Bike locks are more important than you would realize. Cycling outside is a much more rewarding form of exercise than spending time on an exercise bicycle. Balancing the bike helps you develop balance and core-strength and riding it through the traffic helps develop your reflexes and co-ordination. In addition, a bike ride along a long, lonely road alongside a river can be extremely soothing. All this can not be achieved on an exercise bike inside a gym.
Earlier, Bike locks were looked upon as an add-on novelty but recently they have taken on a much more important role. If you are going outside, riding your bike to work, or commuting on one, it becomes imperative that you have a bike lock to protect your bike from getting stolen. So we have put together a guide to help you decide which bike lock would be good for you.
Types of Bike Locks
There are also a lot of different kinds of bike locks available on the market. The most important designs are.
These are the most popular form of bike locks since they are the most secure design. They consist of a hard metal bar moulded into a U shape. The ends are connected together with a crossbar which when locked form a D-shaped structure. Ideally, they need to be small in size, so that they are more difficult to cut through but at the same time large enough to facilitate easy usage.
2. Cable Locks
They are made out of steel with a rubber coating. They are longer in length (about 2 feet). The ends of the cable are connected to a lock. Coiled cables are much more convenient to use as the flexibility makes them easier to use in tricky or cramped spaces.
3. Chain Locks
These contain a steel chain covered with a sheath made out of rubber or plastic. To provide more security the ends are connected to a padlock or a lock. Chain locks are more versatile and offer greated mobility and room to move than U-locks or Cable locks. Choosing the Right Bike Lock
1. Security – It is the biggest factor when deciding on a bike lock. After all, what good is a bike lock if someone can swipe your bike even after the lock is in its place. The lock should be strong enough to withstand attempts to cut through it and also the locking mechanism should be strong enough to take some brute force attack on itself.
2. Versatility – Versatile locks are those which protect more than one components of your bike at the same time. You don’t want a bike with the wheels missing, do you? U-Lock with flex cables attached are clearly the most versatile locks available.
3. Weight – Though heavier models are more secure and stronger, lugging them around can be cumbersome. U-Locks are the heaviest because they are made up of hard metal, while cables are much lighter and more convenient to carry around.
4. Locking mechanism – This is not a big issue, but still one that should not be ignored entirely. If you are prone to losing your keys, you would be better off getting a combination lock while if you often mix up your passwords and forget PINs, it would be better to get an old-fashioned padlock.
Having discussed this, its time to jump right into the available padlocks and which ones do we think are worth your time and money.
7th Pick: Kryptonite Kryptoflex 1218 Combo Lock
There is hardly much competition in the market to Kryptonite locks. They form a major chunk of this list and for good reason too. Their products span a lot of different categories and price ranges and the functionality for all of them is pretty good.
We would like to start off the list with the Kryptonite Kryptoflex 1218 Combo lock. It is a light weight,convenient combo lock. Light and portable, it uses keyless locking mechanism so you do not have worry about losing the keys.
On the downside, not very secure and can be cut using tools. The cables also are twisted which serves no design purpose whatsoever and just makes it harder to use. However, it is a good secondary lock for your bike.
6th Pick: Hiplock V1.50 Chain Lock
This is a modern, wearable chain lock which eliminates the need to carry anything extra while riding. It comes in different sizes to accommodate for different waist sizes. 8mm steel chain provides moderate security while the small size makes it very convenient to use.
However, the lock is rather heavy. Weights nearly 4 pounds and can bother the rider on prolonged wearing.However, the security of the lock isn’t bad and it recommend mainly for people who do not like to carry extra locks in their hands while travelling or riding.
5th Recommendation: Etronic Security Lock M4 Self coiling lock
This is the cheapest combo lock on this list and is rather convenient to use. It is also much lighter than most of the locks on this list, weighing just 0.3 pounds. The cable is 4 feet long, enough to secure your bike frame while the coating on the coil makes it scratch resistant.
However, the model leaves something to be desired in the security section. But the convenience and ease of transport compensate for the lack of security. It is an excellent option for your bike if it mostly parked in your garage or relatively safer areas.
4th Pick : Kryptonite Keeper Integrated Chain Lock
This is hands down the best chain lock available on the market. There are different lengths of the chain but we would recommned the 32 inch. This length offers your enough room to secure your bike safely without increasing the weight of the whole thing to annoying levels.
The best feature of this lock is the 7mm thick four-sided chain link. Made of manganese steel, they provide excellent security to your bike.
If you like flashy equipment or colourful gear, you can get the sheath of the chain in different colours. The locking mechanism is also pretty simple making it a very easy to carry and use product.When we tested it, we were unable to break it, even when using bolt cutters. That is a clear sign of the strength of this product. So if you want a reasonably secure lock at a low price, this is the lock to go for.
3rd Pick: Cocoweb Armbar U-Lock with LotusLock Bicycle Flex Cable
This is a versatile U-lock which can provide decent levels of security.This model has multiple security features. Apart from the metallic version, it also comes with a PVC coating which protects your bike from damages that come due to regular friction with the lock while riding. The lock is made up of alloy steel which provides great security while the PVC coating protects your bike’s frame from scratches and dents. It makes use of two keys for the locking, making it more secure against lockpicks.
#2 Pick : Krypton Kryptolok Series 2 Standard Bicycle U-Lock
If you are on a budget but do not want to compromise on your security either, this model is your best option. It is a hybrid U-lock with a 4 foot cable making it extremely versatile.
The 4 foot extended cable can be used to lock both of your wheels while the U-lock secures the frame of the bike. It is simple enough to use and is much more versatile as it protect multiple components of your bike at the same time. The cable isn’t mandatory to use however and some customers even use it to lock two bikes together.
This model is also light weight than the conventional U-lock, at a weight of just over 3 pounds. Due to this, you can easily carry it around without much trouble.The lock uses 13 mm steel and thus isn’t the thickest on the market but at the price it is still amazingly strong and provides a decent level of security.
The lock is recommended for riders who travel long distances and need extra protection in a budget.
#1 Recommendation : Kryptonite 997986 Fahgettaboudit U-lock
The most secure bike-lock of the year. Period! Our tests couldn’t even budge the lock, it is that strong.18 millimetre of hardened steel in the U-bend makes this the thickest U-lock available on the market. Add on to that a thick steel crossbar. Even if somehow a thief manages to get through the U-bend (which he won’t, trust us), he still has to cut through the crossbar.
It is also small in size which ensures that heavy tools can not be used to break it giving it an additional layer of security. It comes with 3 keys and a high intensity LED attached which helps visibility during evenings or on late night trips.
However, the lock is rather heavy and secures just the frame of your bike. Thus, if you own an expensive bike and want to make sure that the bike doesn’t go anywhere without you on it, this is the product that you should be buying.In summary, our top pick is the Kryptonite 997986 Fahgettaboudit U-lock. With amazing security and strength, this is the lock you should be going for if money is not a concern for you and do not mind carrying the heavy lock around.
Our next pick, the budget option is, Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 Bicycle U-lock. Strong, light-weight and reasonably secure, if you are on a budget or your bike isn’t very susceptible to theft, this is the lock for you.