Keep your bike safe with a sturdy and reliable bicycle lock.
Saving money on security is a rather bizarre way of saving money. Bicycles are easy to steal, and once stolen, it’s nearly impossible to get them back. In fact, there is a thriving market for stolen bicycles that never seems to slow down: around 320,000 bicycles are stolen in USA every year, but this is a low estimate because only 40% of thefts are regularly reported.
While nothing will stop the most determined thief from running away with your bike, most thefts can be prevented by properly securing your bike with a sturdy, well-designed lock. After all, it only takes seconds to tie up a bike when you walk into a cafe or leave it parked overnight in your home garage, so you should always tie it up whenever you leave it unattended.
Thieves are mostly opportunists and will choose the bike that seems easier and faster to steal. For this reason, parking a bicycle in an isolated area, even with a sturdy lock, is risky. But in any case, any lock is always better than no lock, as long as you use it correctly.
Finding the best bicycle lock can be tricky. There are so many to choose from, and the wrong decision can have dire consequences! The secret to success is choosing a lock that is secure enough to protect your bike yet easy enough to use every day. This balance between robustness and practicality is essential.
With that in mind, here are the best bicycle locks, classified according to their level of security and our analysis.
- The best Bicycle Locks on the market
- Bike Lock Buying Guide: How to choose the perfect Bike Lock for you
The best Bicycle Locks on the market
1. Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini Bicycle Lock
The safest bicycle lock
Type: U-shaped lock | Material: 18mm hardened MAX-Performance steel disc cylinder, drill resistant | Keys Included: 3 | Security: high level (gold) | Weight: 2.06 kg
It’s not cheap, but when it comes to the safety of your bike, the Fahgettaboudit Mini is simply the best. It is generally considered the strongest lock on the market, and Kryptonite rates it with a score of 10 out of 10. It also offers a service whereby, if a thief manages to tamper with the lock, the company will pay up to 2,500 euros for a replacement bike.
Thanks to its small size, the Fahgettaboudit Mini is also very portable and can be safely slipped into a belt or placed in a small bag without the need for a special holder. Due to this size, however, you may not be able to anchor to large objects, so you will need to figure out in advance if there is a suitable rack for this small lock.
Note that there are safer U-locks on the market, such as the Bus Granit 59, but these are generally made for motorcycles, which means their price will be higher accordingly.
2. Abus Granit X-Plus 540
The best U-lock for bikes
Type: U-shaped lock | Material: 13mm thick hardened steel | Keys Included: 2 | Security: maximum level (diamond) | Weight: 1.58 kg
The Abus Granit X-Plus 540 doesn’t try to win you over with its quirky or quirky being. Instead, it focuses on being as durable as possible – its U-ring is incredibly sturdy, and its square shape cancels out much of the leverage exerted by some wire cutters, unlike more circular designs.
If someone were to manage somehow to cut it, its square profile has another advantage, that of preventing the lock from opening once cut. This means thieves will have to cut the Bus in two places, potentially doubling the time it takes to remove the lock completely.
The dimensions are also excellent from a practical point of view. Other locks are so large that they aren’t particularly portable, and others are so small that they don’t always fit all types of bikes and racks. The X-Plus 540, on the other hand, is a great middle ground. It is difficult to find something better in terms of the “balance” between practicality and safety.
3. Litelok Gold Wearable
The best portable lock
Type: Flexible Padlock | Material: Boaflexicore band, hardened steel clasp | Keys Included: 3 | Security: high level (gold) | Weight: 1.12 kg
The Litelok is certainly the least heavy Gold-rated lock of all, with its 1.12 kilograms. But weight is not the only thing in its favor; its soft and flexible shape means it can be fitted anywhere or even worn around the waist. Litelok also offers three different lengths to adapt to different circumferences.
Given its soft appearance, skeptics can’t be blamed: and yes, there are plenty of them around. But rest assured, the Litelok uses a material called Boaflexicore that is extremely difficult to break by pulling (many U-locks break due to the force applied in the twist), while its multiple layers hold up just as well to cutting tools. The lock mechanism is also made of hardened steel. And the design has another practical advantage: you can join multiple Liteloks together to form a longer lock.
To save some money, you could opt for the non-wearable Litelok Gold, but you won’t have the comfortable option of carrying it around your waist.
4. Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 4 1055 Mini
The safest and cheapest chain lock
Type: Chain Lock | Material: boron and manganese steel chains, nylon sleeve | Keys Included: 3 | Security: high level (gold) | Weight: 2kg
Chain locks may have their drawbacks, but in addition to deterring potential thieves, their chain can be tied around larger objects, meaning you will almost always be able to find a secure object to secure your bike.
At 55cm in length, the Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 4 weighs less than the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit and can be folded compactly into a backpack. Its integrated locking mechanism is nearly impossible to open and makes locking the chain easier than the mechanism of other bike locks.
