The Best Bike Locks of 2022

woman locking a bike


Not only is biking a great form of exercise, it also provides a fun, eco-friendly way to get around town, soaking in the sunshine and breathing the fresh air. Of course, a good bike represents a significant financial investment, and the one possible downside to the cycling lifestyle is the risk of bike theft. Thankfully, securing your bike is pretty simple. All you need is a decent lock.

Bike locks vary in a number of ways, including shackle thickness, total weight, and overall security rating. To ensure your bike is adequately protected, the ACTIVE Reviews Team recommends doing your due diligence to find the best bike lock available. Luckily for you, we've done the heavy lifting, reviewing a number of the top options and arriving at 10 that we can recommend without reservation. If you're a cyclist, we recommend snagging one of these locks before your next trek.

Why Trust Us?

The ACTIVE Reviews Team is made up of fitness experts that include athletes, coaches, and certified trainers who bring years of knowledge and experience to each review. More importantly, each member of our team is a fitness enthusiast. Fitness may be our job, but it is also our passion. Therefore, we strive to bring you products that we trust and would personally use.

The Best Bike Locks of 2022 - Our Top 10 Picks

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Best U-Lock - Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboutit Mini U-Lock

Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboutit Mini U-Lock

SPECS

  • Locking mechanism: Double deadbolt
  • Type of lock: U-lock
  • Shackle thickness: 18 mm
  • Size: 3.25" x 6"
  • Security rating: 10/10

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Locks with a U-shape are popular among cyclists, as they are at once easy to use but also fairly secure. Our pick for the best overall U-lock is the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboutit Mini. This lock is designed to offer a high level of protection for your bike, complete with a hardened 18mm MAX-Performance steel shackle that is impervious to bolt cutters as well as leverage attacks.

Not only is it secure, it's also built to last. This Kryptonite lock comes with a protective vinyl coating to minimize wear and tear and to shield your lock from the elements. Additionally, the lock comes with three stainless steel keys (in case you misplace one!), one of which is lit up with LED lights for easy use at night.

PROS

  • Large, hardened-steel sleeve over crossbar
  • Made to defend against leverage attacks and bolt cutters
  • Protective vinyl coating and sliding dust cover
  • Three stainless steel keys included
  • Perfect 10/10 security rating

CONS

  • More expensive than other locks on the list
  • Not everyone will like the bright yellow coloring

BUY: Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboutit Mini

Best Versatile Lock - Rockymounts Hendrix Folding Lock

Rockymounts Hendrix Folding Lock

SPECS

  • Locking mechanism: Lock and key
  • Type of Lock: U-lock
  • Shackle thickness: 5mm
  • Size: 27" long
  • Security rating: 7/10

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One of the challenges of buying a bike lock is that you don't always know exactly where or when you'll need to secure your ride, nor what types of objects you'll have to secure it to. That's why we like the Rockymounts Hendrix Folding Lock for its versatility. Simply put, this is a lock that can adapt well to a number of circumstances, providing a handy way to protect your bike no matter where your adventures take you.

Though small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, this lock offers robust security features. When not in use, it's easy to fold up and slip into your pocket. Hardened pins make this a strong security option, and three stainless steel keys ensure that you can keep using the lock even if a key goes missing.

PROS

  • Compact and easy to fold
  • 5mm steel links come with secure, hardened pins
  • Three keys are included

CONS

  • Some cyclists may feel better with thicker shackles
  • Some cyclists may prefer something a bit larger

BUY: Rockymounts Hendrix Folding Lock

Best Cable Bike Lock - Serfas CL-20 Cable Combo Lock

Serfas CL-20 Cable Combo Lock

SPECS

  • Locking mechanism: 5-digit combination
  • Type of lock: Cable
  • Shackle thickness: 20m
  • Size: 5' long
  • Security rating: 5/10

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Some cyclists feel like cable locks are easier to use. If that's you, then check out the Serfas CL-20 Cable Combination Lock. This lock is a model of security, made with braided steel that's incredibly tough and durable. This cable lock provides plenty of flexibility for cyclists seeking the best way to lock up their bikes in a variety of places.

Additional selling points include vinyl coating, which covers the cable and prevents it from scratching up the frame of your bike. A rubber-coated lock is durable and ergonomic. Finally, the lock head allows you to program your own five-digit code. For cyclists who'd rather not keep track of a key, this model is an outstanding choice.

