Best Lightweight Bike Locks Buying Advice – What to Consider
Now that you have the bike of your dreams, it makes sense to buy the best lightweight bike lock to prevent it from being stolen. Yes, bike theft is still common in the country and it is advisable to keep yours as secure as you possibly can. For this reason, a good bike lock is the first accessory many bike owners today buy after purchasing their preferred bikes.
While there are numerous lightweight bike lock options in the market today, not all are good. So, how can you tell which of the locks is the best? Discussed below are some of the considerations you should make while shopping for the right lightweight bike lock today.
Type of Lock Design
Based on their design and locking mechanism, lightweight bike locks may be grouped into 4 broad categories. The locks in each of these categories depict distinct features. As you can imagine, each of the bike lock types has its own set of pros and cons as illustrated below:
In most cases, these comprise of a chain with a padlock or lock and are used to secure the bike against immovable objects. The steel chain is often covered using plastic or rubber to prevent damage to your bike. Basically, bike lock chains are considered to be very flexible, easy to use and robust. In this regard, they are ideal for medium to high risk bike parking areas.
As compared to chain locks, D locks are comparatively more robust, hence more resistant to lock cutting tools. With regards to the design, these locks feature two main parts: a U-shaped steel bar and a lockable cross bar. Again, this type of lock also secures the bike against immovable objects. While D locks are robust and reliable, they are heavy to carry around.
These are some of the most flexible and lightest bike locks today. However, they are not as robust as the options discussed above. This is to say that cable locks are comparatively easy to cut and should only be used in low risk bike parking areas.
Lightweight bike locks under this category comprise of a series of plates that are riveted together. As such, the plates can rotate and may be folded out to form a stiff shape and folded in into a more compact form. The various folding locks offer similar security levels to U-Locks, but are relatively lighter. Folding locks are also longer and more flexible than most other types of bike locks.
Desired Level of Security
How safe is the place you mostly park your bike? When it comes to bike theft, some places are known to be more predisposed than others. As such, you need to consider how likely it is for the bike to be stolen, if you leave it where you intend to. This will help you understand how risky the place is; hence get the right lightweight bike lock for your mountain bike.
If you regularly leave your bike in the high crime rate regions, you should get a high security bike lock.
>> In such a case, you should consider buying such locks as the folding locks, chain locks and locks. If the place is rather busy and considerably secure, you may opt for a chain lock—which offers less security.
However, you will need to know how secure your preferred lock is before making this decision, right?
Thanks to Sold Secure—a non-profit organization that tests and gives a security rating to bike locks—it is now easy to tell how secure a lightweight bike lock is. According to this organization, the various bike locks available today may be categorized into three main security ratings, as discussed below:
- Silver – the bike locks that are rated silver by this organization can withstand vandalism done using enhanced tools. However, you should not buy a silver rated bike lock if your bike is worth more than $1,000.
- Bronze – Bronze rated bike locks can only withstand attacks carried out using basic tools. As such, they are only ideal for the low-risk areas or cheaper bikes.
- Gold – These are most secure lightweight bike locks available today. They can withstand vandalism attempts carried out using a complete set of tools.
Finally, you need to consider how heavy your preferred bike lock is while shopping for the best option. Since you will be carrying the lock around with you everywhere, it is advisable to buy one that is comparatively lightweight.
Additionally, you may need to get a mounting bracket as well. This makes it easier to carry the lock with you everywhere you go.