The Top 10 Best Bike Locks: Review & Guide
A large number of cyclists fall victims of bike stealing every single day. Whether it’s left open, poorly locked or cheap locking mechanism, thieves take their chances to give you a nightmare.
If you want to leave the bike unattended for a while, then you must think about getting a quality lock for the bike. Using a solid lock can act as a deterrent to this disastrous problem, despite no lock will ever give your bike 100% protection. With the right tool & knowledge, thieves can crack any type of locks.
Yet, it is better to get something rather than nothing which is quite true in this regard. This is why bike locks are still in its peak demand all over.
Bike securing locks have come a long way and there are many types available right now. With the technical advancement, the locks are getting more convenient size, sturdy framework &stylish design.
But there are too many to choose from which will certainly get you into a mess. After reviewing a large number of locks, here are 10 best bike locks you should check out to secure your riding medium.
Comparison table of Best Bike Locks Brand
|Titanker Bike Lock Cable||Cable||4"||3.8|
|Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain 1415 and New York Disc Lock||Disc||5"||4.2|
|SIGTUNA Bike locks||U||4"||4.1|
|Lumintrail 18mm Heavy Duty 5-Digit Bicycle Bike Combination U-Lock||U||7"||4.3|
|SIGTUNA Folding Bike Lock||Foldable||2"||4.2|
|ONGUARD Brute STD U-Lock||U||0.4"||4.0|
|Abus Mini Round Shackle U Lock||U||N/A||4.2|
|Master Lock 8143D Combination Bike Lock||Chain||4||3.7|
|Sportneer Bike Lock||Chain||3.2||4.3|
|Seatylock Pentagon Bike U Lock||U||N/A||4.2|
1. Titanker Bike Lock Cable.
- Strong cut resistance through a braided steel cable.
- 10000 possible combinations with 4 – digit readout.
- The protective coating of sturdy PVC over flexible steel.
- Mounting bracket allows easy releasing attachment.
- Easy to make setting/resetting of lock combination.
Dedicated to the creation of versatile security equipment, Titanker comes with 4’ cabled lock having 0.5” diameter. The ergonomic bike lock is multi-purpose & you can use it for bicycles, skateboards, gates & fences quite well.
Overall black exterior delivers a great beauty over the bike. With interior steel cables, the lock is reasonably flexible, being highly resistant to quick cuttings. Through PVC coating over the steel, no scratch is likely to take place.
The locking mechanism requires a 4–digit combination that is associated with one free mounting bracket. The keyless operation induces user comfort & eliminates the hassle of finding the right key.
While setting the combination, you can reset the digits in favor of your preferred number conjunction. Therefore, better personalization with easier setting prevails for the lock.
2. Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain 1415 and New York Disc Lock.
- Reinforced disc-style locking induces higher safety.
- Further security with unique, hardened steel crossbar.
- Included steel shackle offers further performance.
- Optimum strength through six-sided chain linking.
- Extended cylinder lifespan with sliding dust cover.
The patented construction by Kryptonite offers maximum security for your bike. Classic style teams up with superb quality which will maximize the field protective performance.
The Fahgettaboudit chain comes with six-sided links, induces incredible strength. In fact, the 3t manganese steel imparts extreme sturdiness & durability for the locking mechanism. With the durable nylon coverage, the lock remains in its intended place.
Additional hook-&-loop fastener maintains & holds the lock in position. Featuring an over-hardened steel crossbar, this is one of the best lightweight bike locks, providing further security. This makes the lock almost impossible to break at once.
With double deadbolt, the locking comes with intense holding capability. Meanwhile, the disc styled construction initiates the anti-drilling & anti-pulling system. So, your bike remains incredibly secure from every aspect of the lock.
3. SIGTUNA Bike lock.
- Thick steel incorporation offers a sturdy lock.
- Superb performance through U lock design.
- Flexible braided cable with high cut resistance.
- Double bolting lock induces greater holding.
- Included laser-cut keys for smooth operation.
The high-security lock by Sigtuna is indeed a tough one to the crackdown. The overall combination provides an outstanding protective facility with a good score, considering its performance & construction.
ABS steel of 16mm thickness imparts optimum strength for construction that ensures maximized protection. The outstanding U-lock designation is certified to repulse a wide number of attacks.
