When it comes to choosing the best bike lock there are three styles you need to know.
First, and the most common type of lock, is a simple cable lock. Cable locks can come with combination or key locking mechanisms.
The second most common style of bike lock is the U-Bolt. As the name implies, they are a ‘U’ shaped device that runs through your frame and around your bike stand.
Finally, the third most common bike lock style is the chain lock. Chain locks are extremely popular for property owners locking gates, but not as common in the cycling world because they are heavy and cumbersome.
Overall Best Bike Locks
The best overall locks need to balance strength and mobility. Because they are light weight, and coil up to store in small spaces, cable locks are the popular choice for most cyclists. An armored cable lock adds an additional level of security, but they are slightly heavier than a radiational cable lock.
- Abus Armored Cable Lock – (Check Current Price on Amazon Here). The biggest knock on cable locks is the ease of cutting cables to steal your bike. The Abus Armored Cable Lock solves that problem with an exterior armor that makes cutting this cable lock an extremely difficult task for would be thieves. This combination lock means you never have to worry about losing your bike lock keys.
- OnGuard Armored Coil Cable Lock – (Check Current Price on Amazon Here). For cyclists that prefer a key instead of a combination the OnGuard Cable Lock is an excellent choice. Similar to the Abus, this cable lock comes with an armored sheath around the cable. Professional thieves can pick a lock easier than they can guess your combination, so keep that in mind before committing to a keyed lock mechanism.
Best Bike Lock For E-Bikes
For E-Bike owners the lock options are endless. Unlike road cycling, where you count every gram you add to the bike, E-Bikers don’t have to worry about the weight of their lock. This makes chain locks and U-Bolts an excellent option. They are heavier than cable locks, but also harder to cut.
- Kryptonite Chain Lock – (Check Price on Amazon). Chain locks cost more than other lock types, but you get added security for the higher price. Unless the bike thief has a grinder with a cutting wheel on, they won’t be getting past the Kryptonite Chain Lock. Even if they do have a cutting wheel and grinder, that type of activity draws a lot of attention. Bike theft is almost always a crime of convenience, and breaking through a chain lock is not convenient.
- Kryptonite Keeper U-Bolt – (Check Price on Amazon). There are varying levels of thickness to U-Bolt locks. The thicker the lock the heavier it will be, but it will also be more secure. Balancing weight and security will depend on the type of biking you are doing. I only use U-Bolt locks so I prefer locks 16mm thick, or more. If you are transporting your lock on your bike then 12mm will save a lot of weight and increase your efficiency on the bike. The keeper weighs just 2 lbs and comes with $500 in anti-theft protection.
U-Bolt locks are an excellent option for E-Bikes that have plenty of storage for the odd shape of the lock. Commuter cyclists are used to hauling heavy gear, and usually have plenty of on-bike storage so they are a great fit for commuters too.
Best Lightweight Bike Lock
For lightweight bike locks a cable is the only option. Much like U-Bolts, you can get cable locks in varying thicknesses. For ultra lightweight stick to a lock around 5mm thick. Any lock thinner than 5mm will be too easy to cut through.
- Kryptonite Kryptocables Cable Lock – (Check Price on Amazon). Weighing in at just 113 grams, the Kryptocables Lock is lightweight and includes a combination locking mechanism. The best part about this lock, aside from its light weight, is how it is compact and easy to store. I carry mine in the lower back pocket of my cycling jerseys, and rarely notice it back there.
- Trimax MAG Cable Lock – (Check Price on Amazon). The weight of the Trimax Cable Lock is deceiving. This lock weights just under 1.5 lbs, but it is also 10 feet long. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to lock up your bike, only to find your bike lock isn’t long enough to secure it properly. That won’t be a problem with a 10 foot long cable lock. You can lock your bike to bike stands, trees, or any other inanimate object nearby.
Bike Locks To Avoid
The only bike lock I recommend avoiding is a folding bike lock. They are convenient to store, but lack the strength to securely hold your bike. They are also difficult to use, and the joints can be drilled out unless you’re willing to spend a small fortune on high end materials.
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