When choosing what bike lock you want to get, it could be a stressful process. You need one that guarantees as much security as possible but at the same time is easy to carry around with you. If you’re struggling with the decision, we have all the information you could want right here.
- 1 Why Should You Use A Bike Lock?
- 1.1 Yale YUL2/13/230/1 review
- 1.2 Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 FlexFrame U-Lock review
- 1.3 Via Velo Bike U-Lock with Cable review
- 2 Maintenance of your bike lock
Why Should You Use A Bike Lock?
While bikes are a relatively more affordable means of transport compared to others such as motor vehicles, they still cost quite the pretty penny and you should absolutely do everything in your power to protect that investment. A survey of 500 bike owners conducted in Brussels stated that over one third of those persons had been victims of bike theft. With those odds, you had better be safe than sorry.
Of all the types of locks, U-locks are the safest, considerably more than chains and solitary cable locks. Luckily, they work on both manual as well as electric bikes.
That said, here are the three best bike locks on the market today.
Yale YUL2/13/230/1 review
Out of all the bike locks we’ve reviewed for this article, this is the one that hands-down promises the best security in the field.
It comes in 4 independently rated variants:
1. High security U-lock
This one is the standard style. Its features, as listed on the official product page, include:
- The shackle is extra-hardened for increased ability to withstand cutting and direct impact
- The crossbar has a two-point locking mechanism that provides very high protection from pulling
- It is resistant to pulling, picking and drilling
- Double rubber bumper for protection against scratches
- 5 years guarantee
- 4 laser cut keys including 1 with micro-light
Its Sold Secure Rating is Silver. It weighs 1.2 kilograms.
2. Maximum security U-lock
Its Sold Secure Rating is Gold. It weighs 1.46 kilograms.
3. Standard security U-lock
Its features are similar to the High Security variant, but it comes with a two-year guarantee instead of five, determined by the independent rating system in place for the different variations of this product.
What, then, would make this buy more your speed? Well, it doesn’t come with keys as the previous versions, instead it comes with a Yale combination lock. This means that it’s more attractive to those who regularly lose keys or would rather not be burdened with having to carry and keep track of them during their busy day. If you would prefer just memorizing a four-digit code, this is the product for you.
Remember, this one is just as resistant to thieves attempting to cut through it as the others since it also carries the extra-strengthened shackle. It also has the double rubber bumper for resistance to scratches.
It weighs 1.2 kilograms.
4. High security U-lock with cable
This variant is similar to the High Security model, down to the five-year guarantee and extra-strengthened shackle and double rubber bumper for scratch resistance. Its difference is that it comes with a cable, as implied in the product name. This adds extra flexibility and security. It also comes with 4 laser cut keys, one with a micro-light.
Its Sold Secure Rating is Silver and it weighs 1.48 kilograms.
5. Maximum security U-lock with cable
This one is the most high-end of the bunch. For starters, it features the extra-strengthened shackle, double rubber bumper and four laser cut keys, one with micro-light. Beyond that, it comes with a four point locking heavy duty crossbar which provides maximum pull protection.
As implied by the name, it comes with a cable. The difference from the previous cabled variant is that this is a 1200 millimetre tough vinyl coated cable. It also boasts a lifetime guarantee.
Its Sold Secure Rating is Gold. It weighs 1.74 kilograms.
Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 FlexFrame U-Lock review
This product is an easy to use U-lock that comes in different variants depending on the specific user’s needs.
