5 Things to Consider When Buying a Bike Lock

Ralph Goodman Tweet us @locksmithunited @locksmithunited February 22, 2018 0 Comments

Ralph Goodman is a security expert and lead writer for the Lock Blog.

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Keeping your bike protected and locked up when it is parked is important. Here's a few things to look for when shopping for a bike lock.

No matter what your reason is for riding a bike, one of the best ways to secure a bike is to invest in a bike lock. However, not all bike locks are created equal. So how do bike owners and enthusiasts figure out which bike lock is best for them? Pay attention to some key factors to determine the right lock to secure your bike.

The Area Where You Park Your Bike

Best practices for parking include keeping the bike in a location where you or others can see it. The worst is a public space where there is no one around, because isolated locations are the preferred targets for bike thieves. For insight as to where you can park your bike on the go, check out this crowdsourced bike parking map.

The Size, Weight, and Dimensions of the Lock

 If you buy a bike lock that is too heavy or difficult to use, history has shown, you stop using the lock. Also, lock size will help you determine if the bike lock fits on what it will be secured to.

Know how you want to secure your bike. Are you weaving a chain through the wheels or trying to fit a U-Lock around a tire and a pole? The size of your lock determines where and how you can lock up your bike.

The Thickness of the Lock

Bike thieves have several bypass tools at their disposal, but the most popular method, by far, is to use bolt cutters. Cable locks will not withstand bolt cutters, so if you want real security, use a padlock and chain or a U-lock.

Padlocks and U-locks are among the most secure type of bike locks, but they are not perfect. Any lock can be broken open with the right tools. This is why bike owners should look for chains, padlocks, and U-locks that have thick shackles and bodies, and use steel alloys such as boron carbide.

The Brand of the Lock

The quality of metal and the internal locking components are often of higher quality with specialty brands. However, the brand cannot always be trusted.

If you focus solely on the price of the lock, you will find yourself settling for a cheap lock with very little security. But if you buy a lock just because it is expensive, you might find that the price you were paying is not for the lock’s security.

Product Specific Reviews

You can find many resources demonstrating bypass methods cutting attempts on the shackles, and lock bodies of popular bike locks. While doing research, think as though you lost your key and you are looking to find the easiest way to open your bike lock.

For the needs of most cyclists, you can ignore lock picking information, as most thieves do not pick locks. Reviews that show how easy it is to cut a lock with an angle grinder or other power tools are also misleading. Almost everything can be broken into with professional power tools. It is best to focus on resistance to prying, hammers, and bolt cutters.

Protect Your Investment

Choosing the right bike lock is important, and it shouldn’t be treated as just a passing thought for bike owners. The bike that you have is an investment, and your bike lock is an investment that keeps your initial investment safe.


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