You take your bike everywhere, including to and from work and for running errands. When you’re inside for a prolonged period, though, you can’t just leave your bike out without a lock. Anyone could pass by on the street and take it.
You probably spent a lot of money on your bike, not to mention you rely on it as a means of travel. The last thing you want is for it to end up stolen. That’s why it’s so important to not just have any bike lock, but the right kind of lock.
After all, a cheap lock can easily be bypassed, leaving your bike vulnerable to thieves. If you don’t yet have a bike lock and you’re looking around, you’ve come to the right place. On this page, we’ll share some of our top picks.
Our Favorite Bike Locks:
For a Less Weighty Lock — TIGR Mini Lightweight Titanium Bicycle Lock & Mounting Clip
Although a little more expensive (retailing for just under $100), the TIGR Mini is an ideal pick for those who can’t be weighed down by a heavy lock. This one weighs 0.9 pounds, making it one of the most lightweight locks around.
The TIGR Mini also includes with a mounting clip for fast and easy installation. When it comes time to use your new lock, you’ll certainly appreciate the bow’s PVC coating. This will keep the lock from scratching your bike.
To lock the TIGR Mini, you only need to press a button. While you do get two keys, you don’t need them for locking, only unlocking. To do that, you can access the lock cylinder, which has a disc shape for greater security.
For a Chain Lock — Kryptonite Evolution Series-4 1090 Integrated Chain Bicycle Lock
Chain locks are flexible, and the Kryptonite Evolution is one of our favorites on the market. The entire lock is encased in a sliding dustcover. This keeps the metal lock components hidden from the elements so you can use your lock longer. It also makes the lock harder to steal.
The Evolution boasts an oval crossbar lock head, which is reinforced for a secure fit. This is patented Kryptonite technology in action. The manufacturer also included their end link design with the lock. This means you can hook up your chain to a hardened deadbolt for extra security.
The chain itself is 3T manganese steel. Each link is six-sided and 10 millimeters.
For a Heavy Lock — Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini Heavy Duty Bicycle U Lock
Sometimes you want a heavier lock. After all, these look intimidating to would-be criminals. This is where Kryponite’s New York Fahgettaboudit Mini comes in handy. This U-shaped lock has a sliding dust cover on the lock that keeps the cylinders looking and working better longer.
Each included key is stainless steel, and you get three of them. Not only are these protected under Kryptonite’s Key Safe Program, but they come with LED bulbs for awesome illumination. The battery can be replaced when it burns out.
The lock is covered in an appealing and durable vinyl coating. You also get a center keyway. This can prevent leverage attacks from thieves. The disc-style cylinder is also for your security.
With two deadbolts, you have yet another way to deter those who wish to steal your bike. Kryptonite protected their New York Fahgettaboudit Mini lock with its MAX-Performance steel shackle. This is 18 millimeters of practically impenetrable steel. Leverage attacks become nearly impossible, as does snipping the lock with bolt cutters.
Why Having the Right Bike Lock Is Crucial
Thieves have resorted to ingenious measures to steal bikes they really want. According to this article from The Guardian, this sometimes includes putting holes in the tires so you’re forced to leave your bike longer than expected. Then, when you walk away, the bike becomes a prime target.
Simply put, if you have a secure, strong bike lock like any of the three we covered above, then you’re making it much, much harder for a thief to get away with your bike. It’d be nearly impossible to cut through the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit lock, and TIGR Mini’s lock requires a key to unlock it.
It can be tempting to buy a cheap, $10 bike lock because hey, it’s better than nothing, right? Not exactly. Thieves who want your bike only need a few tools, such as box cutters, and then your bike is theirs. Having a cheap, flimsy lock will make the thief’s job only a little harder, but not enough that they’ll give up. Your bike will likely still be stolen.
By investing in a thick, heavy-duty lock, you show would-be thieves you care enough about your investment—your bike—to protect it everywhere you go.
A cheap bike lock isn’t better than no lock at all. Both will still leave you bereft of a bicycle. While they may be more expensive, buying a heavy-duty lock with a key or other secure unlocking mechanism is best. Your lock should be made of durable, sturdy materials like stainless steel. This way, even if someone tries to steal your bike, they’d find it too hard to do.
We hope this page has helped you prioritize getting a safe, secure lock for your bicycle.