The last thing you want to happen to your bike, whether it's your pride and joy or your mode of transport, is for someone to steal it. Although reported crime figures for bicycle thefts in England and Wales have been coming down in recent years, it is never safe to get complacent, and it is arguably due to improved security measures that these figures have come down. There isn't really a "best bike lock" as it depends on what situation you're wanting to use it in, but the below guide will aim to advise you how to lock a bike securely and to go through a few of the different types of bike lock available and when is best to use them.
A café lock is intended to be used as a deterrent for opportunist thieves while making a quick coffee stop. They are never really intended to be a totally secure way of stopping your bike being stolen, and it is advised that you still maintain eye contact at all times when leaving your bike unattended with a café lock as its sole theft-prevention method. The upside of this kind of lock is that they are lightweight and compact enough to fit easily in a jersey or jacket pocket, and this example from Hiplok also comes with a clip to fasten the lock to your trousers or belt when doing more leisure orientated riding. They commonly use a combination lock rather than relying on keys so that you don't need to worry about carrying keys separately.
A more secure, yet still easily portable method of securing your bike is to use a D Lock. These locks are named after their "D" shape and are sometimes referred to as "U" locks instead for a similar reason. These locks tend to be a bit chunkier than the likes of a café lock, and so some of them come equipped with a bracket to mount the lock to the bike frame.
Most D locks for bikes are made from a very strong material, such as hardened Steel. This makes them ideal for securing your bike when you need to leave it somewhere in a town or outside a workplace. They are usually operated with a special key, rather than a combination lock.
Bike chain locks are more suited to home security due to their weight and cumbersome form that makes it difficult to transport easily without the use of a bag or backpack. Most chain locks have a very tough, durable construction that is designed to withstand attacks from power tools such as drills or grinders. Although they may not be completely impenetrable, a good quality bike chain lock will certainly slow a would-be thief down considerably and will likely need them to make a lot of noise to remove it. Unless your bike is locked up in a particularly isolated location, this is usually enough to persuade most thieves to reconsider helping themselves to your bike. The links of these locks are often wrapped in a tough fabric sheath to prevent scratching of the bike frame.
The ultimate in home security are the ground and wall anchors. These incredibly tough and durable products provide an incredibly secure way to chain your bike directly to the wall or floor so that it can't be easily removed from the location it is secured in. These are ideal where the only form of storage at your disposal is a garage or garden shed, and often insurance companies will ask for these to be installed if you don't store your bike in the house. Using one of these in conjunction with a reputable, quality lock such as a Kryptonite bike lock is one of the safest ways to secure your bike.
So how should you lock your bike up? Always make sure that the lock is around something that is secure and has a closed loop I.E. don't use a bollard or cone as the lock can just be slipped over the top!
When using a café lock, you should always make sure you maintain eye contact with your bike as they are really just to be used as a deterrent. If you are using a D lock, try to put the lock through your bike frame and rear wheel, although this does leave the front wheel vulnerable to being stolen. If you wanted to make sure both wheels and the frame is secure, you may want to use more than one D lock. This is where chain locks are really beneficial as they are usually long enough to go through both wheels and the frame, to lock your bike to something very secure. View our range of locks including sold secure gold bike locks on the website or in store.
If you have any further questions, please get in touch and we'll be happy to help.