With the braided steel cable, you can use the flexible lock to secure more than one bike at once. Having a length of 1200 mm, the cable is quite satisfactory to lock your bike in multiple knots.
Featuring a double-bolting mechanism, it offers unbelievably high holding capacity. Securing both crossbar sides, it imparts incredible resistance to pulling, prying & jacking. Integrated mounting bracket permits easy operation whereas the one-button release system induces user convenience.
4. Lumintrail 18mm Heavy Duty 5-Digit Bicycle Bike Combination U-Lock
- The high-quality steel frame of sufficient thickness.
- 5-Digit locking permits thousands of combinations.
- Double looping initiates stronger resistance to cutting.
- Additional safety & flexibility with steel cable.
- Quick operation through integrated button release.
With relevant features, the heavy-duty construction comes with the highest standard of bike protection. This Lumintrail creation is available in assorted colors to suit your bike well enough.
18mm thickness for the durable steel imparts incredible resistance against cutting, prying & pulling. Rubber-coating of the crossbar protects the pain, interior mechanism & bike exterior.
The 7’ long cable of braided steel offers extra flexibility. Being double looped, the bike cable lock provides further protection. With dustcover designation, the strongest bike lock ensures an extended service life against the value.
Featuring lock combination, you won’t have to deal with safe carriage or storage of the keys. Using the 5 digit readout, you can set the numeric password from thousands of combinations.
5. SIGTUNA Folding Bike Lock.
- Color-coordinated plastic induces external beauty.
- Hardened ABS steel initiates superior longevity.
- Particular design for riveted joints offers stability.
- Simple installation for integrated mounting bracket.
- Folding facility allows user convenience & safety.
This is another ergonomic creation by Sigtuna to secure your bike from theft. The unique design permits a foldable locking system with high protective features.
Featuring 8mm steel bars come with hardened links which undergoes considerable change in shape upon folding. Unfolding the lock induces a large-sized U lock with great holding efficiency. Folded out length is about 60cm which is sufficient to secure a single bike.
With special design for the riveted joints, you will receive a sturdy frame. Plastic casing over the ABS steel imparts durability & prevents possible damage to the bike exterior.
Built-in mounting bracket comes with simple installation for quick locking & releasing. 5 laser-cut keys are available allowing you to stay safe over losing one.
6. ONGUARD Brute STD U-Lock
- Larger size to secure the bike with U lock system.
- Unique mechanism offers four-sided protection.
- Incredibly strong enough to resist cut, pull & pry.
- Complete metal construction enhances strength.
- Included bracket allows multi-positioning facility.
With considerably large size & durable construction, you are likely to get one of the best cheapbike locks. Using this Onguard creation will meet your requirements of quality & secure performance.
There comes a unique X4P Quattro Locking technique for the mechanism. The advanced mechanism, therefore, induces superb protection in 4 sides.
Featuring a TriRadius shackle of 4.37” x 7.96”, you will get a longer security lock for the bike. Being high rated; the lock offers maximum locking efficiency against a wide variety of theft means.
With the multi-positioning mounting bracket, you can get Snap Lock Quick Release. It saves your effort while locking & releasing. Including 5 laser-cut keys, you can enjoy optimum convenience.
7. Abus Mini Round Shackle U Lock
- Innovative design comes with a compact size.
- Heavy-duty steel builds a lightweight frame.
- Higher resistance to rust, corrosion & theft.
- Premium cylinder encourages locking safety.
- Torsional resistance with thickened steel.
Manufactured for securing high-quality bikes, these Abus bike locks come with lots of features within one unit. With German engineering, this is indeed one of the best locking mechanisms you can find.
The tamper hardened steel comes with 14mm thickness which initiates incredible torsional resistance. Double bolting for the shackle is certified to enhance the locking efficiency to a great extent.
Apart from cut resistance, the steel prevents corrosion & rust. Compact size with lightweight body delivers superb portability, allowing you to carry in the pocket.
Through the premium cylindrical frame, you will receive a maximum security level for your bike. Not to mention, the ergonomic lock gives a certified level 11 security protection.
8. Master Lock 8143D Combination Bike Lock
- Incredible construction through quality materials.
- Reasonable length & diameter induces sturdiness.
- Self-coiling design allows quick pack off & storage.
- 4 – Digit combination initiates a keyless operation.
- Cable flexibility offers resistance to cutting, sawing.
