A lock is more than just security. A lock is peace of mind. I’ve made the decision to leave my bike unlocked for prolonged periods of time before, and while it luckily hasn’t come back to haunt me yet, I can tell you from personal experience that spending the entire day wondering whether or not your bike is where you left it is not fun and is terrible for your productivity at work or at school. There’s no better feeling than knowing that your bike is safe and protected by a strong, reliable bike lock.
We want you to feel that peaceful sensation, and that’s why we’ve made this list of the best bike locks. By the time you finish this article, we guarantee you’ll have found the best bike lock to help keep your bicycle exactly where you left, as you left it. You’ll be able to bring your bike anywhere you please and feel at ease leaving it unattended for a few hours.
Carry on reading to see our full list of the best bike locks, followed by a recap breaking down what makes each product on our list stand out. Or jump straight to our number #1 pick here.
- What Should You Look For in a Bike Lock?
- Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Bike Locks
- #1: Kryptonite Kryptolok 12.7-mm U-Lock (Best Value – All-Purpose)
- #2: Abus Granit X Plus U Bike Lock (Best Security)
- #3: Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7 Bicycle U-Lock (Best Small Bike Lock)
- #4: Sportneer Bicycle Chain Lock (Best Low Cost)
- #5: Kilakila Security Chain Lock (Best Chain Lock)
- What About the Cheapies? Our Best Budget Bike Locks
- #1 Budget Bike Lock: Ubullox Bike U Lock
- #2 Budget Bike Lock: Titanker Bike Chain Lock
- #3 Budget Bike Lock: NDakter Bike Lock Cable
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Verdict: Your Best Bike Locks
What Should You Look For in a Bike Lock?
Now that you know you need a new bike lock, the next question you have to ask is what separates the good bike locks from the bad bike locks? It’s not a question most people ever really ask themselves. You kind of just think “any lock will do” and move on. But there’s always a difference in quality if you know where to look. We’re going to lay out our criteria for the best bike locks so that you can follow along and better understand our decisions while reading our list.
Criteria #1: Durability – I’m hoping that this criterion will be pretty self-explanatory to most readers. A lock that breaks isn’t going to be of a lot of use to you, and while we’re hoping that a lock doesn’t ever have to do its job, if someone does try to steal your bike, you’ll need a lock that can stand up to some abuse. A lock that can’t stand up to some brute force is no lock at all.
Criteria #2: Mechanism – This criterion is a little more subjective than the first, but it’s still very important. Different locks will have different mechanisms both for locking and for opening. You could have a simple lock and key, or a number combination, or some other locking mechanism. Each has its own pros and cons. For example, a key lock is probably more secure than a number code, but you have one more possession to worry about, and if you lose the key, you’re pretty much out of luck. Which mechanism you want is up to you, and we’ll make sure to mention what mechanism each lock uses in our reviews.
Criteria #3: Weight – Everything in moderation. The heavier the lock, the stronger and more secure it will be, but you’re going to have to carry that lock around with you every time you ride your bike somewhere, and we definitely don’t want you to have to lug around an extra 5 or 10 pounds with you every day. We’re definitely looking for bike locks that fall into that “Goldilocks range” when it comes to weight. What that Goldilocks Zone is exactly…well, that’s up to you. But we’ll make sure to mention the weight of all of our bike locks so you can make the best, most informed decision. It’s also worth mentioning that the best bike locks will find a way to be light and secure at the same time.
Criteria #4: Price – We’re not here to make you spend a ton of money for no reason. Meeting this criterion is less about being cheap and more about justifying your price. We’d rather buy an expensive product that’s cheaper than it should be than waste money on a cheaper product that isn’t worth the money and that will just break on you or not perform well. Luckily, it’s very easy to find an affordable bike lock, though we will include options that are a bit more expensive for those who are willing to pay more to make sure their bike stays safe and secure.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Bike Locks
We measured the specs of the top products on the market against our listed criteria to see how they held up and if they’re worth buying. We then checked customer reviews, blog posts, and “best bike locks” articles to see if the products on our list performed as advertised.
And without further ado, here is our list – tailored to your specific needs – of the best bike locks.
