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Which bicycle locks will really keep your bike (or bike parts) from being stolen?

Not all bike locks are created equal. Heavy duty U-Locks and chain locks are bike locks, U-Lock and Cablemore secure than cable locks but it's not just the bicycle lock that matters. If you avoid bringing your lock with you because it weights 20 pounds or have a good lock but don't use it properly there is still a good chance that your bike, your accessories or parts of your bike will be stolen.

Below are some good online sources for high quality bike locks and some helpful information on the bike security and the different types of locks and the level of security that they provide.

Recommended Online Bicycle Lock Sources

See Bicycle Locks at Performance for a good selection of combination cable locks, U-Locks, cables and chain locks.

See Bike Locks for a great selection of bike security systems including U-Locks, Chain Locks and cable locks.

Check out Bike Locks at REI for plenty of of Bicycle Locks and Security items.

Bicycle Security and Types of Bike Locks

General Bike Security

There is going to be a trade off between convenience and bike security.

If you leave your bike in a bad location and someone really wants to steal your bike (or the parts or accessories) and they know what they are doing it's going to be difficult to stop them. Fortunately, in most cases all you really need to do is to detour a would be thief or keep honest people honest.

If you are going to leave your bike out in a high risk location, for a long period of time then you already know that you need to get the best locks, chains, cables, etc. or just downgrade to a cheap (beater) bike. You don't usually see expensive high end racing bikes locked up at the commuter train station all day long.

It is better to keep a mid range cable lock, for example, handy and use it when you leave your bike in lower risk areas for a short period of time then to have the best locks and chains at home but not keep them with you on every ride because they are so heavy or otherwise inconvenient.

So first of all, use common sense in all situations and have a lock with you that you will use when you need it.

Next, be sure to lock your bike properly and to take all removable items with you. for example:

  • Always lock your bike (and the removable front wheel) to a fixed object (do not just lock the bike to itself.
  • If you have a bike computer, take it off when you leave your bike unattended.
  • Remove your bike bags and packs if you leave your bike unattended. I always keep my water bottle with me too if I'm not comfortable with leaving it on the bike (so it's not tampered with).
  • Keep in mind that today's bikes have a lot of easily removable parts (wheels, seats, pedal clips, etc.) so if you are not comfortable leaving your bike for the amount of time that you'll be gone, just don't do it.

Types of Bike Locks and Level of Security

  • For the highest level of security use heavy duty chains and/or U-Locks. In some cases you may want to use more than one lock, chain or cable.
  • For a high level of security but more convenience use a bike U-Lock. You can get U-Locks that are not that heavy and they are easy bring with you or keep locked on the frame of your bike.
  • For the most convenience and fair security get a cable lock. The combination models are the most convenient (you don't have to keep track of the keys).

Help keep people honest. If you are going to leave your bike somewhere, you have to have some good bicycle locks. About-Bicycles has researched and selected the best online resources for bicycle locks to help you find the right bicycle locks online fast, easy and at great prices.

As with most other things, I like to keep this simple. Your choice of bicycle locks is going to be a personal preference based partially on the expense of your bike, where you live and ride and your own comfort level. You may want to keep a couple of bike locks on hand for different riding destinations (security needs).