Created as a basic unit, you can provide good security when there are no eyes on the bike. With a combination system for the cabled lock, you certainly won’t require to put up the keys in the pocket.
Featuring braided steel construction, the unit induces optimum performance when it comes to durability & strength.
Being flexible, the cable comes with incredibly high resistance to quick or easy cutting/sawing.
Measuring 4’ in length & 8mm diameter, the lock retains its self-coiling design for a long. Therefore, it permits comfortable & quick use alongside with easy storage facility.
Vinyl coating over the steel protects the bike exterior from getting scratched.
Preset combination with 4-digit locking mechanism allows you to choose over thousands of numbers.
9. Sportneer Bike Lock
- Effective construction with advanced technique.
- Manganese steel chain has zinc-plated coating.
- Longer lifespan through included cloth sleeve.
- Quick & easy combination setting & resetting.
- Convenient 5-digit combination locking system.
When you are worried about protecting the bike from theft, you can rely on this advanced unit. Manufactured by Sportneer contains superb technique to keep your bike safe all along.
The locking chain comes with extra thickness to ensure maximized strength. With the manganese steel, you will receive one sturdy-level security guard for the bike. Zinc-plated coating over the steel induces great appearance & prohibits possible scratching.
With 5-digit combination, you can make the choice from 100000 codes which make it virtually impossible to crack. Therefore, no need to carry any safe storage of keys to secure your bike.
Being 3.2’ long, you can use this versatile lock for other instruments alongside your bike.
Included cloth sleeve has considerable flexibility & covers the chain from dust & water action.
10. Seatylock Pentagon Bike U Lock
- Ultimate strength through the pentagonal crossbar.
- Sufficient thickness to induce maximum security.
- UV-resistant coating encourages efficiency.
- Quiet while you ride through rattle-elimination.
- Multi-vehicular locking with the 4.53” wide frame.
Patented design for the premium lock comes with a unique seal & lock combination. This Seatylock production induces one heavy-duty foldable system that provides the best security level.
The hardened steel has ½” thickness which induces an exceptionally well-performed pentagonal crossbar design.
Unlike the conventional round bars, you can get incredibly higher strength with pentagonal for the Foldylock.
Being unbelievably strong, no chance stands against this peculiar lock; whether it’s cutting, sawing, pulling, hammering & others.
Featuring UV-resistant plastic coating over the exterior, the bike paints remains secure from getting scratched.
With a set of 3 keys, you don’t have to deal with combination remembrance.
Having a rattle-elimination system for the working mechanism, the hung out lock won’t give even the slightest noise.
How to choose the right lock for your bike? Buying Guide
Choosing a bike lock depends on factors like how expensive your bike is, where and how you use it and how much you can spend on the lock.
Now let us walk you through the steps of choosing the right bike lock for you:
1. The right level of security:
To know your bike’s security level you have to answer the following question.
- Where do you live? Is it a big town, city, or university campus? Then it the risk is high. But if you are in a small town or village then the risk is low.
- Is your bike attractive? If yes then the risk is high, otherwise you are good to go.
- How long do you leave your bike unattended? In this case, more than 1 hour is considered high risk.
If your answer falls on high risk, then you need a lock with a higher level of protection. If your answers are the low risk then a lower security lock can do your work easily.
2. How to know which lock will provide you with your desired level of protection:
Now that you know what level of protection your bike needs, so now is the time to know which lock will provide that protection.
First of all, remember that no bike is unbreakable. A thief with the right tools and enough time can easily steal your bike. But thicker the lock, the harder it is for the thief to break it.
3. Choosing the right bike lock:
You should prefer a bike that is easy to use because if it’s not then you will stop using and get your bike stolen.
So, choosing a lightweight, and easy to carry lock is important along with choosing a secure and strong one.
Types of locks:
How much security you need for your bike depends on your location and the duration of the bike’s lockup. There are seven types of locks you can get in the market.
U-locks are a strong meta ring with the shape of the letter, “U”. The U part is attached to a crossbar section and form the letter “D”. This is why it is also called D-locks.
U locks are the heavier and expensive lock. They are made of hardened steel and requires power tools to cut, which makes them one of the best locks to use for your bike. Hardened steel is a type of carbon steel that has been specially treated in heat. This special heat treatment gives the steel its durability and strength.
