A bike lock is essential for when you are leaving your jewel on wheels behind for hours, or even minutes. Whether your sweet ride is in the adorable Dutch-style or it’s more of a rugged off-road adventure partner. Considering that over 2 million bikes are stolen each year, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Here is all you need to know about the most secure bike locks and choosing the perfect one for you.
Generally, there are five types of bike locks, each with its own pros and cons:
- Chain Locks – Chain locks are pretty much your standard metal chains with a padlock. Nowadays, they come with a cloth or plastic sleeve to help slow down any attempts at cutting through the chains. The sleeve is also there to protect the bike from any scratches it might get from the lock. Most secure chain locks are quite heavy though, which makes them a bit of a hassle to travel with. Usually with chain locks, the heavier they are, the more secure your bike will be.
- Cable Locks – Like chain locks, cable locks are pretty flexible. The difference between the two is that this one comes with a cable rather than a chain and a combination lock instead of a padlock. Cable locks are also typically longer and a lot lighter than chain locks.
- D-Locks – These are also known as U-Locks and have been around since the 70s. D-Locks are basically just large padlocks for your bike.When using a D-Lock, it’s important to make sure it has a tight fit. Ideally, to be safe, you should double up the security with another type of lock.
- Folding Locks – This type of bike lock does exactly what it says. Like chain and cable locks, it is flexible, and when not in use, you can fold it. It’s pretty compact and makes it easy to travel with and to store. Folding locks, however, are not manufactured by a lot of companies, so the choices for this specific type is very limited.
- Ground Anchors – These are drilled into the ground to make sure bikes are secure, specifically at home. Believe it or not, most bikes are stolen from garages because owners usually don’t lock them once they are home. This takes a little bit of DIY effort since you will need to install it in the ground, but for bikes left at home, it’s a good safety measure to have.
Locking your bike isn’t just about security, it’s about convenience as well.
A bike lock might not seem like the most luxurious thing to splurge on, but theft is no joke. Many bikes still get stolen, despite the use of locks—albeit, cheap and low-quality locks.
There’s a rule many bikers follow when it comes to choosing the right way to secure their bikes. The ‘Bicycle Law’ goes: “All bicycles weigh 50 pounds. A 30-pound bicycle needs a 20-pound lock. A 40-pound bicycle needs a 10-pound lock. A 50-pound bicycle doesn’t need a lock at all.”
The truth behind this law is that any lock, in theory, with the right amount of time and firepower, can definitely be broken – even the world’s most secure bicycle lock.
So what is the point of bike locks, then?
Bike locks aren’t just there to secure your bicycle in one place. Its other purpose is to make your bicycle look intimidating to steal, help scare off amateur bike swipers, and pretty much give any thief a difficult time breaking your locks. The cheaper or more flimsy your lock looks, the more likely it is for thieves to try and break them and run off with your bike.
To find the most secure bicycle locks in the world, we have spent hours researching every type of lock and reading hundreds of user reviews. The stand out brand is Kryptonite Locks and all 3 of our best bikes of choice and from them. Michael Zane of Kryptonite actually invested the bike U lock back in 1971 when his company was born.
Kryptonite New York LS Heavy Duty Bicycle U Lock Bike Lock
- 16mm hardened MAX-PERFORMANCE STEEL SHACKLE resists bolt cutters and leverage attacks
- Patented*HARDENED STEEL SLEEVE over crossbar for double security
- DOUBLE DEADBOLT locking for extensive holding power
- HIGH SECURITY DISC-STYLE CYLINDER
- Center keyway defends against leverage attacks
This D-Lock/U-Lock has a 4.1 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon. It is double deadbolted and made of a high-performance steel which resists bolt cutters and leverage attacks. Despite it weighing 4 pounds, buyers mentioned that it’s not as heavy as you would expect.
Buyers also mentioned that it does a good job of securing their bikes, and definitely slows down any thieves because of the quality of the metal used. This bike lock also comes with a key with a built-in lightbulb.
Kryptonite Evolution Series-4 1090 Integrated Chain Bicycle Lock Bike Lock
The best U bolt bike lock money can buy
- 10mm six-sided chain links made from 3T MANGANESE STEEL
- Patent-pending END LINK DESIGN secures chain to hardened deadbolt eliminating critical vulnerability
- HIGH SECURITY DISC-STYLE CYLINDER is pick and drill resistant
- Patented*, reinforced OVAL CROSSBAR LOCK HEAD
- SLIDING DUSTCOVER protects and extends cylinder life
Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon, this Kryptonite chain lock boasts of a drill-resistant and pick-resistant deadbolt. It comes with a durable weather-resistant nylon sleeve that protects your bike from getting scratched up from an otherwise bare metal lock.
Amazon reviewers praised this lock for doing its job and stating that although it is very strong, it is also very heavy, weighing at about 6 pounds. Many buyers favoured this lock because of its versatility and flexibility, while others purchased it along with a D-Lock/U-Lock as a secondary safety measure.
To see how god damn secure this lock is, check this video ‘Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 Disk Lock Vs Bolt Cutters’by Wayne Winton.
Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini Heavy Duty Bicycle U Lock Bike Lock
The ‘Fahgettaboudit’ Kryptonite U-Lock has double deadbolt locks and a name that can only be pronounced à la Robert de Niro in the Sopranos.
Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon, buyers said that this particular lock will give you peace of mind, even when you’re leaving your bike in a dicey part of town. Like most Kryptonite bike locks, this model also comes with a key with a built-in lightbulb so you can easily unlock and lock even in the dark.
A biker’s pro tip when it comes to security.
Whichever type you do decide on, remember that your lock is only as good and only as effective as the object you’re securing it to. Make sure that whatever structure you’re locking your bike to, it’s not going to be something that’s easily moveable or transportable.
Another tip is not to rely on one type of lock—if you can get two types of locks for your bike, then that just doubles up the chances for it to be more secure and scare off any potential bike thieves.