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The Best Bike Locks of 2024

Brighter weather, more accessible e-bikes, and resurgent interest in outdoor recreation have brought about a surge in cycling. But with increased riding comes an increase in bike theft. It's time to get yourself the right bike lock.
Testing the strength of the best bike lock
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There are a ton of great reasons why you should be riding your bike more — lowering your carbon footprint, working on your health and fitness, saving money, and quietly flexing on folks in traffic as you zip by them on your two-wheeled freedom machine. Bikes aren’t cheap, and your unguarded daily commuter is easy to steal and easy to resell. Our guide to the best bike lock is here to help keep your trusty steed safe and ready to ride.

Cycling surged in popularity during the pandemic as one of the few ways to get out and exercise while everything was shut down. In 2022 alone, between 17 and 20 million bikes were sold in the U.S., and with an estimated 52 million bike owners in the U.S., more people have bikes now than ever before.

It follows that bike theft is also on the rise with somewhere between 170,000 and 190,000 bikes being stolen in the U.S. every year. One statistic we found claimed that a bike is stolen on average every 30 seconds in the States. It’s estimated that less than 5% of stolen bikes are returned to their owners and almost half of the bikes reported as stolen are used in secondary crimes. 

With such dismal statistics surrounding bike theft, having a good lock is imperative. Fortunately, there are a ton of great lock options on the market that fit a variety of needs and budgets to help keep your bike(s) safe. Our testers carefully tested and evaluated each of the locks in this guide to find the best options for every rider.

In our selection, you’ll find nine of the best locks on the market. We’ve included traditional, super secure chain and U-locks, along with more novel choices like folding and wearable locks. Check out our buyer’s guide to help you hone in on a lock that best suits your needs and have a look at our comparison chart for a breakdown of prices and features.

Editor’s Note: For our March 1, 2024, update we’ve included the unique Tex-Lock Eyelet with X-Lock. This versatile, lightweight lock is a tester favorite and provides more security than the average cable lock.

The Best Bike Locks of 2024


Best Overall Bike Lock

Hiplok Gold

Specs

  • Chain thickness 10 mm
  • Shackle thickness 12 mm
  • Weight 5.2 lbs.
  • Diameter 85 cm
  • Bonus Wearable on your waist or shoulder (30-44”)
Product Badge The Best Bike Locks of 2024

Pros

  • Super-secure 10 mm chain lock
  • Highly visible reflective sheath
  • Excellent carry option

Cons

  • Shorter length limits options
Best Budget Bike Lock

OnGuard Bulldog U Lock

Specs

  • Length 9” x 4.5”
  • Thickness 11mm
  • Weight 8 lbs.
  • Lock type Key
  • Bonus OnGuard offers theft insurance
The Best Bike Locks of 2024

Pros

  • Excellent value
  • Good theft insurance
  • Good frame mount design

Cons

  • Not as robust as other locks
Best Chain Lock

Kryptonite Evolution 1090

Specs

  • Chain thickness 10 mm
  • Shackle thickness Deadbolt
  • Weight 6 lbs., 2 oz.
  • Diameter 35.5”
  • Bonus End link design eliminates a critical vulnerability in most other chain locks
The Best Bike Locks of 2024

Pros

  • Great security rating
  • New deadbolt design enhances security
  • Excellent theft insurance

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Less portable than others
Best U Lock

Kryptonite New-U Standard + Cable

Specs

  • Dimensions 9" x 4"
  • Thickness 12.7 mm
  • Weight 2 lbs., 13 oz.
  • Lock type Key
  • Bonus It comes with a cable lock to secure the front wheel
The Best Bike Locks of 2024

Pros

  • Stikes a great balance between portable and secure
  • Excellent theft insurance
  • Included cable to secure front wheel

Cons

  • Poorly designed frame mount
  • U-lock design doesn't fit all bikes
Best Cable Lock

Tex-Lock Eyelet With X-Lock

Specs

  • Chain thickness 6mm, wrapped in braided textile
  • Shackle thickness 12mm
  • Weight 2.86 lbs.
  • Diameter 160mm
  • Bonus Innovative cable sheath
The Best Bike Locks of 2024

Pros

  • Sawproof, Cutproof, Fireproof
  • Highly visible sheath
  • Lightweight
  • Sold secure Silver/Gold Rating

Cons

  • Shackle and eyelets still vulnerable to attack
Most Portable Bike Lock

ABUS Bordo 5700 Combo Lock

Specs

  • Length 60 cm
  • Thickness 5 mm
  • Weight 1 lb., 9 oz.
  • Lock type Combination
  • Bonus Super-portable, light-duty security
The Best Bike Locks of 2024

Pros

  • Super portable
  • Good security-to-weight ratio
  • Fun colors available

Cons

  • Not as secure or robust as a U-lock
  • Pivot design may be vulnerable
Best of the Rest

Abus 8808C/85

Specs

  • Chain thickness 8 mm
  • Shackle thickness Combo lock, no shackle
  • Weight 5.22 lbs.
  • Diameter 85 cm
  • Bonus Combo offers an added element of practicality
The Best Bike Locks of 2024

