Best Bike Locks
Coming from someone who recently had their bicycle stolen, A LOCK IS VERY IMPORTANT! A bike lock can keep your cherished two-wheel bicycle safe from potential thieves, and ensure that you can find it in the same place you put it the next time you go for a ride. There are endless options when it comes to bike security, and while the initial function is simple, reliability is a must. Not every person believes that they need a bike lock but it is a great piece of gear to invest in for the price, as it will ensure the safety of your bicycle. Even though they all have the same basic job, the different designs offer a lot more flexibility than bike locks used to offer only a few years ago.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research
Hardened steel shackle
3 keys- one with an LED light
Top 10 Picks
1. Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini
Hardened steel shackle
3 keys- one with an LED light
Keys are small
Arguably the most popular brand in bike locks these days, Kryptonite's Fahghettaboudit boasts a classic 'U' shape but offers great strength and security for your ride.Read more
Kryptonite has one of the most recognizable names in the industry, and not because of the Superman reference. Their products are often measured against some of the top tiers in the bike lock world.
With a max performance steel shackle, it resists both bolt cutters and leverage attacks. One of the three keys is lighted and has a swappable battery for when it dies. This lock is quite average in weight at 5.7 pounds.
This lock is made from top-notch materials, such as hardened steel, a max performance steel shackle, and a high-security disc cylinder. This blend of materials makes it nearly impossible for someone to break or tamper with it.
The 'U' shape allows for easy locking in just about any location. This convenience combined with the thief-proof strength of the Kryptonite will have most bikers feeling satisfied.
2. Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2
Disk cylinder is made to be both drill and pick resistant
The cable is pretty useless
Kryptonite's first appearance on our list is with the Kryptolok. This is a serious piece of technology. Made with 13mm hardened steel, this lock will repel most thieves.Read more
Kryptonite is a serious competitor in the lock game. It's made our list more than once and offers some of the best locks out there.
The lock also comes with a 4' extension cable. Some might find this useful while others think it was an unnecessary afterthought. The lock itself weighs in at 3.59 pounds.
Made from 13mm hardened steel, this lock will hold up against most bike thieves.
Buyers that are looking for a lower cost for a product that will still keep your valuables safe will find this a good option.
3. Nulock Keyless
Ear piercing alarm if tampered with
Good customer service
Available in different lengths
Uses 3 AAA batteries (but should last about 8 months)
Can't unlock your bike without your phone
Buyers should consider this the most innovative bike lock to come into the industry in years. This lock requires no keys or combinations, just your smartphone. And yes, even if you do not have a signal, you can still unlock the device.Read more
Nulock is made by a brand called Nunet and they fly fairly under the radar. Their headquarters is located in Southern California and they are committed to creating electronics to help make life easier.
As mentioned, the key for this bike lock is your smartphone. It is compatible with iPhone 4s and above, Android 4.3 and above, and Bluetooth 4.0 and above. If someone tampers or attempts the braided steel, a 110db alarm will sound. Because this is an electronic device you may wonder how it works in extreme weather conditions. The Nulock can be in temperatures from -14 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and is splash resistant. Depending on the length you purchase, this item weighs around 1 pound.
This lock is available in different lengths, ranging from 15-71 inches. The chain combines 7 lines of braided steel, which are each individually made from 19 braided steel. It is .4 inches in diameter and would be extremely difficult to break. Additionally, if someone did try to remove your lock, an alarm would sound and most likely scare off the thief.
Don’t let the low brand recognition turn you away from this innovative bike lock. Some people complain that the lock beeps when you lock it, but we think of that as a peace of mind knowing that it is functionally locked.
4. Oxford OF159
Available in various lengths
Cloth covering protects your bike's paint job
Key replacement service
The Oxford OF159 is a more expensive bike lock but definitely not the most expensive on our list. Buyers have said it's worth every penny but before making your purchase, check over our list to find the best lock for you.Read more
Oxford has an assortment of traditional and non-traditional bike locks. They are a respected world brand that always brings their best for the customers.
This bike lock is bit heavier than others on our list. It weighs 8 pounds. The chain link is covered in cloth to avoid chipping the paint of your bike. One of the most impressive and unique features from this Oxford lock is the key replacement service.
This standard chain lock is made of hardened 9.5-millimeter square link chain. The padlock doubles as a disc lock. There is also a key replacement service that can get you out of a tight spot if needed.
This pretty standard chain lock is a great addition to your kit if you can afford the price tag.
5. ABUS Granit X-Plus
Security level 15
Weighs a bit more than expected
The German-engineered X-Plus will surprise a lot of bike users that invested in their older products. This marks a big improvement with their internal technologies and proves that traditional bike locks can still be top rated products.Read more
Abus is well respected and has often made their way into the top ten lists. They sell both modern and traditional locks that stick to the company’s core principles.
