The best bike lock

7 bike locks around a back wheel and a cycling stand

Out of all the above bike locks there’s only one that I trust when locking my bike. Can you guess which one?

The Kryptonite New York 3000.

Sure it might be expensive to buy at first (around £55) and sure it’s a heavy beast to carry around, but it beats buying a new bike any day!

As I can’t see myself having the income level to hire a guard to stand by my bike every time I leave it somewhere, I think I’ll keep using it.

Let me explain my choice:

  • I reviewed the Kryptonite New York 3000 back in 2009. Since then, I’ve used it on an almost daily basis and left my bike all over London. From Hackney, to Camden, to Angel. My bike has always been kept safe (touch wood!).
  • Various cycling magazines have reviewed the bike lock and deemed it to be one of the most resistant ones to attack. You’ll need a high end tool to beat it. Sold Secure have given it their Gold Standard rating.
  • There used to be a famous video circulating around, showing that you could open these locks with a bic pen. Since 2005 Kryptonite have switched to an I-key system which ended this vulnerability.
  • Whilst the bike lock isn’t wide enough to go around a lamppost, it will get around most objects I attach my bike to in London. It is also big enough to allow me to lock it through the rear triangle of my bike and the object meaning that my rear wheel is secured.
  • I’ve never had any issues with keys getting stuck. If you are having difficulty turning your key, don’t force it, you should lubricate the lock. You can use WD-40 but there are better lubricants out there that are less likely to gunk up your lock. Look for graphite powder lubricants that cost about £3.

The secondary bike lock

I think by now we’ve established I’m a fan of the Kryptonite New York 3000 bike lock. However, it’s fairly useless on its own. If you ride a bike in London, you need a secondary lock.

This doesn’t need to be as strong. Instead, just pop in to your local bike shop and buy a chain lock or cable lock that is sold by a reputable brand such as Abus, Kryptonite or On Guard.

This should never be used on its own.

Abus Granit Bike Lock product imageCould this bike lock be better than the Kryptonite?

In many ways the Abus Granit X Plus 54 is better than the Kryptonite. Its the same price (around £55) but it weighs 22% less at 1.4kg. It is also cleverly engineered so that if a thief manages to cut the shackle, in most scenarios they’ll have to cut it again to release the bike as the lock maintains its integrity. However, it has a 13mm thick shackle which is 3mm less than the Kryptonite. In reality both locks do an excellent job.

The strongest bike lock of them all…

If you don’t care about the weight, then you can get the seriously hefty Kryptonite Fahgettaboutit lock. It weighs just over 2kg and has an 18mm steel shackle. The problem is that you won’t be able to get it around your rear wheel, which means a thief could pinch it, unless you have some other locking system in place.

I’m sure there’s even heftier locks than this one!

What lock are you using?

Leave a comment below with:

  • Name of the bike lock you are using
  • How long you’ve been using it theft free
  • Would you recommend it to others

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37 Responses to The best bike lock

  1. Dave H 21/11/2012 at 6:34 pm #

    I’m glad you didn’t say the Abus X Plus is no good since I’ve just splashed out on one. In online reviews the Abus and the New York lock seem about equal.

    I chose the Abus because of their replacement key system and also because of the bracket it came with- all the Kryptonite locks I have had in the past have had feeble brackets which ended up breaking or being awkward!

  2. Matthew 21/11/2012 at 6:36 pm #

    I have had every bike I have ever owned stolen so for me this is a close one to my heart.

    I use an abus lock – fairly hefty and then a kryptonite cable lock on top.

    I’ve been ok so far with this. Just remember if someone wants to nick your bike and they have the tools and a chance of doing so..they will..

  3. Steff Davies 21/11/2012 at 7:03 pm #

    Kryptonite M18 – essentially a Fagheddaboutit, but longer. Locked through front wheel, frame and object (my parking bikes are fixed gear, so getting the rear wheel off without covering yourself in chain goo is a faff). Seems to work, but a bugger to carry. Fortunately I’m moving to Stockholm soon, which may permit me to use something less ridiculous.

  4. kellyman17 21/11/2012 at 7:12 pm #

    kryptonite new york with a kryptonite cable with abus padlock as back up. the lryptonite secure the frame, the cable goes through my wheels and is wound through my rack and then locked through the kryptonite d lock, so they’d have to cut both to get at the bike

  5. Cafewanda 21/11/2012 at 7:40 pm #

    @ Kellyman17. Hmm. Now you’ve made me think.

    If I’m locking the bike on the street, I use my Fahg mini and a basic Abus D lock. For my commute where my bike is locked up in secure parking indoors at work, I just use my Kryptonite Evolution: front wheel to frame. I keep meaning to upgrade to the Abus Granit X Plus but not gotten round to it yet.

    (Touch wood) I’ve not yet lost a bike in the four years I’ve been cycling.