This variant is the standard model of the series. Its features include:
- Double locking bolt for increased security
- 14 millimetre standard length hardened Kryptonium steel shackle
- 1.7 kilogram weight
- Sold Secure Rating of Gold
- 3 keys, including one with micro-light
- Vinyl coat for weatherproofing
- Rotating dustcover over cylinder to protect against damage from grime and dirt
This model features different bundle configurations that better allow for the user to have a wider selection. They are:
i. Single lock
Its features are:
- 14mm strengthened steel MAX-Performance shackle
- 3 steel keys, with improved design and micro-light
- Patent-pending hardened double deadbolt design that provides additional protection from twist attacks
- Smaller crossbar design
- Higher security disc style cylinder that’s resistant to both drilling and picking
- Product dimensions that fits bicycle frame tubing between 25 and 80 millimetres of any cross-sectional shape whether oval, round, square or triangular
ii. Lock + Evolution Mini-7 Lock
It features the 3 keys as above, the hardened steel shackle, double-deadbolt design and smaller crossbar, but improves upon it with the following:
- New sliding dustcover
- New double deadbolt design
iii. Lock + loop cable 120 cm
It features the similarities between the first two, but its difference is in the following features:
- 4 foot (120 centimeters) long, 10 millimeter diameter braided steel cable
- Double-looped cable for use with all Kryptonite U-locks, disc locks, and padlocks
iv. Lock + loop cable 220 cm
This is similar to the cable bundle above, down to the double loop, with the following differences:
- 7 Feet (220cm) long cable
Via Velo Bike U-Lock with Cable review
Its features are:
- Double bolt locking for the crossbar that’s resistant to drills and pulls
- Pick-resistant locks
- 14 millimetre thick cable in rubber casing
- Hardened steel shackle
- 2 keys that are specially designed to be difficult to copy
- Dustproof lock cover
- Scratch resistant PVC coating
- Non-slip pad to keep the mount from moving around
- It fits 99% of the bikes in the marketplace
Via Velo also boasts a robust customer service experience, with 24-hour support and a 2 year warranty. They also offer a 60-day money back policy, with a full unconditional refund for unsatisfied customers.
It weighs 1.45 kilograms.
How do you protect yourself from bicycle theft?
Now that you’ve gotten yourself a good bike lock, there’s still the issue of the other measures you can take to ensure that you get the best value for your money. These are:
- Locking in a public place – you should look to lock your bicycle in a public place with a lot of human traffic in order to deter would-be thieves. This includes the forefront of most parking lots and sidewalks. Make sure you don’t slack on the locking, because the objective is to make it so hard to breach that thieves don’t go through the extra effort.
- Lock it where you can see it yourself – if you’re going indoors, for instance into a restaurant, try to situate yourself somewhere where you have a view of the bike, such as a window.
- Lock your bike to something solid – try to secure your bike to an immovable object such as guardrails or specially made structures for bikes that are firmly affixed to the ground. Avoid things such as sign posts and garbage bins that can be easily removed from the ground.
- Avoid locking your bike to trees – a good piece of advice is not to lock your bike to a tree. This way, the thieves don’t have to cut down a tree to steal your bike. Furthermore, bike locks can hurt the tree, for example by cutting into the bark.
- Don’t lock at the saddle – the saddle can be easily removed by thieves. You should try to lock the crossbars.
- Check where you’re locking to – some thieves could have already cut through bike racks, which allows them to easily slip locked bikes through the railings. For this reason, always check to make sure the structure is solid and has not been tampered with.
- Insure your bike – to be on the safe side, get yourself insurance against bike theft. That way, you’re ready in the worst case scenario.
You can never be too careful, as evidenced by this playlist of bicycle thefts captured on camera. You should go through it to determine what precautions you should be taking.
Maintenance of your bike lock
To ensure your bike lock lasts long enough to serve you to the best of its capabilities, ensure you take good care of it. Store it well, away from damp environments and be sure to lubricate its moving parts. You could label the lock itself just in case you ever lose it. Also remember to keep copies of the keys in the most important places e.g. at home, school and a friend’s house.
When cycling, make sure to keep the bike lock in its bracket where it won’t obstruct you. This also helps when the lock itself is heavy enough to interfere with the balance of the bicycle, such as those that are closer to 2 kilograms in weight. For added safety, consider getting better bike lights.