I want to add damping to the joints on an Abus Folding Lock, such that it maintains its shape if I stick it through a hole or something.

I received some brief feedback that I could use rubber bands or O-rings; however, I'm not familiar with what might work best, which options of that component are available (and might work best), or how to implement.

Would anyone have any suggestions?


I began this question here, posted below. The people on bikeforums said it sounded like a DIY project, and thus I came to stackexchange thinking there would be a DIY community who could further advise me on how to approach this.

Instead, I only found Home Improvement (DIY for houses) and Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Repair (DIY for motor vehicles), so the question has been placed to Bicycles, where people seem to be familiar with the Abus Folding Lock.

Please inform me if there is a better board.

Original Post:

I read about the Abus folding lock here, and then researched it in other places.

I since purchased it, and developed opinions about it. I sent feedback to the company, but wondered if I was alone in thinking that this feature would be a good idea:

[Feature Request]: Damping in the Links

I recently purchased an Abus folding lock for use with my bike. I like the extra versatility it has over traditional U-locks

Since my purchase, I have found several situations in which a U-lock can more easily wrap around an object.

When a U-lock is passed through an object which the user's hand cannot also pass, (such as a mesh wire fence) its shape allows it to wrap around an anchor (such as the wire mesh fence post) and easily return to the user.

A folding lock passes through these objects easily, but loses its form in areas where the user is unable to reach.

Have you considered placing a weak dampers in the links, such that users could form your lock into shapes and weakly maintain those shapes while they are setting up the lock?

  • 1
    I'd suggest wonding a rubber band into the joint. Hinge doesn't have to be undone to make it work.
    – Criggie
    Sep 1, 2016 at 2:04

1 Answer 1


I use an ABUS everyday. Keep the lock orientated on its side, the friction in the joints will help it keep its form. The friction is essentially the dampening units you interested in. If you maintain this orientation you can set a shape and carefully pass it around something. The moment you change the orientation, to something more vertical, the friction in the joints will lessen and the lock will take the lowest energy form (typically straight down, hitting you in the shin or chipping the paint on your frame - hrrmm...).

I am sure ABUS could add nylon washers to act as explicit dampers, furthering this friction effect, but this would likely increase the cost (for an already expensive lock) and could wear overtime adding slop to the joints. Slop could be bad as it could make it easier for theives to insert wedges to try and attack the joints (arguably the weakest point of the lock).

  • What about spray rubber?
    – kando
    Aug 31, 2016 at 21:19
  • (I believe that you are correct regarding the reduction of security with a soft material between the links, and as such, an alternative solution would likely be more costly. I think I'd prefer the sale of a weaker cheaper lock with the feature.)
    – kando
    Aug 31, 2016 at 21:36
  • @kando - Could work. Try it, then report back. If it ends up working for you, post your technique and accept your answer as the answer to the question.
    – Rider_X
    Aug 31, 2016 at 21:36
  • Will look into it, else I'll have no choice but to pass you the win ; j (Slight digression: You're happy with the folding lock, I take it?)
    – kando
    Aug 31, 2016 at 21:38
  • @kando - so far so good. Years of rain and dust, but still works fine. One of my keys became so well worn I stopped using it. Not sure if that is a complaint or compliment!
    – Rider_X
    Aug 31, 2016 at 21:40

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