Product Review: Prevent bike theft with these locks (and bits of advice)

What do you connect with a bunch of locks piled on the ground? I have no thought.
(Pics: Josh Ross/BikePortland)

Bike theft is a large difficulty in Portland and several of you are rightfully involved about what it normally takes to keep a bike out of the palms of burglars.

[Cable locks] can be reduce so promptly, with out noise, and with compact hand equipment that they must hardly ever be utilized.

When I’m not writing about products for BikePortland my main outlet is Biking Information. As section of that, I just lately did a deep dive into bicycle locks. Whilst I’m proud of that short article, it is not the right listing for Portland. Cycling Information is intercontinental and covers a large range of wants throughout the globe. In this write-up I’d like to tailor it to a extra neighborhood viewers.

As I worked on these posts I talked to every person I could about how bikes were being staying stolen. I arrived at out to police, makers, gurus at Bike Index, and also electronic mail lists of big nearby riding clubs and corporations. Every team I achieved experienced distinctive data and diverse things to insert to the puzzle.

Here’s what I learned…

I started with the law enforcement. I experimented with a range of police departments both in the US and even in London. It was a useless end. Law enforcement departments have eradicated sources and were being not a prosperity of data. If your bike is stolen it is well worth a report but make positive you are operating with Bicycle Index as your most important source for recovery. Also, make guaranteed you have your serial range recorded someplace you can reference if a bike is stolen!

In phrases of obtaining out how bikes are stolen, the locations to get that info have been either the makers or the victims by themselves. From the brands I received a top-stage concept of what they have been seeking to protect versus. From that viewpoint the most frequent resources are straightforward pry-bars of all sorts. Just about anything thieves can use for leverage is a typical assault system. Also on the radar are bolt cutters and transportable angle grinders (like what took place lately to Madi Carlson in L.A.).

I heard from victims through community cycling email lists. In almost just about every occasion, they informed me a cable lock was reduce. Cable locks are not stability and I even issue if they are really worth bothering with as a secondary lock. They can be reduce so swiftly, with no noise, and with tiny hand instruments that they should really in no way be applied. Even on long rides in the region, it is just not worth bothering. For these swift stops, provide your bicycle inside with you. It is really worth noting I did chat to men and women who had their bike stolen off a rack whilst working with developed-in cable locks. Hardly ever count on them!

Exterior of cable locks there have been a couple of folks I discovered who nonetheless knowledgeable theft. A person of them had a bicycle locked with a u-lock in a parking garage for the duration of get the job done and it nonetheless acquired stolen. A different man or woman, not in Portland, who locked his bicycle outside the house his house with a Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit experienced it slice with an angle grinder. I even now endorse that lock but it will tumble, immediately, to an angle grinder.

Apart from theft when utilizing a lock, yet another significant pattern emerged for the duration of these discussions. Most folks who have bikes stolen really don’t have them locked. This should be obvious but there were being a big number of individuals who experienced constantly been unbelievably very careful only to have an unlocked bike stolen from a garage or “secure” bike room of some sort. Lately a mate experienced a shed where he retained his bikes broken into. The lose was locked with a high quality lock and the slice via the metal holding the door closed. At dwelling, contemplate an anchor system and a substantial lock.

The Tips

Now that you’ve got an idea of what you are working with, let us discuss about locks.

Onguard 8003 Pitbull STD U-Lock ($55)

This is my quantity one particular decide on and the lock I have utilised personally for yrs. It’s a beefy lock that is cheap. There’s not significantly extra to elaborate on than that. It arrives with a bunch of keys, It’s bought plastic to secu
re the bicycle frame, and a body mount. I did finally crack the frame mount but aside from that it’s ongoing to get the job done properly for me. If you are heading out in the world this lock will perform for most situations.

