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Whether you commute on your bike or ride it around for fun, there will come a time when you need to leave it unsupervised. Parking at a bike rack is fine, but it may get stolen. A durable bike lock will make sure it’s there when you return. By entering a unique code or using a padlock you can ensure your bike isn’t taken while you’re away. Here are the best bike locks to consider to protect your bike against thieves.
Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Bike Lock
ONGUARD Bulldog Mini U-Lock
Kryptonite Keeper U-Lock with FlexFrame-U Bracket
Types of Bike Locks
Chain Link Lock
Most links are made from strong manganese steel or a similar material. The chain is encased with a nylon or PVC sleeve to protect the chain from scratching your bike. The length of the chain can be up to five feet, and it comes with either a key or a combination lock.
The best U-lock is made from a solid piece of thick steel that is shaped like a U. The removable locking mechanism allows you to first insert the lock to secure the bike and then attach the locking mechanism to the open ends. You can choose to have a key or combination lock U-lock.
Made from woven steel material and covered with a protective material, these flexible cables are available in various lengths and thicknesses. These cable locks can be purchased with secure locks. If not, you will need to purchase the lock assembly separately.
Best Bike Locks: Reviews & Recommendations
Final Thoughts on the Best Bike Locks
If you’re looking for the best bike lock to protect your bike, consider the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Bike Lock which is sturdy and built to last.
If you want a more affordable option, the ONGUARD Bulldog Mini U-Lock is a good choice. It offers bulldog-level protection and will keep your bike safe.
Benefits of Bike Locks
- Secure your bike. Stolen bikes are a big issue, and being able to attach your bike’s frame to a secure object will help prevent bike theft.
- Peace of mind. Securing your bike with a lock gives you peace of mind and the confidence that you will find your bike right where you left it.
- Store your lock on your bike. Most bicycle locks are designed to lock onto your bike when not in use, so you always have it when you need it.
- They’re made of steel. The best bike lock is made from a strong steel material that cannot be cut or broken easily.
- Different locking options. Most locks are available in either a key lock or a coded locking system, so you can choose the one that works best for you.
- Variety of lock styles. With several options of locks, you are sure to find one that works for any situation.
- Bolt cutters won’t work. Steel locks are strong enough to ensure that no one will be able to use bolt cutters on them.
- Use several locks if needed. In some cases, you may need a higher level of security. In high-crime areas where there may be a determined thief, using two types of locks on your bike will help ensure that your bike will be the toughest to steal.
- Under $25: At this price, you will find quality bike locks with shorter chains or cords that might not be long enough to lock down your bike.
- $25-$50: The mid-range of lock systems are found here. You will be sure to find several locks that will suit your needs.
- Above $50: In this range, you will find locks that are made from heavier steel. They also have longer cables to provide some extra length.
Most locks usually come with several keys. A key allows for an easy and quick way to install or remove the lock. Keys are convenient, and you can keep a spare key in your vehicle just in case you lose one.
Some of the best locks come with the ability to use a passcode. You enter the code by adjusting the numbers on the lock. Some locks can have four, five, or even 10 numbers. The longer the key lock code is, the more secure the lock will be. This makes it tougher to pick the lock.
- Quality: Look for locks made from hardened steel. The thicker the lock, the tougher it will be to break by someone who is trying to steal your bike.
- Chain Length: Look for a long chain that will offer you the security of keeping your bike secure through its main components. The more secure the chain wraps around and through the bike, the safer it will be.
- Covered Chains: Thick chains covered in a protective material will add another layer of safety to your locked bike. There is less chance of someone taking your bike when it looks overly secured.
- If you are using a combination code lock, make sure you use a code that isn’t easy to guess. Try to avoid birthdays or anniversaries, if possible.
- For additional security, get a lock that is a vibrant color. They are more noticeable and can be spotted from a distance.
- It’s best to write down or choose a combination code that you won’t easily forget. If you are unable to remember the code, you may be forced to cut off the lock or call a locksmith.
Q: Can a bike lock be used to lock multiple bikes?
A: Not all of them will be able to do this. To efficiently lock down multiple bikes, you need a lock with a longer cable. One that is just 4 feet long may not be enough to reach a second bike.
Q: Where do I put a bike lock when I’m riding the bike?
A: Most locks can be stored in a bike bag or left on the bike while you ride. However, if you put it on the frame you want to make sure it is secured tightly and does not drag or hang from the bike where it can snag on a branch or on your clothing. More robust locks may need to be stored in a backpack or pannier.
Q: Will a bike lock scratch or dent the frame?
A: They can scratch and chip the paint on your bike if they do not have a protective pad around the chain. While many chains include PVC, rubber, or foam padding, others do not. If you need to replace the padding or want to protect your bike, you can wrap cloth around the frame or the chains.
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