Make Your Own Professional-Grade Bike Lock For Half The Price

Unless you're paying around $100 for a practically indestructible bike lock, you're basically paying for a coated chain and a lock. As Instructables user kill.actus discovered, those are things you can buy and easily assembly on your own for around half the cost.

All you really need is a metal chain, a padlock of some kind, and a fabric tube. The lock just needs to combine both ends of the chain, so there's not much to do there, but the fabric tubing needs to be sewn together. You can buy some fabric, but an old t-shirt (for example) should work just fine. Just cut out a strip that's long enough, sew both ends together, and turn it inside out to hide the seam. The tubing should slide right over the lock. You can stitch the ends shut should you want to make sure it doesn't slide around too much, but once its on you just need to lock both ends of the chain and you're done. Pretty cheap and pretty simple.

Make a simple bike lock (0-10 dollars) [Instructables via The Daily Hack]


    This is not the equivalent of a "professional grade" bike lock. Any link in that chain can be easily cut and many of the padlocks can be opened with a shim. Buy a d-bolt for $20, better than anything you could make.

    I paid $20 for my bike lock and it's sure as hell better than that! You could chop through that chain with a pair of $5 bolt cutters, at least with a real bike lock it's got a bit of thickness there, making it a bit more difficult than just pulling out a small set of bolt cutters.

    Fail. Never heard of bolt cutters hey?

    The only type of lock worthwhile for a bike is a good quality D style lock where it will take a thief a couple of hours minimum with a hacksaw to get through it. I've had enough bikes stolen to know this is the only way to go.

    I tried going down this route. Good locks are actually really expensive, and it's hard to find chain made of hardened steel. I bought a chain/lock combo from a bike shop for $40 and it's amazing - incredibly heavy (I leave it at work), and with an excellent bolt-cutter-proof lock design.

    If you want to save money on bike equipment, buy it online. Wiggle, torpedo7, chainreactioncycles - that's the real hack.

    Guys, calm down - it's obvious this guy is just going to hang the lock from his jeans, before heading to his favourite nightclub...

    With a chunkier chain that would be a reasonable lock. The best bike security (there's no such think as perfect bike security) would be to use two different styles of lock, e.g. D lock plus chain with padlock. That way any thief needs to use two different types of tool and, if he has both, spend more time breaking them.

    A good locking method is to remove your front wheel and put the lock through it and the rear wheel within the the rear triangle (formed by the seat tube and the chain stays). A bike wheel is bloody hard to cut through (almost impossible) with most of the tools a well equipped bike thief might use.

    AS I said, there's no such thing as perfect bike security. If a thief *really* wants your bike he'll just jump on your wheels so you can't ride it away. That can give them enough time to come back with appropriate tools. So if that does happen to you, unlock your bike and shove it in the boot of a taxi and take it home or it may be the last you see of it!

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