All about the best road bike locks
How can I secure my road bike?
Everything you need to know about road bike locks
A bicycle lock is not a one hundred percent effective anti-theft device - unfortunately, there are quite a few criminals out there who have the ambition, the time and the necessary tools to crack even robust bicycle locks. Nevertheless, a good bike lock is a considerable obstacle for thieves and indispensable if you want to keep your racing bike safe in your absence. It ensures that you can leave your racing bike out of sight in between times with a clear conscience.
- How can I lock my road bike?
- The most popular bicycle locks in comparison
- How can I additionally secure my road bike?
- Conclusion: A good bicycle lock is an absolute must!
How can I lock my road bike?
Road bike locks come in different designs, all of which have their advantages. We show you the most common types of road bike locks.
Folding lock: Bike locks with folding technology are folded in and out like a folding rule and are therefore easy to transport. The design with many rigid links makes it difficult for thieves to strike with bolt cutters.
Chain lock: Chain locks consist of a metal chain and are the most stable type of racing bike lock. They are difficult to cut open with bolt cutters, the favourite tool of bike thieves looking for speed and efficiency. But the high level of security provided by the robust chain also comes with a lot of weight. A chain lock can usually only be carried in a rucksack or bicycle basket.
U-lock: A bicycle lock made of metal shackles is particularly robust and therefore difficult to break open. However, due to the material and construction, it is also very stiff. This makes it difficult to lock your bike to a bicycle stand or a lamppost.
Cable lock: A cable lock is much more flexible, as it can be stretched very far. This allows you to lock your road bike even from "uncomfortable" positions. It can also be used to lock several bikes together.
In addition to differences in the type of materials and construction, a distinction is also made between the type of lock.
Bicycle lock with key: This is the most common and classic variant. You don't have to remember a numerical code, but you do have to make sure that you don't lose the bike key. The best thing to do is to attach it to your key ring.
Combination lock: To lock and unlock the bicycle lock, you have to enter a numerical code that you should remember. Since it is very unlikely that a random thief will have personal information about you, you can safely choose a combination of numbers that has a personal meaning for you. Only a very obvious combination like your date of birth or "1234" should be avoided, as thieves can easily guess them. After entering the code, make sure to set a different sequence of numbers again.
Bike thieves rarely tamper with the lock when they want to steal a road bike. Instead, they simply cut the bike lock when it is stolen, usually with bolt cutters. A good bicycle lock should therefore first and foremost be stable. Comfortable handling or a light weight are also important, but secondary. A model made of hardened steel makes it particularly difficult for thieves. When it comes to comfort, you should make sure that the racing bike lock, whether it is a folding lock, cable lock or another variant, is sufficiently long.
In addition to the bike lock, you can get a holder or a special bag to transport it comfortably without a backpack.
Tip: Lock your road bike with the bike lock on the frame or on one of the wheels. Under no circumstances should you attach the bike lock under the saddle, as the saddle can easily be dismantled and the lock removed.
Folding lock: Chain lock:
U-lock: Cable lock:
The most popular bicycle locks in comparison
There is a wide range of bicycle locks to choose from, both in terms of shape and material as well as manufacturer. However, the purchase should not be made lightly, after all, the bicycle lock should adequately protect your valuable racing bike, mountain bike or e-bike. A detailed test report, for example from Stiftung Warentest, can help you decide on a bicycle lock. Three aspects are important when evaluating bicycle locks: security, price and weight or handling. We give you a brief overview of the test winners in the categories tested by Stiftung Warentest.
Best U-lock: The test winner here is the Abus Granit Plus 640 model.
Best folding lock: In this category, the Kryptonite Kryptolok 685 is the most convincing.
Best chain lock: The best bike lock here is the Axa Newton Promoto+ 4 100/10.5.
There are also many other brands that offer consistently high quality. When choosing, it always depends on which features are particularly important to you.
Abus Granit Plus 640: Kryptonite Kryptolok 685: Axa Newton Promoto+ 4 100/10,5:
An Abus folding lock is always convincing. The Abus Bordo Granit X Plus is a particularly secure lock and has the highest security level within the Bordo range. Trelock folding locks and Trelock chain locks made of hardened steel also offer a high level of security.