    • kellyman17 21/11/2012 at 9:33 pm #

      bear this in mind: my bike lock system is designed for MY area (round the north west, including liverpool) and I live in a high crime area. (there has been 159 crimes within 1 mile of my house in september according to police.co.uk) i commute to liverpool everyday with a bike that is considered very high end next to some of the bikes my fellow students at UoL ride. I leave my bike for 8 hours at a time, with only those locks to protect it. everyones mileage may vary, i have a friend who has had two bikes stolen from his back garden within six months of each other, and he was just as careful with his locking as i am.

  6. Mike 21/11/2012 at 7:42 pm #

    I use a motorcycle chain lock with 18mm links made from stainless that has already thwarted theives that were armed with big bolt cutters, the chain has a shrouded masterlock padlock, with this I also use a typical gold rated abus cable lock and for good measure I also stick a little travelneeds alarmio combi cable lock with built in alarm that is stupidly sensitive and is 100Db+ so even if someone was able to cute one of the locks, they would be busted because of the alarm.

  7. Guido 21/11/2012 at 7:48 pm #

    I use a hiplock, been 18 months now, when I am on the road bike instead of the single speed I also use a kryptonite d lock (can’t remember which one)

  8. Dave C 21/11/2012 at 9:05 pm #

    Oh no, converting a lovely 6 speed Raleigh TI to a single speed…

    • Andreas 22/11/2012 at 9:59 am #

      Sorry Dave! :( Rides beautifully though – so light!

  9. Steve A 21/11/2012 at 11:04 pm #

    I have a Kryptonite, but it has been unimpressive. Better has been my OnGuard. WD40 is great for keeping locks from freezing. Not a good lube though.

  10. Stef 21/11/2012 at 11:09 pm #

    Kellyman if you take your UoL smart card to security they’ll allow you access to the secure lock ups outside the libraries, gym etc :)

    • Kellyman17 22/11/2012 at 7:40 am #

      I have done, but the coverage if woefully inadequate and currently the card readers do not work correctly so I don’t bother, I like knowing I can definitely et my bailie out at night. I know someone who had to wait an hour for a security team to come and open it after it refused access

  11. Christophevdm 22/11/2012 at 8:34 am #

    As my precedent bike was stolen while using two locks, I now use three : Axa Defender wheel lock (was standard mounted when I bought my bike) + Abus Granit Plus U lock + Abus Granit City Chain X-plus. Cost? 20% of the bike value

    • Andreas 22/11/2012 at 10:00 am #

      Nice. I’m always surprised these wheel locks are not more prevalent in London?

      • Christophevdm 22/11/2012 at 7:56 pm #

        Those wheel locks are in fact very common in the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark,…

        See for yourself in Copenhagen ;-)

        Combined with a good chain lock through frame & front wheel, and attached to a bike rack, it’s considered as a safe method by the dutch cycling association “fietsersbond”

  12. Velofeet 22/11/2012 at 9:44 am #

    Krptonite mini on rear through triangle. Sheldon Brown says it’s not important fori to go around the actual rear wheel. See his video for details, and an abus cable lock (easy to cut type) for the front. Two locks are a good deterrent. 80 per cent of the bikes I see in C.London are not locked properly (that is not through the rear triangle), no wonder they get stolen. In any case, I’m now moving to a Brompton, so hopefully goodbye locking woes!

    • Andreas 22/11/2012 at 10:01 am #

      Brompton: The ultimate solution to bike theft!

  13. Donal 22/11/2012 at 10:20 am #

    To be honest, I tend not to leave my bike out of my sight for long unless I really have to.
    During the day I’m lucky enough to put it in a locked private underground bike cage whilst I’m at work, but I still use my Abus Granit X Plus through frame and front wheel when it’s in there.
    So far, so good (touch wood).

  14. Sam 22/11/2012 at 12:27 pm #

    i’ve been using the Abus Granit X Plus 54 for 2 years now, theft free, annoyingly ratly on the frame clamp when cycling along so i normally tuck it in my bag when riding. Not too heavy and thoroughly reccomend it.

  15. GRahamL 22/11/2012 at 3:10 pm #

    I have two New ‘Yorkers’. I had my mtb stolen from the roof of my car only a few weeks ago. I am loathed to leave my bike unattended anywhere now BUT if I do the D lock goes on the bike on the roof carrier plus a thick cable that attaches to the bike and the bike carrier. If anyone does decide to nick it they me able to chop the cable off BUT they can’t ride it away because of the new yorker D lock. Both my bikes in a locked garage now have cables and d locks secured to them. Paranoid ??? Yeah, maybe !!

  16. Pete 23/11/2012 at 10:44 am #

    Locking up in central London, so always two locks.

    Kryptonite NY Fag through rear tri and wheel. Kryptonite Mini through front wheel. No gaps anywhere. Best locked bike in Soho!

