Best Bike Locks
What is a Bike Lock
A mind-boggling fact is that more than 1.5 million bicycles are stolen each year. The best precaution against a theft is to buy a reliable bike lock. So, if you’re hunting for a good quality bike lock, we suggest you look through our review of the strongest locks!
In addition, we recommend you to consider bike pumps for a comfortable ride.
What Features to Compare
Today the market offers a great number of bicycle locks with different protection levels. So, to choose the right lock, you need to decide what level of protection you actually need.
- U-Locks are the most secure and theft-proof locks on the market. They are made of uncuttable materials and are very convenient to use. U-Locks come in various sizes, yet, you should choose the rigid one that will sit tightly on your frame. U-locks are perfect for high-risk areas.
- Chain Locks are also considered to be super secure anti-theft equipment. No wonder, they are recommended for use in areas with high crime rates. However, their reliability often depends on the type of steel, the thickness, and the overall lock quality.
- Cable Locks are a more versatile option, but not the most reliable. Yes, they are fairly lightweight, compact enough, easy-to-use, also they might be cheap, though, they offer very little security. Thus, for greater reliability, they are often combined with U-Locks. Generally, cable locks are recommended for use in low-risk areas.
- Folding Locks consist of linked metal plates. Hence, they can be folded compact for transportation. Also, they are not heavy, and like U-locks, they offer a great level of security. Plus, they are pretty flexible, which means that you'll get more options how to lock your bike.
- Wheel Cuffs Locks. Such locks resemble cuffs, one end of which should be fixed to the frame, while the other fixed to the rim, thus blocking the movement of the bicycle. However, the wheel lock does not prevent thieves from carrying a bike in their hands, so this type of lock is not recommended as the only secure lock.
- Locking skewers for Seats. They work in a great number of ways. For example, some of them use non-standard keys, while others can use gravity to lock the levers.
All of the mentioned locks are most common, however, nowadays you can find locks that do not fit into any category. In addition, the locks may have a key or code mechanism. Here the choice depends on your taste, whether you prefer using a key or a code combination.
Material and Set
As it was mentioned above, the bicycle safety depends on the material. Make sure that the lock has been manufactured from high-quality steel. It will be much more difficult for thieves to cut strong and thick steel.
Also, pay attention to the set. It will be great if a lock comes with a few keys and protective pouch.
As a rule, the weight is often directly proportional to the reliability. We mean that a strong thick steel lock can weigh quite a lot but boasts a great level of protection. Therefore, you need to decide whether you need a light portable (< 12 mm) lock or heavier and more reliable one (> 12 mm).
Forget About It!
Kryptonite is a world-known company producing high-quality security for bicycles, motorcycles, snowmobiles, etc. No wonder that this chain lock is considered to be one of the most reliable locks on the market today! And the name "Fahgettaboudit" speaks for itself! It suggests that any thief can leave the attempts to damage this lock and steal a bike. The hardened manganese steel chain links are totally uncuttable! The only thing that can be seen after bolt croppers is minor nicks. Even if thieves used a metal cutting disk, they wouldn't be able to cut the chain!
There are some more benefits "Fahgettaboudit" lock boasts. The manufacturer paired the lock with a nylon cover to protect it from any visible damage. So, if you don't want your lock to be scratched, use it always with a cover on.
The kit includes three keys, one of which is lighted for convenient use at nighttime. And do not forget about the special program of Kryptonite called Key Safe allowing you to order an additional key if you've lost your previous one. It should also be mentioned that you can buy either 5-inch or 3.25-inch lock. With large weight and 14 mm links, the Kryptonite bike lock is certainly not the most portable lock on the market, yet easily the safest. It's not for nothing the New York Fahgettaboudit Chain has got a 10/10 safety rank.
Like all well-known brands, Kryptonite hasn't become successful overnight. It all started in the early 1970s when Michael Zane invented the first U-Lock and traveled in his Volkswagen Van around the USA promoting his product. The purpose of his travel was to spread the message of bicycle security and to sell his lock. He managed to convince dealers to produce the U-Lock in large quantities. As a result, over the years Kryptonite has become a leading manufacturer of anti-theft systems for two-wheeled vehicles.
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Bike phone mount holder can come in handy during your rides. It's adjustable to fit nearly any smartphone or other gadgets like GPS.
In general, folding locks are not considered to be the most reliable. But that doesn't go for the locks produced by Abus company which is actually the inventor of this innovative protection system. The Bordo locks series is known for their unique design no one has used before. Being constructed of six linked steel bars, the ABUS Granit Bordo X-Plus combines reliability of U-locks and convenience of chain locks.
First of all, this top-of-the-line lock is really compact, sturdy, lightweight, and flexible. You can either wrap it around the seat tube with non-slip velcro straps or screw the case into braze-ons meant for a water bottle holder. To make this folding bike lock as reliable as possible, the plates are made of hardened steel and the links are based on ABUS Link Protection Shield technology which provides additional protection against drilling. The cylinder lock, by the way, also ensures the highest level of security against manipulation. On top of that, we can add that the steel plates are coated with a two-component polymer coating which prevents possible damage to the bicycle paintwork.
The bonus? The Abus bike lock comes with a convenient bag for transportation and two keys, one of which is LED-lighted. Thanks to the cards with the unique lock code, you can always order replacement keys in case the originals have been lost. Don't think twice, get the ABUS Granit Bordo X-Plus.
