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10 best bike locks for safe and secure storage

From wearable chains to smart alarms, protect your bike with our roundup of the best locks for cyclists.

By Poppy O'Neill | Last updated May 1, 2022

a rack of bikes on a misty morning

Over 77,000 bikes were stolen in the UK in 2021, so cyclists know that a good quality bike lock is worth its weight in gold. While devious thieves can get into any lock, a strong, well designed model will deter all but the most dedicated.

It’s recommended that you spend around 10% of the value of your bike on a lock, so for many of us who rely on and invest in our bikes, choosing the right lock is almost as important as choosing the right bike. 

Luckily, there’s a thriving cycling community on Mumsnet, and we’ve got their top recommendations for bike locks that’ll give you the best chance against thieves, as well as the best locks for kids and a bargain lock for low-risk areas. 

Here are the best bike locks to buy.

1. Best overall bike lock: Kryptonite New York With Flex Frame U-Bracket

a black and yellow Kryptonite bike lock

Price: £100 | Buy now from Amazon

"The New York lock has double bolted crossbar locks both ends of the shackle which is what made us choose them - it was pretty unique at the time, not sure if it still is. But the lock would have to be cut twice. You need a long shackle like this"

"We lock two or three bikes up with these. A decent cable is good enough for the wheels generally, we have just spent £1000 on four new wheels for this summer and are happy running a kryptonite cable through them to the locks"

Known to Mumsnetters as the toughest bike lock you can get, the Kryptonite New York is our pick for the best overall bike lock. With its hardened steel shackle and double deadlock design, it’s one of the hardest locks for thieves to get through. The locks are pick and drill resistant, and it comes with a lifetime warranty. Experts advise spending 10% of the value of your bike on a bike lock, so this Sold Secure gold-rated lock is a wise investment. 

Key specs

  • Type: U lock
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 2.06kg

2. Best budget bike lock: Oxford Essential Shackle Lock

a grey and black Oxford bike lock

Price: £15 | Buy now from Amazon

"Get a d-lock, Kryptonite and Oxford are reliable. Practice putting the lock through the frame as well as the wheels, if you put it just through the wheel it could still be stolen"

Oxford is a trusted brand and at around £15, this shackle lock is a good choice. If you’re in a high bike theft area, it’s best to spend more on a bike lock, but if you’re planning on leaving your bike somewhere relatively safe, a budget option like this one is a good choice. Made from hardened steel and featuring an anti-pick lock, it comes with a security rating of 5/12. 

Key specs

  • Type: Shackle
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 500g

3. Best bike lock for kids: Hiplok Z-lok

four multi-coloured z-lok bike locks

Price: £30 | Buy now from Amazon

These nifty Z-Loks from Hiplok have a clever cable tie-like mechanism, and are super lightweight. Weighing only 20g, they’re perfect for popping in your child’s backpack. Made from toughened nylon and with a reinforced steel core, they’re more hardwearing than they look, but it’s worth noting they won’t withstand the most determined bike thief. They come in a handful of bright colours, and are great for use in the school bike shed. 

Key specs

  • Type: Zip lock
  • Material: Nylon, steel
  • Weight: 20g

4. Best D-lock: Squire Eiger D Lock

a green Squire bike lock

Price: £56 | Buy now from Squire Padlocks

"When I was a student in London the only locks the student union shop bothered selling were Squire Urban D locks. You can get them with an extension cable. Better a cheap bike and an expensive lock than a cheap lock and no bike!"

Tough as nails and in great colours, the Squire Eiger D-Lock comes with a carrying bracket which attaches to your bike frame, making it easy to bring around with you. Made from hardened alloy steel, the lock is available in blue, red, green or yellow and comes with two keys. 

Key specs

  • Type: D lock
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 1.48kg

5. Most secure bike lock: Abus Granit X-Plus 540

a grey and black Abus bike lock

Price: £60 | Buy now from Amazon

"I use the Abus Granit X Plus. It's heavy but no one's nicking my bike"

The Abus Granit X Plus is a force to be reckoned with. Made from specially toughened steel, it has anti-pick protection and a powercell double locking mechanism to keep your bike safe. It has a gold Sold Secure rating and Abus rate it 15/15 on their own security scale. It’s got a long shackle, which makes it easier to lock your bicycle onto a fixed object, or in an overcrowded bike shelter. 

Key specs

  • Type: U-lock
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 1.46kg

6. Best chain lock: Hiplok Gold Wearable Bicycle Lock

a gold Hiplok chain with a black fabric cover

Price: £98 | Buy now from Amazon

"I have a gold rate hiplok belt I use to secure my bike there. I also have a top-rated Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit D-luck but it's so HEAVY that I rarely take it out with me"

A super secure bike lock is going to be heavy by nature, so there’s always the consideration of having to lug it around with you. This wearable chain from Hiplok is a clever solution, spreading the weight of the chain around your hips, rather than making your bike heavier or weighing on your shoulders in a backpack. It’s sold Secure gold rated, features a weatherproof cover, to stop your chain from getting damaged or rusty and fits a 28-44” waist. 

