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D locks (also know as U locks) are the most common type of bike locks. They get their name from their D/U shape and have become the go-to bike lock for most cyclists due to their simple design and ease of use.
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D locks are normally supplied with a mount which allows you to attach them to the frame of your bike. When compared to other types of lock, D locks tend to offer better all-round security & usability.
The Kryptonite New York Cinch Ring 1275 is currently the best bike chain lock on the market. The 1275 is another Sold Secure Gold rated bike lock, which offers increased usability when compared to standard chains.
With 8 years of practice securing and defeating the best bike locks, our experts have tested over 28 different models. For this update, we purchased 18 top contenders to send through extensive testing and side-by-side comparisons to evaluate and compare various performance qualities, such as design, functionality, and above all, security. Testing for months, we used them daily through different weather conditions, from the city to the country. We also attempted to cut these bike locks loose using bolt cutters, hacksaws, tin snips, and angle grinders. Our in-depth and objective review offers unbiased advice and the best recommendation to provide extra bike security wherever you may ride.
As the competition mounts year after year, we still cannot find a better lock than the Kryptonite New York Standard U-Lock. This burly lock is as tough as its namesake city and earned high scores across all performance metrics. With this U-Lock, Kryptonite provides a strong theft deterrent with 16 mm of hardened steel that we could only manage to defeat with two different cuts from the powered angle grinder. It even withstood a car jack. Plus, it has a "Diamond" rating from Sold Secure, which adds peace of mind when locking your bike in urban areas.
It should be no surprise that something that can withstand a car jack's force also carries a hefty weight. Fortunately, the New York lock includes a frame mount, making it convenient to carry on your bike while you're cruising or commuting. The model is about as easy to use as any U-lock and broad enough to fit around both wheels, the frame, and a standard bike rack, as long as you remove your front wheel. Kryptonite offers theft protection policies if your lock is stolen; however, several tricky stipulations must apply, making us doubt its usefulness for most riders. They also offer a key replacement program for this lock, so be sure to register your keys after purchasing. Overall, we are impressed with Kryptonite for providing a burly, versatile, user-friendly, and high-quality bike lock.
Love the idea of an effective bike lock but loathe the reality of carrying one around with you? The Hiplok Original: Superbright presents an innovative new way to transport a lock. Hiplok took a beefy, 8 mm hardened steel chain two feet long and put a nylon sheath around it (a detail we loved because that means it won't scratch the paint on your bike frame.) Next, they engineered a padlock with an extra metal bar that serves as a buckle. A swath of Velcro goes through the buckle and then folds back on itself, creating an adjustable and comfortable design that you can wear like a low belt. The Superbright lock also has a thick reflective strip on the outside of the nylon cover because when you're riding, you can never be too visible to motorists. The everyday commuting cyclist will probably appreciate this lock the most. One of our testers has been using this lock on daily bike commutes for over four years and has yet to experience any performance issues, like the locking mechanism sticking (it's still markedly smooth and easy) or the Velcro becoming less adherent.
Those riding for fitness or recreation might want something more lightweight. It feels much heavier stowed in a backpack or messenger bag than when worn on your person. It's also one of the more expensive models in our lineup, yet it still outpaces other contenders in the wearable lock category. If this type of lock sounds like something you'd like, keep in mind that wearing something around your waist while riding might feel constrictive to some. But, for a lock this burly, it's our testers' favorite wearable lock for daily commutes.
The Onguard Brute STD offers security (receiving a Diamond rating by Sold Secure) comparable to the highest-scoring models in our review but at a lower price. This is achieved by omitting fancier features while including the essential ones. Once properly locked to a secured bike rack, 16.8 mm of hardened steel stands between your two-wheeled baby and thieves. Two cuts with an angle grinder are required to free the bike, a time-consuming and noisy operation that also broadcasts a thief's unlawful intentions. Generously included with this model are five replaceable keys, one of which has a helpful LED light for finding the keyhole in the dark. The included mounting hardware is easy to install, fits a wide range of frame sizes, and keeps the lock from rattling much when underway in the city. Despite being made of thick steel, this U-lock is lighter than models offering the same level of security.
