If you own a bicycle, you should also have a bike lock. It’s as simple as that. Any bike thief will tell you that, and so will I.
The article that follows will introduce you to the best bike locks on the market that will stop or discourage bike thieves from messing about with your property.
If you don’t want to spend your time and money buying yet another bicycle, because some low life decided to rob you, this article is made for you.
And if you are a bike thieving low life, you will learn about the best bike locks in the world, which will positively help you when you go about your business of stealing bikes (you scumbag!).
So, in a sense, this article is a win-win for everybody involved.
Top Bike Locks to Buy
Here we are! What are the top bike locks to buy? It’s time to review some of them and give you the help you need to protect your bike.
A good bike lock can discourage bike thefts or completely stop them. Here is our list of top bike locks on the market.
1. Abus Granit X-Plus U-Lock
The great thing about this Abus bike lock is that the shackle, case and all of the supporting elements of the lock mechanisms are made of special hardened steel.
How do they do that? I have no idea, but it’s made in Germany, and if you can’t trust German engineering, who can you trust?
Abus locks are made with hardened steel in order to provide you with security against an angle grinder.
This U-lock is relatively low weight (4.15 pounds) for the type of security it provides. It also comes with a USH-Holder with a security level of 15.
If you buy this lock you will receive a universal-holder for a bike with a tubing diameter ranging from 15-35mm (0,59-1,38 inches).
You can attach this lock to your bike frame and not worry about how you are going to carry this thing around.
- Hardened steel
- Low weight
- Very secure.
- Key can be a bit robust.
Abus bike lock is not one of those budget locks, so be prepared to spend some cash.
Abus u-locks are considered to be the safest bike locks in the world, and that fact is reflected in their price.
Is the money worth the high security it provides? Ultimately it’s up to you, but at this time, there are not a lot of better options out there.
2. Onguard Rottweiler Armoured Bicycle Lock
This one is considered to be one of the best budget cable locks for your bike. With the price hovering around the 30 dollar price mark, this bike lock is made with the intention of stopping wire or bolt cutters.
With its weight (2 pounds), and made from a high strength steel cable with the bonus protection of a hardened steel sheath this bike lock is one of the best for its price.
Lock head comes with new double rubber coated covers for a more comfortable grip and a much-needed increase in protection against knocks and hits.
5 laser cut keys are included in the purchase of this bike lock. One of those five keys comes with a micro light.
- Great material
- Increased protection
- 5 laser cut keys.
- Too heavy.
You can attach this bike lock to the frame of your bike, or to the wheel, or both, it’s all up to you.
Because of it’s lighter weight this bike lock is extremely easy to carry.
3. Citadel Manhattan Coil Cable Bike Lock
Made from a 10mm thick steel cable (70 inches in length) and with a locket bracket for easy storage of the lock, this cable lock is available for a low price.
Lock is made from high quality materials with high resistance against picking attempts.
Now, as far as overall security goes, this is not the best lock on the market, but for the current price, it will surely do a good enough job of saving your bike while you are doing errands, shopping or getting a haircut.
- Great resistance
- Could be more secure
- For shortstops.
This is not “I will leave my bike overnight wherever” type of lock, so be careful. It connects easily on the bike frame and is extremely easy to use.
You’ll get a set of 3 keys with the purchase, so if you have a tendency for losing keys you should be just fine.
4. Kryptonite Evolution 11-14mm U-Lock With FlexFrame
Yes, kryptonite, no relation to superman.
This kryptonite u-lock consists of a 13mm thick steel shackle that is made to resist hand tools, bolt cutters (which is kind of a hand tool, right?) and leverage attacks.
It comes with a 10mm steel looped cable for an added security. Weight of this bike lock, with all of its added parts, is around 3 pounds 8 ounces, which is not that bad for the level of protection this kryptonite lock offers.
It also comes with a lifetime warranty, which is nice (thank you kryptonite).
- Additional cable
- Security is not perfect
- Problems with the key.
This kryptonite lock can be easily attached on almost any frame and is not difficult to lug around.
Kryptonite is a great brand, and they have a lot of different security mechanisms on the market, so you should definitely check them out.
5. Hiplok Chain Lock
What to say about this wearable chain lock with an adjustable belt fastening? That’s my job? Alright, here you go.
It’s made from a 10mm hardened steel shackle with an 8 mm steel chain. Weight is a little bit over 3 pounds and it comes with a washable sleeve with a reflective option.
Chain links this thick are a great way to protect your bike from any cutting attempts.
This is a high risk chain lock which means that it provides a high level of security. It’s long enough to fit around the frame of your bike and the wheel without a problem.
Comes with 3 keys (that’s pretty standard) and with a price of around 120 dollars. Chains are unique because you can wear them around your waist, while you are riding your bike.
Chain locks with this price and level of security are rare on the market so this one should definitely be on your list of possible locks to buy.
- Very secure
- 3 keys.
- Too heavy
- Prone to rust.
With the hiplok gold standard for high security, this lock is a great go to lock, if you don’t mind the weight.
6. XXF Bike Bicycle Magic Lock Foldable Black
This foldable lock is made from stainless steel and ABS with the intention of providing strong cut resistance.
With the purchase comes a case which can be used to connect this lock easily to your bike frame. The lock is waterproof, highly durable and lightweight (its weight is around one and a half pounds).
- Stainless steel
- Too big
- Not very practical.
