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8 best bike locks to help keep your wheels safe and secure

From lightweight chains to Bluetooth-enabled products, protect your investment with these designs

Aaron Roe
Friday 22 July 2022 09:11 BST
We’d recommend locks that are certified by Sold Secure, a UK-based independent body that thoroughly tests them
We’d recommend locks that are certified by Sold Secure, a UK-based independent body that thoroughly tests them (The Independent)

There were 64,500 reported bike thefts in the UK last year and, believe it or not, that was down more than 11 per cent on the previous year. Bikes are very tempting targets for thieves – and, obviously, it’s easy to make a quick getaway on one.

Whether you own the latest £5,000 carbon-fibre racer, or use an old £200 clunker to get around town, having it stolen can be a huge source of heartache and inconvenience.

A decent lock will make thieves think twice about trying to swipe your beloved machine, but bear in mind that even the toughest can usually be defeated by a determined thief with a portable angle grinder or bolt cutters. But at least the prospect of having to hack their way through a quality lock or chain might encourage them to look elsewhere to find a less-secure victim instead.

Always buy a lock that’s been tested to industry standards such as Sold Secure – we’ve seen cheap unrated locks bought off the internet prised apart with little more than bare hands. Sold Secure awards different gradings according to effectiveness against various methods of attack, with diamond being the very best.

Aim to budget about 10 per cent of the value of your bike to spend on a lock. And, if you want to stay extra safe, try to use a couple of different types of lock so would-be thieves need more than one type of tool to defeat them.

Read more:

Make sure you lock your bike to an immovable object and in a well-lit, public place – preferably in sight of CCTV. We also recommend locking your bike even if you keep it in a garage or shed. And don’t forget to remove any expensive lights or GPS units before you leave your bike unattended anywhere.

How we tested

Although we weren’t tempted to attack the locks we tested with angle grinders or other cutting equipment, we did try them out in a variety of urban areas, locking our bikes to a variety of different objects to check out their versatility. We tested how easy they were to carry and how quick they were to lock or unlock – especially from awkward angles.

The best bike locks for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Kryptonite New York fahgettaboudit u-lock: £139.99,
  • Best for portability – Hiplok original wearable bike chain lock, superbright reflective: £64.99,
  • Best for ultimate security – Kryptonite New York noose: £159.99,
  • Best for cool looks – Hiplok DX: £79.99,
  • Best for protecting frame and wheels – Kryptonite evolution mini-7 d-lock with kryptoflex cable: £54.99,
  • Best for workplace security – Abus granit city chain 1010: £109.99,
  • Best for garage owners – Oxford anchor 14: £59.99,
  • Best for cafe stops – Abus bordo lite 6055: £51.99,

Kryptonite New York fahgettaboudit u-lock

1 Kryptonite.jpg

Best: Overall

Rating: 9/10

  • Weight: 2kg
  • Material: Hardened steel
  • Type: U-lock

As the name suggests, with this one you can lock up your bike and “fahgettaboudit” – just make sure you say it in a New York accent. Only a really determined and extremely well-equipped thief would have a chance of beating it.

This substantial Sold Secure diamond-rated U-lock has been designed to resist attack by both picking and drilling. The 18cm hardened-steel shackle is vinyl coated to protect your frame, and it comes with a handy LED key that you’ll be grateful for on dark evenings, plus two spares. A sliding plastic cover keeps dust and debris out of the locking mechanism.

Tipping the scales at just over 2kg, it’s not the lightest lock to carry around with you but it should serve you really well.

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Hiplok original wearable bike chain lock, superbright reflective

2 Hiplok.jpg

Best: For portability

Rating: 8/10

  • Weight: 2kg
  • Material: Hardened-steel chain and shackle
  • Type: Wearable chain lock

You don’t need to take a bag or pannier with you to carry this one – as the name suggests, it just slips around your hips. The Sold Secure silver rated setup incorporates a chain wrapped in a nylon sleeve and a heavy-duty padlock. When wearing it, you just slip the Velcro strap through a slot on the padlock and then adjust to fit. The thick nylon sleeve with its reflective exterior makes it surprisingly comfortable to ride with it strapped to your waist (fits waist sizes from 28 to 44in).

The Hiplock comes with three keys, and you can remove the sleeve from the 85cm chain to wash it when it gets grubby.

  1. £64 from
Prices may vary
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Kryptonite New York Noose

3 Kryptonite noose.jpg

Best: For ultimate security

Rating: 9/10

  • Weight: 4.8kg
  • Material: Boron-manganese steel
  • Type: Chain and U-lock

Here’s a versatile chain and U-lock combo – although its weight means it’ll be one to leave at home or work rather than trying to haul it around with you.

The 130cm chain can be looped around a lamp post or bike stand before being fed back through a big ring at the end. The whole thing is then secured using the little U-lock with its picking-resistant disc mechanism.

