Finding the best bike lock can be overwhelming, but fear not—I’ve done the legwork for you. After months of research, including interviews with lock experts and polling thousands of cyclists, I discovered a common thread: the majority of stolen bikes were not adequately secured. Whether left unlocked during a quick errand or relying on a flimsy cable lock, many fell victim to theft.
To address these trends, we’ve curated a list of the best bike locks, considering various usage scenarios. As you peruse the recommendations, keep security trends in mind, but also focus on your preferences. The ideal lock not only provides ample security but also aligns with your lifestyle, budget, and specific needs.
Quick List of Top Picks
Explore our top recommendations for different security levels:
- Litelok X1 U-Lock: Best All-Around
- Hiplok D1000: Best High-Security U-Lock
- Onguard 8003 Pitbull STD U-Lock: Best Medium Security U-Lock
- Ottolock Sidekick: Best Budget U-Lock
- Abus Bordo Granit 6500 Folding Lock: Best High-Security Folding Lock
- Abus Bordo 6500a Smart X: Best Smart Folding Lock
- Kryptonite KryptoLok 610 S: Best Medium Security Folding Lock
- Hiplok Z Lok Combo: Best Low-Security Lock
- Hiplok Gold Chain Lock: Best Chain Lock
- Abus City Chain 1010: Best for Car Rack Use
- Kryptonite Keeper 785: Best Budget Chain Lock
U-Locks: The Basics
U-locks, or D-locks, offer high security in an ideal world. They excel when paired with bikes featuring thin tubes and easy-to-lock-to structures. However, challenges arise with unusual anchor points and bikes boasting large tubes.
Best All-Around Bike Lock: Litelok X1 U-Lock
The Litelok X1 strikes a balance between angle grinder resistance, weight, and price. With a Sold Secure Diamond rating, it provides practical security against portable angle grinders. The double shackle design requires cutting both sides, enhancing security. While not the lightest, it offers reliability with features like a silicone cover for weather protection and a reflective strip for night visibility. Keep in mind its weight and lack of insurance.
Best High-Security Bike Lock: Hiplok D1000
For those seeking near-angle grinder-proof security, the Hiplok D1000 is a robust choice. Tested against grinders, it withstood three blades, emphasizing its resilience. Despite its weight, it remains portable and includes a soft-touch outer layer for bike protection. Downsides include its size limitations and the absence of a frame mount option.
Best Medium Security U-Lock: Onguard 8003 Pitbull STD U-Lock
The Onguard Pitbull offers a balance between security and affordability. With a 14mm hardened steel shackle, it’s effective in lower-security situations, but it falls short against portable angle grinders. The generous inclusion of five keys adds convenience, and a protective plastic coating prevents scratches. While lacking a weather cover for the keyhole, it provides value for its price.
Best Budget U-Lock: Ottolock Sidekick
The Ottolock Sidekick provides acceptable security at a budget-friendly price. While not ideal for extended periods, it serves well for quick stops. Its 12mm double shackle resists wire cutters, making it more secure than cable locks. Despite its small size and absence of a frame mount, it’s a lightweight option for short-term use.
Folding Locks: Balancing Security and Convenience
Folding locks, though less secure and pricier than U-locks, offer unmatched convenience. Their flexibility and ease of transport make them a viable choice for those prioritizing convenience over maximum security.
Best High-Security Folding Lock: Abus Bordo Granit 6500
The Abus Bordo Granit 6500 stands out as the highest security folding lock. With a Sold Secure Gold rating and 5.5mm hardened steel bars, it provides substantial protection. While vulnerable to portable grinders, its flexibility and compact design offer convenience. However, the lack of a keyhole cover exposes the lock cylinder to weather, requiring careful maintenance in rainy climates.
Best Smart Folding Lock: Abus Bordo 6500a Smart X
Elevating convenience and security, the Abus Bordo 6500a Smart X replaces traditional keys with Bluetooth technology. The app-controlled lock enhances user experience, offering seamless unlocking and tracking features. The integration of a 100db alarm adds an extra layer of security. However, the absence of a backup key option and a higher price tag are trade-offs for the added convenience.
Best Medium Security Folding Lock: Kryptonite KryptoLok 610 S
The Kryptonite KryptoLok 610 S caters to users prioritizing convenience over maximum security. While the 5mm bars provide basic protection, it’s suitable for quick stops in metro or suburban areas. Its compact and lightweight design, coupled with the Clicktight transport bracket, enhances portability. However, the compromise in security comes with a higher price tag.
Low Security Locks: When Convenience Trumps Maximum Protection
For situations where minimal security suffices, low-security locks like cable locks become viable. These locks are ideal for scenarios where constant vigilance is possible, preventing opportunistic thefts.
Best Low-Security Lock: Hiplok Z Lok Combo
The Hiplok Z Lok Combo represents a minimal security solution for situations where constant supervision is possible. While not recommended for extended use, it offers a lightweight and easily storable option for preventing quick, opportunistic thefts. Its application shines in scenarios where you’re in close proximity to your bike, such as at a coffee shop.
Chain Locks: Balancing Security and Flexibility
Chain locks offer security comparable to U-locks while providing flexibility in securing bikes to various structures. Their versatility makes them suitable for scenarios where U-locks face limitations.
Best Chain Lock: Hiplok Gold Chain Lock
The Hiplok Gold Chain Lock combines the flexibility of a chain lock with high-security features. With 10mm hardened steel links and a Sold Secure Gold rating, it provides robust protection against bolt cutters and saws. The adjustable length and wearable design enhance convenience. However, its weight and bulkiness may be deterrents for some users.
Best for Car Rack Use: Abus City Chain 1010
For cyclists frequently transporting bikes on car racks, the Abus City Chain 1010 offers a balance between security and portability. The 9mm hexagonal links provide substantial protection against attacks, while the fabric sleeve prevents damage to the bike frame. The compact size and lightweight construction make it suitable for on-the-go use. However, the absence of a frame mount and the higher price tag might be considerations.
Budget Chain Lock: Kryptonite Keeper 785
For those seeking a balance between security and affordability, the Kryptonite Keeper 785 is a commendable choice. The 7mm four-sided chain links offer basic protection against opportunistic thefts. Its lightweight design, along with the convenience of a combination lock, makes it suitable for low to medium-security scenarios. However, it’s not recommended for high-crime areas or extended periods of unattended use.
Choosing the right bike lock involves assessing your individual needs and considering the security level required for your location and usage patterns. The Litelok X1 U-Lock stands out as the best all-around choice, balancing security, weight, and price. For those prioritizing maximum security, the Hiplok D1000 offers near-angle grinder-proof protection. Folding lock enthusiasts will appreciate the Abus Bordo Granit 6500 for its high security, while tech-savvy users might opt for the Abus Bordo 6500a Smart X. Low-security situations benefit from the convenience of the Ottolock Sidekick, while the Hiplok Gold Chain Lock offers flexibility and robust security for varied scenarios. Ultimately, invest in a lock that aligns with your lifestyle and safeguards your bike against potential thefts.