Returning to find that your bike has been stolen is a frustrating and disheartening experience. No bike lock is perfect, but taking the extra step towards protecting your bike and its components is worth it for most bike owners. If you’re researching bike locks for the first time, you may be overwhelmed by the available options. Fortunately you can take steps to help narrow them down. Start by considering your primary needs for the lock. If you live in a moderate to high crime area and are planning on locking up your bike outside, it’s probably worth it to spend a bit more for a heftier lock. However, if you live in a relatively low crime area and don’t need a robust lock, there are plenty of budget-friendly options.
U-Locks tend to be harder to cut. The advantage of this type of lock is its U-shape, which leaves less room for tools that can potentially cut a lock. If you’re considering a U-Lock, keep its overall size in mind. Some smaller locks are just wide enough to fit around the bike and a fixed object, such as a street sign. If you have a larger frame or prefer to lock up your frame and wheel, consider a bigger lock. U-Locks tend to be heavier and bulkier than other types of bike locks. Many U-Locks also need to be opened with a key.
If you want a smaller and lighter lock that doesn’t require a key, consider a cable lock. This type of lock generally isn’t as sturdy as a U-Lock and is typically more affordable. Most cable locks open with a combination rather than a key. A cable lock is a practical choice for anyone who doesn’t need to keep a bike locked up for extended periods of time and who tends to ride in low crime areas.
Those living in high crime areas and leave their bikes locked up in public spaces for extended periods of time should consider a chain lock. While it provides a high level of security and protection, this type of lock is generally very heavy and can be tough to haul around. Chain locks tend to be pricier as well.
This list offers suggestions for every type of cyclist and budget. If you’re looking for more options, browse additional bike locks on Amazon for a wider selection.
1. Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 Standard Bicycle U-Lock
This Kryptonite bike lock stands out for its hardened steel shackle along with a disc-style cylinder. The result is a high security bike lock that’s resistant to attempted cuts, picks, and drilling. A flexible frame bracket makes the lock easy to mount to any 25mm to 80mm frame tubing. The lock weighs 3.60 pounds and features 360 degree rotation to promote optimal fit and alignment for individual bikes.
If you’re looking for a heavy duty lock designed for challenging urban environments, consider the Mini New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock.
Price: $31.40 (37 percent off MSRP)
- Resists attempted cuts, picks, and drilling
- Flexible frame bracket accommodates a wide range of bikes
- 360 degree rotation for optimal alignment and fit
- Some struggle with the mounting kit
- Locking mechanism can be tricky to secure
- Theft insurance costs extra and may not cover cut or broken locks
2. OnGuard Brute STD U-Lock
A distinctive locking mechanism offers four-sided protection for maximum security. This bike lock features a quick release mounting bracket for added convenience. There’s also a micro-light key with a bright white beam projection. The multi-position mounting bracket helps secure the lock to bike frames of various sizes.
While it’s designed more for motorcycles than bikes, the Onguard Beast Chain Lock with X4 Padlock offers even more security.
Price: $48.43 (35 percent off MSRP)
- Four-sided protection
- Quick release mounting bracket
- Micro-light key with bright white beam protection
- Surface material may strip or peel off over time
- Can’t register for warranty online
3. Abus Mini 140 U-Lock
If you’re looking for a bike lock that won’t weigh you down when you’re riding, consider this Abus lock. Don’t be fooled by its mini size, as the lock is durable enough to withstand the demands of urban and campus use. Hardened steel and a double locking body add extra elements of security. The lock is 5.5 inches wide and weighs just over 2 pounds, making it simple to transport on a bike.
The Abus Granit City X-Plus 1060 Chain Lock caters to urban cyclists seeking maximum security for moderate to high crime areas.
Price: $56.33 (13 percent off MSRP)
- May be a bit small for bikes with larger frames
- Compact size for easy portability
- Ideal for urban and campus use
- Can take awhile to get the key properly in place
- Some consumers wish it was longer
- Doesn’t include a mounting bracket
4. UShake Bike Lock Cable
This bike lock is a solid choice if you’re looking for a budget-friendly lock for use in a lower crime area. Highlights include a personalized number combination that can be reset if necessary along with a self-coiling design and a free mounting bracket. To secure the lock, simply enter your own four-digit combination. The flexible steel cables hold up to attempted cuts while PVC coating adds an extra element of durability.
