Finding the Right Bike Lock
It’s time to get yourself a bike lock. A bike is a precious investment, probably next to a car and a house for an average individual. Your bike’s security should be your utmost concern once you’ve reached your destination safely as bike theft is becoming increasingly rampant. For example, Seattle researchers found out that there’s an average increase of 18.3 percent in bike theft cases for the past eight years!
Bike theft is a prevalent occurrence in our society. Many bike owners have pondered over the idea of their bikes being stolen—even more than they do about their own cars. And here’s why. When your car is stolen, there is a process to recover your vehicle, but if your bike is stolen, most likely you will never see it ever again.
It is wise to take a proactive approach to deter bike theft. Therefore, it is worth the money and effort to find a suitable bike lock that will secure your bike and deter thieves. However, all bike locks are not created equal, so get a bike lock from a reputable brand that is known not to easily break and is also user-friendly. The following information presented here will help find a bike lock that is worthy of protecting your prized possession.
The Qualities of a Reputable Bike Lock
A bike lock that is worth its cost will be one that is sturdy and can withstand pressure. Therefore, it’s important to keep yourself abreast of the latest trends in bike lock technology. You want to pay special attention to the design and style of the lock to determine if it’s the right type of lock for your biking needs.
Our 10 Favourite Best Bike Locks 2018
1. KRYPTONITE FAHGETTABOUDIT
Kryptonite’s Fahgettaboudit is a bit more expensive than the Master Lock Street Cuffs, but its security is well worth it! Bolt cutters and hacksaws can’t do a thing with this lock. It has a double-deadbolt structure and a disc cylinder that makes it difficult to pick this type of lock. This lock is made of hardened steel and weighs at least 4 pounds. It has a protective coating made of vinyl to protect your bike’s frame.
2. Abus U 64
This lightweight bike lock outperforms all other lightweight bike locks when it comes to durability. This U-lock is one of the strongest and smallest U-locks around and is made of hardened steel. The lock cylinder has the double deadbolt design, which makes it hard to cut. Make no mistake about it, you will get a high-quality lock with Abus U 64.
3. Evolution Chain
The Evolution Chain has all the qualities of a good chain lock: flexibility, durability, and reliability. This chain, made of manganese reinforced steel, will require an angle grinder to cut, which means a bolt cutter and hacksaw won’t have a chance! The Nylon protective coating protects the chain’s links and keeps your bike’s frame protected from scratches.
4. Masters Lock Street Cuffs
The chain for this lock (made of hardened steel) has a single link and pivots on both cuffs (also made of hardened steel). This lock is very sturdy, and you can easily fasten and unfasten this lock by locking one end onto your road bike and the other end to a signpost. If you need to fit your bike into a small space, you can always fold the cuffs over each other. There is a lot of positive feedback on this bike lock concerning its durability, and it is very affordable, too. The cuffs make it look like you don’t have a simple lock that can be cut, so most thieves won’t look at bikes locked with the Master Lock Street Cuffs because they will feel like it’s too much work to get it off.
This lock looks a lot like a chain lock. It weighs a little over 2 pounds and is very flexible to use. It’s a small lock that has 6 metal bars that look a lot like linked chains. Each metal bar has a rubber-like protective covering to prevent bike frame scratches.
6. Tigr Mini
This lightweight bike lock is strong, effective, and secure.
By necessity, hardened steel is heavy. Heavy steel means more protection and conversely, the lighter the steel used, the deeper the compromise in security. So how do you get the best security without carrying too much weight?
One word. Titanium.
The TiGr Mini is made from titanium. This amazing little lock is lightweight but strong enough to drive away even the most seasoned bike thieves. Aside from being one of the strongest U Locks, the TiGr Mini also packs some nifty features.
- The lock is designed differently than conventional U locks. It’s flat! As a result, even the sharpest bolt cutters end up hitting their stop before breaking the lock.
- Because of its small size, the TiGr Mini gives bike thieves very little room to do their stuff.
- Titanium is extremely hard. Even though hacksaws can eventually cut it, it’ll take a thief over 5 hours of hacking and cutting. Who wants to steal a bike that long?
The TiGr Mini is super easy to use. All you have to do is to insert your custom key to unlock the cylinder and voila, it opens up. Closing is a no-brainer either. Just pop in the cylinder back into place and you are good to go. TiGr Mini’s lock is very difficult to pick.
