10 Best Bike Locks Compared and Fully Reviewed

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There are tons of bike locks out there and if you’re looking to keep your bike safe, it can be super overwhelming to pick one that’s right for your situation. Every bike lock company wants you to believe that they’re selling the best and most secure lock on the market. Well, they aren’t all the same and not all locks are secure enough for every situation. We’ve chosen our top ten bike locks and break down their Solid Secure Rating, portability, locking mechanism, and extra features, to give you a better idea of which model might work for you. Be prepared to spend good money on a quality lock to make sure your bike stays locked up and doesn’t get stolen from right under your nose while you work or play.

Kryptonite KryptoLok Series 2
  • Kryptonite KryptoLok Series 2
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Lightweight
  • Price: See Here
Kryptonite NY Mini
  • Kryptonite NY Mini
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Great protection
  • Price: See Here
Kryptonite Evolution Mini-5
  • Kryptonite Evolution Mini-5
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Easy to use
  • Price: See Here

 

10 Best Bike Locks

 

1. Kryptonite KryptoLok Series 2

An excellent u-lock with a silver solid secure rating and plenty of rave reviews from consumers. It even comes with a separate cable so you don't have to spend money on extra u-locks for your bike accessories.
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Solid Secure Rating

Kryptonite is the biggest name in bike locks for a reason. Their locks are built with toughness in mind. This particular model can withstand cutting attempts and won't break if twisted. It's 12.7mm thick to ensure thieves can't easily cut their way to your bike. It has a silver solid secure rating, which makes it a great choice for users in less densely populated areas or those who aren't riding fancy bikes.

Kryptonite has their own security rating, too, and they rate this particular lock a 6/10. It'll keep most bikes safe unless you're locking up for hours at a time in a high crime area.

Portability

U-locks aren't the lightest types of locks out there, but it's fairly easy to slip this lock into a bag and transport it. It's also fairly lightweight according to reviewers. It also comes with a way to mount it to your bike so you don't even need to make space in your bag for it.

Locking Mechanism

This u-lock uses a double deadbolt to ensure your bike doesn't get snatched. You need to make sure to bring a key along but a key lock is tough for thieves to pick and get access to.

Extra Features

The bike lock is backed by an impressive Lifetime Warranty and comes with a protection service offer from the brand. It's also sold with an extra cable that's 4 feet in length so you can secure other parts of your bike.
Pros
  • Lightweight for a u-lock 
  • Sturdy 
  • Can be mounted on bike
  • Lifetime Warranty
Cons
  • It's fairly big which is good for securing two bikes at once but leaves too much room for thieves to gain leverage.

2. Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit

This brightly colored u-lock provides gold level security. It's perfect for locking up a bike for hours at a time or securing a bike somewhere with high crime rates.
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Solid Secure Rating

This u-lock comes with a solid secure gold rating thanks to its 18mm thickness and smaller profile making it tough for thieves to break through.

Portability

Fairly heavy, so it's not the most portable option but it is smaller in profile than some other models making it easy to find room for it in a bag or backpack.

Locking Mechanism

Uses a deadbolt lock with key to secure. Unless your thief is a proficient lock picker, they won't be able to get through unless they try to cut through, which is near impossible. The keyhole is also located in such a way that even skilled lock pickers will have trouble reaching it.

Extra Features

It's covered with vinyl so that the lock doesn't scratch your bike. The u-lock is also sold with three keys so you won't have to worry about losing them or forgetting one. Just put one in each of the bags you own! One of the keys comes with an LED light.
Pros
  • Impossible to pick
  • Great protection with thick design
  • Comes with three keys
  • Small size makes it harder for thieves to get access to your bike 
Cons
  • Some had problems affixing it to their bike because of its smaller size. 
  • Heavy

3. Kryptonite Evolution Mini-5

The Mini-5 U Lock by Kryptonite is a compact lock that fits tightly so would-be thieves will struggle to get their tools around your frame. It's smaller, so it's easy to transport and comes with three keys which is perfect for the forgetful rider.
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Solid Secure Rating

The Evolution Mini-5 has a solid secure silver rating and is 13mm thick. It's made of thick steel that's resistant to certain types of cutting tools.

