Home

Hi All, 

I appreciate I'm asking for the impossible here, but I'm sure many of you have looked for the same thing so I'm interested to see what you found...

I need a small, lightweight but sturdy lock to secure my bike while going for a mid-ride coffee/pee etc. The bike won't be locked up for long so I'm willing to compromise on the security of a D-lock but would like it to stand up to a set of pliers/side cutters/other pocketable tool. I know the right tools will get through any lock but it's the opportunists I'm trying to avoid. 

So what are my requirements? Well, I'd like it to be:

Small and lightweight - I need it to either fit discretely into a jersey pocket/saddle bag or attach unobtrusivley to the bike (I know most locks come with a frame/saddle bracket but I don't want a boat anchor swinging off the frame, or to be mocked by the cycling fashion police...)

Sturdy, as above anything that can resist a pair of pliers/side cutters should do - hopefully nobody is carrying round bolt cutters or an angle grinder...

Coated in plastic or rubber or something so it doesn't damage my frame...

Cheapish - I want to keep my bike safe but anything so small and lightweight is likey to get lost 

Big enough to fit round the average lampost - no point locking the bike if it's not attached to anything!

I know there are several locks out their that seem to fit my criteria - but I don't want to waste my money or risk my bike with something that doesn't work!

I'll also do the usual, keep it in eyesight and next to a nicer bike - shouldn't be too difficult!

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

34 comments

Avatar
hirsute [1211 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

Not sure if the cable is thick enough for you but otherwise seems ok
https://www.hiplok.com/product/pop/

Avatar
nniff [324 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

I use one of these: - it's just a zip tie with a steel core

https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=J1tSaPKD&id=205E76...

It's not substantial, but it's just supposed to make my bike more difficult to steal than the one next to it.  If the one next to it is a friend's, we tend to nose to tail the bikes and zip tie the two inside pedals together, which makes it awkward to cut the tie and awkard to pick both bikes up and impossible to wheel them both away.

Avatar
Simon E [3868 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

Having looked repeatedly at various options the one that strikes me as being a good compromise is a lightweight chain combination lock. No key to lose or barrel to jam, too tough for wire snips but still small enough to carry in a pocket or bag. They're often less than a fiver or so on fleabay, here's one for £2.25 or an Abus for £8 with 4mm links and a resettable code.

I have a retractable wire lock I bought for the kids' scooter at primary school. The wire is very thin and the lock looks flimsy, as if it would break if someone just yanked the bike hard enough.

Avatar
Bobbinogs [346 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

The problem with the Hiplok Z Combos is actually carrying them!  They do not like to be coiled up tight to stick in a pocket and zipping them about the seatpost, etc., just leaves a long bit sticking out which gets in the way.  I do like them and use one...but it is only just long enough for basic use. 

I'm still looking for the ideal solution which would be light, cheap, easy to transport and effective (probably a bit like asking for the moon on a stick though).

Avatar
HenHarrier [14 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

I've done century rides with a Kryptonite flex cable wrapped round me and a small padlock in my jersey pocket. Works well and we can loop four bikes together at the same time, making it much harder just to nick one and ride off.

Avatar
ktache [2241 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

The Ottolock Hexband, on todays Live blog, could be perfect for you

https://road.cc/content/news/256906-live-blog-man-drives-lorry-cyclist-a...

Avatar
Freetime101 [52 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

Hmmm, some good suggestions thanks - is the hiplok zip tie strong enough to withstand a good yank? It certainly seems small and light enough but I wonder if the lock part would hold up, especially if using the bike as a big lever...

The Ottolock is interesting but seems like it's going to be expensive - it's one to watch for a UK launch.

The chain combo locks could be a winner, possibly a bit heavy for a jersey pocket but I gues compromises have to be made somewhere!

Wrapping a bigger cable/chain around my waist is a good option for a pub run but I wouldn't fancy it on a proper ride - clearly works though!

Avatar
nniff [324 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

The thing about attaching a bike to something with a zip lock and a pedal is that it's a pain to get to to cut off and doesn't easily twist itself up to break and moves if subjected to a fierce tug.  If someone's determined, it's not going to work, but the aim is to stop an opportunist snatch from outside a cafe.  You can also open the front brake and undo the QR to turn an attempted snatch into a complete fiasco

Avatar
nniff [324 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

The thing about attaching a bike to something with a zip lock and a pedal is that it's a pain to get to to cut off and doesn't easily twist itself up to break and moves if subjected to a fierce tug.  If someone's determined, it's not going to work, but the aim is to stop an opportunist snatch from outside a cafe.  You can also open the front brake and undo the QR to turn an attempted snatch into a complete fiasco

Avatar
Team EPO [222 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

One thing I have learnt from the local skanks is put your bike upside down and in the hardest gear to make a swift steal a bit slower.

