locks built for that purpose and this guy does not attempt to meet those demands. Instead, this product aims for a balance of form, weight and function. Spoiler alert, the milkman delivers.
What else can be said about this guy…features, yes we’ve got a few of those. As with any Knog gadget, there’s cool factor. Foremost, the cable self-coils at the press of a button, so convenient. In addition to this, the compact form factor achieves just what was intended, a jersey pocket friendly size (or “back pocket” according to Knog…they must not mean what I’m assuming). Also lending well to its portability is the locks simple shape with rounded corners. My only complaint with the fit and finish would be the one burr that was present on the lock release button of my sample. This could pose a snag threat, but not so far. Material choices are also good. The lock slips in and out of your pocket with ease but its size and weight, albeit light, prevents it from jumping out while riding over rough ground. There is one point I’d like to see changed however and that is the tumblers…if that’s the right term. Because of their compact size and tight configuration, the only practical way to dial in a combination is from left to right (for righties). If there was a bit more grip from the material, say from a more rubberized coating, and if the spacing between each was a bit more generous, the tumblers would be easier to manipulate a-chronologically. That said, this is a very minor nuisance and doesn’t prohibit me from being fond of the milkman…that doesn’t sound quite right, oh well. A final feature worth noting, you do have free reign of setting your own combo, check the instructions, its not at all difficult, just don’t forget your number.
Here we are, all my Knog reviews end about the same. Yet again, what isn’t cool about this Knog product? Great features, simple use, terrific price (really), compact, and hip…Knog wouldn’t have it any other way, those Aussies have us beat. I’ll end on this note, when you're in need of a simple low-security lock that is ultra portable, I’d look no further than the Knog. Other products will suffice but at this price and with this much convenience, no other style of lock makes any sense. If however you need greater security for whatever reason, the Milkman will simply not cut the mustard. There it is, hats off you Knog yet again, cool product my friends.
Although I failed to work it into my review, here’s the story. Jay Cooke state park, although highly publicized, is none the less a terrific place to visit as a camper, hiker, photographer or cyclist who wants a home base outside Duluth during their travels. In 2012 a severe storm washed out countless areas of Duluth/Superior of which Jay Cooke was no exception. As of writing, Rushing Rapids Road remains closed to ALL traffic, bikes included, who knew (insert sarcastic emoji here). While I can’t suggest you ride on a closed road with real hazards and clear markings, I promise you, this road will put a huge smile on your face when it reopens (speculated late Summer 2016). Until then, stay off. Its descending broad turns, noble climbs and highly distracting overlooks may be interrupted but disgruntled MN Power hydro-engineers or the occasional landslide due to unstable soil. This is all hypothetical of course. Put it on your radar folks, happy rides!