Having your bike stolen is a frustrating experience that can really put a damper on your day.  The type of lock you choose depends on your desired level of security and your budget.  A U-lock can protect you against thieves trying to steal your bike during transit, while a chain lock offers added protection if you’re commuting without other people. 

Types of Bike Locks

There are several different types of bike locks that you can use to secure your bicycle. Some of the most common types include: 

1. Cable Locks 

Cable locks are the most affordable type of lock that you can buy. They are designed to secure your bike to a bike stand or pole. You can choose one with multiple cables to provide better security. Moreover, if you don’t have a bike stand, you can use the cables to secure your bike to a tree or another fixed object.

The good thing about these locks is that they are very flexible and portable; you can easily fit them into your pocket or backpack. Some of them are also lightweight, which makes them convenient to carry around. For example, the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini is hardened steel and weighs only 8 ounces. 

2. Pin-Tumbler Locks

These locks have a special combination, which is quite hard for someone without the key to pick. The pins must be pulled out from their holes to unlock it, which is difficult without the right key. The shackle must also be turned to open the lock.

There are two main types of pin-tumbler locks that you can choose from standard and U-locks. 

a) Standard Locks

These locks are very effective in protecting your bike from theft. However, they can be damaged by bolt cutters. In addition, some locks come with a flexible lock bar that prevents them from being attacked with a saw or cutters. 

b) U-Locks

This type of lock is tough to break because the shackle surrounds all the pins, making it hard to attack them with a wrench or other instruments. However, this lock cannot be used to secure your bike to a post or pole, so it is best paired with a cable. The Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7 is a great example of a U-lock. It weighs 4 pounds and can secure 7 bikes simultaneously. 

3. Chain Locks 

These locks are made of stainless steel and can protect your bike from an attack with bolt cutters or other wrenches and saws that thieves might use. For example, the Kryptonite New York Legend Chain weighs 4.5 pounds and is almost 10 feet long. This makes it difficult for a thief to carry it away on his shoulders and makes it practically impossible to attack with a wrench or saw. 

4. Disc Locks 

These are heavy-duty versions of the cable lock. Instead of using a cable that can be cut easily, disc locks attach to your rear wheel and your frame and are harder to break because of their superior construction. These are generally used by cyclists who need the extra lock protection of two-sided security but don’t want a heavy chain around their bike.

5. D-locks 

These are similar to U-shaped locks but have a more straightforward system that uses one 5/8″ diameter cable rather than a 4″ diameter cable. These are less expensive than U-locks and usually require only 1 or 2 keys to secure your bike.

6. Combinational Locks 

These are the only locks that don’t require any keys to open if you forget your key or lose it. You can easily reset these locks to any 4 or 6 digits combination instead of using an expensive key. People often use these locks for their luggage while traveling because they are harder to break compared to other types of locks. 

Top Brands for Bike Locks

1. Kryptonite New York 

This is a very well-known brand of bike locks. It has a reputation for producing high-quality locks at a reasonable price. This specific lock, the Kryptonite New York Legend Chain Lock, is one of their most famous products. It weighs 4.5 pounds and is 9 feet long, making it difficult to carry around. On the other hand, it’s one of the toughest to break through, using various tools. 

2. OnGuard 

The OnGuard Bulldog STD U-Lock with Bracket is a very effective lock that you can use to secure your bike to a pole, post, or other similar objects. It is strong and can resist attacks by bolt cutters as well as saws and wrenches. Also, it includes a bracket that you can use to secure your bike to a post. A similar lock from this brand is the OnGuard Bulldog Mini, ideal if you want something lighter and more portable. 

3. Hiplok DX 

This is a chain lock that has a stylish design. It is made of hardened steel and has an anti-snap design. The X4 locking mechanism has double deadbolts for additional protection, making it more difficult for thieves to steal your bike. Moreover, the Hiplok DX is very lightweight and can be attached to your bicycle easily.

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Bike locks are a very effective way to prevent your bike from being stolen. However, there are many different types of locks that you can choose from. Some are much more effective than others. With all of these different types of locks, there is bound to be one that you will prefer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How much does a bike lock cost?
A. Most bike locks cost between $10 and $150, while some can be more expensive depending on the brand and the model.

Q. What type of lock should I get?
A. There is a wide variety of bike locks that you can choose from. Some are better for someone who travels a lot, while others are more appropriate for heavy riders. Moreover, some people prefer the convenience of disc locks, while others want their bikes to be secure with U-shaped locks. For this reason, it is a good idea to navigate and search for some before purchasing.