Portability

It's more portable than other Kryptonite brand u-locks with an overall weight of 1.94lb making it way easier to carry. It's smaller, which accounts for the lower weight.


Locking Mechanism

This lock requires a key to open and the locking mechanism is placed to discouraged lock pickers. Like the New York model above, the Mini-5 also comes with three keys - one of which can function as a mini LED flashlight.

Extra Features

The lock comes with a special mounting bracket so that it can easily be transported. The angle of the lock is ultra-adjustable, too, and a special dust cover keeps out dust and debris so the lock area doesn't get grimy over time. The Mini-5 also comes with a Lifetime Key replacement offer, so even if you manage to lose all three keys, you don't need to worry.
Pros
  • Compact sizing
  • Protective rubbery coating won't scratch bike frame
  • Easy to use 
  • Portable 
  • Secure 
Cons
  • Key can be fiddly

4. Amazer

4. Amazer
This affordable bike lock option comes in a u-shape to make it harder for thieves to cut through. Though it doesn't feature a solid secure rating, reviewers were pleased with its performance and found it a secure and sturdy option for their anti-theft needs. It's a good choice for riders in low-crime and rural areas.
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Solid Secure Rating

This bike lock doesn't come with a solid secure rating but the company does offer a 30-day money back guarantee. The lock is 12mm thick and made of zinc alloy. A u-lock shape is a good option for protecting your bike as long as the fit is tight enough to keep tools from getting in between the lock and your bike.

Portability

The lock weighs about 1.8 lbs which makes it more portable than other options but users still commented on how heavy it was.

Locking Mechanism

Using a combination lock is less secure than a key option but for users in low-crime areas or who need a lock for short periods of time, a combo means you don't have to worry about forgetting a key. For this lock, a 4-digit code is required.

Extra Features

The lock is covered in a PVC coating which actually makes it thicker. This lining helps prevent your frame from getting scratched.
Pros
  • Easy to use and change combo
  • Protective PVC coating
  • No chance of forgetting key
  • Affordable 
Cons
  • Heavy 

5. Abus Mini

5. Abus Mini
The Abus Mini U-lock comes in two sharp color options and is a small bike lock that's capable of fully securing your ride. The small size makes it hard to thieves to get in edgewise and a thick construction makes it tough for tools to break through.
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Solid Secure Rating

Abus is a company known for building quality bike locks. This model features a solid secure rating of silver. This option is no exception. It's 14mm of solid steel that's between a bike thief and your precious ride. The lock is also rust resistant.

Portability

It's mini alright. The small bike lock is easy to fit inside a pocket or bag compartment and weighs less than large u-lock options.

Locking Mechanism

This lock uses a key so you'll need one if you want to open it up. A double bolt mechanism ensures maximum security.

Extra Features

A soft coating on the exterior of the lock keeps your bike from getting damaged.
Pros
  • Thick construction 
  • Protects bike against scratches 
  • Corrosion resistant 
  • Tight fit to dissuade thieves
Cons
  • Does not come with a mount 
  • Heavy despite small size 

6. Wordlock

6. Wordlock
If numbers or keys aren't your thing, this word combination lock might be a good option. Choose a 4-letter word that will unlock your bike and easily wrap the cable around your frame and wheels to secure it to a bike post or rack.
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Solid Secure Rating

We couldn't track down a solid secure rating for this lock and it's true that a combination lock isn't as secure as a key lock, but it's a good choice for the forgetful rider. Cable locks are also less secure but they're easier to handle than inflexible u-locks.

Portability

A cable lock just isn't as heavy as a chain or u-lock so this lock is a much lighter option that's easy to carry in a bag or backpack. The lock comes with a mounting mechanism as well.