Drawbacks of U-locks are that they are difficult to carry and you won’t be able to lock them around bigger objects.
2. Folding locks
Folding locks are great for commuters for their low profile when folded. They enable the user to lock up your bike to objects too big for U-lock or D-locks. Folding locks are one of the popular alternatives to chain and cable locks. Though power drills and bolt cutters can easily compromise their purpose.
3. Chain locks
A chain lock is a lock with a chain, lock, and a key or combination lock. They are flexible and easier to secure around any tricky shaped objects.
Chain and its shackle are made of hardened steel making them durable and secure as U-locks. Best chain locks are also made from a hardened steel alloy. Chain basically have a hexagonal and squares—shaped which are linked together.
They are portable enough to fit comfortably around your waist and a large chain can lock your bike’s frame and both wheels with any tree or posts. Although chain locks are very heavy and expensive.
4. Lightweight locks
Lightweight locks are mostly used in light security situations and they often come in various designs such as zip tie or simple cables. They can be easily defeated by hand tools like cutter and tin snips.
5. Cable locks:
Cable locks are similar to chain locks. But they come with a locking mechanism that’s permanently integrated. They are very easy to carry and sufficient for use in low-risk areas.
Cable locks are made from twisted or braided steel wire in a PVC or other plastic jacket. It comes with an exterior vinyl coating which prevents the steel from corrosion or damage and also prevents the cable from scratching the bike or other surface.
These locks can be easily cut with bolt cutters, but some cable locks also come with overlapping steel jackets threaded over the cable making it difficult to cut the central cable.
6. Wheel locks:
The wheel lock is a ring lock or frame lock having the shape of the letter, “O”. they are also called O lock.
This lock prevents riding the bike and secures the rear wheel. The O-lock is mostly used to prevent theft when a bike is left unattended momentarily.
They have a low-security mechanism that immobilizes the rear wheel by moving a steel bolt through the spokes to prevent motion.
7. Smart locks:
Smart lock uses Bluetooth to allow the bike lock to be unlocked using a smartphone. They also notify when they are breached. Although they are vulnerable to hacking.
Types of locking mechanism:
Bike lock manufacturers use many mechanisms with varying levels of security.
1. Disc detainer:
Disc detainer is also called disc tumbler locks. These mechanisms of locking use a series of slotted rotating discs separated by washers. These discs has a cutout and when locked, the cutouts don’t line up but by inserting and turning the key, rotated them into alignment to form a channel. A sidebar also rests against the discs which prevent you from turning the lock when there is no channel.
The disc detainer lock only opens when each disc is aligned to a relatively precise position.
A slider lock mechanism is when a key is inserted, it actuated a series of springless sliders within a plug that corresponds to a slot on the outside of the plug. In the slot, atop of the slider is a sidebar which falls into the slot before the lock can turn. When the key is inserted, the slide comes in the correct position, the sidebar falls into the slot and the plug turns within the cylinder.
3. Pin tumbler:
This lock has a plug within a cylindrical housing and this plug and housing contain long pin chambers that allows a series of pins that are spring-loaded to move back and forth between the plug and the housing. When locked the pin sit right in between the plug and housing and when the key goes into the plug, it lifts up the spring-loaded pins so that they move completely into the plug or housing and leave a gap in between allowing the plug to turn.
Wafer has the same mechanism as a pin tumbler lock but instead of using spring-loaded pins, it uses spring-loaded rectangular wafers.
Some popular questions and answers about bike lock:
How much should you spend on a lock?
A common saying is that the more money you spend, the better quality you will get. Yes, there are some cheap high-security locks as well as expensive low-security locks, but always a reliable high-security lock costs more.
How do I keep my bike from being stolen?
- Use two high-quality locks and double up the security
- Lock your wheels too from being stolen.
- Nowadays, most of the bike’s seats and wheels come with a “quick-release” mechanism which makes them easy to take off and vulnerable to stealing. If your bike seat and wheels are one of them. Then consider switching them with one that requires keys.
- Try using a smart lock that you can control using your phone. A smart lock will alert you when your bike is in motion and also allow you to track its location.
- Use locks with sound alarms system or emitting smelly gas system when the bike’s being tampered with to stop the thieves.
Do thieves pick locks?
