If you need a tough U-lock for your bike, the OnGuard Brute STD definitely fits the bill. However, an unwieldy size and an unsuitable bracket seriously hinder its usability.
Secure but unwieldy. Several reviewers describe the OnGuard Brute STD as a "beast." This is a big, tough U-lock, and although it provides excellent security, its size makes it difficult to use. The Brute STD has a long shackle, so it's a good choice for beefy bike frames or for securing both the frame and rear wheel. However, users say the large size makes it a challenge to carry, and the included mounting bracket doesn't seem sturdy enough to support its 4.3-pound heft.
If you live in a low-crime area and want a lighter lock, the 2-pound OnGuard Bulldog Mini TC (Est. $30) is worth considering, but it doesn't perform as well in security tests.
Protective vinyl coating. With a hardened steel shackle measuring nearly 17 mm, this lock is very durable, owners report. A vinyl coating helps protect the bike frame from nicks and scratches, which reviewers say is a must since the mounting bracket isn't very sturdy.
A tough lock with lots of anti-theft protection. Many top-rated U-locks are expensive, and the OnGuard Brute STD is no exception. It performs well in theft tests, taking top honors in one review at Maxim magazine and scoring very well in an older test at Slate.com. Editors can't saw through the 16.8 mm steel shackle, and the lock doesn't budge in a direct assault with a hammer. It does eventually succumb to an angle grinder, but most bike thieves don't carry power tools. The lock also comes with an anti-theft protection plan of $5,001, but it isn't available in New York.
Review Credibility: Good The OnGuard Brute STD performs very well in the security portion of this detailed test. Elder can't break the U-lock with a hammer or hacksaw, but he calls the mounting bracket too flimsy.
Review: Avoiding the Bicycle Thief, Scott Elder, April 18, 2006
Review Credibility: Good More than 40 owners give the OnGuard Brute STD U-Lock an average rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars. Most of the reviews are positive, saying the lock is strong, reliable and, if anything, possibly overkill.
Review: OnGuard Brute STD 5001 Bike U-Lock, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2013
3. Maxim magazine
Review Credibility: Good In Maxim's test, the OnGuard Brute STD rates higher than two other locks, even though all three are broken with an angle grinder.
Review: The Great Lock-Off, Steve Mazzucchi, May 2009
4. The New York Times
Review Credibility: Fair Brad Quartuccio, editor of Urban Velo magazine, highlights the "industry-leading" $5,001 anti-theft warranty that comes with the OnGuard Brute STD. He says it can effectively lock wheels and a bike frame, but its size makes it hard to carry.
Review: Physical Culture: Gear Test, Locks, Stephen Krcmar, Aug. 2, 2007