No one wants to return to their pride and joy to find it missing, but unfortunately bike theft is all too common.
When picking a bike lock, you want to go for one that promises to be sturdy, but is not so heavy or cumbersome that you’re more likely to take one look at it and leave it at home.
The vast majority of bike locks are rated on the independent ‘Sold Secure’ scale – and given either a Bronze, Gold or Silver level of approval. Bronze is the most breakable, and Gold the least.
You’ll pay more for a stronger ‘Gold’ standard lock, but this is one case where scrimping on quality can lose you money big time – and if you’re bike is insured, it is worth checking if they stipulate the bike must be locked with a Sold Secure Gold Standard lock – if this is the case, using an alternative, less sturdy lock could well invalidate your insurance.
This U lock (or D lock) is rates Gold by Sold Secure, and it is designed for ‘moderate to high’ crime areas. The shackle is made of 14mm hardened Kryptonium steel, and it features a patented double deadbolt locking mechanism. Though no lock is a guarantee, this one would take longer to get through, and would act as a deterrent to the opportune thief – you’d need specific tools at hand to break it.
The lock comes with 3 keys, one of which is lighted – which is a nice touch on a dark night. You also get a mount with this, and this has anti-rattle bumpers to avoid annoying noises on the roads. The lock itself is covered by a rotating dust cover, to keep the dirt and grime out, and the entire unit is weather protected.
This one isn’t small and discreet and comes in at 10.2 cm wide x 22.9 cm high – you’ll probably notice it.
D-locks are often touted as the safest option, and the toughest to get through, though it’s often recommended that you use then in conjunction with a cable lock, to keep your wheels safe.
Though it does mean carrying yet another item, having a D lock / U lock and a cable does give you an extra layer of protection.
This set comes with a 13mm hardened Kryptonium steel shackle D lock, and a Kryptoflex braided steel cable for locking up wheels and saddles. A tad smaller than the Gold rated Evolution 4, it comes in at 8.3cm x 18cm.
You still get 3 keys, a rotating dust cover, anti-rattle frame mount and deadbolt locking system, but this one is rated as Sold Secure Silver – so it’s one step down on the safety ladder. However, the D-lock is not rated with the addition of the steel cable, so the two working together may well provide you with more safety.
The Abus is similarly priced to the Kryptonite offerings above, but it comes with a Gold rating, and dimensions of 8cm x 14 cm (or 81mm x 145mm).
That makes it as safe as our 14mm Kryptonite, but a lot more manageable when it comes to carrying.
A deep swivel pocket to guards the lock from water, and you get 4 keys. Though not cheap, this won the Cycling Weekly bike lock group test, with 9/10, and it certainly looks like a good option.
Unfortunatly, you don’t get a cable chucked into the deal, though you could buy one separately for £10-£20.
If transportation of the lock is a major concern for you, you may want to think about Hiplok.
Hiplok create wearable locks, which eliminate the need to attach anything heavy to the bike, which can affect comfort and control, and the need to add an extra weight to a backpack or panniers.
These locks are rated Silver by Sold Secure, and consist of a 10mm hardened steel shackle, which is made comfortable with an impact resistant nylon case.
The body of the lock is steel also ,with a brass mechanism, and you’ll get 3 keys. The whole unit weighs 1.8kg, and though of course nothing will stop that weighing you down, distributing the weight across the hips can make carrying more comfortable.
Hiplok’s are available in a variety of colours, and if you’re after something less weighty, there is a ‘Hiplok lite’ which comes in at 1kg and is rated Sold Secure Bronze:
Warning – might not be a suitable option for everybody – especially not those who want to travel light.
If you lock your bike daily at your workplace or at home, it might be possible to leave your lock there – hence inclusion of this 2.6kg beast.
This 10mm square link chain is suitable for securing a motorbike, and Oxford claim it has been attack tested, and is resistant against drills, saws, sledge hammers, and bolt croppers.
There is protective cloth chain cover, and you also get 3 keys. At 1m in length, you’d probably want to wrap this round a few times – remember the closer the coil, the harder it is to get a tool in and gain any leverage.
Have you got a great lock we’ve not mentioned?
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.