While it is very important to buy the best bike locks to safeguard your bikes, it can be a daunting task to choose the right lock. Investing in a good lock is as important as owning your favorite bike. You don't want to lose either!
Thankfully, you don’t have to settle with traditional cables and chains to secure your bike. There are much sturdier and smarter options available. We took a look at some of the best bike locks you can find today.
1. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF LOCKS?
There are 4 types – U-locks, foldable, chain and cable locks.
2. WHICH IS THE BEST LOCK?
Cable locks are inexpensive but are not very sturdy or secure. They are an easy target for thieves.
U-locks offer better security, are widely used, and come in a wide range of options. They are available in different sizes, prices, weights, quality and levels of security. You can choose the one that best suits your needs. The U- shape of the locks can limit the functionality and utility to an extent. The frame mount itself can be annoying.
To get around the functional limitations of U-locks, folding locks can be used. The longer the lock, the higher the reach and flexibility is needed to secure your bike. They’re compact and not heavily weighted like chains. They are foldable, easy to carry and not annoying to mount on frames, unlike U-locks.
Chain locks offer the best security if folding locks don’t suit your needs. They are inexpensive. The heavier the chains, the higher the security.
3. WHAT IS SOLD SECURE RATING FOR BICYCLE LOCKS?
Sold Secure based out of the UK is an independent, third-party tester that uses standardized tests and a variety of tools to provide Gold, Silver or Bronze ratings based on how long a lock can survive an attack. Gold is the highest level of security offered. This rating can be used as a factor while purchasing the locks. A Gold or Silver rating is mostly recommended.
Meanwile, a Bronze rating is not considered secure. Most insurance policies consider the Sold Secure ratings.
4. HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST BIKE LOCKS?
It is important to determine what level security you need – high-level, mid-level or low-level security locks. You can start by answering these questions: Is your bike new or good-looking, and does it draw the wrong attention? Where do you use the lock on your bike—a residence, a busy city, a university, or other high-theft areas? For how long do you leave your bike locked – overnight, a few hours, or longer hours during the day?
5. WHAT IS THE RIGHT THICKNESS FOR LOCKS?
Locks can be broken by using cutting tools or by leverage attacks. The sturdiness of the locks depends on the thickness, material used to make them, and the design of the locks. A thickness of under 13 mm can be easily cut by a bolt-cutter. The higher the thickness, the tougher the lock. Any thickness above 13 mm is considered safe and above 16 mm is considered the safest.
6. HOW TO LOCK YOUR BIKE EFFECTIVELY?
Besides choosing a lock from the best bike locks, it is also important to follow other tips to secure your bike. First, find a busy place with a lot of foot traffic to park your bike. Then, remove the front wheel and fasten it beside the rear wheel through the frame using your bike lock. This can be done using U-locks or chain locks. Breaking such a lock will take time and draw people’s attention even before the thief can achieve any success.
7. WHERE CAN YOU BUY THE BEST BIKE LOCKS?
The best bike locks can be purchased online from Amazon or from manufacturer websites. They are also easily available in local bike stores and retail stores.
HOW WE REVIEWED
We reviewed the best bike locks based on a few parameters: features, pros & cons, price, where to buy, warranty, and security-level ratings. Based on your budget and personal needs, you can examine the top products and choose the lock that best fits your need.
OVERALL PRICE RANGE OF THE BEST BIKE LOCKS
The higher the price, the better the overall quality of the lock. You get what you pay for. While cable locks and chain locks are inexpensive, they do not offer enough security, making your bike an easy target for thieves. With folding locks and U-locks, you can achieve a balance between price and security.
WHAT WE REVIEWED
This U-lock has a 13 mm thick shackle made of hardened, max-performance steel which resists cutting and leverage attacks. It has a provision for carrying a front wheel or accessories with a 4′ Kryptoflex double loop cable. The security features include a reinforced cross bar design, a high security disc-style cylinder, and a center keyway to protect against leverage attacks. The anti-rattle bumpers reduce noise during movement and the new flex frame-U transportation system allows versatile carrying.
The cylinder has a rotating dustcover for protection. The lock comes with two stainless steel keys and a key safe program that allows you to get the replacement for the first set of keys for free. The dimensions are 4” x 9” and it weighs 2.85 lbs.
