The best bike locks for home and away

Casual riders, eco-conscious commuters, or the next Chris Froome in training - you need a cycle lock.

Bike Lock

by William Austin-Lobley |
Updated on

Whether you've just bought a new bike or are investing in some extra security for your existing pride and joy, there are a few things you need to be aware of before buying a bike lock.

For some, a single bike lock will be enough. Still, those who want to guarantee the security of their precious ride will need several solutions suited to different locations and situations.

It's worth pointing out early that no security product is ever truly thief-proof - locks can be picked, chains can be cut with an angle grinder or bolt-cutters, and even ground anchors can be prised away eventually. The best you can hope for is to make the theft of your bike noisy and awkward.

Best D-Locks

Abus Granit XPlus 540 D-Lock
Price: £99.99 (Was £119.99)

www.wiggle.co.uk

Tried and tested by Commercial Content Editor Adam Binnie: "This is Diamond Sold Secure and is rated 15 out of 15 by Abus, so it's a D-lock with some serious credentials.

"Its dimensions mean it looks tough too, which is vital for putting off bike thieves, but a soft rubber coating means it shouldn't scratch or damage your bike. Measuring 30cm by 10.8cm internally (at the most comprehensive and longest points), this lock has lots of space to reach around even my fat mountain bike frame and onto something secure.

"There's a clever and flexible frame mounting system so you can carry this while you ride, but a weight of 1.5kg means you'll know it's there. The key comes with an LED light to help lock and unlock it in the dark, and the barrel is located deep inside, behind an anti-picking door.

"All-in-all, it's a bit of a beast, which will work just as well outside the home as in."

Pros

  • LED light on key for early morning and late at night
  • Flexible frame mounting
  • Rubber coating wont scratch your frame

Cons

  • Heavy

Kryptonite KryptoLok Series 2 D-Lock

Rrp: $38.00

Price: $35.81

The KryptoLock is a lightweight and secure D-lock which is excellent

for users who'll be locking and unlocking their bike regularly throughout the day. The 12mm steel construction offers excellent

resistance to hand tool tampering.

Pros

  • Good weight
  • Can attach to your bike
  • 12 mm hardened steel shackle

Cons

  • Only a bronze security standard

Kryptonite New York Standard NYL Lock & Flexframe Bracket
Price: $67.00 (Was £120.00)
Alternative retailers
Trek Bicycle$147.95View offer

Given the Gold Standard by Sold Secure (an independent UK-based bike lock testing standard), you can be sure of the highest level of security from this lock. Based on a super-tough 16mm hardened steel shackle, this premium u-lock takes advantage of a set deadbolt design, giving even more protection to twist-type attacks. The disc-style cylinder is pick and drill resistant, featuring a dust cover that protects it from the elements.

Pros

  • Gold Standard by Sold Secure
  • 16mm hardened steel shackle
  • Respected brand

Cons

  • Heavy

This compact D-lock can be slung in your backpack or bag, designed to look chunky and hard to break; the Abus Ultimate is 13mm thick on its D loop, which does challenging work for bolt cutters. The bright handle also makes it stand out and makes thieves think twice before tackling the lock.

Pros

  • Compact size
  • 13mm thick hardened steel

Cons

  • Only works for medium-risk areas

Best Cable Locks

Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7 Bicycle U-Lock w/KryptoFlex Double Loop Cable

Rrp: $92.95

Price: $58.33
Alternative retailers
Competitive Cyclist$73.46View offer
Walmart$92.95View offer
evo$97.95View offer
Trek Bicycle$97.95View offer

The D-lock is constructed from 13mm MAX-Performance steel and is hardened to resist bolt cutters and leverage attacks. The lock has a double deadlock making it highly secure. The four-foot loop cable offers much flexibility and is attached to the D-lock via its loops. Frame bracket included for easy transportation.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Hook and loop system
  • Cable and d-lock combined

Cons

  • The lock is rated, but the cable isn't

These could be the answer if you want something to keep your bike secure at a quick cafe stop and don't want to carry a heavy lock with you for your whole ride. Super fast to install and lock your rear wheel to your frame, making it difficult to get your bike moving.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Pocket-sized
  • Quick and easy

Cons

  • Great pub lock, probably not for a city centre

Kryptonite KryptoFlex
Price: £22.99 (was £31.99)

www.tredz.co.uk

This coiled cable is almost 2m long and is an excellent

solution for cyclists looking to save space. The line

is reinforced, and the locking head offers 360 degrees of movement, making it easy to lock in any position.

