Looking for an easy-to-carry way of preventing your bike from being stolen? The visible deterrent effect of an effective cycle lock reduces the possibility of theft. It gives bicycle owners a degree of security and some peace of mind. Here, we review a selection of five leading bicycle locks. If you are planning a cycling trip and would like some tips about the best lightweight bike lock for touring, read on.
How to keep your bike safe
When planning your cycling trip or touring route, it could be better to focus on rural areas. Here, fewer people tend to mean lower rates of theft. In urban areas especially, it is important to secure the whole bike via its frame, rather than locking only a wheel; deterrents must be effective if they are to put off would-be thieves. Wherever possible, lock the bike in well-lit areas – near street lighting and where the cycle can be seen. Securing the bicycle to something large, heavy and relatively permanent also helps, such as metal railings, dedicated parking bars or even a sturdy tree. Using two locks of differing types also makes things more difficult for a thief, as two sets of tools would then be required and more time, with an increased risk of being caught red-handed.
Things to consider
When looking for the best cycle lock for touring, some key factors to consider include its type (such as cable or D-loop design), the locations you plan to tour and how long you intend to stop or stay in each place. In rural areas with short rest stops, a cable lock may well suffice. Conversely, to secure your cycle in a city overnight, the additional strength of a D-lock is advisable. Other points to bear in mind include: how easy the lock is to apply to the cycle, any optional storage mountings or brackets that are included and, of course, the total weight.
The best lightweight bike lock for touring
See below for a selection of light weight bike locks that we consider to be the best available on the market at the moment.
Xtreme Bright Illumilock
Although not the lightest in this selection at 567 grammes, the Illumilock offers the ultimate in protection (according to the manufacturer’s description). The Xtreme Bright lock features a four-digit combination that is lit by LEDs. Most people report it to be a sturdy and easy to use lock. However, a few people people have reported that this lock has “jammed up” over time. Though the recommended price is around £30, it is on offer at this moment for around £17. It is excellent value for money if you’re willing to take the risk that you might end up with a faulty jamming-up one (very low risk, there are only a few). If not, read on.
The stylish Grip-Lock provides security through its highly visible deterrent value and attaches to pedal or moving parts. Relatively lightweight at just 330 grammes, the Grip-Lock is solidly built and boasts an anti-drill barrel with over 50,000 key combinations. Convenient to set, it can be secured without a key and fits 95 percent of cycles, small motorcycles and scooters according to the manufacturer’s description. At the time of writing, this lock was highly rated by purchasers (with 4.5 out of 5 stars) although the current price of around £40 is the highest of the five reviewed. It should be borne in mind that thieves can carry away a cycle with disc and pedal locks fitted.
GoFriend Bike Lock High Security
The GoFriend is advertised as a high-security lock. Its coiling cable design features a five-digit combination. At 1.2 metres in length, the 12-millimetre braided stainless steel cable has a PVC coating to prevent abrasion. The GoFriend cycle lock comes with a seat post mount and in a choice of bright colours or classic black and white. It is also suitable for use with skateboards, garden and sports equipment. The five combination digits can be reset to a combination of your own choice. It offers a degree of additional security over its four-digit counterparts.
Described by users as substantial, this product had the highest reviews on Amazon (4.6 stars) at the time of writing. It boasts an anti-saw and anti-drill cylinder and is resistant to high temperature. This lock weighs approximately 400 grammes. At prices in the region of £10, the GoFriend is currently on offer at around half the recommended retail price.
The Kryptoflex is 0.76 metres (2.5 feet) long, though longer options may also be available from this manufacturer. The Kryptonite Kryptoflex features a braided steel cable with a weatherproof vinyl coating and a hook and loop-style strap. Despite the high core density, this cycle lock is the lightest in this sample at around just 285 grammes. Available at just under £10, it is also the second cheapest. Notably, the lock mechanism itself is not included. However, the dual loop cable is suitable for use with all padlocks.
Etronic M7 lock
Finally, the self-coiling Etronic normally retails for around £25 and is currently on offer at the discounted price of just £8. It offers keyless convenience but only four digits in its adjustable combination. The braided steel cable has a vinyl coating. it is 1.85 metres long with a diameter of 12 millimetres, similar to the others. The total weight is 390 grammes. In reviews, users highlight its good value for money.
We have seen some of the leading cycle lock options. These included the disc and cable loop types, with a choice of four and five-digit lock combinations or keys. Your decision when selecting the best bike lock for touring – or two bike locks for additional security, as suggested – will depend on the level of risk, the value of your bike, the location, stowage space and weight considerations as well as your personal preference.