An estimated 1.5 million bikes are stolen every year, and that number is not dwindling. The convenience and portability that make bicycles such a useful transportation option also mean that they are vulnerable to theft. To combat bike theft, you’ll want to get a hold of one of the best bike locks currently available. Some of these locks can get pricey, yes, but when you put that inconvenience against the odds of ever seeing your bike again, you’ll be glad you made the investment. Staying prepared with a quality lock can deter many thieves from even trying — and prevent the ones who do try from being successful.
When shopping for a bike lock, consider its type, quality, and strength. The lock you might need may depend on the area you’re in. If you bike in an area where bikes and bike theft are relatively uncommon, a heavy-duty lock might be overkill. On the other hand, in areas where bikes are everywhere, thieves may be prepared with more sophisticated tools. You’ll also need to factor in the lock’s thickness — the thicker it is, the less likely it can be cut with bolt cutters — and its size. Smaller locks are typically more difficult to break, but they can be awkward to secure. We’ve gathered here some of the best options to help you decide. From cable and U-shaped locks to Bluetooth and other keyless types, we’ve got it covered.
At a glance:
- Best overall:
- Best cable lock:
- Best U-lock:
- Best titanium:
- Best foldable:
- Best heavy-duty:
- Best Bluetooth:
- Best for all weather types:
- Best multipurpose:
Best overall: Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini Bike Lock
For the name alone, Kryptonite’s Fahgettaboudit — don’t pronounce it like Michael Scott does — deserves to be on this list, but it helps that it’s also one of the strongest bike locks available. This small but mighty U-Lock is made of 100% hardened steel that has been triple-heat-treated and boasts an impressive 18-inch shackle that makes it impenetrable to bolt cutters. It is vulnerable to angle grinders, however, but since the double bolted crossbar locks both sides of the shackle, a thief would need at least 10 minutes to break through it. With all that strength does come a lot of weight — 4.55 pounds to be exact. Its locking radius is only 3.25 by 6 inches, which could make locking anything with thick wheels difficult.
If you park your bike downtown or in a place with high theft, you’ll want the most secure bike lock you can get, which is the Fahgettaboudit Mini. The lock also comes with a free insurance plan, so if someone breaks your Fahgettaboudit lock and steals your bike, Kryptonite will cover up to $5,000 worth of damages. You can even get the lock bundled with the Kryptonite Comet F100 Front LED & R100 Rear LED Bicycle Indicator Lights.
Best cable lock: Kryptonite’s KryptoFlex Looped Bike Security Cable
Need to lock multiple bicycles? Kryptonite’s KryptoFlex Looped Bike Security Cable is ideal for securing two or more bikes, scooters, or motorcycles when used along with a Kryptonite lock. This 10-millimeter thick braided steel cable offers cut resistance and a double looped style that you can use with your favorite U-locks, padlocks, and disc locks.
Best U-lock: Sigtuna Bike Locks U-Lock
One look at this heavy-duty locking system and thieves will rethink targeting your bicycle. It comes with a four-foot double-loop steel cable and a heavy-duty 16-millimeter steel U-lock shackle. Its double bolt mechanism offers extra strength and protection, while the mounting bracket and one-button release allow you to enjoy a balance between security and convenience.
Best titanium: TiGr Mini+
TiGr makes portability as much of a priority as security with its successful Kickstarter project, the Mini+. At 1 pound, the Mini+ is made of titanium — a trend in bike locks, lately — and uses a push-button locking mechanism, but what makes this lock particularly special is its size. Its 4- by 8-inch locking area makes for a lock that secures a majority of road bikes, while also remaining light enough to carry it around with you. This may sound like a minor feature, but if you’ve spent thousands of dollars on a light road bike, you’re not looking to add unwanted weight.
The company harps on the convenience of its mounting clip that comes with the lock, but be forewarned: Depending on your bike’s frame, the clip might be completely useless to you.
