When it comes to bike locks, we have a few very strong opinions and a select few bike locks we recommend due to living and locking in many major cities.
Opinion 1 – A bike lock shouldn’t cost less than $40
If you can’t afford a $40 lock then please take it in with you, or chance that it will be stolen.
Opinion 2 – Your Bike LOCK Should Cost 10% of Your Bike’s Value
Now, the bike’s value may not be the same as what you purchased it. For example, did you buy the bike for $75 but it is your daily mode of transportation? See above for opinion 1.
Opinion 3 – If you like your bike, never use a cable lock
You can actually cut most cable locks with a small hand tool that fits in your pocket. A cable lock simply keeps honest people honest. Proceed with caution, but know that none of the locks we recommend are solely cable locks.
Opinion 4 – Your lock is only as good as what you are locking IT to
Top Bike Locks We Would Use
All the locks below we have used in some fashion over the last few years. Either the Kryptonite evolution series and the Abus Bordo folding locks are found on all of our bikes.
The Kryptonite is the leader in u-locks. This model is one of the most affordable options from Kryptonite. It even includes a mount so you can attach it easily to your bike frame.
We do not recommend using this lock at night or in low traffic areas where someone could have time to pry it open!
The Evolution Series 4 from Kryptonite uses a thicker shackle and better locking mechanism (noted by the orange sleeve on the lock.) This is also 2″ longer than the lock above to give you more room for difficult racks or to lock a couple bikes up at once. We should note that shorter u-locks are stronger since they have less leverage. Always get the smallest lock that will do the job.
No items found.
ABUS BORDO Folding Locks
A few years ago the ABUS folding locks hit the market and were an instant disrupter. Long, secure locks that fold up nicely and can be mounted cleanly on to your bike frame. The other advantage is the shackle links allow you to wrap around difficult objects that you may not be able to get a u-lock around.It really changed our minds on how a lock should not only be functional but should integrate well for storage so someone almost forgets they have it on them. In contrast, if you don’t have a good place to mount a u-lock you have to carry it or hang it from your handlebars and we often forget ours for that reason! We have been using a variety of these locks for over 4 years and have had our bikes tampered with but no evidence of the lock giving way. The downside to these locks is the price tag. Once you can swallow that you won’t regret investing in this folding system.
This was the original Abus Folding Bike Lock that we tested out 4 years ago. The lock isn’t too heavy but folds up so nicely into a mount on your frame or rear rack.
Abus took the original BORDO 6000 and made it even longer. 2.5 feet compared almost 4 feet long. This is critical for those with fat bikes, cargo bikes or lock up multiple bikes together. The lock is heavy but if you use the frame mount you shouldn’t even notice it is there. This lock became a requirement when we bought our cargo bike to make it possible to lock up all of our family bikes without carrying a bulky chain.
This is the one lock we haven’t used for a prolonged amount of time, but have sold many and everyone swears by it. If you want one of the best bike locks on the market – this is it.
Chain Bike Locks
Chain bike locks are for a specific breed of a bike commuter. They are heavy, bulky, difficult to carry but come with a piece of mind due to those things. Since the Abus BORDO series came out we have personally stopped using chain bike locks but want to include them for those that need them.
This is the first lock from Knog that we highly suggest. Most of their locks were designed to keep honest folks honest. The chain is short and doesn’t provide much leverage, the padlock is nice and coated so it won’t beat up your frame or you. Our only wish is that the padlock closed so the lock couldn’t get water in it.
If you lived in NY 10 years ago, this was the lock to have. Messengers wore it around their hips, scooter riders had it slung over one shoulder. And for good reason, too. The lock is durable, easy to use and can secure your bike to oddly shaped objects very quickly. The downside? It’s expensive and weighs in at 8lbs 9oz!
Wheel Skewer Locks
There are several skewer style wheel locks on the market, but the only ones we have had extensive experience with are the Atomic22 Guard Dog locking skewers. We haven’t gotten our hands on the new Kryptonite Wheelboltz but it looks like the Atomic22 are still the cleanest, most secure, skewers available.
In the end, we’ve had to “remove” locking skewers from customers bikes that have lost their keys. There hasn’t been a skewer that wasn’t easy to cut off or use locking vice grip pliers on. We added this section with the disclaimer that a true u-lock will protect your wheel significantly better if you are locking up in sketchy areas, but for most, the locking skewer will keep honest people honest.
Disclaimer: Some links above are affiliate links. If you purchase through those links we may make a small commission.