Which lock should I buy?

by BananaDrama   March 31, 2009  

I want to buy a new lock and I don't know which one to buy. I have seen people with some sort of chain around there waists and that looks kinda cool plus I don't have to mount it on my bike. Are they crap?

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In my opinion it depends on how much your bike is worth, Ive always thought about 5%-10% of your bikes value is fair to spend on a lock. Cant go wrong woth kryptonite, try and get a d-lock with as high-a-rating (gold is top dog) as possible. Some of these come with a form of insurance for your bike too so if your bike gets nicked while locked up then kryptonite may refund the cost of the bike. Granted they dont look cool and are heavy but if it stops your bike getting stolen...

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1081 posts]
31st March 2009 - 8:23


D-Locks are generally thought to be best - I have a "Magnum" mini (also sold as the pitbull mini) with a cable (the cable secures my QR front wheel). Cost was about £36ish from Halfords.

The key to using a D-lock is to fill the shackle with bike and stand. This is because they're normally broken with bottle jacks (so the thief has to have space to place the jack inside the shackle). It's easier to fill a small shackle than a large one, hence my preference for a "mini" lock rather than one with a big shackle.

Sheldon Brown on lock strategy;

"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [428 posts]
31st March 2009 - 8:38


I've had a Specialized 'cable' lock since 1996... it works really well, weighs not a lot, and hasn't been broken. And more importantly, none of my bikes have been nicked, even locked in town centres. I keep mine in my backpack, as it coils up nice and small, so now worries about frame mounting!

Morgan's picture

posted by Morgan [60 posts]
31st March 2009 - 10:34

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What is the minimum secure rating that I should go for? Is 8 good enough? I live in London and I have already had my bike nicked from the railings outside the pub but that was a thinnish cable (10mm).

BananaDrama's picture

posted by BananaDrama [42 posts]
31st March 2009 - 12:16


The definitive bike security article: http://quickrelease.tv/?p=327

Conscientious Objector in the War on Vulnerable Road Users

t1mmyb's picture

posted by t1mmyb [87 posts]
31st March 2009 - 13:10


After doing some research online I bought a Kryptonite Series 2 D-lock and cable from Parker International for under £20. It's solid and well made, and when I checked the spec those are nearly as hefty as the ones costing nearly twice as much. The moneyback/theft protection thing is full of conditions and only effective for the first 12 months, so shouldn't be a factor. I considered OnGuard, which appear very similar, but read a number of forum posts about stuck keys/mechanism and that put me off.

Cable locks are OK for low security areas but are very easy to break - in some cases with a pair of pliers or garden secateurs. The reinforced cable type, with linked metal outer sleeve, would be better but they're nearly as heavy and expensive as the D-locks. Heavy chains look tough and weigh a ton but are more easily broken than D-locks because the tealeaf can get it or the padlock on the floor and use leverage to cut a fat chain in seconds (if equipped with bolt croppers, as too many are).

BananaDrama, I'd look at Krypto Series 2/Evolution and Abus/Trelock equivalent for a good D-lock, if you have a nice bike. Sold Secure's bronze, silver and gold (http://www.soldsecure.com/Leisure.htm) are a guide to relative resistance but don't rely on them. I take a cheap cable lock if I'm popping into town for something but the D-lock if I'm leaving the bike for any length of time. Any lock is better than none, and in a row of bikes a thief will go for the easiest first.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2415 posts]
31st March 2009 - 13:23


Cheap locks offer more of a visual deterrent than actual security. I've seen £20 cables broken by hand, the best advice is always to buy the best lock you can afford, with the hightest security rating (I always look out for locks with the German or Dutch ratings cos they are really tough) and then to lock you're bike properly in as secure a place as you can find. Brands to look out for: Kryptonite, and Abus at the top of the tree price wise, Magnum are pretty good too.

If you're on a budget a cheaper d-lock will give more protection than a cheap cable. I don't rate cables that much tbh - unless they are top of the range jobs, then they become so heavy that they start to lose their advantage over a d-lock.

The thing to remember is that if you give a thief the time and opportunity any lock can be broken. A cheap lock properly used will give you more protection than an expensive one badly used.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4201 posts]
31st March 2009 - 13:26

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Having lived in and ridden around the capital for well over a decade, I kept different locks for different situations. Indoors I'd bolt mine to the floor using a Kryptonite New York Chain, I'd have an Abus Steel-O-Flex for around town coupled with an older New York short shackle U lock. Heavy but very effective and while I never used to leave machines in a regular spot, frequently alternating locks makes it far harder for the steal to order brigade to arrive tooled up ready to tackle a specific brand.

Take photos and note particulars of components/unique features- I had jewellers engrave stems with my name while also incorporating some other very personal touches. Laminate a snall photograph with your date of birth on the reverse and pop it in a handlebar end. Should the worst happen and you spot it in the street and a Police officer is nearby you might even reclaim it(I knew someone who did)

Shaun Audane's picture

posted by Shaun Audane [779 posts]
31st March 2009 - 20:16


I run a Abus Granit X-plus. heavy as anything but I bung it my satchel when i know I need to lock my bike somewhere. Fortunately i have a fairly safe place to lock my bike at uni and just leave my lock there when im not using it.

Any lock can be broken with enough time and will power (or power tools) the key is to make it too much trouble to be worth the theifs while, or to be more difficult than the bike its next to.

Id recommend paying as much as you can for your lock. The benifit of avoiding the hassel for getting a bike stolen is well worth £50 of investment in my book.

Plus if you have a heavy lock you can think of it as resistance training.

posted by miffed [169 posts]
4th April 2009 - 13:56

1 Like

Kryptonite are so called for a reason. Spend at least 10% of the bikes value on the security. The New York range are great, super strong and reliable! I am a fan of Abus locks, simple function, strength and value for money.


These also have form and design, with a nifty little carrier which mounts on the bottle cage bosses. Not too long though, should you need some slack for securing different anchors.


posted by Flo K [178 posts]
5th April 2009 - 23:20

1 Like