BIKE LOCKS BUYING GUIDE
Which Bike Locks Are Best?
Anyone who loves their reliable two-wheeled steed will know the horrible gut wrenching feeling when you discover your bike has been stolen. It is not only inconvenient and expensive, it can be heartbreaking too. Today’s bike thieves are well equipped with portable cutting tools, but they are opportunist and will help themselves to easy pickings. Investing in a good quality bike lock will make stealing your bike much more difficult and will probably put anyone off even trying.
Types of Locks
With so many different bike locks on the market, it can be hard to know which one is best for your bike and the places where you might leave it, so here’s our guide to the different types of locks available…
PROS: Robust, hard to break, good for medium to high risk theft areas
CONS: Heavy, awkward to carry
D-Locks are very robust and much more resistant to cutting tools than a chain. Made up of two parts, a U-shaped bend of steel with a lockable cross bar, simply place the u-shaped metal around a secure non-movable object as well as your bike and secure them together with the cross bar. Although D-locks offer a good level of security, they are best used in combination with a chain lock. D-locks are a bit heavy and can be cumbersome to carry on the bike but there are many bike lock brackets available to secure the lock to the frame of your bike for easier transportation.
Pros: Robust, hard to break, easier to transport than D-locks, good for medium to high risk theft areas
Cons: Most secure chains are very heavy, you need a high quality lock for the chain to be secure
Bike Lock Chains with an integrated lock or padlock will secure your bike to an immovable object with ease. Made up of steel links with a cover (to prevent damage to your bike), the flexible nature of the chain means it is easy to lock your bike anywhere you choose and, if long enough, it will pass through both the wheels and frame for maximum bike security. However, always make sure the lock is as strong as the chain as a weak lock will simply leave your bike open to lock pickers. Also, some of the most robust chains are very heavy so you might need to leave it at your destination for use when you arrive.
Pros: Light and easy to carry around, flexible, inexpensive, good for low theft risk areas
Cons: Easy to cut through
Cable locks are the lightest and most flexible bike lock option. However, they are very easy to cut through so may not be as secure as the D-Lock or Chain options and should only be used in low risk areas. Simply thread the cable around an immovable object and through your bike and secure with a padlock or integrated lock. Cables are also used in combination with D-Locks for added security. Most cable locks are made of a spring cable that automatically coils itself when released making transportation nice and easy.
An easy way to asses how good a bike lock might be is to look at its security rating. Sold Secure is a non-profit organisation administered by the Master Locksmiths Association who provide a rating system for security products and many insurers now require you to use locks of a certain rating depending on the value of your bike. All of the Sold Secure rated locks on the Cycle Surgery website are marked with the appropriate level.
- Can withstand attack from a basic set of tools. Only suitable for cheaper bikes or low-risk use.
- Silver rated locks should withstand attack from an enhanced set of tools but are not recommended for bikes worth over £1,000.
- This is the highest rating available. Able to withstand at least 5 minutes of attack from a full set of tools. Recommended as first defence for bikes worth over £1,000.
How to Lock Your Bike Securely