A bicycle lock is a must-have for every second that a cyclist is away from their bike, whether they’ve parked it outside of work or just a few feet away inside of their garage. Every two-wheeler, from the muddy mountain bike to the lightweight touring option, deserves safekeeping, so if you’re in the market for a new bike lock, then here are a few options that we think you should check out.
Buying Guide for Bike Locks
Why buy a lock for your two-wheeler?
“Excuse—Excuse me, did you see someone just ride by on a bike that clearly wasn’t theirs?” That’s more or less the question that one will find themselves asking when they leave their bike without the proper form of defense. A bike lock exists solely to protect a cyclist’s ride. In short, it’s a zero-risk, high-reward investment.
What should you consider in a bike lock?
Consider these factors before buying your next means of security:
- Locking Convenience: First and foremost, users should look to bicycle locks that feature a simple, easy-to-manage locking system that can be clasped and unclasped in just a few seconds. Of the numerous lock varieties that you’re likely to find on the market, the most popular would undoubtedly be the U-Lock, followed by the cable combination lock, and then the chain lock. Each device accomplishes its goal with differing ease, so users should consider how a particular design will function with their bike.
- Durability: Odds are, the bike lock that a cyclist settles on will take as many hits and brave as many tough weather days as the bike itself, so it’s important that a user seeks a device that can handle the workload. A cyclist should look to locks that employ all-weather construction to ensure longevity and peak quality throughout its use.
- Anti-Theft Properties: Finally, it’s crucial for a cyclist to remember what they intend to prevent with this device: theft. A lock should hold firm and keep the bike in place, but it should also be prepared to thwart real attacks and sabotage. Users should look to bike locks that feature reinforced properties throughout its construction, the kind that makes thieves second-guess the day that they crossed paths with their cycle.
How much should you spend on a bike lock?
The true quality of a bicycle lock can often be reflected in those four digits next to the dollar sign. Does that necessarily mean that one should buy with only premium choices in mind? If your bicycle means the world to you, then yes, pull out all the stops to ensure maximum stopping power. However, you can still invest in plenty of trusted bike locks without second-guessing your purchase. You’ll be able to find bike locks ranging from around $10 to $110, so there should be something that meets your needs both functionally and financially.
Our Picks for the Most Unshakeable Bike Locks
Via Velo Bike U-Lock
An all-weather bike lock that offers a cyclist a tough, dual-security operation.
Pros: Designed to withstand the harshest conditions that daily life can brew, this is a highly durable choice that isn’t afraid to get a bit muddy, wet, or overheated. Rather than locking a single wheel, this traditionally U-shaped lock utilizes a 5-foot braided cable that easily intertwines throughout the wheels and pedals. Both the U-lock and cable are made exponentially easier to manage when paired with the quick-release mounting bracket, which works with 99% of bikes.
Cons: The variety of moving parts, while ensuring plenty of security, can derail the overall swiftness of your installation process. Users who enjoy a bike lock that’s no more difficult than a twist and a click might consider the additional mounting and wrapping to be extraneous in the worst sense. The lock also takes up noticeable space, measuring 10 inches overall, so mounting the device might be a necessity unless you have ample room in a riding backpack.
Bottom Line: Never afraid to take on some seriously rough conditions, this dual-lock combo is packing the kind of strength and security that you’ll want when leaving your bicycle unattended while out on the trail or in an unfamiliar part of town. Its reasonable price also offers a cyclist immense bang for their buck.
Master Lock Bike Lock Cable with Combination
An easy-to-use bike lock that's braided for durability and combination-protected.
Pros: A comfortably priced lock that wraps in and around the wheels of one’s bike, this option is ideal for those who want guaranteed strength that won’t bust their monthly budgeting plan. This 4-foot-long lock is made out of braided steel and encased in a protective vinyl coating, so it holds up against scratches, weather, and attempted thievery. It features a four-dial combination lock, offering cyclists keyless convenience that can’t be accessed without the preset passcode.