Locking Mechanism

The combination lock requires a 4-letter word. It's easy to set and reset and there's no need to remember to bring a key.

Extra Features

The cable is 5-feet long so it's easy to double or even triple wrap it and make sure all the parts of your bike are secured. The lock also features a coating which prevents rust and protects your bike from scratches.
Pros
  • No key required
  • Weather resistant
  • Inexpensive 
  • Easy to remember the word combination 
  • Lightweight 
Cons
  • Not as secure as some other options

7. Steadfast

7. Steadfast
If you live in a low-crime area or just want to lock up a cheap bike, this Steadfast brand u-lock is a solid alternative to the more expensive Kryptonite brand. The super affordable bike lock opens via combination and is super lightweight
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Solid Secure Rating

We couldn't find a solid secure rating for this bike lock and although it's 14mm thick, it's not a suitable option more seriously crime ridden areas. It's still sturdy enough to protect low-key bikes in non-metropolitan areas though.

Portability

This bike lock weighs only 1.2 lbs and is small enough to fit inside a backpack without taking up too much extra room. There's no need to worry about keys since the lock utilizes a combination closure.

Locking Mechanism

The lock requires the user to set and remember a 4 number combination. No keys required.

Extra Features

Resetting the lock is easy peasy but can only be done when the lock is open, so don't worry about someone sneakily resetting your combo. The lock is also a lot cheaper than other u-lock options.
Pros
  • Not as heavy as other u-lock options
  • Solid construction
  • Easy to reset
  • No key required
  • Low price 
Cons
  • Not as secure as other options on this list
  • No solid secure rating 

8. AKM Self Coiling

8. AKM Self Coiling
A unique cable lock that comes with a nifty bike mount for transport. It's super inexpensive and there's no surprise that it doesn't have a solid secure rating but users still appreciated the ease of use, lightweight, and security it provided. Better suited to low crime areas.
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Solid Secure Rating

This lock doesn't have a solid secure rating. It is, however, 12mm thick. It's quite resistant to cutting tools, as well.

Portability

One of the lightest options on this list. The bike lock also comes with a mounting bracket so you don't have to worry about forgetting it at home.

Locking Mechanism

The combination lock requires 5-digits to open and is super easy to reset

Extra Features

The lock is coated in PVC so the steel cable won't scuff your bike.
Pros
  • Mount is super easy to install
  • Compact sizing
  • Combination lock is easy to use
  • Wraps easily
  • Doesn't weigh down the bike when mounted
  • Budget price 
Cons
  • Not as secure as other options
  • Some say they would have preferred a 4-digit code (easier to remember) 

9. BicycleStore Foldable

9. BicycleStore Foldable
A little bit different than the other options on this list this lock is foldable so it's super easy to carry and pack away. It folds up so you can take it with you even if you've run out of space in your bag or pockets.
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Solid Secure Rating

This nifty little bike lock lacks a solid secure rating but it is made of super strong alloy steel.

Portability

The lock folds up so it's super easy to transport. It's one of the most portable options on this list. It folds out enough so that you can easily lock up your bike and then quickly folds up so when you're done you can stow it away without sacrificing space.

Locking Mechanism

The lock itself is a grade 12 security lock that is not easy to defeat or crack. You need a key to open this lock and it won't be easy to pick. There's also a cover to prevent debris from getting into the lock so it doesn't rust or get all grimy and tough to use.

Extra Features

The lock comes with a mount and two keys just in case you lose one.
Pros
  • Affordable 
  • Super portable 
  • Sturdy
  • Comes with 2 keys
  • Easy to mount 
Cons
  • Noisy, rattles when carried 
  • Not secure enough for high crime areas

10. Kryptonite Keeper 785

10. Kryptonite Keeper 785
Yet another option from Kryptonite but this time it's a chain-type lock. Easy to wrap around your bike and comes in four colors. This is a good inexpensive option from a reputable brand.
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Solid Secure Rating

Kryptonite is known for its well-made bike locks and this bike lock is rated silver according to solid secure. The chain links for this bike lock are made of tough steel.