Ottolock Sidekick ($40)

This option is going to be controversial. Ottolock has racked up some unfavorable push right here in Portland. A good deal of that has to do with what they would take into account a mis-use of their locks. You can make a decision if that’s mis-primary marketing or mis-use but I decided not to wade into that dialogue. A person point I worked actually challenging to do with my checklist was obtain inexpensive choices. The Sidekick is a double shackle 12mm U-lock that prices about $35-40 depending on where you buy it. It is not the most safe in the entire world but it ought to do the occupation for fast stops and as a secondary lock. The biggest disadvantage is that it’s as well modest to fit by means of a wheel, a body, and close to an anchor. For the price, I didn’t uncover something to match it.

Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit U-lock ($125)

This lock has been the complete standard in safety for many years. It is priced in the $100 and $150 (major range but it would seem to shift all around a bit) and it is safe simply because it’s an 18mm shackle. There’s no magic to it, it’s just a significant lock which is more difficult to break. You can definitely reduce by it with an angle grinder but offered the cost and security you could double it up.

Hiplok Gold Chain Lock ($140)

This is where by things get a small murky. What is far better, a chain or a U-lock? It’s not fully very clear and they glow in unique approaches. Chains are tougher to slash with an angle grinder and more flexible in how they lock, or to what, but are inclined to be additional challenging to carry. The Hiplock Gold chain lock is a great option due to the fact it is a quite protected lock and they make it easy to have. It suits around your midsection, with out locking, and the reflective selection even provides visibility. You can lock a wheel, a body, and a indication put up with no much too considerably issues. You could also use it on a bicycle rack in which a U-lock wouldn’t perform.

Hiplock D1000 ($345)

I protected this lock listed here in advance of. The declare is that it just cannot be minimize with an angle grinder and I have viewed proof of that. It’s normally tough to convey to if there is some way to split a lock that is intentionally not currently being revealed but I’ve found it attacked with a grinder and it didn’t are unsuccessful in any realistic quantity of time. This is the lock I use these days and it is wonderful but it is on the compact aspect. What I like is that it’s about as transportable as a standard lock. It’s weighty but a great deal much more portable than something in the exact same class of defense. The dilemma is it simply cannot at the moment be acquired and it’s really high priced relative to other locks. You could find the money for two of the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit U-locks for the exact same price and that may possibly be a additional adaptable option.

Abus Ivera 7210

I provided this one particular on the Cycling News listing as the selection for securing bikes that are hooked up to a motor vehicle rack. I’m which includes it here for the exact rationale. Realistically you could use any amount of chain locks on a rack and there are additional safe choices. This a single is a tiny for a longer period nevertheless and that may make it a small less difficult. It’s not a terrific strategy to use any lock though the automobile is moving as it’s incredibly achievable for tiny vibrations to problems a body. When stopped, if you already individual an additional excellent chain lock you could almost certainly use it. If you are heading out to purchase a little something just for this use although, this one particular is a affordable preference.

Abus Bordo 6500a Clever X

I’m throwing this just one on in this article so I can warn you not to use folding locks and also due to the fact I like the thought of a smart lock in this context. Folding locks are less safe and far more high priced. Overall my recommendation is to not trouble with them. People like them due to the fact they are effortless to have. If that’s what you ought to have, the Abus Granit 6500 folding lock is the heaviest safety obtainable. This model will take the exact same design but adds an alarm and that’s only going to assist safety. I be expecting drive back on this suggestion simply because of the selling price, and electronics, and that is to be expected. You can get fantastic security for less funds but adding an app and electronic locking really would make perception in this context. It solves a difficulty and the trade off is funds. Which is going to be alluring for some people today and if that is you, this is the finest selection.


Right after functioning on this for the last month or so I have piles of locks at my house. What I found is that a ton of them were being really similar and quite superior. At certain cost details there is a large amount of opposition and all the choices are fantastic. For this write-up, I tried to choose factors with a unique offering proposition — items that do a particular, beneficial point. The checklist can not quite possibly protect every little thing even though. If you have a lock you enjoy, be sure to let absolutely everyone know in the comments!