All about our bicycle locks
Buyer's Guide | Bicycle locks
Bicycle locks exsist in a million shapes, colors and features. It can be very hard to work out what a good lock is for you and your bike. Nobody wants their bike to get stolen so: Safety first! Safety often means heavy and unpractical, it is up to every individual to find the right balance between safety and convenience. This buyer's guide will help you to get an overview of the different types of locks, their pros & cons and how safe each lock is. After reading this buyer's guide you will be able to pick a lock that works for you.
As said before; Safety first! so lets start with the safety of your lock. All BBB Cycling locks, regardless of their shape, size or featureshave a security level so that you can estimate how safe a lock is. If your bike is outside for a long time (for example overnight) a thief would have a long time to cut, saw, break or smash your lock. This means that a high security level is needed to make sure he wouldn't even try!
If you leave your bike only just out of sight for a few minutes while you pick up a coffee, a lower security level can be sufficient, as you are back before a thief can try to break through the lock. Although a lock with a lower security level is often lighter and easier to take with you on your ride, it is also less safe over a long period of time. It is important to determine what you are going to use your lock for; Quick security and convenience, or bomb-proof, long-period safety. Below we have given you an indication of our different security levels so that you can decide what works best for you.
Level 1 - 3
These locks are suitable for locking your bike for a short period of time. They are able to protect your bike against opportunistic thieves. Locks with this security level can also be used as a secondary lock or to lock accessories to your bike, like your helmet or a bag.
Level 4 - 6
Locks with this security level are suitable for areas with a low to average theft risk. These locks are also suitable for bikes in the low price segment or as a lightweight secondary lock.
Level 7 - 9
These locks are suitable for long periods of locking in an average theft risk area. For even better protection these locks can be used as a secondary high-security lock.
Lock mechanism types
You can devide locks into two categories; locks with a key, and locks with a numerical code (combination lock). Both types have their own pros and cons. Key locks are often slightly safer, as combination locks have a limited amount of combinations and the code can be cracked.
But don't set aside the combination locks just yet! Combination locks are not necessarily unsafe. What's more many combination locks can be safer than key locks, depending on the other components of the lock. At BBB Cycling we only go for the highest quality in all price ranges, and there is never the risk of forgetting your keys. Also handy for children. The choice is up to you. Our advice is to always look at the security level.
Different types of locks
As mentioned earlier, there are many differenct types of locks. All with their own pros and cons. Below we will discuss a few different lock types and how they are best used.
Cable locks are (together with Chain locks) probably the most popular and well-known locks. Cable locks are strong, flexible and often can be wrapped up in a small package. Our cable locks are available with key locks as well as combination locks; in many different sizes and in higher and lower security levels. The good thing about cable locks is that they are really hard to crack. Trying to cut a cable is very difficult as you basically have to cut every little wire of the cable individually, that would take a lot of time which thieves don't have. Additionally cable locks are relatively light and easy to take with you. All these features make cable locks so popular.
Inaddition to their impressive looks, chain locks are well-known for their weight and chunkiness. These types of locks are very hard to cut or grind but still flexible and easy to wrap around your bike. Their weight can be a bit unpractical, but the good thing about chain locks is that you can often wrap them around your seatpost while riding so it won't bother you at all.
D-locks are the well-known classic D-shaped locks. They are heavy duty locks that are generally very high security locks. Safety is their thing, but they are often also heavy and less convenient to carry with you. D-locks are not flexible which make them perfect for securing your bike, but not very suitable to secure your frame together with your wheels for example. If you use multiple locks to secure your bike, a D-lock is definitely a good start to attach the other locks too.
Folding locks are quite new and are great for high security locking of your bike. These locks consist of extremely strong plates of hardened steel that can be folded up if not in use. The plates are covered in a rubber coating to prevent scratches on your bike frame. Additionally the special hinges between the plates are also extremely tough. Because of the folding mechanism they are quite easy to carry with you and even attach to your bike while riding.
In addition to our range of big locks we also have great solutions for cyclists looking to grab a quick coffee on the way and need to parktheir bike just out of sight to run inside. These small locks are not safe for a long period, but are enough to make sure a thief can't just grab and run. Small locks are super convenient to just leave in your pocket or saddlebag untill you need it one day. It doesn't seem like much, but it can definitely save your bike and your day!
When locking your bicycle, think about the parts of your bike that a thief would steal, even without the bike itself. Wheels, bike computers, lights, and even saddles can be stolen off your bike while the bike itself is locked. Take all accessories off your bike before you walk away, and make sure your wheels are difficult to disconnect or lock them to your frame to avoid stealing.
Make sure your lock is visible, this will scare thieves even before they think about stealing your bike. Even though we don't want any bike to be stolen, a thief will probably look for a better opportunity if he sees that your bike has a decent lock.
Use different locks at the same time. Maybe it sounds like a bit of an overkill, but if you want to secure your bicycle properly, the use of multiple locks is definitely a good thing. Use for example a D-lock to secure your frame and wrap a cable lock around your wheels, through the D-lock, and around a pole/tree. This way nobody will be able to steal your bike as a whole, or the separate parts of your bike. Especially at night, a combination of locks makes sure you can happily ride your bike the next morning.