#1: Kryptonite Kryptolok 12.7-mm U-Lock (Best Value – All-Purpose)
Kryptonite is probably the biggest name out there when it comes to bike locks, so it’s no surprise that our number one pick for the best bike lock is a Kryptonite product, and don’t be surprised if you see them again further down our list. The Kryptonite Kryptolok 12.7-mm U-Lock is a sturdy piece of equipment that uses a simple key lock and will stand up to hand tools, bolt cutters, and leverage attacks, so your bike will stay safe even from premeditated theft attempts, unless you have the entire squad from Ocean’s 11 coming after it.
This classic U lock also weighs less than 3 pounds, so you shouldn’t notice it too much if you have to keep it in your bag while you’re riding. Kryptonite also includes two keys for those of us who are more forgetful, so you’ll always have a spare. And even if you manage to lose both, you can register your keys online when you purchase the lock, and Kryptonite will send you replacements anywhere in the world. That’s some high-quality customer service. The keys themselves are also just as durable as the lock, and they’re ergonomically designed to require as little torque as possible, so you won’t have to twist and turn to get the lock open when it’s time to start riding.
In addition to replacing lost keys, Kryptonite backs their lock up with a lifetime warranty, and they’ll even give you a reimbursement of up to $1,750 if your bike is stolen while under the watch of a Kryptonite lock, which just goes to show how much confidence they have in their product.
And we haven’t even gotten to this best part yet.
The Kryptonite Kryptolok 12.7-mm U-Lock comes with an amazing price. You definitely won’t miss the money you spent on this lock when you’re able to enjoy your day knowing your bike is safe. If you like, you can decide to get this lock in tandem with a loop cable for some extra security, though, of course, that will run the price up a little bit.
As we mentioned, Kryptonite is one of the biggest names in the bike lock business, and the Kryptonite Kryptolok 12.7-mm U-Lock is featured on a myriad of different blog posts. It also has several thousend reviews from customers, so you can get the scoop straight from the paying customers themselves. As one customer stated, “They’ve tried to cut the lock, bend the lock and grind it, however it didn’t give up! And saved my bike 🙂 the thieves must have been at this a long time so I’m really impressed how the lock didn’t break.”
There you have it, this Kryptonite U lock is the real deal. And between its function, lightweight design, and the amazing customer service from Kryptonite, the Kryptonite Kryptolok 12.7-mm U-Lock is the best value you’ll find of any bike lock on the market.
#2: Abus Granit X Plus U Bike Lock (Best Security)
We promised to include some more expensive options for those bike enthusiasts out there who take security a little more seriously than the casual rider, and here you are – the Abus Granit X Plus U Bike Lock is guaranteed to make your bike safer than Fort Knox. This is one of the most secure locks out there, and though it costs a pretty penny, if you live in a crime-heavy neighborhood and you’re more concerned about the safety of your bike, it may be well worth the investment. Here are some of the standout features this bike lock offers that might convince you to spend top-dollar for a top-dollar product.
Reason #1 to Choose This Product: Extra Security
Pretty simple. This lock is worth more money because it works better than the competition. Our second U lock of the list, the Abus Granit X Plus U Bike Lock features a double bolted lock in addition to high pulling resistance and picking protection. Our Abus bike lock also earned a Sold Secure Gold emblem, and it’s Abus’ most secure lock available.
The lock’s shackle is 13 millimeters thick, and the internal measurements of the U shape are 4.25 inches x 9 inches, which allows you to be pretty flexible with where you lock up your bike. At 3.25 pounds, the Abus Granit X Plus is the heavier option of our top two U locks, but it’s still lighter than a lot of the more secure bike locks out there, and it’s still not too heavy. Bike locks are supposed to give you security, and no bike lock does that better than the Abus Granit X Plus.
Reason #2 to Choose This Product: Key Light
Just like the Kryptonite Kryptolok, this U lock comes with a spare key, which will provide some peace of mind to those concerned about losing the key and being unable to unlock their bike. Unlike the Kryptonite Kryptolok, one of the keys to this Abus U lock includes a light attached to the key. If you’re going to be wandering back to your bike after dark, this is an amazing way to stay safe and alert. It’s perfect for anyone who lives in a rural area with less lighting or a location that gets some early nights in the winter months.
