If you’ve never gone through the frustration of losing your property, then you’ll want to avoid leaving your bike unlocked. Bike thieves are pretty opportunistic and in no time, you could very well be cursing your ancestors for a stolen bike.
However, it’s very much possible to avert such a bike theft situation. A good quality bike lock will certainly do the trick. With a secure locking mechanism, the best bike lock may just make life boring for the thief. In this guide, we look into some of the best bike lock models on the market.
The Best Bike Lock
For top-value, high-security bike locks, the Kryptonite brand has not fallen short since 1971. This Kryptonite New York Noose Bicycle lock is a premium quality security chain lock that ticks most of the desirable boxes.
The Kryptonite New York Noose Bicycle lock has been endorsed by more than 45 European Testing Agencies. This is due to its formidable build that combines robust security components. The 12 mm six-sided 3T hardened manganese steel chain links, hardened deadbolt, and the disc-style cylinder provide serious protection for the lock. It comes with three stainless keys that ensure added locking security, giving cyclists the peace of mind they deserve when leaving their bikes.
- Ergonomic stainless steel keys
- 12mm four-sided chain links
- Hardened deadbolt
- 14mm hardened steel shackles
- Hardened oval crossbar design
- Brand Kryptonite
- Model 720018999539
- Weight 7 pounds
Easy to use
Cover to protect from dust
Anti-twist and drill-resistant
Keys are not effective
This Master Lock 8170D lock is one of the most affordable U-locks available if you are looking for a budget-friendly bike lock. It boasts a rock-solid, vinyl-wrapped steel body that flatters the eye at just under two pounds. Like the previous lock, the no-nonsense body cannot be cut, sawed, or pried.
The lock offers two keys, including a disc key that makes the keying mechanism hard to pick. You also get a carrier bracket that effortlessly mounts on the bike frame for easier transportation. In terms of its design, the Master Lock 8170D displays a compact body in a double-locking shackle.
- Hardened steel body
- Double locking shackle
- Protective vinyl coating
- Disc key
- Brand Master Lock
- Model 8170D
- Weight 1.96 pounds
Easy to transport
Difficult to unlock
Cheap key material
The Foldylock Compact Bike Lock has proven over the years that a lightweight tool can still offer a lot of protection. The Foldylock Compact Lock is a folding lock that features solid, well-hardened steel links to effectively secure your bicycle.
The ultra-protected rivets incorporate VSR technology, which makes it difficult for thieves to cut open or saw off your lock with a hacksaw or other tool. The Foldylock Compact is extremely lightweight at just 2.2 pounds, so as a commuter you’ll find it pretty easy to haul along.
- VSR technology
- Compact design
- Hardened steel links
- Ultra-protected rivets
- Brand Seatylock
- Model FC001OR
- Weight 2.2 pounds
Compact and lightweight
Many different locking options
Easy to carry along
Slightly thinner metal plates
Not a high-security lock
The Abus Granit X-Plus 540 is a small, compact, and lightweight U-lock. The lock scores are fairly high in terms of build quality and functionality. Its body is comprised of high-grade steel covered with plastic. The steel material is durable and resistant to manipulation. The dual-locking system offers incredibly advanced protection against various attacks.
Abus Granit X-Plus 540 also incorporates a fully functional anti-pick technology. The key cylinder doesn’t compromise any malicious advances. It is sturdy and easy to use thanks to the simple design. Additionally, it offers advanced protection against hitting, pulling, or cutting.
- Patented square parabolic shackle
- ABUS power cell technology
- Hardened steel material
- Comes with two keys
- Brand ABUS
- Model 540/160HB300+USH
- Weight 4.4 pounds
Quality long-lasting construction
Resistant to picking or manipulation
Advanced protection against hitting and pulling attacks
Comes with rattle-free USH bracket
A bit heavy and long
The Master Lock 8114D Combination lock is highlighted by two notable features: a 6-foot cable and a four-digit combination component. Essentially, you need to set your own “password” in the form of digits and make sure that you can easily remember it.