PROS

  • Made with braided, self-coiling steel cable
  • Programmable lock
  • Vinyl coating protects the frame of your bike
  • Durable, ergonomic lock assembly
  • Very modest price point

CONS

  • Some cyclists prefer having a key
  • Not as secure as other types of locks

BUY: Serfas Cable Combination Lock

Best Lightweight Bike Lock - Abus Bordo Lite 6050 Folding Lock

Abus Bordo Lite 6050 Folding Lock

SPECS

  • Locking mechanism: Lock and key
  • Type of lock: Foldable
  • Shackle thickness: 5mm
  • Size: 2.8'
  • Security rating: 7/15

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Looking for a bike lock that's easy and convenient to carry with you? The Abus Bordo Lite 6050 Folding Lock is our pick for a bike lock that's secure without being bulky or heavy. This lock can be folded up when you're not using it, and at just 650 grams, it's not the least bit burdensome to transport in a backpack or even a pocket.

The lock uses 5mm bars with a core of light steel, plus protective vinyl coating to keep your bike scratch free. While this lock is made with special lightweight alloys, the links are riveted together to make them extremely difficult to break apart, meaning your bike will be safe from most forms of vandalism or theft. It also includes a premium lock cylinder, which adds an extra layer of security against lockpicks.

PROS

  • Lightweight alloys and foldable design
  • Plastic coating keeps your bike from getting scratched
  • Links are connected with strong, durable rivets
  • Transportation bag included
  • Two keys included
  • Can be easily mounted on the bike with velcro straps

CONS

  • Not as secure as other types of locks
  • Pricey for what it is

BUY: Abus Bordo Lite 6050 Folding Lock

Best Wearable Bike Lock - Hiplok Wearable Bike Lock

Hiplok Wearable Bike Lock

SPECS

  • Locking mechanism: Lock and key
  • Type of lock: Chain
  • Shackle thickness: 12mm
  • Size: 85cm
  • Security rating: Sold Secure SILVER rated

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For comfort, convenience, and ease of transport, foldable locks are one option. Another approach is to get a lock that you can actually wear around your waist. The Hiplok Wearable Bike Lock is our choice for best wearable bike lock, offering cyclists a simple way to make certain they always have a bike security tool close at hand. Take your mountain bike out and ride freely without worrying about storing a lock.

What makes this lock so convenient is that you can tighten it around your waist without activating the lock, meaning you can secure it to your person before each outing, then easily detangle it when you're ready to secure the bike. Also note that the lock itself impresses with its robust materials, including a hardened steel chain.

PROS

  • One size fits all
  • Easy to secure without having to lock it
  • Hardened steel chain
  • Sold Secure accreditation

CONS

  • Not everyone wants a wearable lock
  • Pricey for what it is

BUY: Hiplok Wearable Bike Lock

Best Cheap Bike Lock - Master Lock Bike U-Lock

Master Lock Bike U-Lock

SPECS

  • Locking Mechanism: Lock and Key
  • Type of Lock: U-Lock
  • Shackle Thickness: 12mm
  • Size: 8" x 4" shackle
  • Security Rating: N/A

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Is it possible to get a truly strong and secure bike lock without breaking the bank? For our answer, look no further than to the Master Lock Bike U-Lock, a top-of-the-line product with a bargain price point. For about $20, you get a hardened steel lock that's resistant to cutting, prying, and sawing. A double locking hardened steel shackle offers robust security, while the integrated disc keyed locking mechanism is impervious to lockpicks.

A protective coating helps prevent your bike from getting any scratches or body damage, and there's an included carrier bracket for easy transport. There's a lot to love here, and with the low price point, you can invest in a couple of these locks so that your bicycle is doubly secure.

PROS

  • Resistant to bolt cutters and to prying
  • Resistant to lockpicking
  • Vinyl coating minimizes scratching
  • Carrier bracket included
  • Very low price point

CONS

  • Not as secure as heavier-duty locks
  • Not everyone wants to deal with a key

BUY: Master Lock Bike U-Lock

Best Combination Bike Lock - OnGuard Terrier Combo Cable Lock

OnGuard Terrier Combo Cable Lock

SPECS

  • Locking mechanism: Combination
  • Type of lock: Cable
  • Shackle thickness: 6mm
  • Size: 4'
  • Security rating: N/A

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Combination locks are a great option for cyclists who don't want to fuss with a key, but instead prefer to pick a four-digit code. The OnGuard Terrier Combo Cable Lock also comes with ridged dials, making it our top option in the combination lock category for its ease-of-use even while wearing gloves.

