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How to Choose the Right Bicycle Lock

best combination padlock

No matter where you live or where you leave your bike, there’s always a chance that your bike could be stolen. Unfortunately, bike theft is a widespread thing in big cities where bike usage is has a common character.

If you use a bike regularly, riding from home to work and back, or doing groceries, you need to leave it for some time on its own. Some companies offer free bike parking, as well as most supermarkets and businesses, own bike parking lots near the entrances.

But someday you will need to leave your bike where there will be no security or video surveillance. In that case, you will need a good and trustworthy bicycle lock to be sure that your bike will remain at place when you will come back.

There’re many types of bicycle locks and to choose the right one especially for you, you need to follow a few simple, but important guidelines:

  • What kind of bike you have;
  • What are the approximate risks that your bike could be stolen and;
  • To which object you will need to strap your bike.

Once you will ask yourself these questions, it will be much easier for you to choose the right bicycle lock because some locks are unsuitable for road bikes or city bikes, some locks cannot be strapped to high fences or low bike parking places. Also, the choice of bicycle locks is quietly limited because they were not required so much as now.

Looks like, our society has turned in the wrong direction because only a few decades ago, there were not so many cyclists who had a bicycle lock. In fact, people mostly had left their bikes outside with no strap.

But now the things had changed and you better make sure that your bike is securely strapped, each time you will dismount and leave it alone. To secure your bike you will need a proper bicycle lock and there are a few main types of them:

Bike U-Lock

 chain bicycle lock

This bicycle lock has the U shape and is considered as the strongest and the toughest among all bicycle lock types. It is made of a whole U-shaped metal string with a combination lock or a keyhole lock.

Although it is nearly impossible to break it with the use of metal clippers, it can be sawn with a bolt cutter or a hacksaw. But the thief will need a lot of time to saw it with the use of these instruments and there’s a tiny chance that a thief will spend forty minutes trying to cut it in half.

Thieves always look for easy prey and they wouldn’t want to be bothered with a strong and solid bicycle lock. So, if you need to secure your bike the best, use a bike U-lock in order to scare hapless thief off your bike.

Bike U-lock has several disadvantages also. It cannot be bent because it is a solid piece of steel, so it is unsuitable for most parking objects. For example, you wouldn’t be able to strap your bike to a tree or a high fence using a bike U-lock.

You will need a special bike parking place or a suitable object such as a low, trustworthy fence to strap your bike with a bike U-shape lock. Also, bike U-locks are short, comparing to other types of bike locks, so in most cases, you will able to strap only the front or the rear wheel.

Bike U-locks are very heavy because they’re made of a whole, thick and dense metal string. Their weight could reach two kilograms. So, if you cycle regularly and over long distances, bike U-lock can significantly aggravate you on your way to your destination point.

Chain Lock

lock styles

The chain lock is the most common type of bike locks. Chain locks are made of a chain and a lock. High-quality chain locks are assembled of cast chain links with a lock on the one end, and the special arrowhead on the other.

Chain locks are as trustworthy as bike U-locks but they’re flexible. You can strap your bike to any object with a chain lock (a tree, a lamppost, a fence, etc.). They are coated with smooth fabric to not scratch your bike. Chain locks are often lighter than bike U-lock but their weight could reach three kilos depending on the length.

Cable Lock

bike lock key

Cable locks are light, flexible and very handy but they have a one, very significant disadvantage – they could be cut by usual wire cutters. They’re made of steel cable, covered with rubber and often feature two types of locks – combination and keyhole locks. Combination locks are more trustworthy than keyhole locks and there’re many bike U-locks and chain locks that feature this locking system

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