Bike locks have come a long way from simple lock and key security chains. Take Lock8 for example, it works with your smartphone to ditch the key completely, letting you unlock it with a swipe from the companion app. GPS is also on-board, so you can track your bikes position and sensors alert when something just isn't quite right.
€249 | Lock8
BitLock takes the idea of a smart lock even further, ditching both the key and the need to open an app to unlock your bike. Proximity sensors built-in to the lock detect when you’re close and it’ll automatically pop open. But what if your phone dies? Well, when you first register the BitLock you can generate a random 16-digit code that’ll open up the lock whenever you need it.
$119 (Pre-Order) | BitLock
Boasting Bluetooth 4.0, LoopLock is another smart lock that uses a companion app on your phone to replace the age-old key. You can either set the the lock to unlock when you approach, a bit like the BitLock, or with a simple swipe in the app. It’s constructed from stainless steel, features a steel bolt that slips through your wheel and a solar panel that prevents it from ever running out of battery.
£TBC | Get Loop Lock
It might just look like a typical U-lock, but the Skylock is a lot more than that. Apart from the Bluetooth LE tech that we’ve seen in a few other smart locks, there’s a solar panel on top to ensure it never runs out of battery. The companion app will also let you know if there’s unannounced activity, like someone tampering.
$159 | Skylock
One of the biggest gripes cyclists have with securing their bikes is the ability to carry the lock from point to point. The really strong stuff tends to be big, heavy and awkwardly shaped, meaning less secure locks tend to be the only option. The Hiplock V1.50 is probably the best solution to this problem to date. It can be worn as a belt, allowing you to comfortably take it anywhere, but the 8mm hardened steel chain still provides good protection against attacks. The Hiplock comes in a variety of colours, including reflective versions for extra low light visibility while riding.
Pinhead 2 Pack Lock Set
To protect your wheels from being stolen whilst your bike is locked by the frame, you can buy a lengthy cable lock, or alternative you can save carrying that around with you at all times and fit these little beauties from Pinhead instead. Locking skewers simply replace your presently installed vulnerable ones, meaning you need a special key to unlock them. Simple, but brilliant. Pinhead even sells a locking headset and seat post clamp, preventing your pricey handlebars and seat post/saddle from being swiped.
Master Lock Cuff Lock
Resembling something you might expect if you were the one trying to steal a bike, or the kind of party you probably shouldn't talk about, the Master Lock Cuff Lock is actually cleverer than it looks. In the closed position, these cuffs can be easily slipped into a pocket, but when it comes to locking up, they fold out to a lengthy 12 inches, allowing you the room to get your bike anchored down. The really smart bit, however, is the little pivot link in the middle. This small section makes it incredibly tricky to use leverage to break the lock, while the hardened steel cuffs easily resist cutting.
Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini
D-locks (or U-locks, as some prefer to call them) are well-known for being one of the toughest type of locks out there, and easier to carry than an equivalent chain lock. Kryptonite’s New York d-locks were created to withstand bike theft in the Big Apple, and the Fahgettaboudit is the crème de la crème, with an 18mm hardened loop that can withstand even bolt cutters. It has a double-deadbolt, and this Mini version is small enough to allow you to take maximum security with you wherever you go.
Perfect for pit stops at cafes, or anywhere where speed and portability are of the essence, the Knog Milkman is the idea locking companion. What it lacks in total security, it makes up for in the ability to easily carry in a back pocket, while locking up is a simple affair – just pull the retractable steel cable out of its plastic shroud and snap it into the built in lock. The Milkman also comes in some seriously funky colours, including lurid lime green and white.
A cycle lock must be strong, and for that reason steel is really the only viable option when it comes to choosing materials. But steel is heavy, and inflexible. The Tiger lock is a revolution in locking technology, then, as it's constructed from one of the finest and most expensive metal alloys in the business – titanium. Titanium is incredibly light, as well as strong and flexible, meaning it's possible to design a lock that's a little bit different to the norm. The result is this unorthodox design you see - a bow-shaped object that is long enough to secure both frame and wheels, as well as thin and flexible, so it can be flattened and attached to the top tube when not in use.
Abus Bordo Granit X Plus 6500
This clever theft deterrent from the German lock experts Abus offers many advantages over other locks on the market today, such as the ease of attachment to your bike; the added strength of straight steel bars, like a D-lock; and the added benefit of being able to easily stow it away in your pocket when not needed, thanks to the folding link construction which allows you to pack it right down.
Kryptonite KryptoFlex Double Loop Cable 710
Securing your frame with an unbreakable lock is all well and good, but what if the thieving scum decide to take your precious wheels instead? Well, if you've got quick release rims then it's an easy win, and annoyingly inconvenient for you. So, double up your defences and anchor down your wheels at the same time - this Kryptonite KryptoFlex is long enough to look through your main lock and both wheels, and although not as resistant to attacks as something like a D-lock, the 10mm hardened chain will still withstand any amateur-hour action. A cheap and effective upgrade to your main lock.
Put simply, this is one of the toughest locks you can buy today. Designed more with motorbikes in mind, this huge beast of a chain is clearly not designed to be carried around with you, unless slipped discs are your thing, but what it does offer is incredible peace of mind when you want to anchor your bike to a stationary object for a period of time. The burly 16mm CroMo hardened steel chain and shackle doesn't take kindly to sledge hammers, saws, drills or bolt cutters, with a rated attack test time of five minutes. That might not sound like much, but in reality it's a dangerously long time for a professional thief to be smashing away at your lock to not get noticed.
Fronting Knog’s range of style-conscious locks is this beefy unit: the Strongman. As its name suggests, this lock is designed with maximum security in mind, with a robust 13mm hardened shackle wrapped in silicone, for both protection against thieves and scratches on your bike’s paint. The Strongman is designed to withstand leverage attacks, thanks to its one-piece design, and has a double-locking mechanism. Like the rest of Knog’s locks, the Strongman looks the part and due to its small size can be easily carried with you at all times, with the option to attach to your frame with a colour-coordinated mount.