Kryptonite offers the best in class Lifetime Warranty.
WHERE TO BUY
- The Granit X Plus 540 is the...
- Lock weighs approx. 4 pounds...
- Security Rating 15 of 15...
- Strong square parabolic...
- Shackle height: 11.8 inches,...
This is a U-lock whose shackle, case, and supporting elements of the lock mechanism are all made of specially tempered, hardened steel. The shackle is a solid square, parabolic shackle that protects against attacks from bolt cutters and also leverage attacks from saws or car jacks.
The lock includes a holder that allows the lock to be easily attached to the bike and weighs approximately 4 pounds. It has a shackle height of 11.8 inches, a total height of 14.5 inches, and a 15/15 security rating through double bolting shackle/lock body.
Although there is no warranty on the lock, Abus offers a cash replacement if the bike is stolen.
WHERE TO BUY
- PROTECT YOUR BIKE - don't make...
- HARDENED STEEL LINKS - we have...
- ULTRA-PROTECTED RIVETS - the...
- FAST AND EASY TO USE -...
- ANTI-DRILLING COMPONENTS - the...
This foldable lock is made of hardened steel links which are robust. It has ultra-protected rivets designed with VSR technology to withstand sawing and cutting. The lock is easy to use and fast to install and operate. The lock has a compact design and weighs only 2.2 pounds. It can easily be carried in the bike lock case. The cylinder and other components in the lock design are drill resistant to prevent theft. The lock is 33 inches long.
The lock offers a one-year warranty period starting from the purchase date.
WHERE TO BUY
The features of this folded lock include 5.5mm heavy-duty steel bars and links for top-level security. All the elements are made of special hardened steel. The link construction offers compact folding and portability. The lock comes with two keys; one key has an LED light. Abus has a rattle-free holder with Velcro or a bottle cage mounting that fits into most bikes. The lock weighs around 3.5 pounds and is 22 inches long. For an additional fee, you can purchase the ABUS Code Card to get extra or replacement keys.
Although no warranty on lock, Abus offers cash replacement if the bike is stolen.
WHERE TO BUY
- High security, disc-style lock...
- Push-button lock (no key...
- PVC coating on bow protects...
- Included Mounting clip is...
- Handmade in America, 0.9 lbs,...
TiGr mini is a push-button U-lock. It is made of titanium and has a unique design that makes it very strong and flexible. The disc-style lock cylinder comes with two keys. PVC coating on the bow protects the bike frame from scratches and the mounting clip is easy to use and install. Mini is easy to use and handmade in America. It weighs only around one pound (0.4 kg).
There is a full lifetime warranty on the TiGr.
WHERE TO BUY
- LOCK APPLICATION: For indoor...
- EASE OF USE: Compact and...
- MAXIMUM SECURITY: Hardened...
- SPECIFICATIONS: 21-1/2 in....
- INCLUDES: One Street Cuffs...
This is a chain lock made up of laminated, hardened steel that is practically impossible to cut. The cuffs have a 3-inch diameter. The 22-inch steel link offers a greater reach for locking the bicycle to a parking meter, a street lamp, or a fence post. Although the lock unlocks with a key, it can be locked easily using a push-button.
The lock comes with two keys and weighs approximately three pounds. The pivoting links with no fixed anchor points make it hard to break the chain by leverage attacks. The lock offers an Anti-Theft Guarantee of $3,500 and a Limited Lifetime Warranty.
It has a limited warranty for defects in materials and workmanship. Damaged, cut, misused or worn out locks aren’t covered. Also, the labor cost is not covered.
WHERE TO BUY
Some other brands may provide better esthetics, a lower price range, or insurance. For example, Kryptonite offers great value with a reasonable amount of security at a low price point. With its unique design, the TiGr Mini is handy and secure enough at a mid-level price. Foldylock compact has better aesthetics, functionality and offers mid-level protection. Master Lock Street cuffs are the least expensive and has many pros, but the con outweighs the pros.
We picked the Abus locks because of their durable materials, light weights, and high Secure Gold ratings. For the price point, the level of security you get is superior compared to the others. Despite the benefits of the other locks on our list, we pick the Abus Bordo 6500 folded lock or Abus Granite-X 540 U-lock for the best bike locks.
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