Security

Best bike lock 2022: Lightweight designs, secure chains and more



There were 64,500 reported bike thefts in the UK last year and, believe it or not, that was down more than 11 per cent on the previous year. Bikes are very tempting targets for thieves – and, obviously, it’s easy to make a quick getaway on one.

Whether you own the latest £5,000 carbon-fibre racer, or use an old £200 clunker to get around town, having it stolen can be a huge source of heartache and inconvenience.

A decent lock will make thieves think twice about trying to swipe your beloved machine, but bear in mind that even the toughest can usually be defeated by a determined thief with a portable angle grinder or bolt cutters. But at least the prospect of having to hack their way through a quality lock or chain might encourage them to look elsewhere to find a less-secure victim instead.

Always buy a lock that’s been tested to industry standards such as Sold Secure – we’ve seen cheap unrated locks bought off the internet prised apart with little more than bare hands. Sold Secure awards different gradings according to effectiveness against various methods of attack, with diamond being the very best.

Aim to budget about 10 per cent of the value of your bike to spend on a lock. And, if you want to stay extra safe, try to use a couple of different types of lock so would-be thieves need more than one type of tool to defeat them.

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Make sure you lock your bike to an immovable object and in a well-lit, public place – preferably in sight of CCTV. We also recommend locking your bike even if you keep it in a garage or shed. And don’t forget to remove any expensive lights or GPS units before you leave your bike unattended anywhere.

How we tested

Although we weren’t tempted to attack the locks we tested with angle grinders or other cutting equipment, we did try them out in a variety of urban areas, locking our bikes to a variety of different objects to check out their versatility. We tested how easy they were to carry and how quick they were to lock or unlock – especially from awkward angles.

The best bike locks for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Kryptonite New York fahgettaboudit u-lock: £139.99, Freewheel.co.uk
  • Best for portability – Hiplok original wearable bike chain lock, superbright reflective: £64.99, Wiggle.co.uk
  • Best for ultimate security – Kryptonite New York noose: £159.99, Freewheel.co.uk
  • Best for cool looks – Hiplok DX: £79.99, Hiplok.com
  • Best for protecting frame and wheels – Kryptonite evolution mini-7 d-lock with kryptoflex cable: £54.99, Evanscycles.com
  • Best for workplace security – Abus granit city chain 1010: £109.99, Condorcycles.com
  • Best for garage owners – Oxford anchor 14: £59.99, Oxfordproducts.com
  • Best for cafe stops – Abus bordo lite 6055: £51.99, Wiggle.co.uk

Bike locks FAQs

What are the different types of locks?

D-locks – also known as U-locks – are easy to use and can sometimes be carried in a pocket.

Chains are usually heavier than U-locks, but they’re more flexible and easier to fit around irregularly shaped objects. Some of the longer ones will fit through several bikes at once.

You can pair both types of lock with a separate wire cable to secure all the main areas of your bike (the frame and both wheels). For extra security, consider fitting locking nuts to your wheels and seat post to stop anyone swiping them while your bike is parked – thieves really will pinch anything they can get their hands on.

Portable locks should be easy to fit in your bag or to your bike frame, and are lightweight enough that they’re not a hindrance while you’re riding.

If you’re locking up outside, you’ll also want something that’s resistant to the rain and cold – so look out for designs with keyhole covers.

The verdict: Bike locks

Your perfect lock depends very much on how you plan to use it – there’s no point buying a huge, heavy chain and trying to haul it with you on the daily commute.

We loved both of the Hiplok offerings – the original wearable bike chain lock and the DX – as they were perfect for carrying without a bag yet offered enough security to ensure our bikes didn’t disappear while we nipped to the shops.

Kryptonite’s hefty Noose should do a great job of protecting your bike at home or work, but our Best Buy, the Fahgettaboudit, particularly impressed us with its ease of use and impressive bulk.

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