Picking the best bike lock is not an easy task. With so many product options available and their rating system, choosing the best bike lock for your specific needs can be difficult. But fear not — this post has a lot of information, which will guide you on how to pick a bicycle lock and ensure your safety.
If you’ve ever worried about your bicycle getting stolen, you’re not alone. Most bike owners worry about it. But if you’re like most people, you don’t have time for excessive research to ensure that you’re picking the best bike lock in the market. You want one that does the job well and is portable enough to carry with you when you ride around town or on long weekend rides.
How to Pick a Bicycle Lock: 6 Factors to Consider
1. Type of Bike Lock
If you’re here to know how to pick a bicycle lock, then first things first – get familiar with the types of bike lock!
The three main types of bike locks are chain locks, U-locks, and cables. A chain lock is a padlock without the shackle. It is suitable for securing bicycles to fences or other immobile objects that don’t move around much. U-locks have a “U” shape cross-section with a shackle on each end.
Never use a cable lock as a primary safety measure for your bike. It can get cut in seconds with bolt cutters, and it can also get fitted around your wheel or seat post. That makes it easy for thieves to steal your entire bike without the need for a second tool.
Good quality chains and U-locks need angle grinders to cut through. To cut through, the average angle grinder requires at least several minutes and compromises an exterior surface. Thus, your choice is between a very stout chain and a U-lock.
The Kryptonite New York Standard U-Lock is one of the most popular bike locks on the market for good reason. With solid 16 mm thick steel, it’s ready to stand up to any thieves and protect your ride.
You might think that a lock with security this good would weigh down your bike. The lock’s lightweight frame and fully-reclosable design let you bring it everywhere. Plus, the lock integrates into your bike. Ready to ride? Mount your lock, input your code, enter the app, and you’re off!
Kryptonite is one of the only brands that offer $4,000 in bicycle protection with every sale. The New York brand commits to keeping riders safe because they know how important it is to be able to ride your bike without restriction. The lock is made of high-quality metal, but it does tend to rust in harsh climates. If you live near the shore or in a place with heavy snowfall, we recommend that you take steps to protect the lock from excess moisture. You may clean and lubricate as needed.
The Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit chain is a sturdy lock that’s made of hardened manganese steel. Its chain is 5 feet long and 4 millimeters thick, and its mild-steel shackle is 15 mm. It’s coated with PVC for added strength and security.
A steel ring attached to one end lets you loop the chain back through it, a feature that’s used to lock the chain in place very.
The Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain offers high-security protection due to its patented design. It allows you to lock/unlock it with only one hand. The innovative open design makes it easy to remove from the ground if necessary.
This is the perfect chain for you! If you don’t mind lifting 20 lbs, so it’s not the sleekest or lightweight option on the market. But it is a durable chain that is sure to protect your valuable bike. This particular model can withstand a serious beating. It’s heavy, but if you’re looking for a lock that will handle every type of attack thrown at it, this can do the trick!
2. Check Sold Secure Ranking
Checking at the Sold Secure certification is also key on how to pick a bicycle lock. This independent organization tests out bike locks and rates them on a scale that ranges from gold to bronze, depending on how well they hold up in a series of tests.
- A gold-rated lock is the most secure option, offering the highest level of defense against theft.
- Silver-rated locks offer a compromise between security and cost.
- Bronze-rated locks are only for light security and used only if you’re trying to keep out an opportunist thief with no tools at his disposal.
Each lock rate is made by security experts to check how well it protects you against theft. A Sold Secure rating helps you find the best product for your unique security needs, making it much easier to make a confident choice about which lock to buy.
3. Type of Keyway on the Bike Lock
While traditional padlocks have to rely on numbers and letters attached to the shackle, keypad locks offer more flexibility and can even contain sophisticated electronic programming. While most padlocks feature a simple 7-pin system, some padlocks use as many as 13 pins — making them tougher than ever to crack!
4. Number of Bolts on the Bike Lock
Some bike locks are made and designed to be strong against theft but have the added drawback of being too heavy for cyclists to carry around easily. To prevent theft without making your fencing equipment too heavy, look at how many deadbolts you have — a high-end lock will have two or more.
5. Thickness and Material of the Bike Lock
A heavy-duty hardened steel bike lock whose thick links will take more than a medium-sized bolt cutter to cut — and one that is small enough to fit in your backpack. You’ll need bolt cutters thicker than 15 mm. A chain lock with large-size hardened steel links that is too big to fit into a standard bolt cutter, which most bike thieves do have.
The Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini is harder to break through which makes it perfect for cyclists who often have to lock up their bikes in places where a small lock will suffice — in front of shops, restaurants, and coffeehouses, for example.
It is a lot smaller than standard U-locks, making it easier to transport. However, this also means that when securing your bike in places where the frame and wheel are not touching the ground, you will have to purchase additional straps but the peace of mind you’ll get for that extra fee? Priceless.
How to Lock your Bike Properly
Now, you know how to pick a bicycle lock, it’s time you know the proper way to lock and secure your bike.
Never leave your bike ‘locked’ with only one wheel! This is a great way to make it easier for thieves to steal your bike. And it’s not just wheels — never lock your seat or saddle either.
When you lock your bike, make sure it’s to something at least as solid as a telephone pole. Never lock your bike to another bike (even if it appears sturdy), because thieves can easily steal both bikes off of the same rack. Lock your wheels, not just the frame.
If you buy bike locks online, you significantly reduce your chances of getting a workable lock. Only buy locks that come with a warranty and/or the ability to register them. This way, if the key is lost, the lock can be registered and a replacement sent as soon as possible.
Place your spare key in a safe, separate place at home. You can have your partner keep the other. They’ll be able to help on the day of the theft and alert the police much quicker.
Lastly, to avoid serious problems, take a look at your homeowner’s insurance policy and see how much damage you can claim if your bicycle is stolen. For only a couple hundred dollars a year, you can get a lot of peace of mind.
A combination of the best bike alarms and locks will ensure your bike’s safety. Use them together, so thieves won’t have a chance.
The original bike locks, U-locks like The Kryptonite New York Standard U-Lock are an effective way of deterring a thief. If they can’t steal your wheels, they can’t ride away on them. However, they aren’t secure enough for use in all areas — you need to make sure that the U-lock is securely attached to your bike and frame.
A chain lock is usually heavier and bulkier than a U-lock, but it also provides greater protection. Chain locks are particularly useful when you need to leave your bike stationary for more than a day at a time. They are not as convenient as U-locks. Chains are more secure but chains do weigh twice as much as a U-lock of equivalent strength. So, they are not ideal for people who carry their lock around for extended periods.