The total weight of the TiGr Mini is only 0.9 pounds (490 grams). And the best part? It comes with a tube mount for attaching it to your bike frame when riding! Pretty awesome huh? Because of its fixed diameter, the TiGr Mini may not work for everyone. The lock’s width is 4 inches and the length is 10.5 inches making less ideal for fat tire bikes.
7. OnGuard Bulldog Mini
If you’re not familiar with OnGuard, don’t let it stop you from checking out their amazing bike lock.
The onGuard Bulldog Mini boasts a double bolt locking systems. It gives 10 tons of pull strength making it extremely difficult or even impossible for bike thieves to pull off. How about the material?
The OnGuard Bulldog Mini is made from ultra hardened steel. It is 13mm thick and will take several hours before you can see any results if you cut it off. This U lock comes with laser-cut keys and the locking mechanism is very hard to pick.
Lightweight at 2.2 pounds, the OnGuard Bulldog Mini is portable enough to carry around. Unlike the TiGr Mini, the Bulldog Mini has enough room for larger bikes. But if you have big, fatter tires than normal, you might be better off checking out something else.
8. Kryptonite Series 4 Disc Orange
Kryptonite has made itself a household name when it comes to strong bike locks. And they deserve it. Aside from being the only material that can defeat Super Man, Kryptonite bike locks are almost unbreakable, provides excellent security, and very affordable.
The Kryptonite Series 4 Disc Orange is just one of the many bikes locks Kryptonite has to offer. The main unit of the Kryptonite Series 4 Disc Orange is made from reinforced steel. It’s 14 mm thick and good luck to bike thieves trying to cut it off.
This bike lock features a double deadbolt locking mechanism. The lock is impossible to pick and bike thieves will surely think twice after seeing the Kryptonite Series 4 Disc Orange on your bike.
One unique feature of the Kryptonite Series 4 Disc Orange is its sliding dust cover. If you’ve used bike locks in the past, you know how it gets harder to use because of dirt and grime building up inside the locking mechanism. The sliding dust cover protects all the moving parts of the Kryptonite Series 4 Disc Orange from dust and grime, making it last longer than most bike locks in the market.
The Kryptonite Series 4 Disc Orange only weights 1.9 pounds. It’s light and compact, making it easy to carry around as you ride. Unfortunately, this small U lock is not large enough for fat bikes. But it should work flawlessly with any road bikes you have.
9. Kryptonite Series 2 U Lock
Are you looking for a nearly unbreakable bike lock that’s made from high-quality materials and lightweight? Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 U Lock is the answer. Proudly made by the Kryptonite brand, you are assured that the Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 U Lock defies all expectations when it comes to strength, durability, and affordability.
The main U Lock of the Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 is made from hardened steel — strong enough to resist bolt cutters and hacksaws! The Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 U Lock weights only 3.6 pounds, making portable and easy to carry around. After carrying bike lock for a week, you’ll barely notice that it’s there! s
The Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 U Lock comes with a deadbolt locking mechanism that’s hard to pick. However, the lack of a sliding lock cover makes it susceptible to rain and dust, unlike its Series 4 Disc Orange cousin. As a consequence, you may need to lube up the lock every once in a while to keep it working in optimum condition.
10. HipLok Lite: The Wearable Bike Lock
This final selection features the same strength and durability offered by the first 4 unbreakable bike locks on our list. So what’s the difference? It’s unique. The HipLok is designed to solve a common problem among bikers: what should I do with my bike lock when riding?
For HipLok, the answer is simple: WEAR IT.
HipLok doubeles an adjustable belt which you can remove easily to lock up your bike when you arrive at your destination. The HipLok functions like any other chain system.
The chains of this bike lock are made from hardened steel which is bound to give bolt cutters and hacksaws a very hard time. Because of its chained design, the HipLok is invulnerable to angle grinders as well. The HipLok uses very thick hexagonal chains.
The locking mechanism of the HipLok is a disc style system that impossible to “bump” open nor pick. The lock features a fabric outer housing to protect your bike’s finish from scratches. The HipLok is very convenient to use and is one of the strongest bicycle locks out there.
What makes it even better is it doubles up as a belt that’s light enough. When you’re wearing it, you won’t even notice that its there. A little warning though: the HipLok can fit any bike but not all belly sizes 🙂
So, What Makes a Quality Bike Lock?