This lock does not have the security of others on this list, so it is only recommended for use in situations that are relatively low risk. It's a great choice for smaller items like skis, snowboards, and helmets, however, making it a versatile option for athletes who have diverse outdoor interests.

PROS

  • Resettable combination lock
  • Excellent price point
  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Easy to use

CONS

  • Other cable locks offer more length
  • Not as secure as thicker cable locks

BUY: OnGuard Terrier Combo Cable Lock

Best Folding Bike Lock - Abus Bordo 6000 Keyed Folding Lock

Abus Bordo 6000 Keyed Folding Lock

SPECS

  • Locking mechanism: Lock and key
  • Type of lock: Foldable
  • Shackle thickness: 5mm
  • Size: 90cm length
  • Security rating: 10

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A good folding lock offers strong security precautions in a package that's compact and easy to carry. The Abus Bordo 6000 Keyed Folding Lock more than fits that description, making it a terrific option for cyclists who want something unobtrusive. An easy-to-use, rattle-free mounting bracket only adds to the convenience and ease of transportation.

As for securing your bike, the Abus more than delivers. The 5mm bars are made from hardened steel, making this lock resistant to most any attempt to cut or saw it. An extra-soft casing provides protection against scratches and body damage, and heavy-duty rivets hold the whole thing together in the sturdiest, most secure way possible.

PROS

  • Extremely compact
  • 5mm bars are hardened steel
  • Heavy-duty special rivets
  • Casing prevents paint damage
  • Abus Plus cylinder protects against tampering
  • Rattle-free mount included

CONS

  • High price point
  • Heavier than some similar locks

BUY: Abus Bordo 6000 Keyed Folding Lock

Best Portable Bike Lock - Ottolock Cinch Lock

Ottolock Cinch Lock

SPECS

  • Locking mechanism: Combination
  • Type of lock: Cinch lock
  • Shackle thickness: N/A
  • Size: 18" x 30"
  • Security rating: N/A

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There's a lot to love about the Ottolock Cinch Lock, starting with its small size. Simply put, this is a lock that packs a lot of security into a compact frame. This three-digit combination lock is easy to transport and simple to use, but provides a decent level of protection for your unattended bike.

More secure than the standard cable lock but more lightweight than U-locks, this is a best-of-both-worlds solution for cyclists who don't want anything too clunky. In addition to its robust steel and Kevlar construction, it comes with a protective coating to safeguard your bike from scratches and surface damage. There's also a strap mount included, making the lock that much easier to take anywhere.

PROS

  • Extremely compact
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with strap mount
  • Multi-layer steel and Kevlar
  • Protective coating
  • Reasonable price point
  • A couple of color options

CONS

  • Shorter than most cable locks
  • Not everyone wants to use a 3-digit code

BUY: Ottolock Cinch Lock

Best Bike Chain Lock - Kryptonite New York Chain 1217 And Evolution Disc Lock

Kryptonite New York Chain 1217 And Evolution Disc Lock

SPECS

  • Locking Mechanism: Lock and key
  • Type of Lock: Chain
  • Shackle Thickness: 14mm
  • Size: 5.5'
  • Security Rating: 9/10

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Chain locks have been around forever, but brands like Kryptonite have found some unique ways to improve on this age-old bike tech. The Kryptonite New York Chain 1217 And Evolution Disc Lock is our pick for best overall chain lock, offering 2mm links made out of 3t manganese steel, plus a 14mm hardened MAX-Performance steel shackle. This top-notch security is also enhanced by a hardened double deadbolt that resists "twist" attacks.

On top of these security stats, this lock also comes with three keys (one with LED lights) and boasts a relatively low profile. It's one of the heavier items on our list, and also one of the priciest, but for maximizing security of a chain lock, it's hard to beat.

PROS

  • 12mm links made of 3t manganese steel
  • 14mm hardened MAX-Performance steel shackle
  • Hardened double deadbolt is resistant to twist attacks
  • Comes with three stainless steel keys
  • Very high security rating

CONS

  • Weighs close to 14 pounds
  • Comes with a high price point

BUY: Kryptonite New York Chain 1217 And Evolution Disc Lock

How to Properly Lock Your Bike

Having the best bike lock is an important first step toward securing your ride. However, it's also important that you know a few basic tips and strategies for using that lock properly.