Some early adopters were lucky enough to receive this with mounting brackets. Depending on where it is purchased, there are some older stocks that may still have this in the box. Each lock comes with 2 keys, and one of those keys includes a lighted cover, making it easier to unlock your bike in the dark. Additionally, this lock weighs 4 pounds.
There are two keys included, so the backup can always go in a safe place. The Abus Code Card that comes with the keys makes ordering a new key simple. And the extra weight of the product is no coincidence, as it provides one of the strongest security levels on the list.
Note every bike user wants a high tech bike lock, and that is where the Granit X-Plus shines. It’s strong, easy to use and secures your bike in the best way possible.
6. Foldylock Compact
Easy to carry
Theft proof design
Bike frame protection
Heavier than some other options
The Foldylock Compact lock is made up of six plastic coated metal bars that unfold into a loop. It may look a bit daunting when this lock is new to you, but once you get the hang of it, the Foldylock slides easily back into place.Read more
Like a lot of fresh names on the list, Foldylock continues to make a name for itself. The company takes flexibility and security to a new level in a small but powerful package.
The Foldylock Compact features a silent ride, meaning that the rattle elimination tool stops the lock from rattling during your rides. The foldable design makes it easy to carry. Additionally, it is coated in plastic to prevent your bike from scratches. This lock weighs 2.2 pounds.
This is as close to perfection as you can get when it comes to a bike lock that retains its flexibility and portability. The lock and hinges have a durable and strong feel to them. The metal bars would be highly difficult to cut through, and the rivets at the hinges are steel.
In all, this lock is flexible, foldable, and offers massive protection to your bike. It's a great investment.
7. Hiplok Lite
Can be worn around your waist
Can be uncomfortable to wear with certain outfits
Count this as another bike lock that sticks to a traditional look and style. While the lower security may scare off some users, there is no other lock on the list as convenient as the Hiplok Lite. At only 1 kg and with a great design, the Hiplok lite won the Eurobike Award for Design.Read more
With all of the models released by Hiplok, they have become recognizable by look alone. It’s one of the popular brands to own, with some users opting to use it as a backup.
This particular lock was designed to be worn on the body and is fully adjustable for a 26"-44" waist. Since the Hiplok mini is made to be carried on someone's body, your bike will remain clean looking and won’t rattle as you carry it. This lock weighs about 2 pounds.
The padlock utilizes a hard shackle that is resistant to bolt croppers and hacksaw attempts. The lock uses a disc tumbler which is next to impossible to pick. The body of the lock is stainless steel and the chain case is hardened steel alloy.
Not a lot of bike locks on the list can double as a fashion statement. With all of the versions of the Hiplok, buyers can pick or choose a style that works the best for their personal taste.
8. Master Lock 8290DPS
Can be used for more than bikes
Tough laminated steel construction
Easy to use
The 22-inch length might be a bit too much slack
Not everyone agrees on the look or effectiveness of the Master Lock, but most of those complaints come from previous iterations. The 8290DPS is a surprise inclusion on the list and is different enough in quality to make previous owners revisit the product.Read more
Master Lock is the most recognizable name on the list and is best known for their school locks. The 96-year-old company has had products used by millions of people worldwide and continues to be a leader in the lock industry.
The 22 inches of a link is both a blessing and a curse for some users. On one hand, it provides a great amount of room to attach it to an object. On the other hand, it introduces more weak points than any other product on the list. This lock is also fairly lightweight with only 3.2 pounds.
Security is heavily dependent on how you lock your equipment. The materials are strong, but the overall security of the product will go down if you leave too much of the link loose and exposed.
As a great universal lock for more than just bikes, Master Lock may have created the perfect secondary lock for bike users. You can never be too careful, so consider this a worthwhile complement to the harder hitters in the industry.
9. LINKA Smart Lock
Theft indicator map
Emits a siren if tampered with
A bit higher priced
Linka is part of the new wave of smartphone-powered bike locks that secure (and even shares) your bike. It is the absolute best you can get and balances out a lot of the newer features without being overwhelming.Read more
Linka is rising in the ranks thanks to a revolutionary new take on the common bike lock. Their app is always up to date and tends to be less buggy than similar bike apps.
This lock weighs 1.6 pounds. Linka has a built-in siren that can be heard from blocks away. And in the case where your phone dies, the lockless feature can be bypassed by entering your four-digit code.
This isn’t some simple lock that can be broken within a few seconds. Tools will have a tough time penetrating the vulnerable parts of the lock without triggering the alarm.
Even among the more established locks on the list, the Linka is a standout. Its cutting-edge features are polished enough to make it one of the top choices on the list.