The super-long cable is highly flexible and it seamlessly coils for hassle-free storage and transportation. Moreover, the cable is made from braided steel, which is not only strong but also resistant to cutting or sawing attempts. On top of this steel cable is a protective vinyl coating that shields the cable from any scratches. What’s more, it’s easy to operate this Master Lock Cable Combination lock. Once you set your combination, you’ll be good to go.
- 6-foot long cable
- Four-dial combination security
- Flexible, self-coiling cable
- 8 mm thickness
- Brand Master Lock
- Model 8114D
- Weight 11.2 ounces
Resistant to scratching
Easy to carry and use
A bit thin
Can be difficult to release
Lock is flimsy
When it comes to innovation, Hiplok has ensured it is on top of the game in the industry. This is why the British company created a wearable lock-in Hiplok Lite v1.0 Wearable Bicycle Lock. It is just 2.4 pounds, ensuring it can be carried around effortlessly by wearing it around your waist.
This Sold Secure-rated chain is better used in high-risk areas. You can combine it with another preferred, reliable lock to enhance the security of your bike. By design, Hiplok Lite v1.0 features a 12 mm hardened steel shackle and a premium hardened chain that’s 10 mm thick. These components provide top-notch security as it may not be easy for thieves to cut through them. Hiplok includes three replaceable coded keys in the package. The lock is durable and user-friendly.
- Wearable bike lock
- 75 cm locking length
- 12 mm hardened steel shackle
- Sold Secure Silver rated
- Fits waists from 26-42 inches
- Brand Hiplok
- Model LT1BW
- Weight 2.4 pounds
Tough lock to cut or pick
Easy to carry and use
Lightweight and wearable
Security could be better
Cable is a little short
The Sigtuna Bike Lock is fairly priced in the world of bike locks but packs a punch. Having undergone multiple certifications by different certifying agencies, the Sigtuna Bike Lock won’t disappoint. It holds up well thanks to the double bolt mechanism that provides double protection against all kinds of manipulation and attacks.
The entire footprint of Sigtuna is tough. There’s a 16mm hardened steel shackle. A 1200 mm flex cable is also drawn from steel and adds that extra layer of security. You also get a sturdy mounting bracket and braided bike lock cable, which provide ease of use and durability.
The three laser-cut keys provided give you peace of mind. In case you lose one, you can rest assured there’s a reserve for your situation. With that being said, Sigtuna is an easy-to-carry, easy-to-use, hyper-security lock that can be used on different bike sizes.
- Double bolt mechanism
- 1200 mm flex cable
- 16 mm hardened steel shackle
- 4-foot double loop steel cable
- Brand Sigtuna
- Model FBA-Wodan 16mm
- Weight 3.1 pounds
Easy to mount and use
Backed by a three-year warranty
Very heavy lock
Not ideal for high-crime areas
The Kryptonite Kryptolok U-lock is another high-quality product from the Kryptonite brand. Notably, the Kryptolok 12.7mm U-lock has a lifetime warranty that caters to untimely malfunctions. In terms of design, the shackle is built from high-grade steel and there are double deadbolts on both sides of the shackle for enhanced security.
The lock also comes with a disc-style cylinder that offers anti-picking benefits and a FlexFrame-U bracket for convenient mounting and transportation. In addition, two ergonomic stainless steel keys are provided. The unit can be registered in the Key Safe Program so that in case you lose a key, it can be easily replaced.
- Features Key Safe Program
- 12 mm hardened steel shackle
- Double-deadbolt design
- Comes with two stainless keys
- Disk style cylinder
- Brand Kryptonite
- Model KryptoFlex 410
- Weight 2.91 pounds
Resistant to drilling, picking, and cutting
Cover to protect from dust
Anti-rotation feature provides protection against twisting
Issues with locking and unlocking
Difficult to access keyhole
Best Bike Lock Buying Guide & FAQ
Your bike is probably one of your most precious possessions. You’d feel terrible if someone took it. That’s why you need a bike lock that plays an integral role in keeping it safe. Nowadays, most bike thieves are well-equipped with cutting tools. You don’t need a bike lock that you aren’t sure will protect your bike.