Pros

  • Resettable integrated 4-digit combination lock
  • Pick and drill resistant
  • Not so heavy

Cons

  • Only a 2/10 security rating by Kryptonite

One for the commuters, this D-lock and cable clips onto your belt so that you don't have to worry about where to store it when you're not using it. The cable and d-lock will help keep your bike secure while parked.

Pros

  • Compact
  • All-in-one design
  • Sold Secure Silver rating

Cons

  • It can be a little heavy if worn on your person

This may not look like a cable lock. It's not a chain lock either; it's a semi-flexible lock that helps you lock your bike where you don't ordinarily think you can. It's resilient and robust and

Pros

  • Respected brand
  • High visibility
  • Stronger than most cable locks

Cons

  • Heavy for a cable lock

Best Chain Locks

Abus Chain Lock CityChain 1010
Price: $129.94
Alternative retailers
Walmart$136.38View offer

Tried and tested by Commercial Content Editor Adam Binnie: "A chain can offer more flexibility than a D-lock when securing your bike.
"That's because, unlike a D-lock's fixed (and often relatively short) length, this chain can be bought in variants from 85cm to 170cm, and it's much easier to wrap around something to secure it.
"The 140cm version I've tested weighs 2.65kg, meaning it's quite a bit heavier than the Abus D-lock tried above - and this one is Sold Secure Gold and 13/15 on Abus's scale.
"Where this works best is wrapped through a ground anchor in a garage, where it can be partly suspended from the floor to give it the best chance against attack. You need to make sure your chain fits through the loop, though.
"The locking mechanism is a clever swivelling design than can be operated with one hand (unlike threading a padlock through two chain links) and keeps the whole thing nicely compact.
"It's also got a material cover to help repel cutting and protect your bike frame."

Pros

  • Respected brand
  • Durable lock

Cons

  • Very heavy

Oxford Monster Chain & Lock 2.0mOxford Monster Chain & Lock 2.0mOxford Monster Chain & Lock 2.0mOxford Monster Chain & Lock 2.0mOxford Monster Chain & Lock 2.0mOxford Monster Chain & Lock 2.0mOxford Monster Chain & Lock 2.0mOxford Monster Chain & Lock 2.0mOxford Monster Chain & Lock 2.0mOxford Monster Chain & Lock 2.0mOxford Monster Chain & Lock 2.0mOxford Monster Chain & Lock 2.0mOxford Monster Chain & Lock 2.0mOxford Monster Chain & Lock 2.0mOxford Monster Chain & Lock 2.0mOxford Monster Chain & Lock 2.0m
Price: $56.19

This chain is made from 11mm Ni-Cro-Mo Steel. It's solid. This is an excellent solution for those who want a dedicated home-based cycle-securing option. It isn't overkilled if it saves your bike from falling into the wrong hands.

Pros

  • Heavy duty lock
  • Flame resistant

Cons

  • Very heavy

This wearable chain lock comes with a high-vis outer which works great on and off the bike - When you're riding, and the chain is secure around your waist, it gives a line high-vis which gets you noticed. At the same time, it'll alert any want-to-be thieves about your bike having a lock on it.

Pros

  • High-vis chain cover
  • Fits around your waist
  • Respected brand

Cons

  • Depends on your waist to how well it fits

Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 1016 Integrated Chain Lock
Price: £121.49 (Was £134.99)

www.wiggle.co.uk

A hefty price for a sturdy lock is an incredibly durable chain lock weighing nearly 4.5kg. Very durable and has many excellent features, making it one of the best locks on the market. This chain bike lock comprises 10mm, six-sided chain links that have been triple heat-treated for optimum and increased protection against cutting attacks and tools.