  • Choose the right location. First, understand that choosing the right location for securing your bike is imperative. As a general rule, it's best to secure your bike somewhere it will be highly visible with a lot of foot traffic nearby. CCTV coverage is an added perk. Basically, secure your bike in a location that will discourage casual theft. Generally, you can just look for a place where lots of other bikes are chained up.
  • Secure your lock to an immovable object. Your bike lock is only as good as the object you're attaching it to. Secure your bike to something that's not easily broken. Also make sure there's no way a thief could lift the lock or chain over or around the object. Trees, chain link fences, and aluminum posts are bad ideas. Durable metal objects are best, including metal bike racks.
  • Secure the frame. One important tip is to always use your bike lock to secure the frame to an immovable object. If you place your lock around the wheel, a thief can potentially just take off the wheel.
  • Position the lock properly. Make sure you keep your lock off the ground. If the lock is on the ground, a thief can grab a hammer and smash it open. This is much harder to pull off if the lock is elevated from the ground. Also try to position the lock so that it's not as easy to see or to access.
  • Use multiple locks. While a single bike lock may be sufficient for securing your bike, you can really deter thieves (and give yourself some peace of mind) by using two locks.

What to Look for When Buying a Bike Lock

As you search for the best bike lock to fit your needs, there are a few factors that should be top of mind. Three of the most important ranking factors include the size, quality, and material of the bike lock.

Size

If a bike lock is too large or too heavy for you to use it conveniently, chances are you will stop using it at all—which means there's not much point in buying a big, bulky lock. But while you don't want to get a bike lock that's too clunky, you also don't want one that's too small to be of any use. Remember, you'll likely need to use the lock in a number of different situations. As such, it's important to get a lock that's large enough to accommodate a number of locking positions.

Quality

Certain brands have a reputation for quality. This means a high level of quality in the metal that's used, as well as a high level of quality in the construction of the locking mechanism. While these premium brands tend to be a little pricier, their products may prove to be more secure and longer-lasting. In other words, it can be a worthwhile investment to spring for higher quality.

Material

Always take note of the materials used to make your bike lock. Hardened steel and even Kevlar can be used for robust security. Lightweight alloys can be nearly as strong, and much more convenient. Finally, make sure you get a lock that offers some type of protective outer layer, which ensures that the metal of the lock doesn't rust or scratch your bike frame.

FAQs About Bike Locks

Still have some questions about how to pick the right bike lock? Here are a few of the most common inquiries.


What is the most effective bike lock?

There are plenty of great bike locks on the market today, and all of the ones on our list are worth consideration depending on your specific needs. In terms of pure efficacy and security potential, however, we believe the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboutit Mini U-Lock to be the most effective bike lock you can get. This U-lock offers a large, hardened-steel sleeve over the crossbar along with extra-thick shackles that are virtually impervious to any kind of bolt cutters, saws, or leverage attacks. This is one of the few locks we know of to get a perfect security score (10 out of 10), and the one we'd most recommend for overall security potential.

What bike lock is hardest to cut?

For protection against bolt cutters and saws, it's crucial to get a lock that's made with strong, hardened metal. Thick shackles help, too. The Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboutit Mini U-Lock is probably the best choice, followed closely by the Kryptonite New York Chain 1217 And Evolution Disc Lock. While these are the two top-rated bike locks for overall security, there are plenty of other locks on our list that may work nearly as well, and that are well worth your consideration.

What is the most secure way to lock your bike?

The absolute best way to secure your bike in a public place is to use two locks, ideally locking your bike against a rack that's cemented into the ground. Put the first lock around the back wheel, the frame, and the bike rack. The second lock should go around the front wheel, the frame, and if possible the bike rack. This method secures your bike in two total places and locks both wheels into place. To really ramp up the security, you may even want to use two different types of locks, which will require any potential thief to need two different tools in order to get your bike loose.

About the Author

Josh Hurst

Josh is a journalist and writer whose work has appeared in magazines and local newspapers such as Christianity Today, IMAGE Journal, Relevant Magazine, FLOOD, The Nashville Scene, True Tunes, Rise Up Daily, and Looking Closer with Jeffrey Overstreet. Josh is an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast.

See More from Josh

Josh is a journalist and writer whose work has appeared in magazines and local newspapers such as Christianity Today, IMAGE Journal, Relevant Magazine, FLOOD, The Nashville Scene, True Tunes, Rise Up Daily, and Looking Closer with Jeffrey Overstreet. Josh is an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast.

See More from Josh

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