You’ll also get a set of two keys, a case and a strap with the purchase of this folding lock.
7. Onguard Bike Combo Dt U-Lock
This one is considered to be one of the cheapest u-locks on the market. The market price is around 55 dollars, and for this amount of money you can’t get anything better than this.
It comes with a fully coated 4 foot braided steel cable, which is there to provide you with more locking options.
- Steel cable
- Not for every bike
- Too small.
You can use the front wheel or the frame (or both) to get the most security out of this lock.
8. Bicycle Bike Cycling Cable Lock With Key
This is a lightweight bike lock made from steel and coated in vinyl.
This bike lock is extremely light, with its weight being less than one pound. Carrying case is included, and can easily be attached to the frame of your bike.
- Extremely light
- Relatively cheap.
- Only one working key
- Not very secure.
It’s great for a commuter bike, or low risk situations. Price is relatively cheap, with only about 25 dollars.
9. Onguard Bike Bicycle Lock Doberman Series
This lock is available with either keyed or a combination locking mechanism. It’s in the category of lightweight bike locks, with its weight of around 1 pound.
It’s made from a steel cable, with a vinyl finish in order to protect the paint of your bike from scratches.
For added security, lock heads are forged to cable ends. This bike lock comes with a price tag of about 30 dollars (give or take a couple of bucks).
- Dual locking mechanism
- Steel cable.
- Tricky combination locking mechanism
- Not the best protection.
The purpose of this bike lock is to give you the best possible protection in medium to low risk situations.
Types Of Bike Locks
Well, there are many of them with different types of locking mechanisms, but the most notable bike locks can be organized in three main groups .
Those are: Cable locks, U-locks, and Chain locks.
Each one of those locks comes with different security levels, ratings and prices.
As far as locking mechanism goes there are slider locks, disc detainer locks and wafer locks to consider.
A disc detainer mechanism is probably the most safest one, but even a simple pin tumbler lock can do the trick.
A typical u-lock is great for medium to low risk types of “locking situations” but they don’t always come with a frame mount, which may be a problem for some people.
If you want to know more about the quality of different locks, you should check the site of the non-profit organization called: Sold Secure .
Sold Secure is an independent testing company that compares the quality of different types of security devices (bike locks, car alarms…) and they give them ratings based on their own internal testings (completely independent from the manufacturers).
The best ones have a gold rating on the sold secure site, and are the ones that you should consider when planning to purchase a bike lock.
Can Your Lock Be Picked?
Well, yes. Almost 90% of the locks can be picked, and easily so, if the picking is being done by a professional .
The best bike locks are there to provide a deterrent and a modicum of safety if the person trying to steal your bike is not what you would call a “professional bike thief”.
The locking mechanism is the one that most people look at when it comes to the safety and security of your bike lock.
Unfortunately for you (and most of the not thieving population), there are a lot of videos and channels about picking different types of locking mechanisms on the internet.
So you should be aware that even if you spend a lot of money on a high priced quality lock, the safety of your bike is not guaranteed.
Where To Buy A Bike Lock?
There are a lot of places where you can buy a bike lock.
Online stores like Amazon or eBay, usually have the best deals, but that “plus shipping” part may interfere with the overall price.
If you want to avoid the shipping part, advice would be to check with your local bike shop to see what they have on offer.
You could also see what items come with free shipping, in order to make a decision that works for you (price wise and security wise).
Are Bike Locks Secure?
Most high security ones are, but they do come with a higher price tag. That’s not to say that they are all impenetrable.
Every locking mechanism has its weakness and it usually takes a pro to figure it out (and sadly they usually do figure it out).
What you’d want from a bike lock is protection from “not professionals” and general attacks where they use bolt cutters or wire cutters (or even an angle grinder).
Bike theft usually happens pretty fast (in less than a minute) so what your goal should be is to prolong this time (time of theft) to make your average thief give up.
So, lock your bike, be safe, and if you took enough precautions you should be just fine!
Are Cable Bike Locks Good?
The best answer would be, kind of, but not really.
U-locks, folding locks, and yes even the heavy to carry chain locks can offer far more protection.
They don’t usually utilize a disc detainer locking mechanism which leaves them vulnerable to picks and drills.
If you want to know more about the different security mechanisms in general you should visit the Sold Secure website that we’ve listed above.
Are Alarm Bike Locks Worth It?
In most cases, they do a really great job.
Alarms are usually easy to conceal (depending on their shape). They can fit under your bike seat, and some of them even come with a frame mount.
If your bike is of the expensive variety you should definitely consider adding an alarm to your “repertoire of defence mechanisms”.
What Is the Best Bike Lock on the Market?
Finally, now it’s time to talk about the cream of the crop, the best of the best.
Abus Granit X-Plus
This abus u-lock, comes with a frame mount and is part of the group that consists out of the best locks on the market. With its price of around 200 dollars, it’s also one of the most expensive ones.
The whole thing is made from a special tempered steel (that includes the lock shackle, case and all of the supporting lock mechanisms). With the purchase of this lock comes a set with two keys (one key with an LED light).
This is probably the best bike lock that money can buy, in this day and age.
The Bottom Line
I didn’t mention it above because it’s a UK focused organisation, but a litelok gold is a great lightweight gold standard lock (per Sold Secure website).
If you want to stop the thieves from just wheeling away with your bicycle you should consider getting a disc lock.