12 Best Bike Locks in 2018
Bicycles can run you anywhere from $50 bucks up to a few thousand. No matter how much you spend, you don’t want a crook making off with your bike. Chains have been keeping bikes safe for years, but with more cyclists on the streets, new designs and styles have emerged.
Our best bike lock list consists of 12 bicycle locks that range from sturdy chains and cables to U-Bars. We’ve even included a few that will keep your seat, steering wheel, and handlebars safe as well. While every lock can be defeated, great ones will slow down thieves or make them think twice about picking on your bike.
Top 12 Bike Locks Ultimate Table
|Design||Name||Lock Type||Mountable||Rating (1-5)|
|1. UShake Bike Lock Cable||Cable||Yes||4.4|
|2. INBIKE 8 Joints Alloy Steel Folding Bike Lock||Hybrid||Yes||4.4|
|3. The Club UTL810 Utility Lock||U-Lock||No||4.4|
|4. Kryptonite 997986 18mm New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock||U-Lock||No||4.4|
|5. Foneso Security Anti-theft Bicycle Chain Lock||Chain||No||4.3|
|6. WordLock WLX Hex MatchKey Cable Bike Lock||Cable||No||4.3|
|7. SIGTUNA Bike locks – 16mm Heavy Duty Bike Lock||U-Lock||Yes||4.3|
|8. Xtreme Bright Illumilock Cable Bike Lock||Cable||Yes||4.2|
|9. Delta Axlerodz Bolt On Bicycle Skewers||Wheel||NA||4.2|
|10. Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7 U-Lock||U-Lock||No||4.1|
|11. Kryptonite 785 Keeper Integrated Chain Bicycle Lock||Chain||No||4.1|
|12. Pinhead Bicycle Locking Skewer Set||Seat & Wheel||NA||4.0|
Lock down Thieves with These Tips
Crooks vary in their intelligence, but it doesn’t take a mastermind to bust a bike lock. While we can’t stop every bike thief, our guide can help you choose the best lock to suit your needs and stop criminals in their tracks.
We aren’t sure who came up with the first bicycle lock, but people have been chaining them up to lamp posts, trees and clothes lines for over well over 30 years. If you want to lug around a heavy chain and padlock, nobody is going to stop you, but you may change your mind once you get a look at the next generation.
- Chain – These bike locks use a chain and more often than not are covered with a wrap. The covering itself can aid against cutting while also keeping the chain dry and free from grit. The locks vary between keys and dials or combination locks.
- Cable – Cable locks are right up there with chains when it comes to durability, and while they can still be cut with bolt cutters, they can be cinched down tighter than chains in most cases. The locking mechanisms stay the same.
- U-Locks – These locks consist of a shackle that can be adjusted and locks with a key. Some also come with cables, and they are a step above cables or chains unless the thief is an expert lock picker. You will not cut through these with bolt cutters.
Seats and Wheels
The lock types we touched on are all styles you’ll find on our best bike lock list, but they are mainly just for your frame. You can run cables and chains through spokes, but some prefer not to go that route as bikes can be damaged during a theft attempt. If you need to keep your wheels safe, there are a variety of manufacturers that make specialized wheel locks.
Wheels are not cheap to replace, and the same can be said for your handlebars or your seat. Seat Skewers will help with the latter while handlebar locks come in many shapes in sizes. There are also brake locks that clamp down on the hand brake, essentially locking things down. If you want a full measure of protection, go for a frame lock and a kit or individual locks to handle your other components.
As mentioned, lugging around a heavy chain and padlock is not something most people want to do. Even cables can get messy, self-coiling ones aside. Before choosing a bike lock style, think about where you ride the most along with what you’ll secure your bicycle to. Even the best bicycle lock you can buy may be a hindrance if it holds you back on the road.
The size of the bike lock matters, but only if it doesn’t come with an attachment. Many bicycle locks will come with brackets that allow you to stow it away when not in use. If you can’t attach one to your bike, you’re going to have to carry it in a backpack or pouch – something to definitely keep in mind.
