Your bike lock is an essential piece of kit when you are out and about cycling as well as storing your bike safely at home. An effective lock, used properly can prevent your bike or part of it, being stolen so it is well worth investing in a good one. The last thing you will want once you have signed up to cycle for charity is to have you bike stolen.
Here’s our guide to what’s what with locks, and how to use them to keep your bike secure.
Standard bike locks are either D-shaped locks, chain or cable locks. Combination padlocks also offer you a locking solution without the worry of losing the key (as long as you remember the code!) The cheapest locks can easily be broken apart by a thief with the right tools, so look for one made from tool hardened steel. Quite simply, a good lock that is genuinely secure will cost money so it really is worth spending a bit extra.
High quality D-locks are the most secure solution, as they are almost impossible to break into. A good one will enable you to secure your bike frame and front wheel to a bike rack or similar without much extra space. This minimises the ability of a thief to wedge in a crowbar etc. to pry the lock apart. Good brands are Kryptonite and Albus, and expect to pay between £15-£100.
If you go for a cable lock, look for one with the combination built into it rather than relying on a padlock: Bolt cutters can slice through a padlock easily. Cable locks are the narrowest and therefore can be a good option for securing your bike seat if you don’t want to remove it and take it with you. Cable lock extensions with two loops at the ends are a great option to use in conjunction with a D-lock (lock the wheel and frame to the bike rack with the D-lock, and loop the cable ends in wrapping it around other parts of your bike before locking the whole thing). Cable locks range from about £5 to £75. Good brands are Kryptonite, Masterlock and Albus.
Chain locks are the ones covered with plastic to protect your bike frame from scratches. The heavier duty the chain, the better the security. This is another good partner to a D-lock to wrap around additional components of your bike frame. Prices range from £20 to £130, and again good brands are Masterlock, Kryptonite and Albus.