Most manufacturers know that bike thieves are becoming smarter. To be on par, they have upgraded their locks’ security systems to provide you with intricate locks that will give thieves a difficult time.
We have already provided you with information on the eight best bike locks that are on the market today. While a bike lock may not be something you want to spend much money on, you still need to have basic knowledge before you make up your mind.
Why Do You Need Bike Locks
Thieves strike when least expected, so you cannot take chances. It doesn’t matter even if you are in the safest city or town, or you’re just picking something from the shop.
While there may be many types of bike locks available, not all have the qualities to safely secure your bike. Thieves arm themselves with sharp cutting tools that can easily penetrate some bike locks. On the other hand, some have unique keys to open the lock using methods like passing, decoding techniques, and even picking. Before you choose any lock, you should keep these techniques in mind.
- Keeping your bike safe
- Inexpensive (most of these bike locks are cheap, so you don’t have to break the bank to secure one)
- Portable and easy to use
Types of Bike Locks
Bike locks are categorized into many types. In this review, we’ll only have a look at four that have the best Sold Secure rating. We’ll explain what this is in a moment.
What also makes a bike lock stand out is its portability. Some locks are too heavy and cumbersome. For instance, you can’t bring ground anchor locks with you when going on a vacation. They are too heavy and are only best for locking your bike in your garage.
Choosing the best bike lock involves looking at the ease of use and the security it will provide to your bicycle. With all of this put together, we arrived at these four types of bike locks.
This is one of the most traditional forms of bike locks. But due to technology, it has been refurbished to offer a fresh level of creativity for better performance. They have an outer layer of plastic skin that protects the iron chain from rusting. The plastic covering also helps you to hold it firmly.
You can open it using a key or a combination code with numbers and letters. If a thief had to steal this, he must first memorize the combination code. You, therefore, have to be careful with who you tell the code.
It’s a very safe bike lock but not the best when you are in town. This is because a thief can easily cut it with a sharp tool.
This horseshoe-shaped lock is one of the toughest bike locks you’ll ever come across. The numerous mechanisms make it bulky to avoid any chisel or hammer from breaking it. They are also oversized to reduce the amount of space a thief can insert a crowbar.
The locks come in different sizes so that you can choose your ideal size. The smallest and medium sizes can secure the frame and one wheel, giving the thief minimal space for operation. The larger U-locks, on the other hand, can lock both wheels while securely tightened around a fixed object.
These locks are very durable and compact. That’s probably why they are the greatest competitor of U-locks if you put factors like weight and performance duration into context.
U-locks have a great mechanism for protection but they wear out faster than folded locks that have a tough outer material. This material does not easily give in to wear and tear.
Their main materials are metal plates placed inside a folding lock rotate. The lock can be folded around all kinds of objects. This also makes it easier to carry, as it’s also not too heavy.
Cable locks resemble chain locks but are a bit longer. This increases versatility and also enables you to lock it on thick and strong objects. They are made with tough intertwined metal fibers that can resist a whole set of cutting tools for a limited time. The metals are covered with a layer of plastic to prevent weathering.
They are only good in low-crime areas, as professional thieves can easily break them. To make it more secure, you will have to top it off with a U-lock to secure some of the removable bike parts like the seat. But they are perfect if you just want to stop by the off-road shop to pick something up before you continue with your journey.
What to Look for When Buying a Bike Lock
The bottom line is that not all bike locks are created equally. As much as all of them have a similar purpose, each has a trait that gives it the upper hand over others when you keep factors like versatility and durability in mind. So what are these unique things that you have to check on to get the best bike lock on the market? Let’s have a look.