Best foldable: ABUS Bordo 6000A Lock
The 5-millimeter, specialized hardened steel bars which comprise the ABUS Bordo 6000 are Fort Knox-like but they aren’t what make this lock virtually impenetrable. It’s the 100-decibel alarm that sounds for 15 unrelenting seconds that creates this lock’s genuine theft-averse magic.
Made with the same 3D movement detection sensors used in the ABUS motorcycle security division, this recently launched lock is about as loud as a pneumatic drill. The sensors are intelligent, capable of deciphering short, quick movements (such as a ball hitting the bike) from long, sustained interference (a thief cutting a lock), emitting only a short warning tone for the former.
Aside from its impressive alarm system, the mechanics of the lock are also solid as ABUS incorporated a folding design and its Plus cylinder to protect against picking. The bars feature extra soft 2-components coating to spare the bike’s paint job and special linking rivets.
Best heavy-duty: Skunk Lock
Ever felt like dousing the thief who tried to steal your bike in a cloud of vile, putrid, and foul-smelling vapors? Well, now you can courtesy of the Skunk Lock, a brilliant U-shaped bike lock that releases noxious chemicals when tampered with. Pressurized with a vomit-inducing formula, the chemical deterrent — once activated — is detectable even through strong, thick gas masks, meaning thieves are unlikely to get wise to the strategy.
You don’t have to worry about accidentally dousing yourself in the rotten-stenched formula either as it’s fully confined and sealed in a sturdy hollow chamber inside the lock. Plus, even without the skunk spray, the lock is impressively thief-proof. Constructed of high tensile strength carbon steel hardened to 450 Brinell and equipped with patented MM grinder-resistant technology, it’s tough and robust. As a bonus, it also features an intelligent key replacement program.
Best Bluetooth: Noke U-Lock
Noke has taken its innovative padlock technology and made a smart, high-tech bike lock smart, high-tech bike lock. With a push of a button on your lock, Noke searches for your phone via Bluetooth and once it discovers you, your U-lock unlocks. If that doesn’t sound secure enough for you, you can always turn off the Bluetooth feature and unlock your U-lock by pushing a button through the Noke app.
Along with an alarm system, smartwatch compatibility, and a GPS for when you don’t remember where you’ve parked your bike, the Noke U-Lock brings bike security into the 21st century. Noke also says the lock is water-resistant, but we wouldn’t recommend you test that against heavy rain. And even though the lock’s battery lasts for years, your phone won’t, so make sure you always have enough battery to unlock your bike.
Best for all weather types: Via Velo Bike U-Lock with Cable
This Via Velo bike lock comes with protective elements that make it great to use in all weather types. It has a PVC coating that does a great job of resisting corrosion from dust, water, and dirt to extend its life, which equates to tough performance. Measuring 14 millimeters thick, the heat-hardened steel shackle of the lock offers solid defense against cutting and leveraging. It also boasts a durable double-bolt crossbar locking mechanism to keep it extra safe against jacking and prying, plus a flexible woven steel cable with PVC coating to secure accessories, both wheels, and more.
Best multipurpose: Titanker Bike Lock
The Titanker bike lock offers the convenience of keyless security. It uses a smart four-digit resettable lock system so you can easily make your own combinations. Measuring 4 feet in length and 0.5 inches in diameter, the flexible steel cable features a solid cut resistance for durability as well as PVC coating to prevent scratching. Truly multipurpose, this device can be used not only for bicycles but also to secure skateboards, fences, gates, lawnmowers, grills, toolboxes, ladders, and sports equipment. It’s available in black and other vibrant color finishes.
Find more great stuff by browsing through our Sports & Outdoors hub.
- The 6 best bicycle lights to keep you safe on the road
- These are the best cheap safe deals for September 2020
- The best office-appropriate gifts for your boss
- The 6 best jogging strollers
- The best stationary bikes for home cardio workouts