An estimated 1.5 million bikes are stolen every year, and that number’s not dwindling. To fight against bike theft, you’ll want to get a hold of one of the best bike locks currently available. Some of these locks can get pricey, but when you put that inconvenience against the odds of ever seeing your bike again, you’ll be glad you made the investment. If you plan on taking your bike outside the city, check out our guide to the best mountain bikes around.
TiGr Mini ($99)
TiGr makes portability as much of a priority as security with its successful Kickstarter project, the Mini.
At a little less than a pound, the Mini is made of titanium — a trend in bike locks, lately — and uses a push-button locking mechanism, but what makes this lock particularly special is its size. Its 4- by 7-inch locking area makes for a lock that secures a majority of road bikes, while also remaining light enough to carry it around with you. This may sound like a minor feature, but if you’ve spent thousands of dollars on a light road bike, you’re not looking to add unwanted weight.
The company harps on the convenience of its mounting clip that comes with the lock, but be forewarned: Depending on your bike’s frame, the clip might be completely useless to you.
Noke U-Lock ($149)
Noke has taken its innovative padlock technology and made a smart, high-tech bike lock smart, high-tech bike lock. With a push of a button on your lock, Noke searches for you phone via Bluetooth and once it discovers you, your U-lock unlocks. If that doesn’t sound secure enough for you, you can always turn off the Bluetooth feature and unlock your U-lock by pushing a button through the Noke app.
Along with an alarm system, smart watch compatibility, and a GPS for when you don’t remember where you’ve parked your bike, the Noke U-Lock brings bike security into the 21st century.
Noke also says the lock is water resistant, but we wouldn’t recommend you test that against heavy rain. And even though the lock’s battery lasts for years, your phone won’t, so make sure you always have enough battery to unlock your bike.
LiteLok ditched the construct of a steel frame and used its patented “Boaflexicore” material to make it the lightest and most flexible bike lock. An impressive feat, it also earned the lock a coveted Gold certification from the independent bike security firm, Sold Secure.
The lock weighs in at just 2.4 pounds, and its flexibility lets you lock onto poles or signs which might be difficult to secure with a U-lock. It’s an ideal option for anyone wanting something quick to lock and easy to carry, but it hasn’t worked out for everyone.
It’s important to note that there’s a video online that shows someone breaking a LiteLok and stealing a bike in a matter of seconds. It’s also worth pointing out that there are a lot of personal testimonies saying the lock is just as secure as LiteLok claims, which means the lock in the video could’ve just been defective — however, we won’t speculate.
Either way, if this lock is everything you want but you’re concerned about the video, don’t hesitate to do extra research or reach out to LiteLok support.
For the name alone, Kryptonite’s Fahgettaboudit — don’t pronounce it like Michael Scott does — deserves to be on this list, but it helps that it’s also one of the strongest bike locks available. This small but mighty U-Lock is made of 100 percent hardened steel that has been triple heat treated, and boasts an impressive 18-inch shackle that makes it impenetrable to bolt cutters. It is vulnerable to angle grinders, however, but since the double bolted crossbar locks both sides of the shackle, a thief would need at least 10 minutes to break through it.
With all that strength does come a lot of weight — 4.5 pounds to be exact. Its locking radius is only 3.25 by 6 inches, which could make locking anything with thick wheels difficult.
If you park your bike downtown or in a place with high theft, you’ll want the most secure bike lock you can get, which is the Fahgettaboudit Mini. The lock also comes with a free insurance plan, so if someone breaks your Fahgettaboudit lock and steals your bike, Kryptonite will cover up to $4,500 worth of damages.
Hiplok Gold ($90+)
Along with being a Sold Secure Gold-certified lock (breaking through its 10-millimeter steel practically impossible), the Hiplok Original is also a fashion statement. While you’re biking, you can wear the Hiplok around your waist and have it double as reflective wear so you’re more visible to cars and other riders.
The Hiplok Gold is the most secure wearable chain the company offers but it’s also 5 pounds. If you want a cheaper and lighter (but slightly less secure) wearable chain from Hiplok, you can browse its other options.
ABUS Bordo 6000A Lock ($120+)
The 5-millimeter, specialized hardened steel bars which comprise the ABUS Bordo 6000 are Fort Knox-like but they aren’t what make this lock virtually impenetrable. It’s the 100-decibel alarm that sounds for 15 unrelenting seconds that creates this lock’s genuine theft-averse magic.
Made with the same 3D movement detection sensors used in the ABUS motorcycle security division, this recently launched lock is about as loud as a pneumatic drill. The sensors are intelligent, capable of deciphering short, quick movements (such as a ball hitting the bike) from long, sustained interference (a thief cutting a lock), emitting only a short warning tone for the former.
Aside from its impressive alarm system, the mechanics of the lock are also solid as ABUS incorporated a folding design and its Plus cylinder to protect against picking. The bars feature extra soft 2-components coating to spare the bike’s paint job and special linking rivets.
Skunk Lock ($119)
Ever felt like dousing the thief who tried to steal your bike in a cloud of vile, putrid, and foul-smelling vapors? Well, now you can courtesy of the Skunk Lock, a brilliant U-shaped bike lock that releases noxious chemicals when tampered with. Pressurized with a vomit-inducing formula, the chemical deterrent — once activated — is detectable even through strong, thick gas masks, meaning thieves are unlikely to get wise to the strategy.
You don’t have to worry about accidentally dousing yourself in the rotten-stenched formula either as it’s fully confined and sealed in a sturdy hollow chamber inside the lock. Plus, even without the skunk spray, the lock is impressively thief-proof. Constructed of high tensile strength carbon steel hardened to 450 Brinell and equipped with patented MM grinder-resistant technology, it’s tough and robust. As a bonus, it also features an intelligent key replacement program.