    Locks did cost more than the bike …

  17. brian 23/11/2012 at 2:05 pm #

    Almax Immobiliser Series III + Squire SS65CS Stronghold Lock

  18. Bethan 23/11/2012 at 4:20 pm #

    Two good locks (of different types as thieves usually only carry tools for one). I have an old Abus D Lock and skewers through my front wheel and saddle, but as the back wheel is a hub the third skewer doesn’t fit so I always need to get the D-lock through the frame and the back wheel too. hence the enormous and heavy Abus, but it’s strapped to the bike when not in use and I’m used to carrying it now. Touch wood, no bikes nicked in 15 years but I’ve got secure parking at work and at home, so it’s rarely on the street. when it is I’m paranoid ;)

  19. Jeremy Patton 23/11/2012 at 10:13 pm #

    I used to use a v cheap d lock from Halfords and a very cheap cable lock which worked ok as the bike was even cheaper. But I got bored with locking it so I also bought a Brompton. Liberation!

  20. Mark Radcliffe 24/11/2012 at 4:38 am #

    I am using the Abus Bordo Lite. I was told that is was difficult to break because unlike a U lock, you cannot get leverage on it. Any experience?

    • schmid 10/09/2013 at 10:11 am #

      my Abus Bordo 6000 was snapped open during lunch over the weekend, looks like they managed to get a carjack into it. Back to U-locks for me.

  21. David 24/11/2012 at 5:56 pm #

    I have both a krytonite New York 3000 and a fahgettaboudit lock which I use together. Yes they are heavy, but I rather have some peace of mind knowing that I locked my bike with the best locks within my budget. Ridden through some high crime areas in London and it does seem to do the job in hand. *fingers crossed*,

  22. Graham 28/11/2012 at 10:04 am #

    I have a kryptonite kryptolok series 2 – cheap but I thought cut-able rather than pick-able. I leave it attached to a bike rack overnight. Arrived this morning to find it had been unlocked and attached to someone else’s bike. When I unlocked it, it appeared to be completely undamaged. So (some) kryptonites are pickable (or kryptonite are selling duplicate keys).

  23. Mike G. 29/11/2012 at 6:17 pm #

    There’s a clear preference for U-locks here. I used to agree – had the old style Kryptonite reinforced with a bit of pipe junction, then a higher end ABUS model – an older version of the Granit X Plus 54 pictured here. Now I’m a full convert to chain locks – in a high theft city, I’d go with the Abus City Chain X-Plus 1060 10mm chain, combined with a more convenient ABUS wheel lock. Plus my bike weighs a ton, so you can’t easily lift it up. (Where I live now is a low-theft city, so I content myself with an ABUS Steel-O-Chain 810 8mm chain. You simply can’t compare the ease which which you can lock a bike up with a chain – you have a much wider choice of things to lock to, and the chain doesn’t freeze up like cable locks do. Bottom line though, is, insure your bike, because if a thief really wants your bike, he can get it with enough persistence.

  24. commuterjohn 29/08/2013 at 9:33 am #

    The Kryptonite mini fahgetaboutit.
    My bike is £1800 and my insurance demands a gold lock. It is bomb proof and I was thinking of getting one before I read the small print of the policy to see once you exceed £1500 your lock rating goes from silver to gold. Wondering now if its worth insurance on the bike as there is only the chance of someone with a disc cutter cutting it off!

  25. Lou O 12/09/2013 at 4:01 pm #

    I use a hefty kryptonite lock, so far so good and my bike is left in the street all day in central london.

    I’d suggest that if you always lock your bike in the same place (like I do) then why not just leave the lock attached to the hoop, ready for the next day? Beats carrying 2.2kg of steel around.

    I also carry a light coil lock for those ‘5 minutes in the shop’ stops.

  26. Ronnie Chowdhury 22/09/2013 at 5:43 pm #

    Best combination of locks I use is a kabrus motorcycle disc lock with alarm. You can put this around your front chain ring too to stop it being ridden away.
    And then I discovered the Bully lock from the us. It’s a dlock with a alarm and most importantly a vibration sensitive pager with 500m range.

    There is no better deterrent to a thief than the owner running towards him shouting. I’ve been able to leave this near my work; have someone tamper with the bike and have my pager ring. Then you just saunter down and catch the guy red handed and take to police complete with evidence. After all it’s great to get a thief off the streets too after trying to steal your bike.

    Expensive at £100 but ita worth it

  27. Sara_H 24/09/2013 at 6:11 pm #

    I have an abus granit x plus through rear triangle and wheel and an abus chain o stel through front wheel and frame.

  28. Jordan E Baker 10/11/2014 at 4:06 pm #

    Good post thanks! me and the guys completely agree with you, we get call outs nearly every day for bikes locked and unable to unlock because of cheap locks.

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