Bike lock guide

bike lock guideWe love our bikes. Many of us spend hours every day on them commuting to and from work. When we leave this prized possession somewhere we want to know it will still be there when we get back. Therefore a good bike lock is the second most essential purchase after the bike itself. This is one part of cycling where saving money is a false economy. This guide will take you through what to look for and recommend some popular bike locks.

How to choose a good bike lock

  • Security rating – in the UK there is the Sold Secure rating system. This classes bike locks as Gold, Silver or Bronze. The three different levels represent how long it will take a bike thief to breach the lock. If you have bicycle insurance then getting a Sold Secure lock is usually part of the terms and conditions.
  • Size – a lock with a bigger locking diameter will mean you can secure it against a wider range of objects. The downside is this gives the thief more space to try and use a leveraging bar to break the lock.
  • Weight – obviously this is something you need to carry around with you often and any additional weight on the bike means additional pedalling effort. Usually a better bike lock will also be heavier.
  • Maintenance – you should use WD40 to keep the locking mechanism working well and not seizing up especially during cold weather.
  • Spare keys – there is nothing worse than losing your keys just as you are about to set off to work. Most bike locks come with at least two spare keys but a third is often very useful.


Best bike locks

Abus Centuro 860mm

abus centuro bike lock Cable locks have a bad reputation for security. They are far easier to cut through than D-Locks. As a secondary lock however they can be a good choice. The Abus Centuro is one of the best of the budget bike locks. The big advantage is that it has a convenient 110cm length allowing you to lock it against a big range of objects. It also comes with a frame mount making it easy to transport and quick to use. In terms of security it has multiple strands making it hard to cut through. Weight: 890g

Abus Steel-O-Flex Granit 1000/800mm

abus steel-o-flex Offering similar convenience to the Centuro but with additional protection. It comes with a gold rating from Sold Secure. This is a popular lock amongst couriers as it easy to secure around your waist. However, it must be noted that this still isn’t as secure as D-Locks. The locks weighs around 2kg.

Kryptonite New York Standard

krytonite new york bike lock If safety is your main concern then look no further than the Kryptonite New York Standard. I reviewed this lock recently and it is the one I use to keep my bike safe. It comes with 3 sets of keys and provides protection against all but the most determined bike thieves. The two downsides are the additional weight (1.9kg) and the limited number of objects you can secure it against due to its diameter.

Kryptonite Evolution Series 4

kryptonite series 4 bike lock Provides similar protection to the New York Standard but with less weight (1.66kg). This is another lock that is well trusted and has a gold standard rating from Sold Secure.


Your bike lock

I’m interested in hearing what bike lock you guys use and if you recommend it.

See also:

How to lock your bike

Kryptonite New York 3000 review

How to choose a good waterproof cycling jacket

Bicycle insurance

How to get your bike stolen

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89 Responses to Bike lock guide

  1. Goodwheel 17/03/2013 at 12:08 am #

    Another good technique is to have a strong D-lock as your main lock and a secondary lighter lock utilising a padlock and chain. A thief would have to carry with him two sets of tools to break these two very different kinds of locks. He is more likely to move on and look for easier pickings.

  2. Phil Russell 09/08/2013 at 1:07 pm #

    I’m beginning to think there’s only one way to stop these thieving bar-stewards from stealing your pride & joy—-and that is to NOT LEAVE IT ANYWHERE, locked or otherwise.
    So how should we commute, or shop, or visit, or socialise? Answer: we’ll all end up with 2 bikes—-a good one for enjoyment, and a crappy one for locking-and-leaving. I say this because clearly, from the heartbreaking stories of busted “secure” locks, no bike is ever safe, not even for three minutes. And if any bike-stealing rats are after my best bike, it won’t be my locks you have to deal with—it’ll be me—in person.

  3. Dave 10/08/2013 at 7:10 pm #

    My road bikes live inside the house and are ridden away and back. For shopping and commuting I use my Brompton and where I go, it goes

  4. Bod 24/07/2014 at 9:32 pm #

    Anyone heard of these new fangled GPS based bike locks eg lock 8. They have sensors for motion, temperature and have alarms. After looking at several models I reckon they are way too hi tech for the job. Lock 8 costs 200 euro plus a sub for the GPS tracking. Insurance would be cheaper.

    I have an idea of just covering both wheel in a metal clamp made of stainless steel plate armour, as I have seen many bike plundered for the wheels. Also I hear gans armed with angle grinders, bolt croppers do the round. Maybe what is needed are mini bike garages or lockers like those loos which disappear underground below street level, ticket like in a multi story.

    • Andreas 25/07/2014 at 12:00 pm #

      Hey Bod – We’ve got a post coming next week about the GPS bike locks.

    • Jasio 25/10/2015 at 10:44 pm #

      It requires a little bit of the invention if you want to protect your bike chain form the angle grinder. I used magnesium powder (fire starter) covered in a thick layer of rubber wire insulation, wrapped between chain links and hidden under the sleeve. Any attempt of cutting the chain with the grinding machinery will result it loud, bright, chemical fire unable to significantly harm the motorcycle. If it explodes and hurt the theft, I will simply plead guilty…


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