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Top Safety Locks for Your Bike

Written by | Updated June 15, 2020

Every year, over two million bikes are stolen in America—about one bike every 30 seconds.

While you can register your ride with a stolen bike registry, you can also take precautions with anti-theft locks and accessories. Below, find the top bike safety products, so you don’t end up with a stolen bike.

Standard bike locks

Traditional chain bike locks are no longer the golden standard, but they’re still available for purchase. The common problem with this type of lock is that thieves can easily cut the chain and get away with your bike.

On the plus side, these are a cheaper option for you if you want a quick fix for bike security—and if you’re locking your bike up short-term, they might do the trick.

Here are some top brands you can purchase to lock up your bike.

Titanker bike lock cable

Titanker cable lock
Black Titanker cable bike lock and mounting bracket
  • Under $15

The Titanker cable bike lock is made of braided steel and coated with scratch-resistant material that is smooth to the touch.

The simple, four-digit combination lock lets you program up to 10,000 different passcodes to keep your bike secure. We like that you don’t need to worry about carrying a key.

But users have reported weak construction on the lock’s mounting bracket.

Pros

  • Affordable price tag
  • Multipurpose uses
  • Resettable combinations

Cons

  • Flimsy mounting bracket

Xtreme Bright® Illumilock cable bike lock

Extreme Bright cable lock
Black Extreme Bright cable bike lock with blue lighting combination lock
  • Under $35

The Xtreme Bright Illumilock touts itself as the best bike lock in this category.

With military-grade steel and a pick/drill-proof locking mechanism, it’s a hard lock to crack. Plus, you can enjoy the added bonus of a built-in LED light so you can see your combination if it’s dark outside.

Be patient when unlocking, though. Users report that the tumbler is pretty sticky and doesn’t roll smoothly.

Pros

  • LED light
  • Military-grade steel
  • Keyless operation

Cons

  • Sticky tumbler

Kryptonite Keeper integrated chain bicycle lock

Kryptonite Keeper bike lock
  • Around $40

Kryptonite is a well known brand in the world of bike theft prevention. The company makes high-quality locks in a variety of styles.

This particular model uses a hardened deadbolt attached to 3T manganese steel chain links to stand up to tampering. The attached nylon case protects the chain from weather and scratches, and comes in black, grey, red, or purple.

You will need to carry a key for this lock, as there’s no combination entry available.

Pros

  • Stylish and colorful
  • Tough against theft
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • More expensive

U-locks

U-Locks have become the new standard in bike safety. Their shape thwarts leverage attacks and makes it nearly impossible to pry open.

Unless a bike thief comes prepared with the “jaws of life,” these locks will keep your bike frame safe from theft.

Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 standard bicycle U-lock

Kryptonite Kryptolok
  • Around $60

Kryptonite is a well known brand in the world of bike theft prevention. The company makes high-quality locks in a variety of styles.

This particular model uses a hardened deadbolt attached to 3T manganese steel chain links to stand up to tampering. The attached nylon case protects the chain from weather and scratches, and comes in black, grey, red, or purple.

You will need to carry a key for this lock, as there’s no combination entry available.

Pros

  • Stylish and colorful
  • Tough against theft
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • More expensive

Mongoose large bicycle U-lock

Mongoose bike lock
Black Mongoose large bike u-lock with 2 keys and mounting bracket
  • Under $20

Mongoose has been making reliable bike locks for decades. This u-lock is especially designed to protect larger bike frames without a struggle.

The included bike mount makes it easy to keep your lock with you, and the steel construction tells bike thieves that an attempted swipe isn’t worth their time.

But this lock depends on keys, so you need to keep track of them. And some reviewers think the low price reflects lower quality all around, leading to rust issues over time.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Strong
  • Trusted brand

Cons

  • Prone to rust

OnGuard Bulldog LS U-lock

OnGuard Bulldog
Yellow and black OnGuard Bulldog bike u-lock
  • Around $40

OnGuard’s U-lock has all the bells and whistles as the others we looked at, but it has a bonus too—a longer “U” shape to make locking your bike up easier.

The Bulldog is a little pricier, but we think the strong steel construction and double-barrel lock make it worth a few extra dollars.

This lock requires keys, and a cable to lash it securely to poles or a tree isn’t included.

Pros

  • Long shackle
  • Tough construction
  • Double-bolt lock

Cons

  • Cable not included

Seat locks

Locking up your bike frame is only one piece of the puzzle in complete bicycle safety. If you have a quick-release seat, thieves can swipe it way too easily.