This U-lock is relatively bulky and lacks the slick appearance of some top-shelf competitors. Also, the mounting hardware is not our favorite. When mounted on the bike frame, the bike lock sits beside the top tube, not underneath, so the mount sits asymmetrically to the side of the main triangle instead of streamlined inside the frame. A few of the more expensive models feature a keyhole cover that helps the lock's interior stay free of dirt and moisture for continuous smooth operation. We wish this contender included a keyhole cover, but for its cost, the OnGuard Brute STD packs more security into its price than any other model.
For those looking for a quality U-Lock with a tighter budget, we recommend the Kryptonite Kryptolok Standard. This U-lock comes with a cable you can wrap around the front wheel or seat post if needed. What caught our eye about this bike lock was its security. Compared to other locks at this price point, the Kryptolok blew the competition out of the water. Our hand tool armada could not defeat the 13 mm of hardened steel of the U and the shackle. At this price point, other U-locks focus on the U part of the lock, leaving the shackle vulnerable to a thief cutting through with a single cut. However, the Kryptolok is strong in both components, meaning it would take a thief at least two cuts to defeat this lock.
A drawback is that the locking mechanism gets sticky more easily than other locks. After some cleaning and lubrication, it works reliably but is not as smooth as other, higher-end locks. Our testers also wish Kryptonite would commit to designing a more user-friendly frame mount for their U-locks. We think you'll want to give this lock a second look if you need the security of a U-lock without the hefty price.
If you're seeking a bike lock suitable for use in high-risk areas, like a college campus, skip the ABUS Chain Lock 1200 Web. However, if you just need a minimal deterrent that's easy to carry and use, this simple chain lock may do the trick. At less than half a pound, it's easy to transport, whether in your jersey pocket, a backpack, or wrapped around your seat post. We wrapped it around the seat posts of both adult and children's bikes, and in both cases, our testers barely noticed it was there. Its simple combo-opening feature means you don't need to carry around a key, either.
Unfortunately, this lock won't stop a determined thief. Its use is limited to a minute or two out of eyesight in urban areas. But in low-security regions where there aren't tool-toting thieves around the corner, this ABUS Chain Lock might be all you need. It's not super burly, but if you're looking for a lightweight lock that doesn't break the bank and is easy to carry around, the ABUS 1200 is just for you and your (hopefully inexpensive) bike.
"Enough with the fluff," you say, "show me the big guns." If you're looking for a no-nonsense lock that's all about visual and physical security, the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain and Disc Lock is what you need. It's the lock you want if you're parking your bike overnight or for an extended time in certain higher-risk areas. If you lock up in the same place daily, you can leave this lock on the rack while you're away (as allowed). Every bike lock in our lineup can be destroyed, but the Fahgettabouit Chain and Disc Lock require specialized tools and quite a bit of time to cut through. In other words, this contender stands up to only the most dedicated thieves.
Before you run to your nearest outdoor retailer, let's be clear about the reality of this lock: it's bulky, expensive, and weighs over 15 pounds, so you may not be eager to transport it around town. Because it lacks any nylon sheath, the chain can chip the paint off your frame. If you like to keep your wheels looking shiny and somewhat new, you should probably find another lock. Daily trips with an added 15 pounds aren't fun either, and we encourage you to look into lighter options that will make commuting less of a drag. However, if you lock your bike outside and leave it unattended for long periods, this lock provides an extra level of assurance that your wheels will be there when you return.
Our bike security experts have tested more than 28 locks over the past 8 years, and we've followed trends and innovations in the market. Between our knowledge and testing procedures, this review is comprehensive.
We assembled a team of experts to pedal around with these bike locks and pick them apart. Our lead tester, Rebecca Eckland, is a former USAC Cat 3 Road bike racer, winner of the 600-mile California Triple Crown Stage race, and is a longtime cyclist doing everything from racing to commuting. She's passionate about her bikes and believes that having a bike stolen is about the worst thing that can happen to a person. She's worked in bike shops and has seen all kinds of locks firsthand. Based out of Reno, NV, Rebecca practically lives on her bike for training, commuting, and fun. Our team also includes Ross Robinson, a dedicated bike commuter who has been locking up with chains, folding models, cables (as a secondary lock), and U-locks for over 12 years. Ross is interested in testing gear to its limit and has spent over 200 hours researching bike locks (and bike thieves) with hands-on assessment and directly experimenting with ways to defeat them. Rylee Sweeney rounds out our testing team. Rylee comes to us with a background in bike touring across the United States, where bike security is nearly as essential as food and water. 041b061a72