Interesting to Know
Chilean engineers claim they have found an effective way against bike theft. They created Yerka, the world's first "unstealable" bicycle. Outwardly, it looks like an ordinary bike, yet it has a special frame with an integrated bike lock, which allows users to fasten the bicycle to a pole or a tree wherever and whenever they want. The transformation of the frame takes 10 just seconds! Plus, the wheels of Yerka are equipped with special anti-theft nuts which can be unscrewed only with a special key. So, nobody but you will be able to take them. Moreover, engineers also promise to develop a mobile application that will help you open the lock via your smartphone. Unbelievable!
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A bike helmet will deliver even a safer riding experience.
Perhaps, this Kryptonite model is the most famous of all U-shaped locks. What's the secret? It's the thickest, almost the heaviest, and, for sure, the most secure U-lock! It's made of a special MAX-Performance steel that goes through the triple heat treatment for maximum cutting force resistance. Note that this fantastic lock is 18 mm thick, which means no bolt cutters can crop it. Now, it's clear why Kryptonite engineers gave this lock the highest rank of security, 10 out of 10.
Concerning the convenience of use, we would like to stress that the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock is a mini lock, and the internal dimensions make just 6.0” x 3.25”. The lock boasts a universal mount system Transit FlexFrame-U which allows attaching the lock on any bike frame. And of course, with the Key Safe program, you can order spare keys in case of loss.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why you should rely on this super-secure lock. Believe it or not, but it would be enough for thieves to take one quick look at the Kryptonite burly lock to realize their plans will never come true.
Tested by Thieves
One of the first "real tests" was carried out in 1972 in the Greenwich Village district, in the west of Lower Manhattan. The bicycle was fastened to a pole with a U-lock and left for a month. As a result, all removable parts were stripped, but the lock remained intact. 22 years later, Kryptonite took another similar test to check their new product, New York Lock. The bike valued at $ 600 was left for two days in the East Village, and Michael Zane, the company's founder, personally supervised the test. As a result, the lock endured all hacking attempts, yet Zane decided to repeat the same test in Soho, having left a bike for 6 days. Thieves used crowbars, bolt cutters, hammers, yet, the lock withstood all attacks. So, it's safe to say that this Kryptonite U-lock will stay intact wherever you lock it all day or overnight.
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Security and Simplicity
Meet a know-how lock, the TiGr Flexible Lock. Сreating this unique lock, Bob, John and Jim Loughlin were guided by several criteria. The lock should provide an ultimate level of protection. And it must have a very elegant and attractive design as its creators have often faced the situation when they had to carry a bulky and heavy lock on an elegant-looking bike. The TiGr lock meets all the requirements!
It really stands out from many other locks! Just imagine, it weighs about a third of a durable lock yet offers the same level of protection! Weighing only 1.7 pounds, the lock can be attached to a bike's top tube with the included Velcro straps, doing away with the need for transportation bag or frame mounts.
As for protective properties of the lock, we would like to note that it's made of titanium, which is known for its strength, excellent flexibility and resistance to corrosion. The TiGr lock can secure both a frame and wheels to a rack and even lock multiple bikes together. However, if you are going to use it in high-theft areas, we would recommend using this titanium bike lock with one more lock for additional security.
Matter of Chance
Naturally, a bike theft upsets every bike owner. However, thefts sometimes can result in unusual ways. Perhaps, we all know Muhammad Ali, the legendary boxer and world champion. However, in his youth, he did not even think of boxing. He became a boxer by chance, because of the theft of his bicycle. The 12-year-old boy had his bicycle stolen and that's why he turned to a policeman and said he would beat the thief who had stolen his bike. The policeman, in turn, advised the boy to go in for boxing and invited him to the gym of Spalding University where he worked as a coach. This is when the story of the great boxer began.
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Protected by Bulldog
OnGuard is one of the most famous companies producing locks for bicycles. Their locks are known for a great build quality and attractive price. The company uses quite an interesting concept since each of their locks is named after a different dog breed, and the more aggressive the breed the more secure the lock.
This very model is called Bulldog Combination U-Lock Cable Combo. As the name suggests, it's a U-shaped lock combined with a durable braided steel cable. So, you get two levels of protection in one compact device! Note that the lock operates with a code mechanism, so all you have to do is set a four-digit combination. No more keys to forget! The superior protection from pick attacks is provided by a special steel ball click-combo gear system, while ultra-hardened steel shackle guarantees maximum cut resistance. As a bonus, the cable can not only secure the wheels but also prevent them from spinning when the bike is installed on a car rack.
The lock boasts a double rubber coating to protect your bike from unwanted scratches. And of course, like all OnGuard Locks, the Bulldog Combination U-Lock is completely protected from moisture and dust. Finally, we would like to add that the lock set includes a multi-position mounting bracket for convenient transportation.
The OnGuard U-lock along with a super-sturdy steel cable is a rare beast that is just unbeatable! Don't hesitate any longer. Provide your bike with luxury protection!
Bicycle Capital of the World
Amsterdam is one of the most "bicycle-friendly" cities in the world. More than a third of all trips there are made by bicycle. No wonder that on average each citizen has a bike. Yet, more bikes mean more thefts. According to statistics, in 2001 16% of Dutch people were left without their bicycles. Later, in March 2004, authorities have developed a special program to catch thieves. According to this program, some bikes were equipped with special sensors connected to a global navigation system. The police left the bikes in high criminal areas to find out who was stealing bikes. As a result, it was detected that 40% of criminals were professionals stealing several bicycles per one night. 30% of thieves were addicted to drugs. The rest turned to be so-called "occasional thieves" who just borrowed bikes to get home since they were dead drunk.
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2. Bike Locks: How to Choose, REI.
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6. Bike thief tells how to stop your cycle from being stolen, The Guardian.
7. Kryptonite Company History, Kryptonite.
8. Mikael Colville-Andersen The 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities on the Planet, Wired.