Your bike is an increasingly attractive and valuable commodity. The best bike locks will deter bike thieves, not just frustrate them as they try to pry it open.
To better protect your bike, you need to know what the best bike locks are, and that's why we've compiled this list for you. Let's get straight to the best overall bike lock.
Kryptonite New York FAHGETTABOUDIT 1415 14mm Chain & New York Lock
This bike lock features a chain made of 3t hardened manganese steel and a patented oval-hardened steel crossbar in the lock mechanism. It is built for maximum security.
Additional innovations include the sliding dust cover, which protects the high-security cylinder and extends its life. The imposing six-sided chain links give a deterring glare to any would-be thief. It's truly the mightiest of bike locks.
- Patented features to set it apart from competitors
- Imposing and durable for residents of high-risk areas
- Built-in heavy-duty drill and pull resistance
- Heavy if you're riding a commuter bike
Foldlock Clipster Folding Bike Lock
If you feel chain locks are cumbersome, then this wearable folding bike lock is ideal. Secure the 2.2-lb lock to your belt and you are on your way. It's tested for security against tools --- even heavy-duty bolt cutters.
It's supported by solid rust-proof steel links for great durability. Use one of your three keys to unlock it and get on your way quickly and easily. Just watch out for pinching as you unfold and refold it. Otherwise, it's a great compact lock for those traveling light or locking/unlocking frequently.
- Innovative foldable design makes it easy to carry; can even wear on your belt
- Actively suppresses vibration while riding to make it more comfortable to carry
- Super light - only 2.2lbs
- Locking mechanism easy to use, and plenty of spare keys
- Easy to get pinched when folding/unfolding - have to be careful!
Kryptonite Evolution 11-14mm U-Lock with FlexFrame U Bracket
The U-lock is a tried-and-tested design, and this great-value offering has excellent features: 13mm hardened steel shackle, drill, saw and pick resistance, and a 10mm steel looped cable. It's a great size, and I found no problems getting this around my bike and a bike rack, but couldn't get it around the front wheel, too.
The cable lock works nicely on the wheel, and the U-lock design proves sturdy enough for those outside of major metro areas. However, I'm not sure it would stand up to the hardened and determined bike theft of big cities. Having said that, the price point is spot on for those on a budget.
- Price-to-quality ratio is fantastic - great bang for the buck
- Secure key replacement and anti-theft guarantee of up to $2500 offered
- Resistant and backed up by a lifetime warranty
- Not heavy-duty enough for high-risk bike theft areas
Seatylock Heavy Duty Drill Resistant Anti-Theft Bicycle Hybrid Saddle Lock
This offering from Seatylock neatly solves the issue of bulky locks by incorporating it into the bike saddle. Detach the saddle with your key, unfold the lock and use it to secure your bike frame in place.
The reinforced and weatherproof material is drill-resistant, and the saddle comes in two sizes to allow more riders to take advantage. What's more, the seat itself is actually really comfortable; more so than many factory-issued ones.
It's undoubtedly handy and feels durable, but it's not truly "heavy-duty" in my view.
- Ultra-convenient all-in-one design - no more bag space wasted with locks
- Affordable and comes in a nice range of colors
- Simultaneously solves the issue of saddle protection
- Not as strong as heavy-duty competitors; better used as a backup or spare
Kryptonite New York Lock Fahgettaboutit Mini 18mm U-Lock Bicycle Lock
Kryptonite ranks this U-lock a 10/10 on its security scale. On inspecting the components and materials, it's easy to see why. The 18mm max-performance steel shackle is very sturdy and secured with double deadbolts. I had a go at the cylinder with a pick and drill and found both ineffective.
It's not as "showy" as the models with heavy chains, but it gets the job done. The recognizable yellow/black of Kryptonite is a good deterrent in itself. What I didn't like was seeing plastic around the keyhole, especially when it's a more expensive item in the world of bike locks.
- Maximum-security feel from strong materials
- Attaches to the bike with velcro for transport - no need to take up bag space
- Recognizable color scheme helps ward off thieves
- High price point but still has cheap plastic around the keyhole
Kryptonite Keeper Folding Bicycle Lock
When you don't need the heavy and intimidating chains of some locks, this folding option from Kryptonite makes a nice and convenient, easy-to-carry alternative. It comes in either 33- or 39-inch size, and we found it much easier to use than chains, cables, or U-locks.
The key can be a bit tricky at times, which is disappointing on a medium-security lock. Having said that, even the smaller one fits easily around the rear wheel and frame, providing solid protection.
