Finding the best cheap bike lock for your bike can be fairly easy, but choose the wrong one and you'll soon regret scrimping on it. Just follow a few simple steps and you shouldn't have any problems at all though. The best bike lock for you, might not be for everyone. There's many different factors to determine which bike lock to spend your hard earned money on. Like how much you use it, how often it will spend locked up in public, and how expensive is the bike.
Getting the Best Level of Security for your Budget
The sole job of any bike lock is to stop your bike getting stolen, pretty obvious right? But many people will opt for the cheapest bike lock every time. The one that is the lightest, or a thin cable bike lock. This may be fine for there needs, but not something we'd recommend for expensive bikes that are locked up outside for long periods.
So it's important that you ask yourself some questions before starting your bike lock search.
Do you live in a City, Town or Village? Cities tend to be in the more high risk areas when it comes to bike theft, and then Towns and the less risky area tends to be a village. This is not a hard and fast rule and thefts in Villages do occur, but far less often.
Does you bike attract attention? Flashy looking bikes will natural attract attention of the wrong kind. Full suspension mountain bikes and high end road bikes are just 2 examples of this.
Is you bike unattended outside for more than 1 hour? A bike left unattended for long periods will look like a really attractive steal for an opportunist thief. Not matter how nice the bike is, they will look to get at it if they know it will be there for an hour or longer.
If you've answer yes to 2 out of the 3 questions above then we'd defiantly suggest you look for a lock with a good high level of security. If your answers are no for 2 out of the 3 then you might be able to get away with a less high level of security bike lock.
Now you've decided on the type of strength you want from your bike lock, you'll need to know how to get it. Many of the locks sold at Argos, Halfords and Wiggle will give you the security rating when you click for more information on the locks. As you'll see, the more expensive, the higher the rating. A Kyptonite brand will have a good to high level depending on the model, but these are a high end brand so you'll pay more for this.
Always remember that no bike lock is 100% unbreakable, a better bike lock will just buy you more time. Generally speaking, the thicker the lock, the better it will be. A thief primary way of getting a bike lock of is a good old set of bolt cutters. Anything less than 13mm and a medium size set of bolt cutters will be able to cut through it. Over 16mm and manual bolt cutters will not be able to get in to it. U-shape bike locks can also be cut with cutters. But this is a lot harder and these offer the best protection against bolt cutters. But thief's may use a different approach to these types of locks.
One of the hardest things when looking at the bike lock security rating is all the different brands use a different system. Kryptonite, OnGuard and Abus are hard to compare because of this, so we suggest getting an independent security system from other websites. or you could look at the customer feedback from the companies that sell them. Wiggle, Halfords and Argos all sell tops brands and have great customer feedback on their websites.
So now you're well armed with this info you in a better position to know what you need in terms of security and can set your budget accordingly, next though, you'll need to consider what kind of lock you want.
Cable Bike Lock, Chain Lock or U-Shape Bike Lock
This is a really important choice. You don't want a bike lock that is too heavy for you, or one that massively limits where you are able to lock your bike up. Cable locks are far more versatile, but offer less security. A chain lock can be just as versatile as a cable and as strong as a U-Shape lock, but really heavy too. Decisions, designs.
Many people will outright dismiss a cheap cable bike lock and tell you it's not worth it. We think if you are in a low risk area like we mentioned above and only lock your bike for a matter of minutes and your bike is pretty cheap, then these are a good deterrent and worth looking at. They are light and can be locked in a load of different places.
U-Shape locks are good if you know that you are able to use it in the place that you lock your bike regularly. They are pretty good security. The downside is that you can't lock up your wheels like you can with a cable lock. But you can always take them off and bring them with you if this is feasible.
Chain locks offer the best of both worlds, but the price you pay for this is a big heavy chain riding round with you. If this is something that doesn't bother you, maybe you want the extra weight for training purposes, then we think and mid range to expensive bike, locked up in a high risk area should get a chain lock.
How much to Spend on a Quality Low Priced Bike Lock?
The best answer to this is basically spend as much as you can, but not to overspend. Halfords have a great Master Lock combination chain lock for only £13. This is a good level of protection and a thief will need to be carrying round a hefty set of bolt cutters to relieve you of your bike. At the other end, Wiggle have some absolute belters from Abus and Kryptonite that will set you back over £50, but should keep your bike right where you left it.
Bottom line is you'll only really appreciate the value for money of a cheap bike lock if your bike is never stolen.
Best Sales Deals on Cheap Bike Locks
So now you know what type of security you need, what type of lock you want and how much you're willing to spend, now's the time to bargain hunt. The best place to get a cheap bike lock is to look in the sales section of the big retailers. Argos, Halfords and Wiggle have some of the best deals and offer really good value for money on a bike lock. But don't forget to look out for a clearance section bike lock. You can find some big reductions here. Also it's well worth checking out the 2nd hand market for a real saving on a bike lock too. Just make sure you change the combination if it's a combination lock.