Toughest Bike Locks

Toughest Bike Locks

#10 Master Lock 8200D

Theft Insurance: $3,500

Security: 9/20

Utility: 3/10

This sturdy feeling “street cuff” from Master Lock wins points for its tough—and suggestive—appearance and singular design. It folds away for easy transport, thwarts leverage attacks with its pivot link and might even turn away thieves who’ve never encountered one before. A crook with a power tool, though, can make fairly short work of the underwhelming steel closures. Also, its short length and the cuff’s small, 3-inch opening severely limit locking options.


#9 TiGr Lock

Theft Insurance: None

Security: 13/20

Utility: 9/10

Developed by a New Jersey-based cyclist and lock inventor, this sleek bow design lock is in a category of its own. A thin but powerful titanium band is secured by a titanium-encased rotary disc cylinder lock. Long enough to secure both wheels and the frame, this barely-there (1.6 pounds) option straps to your bike’s top tube when it's not in use. Read more about the TigrLock here.


#8 Abus Granit X-Plus 54

Theft Insurance: None

Security: 15/20

Utility: 8/10

This German-made U-lock isn’t quite as tough as most of the others listed here, but its size—9” x 4.25”—offers cyclists more lock-up options. The case is drill-resistant and the 13mm squared shackle requires more effort to cut through than most thieves are willing to tolerate. Simply put, it’s a solid 3.1-pound lock.


#7 Knog Strongman

Theft Insurance: None

Security: 16/20

Utility: 7/10

The thick, colorful silicone layer that coats this 13mm rectangular U-lock protects your slick paint job while providing an added layer of thief-foiling protection. Not only does it prevent bolt cutters from gripping the shackle (they must first take the time to hack it away with a knife), it also melts when attacked with power tools, causing them to buck erratically. It’s small—2.6 pounds, 7.9” x  5.1”—and easy to carry, but could present a logistical challenge at a crowded rack.


#6 Abus Bordo Granit X-Plus 6500

Theft Insurance: None

Security: 14/20

Utility: 10/10

This pricey folding lock is nearly as strong as a U-lock, but offers much more locking flexibility.  It’s still heavy, at 3.5 pounds, but its six 5.5mm hardened steel bars transform into a nearly 3-foot loop that will wrap around a lamppost or similarly round anchor point. The Bordo folds smaller than a U-lock or chain, and attaches to a bottle cage mount, making it exceptionally transportable for such a tough lock.


#5 Blackburn San Quentin

Theft Insurance: $4,000

Security: 17/20

Utility: 6/10

This 18mm hexagonal shackle is tough—both for would-be thieves to cut through and, unfortunately, on your bike’s paint job. It locks on both sides, which means it must be cut twice to release it—hopefully enough of a deterrent to send the bad guys scrambling. 8'" x 4"; 3.6 pounds.


#4 OnGuard Brute STD

Theft Insurance: $5,001 (unless you live in New York)

Security: 18/20

Utility: 5/10

This standard-size U-lock is burly, with a 16.8mm shackle that weighs in at more than four pounds. It’s proven its mettle in several tests, standing up to a hacksaw for upwards of half an hour and shaking off leverage attacks with aplomb. The standard, 8" x 4.3" size gives cyclists additional locking options (including the standard rear wheel and frame). It’s too bad, then, that this tough-as-nails locks ships with a flimsy plastic mounting bracket.


#3 Kryptonite New York Legend Chain 1590

Theft Insurance: $4,500

Security: 20/20

Utility: 6/10

Yet another brutish chain, the New York Legend is nearly as tough to crack as the OnGuard Beast—the Beast’s six-sided links are slightly more difficult to cut—but it’s half a foot shorter and ever so slightly lighter. That seems convenient, until the fit is too tight at the bike rack, and you realize it’s too short to wrap around all but the narrowest of waists (even 30” is too big). When choosing between the Legend and the Beast, it really comes down to whether or not you live in New York (where OnGuard’s theft insurance doesn’t cover).


#2 OnGuard Beast Chain 8016 (with X4 Padlock)

Theft Insurance: $5,001 (except in New York)

Security: 20/20

Utility: 6/10

If any lock will keep your ride safe, this aptly named chain—with 14mm, titanium-reinforced links—is it. Previous testers have sicked a fireman’s Jaws of Life on it to virtually no effect. Even better, it will wrap around almost anything, securing both your wheels and your frame. The only downside is that you’ll have to lug a hernia-inducing, 3.5-foot, 10-pound belt with you. For that reason, it’s probably best to leave this lock in a regular spot that you come back to again and again.


#1 Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini

Theft Insurance: $4,500

Security: 19/20

Utility: 8/10

Kryptonite challenges the toughest of New York City bike thieves with one of the world’s thickest U-locks, the industry-leading 18mm hardened steel New York Mini. Sure, it’s no joke to carry around (in a pinch, its 4.6 pounds serve as a decent dumbbell stand-in), but it shrugs off leverage attacks and takes ages to hack or grind through. Its small size (3.25” x 6”) is good for carrying, but can make it a challenge to lock anything more than just your frame.