Pros

  • A more portable chain option
  • Lighter weight with high security
  • Combo lock offers great convenience

Cons

  • Less secure than other chains
  • Combo may present added vulnerability

ABUS Ultra 410 U Lock + Cable

Specs

  • Dimensions 9” x 4”
  • Thickness 12 mm
  • Weight 2 lbs., 5 oz.
  • Lock type Key
  • Bonus Good frame mount
The Best Bike Locks of 2024

Pros

  • A good lock for a good price
  • Size accommodates a wide range of frames
  • Added cable for securing your front wheel

Cons

  • No theft insurance
  • More expensive than similar locks with less protection

ABUS Numero 5510C

Specs

  • Length 70.9”
  • Thickness 10 mm
  • Weight 1.1 lbs.
  • Lock type Combination
  • Bonus Dark touch feature for after dark
The Best Bike Locks of 2024

Pros

  • A great option for added security
  • Combination locks are extra convenient

Cons

  • Cable locks are extremely easy to cut

Bike Locks Comparison Chart

Bike LockPriceThickness (mm)WeightLock Type
HipLok Gold$14010 mm5.2 lbs.Key
OnGuard Bulldog$3511 mm8 lbs.Key
Kryptonite New-U$7112.7 mm2.8 lbs.Key
Kryptonite Evolution 1090$11010 mm6.125 lbs.Key
Tex-Lock Eyelet with X-Lock$159 6mm2.86 lbsCombination
ABUS Bordo$855 mm1.56 lbs.Combination
Abus 8808C/85$8512 mm5.2 lbs.Combination
ABUS Ultra 410 U Lock + Cable$6012 mm2.3 lbs.Key
ABUS Numero 5510C$3010 mm1.1 lbs.Combination
Bike locks lined up for testing
We compared an array of styles and price points, with the OnGuard Bulldog being our favorite budget option; (photo/Paul Mandell)

How We Test Bike Locks

We vetted the most popular locks on the market and ordered a selection of different styles — chains, U locks, folding locks, and cables. We then evaluated them for fit, finish, and function. Our testers carted these locks all over town looking for secure locking points and evaluated portability, security, and ease of use for each lock. 

Then they put some of the manufacturer’s security claims to the test and attempted to break into some of the featured locks to see if they really stood up to attacks. What we came back with are the best options for the different styles of locks on the market today. We stratified our results into the Best Overall lock, Best Chain lock, Best U lock, Best Budget, Most Portable lock, and the best of the rest.

Our expert testing team is composed of experienced cyclists and outdoors-oriented people looking for the best products on the market. Our staff includes former bike racers, recreational cyclists, folks who bike-commute 60 miles a week, and everyone in between — people who care about fit, finish, and function in every product we use. 

Lead tester Paul Mandell has 2 decades of experience in the saddle as a competitive racer and recreational rider. He completed his master’s degree in exercise science where he studied the critical power model for cycling. These days, he prefers lift-accessed gravity riding and long adventure rides with plenty of descending. He still finds time to get out for the occasional gravel grind or single-track loop near his home base in California’s Eastern Sierra.

Bike locked with Hiplock Gold
The Hiplock Gold is a wearable chain lock that had our tester feeling pretty good about leaving his Mountian Bike chained up in a resort town; (photo/Paul Mandell)

How to Choose a Bike Lock

Bike locks traditionally come in four different styles.

U-Locks

U-locks (also known as D-locks) have a hardened steel U-shaped shank that fits into a straight lock that closes the loop. These can have a locking mechanism on one or both ends of the U shape. If it locks both sides, it usually means that the lock must be cut twice to be removed. For most folks in most situations, a solid U lock like the Kryptonite New U will be more than adequate.

U-locks offer the best combination of security and portability, but you’ll want to ensure that the lock you choose fits your specific bike. Folks considering a U lock may also want to pick up a cable lock to help secure your other wheel and/or bags while you are away from your bike.

Bike locked with D-lock
While limited by its size, a D-lock is a very secure design; (photo/Paul Mandell)

Chain Locks

Chain locks are a chain with a locking mechanism that locks the two ends together. Some chain locks come with a padlock, and others have a built-in locking mechanism. Chains also must be cut twice to remove, making them difficult to break, but not impossible. The value of a chain lock is that it takes a long time to cut through, and usually draws attention. Chain locks offer more flexibility when locking. They allow you to lock up more bikes at once or lock your bike to a larger item.

Chains are only as good as their weakest link, so choose one with a strong padlock or locking mechanism. Additionally, some chain locks like the ABUS 8808C have a combination lock which isn’t as robust as a padlock or shackle. Padlock-style locks are susceptible to attack with the wrench and cutter methods. Locks like the Kryptonite 1090 which uses a deadbolt are more secure than padlocks and traditional shackles.

Folding Locks

Folding locks like the ABUS Bordo are composed of a set of hardened steel bars that are attached by pivot hinges at each end and a lock that connects the two free ends. These allow the same flexibility as a chain lock but at a lighter weight.