Cons: Each braided lock is a one-of-a-kind item, which means that the preset combination comes as-is and can’t be changed. This lack of customization warrants greater security on the user’s end, which can feel burdensome when locking a bicycle in the midst of a crowd. Although the braided lock is coated for protection from rust and heat, it can stiffen and potentially snap when subjected to freezing temperatures.
Bottom Line: You’re getting an ideal amount of strength and maximum flexibility out of this lock. Its extended length allows for great locking versatility, so one can choose to tie the bike together or tether it to a rack, tree, or post. Its coiled design also means that you can store it wherever and however you need to.
Kryptonite New York Lock Fahgettaboutit
A premium anti-theft lock that's forged from hardened steel materials.
Pros: A highly reinforced option that’s capable of resisting the highest levels of larceny, this bike lock is made from 18-mm hardened steel that can withstand the pressure of bolt cutters and other forms of leverage-based robbery attempts. The reason for the lock’s success against such attacks is due to the combination of its thickened steel and double-deadbolt, anti-rotation design, which fortifies weak points and resists twisting. Even the lock’s keyway ensures protection from picks and drills.
Cons: The inclusion of hardened steel results in a lock that you can feel when biking. It weighs just under 5 pounds, which isn’t much, but it can be the straw that wears down the cyclist’s back when trekking uphill. Price-wise, there isn’t much of a bargain here, so going all-in on this premium device is something that a user might have to budget and mentally prepare for.
Bottom Line: Overall, the price of this lock is reflected in its quality, and it’s worth setting aside the funds. Its strength is complemented by various anti-theft security features, offering cyclists a lock that prevents attacks because of its brawn and brain alike.
Seatylock FoldyLock Bike Lock
A lightweight and easily transportable lock that knows how to secure the most vulnerable areas on a cyclist's bike.
Pros: Immensely tough and adaptable for nearly every bike and situation, this bicycle lock brings users the appeal of a patented, ultra-secure design that knows how to protect your two-wheeler without the bulky look or feel. This lock ensures reliable bolting strength through a series of hardened rivets that won’t fall prey to common theft strategies. No bolt cutters, crowbars, or liquid nitrogen can break this device.
Cons: Given how slight the lock is when collapsed, users might feel that it’s an absolute necessity to mount the device to their bicycle or risk losing the device in the clutter of other riding gear. While easily accessible, the lock’s keyhole doesn’t have a cover to protect the cylinder from rain or dirt. Price is another massive consideration, as this option will run you a fair chunk of change.
Bottom Line: A premium option that blends optimal use with brilliant sturdiness, this bicycle lock brings not just promises, but tried and trusted guarantees to the table. Despite the appearance of its thin frame, this lock has been rigorously tested to deter all manner of robbery attempts while still allowing for convenient portability.
YOHOOLYO Brake Lock
A dual-functioning means of protection that's discreet until it needs to shout.
Pros: The standard bike lock gets a modern update here, as the inclusion of a shock and movement sensor sets this option well ahead of the pack. The lock itself offers quick and simple use, asking users to do no more than press down on the trigger when it’s placed in the correct spot on a disc brake. Its keyless entry entices, but it’s the device’s 110-decibel alarm system that wows. Once tampered with, the lock will emit three beeps before crescendoing at intervals of 10 seconds.
Cons: This bike lock is constructed from aluminum alloy, a material that’s sturdy but not quite as dependable as the reinforced steel of other devices. Moreover, the placement of the lock, which clings to a single hole in the disc brake rather than a large area, can leave the device susceptible to other forms of attacks. Its battery-operated function also warrants upkeep several times a year.
Bottom Line: Embracing modernity in the simplest sense, this bicycle lock grants precise locking power that’s accompanied by a motion-triggered alarm, which knows how to make an appropriate amount of noise whenever curious thieves get too handsy.
For users whose dominant means of transportation is a bicycle, a reliable lock is a must-have for their daily commute. Even if you’ve just stepped into the corner store for a brief moment, you can’t always rely on the kindness of strangers to keep your two-wheeler in place, and that’s where the assured reliability of the bike lock comes into play. So give it a click and walk away with a comforted mind.