We 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
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
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
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
Your bike lock
I’m interested in hearing what bike lock you guys use and if you recommend it.
Join 9,241 fellow cyclists who are subscribed to the London Cyclist newsletter
Sign up for our free newsletter to get...
- Advice on the best cycling gear
- A Friday roundup of all the latest London cycling news
- Exclusive content not available on the blog
Subscribe today, and get exclusive access forever! (It's free)
*No spam, ever!
As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.