How to Choose a Bike Lock?

Black bicycle attached with a bike lock to a post

Keeping your bike safe from theft can be a frustrating endeavor, as there is no one size fits all solution for bike locks. No lock can stop a determined thief, but the right combination of features will make a lock more difficult to break. Determining what type of lock to buy and which features to look for depends on where you live and how often you’re locking up your bike. Here are some things you can do and look for when you need to choose a bike lock.

What type of bike lock to choose?

Look for a U-lock or chain lock with a hard-to-pick cylinder, which comes in keyed or combination locks. Harder to pick locks are more secure, though you will pay more upfront for them. The best way to protect your bike is by using both a U-lock and a cable to secure both wheels and the frame of your bike.

Which materials make the best bike locks?

Hardened steel is much stronger than stainless steel, but it’s also more expensive and difficult to saw. If you’re looking for a lock that won’t break, hardened steel is the way to go. The hardened steel locks are difficult to cut through with hand tools like bolt cutters and hacksaws (though power tools will still get the job done), which means thieves may resort to other methods instead.

Hardened steel is ideal if you’re locking up your bike outside of your home or office where it might be vulnerable at any time—a city street or busy parking lot, for example—or if you want additional peace of mind in case someone tries breaking into your bike’s cables with bolt cutters.

Find the right balance

When you decide to choose a bike lock, the balance is the key (hah, get it?) 

You don’t want to go overboard and pay for your lock more than your bike is worth. Especially if you can avoid the whole situation by giving your garage a makeover in order to fit your two-wheeler in there.

You should use a strong lock that is heavy and large enough to secure both your frame and wheels. Ideally, you want to use two locks if you can, or one that is long enough to secure your bike frame and both wheels. The most important thing is to make sure that it’s easy for you to carry around wherever you go. This means that it needs to be manageable in size (not bulky), easy to use, and not too heavy—if it’s hard work carrying around the lock all day while riding your bike, then it won’t be very useful!

You can also look for a lock that has more than one security feature, such as a “double deadbolt” design. This is another good idea because it adds an extra layer of protection. A double deadbolt design has two parts: the bike lock body and its shackle. The shackle moves freely in its groove until you turn the key to release it from its housing, at which point it springs out with enough force to trigger any potential thief’s alarm bells.

What if you lose the keys to your bike lock?

If you lose the keys to your bike lock, you can get a locksmith to open it for you. There is an exceptional locksmith in Mississauga if your biking adventures lead you there.

If your lock has a combination dial, as most U-locks and cable locks do, then it’s possible that someone who knows how to use a torque wrench could pick the lock with brute force. However, this is unlikely because most people don’t carry around torque wrenches when they go biking. And even if someone did have one in their backpack (or in their pocket), professional thieves would probably rather break into an unlocked car than try to break into your bike lock.

If there are no nearby bike shops or hardware stores that sell replacement keys for your particular brand of lock (which may be possible but unlikely), then there’s only one option left: take it back where you bought it and buy another one!


Well, there you have it. You now know all about how to choose a bike lock that’s right for you and your ride. We’ve covered the different types of locks, ways to use them, and even what to do if you lose your keys. Now get out there and go on some rides!

Related: Difference between an Auto Locksmith and a Traditional Locksmith