 

I use this ziplock thing which works well and is super light but easy to break as they just yank your bike but slows them down hopefully long enough to react.  2 for £15

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hiplok-Unisex-Security-Armoured-Grey/dp/B07NDVT...

Avatar
Kendalred [409 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

I use one of these most of the time - thicker and sturdier than one of those 'coffee stop' thin cables, but when coiled will easily fit into a back pocket, and it's not too heavy.

https://www.evanscycles.com/abus-combination-lock-1150-00104608

Avatar
Team EPO [222 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

Bit of a tangent but the kid lost the key to his flimsy bike lock, just bought a lock pick set and opened with ease!  Scarily easy.

Avatar
hawkinspeter [4288 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
Team EPO wrote:

Bit of a tangent but the kid lost the key to his flimsy bike lock, just bought a lock pick set and opened with ease!  Scarily easy.

Cheap locks are surprisingly easy to lock pick with only a little skill (which is my current lock-picking skill). For a laugh, I borrowed a friend's combination bike lock (4 digits - cheaply made) and prcoeeded to try opening it un-sighted (I was told what the combination might be). Took me all of about 10 seconds and then it turned out that my friend had no idea what the actual combination was.

I like the look of the Ottolock, but only 3 digits would make it too easy. They also look susceptible to a shim attack.

Avatar
fukawitribe [2943 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

Gallium is my favourite for certain locks, but needs a little more time.

Avatar
hawkinspeter [4288 posts] 8 months ago
1 like
fukawitribe wrote:

Gallium is my favourite for certain locks, but needs a little more time.

Aluminium locks only?

Avatar
fukawitribe [2943 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
HawkinsPeter wrote:
fukawitribe wrote:

Gallium is my favourite for certain locks, but needs a little more time.

Aluminium locks only?

Aye, but oh so pretty.

Avatar
shufflingb [72 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

I use a couple of different lock types. If I wanted much beyond these then I don't think it'd be the type of cafe/pub I'd really want to stop at  1

 

HIPLOK Z-Lok Combo Armoured

For the I just want something to stop the kids messing, opportunistic ride offs while I'm close at hand for say an hour or so, then I like the HIPLOK Z-Lok Combo Armoured

+ With care is just about long enough to wrap tightly around the frame and a bike stand or similar. 

+ When done up tight it can be made difficult to get bolt croppers, tin snips, or pry tools onto it effectively.

+ Three barrel combination lock

+ 70g

+ Easily coils up small enough to go in a jersey pocket or saddlebag.

 

Fischer Coil Cable Alarm lock

For something a little more secure I believe the best compromise between security and weight is to be had with an alarm lock. There are some awfully dodgy looking ones of these floating around, so be careful, but fwiw I've been using a Fischer Coil Cable Alarm lock for the last year or so, and I'm pretty pleased with it.

- Alarm is not ear bleedingly loud and can be muffled somewhat with a hand if you are expecting it.

+/- Just about small enough to go in a smallish saddle bag, but you'd not want it in a jersey pocket for any length of time.

+ Robust it's survived crappy weather and seems reliable.

+ Long enough (1.2m) cable to wrap around things.

+ Detects being whacked (tested) or if the cable is cut (not tested).

+ Hasn't given me grief with false alarms and can be used without the alarm when needed e.g. on back of car rack

+ Costs £26 and weighs in at 449g.

Avatar
Freetime101 [52 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
nniff wrote:

The thing about attaching a bike to something with a zip lock and a pedal is that it's a pain to get to to cut off and doesn't easily twist itself up to break and moves if subjected to a fierce tug.  If someone's determined, it's not going to work, but the aim is to stop an opportunist snatch from outside a cafe.  You can also open the front brake and undo the QR to turn an attempted snatch into a complete fiasco

Good point, never really thought about locking a pedal as opposed to the frame but for a quick stop you're right - probably more of a faff to undo than the frame...

