Best Bike Locks: Let’s Talk

Avoiding the dreaded stolen bike situation

As many cyclists know, bicycles get stolen. A lot. Waking up for a morning ride and finding a broken lock on the ground with no bike in sight is not a great way to start the day, to say the least.

We’ve got some info on how to keep your bicycle secure. Plus, there are some pro tips peppered along the way!

Bicycle locks

The Reality and Risk of Bicycle Theft

Most bike locks can be broken so cyclists have to get a little creative when it comes to bicycle security. Each rider and bicycle is different, which means you’ll have to consider which option is best for you.

Pro Tip #1:

If your bike is stolen, be sure to contact the authorities and ask for a copy of the police report. It’ll come in handy when it’s time to make an insurance claim


Also known as D-locks, these are great for fixing your bicycle to something sturdy. They’re tough and make excellent visual deterrents if you need to leave your bike outside or in a public space.

Smaller models are used to lock one wheel and the frame to a rack, pole, etc. There are larger models you can use to lock up both wheels and the frame.

Regardless of which option you choose, make sure there’s as little room as possible between your wheel, the frame, and whatever you’re locking it to. This prevents thieves from getting in there with crowbars, as the lack of space minimizes leverage points.

Some models come with optional chains and cross-bars to further secure quick-release wheels. They’re a little awkward to lock, but they’re less bulky than some of the other alternatives.

Bicycle locks

Pro Tip #2:

Always keep receipts of your bike locks and other security devices. Submit them along with a theft claim in the unfortunate event you’re bicycle is stolen

Bicycle locks

Chain Locks

They’re tough, they’re heavy, and they can hold their own against hacksaws. Chain locks are another cyclist staple and perfect for high-traffic areas. They’re versatile, but incredibly bulky. These bad boys are better for locking up your bike at home, or keeping in one location, so you don’t have to lug it around town.

If you do choose to use a chain, you’ll either need to find a secondary lock to secure both ends, or find a model that comes with its own combination.

Cable Locks

We’re just going to say it. If you need a lot of security and durability, maybe consider another option. Cable locks have a bad, long-lasting reputation for being cracked with bolt cutters.

However, they’re incredibly lightweight and are perfect as a secondary security measure when coupled with U-locks. Cable locks offer a lot in terms of portability, but not a lot in strength. Similar to chains, cables will either come with their own combinations or you’ll need to purchase a high-quality lock to secure both ends.
Bicycle locks

Pro Tip #3:

Whatever you can’t lock up, take with you
Bicycle locks

Key & Combination Locks

Keys and combinations are usually paired with other types of locks. For example, U-locks typically use a key mechanism, while cables and chains couple-up with combination locks.

Combination locks are especially handy because you never have to worry about losing a key – but you do have to rely on your own memory. Alternatively, while you can technically lose a key, many key companies offer replacements and you can easily make copies if you need to.

Pro Tip #4:

Choose your key lock carefully and do your research. Some keys can be easily picked

Seat & Wheel Skewers

If your bicycle has quick-release wheel and seat bolts, it might be time to reconsider. Just because your frame is locked, doesn’t mean other parts of your bike can’t or won’t be stolen.

Quick-releases are convenient for cyclists, and also (unfortunately) for thieves. By replacing them with skewers or security bolts, you’re adding another buffer and investing in keeping your entire set-up safe. You may need a couple special tools to install security bolts, but we think it’s worth it.

Bicycle locks

Pro Tip #5:

If your bike has been stolen and your damaged lock was left behind, take pictures of it. You can use it as evidence in a theft claim

If you need recommendations on specific brands or types of locks, contact your local bike shop or send us a message. We’d be happy to share more details about what we’ve learned over the years.
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