The Best Bike Locks | Coach
There is no such thing as an unstealable bike. Short of carrying your two-wheeled steed with you wherever you go it’s impossible to guarantee thieves will never get their mitts on it, with even the most impressive locks merely an interesting diversion to the seriously committed tea leaf.
That’s the bad news, but there is good news to come too, in that bike locks are getting smarter and better all the time. You also don’t need to make your bike unstealable – you just need to make it an unattractive option to would-be thieves. More unattractive than the bike locked up next to it, at any rate. It’s just like the old joke that you don’t need to be able to outrun a bear, you just need to outrun your brother.
To make your bike look unappealing to a would-be thief you ideally want a couple of bike locks, both of which should have a Sold Secure rating. Sold Secure is an independent, non-profit group that rates locks gold, silver or bronze. Gold offers the highest level of security and is recommended for bikes worth over £1,000, Silver provides a balance between cost and security and is fit for bikes worth £250 to £1,000 – though it’s not going to hurt to get a gold lock – while Bronze locks are mainly to deter opportunistic thieves. Many bike insurance policies will require you to have a Sold Secure-rated lock, so it’s definitely worth checking the rating before buying one if you’re paying a monthly premium to protect your investment.
The reason you want two locks is to provide a varied test to any thieves and also to ensure you can lock all the removable parts of your bike. D-locks (also called U-locks) are robust but chains and cables are easier to wrap around several parts of your bike including quick-release wheels. Having one of each is a good way to go, and there are also folding locks available that are easier to slip into a bag. Cable locks are the cheapest and least secure option, so they should really be paired with something more robust if you’re planning on leaving your bike on the street.
Below you’ll find a range of locks to suit all bikes and budgets. Buying a couple of locks might seem a considerable outlay, but remember that the general advice is to spend at least 10% of the value of your bike on locks for it.
Kryptonite Kryptolok D Lock With Kryptoflex Cable
This is a terrific-value lock, offering a Sold Secure Gold level of protection for under £50, with the added bonus of a cable thrown in. The cable doesn’t offer a great deal of protection itself, but will suffice to wrap around a quick-release front wheel while the D secures the frame and back wheel if you’re not leaving the bike alone for too long.
Buy from Evans Cycles | £44.99
Hiplok has a range of chain locks that you can wear as a belt, including some that provide Sold Secure Gold protection. This lighter version only offers Bronze-level security, but the 6mm hardened steel chain is still pretty robust and it’s comfortable to wear while cycling.
Buy from Wiggle | From £34.97
Abus Bordo 6500
A foldable lock is convenient because it slips in a bag or rucksack easily, though you’ll certainly notice the 1.76kg weight of the Bordo 6500/85 on your back. This is one of the few folding locks with a Sold Secure Gold rating – Abus also sells less secure versions of the Bordo, along with one that has a built-in alarm, though the latter is more expensive and only has a Sold Secure Silver rating.
Buy on Amazon | £80.95
Kryptonite New York Long Shackle D Lock
Another Gold standard D-lock, this one has an extra-long shackle to make it easier to secure your bike against railings and anywhere else where there isn’t a standard bike rack to use.
Buy from Evans Cycles | £80
Litelok Gold Wearable
This bike lock belt isn’t quite as comfortable as it looks in photos, but that’s just because it’s heavier and harder than you probably expect, though it still is lighter than most locks. It’s rated Gold and although it’s not as flexible as a chain or cable, it’s obviously more flexible than a D-lock. Make sure you pick the right size for you – you can get locks to fit waists from 30in to 38in – otherwise it could end up slipping down your legs or feeling uncomfortable tight while you ride.
Buy on Amazon | £99.99
There’s no impressive security rating here, just a cheap, convenient lock that is comfortable to wear and doesn’t require you to remember keys to open it. Clearly it’s not one to put on a £3,000 Pinarello, but for cheaper bikes in the UK’s less thief-plagued areas, it will do the job.
Buy from Hiplok | £34.99
This Bronze-rated cable is flexible enough to twist around the crossbar of your bike to transport it, as well as being a good option for people who rarely get the chance to use a standard bike rack and have to contort their lock to attach their bike to railings, trees, lampposts and whatever else is available.
Buy from Wiggle | £39.99