If you are a bike owner, how did you choose your lock? Security? Convenience? Affordability?
These are all important criteria to help guide the decision and thankfully, there are many different types of bicycle locks that will fit the needs of any rider.
As the name suggests, U-locks have curved, steel frames with a detachable base that contains the locking mechanism. Due to their size and shape, U-locks are designed to prevent against break in or theft using a hammer, chisel, or crow bar.
To improve the ease of use, many manufacturers make U-locks in multiple sizes to fit the needs of any rider. Smaller U-locks fit offer convenient storage possibilities while larger models make it easier to fit your lock are railings or street signs. While U-locks can be found at different price point, these options will usually be more costly than other alternatives. However, the extra security and convenience of these systems more than make up for the added cost to many rider.
These systems involve a keypad or rotating lock with either end attached to a durable cable. The separate parts of the lock are then wrapped around the bike and secured to something before being latched together. Convenience is one of the primary benefits of cable locks. They easily stretch around anything you would ever want to attach a bike to and the keypad entry makes locking and unlocking a breeze.
Unfortunately, one of the downsides of this ease of use is lower protection against would be thieves. These locks are highly vulnerable to bolt cutters or even saws due to the size of the cable, although different models are sturdier than others. The price of these systems is often more reasonable than other systems, compensating for the reduced security, and they are often utilized in combination with other U-locks or other varieties in order to improve the performance of both.
Offering much of the convenience of cable locks, chains are great for high crime areas as they are studier than other alternatives. Specially designed and reinforced chains are designed to repel saws, chisels, or hammers. Most chains are able to accommodate standard padlocks although some will require specialty equipment.
The primary downside comes from the size and weight of chain locks. They are bulky and heavy, making them cumbersome to get around town. Additionally, the cost of more advanced or durable systems, along with the necessary padlock, can rival U-locks.