Here's our Yale Maximum Security Defendor U Lock With Cable review in a sentence: a 'Diamond'-rated lock and cable at a more than reasonable price.
Yale is a name with a strong association with security systems and locks, so it’s not surprising that it makes some of the best bike locks on the market. This is one of the mid-priced locks in the Yale range. As you can probably tell from its name, it consists of a U lock with an additional cable, which is useful for an added level of security for elements such as wheels.
If you’ve got a bike that’s worth £1000/$1000 or more – something from our best road bike guide, for instance – you need a lock of at least this security level. You should always make sure it’s locked to something secure and immoveable too, of course. Yale also offers a lifetime guarantee for the lock.
I was impressed with the Yale Maximum Security Defendor U Lock With Cable. It's easily among the best bike locks I've tried at this price. Read on to find out why…
Type D lock with cable
Construction Hardened steel lock with additional flexible steel cable
Size 230mm X 115mm, with a 1200mm cable
Yale Maximum Security Defendor U lock with Cable: price and availability
Recommended price: £40 / €45
This Yale Defendor U bike lock is available through Yale directly in the UK and Europe, and many UK retailers including Robert Dyas and Amazon.
While Yale does sell in the US, it doesn’t retail its bike lock range there. It can, however, be found in Australia for around AU$140.
Yale Maximum Security Defendor U lock with Cable: features
The Defendor U bike lock set consists of a heavy-duty U lock. These are sometimes known as a D lock, confusingly, but it's a U-shaped, hardened steel section that should be hooked around an immovable object such as a ground anchor and the bike frame, with a cross-bar that locks into place, plus a long cable lock that works in conjunction with the U lock.
The U lock has an internal width of 230mm and a width of 115mm, which is about average for this type of lock. The cable lock is 1200mm long, flexible, with a loop at each end which can be threaded through the U lock shackle.
Included in the set are 4 keys, one of which has a small press-operated light which makes using it in the dark a lot easier. There’s also a key code card; Yale can produce replacement keys should you happen to lose the ones you have, so long as you have the key code card, so keep it in a safe place!
Finally, the set comes with a bracket that allows you to fix it to your bike frame so you always have your bike lock with you, rather than carrying it separately in a bag.
Yale Maximum Security Defendor U lock with Cable: performance
The Defendor actually feels lighter than similarly-securely rated locks on the market, which is good news if you don’t want to carry a heavy lump of a lock around with you. A textured plastic cover at the apex of the U makes it easier to hold and grip, particularly in cold and wet weather, and also adds a degree of protection for the bike frame against the hard metal of the shackle.
The Defendor had a Sold Secure Gold rating for bicycle security, but was then upgraded to Diamond (!) Sold Secure is a British independent UK lock security testing and verifying organisation that accredits the security of locks on the market. Gold was their highest rating for bicycle locks, but apparently a higher rating is now required, and so it's now Diamond. Whatever you call it, this badge indicates that the lock can withstand an ongoing attack using a variety of tools including picks and drills. While no lock will withstand an attack forever, the key here is how long it can hold up, as the longer it takes, the riskier it becomes for the would-be thief, and the more likely it is that they’ll give us and move on to an easier target.
It has a good amount of weather-sealing and protection; if you’re going to be using it outside a lot, this is important. Wet and mud can work its way inside the locking mechanism causing it to jam and seize up. The lock has an integrated keyway cover that offers a degree of extra protection here, too.
While the bike bracket is made of plastic, it’s chunky and robust. It’s a bit fiddly to fit, as it uses bolts to hold it in place against the frame, but that also means that it’s easier to remove and relocate than other bracket systems. The bolts are also long enough to adapt the bracket to most parts of the frame and most thickness of bike frame tube as there are two bolt length options.
Flexible cables aren’t useful on their own, but do add an additional layer of security especially when threaded through wheels as this stops the would-be thief removing them. Always make sure they are threaded through the U lock to be effective.
Yale Maximum Security Defendor U Lock With Cable: verdict
A great value U lock and cable system that’s perfect for commuters and anyone who regularly needs to leave their bike locked up. We’d still recommend more than one lock for higher value bikes, but for those in the region of a grand this is spot on.
Yale Maximum Security Defendor U Lock With Cable: also consider
The Abus Granit Extreme 59 is an excellent alternative U lock to the Yale Defendor. If you prefer something more portable and compact, the Abus Bordo Light 6050. As well as Abus, other great brands to consider in this area include Kryptonite.