Price: $10.97 (50 percent off MSRP)
- Personalized combination can be reset if necessary
- Cut-resistant steel cables
- Includes a mounting bracket
- Users need to manually move numbers after setting lock to secure it
- Not strong enough for higher crime areas
- Cable holder isn’t compatible with all bikes
5. Hiplok Lite v1.0 Superbright Wearable Bicycle Lock
As its name suggests, this bike lock is designed to wear around the waist so that you don’t have to worry about hauling around a cumbersome lock. It’s ideal for use in medium risk locations and comes with an nylon case that is built to withstand impacts. A removable outer sleeve features a reflective rear tab to keep you visible on the roads, even in lower light settings. A combined hardened steel shackle and hardened steel chain adds an extra element of durability.
If you’re looking for a lighter weight version, consider the Hiplok Lite v1.0 Wearable Bicycle Lock.
- Designed to wear around the waist
- Best for medium risk areas
- Reflective removable outer sleeve
- A bit short
- Some complain of a fussy lock/key combination
- May not fit less common waist sizes
6. Bell CATALYST Pocket U-Lock
This basic bike lock comes in a number of variations, making it simple to choose the security level and price tag that’s right for you. Two keys are included so that you don’t have to scramble if you’ve misplaced one of the keys. There’s also a vinyl crossbar and a shackle coating to protect the bike against scratches as you ride. The bike lock features a hardened steel shackle and crossbar for added security.
Price: $10.29 (31 percent off MSRP)
- Available in several variations
- Coating protects bikes against scratches
- Includes two keys
- Key locks can occasionally get stuck
- Bar is a bit short
- A bit heavy
7. TiGr mini Lightweight Titanium Bicycle Lock
This small yet sturdy lock weighs just under 1 pound and includes a mounting clip for simple installation. A push-button lock design means that a key won’t be necessary to work the lock. The disc-style lock cylinder provides an extra layer of security. The bow features durable PVC coating to protect the bike frame against scratches. Two keys are included.
- Push-button lock design doesn’t require keys
- PVC coating protects the bike frame
- Prone to rattling over bumps and rough roads
- Lack of flexibility can make it tough to find the ideal locking position
- Many consumers wish it was larger
8. Pinhead City Lock
This Pinhead lock is designed to protect the entire bike. If you want even more security, you can also order Pinhead locks for the wheels, saddle, seat post, and other bike components that are often targeted by thieves. Don’t worry if you’re the type to lose keys, as the company offers online key replacement along with a lifetime replacement warranty. The lock is designed with a hinged closure and a hidden key entry to deter potential crimes.
- Can be used in conjunction with other Pinhead locks for full-bike security
- Hinged closure and hidden key entry
- Online key replacement
- Relatively small lock
- Some find it a bit heavy to carry around
9. Altor 560G Titanium Bike Lock
Half-inch robust titanium rods help reduce the risk of a thief riding off with your bike. This bike lock weighs just over 1 pound and stands out for its high-security disc mechanism. A clear plastic coating keeps the frame from getting scratched as you ride. The bike lock comes with a frame mount and two keys for added convenience. When it’s not in use, the bike lock can be folded up to fit inside a pocket, purse, or bag.
- Clear plastic coating protects frame
- Folds up for portability
- Includes a frame mount and two keys
- A bit small
- Some note that the holder tab can break fairly easily
10. Xtreme Bright Illumilock Cable Bike Lock
The hallmark feature of this bike lock is its convenient LED nightlight, which makes it easier to unlock your bike in the dark. Military-grade braided stainless steel makes the lock drill and shock-resistant. It’s also water resistant. Instead of fumbling with keys to open the lock, all you need to do is remember your lock combination.
- LED nightlight
- Military-grade stainless steel
- Water-resistant construction
- Some wish the LED light was brighter
- Not ideal for high risk areas
- Button needs to be held down continuously to keep the light on