Avatar
Freetime101 [52 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes
Team EPO wrote:

One thing I have learnt from the local skanks is put your bike upside down and in the hardest gear to make a swift steal a bit slower.

And scratch my shifters?!  4

Avatar
Freetime101 [52 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

There have been a few suggestions for the hiplok - whilst not the most secure it does seem to fit the bill as a small, light lock - might just place an order!

Avatar
cougie [91 posts] 8 months ago
1 like

Never locked my bikes up at the cafe.  Just choose better places to stop. 

Avatar
Freetime101 [52 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
cougie wrote:

Never locked my bikes up at the cafe.  Just choose better places to stop. 

It's more for peace of mind than anything else to be honest!

Avatar
Simon E [3868 posts] 8 months ago
1 like
cougie wrote:

Never locked my bikes up at the cafe.  Just choose better places to stop. 

That's really not helpful!

I don't know about you but I can't choose a "better" place to leave my bike if I ride into town or stop during a ride, it will have to be parked in a public place.

Unless you are good friends with a shop/cafe proprietor who has a secure facility then a safe location for an unlocked bike doesn't exist. Insurers won't consider a claim if your bike isn't locked to something solid.

Avatar
kevvjj [485 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

I've had one of these for two years now. Perfect for cafe stops.

https://www.bikeradar.com/road/news/article/ottolocks-go-anywhere-bike-l...

They're not cheap but amazingly compact and light, mine wieghs 148g

Avatar
fenix [1209 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
Simon E wrote:
cougie wrote:

Never locked my bikes up at the cafe.  Just choose better places to stop. 

That's really not helpful!

I don't know about you but I can't choose a "better" place to leave my bike if I ride into town or stop during a ride, it will have to be parked in a public place.

Unless you are good friends with a shop/cafe proprietor who has a secure facility then a safe location for an unlocked bike doesn't exist. Insurers won't consider a claim if your bike isn't locked to something solid.

Cycling into town isn't the same as a cafe stop. Obviously you lock a bike up in town but for a cafe stop I've never bothered.

Avatar
fenix [1209 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
Simon E wrote:
cougie wrote:

Never locked my bikes up at the cafe.  Just choose better places to stop. 

That's really not helpful!

I don't know about you but I can't choose a "better" place to leave my bike if I ride into town or stop during a ride, it will have to be parked in a public place.

Unless you are good friends with a shop/cafe proprietor who has a secure facility then a safe location for an unlocked bike doesn't exist. Insurers won't consider a claim if your bike isn't locked to something solid.

Cycling into town isn't the same as a cafe stop. Obviously you lock a bike up in town but for a cafe stop I've never bothered.

Avatar
fenix [1209 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
Simon E wrote:
cougie wrote:

Never locked my bikes up at the cafe.  Just choose better places to stop. 

That's really not helpful!

I don't know about you but I can't choose a "better" place to leave my bike if I ride into town or stop during a ride, it will have to be parked in a public place.

Unless you are good friends with a shop/cafe proprietor who has a secure facility then a safe location for an unlocked bike doesn't exist. Insurers won't consider a claim if your bike isn't locked to something solid.

Cycling into town isn't the same as a cafe stop. Obviously you lock a bike up in town but for a cafe stop I've never bothered.

Avatar
brooksby [5204 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
fenix wrote:
Simon E wrote:
cougie wrote:

Never locked my bikes up at the cafe.  Just choose better places to stop. 

That's really not helpful!

I don't know about you but I can't choose a "better" place to leave my bike if I ride into town or stop during a ride, it will have to be parked in a public place.

Unless you are good friends with a shop/cafe proprietor who has a secure facility then a safe location for an unlocked bike doesn't exist. Insurers won't consider a claim if your bike isn't locked to something solid.

Cycling into town isn't the same as a cafe stop. Obviously you lock a bike up in town but for a cafe stop I've never bothered.

What do you do if the cafe is in town?

Avatar
KiwiMike [1430 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

Big vote for the Ottolock here. I purchased a set of three on the Kickstarter. Have used the smallest one as a cafe lock many times, really light, strong and easily carried on the bike or in a pocket. Use the longer ones for multiple bikes, camping kit, bikes on roof racks or towbar racks etc. Can’t fault them. 

Avatar
cjluo [6 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

I would prefer to have one unit of 65cm Combination Bike Lock Chain by Milestone Cycling for such requirements. It is also very cost effective as well as feature rich.

Pages