Pros

  • Well respected brand
  • Very durable

Cons

  • Very heavy

Best Ground Anchors

Abus GRANIT WBA 75 Floor Anchor
Price: $61.99

Tried and tested by Commercial Content Editor Adam Binnie: "At the risk of pointing out the obvious, your bicycle is much harder to steal if it's locked to something secure. Even if it's chained up to the nines, the thief could take it away without a secure anchor to remove the locks somewhere else.
"I'm saying I don't bother spending £100 on a lock if you're going to wrap it around a shelving unit. Get a ground anchor, attach it firmly to the concrete floor, and run all your chains and locks through that.
"This one from Abus has a 57mm by 65mm shackle (internal measurement) made of 14mm steel, so you should be able to fit a rigid bike chain through. It's installed by drilling two 16mm holes and then inserting some metal wallplugs, into which two bolts are screwed. You then hammer two ball bearings into the bolt heads.
"Long story short, make sure it's in the right place when you install it because you'll have a big job to remove it. But then again, so will a thief, which is the point."

KRYPTONITE Stronghold Ground Anchor
Price: $70.00

The hardened steel bracket can be attached to a concrete surface u2013 in a garage or outdoors, on the ground or a wall to provide an extremely secure anchor point, allowing the user to protect a bicycle at home fully

. This item is low profile and discrete, working well

with a reinforced heavy-duty lock (cable or chain).

Best Wall Mounted Bike Anchors

HIPLOK Ankr Mini
Price: $14.00
Alternative retailers
Competitive Cyclist$24.99View offer

Small but effective, it'll go into your wall, and with its hollowed-out middle, it'll allow ample room for a bike lock to go through, securing your bike. It can be attached indoors or out to wood or masonry and comes with all the fittings.

Hiplok AIRLOK Wall Mounted Lock and Hanger
Price: £125.99 (starting)

www.wiggle.co.uk

This form Hiplock can be mounted indoors, outdoors, up high on a wall or at just the right height to attach your bike. It's designed to be able to work with all different types of bike frames. The solid silver bar is removable by key. Place your rack into the lock and replace the silver bar, locking your bike securely.

Not strictly a bike lock, however, the Cycloc comes with bike security in mind. Mounted to the wall, a couple of holes go through the Cycloc, allowing a chain to be passed through and lock your bike to the wall-mounted holder.

A robust security and storage method. This wall-mounted

rack passes through your bike's frame in two places to keep it off the ground and secure. Foam padding protects the structure

from abrasion and scratches.

What to look for in a bike lock

The out-and-about lock is easily carried on a frame mount or in a backpack. It's lightweight but very secure, capable of securing a bike at a shopping centre or in the work cycle shed. D-locks and cable locks are popular in this category, as they are lightweight and secure.

There are also heavier chain locks, which can secure your cycle to different anchor points, such as a bike rack, lamppost or tree.

If you've got a cycle with quick-release wheels, you must secure both the frame and anchor point. This can be achieved with one long cable lock or two smaller locks – remember, at least one must be attached to something solid.

What about at home?

The home lock keeps your cycle safe overnight, over the weekends, and while you're on holiday. These can be considerably more substantial as weight isn't as much of an issue since you're not carrying it around.

A heavy-duty chain won't offer much protection if it's locked to something flimsy, though, so a ground or surface anchor is a must when it comes to home-based security.

There's no length too far if it means protecting your cycle, whether it is your primary form of transport or a well-loved hobby. Choose from the below to ensure your ride stays yours.

How to lock your bike

There are plenty of ways to lock your bike, and sometimes, no matter what you do, it's never enough. The idea is to make it as difficult as possible for anyone to want to steal your bike.

One of the ways to do this is to use different types of locks using a solid anchoring point.

Step 1

Find a solid anchoring point in plain sight of traffic and people, not hidden down a backstreet. Thieves have been known to cut sections out of cycle stands and tape them up using tape similar to either the colour of the cycle stand or the high-vis tape found on them. If you only lock your bike to the stand, they'll remove the section and your bike.

Step 2

Use as many locks as you see fit, but the most secure way is to thread a cable lock through your wheels and bike frame, using a small D-lock to lock the cable together. This will ensure your wheels are not stolen or removed, making your frame removable from the stand.

Step 3

Lock your bike to a secure anchoring point. You've now given thieves a hard time in the removal of your bike. Even if they get your bike off the cycle stand, they may struggle to get the cable off your bike. The longer it takes for someone to steal your bike, the higher the chance they get caught.

William Lobley is a Senior Content Writer for WhatsTheBest, specialising in technology and outdoors. He also writes for Empire Online.

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Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us