Bike locks are devices that are designed to prevent the theft of bicycles. Bike locks consist of a U or D-shaped shackle secured around the frame or forks, either around both tires and the crossbar or through one tire and the crossbar. A lock is available with an integrated key mechanism for convenience. The second type of bike lock has cables that loop through one or more components on the bike, such as the seat post, front-wheel skewer, pole mount bracket, handlebars, etc., thereby immobilizing it. This kind can not stop thieves from stealing your entire bike but will stop them from riding it away quickly.
Following should be the characteristics of a good bike lock:
- A good bike lock should be secure enough to deter bike thieves.
- It should be lightweight yet durable enough to resist sawing, prying, and hammering.
- It should protect the lock itself against theft or loss (preferably both).
- A well-designed lock will let you choose between security and convenience (e.g., height adjustment for ease of use; cable type for easy storage; integrated locks for convenience; etc.).
- Versatility is another desirable feature to consider, especially if you travel by your bike or want to use it in different settings (e.g., outdoors/indoors, on public transport/in your home).
- A good bike lock should last for the life of your bike.
- A good bike lock shouldn’t cost more than $100, with $30-$50 ideal for average users. The best types of bike locks have the best materials. Different materials are used to make bike locks, including steel, aluminum alloys, hardened steel alloys, and titanium. Bike locks also come in different styles with different mechanisms for securing the shackle around the object (e.g., U-locks that work with a key or combination; D-locks need to be secured with a physical mechanism like a dial).
Best Lightweight Bike Locks
- Kryptonite Evolution Series 2 Bike U locks
The Kryptonite Evolution Series 2 is easy to carry around with its lightweight design and has been proven resistant against prying tools. The U-lock is TSA compliant and uses an exclusive six-inch Kevlar cable that won’t cut or wear naturally from road debris or sun exposure. You can order replacement cables for just $4 each!
- OTTOLOCK Cinch 30in Combo Lock
OTTOLOCK’s Cinch 30-inch combo lock offers a high level of security that ensures its users won’t have to worry about losing their rides. The lock is made from steel and has a durable vinyl coating that protects the bike from any damage. The lock can be separated into two parts for storage, and it’s easy to carry around, weighing only 2.25 pounds.
- Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7 U-Lock
The Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7 U-lock weighs less than 4 pounds and comes built with a double deadbolt locking mechanism that prevents prying or wrenching attacks on the bike. Using patented SHACKLE technology, the lock is extremely tough, but it also comes with a protective coating that keeps rust at bay.
- Foldylock Compact
The Foldylock Compact is a lightweight, easy-to-carry bike lock made from steel and plastic and has a small design that allows you to access and secure your bike quickly. The lock also comes with an integrated cable that prevents you from losing or damaging it.
- TiGr Mini
The TiGr Mini is made from titanium alloy and has a high-security disc locking mechanism that requires both a key and a combination to lock/unlock the bike. The lock is 3mm thick, making it very hard to bend or cut through. It is very lightweight and has a removable cable that you can carry with you, should you decide to lock up your bike at other places. It weighs only 0.8 pounds and is TSA compliant, so you’ll be safe while traveling through airport security checkpoints.
The TONGUELock is the smallest lock on our list, but it’s also by far the toughest. The Tonguelock weighs just 4 ounces, but it’s made of titanium alloy and steel, so it won’t break or bend if someone tries to cut through it while building a bike rack or while vandalism. The Tonguelock is handmade in the United States, and it can be separated into two parts for easy storage.
- Kryptonite Evolution Lite New-U Mini 6
The Kryptonite Evolution Lite New-U Mini 6 is lightweight, weighing 8.5 pounds, but it’s still quite challenging. The bike lock comes with a 6mm hardened steel shackle, so it will take some effort for anyone trying to cut through it. The U-shaped crossbar keeps the bike locked in place without scratching the frame and offers excellent protection for both wheels and tires at the same time.
- Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 Standard U-Lock
The Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 Standard U-lock is easy to carry around, weighing just 3.4 pounds. It comes with a standard crossbar that offers adequate protection against thieves trying to steal wheels and handlebars, but it’s also small enough to allow you to take it with you wherever you go (up to the TSA allowed weight). The lock uses a 16mm hardened Kryptonium steel shackle, making it very hard for even experienced thieves to break through it and steal your ride.
- ABUS Granit XPlus 54 Mini
The ABUS Granit XPlus Mini is a lightweight U-lock that comes with a removable inner cable so you can carry it with you as well as two keys. The bike lock is made from hardened steel and has a total length of 54 inches. It weighs only 4.5 pounds and has double locking mechanisms that any tools cannot cut through.
- U-Bolt Series
The U-Bolt Series is another popular choice for bike thieves and locksmiths. The small lock, weighing only 2.8 pounds, offers adequate protection for the bike frame and wheels without the risk of damaging them or scratching the paintwork of your bike. It uses a 10mm hardened steel shackle and comes with a double locking mechanism that can’t be opened without the key. The lock is also made from a durable, weather-resistant material, so you won’t have to worry about it rusting or deteriorating from exposure to the elements.
Thus, it is very crucial to know about the top bike locks available in the market. Various features separate each of them from each other. It is said that the best type of lock is one that fits your needs and preferences.