If you use a bike, scooter, or any other kind of self-propelled vehicle to get around town, getting your ride stolen is a massive bummer, for financial and sentimental reasons. So don’t leave it naked in the street, and don’t settle for anything but one of the best bike locks. That cheapie you picked up at the closest sporting goods store just won’t do the trick.
But which locks are the best for keeping your ride safe? We kept a few things in mind on our search. For one thing, we only looked at steel locks. We also aimed to include a variety of designs. As different vehicles, riders, and locations require different locks, no one design is right for everyone. We also wanted to get picks at a variety of price points, as investing in a quality lock doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank, and it might not make much sense to slap a $120 lock on a $200 bike, for instance. But most of all, we looked for the most secure locks out there.
Here’s what we found, the best locks for your bikes, scooters, and more. Stay safe out there.
Can’t argue with this behemoth: It’s hearty, flexible, and made entirely of pretty-tough-to-break steel. Like most U-locks, it’s fairly simple to use: open around a part of your bike or scooter, close the U, and lock it. It’s just damn intimidating looking, so even if a thief is tempted, they’ll be thinking twice when they see the SIGTUNA.
Pros: A sturdy double bolt mechanism secures both sides to the crossbar added resistance, and it comes with a steel braided cable for extra security. An added Velcro strap helps you secure the keys to your lock.
Cons: It’s heavy, so it’ll definitely add some weight to your bag. We think it’s a worthy trade-off for a lock this strong.
If you’re not a huge fan of the bulky, U-style lock, try one of these chains, made up of seven-millimeter, four-sided steel chain links. If you’re in need of something a little lighter than your standard-fare bulky lock, the Kryptonite chain is an ideal solution.
Pros: It’s light, weighing in at only 3.5 pounds, and it coils up for easy transport. It all links up via a hardened deadbolt — making it virtually unbreakable. A weather-resistant nylon outer-sleeve stops dings and scratches to your bike or scooter. Plus, when you buy Kryptonite, you can register your keys and if you lose them, they’ll send you a new pair for free.
Cons: It might not last as long as you’d like it to — some users report them breaking after a few months. And the lock is known to stick.
The folding design and 2.2 pound weight of this lock make it easy to slip in your messenger bag. It's made of hardened steel, and the rivers are designed to withstand sawing and cutting, and its links are coated in plastic to prevent scratching your frame (or whatever is in your bag).
Pros: There’s a rattle elimination that makes this lock nice and quiet on even the bumpiest of rides. It comes in six different colors in both single- and double-packs, so you can pick up a couple of locks that match the color of your frame to double your security.
Cons: If you do buy a pair of locks they don’t share the same key, which would be way more convenient.
Sick of keys? Don’t worry about ‘em with this sturdy cable. It’s made from six feet of flexible steel that’ll resist thieves with ease, and unlocks with your own unique four-digit code. We recommend against setting it to 1234.
Pros: The long, six-foot cable gives you the ability to wrap and wrap it to secure your bike or scooter to anything. We love that you don’t need a key to open it — four digits offers 10,000 possible combinations. It comes with an included mounting bracket that lets you attach it to your bike or scooter. Coiling it up tight also makes it great for travel.
Cons: According to some owners, it can smell. So if you’ve got a sensitive nose, maybe skip this one.
Two words: Heavy. Duty. There’s nothing like the knowledge that your bike or scooter is locked by something basically unbreakable. And at an above-$100 asking price, it better be. Made from 16 millimeters of pure steel, it’s an intimidating lock made for the kind of bustling urban streets you'll find in New York and Chicago.
Pros: Sixteen millimeters of hardened steel make this lock one of the sturdiest on this list. The disc-cylinder is pick and drill resistant. It comes with three complimentary stainless-steel keys, so don’t freak out if you lose one. It’s also resistant to twisting and single cut attacks.
Cons: It’s definitely a little heftier than many bike locks, at nearly five pounds, so that makes it a little less easy to tote around. And the price is a wallop — but we think it’s worth it.
Yep, that’s right: made from both steel and Kevlar, this slick-looking lock is undeniably lightweight and coils tight. It’s not quite as sturdy or impenetrable as a U-style lock, but is perfect for quick stops.
Pros: Layers of steel and Kevlar make it pretty tough to cut and impossible to twist off. The three-digit combination lock means you don’t have to worry about remembering any keys. Its design makes it versatile — locking anything from bikes to scooters to your tailgate cooler. And it weighs under a pound and coils three inches in diameter, making it probably the most portable lock on this list.
Cons: It’s not the best lock for overnight or long-term use, as it lacks the longevity of a U-lock.
A unique design and grade A3 carbon steel construction make this lock beyond pesky for wannabe thieves. It links together via ultra-strong rivets that let it fold to fit in your bag. Plus, we can’t resist a lock with a pop of color.
Pros: The SIGTUNA slips around a bike or scooter effortlessly thanks to the unique design and is long enough to link two bikes together, so it’s great for riding around town with your kid. It comes with three complimentary keys, and the coating is soft, so it won’t ruin your bike’s paint job. It also weighs only a pound-and-a-half — impressive for a steel lock. Furthermore, SIGTUNA’s locking mechanism is designed to protect against less aggressive (and less obvious) attacks like picking.
Cons: The lock wears out at some point — no telling when that is — but users report the key no longer fitting into it.
Just because it doesn’t break the bank doesn’t mean it’s cheap. The GoFriend coiling cable lock is a 120-centimeter steel cable coated in colorful PVC. The five-digit code to unlock means you can forget the keys, and it works just as well — if not better — than other, more expensive cable locks.
Pros: The PVC coating won’t scratch your bike, and we just love the five-digit combination lock — giving you 100,000 possible combinations for thieves to puzzle over. We can’t resist the fun colors: blue, pink, green, perfect for kids. And that price!
Cons: Definitely not as meaty as a U-style lock.
This affordable chain lock is made of 0.27 inch-thick manganese steel, an alloy that is known for its toughness. It's 3.2 feet long, enough to secure a bike or scooter comfortably to any standard public rack.
Pros: The cable is flexible for awkward parking situations, and the flexible cloth sleeve both protects your bike from scratching. It’s also easy to set and reset your own custom combination.
Cons: It’s not hard to wrap this lock around your handlebars, but wouldn’t mind having kind of specialized clip or mount to keep it out of the way, particularly on bikes with handlebar-mounted accessories and brake cables that run along the frame.
The advantages of a wearable bike lock are obvious, and this one made of 12-mm steel is a great option.
Pros: This lock is great because when you’re riding you can strap it around your hips like a belt. No bracket can offer that level of security, and it’s also way better than leaving a U lock swinging from your handlebars. The nylon coating around the steel protects your frame and serves as an extra reflector during any night rides.
Cons: Wearing four and a half pounds of steel around your waist means you’ll definitely notice the difference with this lock.
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