Hardened steel makes the best locks, but you can also find some that are made of softer metals. Beware because the ones made of softer metals are often the ones that give under the pressure of bolt cutters and hacksaws, which make these types of locks of low quality. If the lock is high-priced, then you can be confident that the material is hardened steel, which is able to withstand the pressure of bolt cutters and hacksaws. It would literally take 6 hours of fire cutting (using an angle grinder) to cut through a lock made of hardened steel. A thief is definitely deterred by this type of lock because the long cutting process is both loud and sparkly (which would draw excessive attention to the thief cutting the lock).
3 Main Types of Bike Locks
1. Cable Locks
Cable locks are lightweight and come in various length and thickness. Self-coiling cable locks are easy to store. You can even hang them on your bike’s frame when not in use. Usually, cable locks are made of coiled wire with built-in conventional or combination padlock.
2. Chain Locks
Chain locks are stronger than cable locks. But they are heavier and more difficult to carry too. Chain locks are made of steel links chained together into a combination lock or padlock. Chain locks can reach up to 6 feet, making them very convenient for those who don’t want to remove the front wheel of their bikes.
3. U Locks
The best of the three, U locks are made of tough, lightweight steel. U locks serve as very good visual deterrents because bike thieves know how hard it is to break them. Lighter than chain locks, U locks usually come with extra cable locks that you can wrap around your bike’s front and rear wheel.
Learn more about choosing the right bike lock here.
Hunting for high quality, unbreakable bike locks can become a nightmare if you don’t know what you are looking for. To keep things simple, nigh unbreakable bike locks usually boil down into two factors — material and style.
What’s the best material for bike locks?
The best bicycle locks are made from titanium or hardened steel. Most bike locks in the market today are made from alloys which are soft and can be cut easily with a hacksaw or a bolt cutter.
Thieves can still cut through hardened steel and titanium bike locks — if they have the right equipment and several hours to spend which is rarely the case.
What the most effective style for bike locks?
As discussed above, the best type of bike locks is U locks. They can be fairly uncuttable (depending on the material used) and are pretty convenient to use and carry around. Chain locks are next in line when it comes to effectiveness.
The worst type of bike locks is cable locks. They’re easily cut using bolt cutters and brute force and thieves don’t need much time to break them either.
So, What Type of Lock Works Best?
If you’re going to invest in a bike lock, get the U-locks and chains (made of uncuttable metal), which tend to be the most successful locks on the market to deter thieves. Cable locks are not worth your time because they won’t withstand pressure longer than ten seconds before giving way to a bolt cutter.
With options like these to choose from, you are sure to find the type of lock that fits your lifestyle and is well within your budget without sacrificing quality.
Beyond Bike Locks: Keeping Your Bike Safe and Secure
No matter how strong or unbreakable your bike lock is, if you’re not locking your bike properly, it’s useless. Despite the fear of bike theft looming around, it’s surprising to see that there are still poorly locked bikes here and there.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when securing your bike.
- Don’t lock your bike in an alley. Avoid locking up your bike in an area where thieves can easily tamper with it. An ideal location for locking up bikes is a place with a lot of foot traffic. Surely, no bike thief will dare to bring an angle grinder on a busy street.
- Avoid giving thieves room to work. Choose only the lock that fits your bike perfectly. Big locks can be easily repositioned to make it easier to cut. The lesser room the bike thief has to work on, the better.
- Don’t make your bike an easy target. Bike thieves will always go for low hanging fruits first. If you make your bike seem easy to steal, then you’re inviting an impending disaster. Give bike thieves more trouble than its worth so they’ll turn their backs away and look for easier targets. How can you do this? Use small, hardened steel locks (or if you have a titanium one, the better). Lock the bike in an area where there’s a lot of traffic and secure removable components such as wheels.
Protect your precious investment by choosing the right bike lock today!
- 1 Finding the Right Bike Lock
- 1.1 The Qualities of a Reputable Bike Lock
- 1.2 Our 10 Favourite Best Bike Locks 2018
- 1.3 So, What Makes a Quality Bike Lock?
- 1.4 3 Main Types of Bike Locks
- 1.5 What’s the best material for bike locks?
- 1.6 What the most effective style for bike locks?
- 1.7 So, What Type of Lock Works Best?
- 1.8 Beyond Bike Locks: Keeping Your Bike Safe and Secure