Yes, a lot of thieves can pick locks, but picking locks only work for simpler locks. It is much faster and easier to cut the surrounding mechanism avoiding the actual lock than picking.
Cable locks can be easily cut with handheld cable cutters, and also chain locks, U-locks, and cable locks with hacksaws.
What is the best way to lock your bike?
The best way to lock your bike is to choose the safest lock depending on your level of security, lock your bike in the high traffic area, and use a solid object to lock it around so that it cannot be lifted.
What are the most secure bike locks?
Most secure bike locks are said to be the U-locks as they are the strongest and give thieves a hard time while stealing. The next secure one is the chain lock if the chain and shackle are made of hardened steel.
Are U locks better than cable locks?
Yes and no!
Cable locks are small and lightweight while U-locks are heavy and if you don’t have a backpack, it is very uncomfortable to carry. But U-locks are stronger and more secure than cable locks.
You can find cable locks in any length and they flexible also making them easier to lock up your bike. You can wrap them around any bigger object and lock your bike. But U-lock comes in limited size and you won’t be able to lock your bike around any tree or thick pole.
When it comes to weight, transportation, storage, and flexibility, the cable is definitely better. But what about safety? Unfortunately, not too good!
Any basic cable locks can be picked or unlocked easily, and some high-quality cable locks are safe but they cost a lot. Again some basic bolt cutters, grinder, or wire cutter can easily break and cut through the cable lock.
In the case of security, U-locks are the boss of all. They are big, strong, hefty. Most of the U-locks requires heavy-duty cutters or even power grinders to get through.
Can my lock be picked?
Eventually, all locks become defenseless against cutting and all bike locks can also be picked. But nothing to worry about as most of the modern locks can’t be defeated by amateurs. Most of the locks found today, are very secure and need professional tools to breach.
What is the best bike lock for college?
College campus is the best place for thieves to do their jobs. So it is very important to secure your bike while parking on campus.
The best lock for the college campus is the U-lock. Though they are heavy but you can easily carry them in your backpack. They are the securest lock you can get.
And most importantly it better to double up your security and use two locks. You can use a U-lock and a chain lock for your bike.
Can bolt cutters cut a bike lock?
Yes, they can and they work faster in cheap locks and chains. So, secure your bike in a public, well-lit place.
What is the best way to replace a lost key on your bike lock?
After losing the lock key, if your lock is still attached to the bike and you can move your bike, then the best place to go is to a local locksmith. They will easily get the lock off and you can ask them to make a new key for you or you can buy another new lock and cable.
But you can’t move your bike and it’s also locked, then contact a local locksmith and bring them to the place where you parked the bike.
How should bike locks be disposed of?
Bike locks are mostly made of metal like steel, iron, brass, copper, aluminum, etc. and all these metals can be recycled. So, always dispose them at the appropriate facility.
In case your locks are in good condition and working fine, then without disposing of, you can gift them or sell them to someone at a reasonable price.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: How does a lock work?
Answer: Different types of locks work in different ways. Most common & popular ones are either U lock or Chain/Cable lock. U locks are highly suitable when there are bike racks, poles installed. Cable & chain locks come with both ends looped, requiring no pre-installation facility.
Question: What is the strongest bike lock?
Answer: Among the others, U locks are considered the most secure. Higher resistance to cutting & common theft means induces the strongest to use.
Question: Why bike lock is important?
Answer: Stealing a bike is way easier than stealing cars or trucks. Being lightweight, compact & versatile, your bike remains vulnerable to get theft all along. To secure the bike, using bike locks is the most suitable, easiest & acceptable method.
Choosing the ultimate one from best bike locks to prevent theft is indeed an overwhelming job, but it’s obviously one necessary gear. Losing the bike just because you installed faulty or cheap lock is completely unacceptable.
Though no manufacturer gives 100% assurance for lock safety, the aforementioned ones are able to give you certain satisfaction & relief. You have to consider the investment, where you want the locked bike to store & the level of inconvenience you are willing to handle. Combining all these will get you to make the perfect choice from the outlined locks for sure.
I am Daniel D. Harris, an enthusiastic biker who loves to ride bicycles. I keep on sharing my experience of cycling through this blog. I do keep writing to assist you in finding the city bikes, bike lights, bike pedals, and many more things related to bicycles. You may find my blog useful once you read some posts. Find me on twitter. Have a good day bikers!