Bike locks guide

Lock it or lose it

Most bike thefts happen in just a few seconds, when thieves target unlocked cycles, or those with just a puny lock.

Never leave your bike unlocked outside, even for a minute or two. It’s just not worth the risk when it comes to your precious bike.

Lock-up tips

Out and about

  • Lock your bike in a well-lit public area wherever possible – plenty of people around is the best theft-deterrent.
  • For top security, use two locks of different types, for instance a D lock round the rear wheel and frame and a cable lock round the front wheel and frame. This mean a thief will need to have the tools to break two different types of locks and twice as much time and determination.
  • Make sure that you lock your bike to an immovable object. If you lock up on a rotten fence post, a thief won’t even need any specialist tools to break your bike free.
  • Use a lock that reflects the value of your bike. A thief might pass by a very old or cheap bike secured with a skinny cable lock, but the same lock on a carbon race bike will be too tempting for a thief to ignore.

Lock up tips

At home

  • Keep your bike out of sight. If you can’t bring it into the house, put it in a shed or garage. Failing that, even a cover will provide some camouflage, as well as weather protection.
  • As well as locking the shed or garage, you should also lock your bike within the shed or garage. Consider installing a ground anchor for this.
  • Heavy duty chain locks are good for locking at home. They are a visible deterrent and hard to break. Just make sure the padlock is as tough as the chain.

Cable locks

Your flexible friend

Cable locks are understandably popular as they are light and you can use them to lock up to fairly large objects.

You can get some very strong cable locks, but the most secure ones are often even heavier than a D lock of similar strength.

D locks

Solid shackle

A strong D lock is considered the best security for your bike, although as stated above, it’s sensible to combine a D lock and a cable for maximum security.

More secure D locks do tend to be quite heavy and bulky. Mini D locks are a brilliant compromise – they are really strong, but often lighter than heavy duty cable locks. The only disadvantage is you’re limited to locking them to fairly skinny objects you can get your bike frame close to.

Chain lock

Strongest links

Chain locks with armoured links are a great visual deterrent to thieves.

Chains are the heaviest type of lock, so they are most often used at home in combination with a ground anchor for shed and garage security.

Other security

Anchors and markings

If your bike does get stolen, security markings will help the police to get it back to you.

Secure markings are easy to use at home – just follow the instructions on the kit.

Ground anchors are for home security. You can get anchors that bolt to the walls and ground, or ones you concrete in. They give you a secure point to thread a chain lock through.

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