The Abus Bordo 6500A SmartX in a jiffy: this Bluetooth lock with built-in alarm is as secure as it is futuristic. German engineering at its best.
The Abus Bordo folding lock was something of a revelation when it was first released; portable, compact yet secure. The Abus Bordo 6500A SmartX takes this up several notches, offering not just a high level of physical security but also an integrated 100dB alarm, plus a keyless app-operated locking mechanism and a whole host of other features.
If you’ve got a bike that’s worth £1000/$1000 or more – something from our best road bike or best gravel bike guides, for instance – a lock of this security level is a wise investment. This particular one, with its Bluetooth connectivity and USB-C charging port, is especially appropriate for securing your nice new electric bike. Although as with your ebike, you will need to remember to recharge it.
The lock bears a Gold Sold Secure rating, the highest security rating on offer from independent lock certifiers Sold Secure. It also rates as a 15/15 on Abus’ own security rating system.
Some Bluetooth locks are more about high-tech gimmickry than high security but the Abus Bordo 6500A SmartX is easily among the best bike locks I've used. Read on to find out why…
Abus Bordo Key spec
Type Folding lock with integral alarm and Bluetooth locking (no keys). An optional remote is also available
Construction Steel bars with soft covering
Size 5.5cm x 110cm
Abus Bordo 6500A SmartX: price and availability
Recommended price: £259.99, $279, AU$480
The Abus Bordo 6500A SmartX is available from Amazon (opens in new tab) and, probably indicating the level of security it offers, certain motoring and motorcycle retailers.
Abus Bordo 6500A SmartX: design and features
The Abus Bordo 6500A SmartX has a Gold Sold Secure rating, which is about as good as it gets. Abus rates it 15/15 on its own security scale. And no, it doesn't give all its locks maximum scores.
At its heart, the lock is based around the tried and tested Bordo folding lock design, constructed of a series of 5.5mm linked steel bars with a central lock unit. The lock has a circumference of 110mm fully open, which is plenty to get around most bike frames and anchor points. A softer compound coating on the lock and lock body protects the bike frame and helps avoid bumps and scratches to the paintwork.
On top of the core physical lock are a number of additional security features, the headline one being the 100dB alarm. This triggers if the lock is moved or shaken, and is pretty sensitive. It sounds for 15 seconds, then will settle and reactivate; this means that although it’s gone quiet, it’s still working, so should someone continue to move the lock, it will sound again.
The lock is operated using a keyless app-based system that operates via Bluetooth. You can also add up to 8 users for one lock, so that it can be shared between a few people, family or colleagues.
Another handy feature is that the app will display the last locking location, in case you park your bike somewhere unfamiliar and can’t find it again. This is done using your phone's GPS – there's no GPS in the lock itself, so you can’t use it for tracking. Even so, this is another very helpful feature.
A mounting bracket is supplied, which attaches around the bike frame using a cable system and tightens with a small hex key.
Abus Bordo 6500A SmartX: setup
In the box you get the alarm already nestled in its mounting bracket, a USB power cable to charge the lock, two straps for the mounting bracket, instructions, and a key card with a QR code. Keep hold of this key card, because if you should happen to lose your phone, you can get set up again on the lock using it.
You’ll need to download the Abus SmartX app which is available for both IOS and Android phones. Open it, and you’ll be prompted to put in your name, then scan the QR code. This starts the pairing process so you can control the lock from your phone, and the app takes you through most of the process. Remove the lock from the bracket, fully insert the bare metal part of one arm fully into the lock body, and that will activate the alarm.
At this point, the sensitivity of the lock is apparent because if you’re holding it in your hand, the lock alarm may trigger - it’s loud! So if you’re setting it up we’d recommend doing it where you can lay it flat during the process and also where you’re not likely to disturb anyone.
Abus Bordo 6500A SmartX: performance
If you’re someone who doesn’t like the hassle and fuss of bike lock keys, and you’re looking for an extra-secure lock for your bike, then it’s hard to argue with the benefits the Abus Bordo 6500A SmartX offers.
The app is simple to use and works as advertised, allowing you to set up, operate and control the lock from your phone.
Abus describes the alarm sensitivity as being triggered by ‘the smallest movement in all three dimensions’, it’s ‘3D Position Detection’. If the vibration is minor and brief - Abus uses the example of a football bouncing against the bike - the alarm will beep once as a warning. If the movement is sustained, the alarm triggers. Having triggered it a few times for test purposes, I can attest to the fact that it’s ear-piercingly loud.
While the sensitivity is excellent from a security point of view, it does have a downside. Because the alarm will sound if the lock is shaken or moved, if you lock your bike up in a location where it’s likely to get jostled or knocked into, it’s likely to go off. Therefore, crowded bike stands or storage areas might be a bit tricky.
One area where this lock would especially excel, and one for which the lock has clearly been designed, is eBikes. These need extra security when locked up outside shops, for example, and won’t be phased by the extra weight this type of lock carries since they’re battery-assisted anyway.
And as ever, no lock will 100% prevent a determined thief, but the aim of the game is to make it awkward so they give up. The Bordo 6500A SmartX with its alarm will certainly give any would-be thieves pause for thought, and will draw plenty of attention if they try to get criminal with it.
Abus Bordo 6500A SmartX: verdict
For those looking for extra security for their bike, plus features like location and Bluetooth locking, and who don’t mind the extra weight, Abus Bordo 6500A SmartX is a worthwhile investment. It may be a little expensive, but buying a new ebike or road bike is considerably more so.
Abus Bordo 6500A SmartX: also consider
There aren’t many alarm-equipped bike locks on the market, but if you did want a more traditional D-lock with an alarm, investigate the Abus Granit-X Plus SmartX. Another option for chunky, heavy-duty security is the Hiplok Gold chain lock – bike protection that you can wear around your waist when not in use.