- Light and compact, easy to store and carry
- Affordable and ideal for mid-level locking security needs
- 3mm hardened steel used for links makes it durable despite compact size
- Rider gets choice of size to suit bike and bag size
- Keys can be fiddly and awkward at times
FOLDYLOCK Compact Bike Lock Black
The first thing about this lock - it's a folding lock but carries a strength comparable to the high-price items. The rivets are of a very high order, durable against all kinds of tools, especially the bike thief's favorite - bolt cutters.
Don't be fooled by the plastic coating. This lock is hard, protective coated metal. What's more, if one proves too small, you can connect two to create a longer lock. The lock is also very smooth, much more so than typical heavy-duty offerings.
- Strong, sturdy steel build offers great bolt-cutter resistance
- Smooth and easy-to-use lock
- Extraordinary riveting helps add to its durability
- Connect multiple locks to create a longer piece - can tie to trees if needed
- Can rattle and make noise while riding, even when fixed in place in the holder
Hiplok V1.50 Original Superbright Wearable Bicycle Lock
While some wearable locks clip to your pants or belt --- sometimes pulling them down --- this lock is like a belt unto itself. This one is perfect for those riding with no bag and who don't want to hear rattling from a lock hooked to their frame. The Hiplok fits neatly around a waist up to 44 inches.
The lock itself features an 8mm hardened-steel chain combined with a 12mm shackle sleeved in strengthened nylon. It's a strong and imposing setup once in place, but it looks like it fits a bit tight on the bike, which made me worry about my expensive machine. Besides that small issue, it's a great choice, but it doesn't come cheap.
- Wearable design makes carrying easier than ever
- Surprisingly comfortable, and never locks while you're wearing it
- Strong and imposing lock deters would-be thieves
- Expensive and fits rather tight on the bike, which can be worrying
OTTOLOCK Sidekick Compact U-Lock Lightweight Silicone-Coating Keyed Bike Lock
The silicone coating on this U-lock is a great addition and really helps stop the problem of scratching on the frame. Bikes tend to take a lot of punishment even from one of the best locks. The OTTOLOCK is also strong thanks to its double-shackle 12mm hardened steel deadbolt design.
All that strength doesn't make it so heavy, however. The whole thing weighs 1.65lbs, and so is easy to carry in your bag or even your back pocket. If you're on a budget, this is another great-value choice - affordability with strength.
- Suits all budgets
- Prevents scratches on bike frame
- Lightweight and portable
- Small sizes limit locking options compared to many other bike locks
And the Winner Is...
Kryptonite New York FAHGETTABOUDIT 1415 14mm Chain & New York Lock
With this lock, it's not just about a catchy name. It's about the durability and trustworthiness of this model. When your concern is having your bike stolen, then the type of lock you want is one with an excellent level of security. This Kryptonite model combines strength, deterrent, and innovative locking mechanisms. It ticks all the right boxes.
What are the most secure bike locks?
In truth, the best bike lock is one that makes a would-be thief not even bother trying. A chunky, heavy-metal look with recognizable branding is one to make bike stealers look for an alternative target. To that end, the main factors in choosing the most secure bike lock are weight, locking mechanisms, having a hefty bike chain lock, and resistance to tools and picks.
If your bike lock can't deter the thief, then the most secure one is the one whose metal and various locks can withstand the attacks of bolt cutters, drills, lock picks, and other commonly employed tools in bike thefts.
What is the best type of bike lock?
Common lock types include wafer locks and disc detainer locks, cable locks, U-locks, and folding locks. Wafer and disc locks are intricate and well-made but can be picked by skilled thieves without drawing a lot of attention to themselves. They may appear to be a bike owner merely fiddling with their key in the lock.
For greater security, cable and U-locks are the best choices. They are typically built with the most durable steel and other metal materials. No lock is invulnerable, but the best bike locks either deter or slow thieves down. Cable and U-locks are hard to steal inconspicuously.
The most convenient option nowadays is folding locks. These give a good level of security while also being lighter, easier to frame mount on the bike without causing scratching or rattling, and are often cheaper to buy.
Are U-locks better than cable locks?
As we mentioned above, no lock is impervious to the will of a bike thief who is determined. Of the two types, U-locks are the sturdier and most likely to turn away criminals. This is their advantage. Cable locks, on the other hand, are lighter and easier to carry. Which one is best will be determined by your own need. Find a balance that works.
Are there bike locks that cannot be cut?
A quick look at customer reviews of many bike products, including my own above, will tell you that no bike lock is un-cuttable. Certain types of bikes always attract the attention of a thief. Whether or not they are physically able to cut through your lock is not the question. The important question is, will the thief want to?
Lock your bike with a cable lock, U-lock, or another type of bike lock. You will create a necessary obstacle to theft. A quality lock deters and slows, but it can always be cut.