Drill and weather resistant
Two size options
Can be a pain to install on some bikes
This may very well be the most unique bike lock on the list, and one that really stands out from the rest. Seatylock takes bike security to different heights by introducing a foolproof design with very little cons.Read more
There really aren’t a lot of options to choose from when it comes to seat theft with bikes. Seatylock has become recognizable for fighting against this type of theft and having the most unique product for the battlefront.
Well, aside from the obvious fact that this lock is incredibly innovative and useful, the available colors are chameleon black, classic black and classic brown. For a narrow seat, the 6.25-inch Trekking Saddle is a nice alternative to the original Comfort Saddle of 8.25 inches. This seat/lock combination only weighs 3.1 pounds.
Underneath the soft seat is a state of the art lock that takes a lot of effort to get through. For the size, it really protects well and doesn’t have a lot of limitations.
A seat that doubles as a lock will take a lot of bike riders by surprise. It’s an ingenious design that protects bikes on multiple fronts from the common thief.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
There are several big brands on the list, with the most recognizable being the granddaddy Master Lock. Founded in 1921, they aren’t the first company people think about when they want a bike lock. But as a leader in security products, it only makes sense for them to have some skin in the game for bike locks. Their inclusion on the list is a result of improving on their best bike lock, one that has more use than all of the other products on the list. Sometimes having a product that has multiple uses is valuable, since it keeps you from having to purchase multiple products.
The other brands on the list take a direct approach to protect bikes, and the surprise with the competition is that a lot of them are newer companies. A good bulk of the companies on the list got their start with Kickstarter and other fundraisings and eventually turned into full-fledged projects. Bitlock, in particular, had strong backing by thousands of users, who of course consisted of several people from the bike community. The bike lock industry over the years has been shaped by the users themselves, with millions being active in deciding the core features of major products. With that in mind, Master Lock is not a part of that movement, so their inclusion on the list is really remarkable. It goes to show just how useful their products are, even in an industry that has been leaning towards modern bike locks for the consumers.
Bike locks have really come a long way. Who would have ever thought that, for one, you would need to charge a bike seat, and two, that you could solar charge it? Our list of locks includes many locks with features we had never even thought out. Another one, for example, is Seatylock, the bike lock that doubles as a seat replacement. Hiplock is another product that offers a totally different experience. This lock can be worn around your body when you're not using it. Aside from these examples, we researched each lock thoroughly and detailed the features of each in its own section. Some only feature an extra key or a super-tough material, but others are quite fascinating.
Presumably, the most important criterion here is the protection of the bike! If you choose a traditional bike lock, we looked at the materials and closing method to decipher how difficult it would be to break or cut. For the more modern locks, we investigated the electronics inside the lock and how well they function. There are some locks that we considered that had issues connecting with the smartphone and wouldn't lock or unlock properly. If the bike lock can't offer your bike the proper protection, it is absolutely useless.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
While you might think a hidden spot would be better for your bike, studies show that it is actually safer to leave your bike in a well-lit area with a lot of foot traffic. A thief isn't going to take a crowbar or hammer to bike lock when there is a bunch of good samaritans passing by.
A metal bike stand is the ideal choice of unit to lock your bike to. A wooden fence is dangerous because the wood could easily be cut. Also, be sure to check to make sure that your bike can't be lifted over whatever you lock it to and taken. If you have no other option, a backup option is to lock your bike to a friend's bike by the frame.
Other Factors to Consider
This is a little difficult to say no to because of the multiple options that become available if you shop by price. Not all users will stick to just have a single lock on their bike, even if it is the best on the list. This is not a slight on the product, as users are just more at ease with having multiple locks on their bikes. For users in this category, purchasing one of the higher priced locks and a cheaper backup is the ideal security situation.
For users that only want one lock and funds are low, there is nothing wrong with getting a low priced lock. Remember that a good formula to use when deciding the price of your bike lock is to subtract 10% of the bike purchase price. That is your allowance to use when purchasing a lock, or rather in protecting your investment.
When getting away from the U-lock types, the length makes an incredible difference in the security of a bike lock. The longer the lock is, the less secure it becomes due to the exposed bits. Slack is your enemy when it comes to bike locks, so if there is a lot of slack after attaching your lock, consider wrapping it more around the frame and wheels to tighten it up. This gives a potential thief less room to maneuver and takes away some of the most commonly targeted weak spots in a bike lock. Giving too much slack can result in not only your bike getting stolen, but the lock as well.
This question can be a bit scattered since it will come down to the user more than anything. The heaviest bike lock on the list is five pounds and some change. For some users that is a lot of extra weight to attach to your bike, but as shown on the list, the weight of the lock has a lot to do with how secure it is. Heavier locks tend to have better materials that are tough, and sometimes impossible for the everyday thief to get through. Even with the strongest tools, the heavier bike locks on the list are immune to bike thieves. If weight is a bit of a concern, then consider going for a lower weight at the sacrifice of security. It is a balancing act where you have to consider what is more important, less weight or maximum protection.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Which is better, traditional or digital locks?