With a chain only 10mm wide, one would think the Kryptolok is far from having the same security as heavier 16mm chains. Thankfully though, its Gold rating says otherwise – with this bike lock chain, you can rest assured that your bike will be safe.
5. Abus Bordo Granit X-Plus 6500
The best folding bike lock
Type: foldable | Material: hardened steel | Keys Included: 2 | Security: high level (gold) | Weight: 1.58kg
Foldable locks offer the extra convenience of being easier to store in a bag than a U-lock, and the Bus Bordo Granit X-Plus 6500 also comes with a holder that allows you to attach it to your bike. Its weight, however, is rather “important,” being 1.58 kg, which means that you may not want to put it on your frame, especially if the lightness of your bike is one of its strong points.
That weight, however, is justified, and it is also thanks to it that this folding lock is among the few to have a Gold rating, ranking with a score of 15 out of 15 on the Abus safety scale. The foldable design allows you to handle the Granit X-Plus so you can attach your bike in more places, compared to those available with a classic U-lock. But it must be said that the best U-locks still remain safer than strips thin parts of a folding lock.
If you don’t need something as heavy as the Granit X-Plus 6500, Abus offers other folding locks in its Edge range, including the 6000A, which has a built-in alarm.
6. OnGuard Pitbull STD U-Lock
The secure bike lock with the best value for money
Type: U-shaped lock | Material: ultra hardened steel padlock, vinyl coating | Keys Included: 5 | Security: high level (gold) | Weight: 1.77kg
Among the best bike locks, we also find the Onguard Pitbull 8005. It is a safe and incredibly affordable lock – it has a Gold rating and costs about half the cost of many rivals. In addition, the lock weighs only 1.77 kg, and the U-bar is coated with rubberized vinyl to protect the frame or wheels from scratches. The key also includes a small LED light to help insert it in low light conditions.
Normally, a cable extension would be sold separately for an extra cost (ten euros), but here it is included, and ,it is truly amazing at this price. This kit is a blessing for safety-conscious cyclists on a tight budget.
7. Abus 770A SmartX U-lock
A smart lock ideal for securing your precious e-bike
Type: U-shaped lock | Material: hardened steel | Security: high level (gold) | Weight: 2.15kg
Abus is already well known for its range of classic bicycle locks, but recently it has also ventured into the high-tech world with this “smart” choice. This lock has classic Abus design features, such as those of the excellent Granit, and this results in an elegant lock and sturdy construction. The big difference, however, lies in the locking system, which uses technology.
There is a Keyless Go card that allows you to register as an administrator and pair the device with your phone. From there, the Abus app and Bluetooth functionality give you quick and easy control of the locking mechanism. Then there is an alarm, and the app can also help you find your bike if you’ve parked but can’t remember where. Yes, this is the real future.
Ranking of the best sellers
This is the comparison table and the ranking of the best-selling Bicycle Locks on Amazon.
Bike Lock Buying Guide: How to choose the perfect Bike Lock for you
Almost all bicycle locks can be removed in five minutes with the right tools and a little experience. However, hardened steel locks or chains require an angle grinder, which is loud and conspicuous. Thieves, of course, are more likely to quickly and quietly cut cheaper locks with wire cutters. Where you leave your bike and how long you leave it, there are factors that should tell you the “amount” of safety you actually need.
Places where bicycles remain attached all day, such as large cities and college campuses, where bicycle theft is common, require more security. And if you leave it out overnight, don’t worry about overdoing it – using multiple locks that require different tools to remove is a good strategy. Here are the four types of locks that exist, from least secure to safest.
The Four Types of Padlocks
There are several options for lightweight locks. Cable tie designs and the familiar coiled cable lock – often with a combination cylinder – are among the more common options. Most can be easily removed with simple hand tools such as wire cutters or shears. These locks are mostly used for situations where you need little security, such as a quick stop at a shop or a stop at a bar where the bike remains in sight.
U-locks are considered the safest, but chain locks can be just as secure if the chain and lock are both hardened steel. Using an old combination lock – those for gym lockers, so to speak – with a bolt from the hardware store is a useless choice, as a couple of wire cutters would be enough to remove it. The large chain locks can lock both wheels and the bicycle frame and give you more choice of things you can wrap and lock it to. These locks can be heavy and difficult to carry, but some are designed to be anchored around the waist for easier carrying.
Like chain locks, folding locks can lock both wheels and the bike frame and be anchored to even large objects. They are popular due to their compact size when folded, which makes them easier to store or mount on the bike. Folding pins are, however, weak points for drills, and some can be vulnerable to wire cutters.
U-locks are heavier than most other types of locks, although they are the safest. They are usually made with hardened steel and will be a hindrance to thieves using hand tools, but they can still be removed with power tools, such as an angle grinder. Some models, such as Kryptonite’s New York U-lock, which uses a double bolt, require two cuts in two different places to be removed.