10 Best Bike Locks Compared and Fully Reviewed
Those who’ve invested in biking as one of their great hobbies will understand the true cost of the pastime–especially if they’ve had to pay to replace their stolen bicycle. Theft statistics in the US are severely lacking but it is a serious issue that has yet to see a widespread solution. A Montreal study estimated that roughly half of all cyclists have had their bicycle stolen and it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll recover it if it isn’t registered. If you’re particularly fond of your bicycle then it is worth your while to buy some protection, and the price is nothing compared to what you might have to shell out if it gets snagged.
We’ve done our homework and put together a selection that we consider to be the best of the best. These won’t guarantee that your bicycle won’t be stolen, but it will make stealing your bicycle no easy task and discourage casual thieves. Check out our custom criteria for advice on how to choose the perfect model, as well as our FAQ for tips on theft prevention and bicycle recovery.
- Kryptonite KryptoLok Series 2
- Kryptonite NY Mini
- Great protection
- Kryptonite Evolution Mini-5
- Easy to use
10 Best Bike Locks
1. Kryptonite KryptoLok Series 2
Kryptonite is the biggest name in the industry for a reason. Their products 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 bicycle. It has a silver sold secure rating, which makes it a great choice for users in less densely populated areas or those who aren't riding fancy bicycle.
Kryptonite has their own security rating, too, and they rate this particular lock a 6/10. It'll keep most bicycles safe unless you're locking up for hours at a time in a high crime area.
U-models aren't the lightest types of locks out there, but it's fairly easy to slip this product 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 bicycle so you don't even need to make space in your bag for it.
This u-lock uses a double deadbolt to ensure your bicycle 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.
Backed by an impressive Lifetime Warranty, it 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 bicycle.
- Can be mounted on bicycle
- Lifetime Warranty
- Large size may offer too much leverage to potential thieves
2. Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit
This product comes with a sold secure gold rating thanks to its 18mm thickness and smaller profile making it tough for thieves to break through.
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.
Uses a deadbolt system with key to secure. Unless your thief is a proficient 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 pickers will have trouble reaching it.
It's covered with vinyl so that it doesn't scratch your bicycle. It 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.
- Impossible to pick
- Great protection with thick design
- Comes with three keys
- Small size makes it harder for thieves to get access to your bicycle
- Some had problems affixing it to their bicycle because of its small size
3. Kryptonite Evolution Mini-5
The Evolution Mini-5 has a sold secure silver rating and is 13mm thick. It's made of thick steel that's resistant to certain types of cutting tools.
It's more portable than other Kryptonite products with an overall weight of 1.94lb making it way easier to carry. It's smaller, which accounts for the lower weight.
It requires a key to open and the mechanism is placed to discouraged 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.
It comes with a special mounting bracket so that it can easily be transported. The angle is ultra-adjustable, too, and a special dust cover keeps out dust and debris so it 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.
- Compact sizing
- Rubbery coating won't scratch bicycle frame
- Easy to use
- Key can be inconsistent
It doesn't come with a sold secure rating but the company does offer a 30-day money back guarantee. It's is 12mm thick and made of zinc alloy. A u-shape is a good option for protecting your bicycle as long as the fit is tight enough to keep tools from getting in between.
It weighs about 1.8 lbs which makes it more portable than other options but users still commented on how heavy it was.
Using a combination mechanism is less secure than a key option but for users in low-crime areas or who need their bicycle secured for short periods of time, a combo means you don't have to worry about forgetting a key. For this model, a 4-digit code is required.
It is covered in a PVC coating which actually makes it thicker. This lining helps prevent your frame from getting scratched.
- Easy to use and change combo
- Protective PVC coating
- No chance of forgetting key
5. Abus Mini
Abus is a company known for building quality products. This model features a sold secure rating of silver. This option is no exception. It's 14mm of sold steel that's between a bicycle thief and your precious ride. It is also rust resistant.
It's mini alright. The small model is easy to fit inside a pocket or bag compartment and weighs less than larger options.
It uses a key so you'll need one if you want to open it up. A double bolt mechanism ensures maximum security.
A soft coating on the exterior keeps your bicycle from getting damaged.
- Thick construction
- Materials prevent scratches
- Corrosion resistant
- Tight fit is harder to break
- Does not come with a mount
- Heavy despite small size
On-Guard 8005 Pitbull
It’s resistant to prying, cutting. Thanks to the crossbar and shackle coatings, it is even more sturdy. The solid secure rating is gold so it’s very protective.
We need to admit that it’s not very lightweight and it’s bulky bot for the safety, we would be ready to carry it.
Quattro bolt mechanism allows to lock the shackle on 4 sides. It’s very easy to attach it to the bicycle.