This is where the electronic bike locks have an edge over the traditional ones. Any bike lock on the list with a companion app will allow you to let people ‘borrow’ your bike. And some apps even have a timing interval that rearms the alarm after a certain amount of time has passed. Such features allow you to set up a schedule for people to use your bike, even when you’re nowhere near it. And for someone that is really close to you, sharing the backup code can bypass having to let allow sharing in the app.
With traditional bike locks that are locked with keys, sharing is a bit more difficult. Even with backup keys, letting go of a spare that can be potentially lost is a bit of a pain. Bike users that tend to lend out their bikes a lot should definitely lean more towards the modern options with bike locks.
q: Is there any maintenance required for a bike lock?
No set schedule has to be followed to clean a bike lock, but it is important to make sure it doesn’t get too dirty. For traditional bike locks that operate with a key only, some companies have included a built-in dust cover to keep the keyhole from getting debris trapped in it. The smallest amount of dirt in a keyhole can make the entire experience annoying since the keys are precise in their shape.
Dirt collecting in the hole can throw this precision off, resulting in multiple attempts to get your lock off. And in worse scenarios, the dirt will be lodged in so deep that your key won’t work. It takes a lot for this to happen, so unless you’re accumulating a record amount of dirt while riding, it shouldn’t be an issue. Just be aware that wiping your bike lock down every now and then will only benefit the long-term life of the product.
q: What are the best attachment points to keep your bike secure?
Whether you have a flexible lock or a U-lock, location is key to getting the most out of their features. It isn’t as simple as choosing a stationary object and walking away. Pay attention to some key things, and always be aware of your surroundings. Is the area you’re locking your bike up deserted or busy? The latter would be the better option, and it gets even better if it is near a place that has camera coverage.
Your best bet in this situation is choosing a place where there are already a lot of bikes that are locked up. In this case, security is stronger in numbers, so always lock up with the rest of your peers. Now back to the original point, a stationary object that is immovable is an absolute must. Attaching your lock to an object that can be moved is begging for attention, and offers a thief more room to maneuver. Always be on the lookout for a Sheffield stand since they are made for keeping locked bikes secure.
In areas that are less ideal for locking bikes, a second lock might be the solution to end your paranoia. This second layer of protection is great for when you’ll be away for an entire day and can’t check on your bike. When the location is taken care of, turn your focus to the actual lock. Always keep locks away from the ground, and always attach your lock to the frame when possible. The biggest mistake people make when locking their bike is only securing a wheel. A thief can simply remove the wheel and walk away with the rest of your bike. And lastly, when positioning the lock, make the weak points as difficult as possible to access. The less room a thief has, the less likely he is to attempt to take your bike.
q: Should I get a U-Lock, Cable or Chain Lock?
A U-Lock is a widely used lock style that acts as an excellent deterrent to potential thieves. The bulky locky mechanism resists hammers, chisels, and similar tools. The horseshoe shape limits leveraging–as long as it fits your bike well–and limit the amount of space a thief can insert a crowbar. A cable lock is versatile and adaptable but will generally offer less theft deterrent than a U-Lock. Bolt cutters can cut through most cable locks, and on their own, may be suitable for low-crime areas. Elsewhere it might be good to lock into a U-Lock as an additional form of security. A chain lock is another alternative that can hold up to high crime areas and is designed to resist hacksaws or chisels and the chain makes it tough to leverage. If you choose this option, you need to make sure you get a padlock that is just as tough. A negative of a chain lock is the weight of the chains while you’re carrying it from place to place.
q: If I buy a more expensive bike lock, that will ensure my bike is safe, right?
When looking at investing in a bike lock for your bicycle, do not think the more expensive the bike lock the more durable or better quality it will be as that just is not the case. The best thing to do when looking for a durable and secure bike lock to last you years to come and keep your bike safe is to look at the material and also the reviews to see how the bike lock has held up for other consumers that have put them to the test. Do not solely be swayed by price as you may end up with an expensive bike lock that will not hold up, make an educated purchase and do the research before buying.
q: What if I lose my keys?
It has happened to all of us; lost house keys, car keys, bike keys. If you lose your bike keys, you may think that you are out of luck and go straight for the bolt cutters. However, some brands, such as Kyrptonite, offer a registration system for your keys. You can put them in their system and if you are ever locked out, they can mail you an extra anywhere and at any time.
However, if you do not register the keys, some companies will accommodate you by allowing you to send in the lock itself, locked, and send a new one with a new set of keys. There is typically a fee for this service.