Buying Guide: Bike U-Locks – Here’s the best bike lock I found after studying every anecdotal Reddit report

Are you in the search for the best U-Lock for your bicycle out there? With countless bike horror stories out there, which one’s yours? Take your pick from a stolen bike and an attempted bike theft — either way, they all boil down to having enough security provided by your chosen lock.</

I did the dirty work of scouting through Reddit threads in search of the best bicycle U-Locks in the market today and came up with this list of 8 locks that are popular among bicycle enthusiasts from around the globe. 

The best U-Lock for myself is the Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2. I’m particularly after a U-lock that’s durable enough to withstand theft attempts. If there’s anything we all need to remember, it would be that U-Locks in general, regardless of the brand,  won’t deter a bike thief with tools, but it will deter an opportunistic person if it’s durable enough.

However, depending on what you need and what you prefer, there are a few different options that may be best for you.

Best bike u-locks

Best Overall U-Lock: OTTOLOCK Sidekick Compact U-Lock

The OTTOLOCK Sidekick Compact U-LOCK, which is also known as a D-Lock, is the newest addition to the OTTOLOCK family that’s designed for short-stop security and protection against theft. Wondering what sets this U-lock apart from the rest of the competition? It’s a silicone-coated lightweight bike lock perfect for the everyday wear and tear. 

You can stow it in your backpack — or even your wallet — for quick accessibility. In case you don’t want to, you may opt to store them in small spaces without having to worry as its compact design measures about 7cm x 14.5cm. 

It’s capable of locking a single tube to a post or railing. The Sidekick Compact U-Lock is considered a medium security bike lock, with its double-shackle 12mm hardened steel design and anti-rotation deadbolt.

Pro Tip: Use this lock together with an OTTOLOCK cinch lock for maximum bike security.

Best Bang for the Buck: ABUS Ultra 410 Bike U-Lock

Can’t afford the top of the line lock? That doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t deserve security! The ABULS Ultra 420 U-Lock is for you if you want the best bike security out there while not breaking the bank.

ABUS’ new 410 Ultra series is a complete range of locks packed with the German lock maker’s technology made affordable for bike enthusiasts. Meant to fill out their 400 series of U-Locks, the 410 Ultra locks are available in 4 different styles each with an optional cobra cable.

You may choose from the following Ultra 410 lock types specifically for what you need:

  • Ultra Mini (5.5″), 
  • Ultra Mini Long Shackle (7″), 
  • Ultra (9″), and 
  • Ultra Long Shackle (11″).

Best for Ultimate Protection: OnGuard Brute STD 8001

The OnGuard Brute STD 8001 is one of the first few first locks on the market to receive the new Sold Secure Diamond rating. This speaks volumes of the quality of OnGuard’s affordable locks!

OnGuard claims that it provides the ultimate protection for high crime areas. Its name is just as fitting as it weighs a whopping 4.1lb or 1.86kg! OnGuard Brute is particularly one of the cheapest bolt cutter proof bike locks on the market — which makes it suitable if you’re looking for top tier protection for your bicycle.

Best U-Lock & Chain Combo: Abus Granit eXtreme 59

Abus Granit Extreme 59 is an integral chain and lock available in lengths of 0.85, 1.1, 1.4, and 1.7 meters. During the first test, the tools that are often carried by bicycle thieves were used and it totally left the eXtreme unmarked.

For the second test, power tools were taken out to take over. Surprisingly, it was just a shy of a couple of minutes to cut through the shackle — but it’s worth knowing the amount of noise and sparks an angle grinder creates. Anyone who tries to steal your bicycle with that noise will surely get caught in the act!

This Abus Granit eXtreme 59 is intended for scooters and motorbikes, but if you’re riding around on an expensive bike and having to lock it up around town then this u-lock is as safe as any U-Lock gets, not least in its nearly 3kg weight penalty.

Best Warranty Offer: Master Lock 8170D U Lock

The Master Lock 8170D U-Lock features a 6⅛-inch wide hardened steel body for maximum strength and reliability. The ½-inch diameter double locking shackle is 8 inches long and made of hardened steel which offers extra resistance to prying, cutting, and sawing. 

Master Lock 8170D’s disc key cylinder features a keyed locking mechanism for maximum picking resistance. It’s protective vinyl coating is specifically for making the product as weather and scratch resistant as possible. For your utmost convenience and peace of mind in case it breaks down during unfortunate events, this lock comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

For portability and ease of transporting this lock from place to place, it already comes with a carrier bracket — definitely makes this product the best bang for buck.

Pro Tip: Although its lock feature is very secure, make sure to lock your bike properly.

Most Tough U-Lock: New York Fahgettaboudit Mini

New York Fahgettaboudit Mini U-lock is simply the toughest lock there is in the market. During the first test, it didn’t budge no matter how much pressure was put into it — hammer, axe, and lever. During the second test, a 4.5-feet lever in the shackle was used where two people hung off the bar without the lock budging at all. Imagine the security it has to offer! 

Chances are, you’ll never come across anything else like the New York Fahgettaboudit Mini U-lock. A lot of customers had this exact lock for even the most expensive bike in one of the worst bike theft cities in America, and never really had problems with it.

Pro Tips: The lock is durable but also relatively heavy and it doesn’t come with a mount. With this, it isn’t something you’d want to carry around in your backpack. Instead, you can leave it resting on your rear rack.

If there’s a disadvantage for this lock, it would probably be its small shackle. Although its shackle makes it harder for a thief to use leverage tools, the downside leaves you to only lock your frame to the structure. You’ll never be able to lock your wheels and frame at the same time.

Most Durable U-Lock: Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 

The Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 is the classic U-lock you would want for your bicycle. The 13 mm shackle should be able to defeat all but the biggest bolt cutters. It gets a respectable silver security rating from Sold Secure and 2 stars from ART — which, honestly, says a lot about its durability.

Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 is strong and secure, attaches well to bikes, and it’s a long enough U-bar that you might be able to lock up two bikes instead of just one! Though you might come across the head of the lock rattling when locked-in-place while riding. No need to worry, though, as everything is still held secure.

Aside from being well-made, Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 is highly dependable with its benefits and renowned after sales care. It comes with an optional anti-theft protection of up to $1500, replacement keys, and a full refund if your key breaks in the lock.

Most Conventional U-Lock: Forever Lock’s Unpickable Bicycle U-lock

The Forever Lock generated a lot of hype for being billed as “unpickable” when it came out in 2014. While the lock is next to impossible to pick, in the conventional sense, there are still two documented ways to get around it.

The design is definitely one of the coolest bike locks on the market, but it’s very hard to come by — at least that’s what was accounted for by aspiring users, claiming that it’s difficult and expensive to acquire because the manufacturer usually just offers the product to larger companies.

Forever Lock comes with three spare keys with keychains and plastic protectors for storage-keeping purposes. With $140, you’re sure to get what you paid for as it’s a secured lock.

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