Bike lock is very essential if you are riding somewhere and cannot leave your bike without lock. The cases of bike thefts have risen significantly and it is definitely a good move to have a good bike lock. These locks provide security to your bike and make it nearly impossible to steal your bike. A lot of factors go into deciding the best lock for your bike. Let us first understand the types of locks; there are basically three types of locks available – U lock, Cable lock, and Chain lock.
- U locks are the most used locks because of the supreme level of security. It is a lock made of U shaped hard metal such as iron and steel. The ends are connected to a crossbar which when locked forms a D shape structure. This lock is small in size and doesn’t offer much room for the thief to work upon. Hard metal makes it tough to cut the lock.
- Cable locks are made of steel with a rubber coating and are usually longer than U lock. The ends of the cable are connected to a lock. These cables are also secure and convenient in use.
- Chain lock is made of a steel chain covered with a sheath. The ends are connected to a padlock. These locks are versatile and can be easily used in different situations.
Choosing The Right Bike Lock
Here are some of the factors that you must consider while choosing the right lock for your bike:
|Versatility||Securing bike components is as important as securing the bike in general. U locks provide a great versatility to the locking factor by saving multiple components together. They have flex cables attached to add an extra layer of security.|
|Security||The lock should be strong and made of good material. It shouldn’t be so weak that cutting it is easy. Look out for the material used in making the lock and the method of putting it on.|
|Weight||Heavy locks provide better security but are tough to carry around. U shape locks are the heaviest because of the hard metal used. Cables are convenient in this regard because they are light and perfect to carry.|
|Operation||Operation of the lock should be easy to understand for the owner but tough for the other person. It should be easy in locking and opening. Combinational locks are good option because you don’t have to carry keys everywhere but you got to remember the code.|
#1 Pick: Kryptonite 997986 Fahgettaboudit U-lock
This is the best bet when it comes to most secure bike lock. We found this lock to be exceptionally tough and difficult to break. Made of hard metal, this is the best choice for anyone who wants to keep his bike secure. Metal used in making the lock is hardened steel, 18 mm in diameter; this is the thickest U lock you can find. You also get thick steel crossbar so even if the thief is successful in breaking the U bend, he will have to get away with crossbar.
The small area left after locking makes it practically impossible to work upon the lock. It enhances the security and makes it break-proof. The lock comes with three keys and high-intensity Light Emitting Diode (LED), which allows you to use it the dark. Downside of this lock is its weight which is quite heavy. If you own an expensive bike and want maximum security for it, go for Kryptonite 997986 undoubtedly.
#2 Pick: Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 Standard Bicycle U-Lock
For those who don’t want to spend too much on a lock, this is the best budget model to choose. It is a versatile U lock with 4 foot cable which helps in locking both the wheels. So the U lock secures the frame and cable lock secures the wheels. It is very easy to use and multiple components of the bike can be saved. You can also use the cable to lock two bikes together, which you owe to the cable length.
The lock weighs light at 3.23 lbs and is easy to carry. It is not the thickest lock at 13 mm of steel but offers decent security, especially at the price it comes at. There are some small mechanisms to make the bike secure. For the areas where bike theft is less, this lock can be used.
#3 Pick: Cocoweb Armbar U-Lock with LotusLock Bicycle Flex Cable
Again, it is a versatile U-lock which provides moderate to high security to the bike. It is made of 14 mm thick metal and covered with a PVC coating to protect the bike from scratches and scars from lock. Alloy steel is very tough to cut or break and offers good security to the bike. The lock makes use of 2 keys which makes it more secure from thefts. There is an extended cable which gives you multiple choices to lock your bike. Even the diameter of the cable is huge thus an added layer of security to deal with.
An interesting add-on is that the lock comes with a carrier which makes the process of putting and removing the lock easier and simpler. The carries as well comes with PVC coating to protect the bike from scratches of any sort. The downside of this lock is that keeping multiple components might be tough. Length of the lock is long and it enables you to lock your bike frame to its rack.
#4 Pick: Kryptonite Keeper Integrated Chain Lock
This is the best chain lock you can get if you want to skip U locks. You can select a different length of the chain but the most preferred length is 32 inch. The lock has 7 mm thick 4-sided chain links. This chain is made of manganese steel and provides decent security to the bike. On buying the lock, you will get a different colored sheath. The mechanism of locking and unlocking the bike is easy.
Security level of this lock is rated as moderate by its maker. With this lock, you can secure the frame and wheels both. The lock was not cut or broken when it was tried to break with the help of bolt cutters. Throughout the length of the lock, you get uniform thickness. In the areas where chances of theft are less, this lock can be used successfully.
#5 Pick: Etronic Security Lock M4 Self-coiling lock
This is the cheapest option of lock which uses combination locking mechanism. So you don’t have to worry anymore about keeping the keys and remembering its location. The length of the cable is 4 feet which is long enough to secure the frame of the bike. The coating on the coil will prevent it from making scratches on your bike.
The lock is very convenient to use and has an easy follow up unlocking mechanism. You can set the combination and even change it later. Even the weight of the lock is 0.3 pounds which is great for carrying. It is not the finest locks but you can use it for decent security. We recommend using this lock if the bike is kept in house or neighborhood.
#6 Pick: Kryptonite Kryptoflex 1218 Combo Lock
This is a lightweight convenient combination lock which has the trust of Kryptonite. The lock weighs very light and can be easily carried. A keyless mechanism makes it easy since you don’t have to carry an extra key all the time. The downside of this lock is that it is not very secure and can be cut easily using simple tools. The cables are twisted which makes it tough to lock in the first go.
All in all, it is not recommended to use the lock as primary lock however it is best used as a secondary lock. This is a very basic lock which comes at a low price thus you shouldn’t expect much out of it.
If your bike is prone to thefts and has been often stolen, you must give it the maximum security and opt for Kryptonite 997986 Fahgettaboudit U-lock. If you are looking for a cheaper option that just does the job decently, it is best to go for Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 Bicycle U-lock.