It’s important your bike is secured using the best lock available. Not only will it deter thieves, it will give you peace of mind that your bike is safe wherever you leave it.
Bike theft is a concern for all cyclists so it’s paramount that the lock you invest in will keep your bike safe. But with so many bike locks available it can be confusing knowing which one is best suited to you and your bike. That’s why it’s vital to know what to look for in a good bike lock, to understand the different types available and the disadvantages and advantages of each one.
Here are five top tips on buying the best bike lock:
1. Buy the correct standard rating for the value of your bike
The majority of bike locks are rated on a ‘Sold Secure’ scale and are given a podium style rating of Bronze, Silver or Gold. Unsurprisingly, Bronze is the weakest and Gold is the strongest.
What you must realise is that bike insurance policies won’t pay out on your stolen bike if you use anything less than an approved locking device
2. The price
While it’s not always an indicator on quality, in the bike lock world, generally, you get what you pay for. A cheap lock will offer little resistance to a thief. A good bike lock will cost in the region of £30 to £50.
3. D locks
Bike locks don’t come sturdier than this. It is generally accepted that U locks (or D locks whatever way you look at them) are the most durable and the first choice of security for many cyclists.
You’d think that the larger the U lock the better, but this allows the thief to manoeuvre in and around your bike and create enough leverage to force open a lock. Smaller ones give less room to ‘do the job’. They are also lighter to carry. And don’t think a smaller u-lock isn’t as strong. The thickness of the lock isn’t dependant on the overall size.
4. Chain locks
Chain locks are robust and heavy – the majority of chain saws won’t be able to chew their way through it. However, such a heavy chain requires an extremely strong padlock. This is the weak point of the lock and catches out many cyclists. Look for one that is made from hardened steel. Remember, the chain is only as strong as the lock.
5. Avoid cable and combination locks
While cable locks may be light to carry and easy to transport on your bike, they are susceptible. They can be cut through and the locking mechanism is ‘easy’ for a thief to break. It’s also best to steer clear of combination bike locks. Combinations can be worked out – why give the opportunist thief a chance?
It rains a lot in the UK so it’s important that your bike lock is weather proof. A rusty lock can weaken locking mechanisms and cause damage to the key barrel, which again, could leave it susceptible. It’s very hard to find a completely water tight seal, but if you can, try and buy a lock that has some sort of weather resistance to it.
Once you’ve bought the lock, find out about how to lock your bike securely