If you’re planning on stopping anywhere when you’re out cycling, bike locks are a must. Different bike locks deliver different levels of security, and depending on the value of your bike, where you leave it and how long for, will determine what type you will need.
The usual advice is to spend 10% of your bike’s value on your bike lock, but you may want to spend more or less depending on your budget or your desired level of security.
What type of bike lock do I need?
The first thing to consider is what type of lock would you like. The main varieties are D-locks, cable locks, chain locks and anchor locks.
- D-lock. When it comes to security, the D-lock is the gold standard. D-locks have heavy duty steel frames that make it very difficult for a thief to cut through. However, the heavy duty nature of D-locks make them heavy to carry around, especially without a specific bracket to attach it to your bike.
- Cable lock. The most convenient bike locks tend to be cable locks. They are generally woven steel in a plastic casing, and are a good way to secure quick release wheels and other detachable items to your bike. The flexibility means that they can wrap around your bike or fold up into a bag easily. Combining a D-lock and a cable lock is the ideal mix to secure the bike and wheels.
- Chain lock. Chain locks offer some of the flexibility cable locks do, with nearly as much strength as a D-lock. The problem is they tend to be very much on he heavy side as well.
- Anchor lock. The last type of lock to consider is an anchor lock. These are permanent installations drilled into the floor or a wall and are used to keep your bike safe at home. Unlike the others, these are no use when you are out and about, but do provide a secure place to store your bike.
You need to decide what you need your bike lock for, and how you are going to carry it before you buy the lock. If you need it just for nipping to the shops, you probably only need a cable lock. If you are commuting and need your bike secure all day, you could do with a combination of D-lock and cables. Check out our top picks to find the right bike lock for your needs.
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