Bicycle Locks: Expert and User Reviews

In this report

Bike Locks: Ratings of Sources

1. The Best Bike Lock Review, Rylee Sweeney and Ross Robinson, May 20, 2014
Credibility: conducts extensive research on seven bike locks, including tests with common bike-thief techniques and tools as well as a professional locksmith. The resulting reviews also consider ease of use, portability and versatility, ultimately rating each lock on a 100-point scale. Reviews and ratings are comparative, and a chart of important information helps prospective buyers compare information at a glance.
2. The Best Bike Lock, Eric Hansen, Nov. 19, 2015
Hansen puts 12 of the best-reviewed locks out there to the test, including giving them to three bike thieves to see whether they would hold up to real-world theft techniques. Though security is a big factor in the ultimate recommendations, picks also take into account ease of use, portability and value.
3. The Best Bike Lock, Mario Aguilar, June 28, 2012
Credibility: tests four popular bike locks against a bolt cutter, hacksaw and angle grinder. Aguilar describes each lock, including how well it holds up to each theft test plus a ranking out of 5 stars. The OnGuard Pitbull STD performs best, but is still easily broken by the angle grinder.
4. Smash Lab: Bike Locks Broken, David Howard, Oct. 25, 2013
Credibility: commissions a bike mechanic to see how easy it is to crack chain locks, U-locks and cables, though it's not clear which were initially tested. After the tests, the site crowns a top U-lock and chain lock, but does not recommend any cable lock since none performs better than the competition.
5. Reviews: Locks, Editors of, Not Dated
Credibility: doesn't include comparative reviews in its extensive database, but these write-ups are valuable nonetheless. Although many bike locks discussed at this U.K. website aren't available in the U.S., each model is tested with various tools and assigned a rating out of 5 stars. Cycling Plus is a contributor to
6. Bike Locks, Contributors to, As of June 2016
Credibility: includes hundreds of owner reviews of bike locks, making this a good place to find out how specific models hold up to real-world use. Many reviews are quite thorough, and reviewers often update their initial reviews after owning a lock long term. The brands Kryptonite and OnGuard consistently receive high ratings here.
7. Popular Mechanics Abusive Lab Test: Brawny Bike Locks, Steve Rousseau, Feb. 28, 2013
Testers subject three popular U-locks to a variety of common theft techniques: Freeze and hammer, a bottle jack, and an angle grinder. All of the locks eventually gave way to the latter test, but it took a varying amount of effort. The short write-ups don't address ease of use, portability or other factors.
8. 5 Good, Unbreakable Bike Locks for 2016: Lightweight Options and Tips, Will Henry, July 8, 2014
This recently updated list includes five picks pitched for a variety of buyers, including those who want the strongest bike lock available and riders who might want something a bit more lightweight. Write-ups are detailed and appear to be based on real-world usage, though don't involve any systematic testing. A buying guide and bike security tips are also included.
9. Chain Gang: The 5 Best Bike Locks, M.W. Byrne, Not Dated
Despite the name, this article actually reviews six bike locks at a variety of price points. The article is comparative and notes pros and cons. It also references real-world tests on each model, but it's unclear who conducted them. It specifically warns against any kind of cable lock, calling them a waste of money.
10. Lockdown: 10 Solutions for Securing Your Bike, Jeremy Berger, Not Dated
This roundup names the best locks in a variety of categories: best U-lock, best lock accessory, best folding lock, funkiest lock, and so on. The short blurbs are informative, but they aren't comparative and don't note cons for each choice. It also doesn't appear that any first-handing testing was conducted.
11. Avoiding the Bicycle Thief, Scott Elder, April 18, 2006
This older article includes in-depth testing and comparisons of locks that are still available and continue to get top ratings in reviews. A bike commuter himself, Elder goes after nine locks with a crowbar, bolt cutters, a hacksaw with extra blades and "my trusty claw hammer." He tests chains, cables and U-locks, rating each on strength, ease of use and value.
12. Bike Locks and Security, Contributors to, As of June 2016
Credibility: allows customers to rate products on a five-star scale, detail their experience and state whether they would recommend the product. The bike locks available here are mostly higher-end and don't get as much feedback as they do on Amazon, but Kryptonite and OnGuard locks still net a number of reviews.
13. Bike Locks, Contributors to, As of June 2016
Credibility: is an online specialty shop for bikes and all things bike-related. Again, there aren't as many reviews here as there are at Amazon, and the ones that are present aren't as informative. Still, the reviews include informative pros and cons, focusing mostly on offerings from Kryptonite and OnGuard.
Elsewhere in This Report