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Our Guide to Buying: Bicycle Locks


Why do I need a Bike Lock?


In a nutshell

Whether you use your bike as your main method of transport, you need it for ride-to-work or you use it while on holiday, having a good bike lock is essential. It may be locked up safely and securely while at home but you’ll want a decent lock that will go the distance, wherever you take your bike. Our buying guide is designed to show you all the different bike lock styles and help you choose one for you.

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Cable Locks

Need something quick and convenient to secure your bike for a short period of time? A cable lock might be what you’re looking for.


What are cable locks made of?

Some cable locks, such as the Squire Mako 8/900 Integrated Chainlock, will be constructed from a chain in a cloth or plastic sheath, while others will be made from a length of woven steel cable, (also sheathed) in order to protect your frame.


Cable locks VS D-locks

Cable locks for your bike are great thanks to their flexibility and convenience. With them looped round themselves, they’re easy to carry and usually don’t weigh as much as heavier-duty D-locks. But beware; they’re generally not as secure as their heavier D-shaped cousins. Though convenient, cable locks won’t be as secure as a D-lock, and a determined thief will be able to get through one. Cable locks are best used in conjunction with a D-lock, or as a quick deterrent lock for when you pop into a shop quickly.


Cable locks VS Key locks

Key locks are generally more secure, but with a combination cable lock like the Abus 1650 you’ll never lose your key! Most bicycle cable locks have been independently tested by Sold Secure, who give a security rating. As with most cycling kit - it’s worth trying to get the best cable lock you can afford – because it could save your bike from getting pinched.

 


D-Locks

Beat thieves with a super-strong bike D-lock. D-locks are as good as it gets when trying to stop someone running off with your bike.

Virtually every D-lock requires a key to open it. While that might seem old fashioned, lock makers are constantly aiming to be one step ahead of thieves, so there’s plenty of tech going into their design, which means they aren’t easy to break open. Fortunately locks come with two or three keys, so keep a spare or two safe.


D-Locks VS Cable locks

D-locks like the Abus Granit 53 tend to be more secure than cable locks, but are often heavier and less convenient to carry around. With a solid hardened steel loop of metal and a sturdy, tough body, they’ll take longer for a thief to get through, but they’re never completely thief-proof.

We’d always recommend using a D-lock like the popular Kryptonite New York 300 in conjunction with a cable lock – two different types of lock on one bike make stealing a much lengthier and thus riskier job!

 


Anchor Locks


Why do I need an anchor lock?

What’s the point in spending loads on a lock and a bike if you’ve nothing to lock them to? This is where bike lock anchors, also called ground anchors come in – they are the best way to make sure your bike stays in your hands.

Unfortunately, there’s a small group of people who see fit to break into garages, sheds and houses to steal your belongings and bikes are an easy way for them make a fast and illicit profit. By securing your bike at home, you may well stop them from nicking your pride and joy.

By attaching a ground anchor either to a secure wall or concrete floor, you instantly create a fixed point to which you can lock your bike with a cable, chain or D-lock.


How do I fit a bike lock anchor?

To fit a bike lock anchor, you’ll usually have to drill a hole in the ground and then screw the anchor in place. Manufacturers of ground anchors use various devices and techniques to make their products incredibly difficult to remove. For example, Squire's Bridge Ground Anchor has bolts which come with steel balls that go into the bolt heads once fitted, to prevent removal.

As ever though, the best form of defence is not letting people know your bike is there – keep it out of sight as best you can - and be careful with the use of social media such as Strava.