There’s really not that much else to say about this bike lock. Abus definitely followed the keep-it-simple-stupid method with this one. It’s a strong, reliable bike lock that will keep your bike safe and leave you feeling calm leaving it unattended. This lock is made of hardened, stretched steel, and it has a protective rubber coating so it won’t damage your bike or itself.
The big flaw (other than the price) is its weight, but if a heavier and more expensive bike lock seems like an easy trade for more security, then the critically acclaimed Abus Granit X Plus U Bike Lock is definitely the best bike lock for you. Most of the customers who bought this lock on Amazon said that it was well worth the price.
#3: Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7 Bicycle U-Lock (Best Small Bike Lock)
I told you that you’d probably see Kryptonite make another appearance on our list, and here they are with the Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7 Bicycle U-Lock. Besides taking up less space, a smaller bike lock will automatically offer more security than larger bike locks, as it will be a higher fit, and there will be less room to move and manipulate the lock. If that sounds appealing to you, then this mini Kryptonite lock is perfect for you.
This mini Kryptonite lock measures 7.01 x 1.18 x 3.27 inches and its 13mm shackle features the same resistance to bolt cutters, with increased resistance to leverage attacks due to its smaller frame. In addition, its locking mechanism features a center keyway that even further defends against leverage attacks.
You’re also getting anti-rattle bumpers, so riding with the lock hooked onto your bike won’t cause too much noise. You’re getting the same amazing Kryptonite customer service and guarantees that they offer with the Kryptonite Kryptolok 12.7-mm U-Lock.
A quick word of caution: Do not assume that “mini” equals light. The Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7 Bicycle U-Lock weighs more than three pounds, so it’s actually heavier than some other U locks with larger frames – particularly, our pick for the best bike lock.
There are disadvantages to mini bike locks. Particularly, you may have a harder time finding a bike rail that your lock can actually fit around, and you don’t have the option of locking two bikes together in one lock. The latter isn’t really an issue for most people, but depending on where you live, the former can definitely become annoying. I’d recommend checking and measuring the bike racks near your frequently-visited locations before buying a mini U lock just to be on the safe side of things. If they’re the right size, then a mini bike lock can definitely be a good investment.
The Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7 Bicycle U-Lock is a little pricey, and it’s more expensive than our number one pick, but it comes with a loop cable to secure your front wheel or any accessories you may have. This bike also comes with three keys, and one of them features an LED light, so you’re definitely getting a good value for your money. If you want a compact U lock that will keep things as tight as possible and stop any leverage attacks on your bike, the Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7 Bicycle U-Lock is one of the best mini U locks available for you.
#4: Sportneer Bicycle Chain Lock (Best Low Cost)
The first bike lock on our list that doesn’t use a key locking mechanism is the Sportneer Bicycle Chain Lock, and it’s one of the best options out there if you just want to keep things cheap. Especially if you’re playing the psychology game, just having a lock is the most important part, and it may not matter to you if it’s the most intense lock on the market. Just having a lock sends the message that your bike isn’t up for grabs, and it will deter a thief from taking the time to break your lock when there are more foolish bikers to take advantage of.
That being said, there is plenty of utility to be gained from the Sportneer Bicycle Chain Lock, and that’s not just a statement. This bike chain uses a 5-digit combination lock that allows for up to 10,000 different codes, so if someone did try to brute-force guess your code, you could leave them at it for days on end with no worries. Of course, the added benefit of a number lock is that you don’t need to carry a key around, and it’s nice to always have one less item to remember in the morning.
A big advantage of chain locks over U locks is that you’re much more flexible with where you lock up your bike with a chain lock. You’re not limited to designated bike racks anymore. You can tie your bike up to any old tree, sign, or streetlight. The Sportneer Bicycle Chain Lock is 3.2 feet long, which is more than long enough to get around most surfaces, so you shouldn’t have an issue finding a spot to lock up your bike. It also has a durable, cut-resistant cable and a waterproof and dustproof cover, so you’ll be ready for anything a thief or Mother Nature decides to throw at you.