Portability

Easy to carry since it's flexible. It can be stuffed in a bag of wrapped around the rider's body. It's not the lightest lock option out there but the fact that it's malleable makes it easier to store and transport.

Locking Mechanism

Deadbolt key lock helps make this lock secure. The lock is resistant to both lock pickers and drills. It's sold with two keys just in case you lose one or misplace it.

Extra Features

The chain is covered with a nylon material to keep your bike safe from scratches The material also protects the chain itself from rusting. The best thing about the lock? It looks mega tough which should scare many potential thieves away before they even try to pry away the lock in the first place.
Pros
  • Heavy duty
  • Comes with an extra key
  • Weatherproof housing
Cons
  • Cloth is not entirely durable 
  • Heavy

 

Our Evaluation Criteria

Here’s an explanation of each of our evaluation criteria in detail. We chose the bike locks on this list according to their solid secure rating, how easy they are to transport, the locking mechanism, and any extra features they offer the user.

Solid Secure Rating

What exactly does this rating mean and where does it come from? Solid Secure is a non-profit from the UK that tests bike locks to help users choose a lock that’s right for their needs. It’s not always easy to determine the difference in security from one bike lock to another, so Solid Secure helps with that process. There are three security classifications: Gold, Silver, and Bronze. It should be noted that all bike locks can be defeated in time. The most secure, though, will take more time and effort to cut or break through. Gold rated locks are best for high crime areas since they are the strongest and most secure. Silver rated locks are usually less expensive and are better suited to lower crime areas or for bikes that are less pricey, to begin with. Bronze level locks are meant to keep a bike secure for quick stop-ins to stores or for very low crime areas where the possibility of your bike getting stolen is low. On our list, you’ll find mostly Gold and Silver-rated locks. Some locks on the list do not have a Solid Secure Rating. These locks tend to be very inexpensive and are appropriate for cheap bikes or low crime areas. They were chosen because of high ratings from consumers.

Portability

If you’re riding somewhere and locking up your bike, you need to carry your lock with you so portability definitely comes into play. Smaller more compact locks are easy to store away, as are folding locks, but most secure bike locks tend to be fairly heavy. The tougher it is to get that bike lock open, the heavier it’s going to be. Some bike locks come with mounts so you can attach them right to your bike without needing to make space in your bag . Consider the bag you usually bike with and whether you have space to fit your new bike lock.

Locking Mechanism

There are a few kinds of locking mechanisms. On this list, you’ll find that key locks make up the majority of the bike locks. If you choose a key lock, you need to be mindful to have your key on you at all times which some may find annoying but key locks are a good choice because they’re quite tough to crack. Modern key bike locks are almost impossible for lock pickers to get into and if they do, it’ll take them awhile before they can pick the lock successfully. The list also features two types of combination locks. One uses digits and the other requires the user to remember a 4-letter word. Most combination locks require either 4 or 5-digits. They’re easier to figure out than a lock that needs a key so, in terms of security, they’re a downgrade.

Extra Features 

What kinds of extra features might you want to consider when it comes to a bike lock? A lock should be covered in something to ensure it doesn’t scratch up your bike. Some locks also come with extra keys or a key replacement program in case you misplace or lose yours. Expensive heavy duty locks come with warranty and guarantee programs. If your bike gets stolen there’s a process to go through to claim some of the cost. If this interests you, check out the bike lock company’s website to see what the rules and limitations are.

Other Considerations

Here are a few other things to know and keep in mind when choosing a new lock for your bike.

