Bicycle Locks and Security

With more than 132,000 reported cases of stolen bicycles in 2018 in the US according to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and many other incidents that were never mentioned in official records, better bicycle security solutions are imperative for owners. Whether at home, at the workplace, or in a public space, bicycle thefts are a genuine threat all across the country. People who use their bikes to commute to work, stay in shape, or replace public transportation options when moving around the city or those who invest in expensive e-bikes and cycling machines used for serious training and bike racing competitions have all the reasons to invest in enhanced protection. Let's find out what are the best bike locks, padlocks, and security systems that you could invest in and find out what are their main advantages and drawbacks.

bicycle lockThe Basics of Bicycle Security: Bicycle Locks and Security Systems

In under 60 seconds, a bike theft with experience in his line of work could easily take off with your bike and sell it t a street corner for a fraction of the high price you paid for it, especially when it comes to state-of-the-art bikes used for race training. Unfortunately, only a very small percentage of all reported cases of bike theft is solved, which means most people will never retrieve their beloved bicycles.

On the other hand, opportunist bike thieves could be easily discouraged and deterred with the help of something as simple as a quality bike lock. Let us take a look at the main types of bike locks and find out what they are capable of doing

The Best Bicycle Locks


U-locks can only be cut with the help of power tools. These locks weigh more and are more expensive than other types of locks due to the hardened steel that helps them better cope with theft attempts. You could opt for the Kryptonite New York STD U-Lock that relies on double deadbolts that require two different cuts for the lock to open. Most thieves are easily deterred at the sight of these locks, so they make a good choice. The lock features 16mm hardened steel shackles and a crossbar that is good at preventing any twisting attempts. Thieves need to instead cut the shackles two times in order to unlock it. The lock also comes with a mounting bracket that relies on nylon straps to get tied to the frames, instead of penetrating the bosses. This means mounting can be done in several different ways.

The OnGuard Brute STD has a shackle shaped like a square that measures 16.8mm and it is made from hardened steel. The keyhole is closed automatically and the lock features its own mounting bracket.

bike lockFolding Bike Locks

These locks are very good options for bike owners who have been used to the standard chains or cable locks. If you commute to work or school every day, these locks would work best for you thanks to their low profile when they are properly folded. Some of these locks can be cut with bolt cutters and a power drill could also damage their joints. However, they are good at letting users lock up bikes that are not suitable for the U-locks.

Abus Bordo Granit X-Plus 6500 is a good example of a reliable folding bike lock that weighs 3.5 pounds and comes with 5.5mm links that can effectively handle any cutting attempts. Nonetheless, the tying pins are not unhardened, which means they might not be able to withstand the job of a long bolt cutter. If you want to use this lock on more than just one bicycle, you should take advantage of the securing loops that can be connected to a bike's frame.

Chain Locks

These locks provide similar levels of security compared to U-locks provided their chains are properly with steel and if the shackle is also sturdy enough. Larger chains can effectively lock up the frames of bikes as well as the wheels, while also beefing up the tree's diameter as well as the diameter of the posts that will be used to lock the bikes. The Hiplok Spin chain lock model will allow you to enjoy the convenience of fitting the lock around your waist for more convenience in carrying it. This model is comfortable to wear when riding your bike and it also matches a waist as small as 26 inches and can go as high as 44 inches. It comes with a chain made of hardened steel measuring 6 mm and the shackle is not as wide as a chain that weighs more. Nonetheless, it can do a good job at scaring off potential thieves. It also has a hook and loop that can be adjusted.

Lightweight Locks

These bike lock models are sold in a number of different designs and you might appreciate Ottolock Cinch's zip tie model. They usually provide smaller levels of protection so you might want to use them for quick and temporary bike storage needs while running errands, as they can be easily picked with bolt cutters. The Hiplok's Z Loc Combo model has a very minimalist design and it works similar to a large zip tie, as it can be cinched in place using a combo of three digits. The tie measures 3.6mm and it comes with a steel core that has been covered in plastic and which cannot provide a high level of protection when subject to cutting attempts. A tin snip could usually cause the lock to break; however, this model is suitable for rapidly tethering a bicycle to a post while going in and out of a coffee shop.

While most, if not all bicycle and motorcycle locks are susceptible to theft attempts, a well-chosen and properly installed and maintained lock will prove to effectively withstand amateur thieves. Have an expert locksmith fit a disc detainer lock and rely on the rotating discs that are hardest to pick or consider laser-cut slot slider models of locks for more bicycle security. An experienced locksmith can assist you when making the final decision, especially if you need enhanced security for an expensive race bike or an electric bike.

What Customers Say About Us

Jannie W.
W. 29th street

Dave is great! He was punctual and professional. And after installing the new locks on all of our doors, he cleaned up after himself! The same cannot be said for the last service I hired… would definitely recommend and use again!

Adrian Stanton
S Kenton Ave

We live not too far from Chicago and I spend about a hour and a half to get to my office. Mornings are always in a hurry for me and a broken door would be the worst I could expect. However, this was exactly what happened. I had no time to lose and so I called 247 Ontime Locksmiths. The expert guy from Locksmiths could fix the problem and I could go to work.

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E Van Buren St

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