An estimated 1.5 million bikes are stolen every year, and that number’s not dwindling. The portability and convenience that makes bikes such a useful transportation option also makes them vulnerable to theft. To fight against 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, 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 bike lock can deter many thieves from even trying — and prevent the ones who do try from being successful.
When you’re buying a bike lock, consider the type, quality, and strength of the lock. The bike lock you might need may depend on the area you’re in. If your 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. Other important factors include 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. Ready to deter thieves and find your favorite among the best bike locks? Read on below.
At A Glance:
- Best overall:
- Best cable lock:
- Best U-lock:
- Best for quick locking:
- Best titanium:
- Best for ease of use:
- Best foldable:
- Best heavy-duty:
- Best Bluetooth:
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 percent 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 $4,500 worth of damages.
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 three-eighths-inch 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 mm steel U-lock shackle. Its double bolt mechanism offers extra strength and protection. It also comes with a mounting bracket and one-button release so you can enjoy a balance between security and convenience.
Best for quick locking: LiteLok
LiteLok ditched the construct of a steel frame and used its patented “Boaflexicore” material to make it the lightest and most flexible bike lock. An impressive feat, it also earned the lock a coveted Gold certification from the independent bike security firm, Sold Secure.
The lock weighs in at just 2.4 pounds, and its flexibility lets you lock onto poles or signs which might be difficult to secure with a U-lock. It’s an ideal option for anyone wanting something quick to lock and easy to carry, but it hasn’t worked out for everyone. Either way, if this lock is everything you want but you’re concerned about the video, don’t hesitate to do extra research or reach out to LiteLok support.
Best titanium: TiGr Mini
TiGr makes portability as much of a priority as security with its successful Kickstarter project, the Mini. At a little less than a 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 7-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 for ease of use: Hiplok Gold
Along with being a Sold Secure Gold-certified lock (breaking through its 10-millimeter steel practically impossible), the Hiplok Original is also a fashion statement. While you’re biking, you can wear the Hiplok around your waist and have it double as reflective wear so you’re more visible to cars and other riders.
The Hiplok Gold is the most secure wearable chain the company offers but it’s also 5 pounds. If you want a cheaper and lighter (but slightly less secure) wearable chain from Hiplok, you can browse its other options.
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 you 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, smart watch 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.
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