Key specs

  • Type: Chain
  • Material: Brass
  • Weight: 2.58kg

7. Best bike lock to use at home: AXA Defender Frame Lock

an AXA bike frame lock

Price: £25 | Buy now from Decathlon

"Get a frame lock like this plus a chain. Bike theft is opportunistic. Frame locks really slow thieves down"

A frame lock is permanently fixed to your bike, and works by blocking the rear wheel from turning. They’re very difficult for thieves to remove, and having a lock that’s fixed to your bike is a great option for securing your bike at home, especially if you’re not able to keep your bike indoors or in a secure shed. Mumsnetters recommend doubling up with a chain or shackle lock, depending on what’s available to fix your bike to. 

Key specs

  • Type: Frame lock
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 640g

8. Best bike lock for cities: Abus Bordo Granit X Plus

a folding bike lock from Abus

Price: £140 | Buy now from Amazon

"Recommendation from police via my employer is a lock worth 10% of the value of your bike. My insurer insists that I use a minimum of a sold secure silver lock. I actually have a gold one - Kryptonite New York d-lock at work and Abus Granit one which I carry around with me. so I use two locks at work and one elsewhere"

If you live in a city with a bike-theft problem, you’ll want to invest in the very best and most secure lock. This innovative bike lock is Abus’ most secure lock, which they recommend for high-end and e-bikes. It folds out and wraps around your bike frame, protecting against thieves with its 5.5cm thick, toughened steel bars. Using a series of floating discs which cannot be drilled out, the lock is virtually un-pickable. The bars have a soft coating to prevent them scratching your bike’s paintwork, and the lock extends to an impressive 85cm long, meaning more versatility in how and where you secure your bike. 

Key specs

  • Type: Foldable
  • Material: Steel
  • Weight: 1.58kg

9. Best lightweight bike lock: Litelok Wearable Bike Lock

a green belt-style bike lock from Litelok

Price: £135 | Buy now from Amazon

"Fab locks that are light, easy to carry and yet very very strong"

If you’re in search of a lock that’s easy to carry around, but tough and reliable, the LiteLok is for you. At 1.3kg it comes in three sizes and is worn like a belt around the waist. The lightest bike lock to boast a gold Sold Secure rating, the lock’s casing is made from virtually indestructible hardened steel. It has a locking stopper which enables you to wear it without locking it to your body. 

Key specs

  • Type: Wearable
  • Material: Boaflexicore and steel
  • Weight: 1.31kg

10. Best smart bike lock: Nulock

a smart bike lock from Nulock

Price: £70 | Buy now from Amazon

"The Nulock might work for you. It's not big bucks and is crazy loud so you'd hear it from inside your house. I needed an extra long one for my bike so got it on Amazon"

In addition to a tough chain or shackle, a smart bike lock with an alarm is a wise choice. This one from Nulock is operated via an app and makes one hell of a noise if it’s disturbed or tampered with. This is a brilliant choice if you’re looking for peace of mind, because the app keeps you updated on the status of the lock and your bike at all times. 

Key specs

  • Type: Smart lock
  • Material: Plastic, copper and steel
  • Weight: 227g

What’s best to look for in a bike lock?

A good bike lock will be heavy and have plenty of anti-theft features. Different locks suit different locations. For example, if you fix your bicycle to a lamppost, you’ll need a chain or a foldable lock to fit around it. If you leave your bike in a dedicated shelter or rack, a rigid shackle lock works best. A gold Sold Secure rating is the sign of an ultra-secure bike lock, so look out for that on its packaging or description. 

What is a ‘Sold Secure’ rating?

Sold Secure is the independent British testing and certification body for the security industry. It tests products using the most up to date equipment used by thieves, and rate it accordingly. If your bike is insured, you may find that a Sold Secure bike lock is needed for your insurance to be valid. 

Sold Secure rates products Gold, Silver or Bronze: 

  • Gold: provides a high standard of protection against thieves. Suitable for use in a high-risk area
  • Silver: provides a greater level of resistance against attack. Suitable for use in a medium-risk area.
  • Bronze: Provides a good level of resistance against an opportunistic thief. Suitable for use in a low-risk area

What’s the strongest type of bike lock?

A U-lock with a thick, reinforced shackle is the strongest type of bike lock, as it’s the most difficult for dedicated thieves to disable. 

Is a chain lock better than a D-lock?

A chain lock can be easier to carry, is more flexible and can fix your bike to a greater variety of fixed objects. However, if you’re locking your bike to a rack, a D-lock is the most user-friendly, secure type of lock. 

What’s the best bike lock to buy?

The Kryptonite New York U Lock is the best bike lock to buy, because it’s the toughest. Designed for areas with high bike theft, the New York will give you peace of mind and protect your wheels against bad guys.

How we chose our recommendations 

First, we consulted consumer watchdogs such as Which?, and took note of what they looked for in a steam iron and which brands they were recommending to their readers.

We then studied reviews of the best bike locks on the Mumsnet forums to find out which models parents had tried, tested and rated highly – and which locks they weren't impressed by.

Finally, we collated all that information and then looked at other online reviews to see which were the bestsellers and which received rave reviews after purchase.

We then cross-referenced all that information to find the bike locks that had won the most accolades and recommendations across the board to bring you a selection of the best at various price points and in different styles. We think there’s something here for everyone.

Why you should trust us 

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.