Here are some seat locks that will keep your saddle where it belongs.

Pinhead saddle lock

Pinhead seat lock
Black Pinhead bike seat lock
  • Under $55

These customizable bike seat locks are meant for saddles with vertical attachment bolts. Once installed, it’ll prevent someone from taking your seat off of your bike.

For around $55, (depending if you want a key or not) you won’t have to worry about replacing a stolen bike seat. If you choose a key, you’ll add $10 to your overall cost.

That’s a little pricey, but you get extra bike security—and the Pinhead is guaranteed to stand up to hammers, picks, and other tools.

Pros

  • Customizable
  • Includes a lifetime warranty
  • Tamper-proof

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not compatible with all bikes

Brooks saddle lock

Brooks saddle lock
Brown bike seat with Brooks saddle lock
  • Under $45

If you have horizontal bolts, this Pinhead saddle lock is for you. Once installed, it’ll be a permanent solution to bike seat theft.

And if you ever want to take your bike seat off, you’ll just need to use the key to do so.

You can pick up this Pinhead bike seat lock for about $10 less than the vertical attachment lock we reviewed. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • Works with horizontal bolts
  • Customizable
  • Comes with a unique key code

Cons

  • Doesn't work with all bikes

Pinhead seatpost lock

Pinhead seatpost lock
  • Under $45

This one-size-fits-all lock works with all seatposts—making it an easy choice if you’re not sure about your bike’s specifications.

It stands tough against picking, hammering, and other tampering to keep your bike seat in place. Best of all, once it’s installed, it’s there forever. You don’t have to worry about carrying around keys or fidgeting with it every time you ride.

Pros

  • Universal
  • Convenient
  • Tough

Cons

  • Pricey

Wheel locks

Your bike frame isn’t the only thing you should worry about locking up. Your wheels are a target for theft as well.

Unless you run your bike lock’s cable through the spokes, you’ll want another security solution. Take a look at these specific bike wheel locks that have proven to be top security features.

Pinhead wheel locking skewer set

Pinhead skewer set
  • Under $60

We already like Pinhead’s bike seat locks, and these skewers add the same anti-theft protection to your bike’s wheels.

If you have quick release wheels, a thief will only need to flip a switch to walk away with an expensive element of your bike—rendering it useless. These skewers make that an impossible feat.

We like the tough construction that holds up to both weather and tampering. Because these skewers stay in place until you remove them, make sure you have an easy way to keep track of the key.

Pros

  • Strong
  • Cheaper than replacing wheels
  • Tamper-proof

Cons

  • Expensive

Sunlite Locking Skewer Set

Sunlite skewer set
Sunlite bike wheel-locking skewer set
  • Around $20

These skewers are undoubtedly a cheaper alternative to others. They operate like regular wheel locks and are meant to be installed permanently.

But sometimes you get what you pay for. Several users complain that the Sunlite skewers don’t stand up to weather over the long term. Another concern is that some were able pry them off with pliers, so these are best for trips when you won’t park your bike for hours.

Plus, you only get one key, so it’s crucial that you don’t lose it.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Best for short-term use

Cons

  • Less secure than other skewers

Delta Hublox security skewers

Delta Hublox skewers
Delta Hublox stainless steel bike wheel lock security skewers
  • Under $30

Made of stainless steel, these skewers are designed to outlast weather and tampering. They fall in the middle of the other two brands in price, and can be purchased for relatively low cost.

These wheel locks are designed to be rust-resistant and come with a lifetime warranty. They’re also pretty lightweight, so they won’t slow you down.

But, like many other wheel locks, they only come with one key, so keep it close.

Pros

  • Cheaper price
  • Rust-resistant materials

Cons

  • Only one key included

Bike safety tips

There are so many options when it comes to keeping your bike secure from theft. Here are three basic tips that will ensure your bike isn’t a vulnerable target for bike thieves.

  • Don’t ever put your bike somewhere that you don’t feel is secure.
  • Always lock up your bike—even if you’re only running into a store or leaving it for a moment.
  • Use at least one or multiple bike locks to deter thieves.

Disclaimers

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Written by Katherine Torres

Katherine has had several years of experience developing and executing multichannel marketing campaigns, but actually started her career path in journalism. Though she switched gears, she continues to be driven by the need to deliver information that can be helpful for individuals. As an owner of two rescue dogs, she is most interested in technology and products that allow her to keep a close eye on her pets when she’s away. Learn more

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