Commuting to and from work or even just riding for fun and exercise is quickly becoming a more popular option for many Americans so it’s important to make sure that your bicycle stays safe and secure when unattended. There are a lot of different bicycle locks on the market and even different ways to use them so it’s important to be smart about it and make sure your bike won’t get stolen any time soon. Check out some of the pros and cons of different kinds of bike locks and learn about alternative ways to keep your bicycle safe.
Chains This is often considered one of the safest ways to secure your bike but it can be a bit cumbersome and sometimes a hassle to carry around and use. The reason this is an especially safe option is because you can essentially get super thick chains that won’t be broken by anything but an angle grinder. In general chains are not super practical unless you routinely need to lock your bike up in a high crime area. On the plus side chains are cheap. All you need to do is head down to your local hardware store and pick up a chain and a padlock and you’re set. If you do opt for a chain it’s important to get a lock that is just as strong or else it’ll be targeted as the weak point in your bike security. U-Locks This is generally considered to be one of the best options for locking up your bike because it has a nice balance of security and ease of use. Unlike chains a U-lock is not especially unwieldy but still offers a great amount of security because it is a single piece of metal with no specific vulnerabilities. Like a chain, a good U-lock should be unbreakable with anything but an angle grinder. In general the best way to use a U-lock is to attach it between the frame and your front wheel so that neither can be stolen. While it’s smaller and easier than a chain it’s still a little bit more difficult to manage because it’s not pliable like a cable. Cables This is a decent option that excels in its ease of use as well as its small size and light weight. Typically these are considered less safe than a U-lock or chain as they can sometimes be broken by a cable cutter or a chisel or any number of hand tools. Often times cables are used in conjunction with a U-lock to secure other vulnerable parts of your bike like the quick release seat or front wheel. Don’t be too deterred by a cable because often times a good cable is going to be a lot better than a cheap U-lock or a small chain.