Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Bike Lock

An indestructible clasp prevents thieves from stealing your ride.

Bikes chained up on rack
Bike locks come in all shapes and sizes, though some provide more security than others.Unsplash/Josh Bean

More than two million bike thefts occur in North America each year, which averages out to one hoist every 30 seconds. Fortunately, designers and makers of bike locks are trying to decrease that number. If your bike is cheap, just chain your ride to a tree. For people with expensive bikes or anyone else who simply wants to foil a bike thief, new approaches to locking down your bike can safeguard your investment. Consider these features for the most protection.

Bike U Lock with Cable - Via Velo Heavy Duty Bicycle U-Lock,14mm Shackle and 10mm x1.8m Cable with Mounting Bracket For Road Bike Mountain Bike Electric Bike Folding Bike, Great Bike Safety Tool
The low-profile mounting system on this model attaches a U-bolt to the frame for easy transport.Via Velo

The latest bicycle locking systems can safely secure all three of your bike’s primary components—the front tire, frame, and rear tire—with a U-bolt and cable package. The U-bolt design locks the frame and rear tire together, while the cable locks the front tire to the frame or U-bolt. That’s a double dose of protection against theft, and also keeps scofflaws from making off with your front tire.

Kryptonite Evolution 11-14mm U-Lock with FlexFrame-U Bracket
This latch is drill-resistant with double deadbolts that secure both cable loops.Kryptonite

When it comes to keys, the more the better. But it can be difficult, if not impossible, to make spare copies of the specialized and often proprietary keys that come with bicycle locks. Look for packages that include at least two keys so you have a backup in case you misplace the primary.

Kryptonite Keeper 785 Integrated Bicycle Lock Chain Bike Lock, 33.5-Inch, Black
This clasp features a weather-resistant wrap to protect your frame from dings and scratches.Kryptonite

If you don’t feel you need heavy-duty protection, consider a reinforced chain lock. Most have high-security deadbolt designs and are made from super-tough steel. They won’t stop a determined thief, but they are easier to transport and deploy than U-bolt systems.