How To Buy The Best Lock For Your Bike
After spending considerable money on the purchase and upkeep of a new bicycle, you want to make sure your shiny new purchase doesn’t ride away without you. Chances are, you spent weeks comparing bicycles before finally deciding on your two-wheeled baby. The same diligent research and contemplation should be spent on choosing the perfect bike lock as well. Read on for smart options to keep your new bicycle safe and secure.
Are You More Concerned With Safety Than Transportability?
A D-lock or U-lock is best for high-crime areas. Unfortunately, to ensure that the shackle portion of a D-lock or U-lock is substantial, your new lock will be solid and heavy. Shackle locks consist of a U (or D) shaped round bar that fastens into the straight mechanism housing.
Choose a bike lock made of hardened steel so it will be harder for potential robbers to cut through. Because shackle locks don’t have the flexibility needed to secure a bike to lamp posts, a fence or even most bike racks, most bike owners purchase a chain lock as well. Save a step and buy both together with Kryptonite’s Fahgettaboudit U-lock.
Would You Rather Carry A Key Around Or Memorize A Combination?
The lock barrel of a bike lock is opened with a special key, but many bike locks open with a combination. Neither locking method is clearly superior to the other.
Barrel locks are certainly secure, but they might not be the best choice if you are prone to losing your keys. Also, the lock can be opened by locksmiths and other less-honest folk by purchasing a lock pick kit. For a sturdy barrel lock, Master Lock’s chain lock is made of hardened steel. It comes with two keys so you can keep one in a safe location if needed.
If you decide to go with a combination lock, choose one that lets you set your own combination. As long as you choose a combination that can’t be guessed (and also one that you won’t forget), you can feel safe with a combination lock. The coil cable lock from Avenir allows you to set and reset your own lock, and it also comes with a clip so you can secure the lock to your handlebar while riding the bike.
Are You Worried About Your Wheels Being Stolen?
Chain locks’ greatest selling point is their flexibility. When choosing a chain lock though, keep safety in mind – choose a chain that is long enough to wrap through your wheels before securing to the stationary object. This will ensure that someone can’t run off with even part of your bike.
Also, look for a covered chain to make the lock even more impenetrable. You want to choose a chain thick enough to properly deter a criminal, but keep in mind that the thicker the chain, the heavier it will weigh.
A good balance between safety and weight is the Beast lock from OnGuard. The links are composed of a combination of hexagonal and square chain links, so potential thieves will have to saw or cut through more surface area. An additional deterrent: The surface’s titanium is virtually impenetrable to cutting, without adding too much weight to the chain.
Do You Want A Lightweight Bike Lock That Is Still Secure?
If the thought of lugging around pounds of cable in your messenger bag during your daily commute already has your back hurting, consider purchasing a cable lock instead. While they won’t keep out career criminals, they may be all the safety you need in low-crime areas. A cable lock will still give you the flexibility you need to wrap it around a light post or bike rack and loop it through your bike wheel for extra security.
Look for a cable lock with a multi-wound “braided” cable. Made up of many thin strands of strong wires, the cable is strong and more difficult to be cut. The braided cable lock from Wordlock is lightweight enough for daily use. In addition to the braided cable, the lock also has a combination that uses words instead of numbers. The company claims that its lock has 10,000 possible letter combinations.
Now that you have a clear understanding of the different parts of a bike lock and the variety of locks available, choosing the right bike lock for you should be a snap – while stealing a bike, for a robber, should be next to impossible.