It’s rated Sold Secure gold and the chain has a tough nylon cover to stop it marking your precious bike. The sleeve does tend to hold water if left out in the rain, but that shouldn’t be an issue, as you’re unlikely to be carrying it any sort of distance.

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Hiplok DX

4 Hiplok DX.jpg

Best: Cool looks

Rating: 8/10

  • Weight: 1.1kg
  • Material: Hardened steel
  • Type: D-lock

You can slip this handy little D-lock over the rear pocket of your jeans, or a belt, thanks to the flexible plastic tabs on the back. The rubber-coated 15cm loop is big enough to fit through your frame or a wheel while you nip into a shop or a cafe.

The DX is Sold Secure diamond-rated and the key-way is protected from the weather by a rubber seal. It comes with three keys, which are easy to use even with gloves on. If you ever lose them, you can buy a replacement using a unique code.

  1. £79 from
Prices may vary
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Kryptonite evolution mini-7 d-lock with kryptoflex cable

5 Kryptonite evolution.jpg

Best: For protecting frame and wheels

Rating: 8/10

  • Weight: 1.61kg
  • Material: Hardened steel
  • Type: D-lock with cable

D-locks used in combination with a cable are a great idea as they let you secure both the wheels and the frame. This example from Kryptonite is small enough to slip into a rucksack or pannier while still being Sold Secure Gold-rated.

The whole package is nice and light, so is easily portable, and there’s a carrying bracket you can fit to your frame if you ride without a bag. It comes with two keys, too.

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Abus granit city chain 1010

6 Abus citychain.jpg

Best: For workplace security

Rating: 8/10

  • Weight: 2.24kg
  • Material: Hardened steel
  • Type: Chain lock

Here’s a beefy chain that should keep your bike safe all day at the station or your workplace. As it tips the scales at more than 2kg, you might be better off leaving it at your parking spot rather than trying to carry it on your daily commute.

The lock assembly rotates, so it’s really easy to loop the 110cm chain around your frame and front wheel, while a thick nylon sleeve stops the 9mm links from rubbing your paintwork. It comes with a couple of keys, plus a code card, and gets Abus’s in-house security rating of 12 out of 15.

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Oxford anchor 14

7 oxford anchor.jpg

Best: For garage owners

Rating: 8/10

  • Weight: N/A
  • Material: 6mm hardened steel
  • Type: Ground anchor

For anyone with a garage or shed with a concrete base, a ground anchor is a sound investment. While locking your bikes to each other is better than nothing, thieves could just bundle them together and cut the lock later. Securing your bikes to an anchor will prevent this.

You’ll have to do a little DIY to set it up, as the anchor needs four high-security bolts drilling into the floor, but it will be time well spent as the device is Sold Secure diamond-rated. Once in place, you simply loop your chain through the anchor and then use it to secure your bikes.

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Abus bordo lite 6055

abus b .jpg

Best: Small lock

Rating: 7/10

  • Weight: 440g
  • Material: Steel alloys with plastic casing
  • Type: Folding lock

If you like to travel light, a folding lock like this is perfect for slipping into a pocket. The bordo lite folds down to a neat little rectangle and is made up of six foldable sections with a total length of 60cm. It weighs in at less than 500g, and there’s also a bigger 85cm version available.

Don’t expect it to keep your bike secure all day, but if you only need to keep your machine secure for a few minutes at a time – maybe while you pop into a shop or cafe – we reckon the portability is worth the trade-off.

It comes with a couple of keys and you can buy replacements if they ever go missing, and it’s rated a seven on Abus’s own security scale.

  1. £51 from
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Bike locks FAQs

What are the different types of locks?

D-locks – also known as U-locks – are easy to use and can sometimes be carried in a pocket.

Chains are usually heavier than U-locks, but they’re more flexible and easier to fit around irregularly shaped objects. Some of the longer ones will fit through several bikes at once.

You can pair both types of lock with a separate wire cable to secure all the main areas of your bike (the frame and both wheels). For extra security, consider fitting locking nuts to your wheels and seat post to stop anyone swiping them while your bike is parked – thieves really will pinch anything they can get their hands on.

Portable locks should be easy to fit in your bag or to your bike frame, and are lightweight enough that they’re not a hindrance while you’re riding.

If you’re locking up outside, you’ll also want something that’s resistant to the rain and cold – so look out for designs with keyhole covers.

The verdict: Bike locks

Your perfect lock depends very much on how you plan to use it – there’s no point buying a huge, heavy chain and trying to haul it with you on the daily commute.

We loved both of the Hiplok offerings – the original wearable bike chain lock and the DX – as they were perfect for carrying without a bag yet offered enough security to ensure our bikes didn’t disappear while we nipped to the shops.

Kryptonite’s hefty Noose should do a great job of protecting your bike at home or work, but our Best Buy, the Fahgettaboudit, particularly impressed us with its ease of use and impressive bulk.

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