There’s multi positioning bracket and 5 laser cut keys.
It has a ling cable
It’s heavier and bulkier than an average lock
Squire Mako Conger
This brand has been on the market for 230 years and their products are said to be one of the best. This model is Sold Secure Bronze rating but they also offer silver and gold.
There’s a carrying bracket so you can fasten the product to the frame of your bicycle for easier carrying.
Surprise- you don’t need a key here. There’s 5 wheel combination.
It’s like a chain, it’s very strong but at the same time it’s very flexible.
It’s hardened steel chain
It’s rather expensive
It has highest secure rating- gold. There are 3 keys with special coded replacement program.
Some users complained that it’s heavy and it would be better if the weight was smaller. However, users didn’t have any problems with carrying it in bags or on the belts thanks to the Clip + Ride system.
There are anti-twist shackle tabs, a hardened steel construction with nylon outer shell.
The possibility to fit belts. Although the weight of the product is 1250 grams, designers made the overall construction rather slim.
The users were pleased with the length of the it
Reasonable pricing for this quality
Definitely on the heavier side
Abus Granit X-Plus
This brand is known from making very solid bicycle locks. This one is resistant to cropping and twisting. They have been tested many times and they did the job.
The height is 300mm and the width is 108 mm. It’s not the smallest on our list and there may be a problem to wear it in the pocket.
Thanks to the Powercell double locking mechanism, pulling attacks or hitting won’t be efficient and your bicycle will be protected every time you use it. The X Plus system is well designed. The automatic keyhole cover is easy in using and it also protects the metal against corrosion.
There’s a LED illuminated key along with special code card.
Solidly built Easy to attach
Sigtuna Gear 16mm U-lock
It doesn’t have a sold secure rating, but when compared side by side to the Kryptonite Kryptolok series (which has a silver sold secure rating) it definitely measures up. The cable is made from strong braided steel and covered with vinyl to make it harder to cut.
It is a bit heavy and can be a little more difficult to carry with you. However, the u-model itself can be used separately from the cable, which can also be used with other models.
The locking mechanism on this Sigtuna has double deadbolts that affix both sides to the crossbar and is made of 16mm of heavy duty steel, making it unlikely that potential thieves will be able to drill it. The keyhole has a cover and the lock comes with two Abloy keys.
This comes with a mounting bracket and the combination of the u-lock and the reinforced cable means you can choose the style in which you lock up your bicycle. The keyhole cover doesn’t just protect from theft, but from weather and dust too.
Our Evaluation Criteria
We chose each of the products on this list according to their sold secure rating, how easy they are to transport, the mechanism, and any extra features they offer the user. Below we delve into each of these criteria, explaining each one and why we think it defines the models we chose. We hope that you can use these metrics to get a better understanding of what to look for in a quality product, helping you to make a confident and competent buying choice in the future.
Sold Secure Rating
What exactly does this rating mean and where does it come from? Sold Secure is a non-profit from the UK that tests bicycle locks to help users choose a model that’s right for their needs. It’s not always easy to determine the difference in security from one product to another, so Sold Secure helps with that process. There are three security classifications: Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Of course, no brand is indestructible. However, the most secure options will take more time and effort to cut or break through. Gold rated ones are best for high crime areas since they are the strongest and most secure. Silver rated are usually less expensive and are better suited to lower crime areas or for bicycles that are less pricey, to begin with. Bronze level are meant to keep a bicycle secure for quick stop-ins to stores or for very low crime areas where the possibility of your bicycle getting stolen is low. On our list, you’ll find mostly Gold and Silver-rated models. Some on the list do not have a Sold Secure Rating. These tend to be very inexpensive and are appropriate for cheap bicycles or low crime areas. They were chosen because of high ratings from consumers.
If you’re riding somewhere and securing your bicycle, you need to carry your lock with you so portability definitely comes into play. Smaller more compact ones are easy to store away, as are folding options, but the most secure ones tend to be fairly heavy. The tougher it is to get it open, the heavier it’s going to be. Some come with mounts so you can attach them right to your bicycle without needing to make space in your bag. Consider the bag you usually ride with and whether you have space to fit your new purchase.
There are a few kinds of mechanisms. On this list, you’ll find that key models make up the majority. If you choose a key option, you need to be mindful to have your key on you at all times which some may find annoying but key models are a good choice because they’re quite tough to crack. Modern key models are almost impossible for pickers to get into and if they do, it’ll take them a while before they can pick the lock successfully. The list also features two types of combination models. One uses digits and the other requires the user to remember a 4-letter word. Most combination models require either 4 or 5-digits. They’re easier to figure out than a model that needs a key so, in terms of security, they’re a downgrade.