The pivot hinges are designed in a way that hinders leverage at those points. In theory, they force the thief to cut through a bar to break the lock, but some hinges on some locks may present a potential vulnerability. Be sure to do your research when considering this style of lock — did the company test the shackle and the pivots?

The Tex-Lock provides a lightweight and novel solution for securing your bike at multiple points; (photo/Paul Mandell)

Cable Locks

We here at GearJunkie don’t consider cable locks secure on their own, and neither should you. They are only meant as an accessory to your main lock and can be used to lock your wheels or other gear that’s on your bike.

These locks use a braided steel cable that’s attached at each end with a lock. Cables can be cut extremely easily and silently, which makes them the number-one lock we have seen bike thieves seek out when stealing bikes.

Bike secured with cable lock
While a cable lock is inexpensive, lightweight, and portable, we don’t recommend using one in high-risk areas. They are just too easy to break; (photo/Paul Mandell)

Ease of Use

Each lock style works differently, and finding the one that fits your needs is pretty easy. Our tester is a big fan of combination locks because they’re quick and easy, and there’s no chance of losing your keys. 

U-locks are an excellent option for most people. Super simple, quick to lock and unlock, and easily portable, U-locks are awesome.

When buying a lock, take a good look at how the locking mechanism works, as well as how easy it is to lock and unlock before deciding which one is right for you. All of the locks featured in this guide scored well in ease of use, but individual preferences may vary. Do bear in mind that combo locks are usually more susceptible to attack than deadbolts and shackles, but offer a slightly easier locking and unlocking situation. 

Size and Portability

Locks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, you’ll want to choose the one that fits your specific needs. U-locks come in sizes that fit one bike or up to five bikes. Chain and folding locks come in different lengths and generally larger and stronger locks make for less portability but are more secure. Then there are highly portable folding locks like the ABUS Bordo, or easy-carrying U locks like the Kryptonite New U — what do you need out of your bike lock?

You’ll want to have a solid way to transport your lock, which is why frame mounts like the one included with the OnGuard Bulldog are so handy. Other considerations include the available objects to secure your bike to; is there a dedicated rack where you’re going, or will you need to use a sign or even a tree, and can your lock accommodate it?

Security

Every lock company has its own security ranking system, but they all seem to be pretty accurate when compared and averaged. An easy way to know if the lock you are buying has a high-security rating is to look for the “Sold Secure” logo, which is an independent-party rating system. Some, but not all of the locks we featured in this article are vetted by Sold Secure — multiple locks from Kryptonite, ABUS, and Hiplok come with this rating

Sold Secure has four categories: bronze, silver, gold, and diamond. We suggest looking at either gold or diamond if you are in a metro area or college campus.

Front tire secured with cable
A D-lock/cable combo is a good way to add some extra security, especially if you’ve got an expensive wheelset; (photo/Paul Mandell)

Price and Value

In general, as the price increases, so does lock security. To find the right value for you, a balance of price and security, consider the value of your bike and your security risks. No one wants their bike stolen, but obviously, if you have an expensive bike, it will fetch a higher price, and thieves are more likely to risk cutting a flimsy cable lock or even going after a sturdier D-lock with an angle grinder.

You’ll want a lock system that allows you to secure the frame and the front wheel of your bike. Remember, any lock can be cut eventually, and security comes from the amount of time it takes to break a lock. A sturdier lock like the Hiplok Gold will do the trick, especially if you leave your bike in a highly visible area where someone going at your bike lock with a grinder will attract attention. A cheap parts bike for around-town cruising won’t have the same appeal, and you can probably get by with a less expensive, lighter-duty lock.

If you live in a college town or larger, you’re likely at a high risk of bike theft. A larger population means thieves will have an easier time reselling your bike as well, making bike theft a more enticing hustle. Even if your bike is inexpensive, it could be your primary way to commute, making it very valuable to you, so consider a lock that’s heavier and more secure, like the tough, yet affordable OnGuard Bulldog.

Finally, you can extend the value of your lock by considering the lock manufacturer’s “insurance” policy. For example, Kryptonite offers an Anti-Theft protection program that will cover the cost of your bike if you fill out the registration and your Kryptonite lock is broken by force. While there is definitely some fine print to consider, it increases our confidence in the brand’s secure, albeit expensive, bike locks.

While several locks include parts to mount the lock to your bike, our testers overwhelmingly preferred a ski strap; (photo/Paul Mandell)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most secure way to lock my bike?

Lock your bike through one of the two triangles made by the frame with a high-security lock. Using a cable or chain lock, also lock the wheels to the frame or to the post you are locking up at.

Never lock your bike using the seat post, handlebars, or just a wheel, as the bike can still be easily stolen leaving that part behind.

Is there a bike lock that can’t be cut?

No. With enough time and the correct tools, any lock can be cut.

Where should I lock my bike if there’s no bike rack?

Depending on the situation, you can lock your bike frame to its wheel for a very short time. If it is an extended period of time, you should find a pole, tree, gas meter, or another item to lock to, even if it means you have to walk a block or two.

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