Before you rush out and buy a flimsy cable anyone could cut with a pair of scissors, there are some things to bear in mind when trying to thwart the thieves hoping to steal your pride and joy.
Look for Sold Secure ratings. This is the industry marking scheme to explain the level of security you can expect to get from your new lock.
Whether you choose a classic heavy duty chain and shackle, to loop through multiple bikes or lock to items, or a U-lock for securing a single bike, look for hardened steel to make cutting the lock a tougher job. Choose a lock with a soft, rubberised covering, which makes the lock nicer to handle and leaves your bike looking beautiful as well as safe.
If buying a U-lock, go for the shortest you can usefully get away with, to make prising it open harder. The more you fill the inner void, the harder it is for thieves. The key entry area should also be protected to limit the possibility of picking the lock face away.
Other points to consider are spare keys and secure frame fittings – we’ve all ridden behind someone with a U-lock rattling away like a broken maraca. That’s no fun!
OnGuard Pitbull Mini DT
OnGuard’s Pit Bull Mini DT combines a mini U-lock (with a 140mm shackle) with a 122cm hardened steel flexible cable to deliver the best of both worlds, and the ability to lock your bike and wheels to most bicycle-specific locking points. The lock comes with five coded keys, useful for stashing spares if you’re prone to losing them, one of which has an integrated light. An integrated frame mount and quick release bracket means you can carry it on your bike easily.
Hip by name and hip by function, the Sold Secure Gold-rated DXC uses an integrated carry clip (with reflective detail), designed to let you attach the lock to the waistband of your jeans – ideal for bag-free commuting. The nylon cover on the 14mm hardened steel shackle protects your frame’s paintwork, and should you need extra capacity the lock comes with a metre-long hardened steel cable to thread through wheels, other bikes, or anything else you need to secure.
Squire Mako Combi 18/900 Plus
The advantage of compact coil locks like this Mako Combi from Squire is their versatility and their ability to be carried easily. The flexible steel cable allows easy locking of a variety of bike frame shapes to a variety of secure locations, which can sometimes foil a fixed shape U-lock. The Mako Combi uses a numeric dial combination in place of a key, which is handy if you’re prone to losing them – though not so good if you’re forgetful!
Masterlock Integrated Combination Chain Lock
While not quite as easily portable or light as a coil or U-lock, when it comes to securing multiple bikes together at home or if travelling, the extra length and flexibility of a nylon sleeved chain comes into its own. Thread the 900mm chain through the frames and wheels and secure with the integrated combination lock. The 8mm diameter chain is hardened steel to resist cutting – the only problem you should have is remembering your chosen combination.
Aussie brand Knog makes some quality locks and the Strongman is its best-selling U-lock. It’s made using an investment cast process for a strong and secure shackle closed with a double deadlock – it works too, as the Strongman gains the Sold Secure Gold rating. The Strongman is covered with a soft but durable rubberised coating, so your paintwork is protected as well as the bike. The lock comes with a neat frame mount that is fast to fit and rattle-free.
Oxford Alarm-D Mini
The name’s a bit of a giveaway… yes, this lock will belt out a 120-decibel alarm if it’s tampered with. It’s rated Sold Secure Silver, and has a 14mm hardened steel shackle. The alarm is powered by a long-lasting lithium battery, and the lock comes with three keys. This mini size is 205mm long, or
There’s a bigger (Midi) option that’s 260mm. Both sizes have brackets so you can carry it on your bike rather than in a bag.
Abus U-Grip Plus 501
So you’ve invested a bunch in a brand new bike, complete with a swanky paint job… the last thing you want to do is ruin the paint by chipping it with a metal U-lock. The Abus U-Grip Plus uses a soft-touch rubberised covering to ensure that your paint finish is as safe as the bike is when you leave this key-activated lock in charge. Rating 13/15 in Abus’s own guide, it gains the company’s ‘maximum’ security rating for complete assurance.
Pinhead Bubble Lock
Pinhead, from Canada, has a different take on locks. Its Sold Secure Gold-rated rubber-covered, toughened steel shackle presents a rounded bracket that fits neatly around commonly found bike parking furniture. Key, literally, to Pinhead’s design, is a coded key that uses push pins to make an extremely secure, hard-to-pick lock. The same key can be used with Pinhead’s saddle and wheel quick releases (available separately) to foil opportunist component theft. The pack it comes in has adjustable straps for carrying it on your bike.
Our network of Cyclescheme Partner Stores all stock locks - for a full listing of our partner stores click on the below link:
You don’t need to look like a racer for the journey to work. Normal clothing is fine – as long as your bike is properly equipped.
Cycle commuting improves your physical and mental health, as well as boosting productivity at work – so long as you do it right.
As well as lights and reflectors, cycle commuting at night requires some adjustments to the way that you ride.