What kinds of extra features might you want to consider? A lock should be covered or have a finish to ensure it doesn’t scratch up your bicycle. Some options also come with extra keys or a key replacement program in case you misplace or lose yours. Expensive heavy duty ones come with warranty and guarantee programs. If your bicycle gets stolen there’s a process to go through to claim some of the cost. If this interests you, check out the company’s website to see what the rules and limitations are.
Here are a few other things to know and keep in mind when choosing a new product.
Type of Lock
There are a few main types that you’ll find on this list and for sale. A u-model 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 bicycle so that little room is left which means thieves can’t easily get leverage to break the seal. They are, however, more expensive than other models. But if you want the most protection, they’re your best bet. Most u-models require keys to open. Chain and cable models are easier to use since they aren’t rigidly formed like a u-form. This makes it easier to quickly secure a bicycle to virtually anything. Cable ones 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. A foldable model is a newer kind that is great for storing and transporting. Like cable and chain models, they’re less secure.
Where you ride your bicycle matters. If you’re securing your bicycle in an area with a lot of people, many other bicycles, and cameras, it’s unlikely that a thief will choose to steal your bicycle. That is unless you make it easy for them. Most thieves aren’t looking to spend a lot of time to steal a bicycle. 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 bicycle. High crime areas require the most secure protection while you can get away with less expensive options if you live in a non-metropolitan, safe neighborhood.
Properly Locking Up Your Bike
Badly securing your bicycle 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 their front wheel. A thief can easily remove the wheel and make off with the rest of the bicycle. If you’re really concerned about thievery, wrap your lock around both your frame and wheel. You can even use more than one to really deter thieves. Avoid securing your bicycle in an area that’s dark and away from everyone else. Not only is it unsafe for your bicycle (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 bicycle later. In a sea of other bicycles, choose a spot to secure your bicycle to that’s next to a nice expensive bicycle or, at least, one that’s nicer than yours. Thieves want either an easy target or an expensive one.
Not every bicycle accessory should be chosen according to price but with bicycle locks, more expensive usually means more secure. If you’re not sure which option to choose, think about how much you paid for your bicycle. Are you willing to skimp on the cost and lose out on the money you paid for your bicycle 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 bicycle and appreciate its value, go with the pricier model.
Q. I have a really expensive road bicycle. How can I keep it safe from thieves?
A. Even the most intense bicycle model can’t keep your bicycle safe from determined criminals. If you have a particularly expensive road bicycle you may want to consider purchasing a second-hand bicycle 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. Do I really need a bicycle lock? I don’t live in a big city and don’t leave my bicycle unattended very long.
A. It’s your call, but an unlocked bicycle to a bicycle thief is easy prey. It takes less than a minute to grab your unsecured bicycle. Honestly, better to secure it just in case.
Q. If all bicycle locks can be broken into, what makes one more secure than another?
A. More secure options 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: If you’re looking for cool new tech options, WiFi models may not be the way to go. They’re pricey and aren’t as secure as a u-model. There are other gadgets that might be more useful, however. Motion sensing alarms and GPS trackers might be helpful for keeping track of your bicycle, especially if you live somewhere more secluded. Also, consider the tech you already have and how that may increase the chances your bicycle will be stolen. Some fitness trackers are great for connecting with other cyclists and showing off mileage and routes, but they can also make you a target. Check your privacy settings and see if the apps you’re using have security options to keep your workplace and home address hidden.
Q. What else can I do to make sure my bike doesn’t get stolen?
A: It is definitely better to take preventative measures when it comes to bike theft. The likelihood that you’ll recover your bike is very small after it gets stolen, so make sure you do everything you can to prevent it before it happens. A bike lock is a good first line of defense. Invest in a quality product and try to make a habit of always securing your bike using the frame and the wheels. This will discourage people from dissembling the bike for easy access. In this same line of thinking, be aware of other custom components and how easy they are to remove or take. Consider anti-theft bolts.
When choosing a place to secure your bike, think about location. Easy to access areas that have heavy foot-traffic may prevent people from trying to steal your bike because of sheer visibility; on the other hand, a secluded area may mean your bike is less likely to get noticed. Weigh your options. Also, don’t assume that just because you’re somewhere familiar that your bike is safe. If your workplace has a garage or bike parking area be sure to still bring your lock, and if you park your bike in your garage lock it up. An open garage may prove an easy target.
Finally, be prepared for the day your bike may be stolen. Take pictures of your bike in advance and hang on to purchase receipts. Record the make, model, and the serial number of your bike. Some models have the option to register your bike, or you can check out free bike registry systems online. These may raise your chances of recovering your bike if it is found.