Top 5 Best Bike Lock Reviews
Some bike locks can be rather complicated to setup or require a bit of forethought. That is not the case with the UShake Bike Lock Cable, which is about as simple as they get. It’s a four foot coated cable with a combination lock, but it does have a couple of unique features that make it stand above the rest.
With any standard bicycle lock, there are two main components always present with the chain or cable and the lock. The cable on the UShake is made from small steel cables wound into a larger cable and covered with PVC coating. This helps protect it from the elements and is standard practice for every item that made our best bike lock list. The actual lock is a simple 4-digit combination lock but offers up over 10,000 combinations. They won’t be able to guess their way in, but they can cut through it given enough time and the right tools.
This cable is relatively small at only 4-feet and sports a self-coiling feature to keep it in a nice loop when not in use. You will also get a mounting bracket which attaches to the frame of your bike and holds the UShake so you won’t have to stow this one away.
The INBIKE 8 is a new style of bike lock that’s what we refer to as a hybrid. It is a cross between a chain and cable lock, but tougher than either depending on the materials used. Instead of links or tiny twisted cables, the INBIKE 8 will use joints put together with rivets which make for some interesting installation options.
This bike lock is similar to the chain on a chainsaw as there are individual sections linked together by rivets. Those rivets are made from stainless steel, so they are going to be tough for thieves to deal with, but won’t damage your bike when you cinch it down. That’s because those links are covered in a special ABS rubber paint to soften any potential damage to your paint job. They will be in for a rude surprise if they try to grind or drill through this one.
On the downside, the lock uses a standard cylinder style mechanism which can be picked by experienced crooks. The chances of a professional bike thief stalking your neighborhood are probably slim, however, so don’t overthink the lock. Those 5mm rubber covered steel bars are sturdy, and the slick little carrying case ensures it will leave a small footprint on your frame.
If you don’t dig cables and aren’t in the market for a hybrid lock, you may want to check out The Club’s device which is a thick U-Lock built for bicycles and other goods you need to keep safe outdoors. The design allows it to be used on the frame or wheel as well, which gives consumers some wiggle room when it comes time to lock things down.
This bike lock comes in two sizes with one extending from 8.5” to 11.5” with a width of 6.25” inside. It’s a good size for bikes, whereas the other is considerably larger with a range from 13.25” all the way up to 20.25”. It appears to have the same measurements inside, and both U-Locks are made to take up to 1,500 pounds of pressure. In other words, they can’t twist this one loose, and you’re not going to cut through tempered steel on a whim either.
U-Locks are one of the safer ways to go, and The Club knows a thing or two about stopping thieves given their previous products. The size is the only negative for the UTL810 as there is no way to attach it to the bike, so you will have to put it in a pack.
We have always appreciated products that can live up to their names, and this one has the best moniker on our list. It also lives up to the hype as you are not going to get through the miniature New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock from the folks at Kryptonite.
This U-Lock has an 18mm hardened steel shackle, which means it will resist twisting and other various forms of abuse. They aren’t going to cut through it either, and most thieves typically don’t carry around torches. Needless to say, this one is tough, and the top lock the company sales as it hits a 10 on their lock comparison system. If you’re still not convinced, you’ll want to consider the double deadbolt locking system and the hardened steel crossbar sleeve as well.
There is absolutely no downside to this lock from a security standpoint, and you’ll even get three keys including one with a built-in LED to lend a hand in the dark. As this is considered a “mini,” it may not be suited for some bike styles depending on what you plan to lock your bike against.
Now we are going to take a quick look at the first lock that can serve as an anti-theft device when not actually in use. The Foneso Bike Lock uses an old-school chain, which is a little hefty, but tough against thieves as it’s made from Manganese steel and is listed at 6mm or around 1/4 thick.
This bike chain is a little on the short side at 900mm or close to three feet. That’s more than enough to lock your bike to a tree or your wheel against the frame, but shorter than some of our other choices. Those links are coated with a special cover to keep the elements at bay while the lock uses a 5-digit combination system and is a bit of a beast. That’s not a bad thing in this case.
Foneso’s bike lock is simple to use, and you won’t have to worry about losing any keys thanks to the combo locking mechanism. There is no mounting bracket included, but you can always wrap it beneath your seat if you aren’t riding with a pack.