On top of its cheap price, this is a well-reviewed product that had the customers raving. The Amazon review section for the Sportneer Bicycle Chain Lock is basically one long list of 5-star reviews with exclamations like “Wow!” and “Incredible!” Customers praised this chain lock for being sturdy, easy to use, and reliable. So, if you don’t think you should need to spend a fortune just to keep your bike safe, buy the Sportneer Bicycle Chain Lock.
#5: Kilakila Security Chain Lock (Best Chain Lock)
If the Sportneer Bicycle Chain Lock caught your eye but you want a really legit chain lock and not some budget option, then you’ll want to look at the Kilakila Security Chain Lock. This chain lock actually provides the best of both worlds, as it comes with a U lock that uses a key locking mechanism. This means that you have the extra security of a sturdy U lock and the flexibility that chain locks offer. Park your bike anywhere with the best security possible. Plus, while number combinations can (technically) be guessed, a key locking mechanism necessitates having the key. As long as you have the key, you know your bike is safe and sound.
This bike chain is 10 millimeters long and features high-strength hardened manganese steel that’s anti-saw and anti-shear, so nobody’s cutting through this bad boy. On top of that, the Kilakila Security Chain Lock is dust-proof and rust-proof to guarantee a nice, long shelf life. This chain lock is also equipped with a nylon sleeve cover that provides additional protection and helps prevent scratches on your bike or motorbike.
The big drawback to this bike lock is that a chain lock and a U lock together is all of a sudden a lot to keep track of. So if you hate adding to your baggage, this might not be the best option for you. But if you want the absolute best security and the option to park anywhere, this is one of the only bike locks that will suit your needs. It’s perfect for anyone who lives in a rural area but still wants the security that only U locks offer. Plus, it’s surprisingly affordable. So go ahead and enjoy the best of both worlds with the Kilakila Security Chain Lock.
What About the Cheapies? Our Best Budget Bike Locks
We offered you the Sportneer Bicycle Chain Lock, but what if that wasn’t quite what you’re looking for? That doesn’t mean you should be left high and dry. You still deserve to keep your bike protected, and you still deserve to stay within whatever budget you’ve set for yourself. That’s why we’ve added a special bonus section of the cheapest bike locks available. By the time you’re done with this section of our list, we absolutely guarantee that you’ll have found an amazing – and affordable – bike lock that suits your needs.
#1 Budget Bike Lock: Ubullox Bike U Lock
As easy as it is to find a decent bike lock while staying on a budget, that task becomes a bit harder if you’re looking for a U bike lock, which is why the Ubullox Bike U Lock is such a steal. This budget U lock has a precise structure to help prevent technical opening, and it comes with 3 rust-resistant copper keys that have complex serpentine slots. You’re not jimmying this lock open with a bobby pin.
This affordable U lock also comes with a 4-foot loop cable to make sure your bike is as secure as possible. Finally, it comes with three keys to keep your mind at ease. And don’t worry that you’re paying for a bad product. Over 1,000 customers can tell you that this bike lock was well worth it. The Ubullox Bike U Lock is the best U lock for anyone on a budget.
#2 Budget Bike Lock: Titanker Bike Chain Lock
This key locking mechanism bike chain is a great option if you want a bike lock that lets you stay flexible and park wherever you please but without the hassle of remembering a passcode. The Titanker Bike Chain Lock comes with two keys, and measures 8 millimeters of thick, cut-resistant steel to keep your bike safe. The chain is 3.3 feet long, which gives you a decent amount of room to work with.
The most noteworthy feature of this chain bike lock is that you actually don’t even need the key to lock it. The ends just snap together. Obviously, you still need the key to unlock your bike, but this is a nice feature that will save you some time if you pull up to work in a rush. It makes it just that much less likely that you’ll end up misplacing or losing the key.
So if you want a cheap bike lock that’s a unique combination of a chain with a key locking mechanism, the Titanker Bike Chain Lock is what you’re looking for.
#3 Budget Bike Lock: NDakter Bike Lock Cable
The NDakter Bike Lock Cable earns the prestigious title of being the cheapest bike lock on our list. So if that’s what you’re really concerned with, you can stop reading right now and go ahead and make your purchase.