- Sold Secure Rating
All the bike locks are divided into a three-tier security grading system. These include Sold Secure gold, silver, and bronze ratings. The quality of security decreases down the hierarchy respectively.
Gold-rated bike locks top the list, as they are the most intricate bike locks offering the highest level of security. They can withstand up to five minutes from a full set of tools. Silver follows suit, but it doesn’t withstand a full set of tools. It’s not recommended for bikes over $1,000.
Bronze is the last category. It only offers protection against opportunistic thieves but not professionals. It’s suitable for cheaper bikes or low-risk use.
- Thickness of the Lock
Thieves can and will do anything to steal your bike. They will bring as many tools as they can if they are determined to get away with your bike. You don’t want to lock your bike with a lock that’s not secure.
It’s important that you look for locks that have very thick bodies and shackles. In addition, they should be using steel alloys like boron to increase the durability. Thieves will need a lot of time trying to break the lock, which gives you time to take action. With this in mind, all your locks like padlocks, U-locks, and foldable locks should be thick and heavy.
There are probably over a hundred brands of bike locks. All of them have a unique selling point, but not all walk the talk.
What we are talking about here includes the quality of the metals used and the methods of unlocking the locks. If the metal is of a lower quality, breaking it is easy. If the method of unlocking is not intricate, it gives more time to figure out your secret code.
Putting price into perspective here is not enough. After all, there is a high chance that you will run into low-quality locks from brands that do not even appear on the global market. So you have to take more time and think here before you make up your mind.
How safe is your area? Is it crowded or isolated? These questions form a foundation for making a decision of the type of lock you purchase. In public areas, it’s not easy for a thief to steal your bike because they can be easily spotted and apprehended. Therefore, you don’t need an expensive and intricate bike lock.
On the other hand, an isolated area is a bit tricky when leaving your bike. You need a heavy lock. Plus, some areas are known for bike theft even though they are crowded. The thieves here are professionals and will know how to maneuver around without being noticed.
Tips for Buying and Using Bike Locks
It would help if you start by looking for a lock whose cost is within your budget. Some are too expensive, but of high quality. But this doesn’t mean that cheap locks are of low quality. In short, your ideal lock should be affordable and serve you better.
Plus, choose your transport style, and then your security level because it is more probable that you’ll like (and thus use) your new lock. The first aspect of style to think about is where you will ride your bike or where you’d want to carry your new lock. Here are more tips to use your bike lock effectively.
- Lock your bike in a busy public place that is well-lit.
- Make it hard for thieves to access it by placing it amongst other bikes or in a place where it is awkward to operate cutting tools.
- Avoid leaving your bike unattended overnight.
Best Bike Lock FAQ:
We know that making a decision for any purchase is an uphill battle. You probably still have some doubts that you need to get cleared, especially if you have gone through an ordeal of losing your bike. Here are a few FAQs that will help you make the best choice in your purchase.
Q: Can you reset a bike lock?
Yes, you can reset a bike lock. If your lock came with a reset tool, insert the reset tool into the corresponding holes and push until you hear a clicking noise. Rotate the dials to the new four-digit combination of your choice. Use numbers that are easy for you to remember. Remove the reset tool, or flip the reset lever to its original position.
Q: When is it better to use a U-lock than a cable lock?.
While cable locks are convenient and easy to use, they are not as secure as U-locks. Therefore, they should be used as a secondary security device in high crime areas or to lock up quick-release components and accessories when securing your bike. A U-lock or high-security chain will always provide a more secure protection.
Our Top Pick
If we put all the factors and features in place, the Kryptonite New York Noose 1275 Bicycle Chain Bike Lock is our top pick. The 50 years the lock has been in operation is sure enough to confirm that they know how a perfect bike tool should operate. Plus, the robust security components top most of the other locks on the market. Additionally, it is durable, easy to use, and offers maximum bike security.