Type of Lock

There are a few main types of bike locks that you’ll find on this list and for sale. A u-lock is one of the most popular, and for good reason, they’re usually made of super-strong materials that are way tougher to get through even with high-quality tools used by thieves. The shape makes it easy to secure a bike so that little room is left which means thieves can’t easily get leverage to break the lock. They are, however, more expensive than other kinds of locks. But if you want the most protection, they’re your best bet. Most u-lock require keys to open. Chain locks and cable locks are easier to use since they aren’t rigidly formed like a u-lock. This makes it easier to quickly lock up a bike to virtually anything. Cable locks are lighter while chain locks can get pretty cumbersome to carry. Both are secure options but it’s not super tough to break through especially for the determined thief. Foldable locks are a newer kind of lock that are great for storing and transporting. Like cable and chain locks, they’re less secure.

Your Area

Where you ride and lock up your bike matters. If you’re locking up your bike in an area with a lot of people, many other bikes, and cameras, it’s unlikely that a thief will choose to steal your bike. That is unless you make it easy for them. Most bike thieves aren’t looking to spend a lot of time to steal a bike. The longer it takes, the higher the chance that they’ll get caught doing so. They’ll target the easiest mark right off the bat, so don’t make it your bike. High crime areas require the most secure bike locks while you can get away with a less expensive lock if you live in a non-metropolitan, safe neighborhood.

Properly Locking Up Your Bike

Badly locking up your bike can be just as bad as forgetting to lock it at all. There are countless cyclists out there who are still kicking themselves for only choosing to secure and lock up their front wheel. A thief can easily remove the wheel and make off with the rest of the bike. If you’re really concerned about bike thievery, wrap your lock around both your frame and wheel. You can even use more than one lock to really deter thieves. Avoid locking up your bike in an area that’s dark and away from everyone else. Not only is it unsafe for your bike (a thief can work away at your lock without being interrupted), it’s not exactly safe for you either when you come back to your bike later. In a sea of other bikes, choose a spot to lock up that’s next to a nice expensive bike or, at least, one that’s nicer than yours. Thieves want either an easy target or an expensive one.

Price 

Not every bike accessory should be chosen according to price but with bike locks, more expensive usually means more secure. If you’re not sure which option to choose, think about how much you paid for your bike. Are you willing to skimp on the cost of a bike lock and lose out on the money you paid for your bike if it gets stolen? If the answer is yes, then by all means, go for an inexpensive option. But if you paid good money for your bike and appreciate its value, go with the pricier lock.

FAQ

Q. I have a really expensive road bike. How can I keep it safe from thieves?

A. Even the most intense bike lock can’t keep your bike safe from determined criminals. If you have a particularly expensive road bike you may want to consider purchasing a second-hand bike for commuting so you don’t have to worry all day while your pricey ride is sitting vulnerable at the bus or train station.

Q. Is it worth paying more for a lock than I paid for my bike?

A. Probably not. Thieves will target more expensive bikes or bikes that are poorly locked up or not locked up at all. Unless you live in a bad neighborhood where bikes are commonly stolen, you can get away with a less expensive bike lock.

Q. Can’t I just use a cable lock? It’s easier to use!

A. If you think your bike will be safe with just a cable lock, go for it. But while cable locks are easier to use, they’re definitely not as sturdy as a u-lock.

Q. Do I really need a bike lock? I don’t live in a big city and don’t leave my bike unattended very long.

A. It’s your call, but an unlocked bike to a bike thief is easy prey. It takes less than a minute to grab your unsecured bike. Honestly, better to secure it just in case.

Q. If all bikes locks can be broken into, what makes one more secure than another?

A. More secure locks are thicker and made of stronger materials. This doesn’t mean they’re indestructible but it does mean it takes way longer for a thief to break them.

Q. What about those new fancy WiFi enabled locks?

A. They’re pricey and aren’t as secure as a u-lock.

Sources

  1. Andreas, Bike Locks Guide – Bike Lock Options, Cycling Blog, Jan 01, 1970
  2. NA, Solid Secure Gold bike locks: The List, Bike Lock Website, Nov 06, 2017
  3. NA, U-lock Comparison, Bike Lock Website, Nov 06, 2017
  4. NA, Bike Lock Company , Website, Nov 06, 2017
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