For those of us who want to hear more, the NDakter Bike Lock Cable features a 5-digit number lock, with each digit ranging from 0 to 9, so you have thousands upon thousands of combinations to choose from. NDakter boasts that their bike lock is made from “high-strength braided steel wire which can withstand 2.4KN tension and 7KN sheer force.”
The NDakter Bike Lock Cable also features a convenient, self-coiling design that will make this bike chain stay easy to carry. And finally, because it’s 4 feet long, you can easily use it to lock up multiple bikes at once. You can split this lock with a roommate or partner and spend almost nothing at all. So go ahead and buy the NDakter Bike Lock Cable to get the cheapest bike lock on the market.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do I lose out if I go with a cheaper option?
Honestly, not all that much. For most customers, it really doesn’t make a big difference what lock you get, which means that the majority of our readers will probably want to go with a cheaper option. As we’ve mentioned, locks are largely cosmetic. If someone sees a lock on your bike, they’re that much more likely to move on to an easier target. Unless you really need to make sure your bike is as good in practice as in theory, you should go for one of our cheaper options, which can save you around $100 on your bike lock.
When should I splurge for a more expensive bike lock?
After reading our last question, you may be asking yourself “why would I buy an expensive bike lock if a cheap one will do?” The answer is that if you have a really expensive or rare bike, then you should get a bike that can really hold to a break-in attempt. The cheaper locks can pretty quickly be pried open with a crowbar, but the expensive ones are reinforced and strong enough to resist a tough attack. This is important if you have a bike that you can’t easily replace, or if you just live in a neighborhood where the idea of someone stealing your bike is more than a theoretical concern. A good rule of thumb is that the relative price of your lock should probably match the relative price of your bike.
Verdict: Your Best Bike Locks
We’re getting to the end of our list, and – including our budget section – we’ve provided you with 8 amazing bike locks. We hope that you’re starting to make your decision, but we know that that’s a lot of information to process all at once. We don’t want you to rush, and that’s why we’re going to provide you with a quick recap to aid you in your decision. We’re going to recap all of our best bike locks and focus on the standout features so that you can be as confident in your decision as possible.
If you want the best value for money, pick the Kryptonite Kryptolok 12.7-mm U-Lock.
This lock is our number one pick for a reason. For almost any customer, it’s the best compromise of cost to performance. You can absolutely guarantee your bike will stay safe with this product without having to pay too much. It has a reinforced steel design that’s resistant to almost any type of tampering, and it’s a nice size that will make it easy to use anywhere there’s a bike rack. For any standard customer, the Kryptonite Kryptolok 12.7-mm U-Lock is the industry-standard bike lock.
If you need a small lock, pick the Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7 Bicycle U-Lock.
If you’re in a big city that has the appropriate bike racks, there’s nothing as secure as a mini bike-lock. If you fit that bill, then you’ll definitely want to invest in the Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7 Bicycle U-Lock. It’s one of the best locks out there for preventing any leverage attacks, and it has all of the amazing features and warranties that we’ve come to expect from the Kryptonite brand. Plus, it comes with a loop cable to offer even more security. If you want a miniature bike lock, get the Kryptonite Evolution Mini.
If you want to keep the spending cheap, pick the Sportneer Bicycle Chain Lock.
If you don’t think a bike lock is something you should have to spend a ton of money on, then the Sportneer Bicycle Chain Lock is what you’re looking for. This chain lock gives you incredible flexibility to park your bike anywhere, and it’s dust-proof and rust-proof. Plus, you’re saved the hassle of carrying a key around, with its number combination locking mechanism. The Sportneer Bicycle Chain Lock is our number one budget bike lock.
Now we’ve finally reached the end of our list. If you didn’t like any of the highlighted products above, you may prefer the super-secure Abus Granit X Plus U Bike Lock or the u-bar-and-chain lock Kilakila Security Chain Lock. And if those don’t do it for you, you always have one of our three budget options.
Remember to think about what features are most important to you and maybe write them down somewhere. This will really speed up the buying process as you realize how few products actually have the feature you’re looking for.
That’s all for now. Enjoy your biking and your newfound sense of safety!