The Best Bike Lock (And How To Use It), According To Bike Thieves

The Best Bike Lock (And How To Use It), According To Bike Thieves

A decent bike lock can be the difference between cruising home and being forced to walk — not to mention the blow a stolen can deal to your wallet. This bike lock will give you the most bang for your buck, and it’s what seasoned bike thieves would use on their own rides.

Photo by Richard Masoner

You don’t want to throw down your hard-earned money on a bike lock unless you know it’s going to keep your ride safe from thieves. Eric Hansen at The Sweethome did some extensive product research and then spoke with some real-deal bike thieves to see which locks manage to foil them. One thief, dubbed “Bug Out”, explained that U-locks require special tools and aren’t worth his time. Another thief, known only as “Jimmy”, agreed, suggesting you have to be able to cut through both legs.

We’ve suggested U-locks before (and explained that the best practice is the Sheldon method), but which U-locks are the best? Hansen suggests the Kryptonite Series 2 package, for cheaper bikes. For really pricey bikes you’re better off with the costlier Kryptonite New York Standard Bicycle U-Lock with Transit FlexFrame Bracket.

Most locks — like cable locks and padlocks — are easy for thieves to crack with minimal tools, so make sure you’re protecting your bike as much as you can. To read more about the other bike locks tested — and learn more from the interviewed bike thieves — check out the link below.

The Best Bike Lock [The Sweethome]


  • I love freaking out my friends by opening their padlocks with an aluminium can – a trick I learned on lifehacker.

  • I mean, if I was a bike thief, I’d tell everyone that the best bike lock was one that was really easy for me to get into. “Oh, yeah, it’s super complicated, it’ll take me like an hour, it’s not worth it. Everyone should go out and get one.”

  • I used to lock my old bike up with a cable lock until it was stolen. The thieves left the cut cable behind, and I was surprised at how little metal there was in it: the plastic coating was approximately as thick as the cable itself. I guess the plastic acted as a lens.

  • u-locks are useless. I’ve watched a number of people yank bikes from racks that were secured by u-locks. No need for any tools at all. The best is a strong chain and padlock that is wrapped around the frame a few times leaving very little slack. The more wraps the better, it reduces the amount of stress on the padlock should someone attempt to yank it free, as the chain absorbs most of it.

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