As a commuter if there's one thing we'd recommend buying quality, it would be your bike lock to protect and secure your bike. This post provides a walk through on what to look for when buying a bike lock, how to secure your bike and some of our favourite bike locks.
We recommend the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini U-Lock which is Available at Amazon for $129.95
How Do I Know Whether a Lock is Secure?
Like anything these days, there is an abundance of cheaper options available online but how good are they exactly? Especially when they are responsible for securing your bike against thieves.
We’d recommend following the standards set by Sold Secure who is an organisation that has been set up to test the strength of security products based on industry trends and analysis. They generally recommend locks of having a gold rating provide the best level of security.
As you can see in the video below, no lock is completely secure unfortunately. All you can do is make it as difficult as possible for would be thieves to act as a deterrent in the hope they don't bother with your bike.
What Type of Lock Should I Buy?
We recommend using a D or U Lock (they are the same thing) at a minimum. According to bike lock manufacturer, Kryptonite Locks, you should pair your D Lock with a cable passed through the front wheel or saddle rail for greater security.
Cable locks are also popular for people who need to carry a lock with them while they are on the move. We really recommend against using a cable lock as they are easy to open with either an angle grinder or bulk cutters.
Unfortunately all bike locks can be penetrated so it becomes a matter of using a lock which will both slow the perpetrator down and be difficult to cut open.
What to Consider When Buying a Bike Lock
Below are some things which we would recommend keeping in mind when shopping for a bike lock:
- Where will your bike be stored - Will you be storing your bike on the street or in a secure bike cage at work or the station? If the former, we recommend getting both a D Lock and a cable lock to secure both your frame and wheels.
- Can you store your lock where you lock up your bike - If you have the luxury of parking your bike in a secure bike cage every day, consider getting a heavy and secure D lock which you are able to leave overnight in the bike cage.
- Key or pin lock - Do you find you always lose things? Maybe a pin might be best for you opposed to buying a lock with a key.
- D Lock or Cable - Cable locks are generally easier to carry than a D Lock however are easier to break into. We recommend going a small D Lock with minimal gap between your bike and what you are securing your bike against. By doing so, this makes it difficult for potential thieves to operate cutting tools and steal your bike.
Tips for Securing Your Bike
As thieves get more savvy with stealing bikes, it’s important to understand how to properly secure your bike when you are leaving it somewhere. Below are our tips on how to secure your bike whether it be in a public place or in a bike cage.
- Use a lock which leaves as little as much gap as possible between the bike and whatever you are locking it against. This is to make it difficult for thieves to operate cutting tools.
- If you must leave your bike in a public area, leave it somewhere with lots of foot traffic and potentially CTV cameras nearby which will deter most.
- Use multiple locks where possible, one for the frame and another for the wheels.
- Wedge your bike between other bikes which will hopefully mean other bikes are targeted before yours and also minimises the gap for thieves to operate cutting tools to steal your bike.
- Try to avoid being predictable. If you must leave it in a public place, mix things up from time to time and park your bike somewhere else to deter thieves that are monitoring your habits.
Best Lock in the Market
Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini U-Lock
The Krpytonite New York Fahgettaboudit is one of the most secure locks on the market thanks to the 18mm hardened steel making it difficult for any would be thieve to penetrate.
Kryptonite offer an anti theft protection on this lock where if someone is able to steal your bike, they will reimburse you up to $5,000. T&C’s apply. While also offering a key replacement program where they will send you 2 free keys in the event that you lose your keys.
One of the downsides of the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit lock is that it’s heavy. Weighing in at 2.1kg means it’s a lock you won’t want to be carrying with you at all times and better suited for leaving in a bike cage or somewhere secure overnight.
Best Lock with Bike Mount
ABUS Granit XPlus
Along with Kryptonite as one of the best bicycle lock makers, Abus are renowned for their secure bike locks.
What makes the Abus Granit XPlus so great? The lock is a key based lock which uses hardened stretched steel with a medium shackle length makes it difficult for any thief to get in and operate a cutting tool to try break away the lock from your bike.
The Abus Granit XPlus is similar to the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit we previously reviewed where it is very heavy weighing in at 1.5 kg. Because of the heavy weight, this lock is better suited for being left in a bike cage rather than being carried every day.
Similar to the Kryptonite we previously reviewed, Abus also have a key replacement policy where you are able to order replacement keys in the event you lose your original keys.
Best Designed Lock
The Knog Strongman is one of the more stylish locks we reviewed. Don’t be fooled by its looks though, this lock is still very much a capable lock and is classed as a Gold rated lock thanks to the 13mm hardened steel shackle.
Weighing in at 1.1kg, this might be a bit too heavy to carry day to day for some. Luckily though, Knog have included a carrier mount to attach to your bike. Some reviews have highlighted that the carrier mount quality is rubbish due to being a rubber coated cloth strap which doesn’t stay in place. For this reason, if mounting the lock to your bike is important to you, maybe the Knog Strongman isn’t for you.
One of the selling points of the Knog Strongman is its small size. Using a small design makes it difficult for would be thieves to wedge cutting tools in and cut the lock off your bike. Some may find the small design restrictive however.
Best Mid-Range Lock
Master Lock Street Fortum Gold
The Master Lock Street Fortum Gold is a slightly cheaper lock than the previous locks we have reviewed. Don’t let the price tag deter you though, this lock is very much capable of securing your bike as well as the other locks reviewed.
What makes the lock just as secure as other locks you ask? Good question. The 13mm hardened steel shackle of the Master Lock Street Fortum will slow any would be thief down from getting your previous bike. Also included with the Master Lock Street Fortum is both a D Lock and Cable which is great for securing both your bike frame and wheels.
While not the most cheapest lock on the market, this is a great lock for anyone looking to get a high quality D Lock and Cable to secure their frame and wheels.
Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain & Padlock
Similar to the previous Kryptonite lock we reviewed however this one comes with a 14mm six-sided chain links that are reinforced with 3T hardened magnesium steel. A seriously strong and heavy chain that will deter most thieves at first glance.
Included with the chain is also a small-sized D-lock. As you may have noticed in previous reviews, we have a preference for small locks as it generally leaves a limited amount of space for thieves to work with and position their cutting equipment.
One downside of the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain & Padlock is that it's both expensive and heavy... Weighing in at a huge 7kg, this isn't a lock that you will be slinging over your shoulder as you commute to work every day. Instead, this lock and chain is best left at your bike cage (if you're fortunate to have one!) every day.
As with the other Kryptonite lock we reviewed, this lock also includes a key replacement policy in the event you lose your key. Also included is a bike protection program where your bike is insured up to $5,000. Terms and conditions apply...