A particularly lightweight bike lock is the Bordo Lite. The Abus Key Combo is also a lightweight and easy-to-handle cable lock that can be opened and closed with both a key and a numerical code. So you are always on the safe side. A nice extra is the Abus Combiflex. The light, small and compact lock can be easily stowed in any bag. With the retractable cable, you can also secure your cycle helmet or rucksack when you're away for a while. Hiplok bike locks are also designed to be lightweight, for example the ultra-thin Hiplok cable tie locks. The Hiplok chain locks are also particularly light and are designed so that you can wear them on your body.
The prices for a road bike lock vary greatly and depend more on the type of lock and less on the brand. You can get a simple cable lock for less than 10 euros, but a particularly robust chain lock can cost over 100 euros.
You can find bicycle locks at your nearest bicycle or sports shop, directly on the manufacturer's website or on Amazon and other platforms.
How can I additionally secure my road bike?
With a bike lock you can prevent your beloved road bike from being stolen. However, you should not regard it as the ultimate protection against theft. Even with a secure lock, a thief can still manage to cut or break open the lock. Therefore, it is advisable to take additional precautions to protect your road bike from theft. You have these options:
1. park your road bike at home if possible.
If you ride your bike to work or to the shops, or if you stop for a snack during a road bike tour, you usually have no choice but to park it outside. At home, however, you should refrain from leaving your racing bike outside if there is another option. The garage or cellar is the best place to store your racing bike. If none of these are available to you and you have enough space, you can also store your racing bike in your flat or on your balcony.
If you store your racing bike in a safe place at home, you will not only protect it from theft, but also from damage due to weather conditions. Even if you live in a block of flats and have to use the general bicycle racks, it can happen that other cyclists push your racing bike roughly to the side or bang their bike against yours, causing scratches and other damage. Apart from that, criminal parts collectors have plenty of time to dismantle your saddle or the wheels of your bike. If you take your racing bike with you to your flat, garage or cellar, you are playing it safe in every respect.
2. Take out insurance
Since your racing bike can be stolen despite a bicycle lock, you should take precautions and take out appropriate insurance. You can insure your racing bike either through a household insurance or a special bicycle insurance. The simplest type of insurance cover is theft protection. Some insurance packages cover additional benefits such as compensation for vandalism or pay if your bike is damaged in an accident. Think in detail beforehand about how you want to protect your road bike with insurance and which additional offers you can do without. In any case, the insurance cover should also include the theft of components of your bike, be it the saddle, the front wheel or the battery of your e-bike.
The prices for bicycle insurance vary greatly and depend on the provider and the scope of services used. Bicycle insurance providers include ADAC, GVO, hepster and Barmenia.
3. double is better
This also applies to racing bike locks. If a thief has to break into two bicycle locks at once, he is more likely to forego the theft due to time constraints. In addition, many bicycle thieves specialize in one type of lock. If you are already trained to use bolt cutters or to pick a U-lock, you will probably still fail with a folding lock. A good racing bike lock is not that expensive, so you can buy two locks without hesitation.
4. park your bike in a visible place
If you park your racing bike in a dark, remote corner, this is particularly inviting for thieves. So, logically, if you have a bike, park it at a public bike stand and, if there isn't one, in a place that is easily visible to passers-by (for example, under a street light). This reduces the likelihood that a thief will take his time to cut open the bike lock or dismantle your racing bike into its component parts.
5. Use GPS
If your bike has been stolen, a GPS tracker can be a great help. The tracker alerts you in case of theft and records the position of your bike so that you or better still the police can search for it. The GPS tracker is mounted in an inconspicuous place on the bike, for example on the rear lights, on the bottle cage or on another bracket.
Apart from this, the use of GPS also has disadvantages: If you like to share your road bike tours with others and use a GPS tracker for this purpose, you should bear in mind that you are also giving potential thieves the location of your road bike. So make sure you have enough privacy.
Conclusion: A good bicycle lock is an absolute must!
Bike locks don't cost much, but they are effective protection against theft and simply indispensable if you don't want to lose your racing bike to a thief. There is a wide range of bicycle locks, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. With our overview, you now have an idea of which models are available, which brands and models are particularly good and how you can protect your road bike from theft. This way, your road bike stays with you - at least until you want to sell it and get a new bike at buycycle.
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