How to choose your bike lock?
Bicycle theft is one of the main obstacles to the use by the greatest number of this means of urban transport.
In 2016, there were half a million stolen bicycles in France, i.e. more than 1,000 per day. This figure, although important, is nevertheless largely lower than the reality. Most of the victims did not file a complaint for the theft of their bicycle, whereas nearly 100,000 were found.
95% of stolen bicycles would be secured by an unsuitable lock.
In this guide, we are going to give you some practical advice to reduce the risk of experiencing this type of mishap and all the keys to allow you to choose the right lock for your use.
II- Some reflexes and rules
First of all, it is essential to remember that there is no absolutely inviolable and infallible bike lock.
An effective policy against the theft of his precious is then based on the one hand, on a good deterrent and on the other hand, on an arsenal of technological solutions intended to complicate the task of the thief as much as possible.
Rule n°1: The place and the moment you will choose
Because most thefts are committed at night, it will be necessary to park your bike in a place with the best light and traffic.
Rule n°2: To a solid fixed point your bike you will attach
A bicycle, including VAE, never weighs more than 25kg. In other words, a bicycle protected by a lock but not attached to a fixed point can be lifted and then taken to a place out of sight where thugs will have the opportunity to release their hold of its lock.
Rule n°3: The frame you will privilege
Attaching your bike to street furniture is good, choosing the attachment point wisely is better. Because a wheel is designed to be removed with a minimum of tools in the event of a puncture, you should always attach your lock to the frame. Some allow you to take the frame, the fixed point and a wheel at the same time. Because it is generally the easiest to stow away, we recommend that you protect the front wheel.
Rule n°4: A fitted lock you will use
You would think that when it comes to bike locks, bigger is better. It is not so.
The ideal size is the one that allows you to attach your bike to street furniture without giving thieves a greater grip and leverage.
Rule #5: Down Your Lock Will Look
Some thieves, faced with the difficulty posed by certain locks, choose to pour a few drops of extra-strong glue into the key slot in order to make the bike lock also locked for its owner. The bike thus immobilized the thugs will wait a few quiet nights before taking action.
Rule n°6: The lock adapted to your use you will choose
There are all kinds and sizes of bicycle locks: Depending on its value, the environment in which it will be parked and the number of consecutive nights it will spend outside, some devices will be more suitable than others.
We work almost exclusively with the Kryptonite and Abus brands, which are the two undisputed leaders in the sector. Each brand will offer a lock adapted to your needs.
III- Choose your lock
at. Flexible, folding or U bike lock?
As a general rule, the heavier the stronger, and vice versa.
In other words, sometimes you have to sacrifice a little transportability and flexibility of use in favor of increased security.
The flexible lock is the lightest but also the most vulnerable. It is indicated for short-term daytime parking or for securing accessory elements of your bike.
More versatile, the folding lock that opens like a carpenter's tape measure offers increased security and can be easily stored in its dedicated case.
The type U lock is the reference in terms of security for those looking for maximum protection.
Chain locks allow in most cases the highest level of protection and a remarkable flexibility of use because they can be "wrapped" around almost any complex shape. They are penalized on the other hand by their weight very often higher than the U.
Each manufacturer, however, has its own nomenclature as to the level of security of the bike locks they offer and in practice some folding locks offer a level of security comparable to most U-locks and some U-locks are lighter than many U-locks. folding.
The level of protection is estimated on a scale of up to 10 and the range is divided into 4 categories easily identifiable by their color code.
- Yellow: Levels 9 – 10
- Orange: Levels 7 - 8
- Grey: Levels 4 - 6
- Black: Levels 1-3
The table below will allow you to determine the level of protection in line with your needs:
The Kryptonite New York STD U-lock for bicycles has a resistance level of 9 out of 10. They are easily recognizable by their yellow color. Beyond their particularly dissuasive aspect, their ultra-reinforced construction will effectively protect your bike, including pedelecs.
The Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit offers the same level of protection but a smaller footprint.
The Kryptonite New York M18 WL model offers the largest handle and will be the best choice for securing your VAE, some frames of which are built from relatively large section tubes.
Finally, and always with the maximum security index, the Kryptonite New York Legend 1515 anti-theft chain for bikes and pedelecs will give you peace of mind when you have to park your bike for a long time. With 7.2 kg on the scale, its 15 mm section hardened steel links and its high security cylinder padlock will be a major challenge for the most seasoned thieves.
In the high-security “orange” range, the Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7 U-lock with Kryptoflex cable is a consistent choice. Supplied with an integrated transport system and of reasonable weight, the presence of a steel cable makes it possible to secure the front wheel or the accessories (helmet, saddle, etc.).
Other remarkable models in the range, the Kryptonite Messenger Mini locks offer a very interesting protection / weight ratio. The Kryptonite Messenger Mini weighs only 830 g.
The Kryptonite Messenger Mini+ U-lock for bicycles has a second detachable handle that makes it easy to secure the rear wheel.
The Kryptonite Series 4 1055 and 1090 chains offer an almost comparable level of security but are distinguished by their less bulky integrated key locking system. They are respectively 55 and 90 cm long.
Within the “grey” range, the Kryptonite Kryptolok Version 2 U-lock is a safe bet. With an index of 6/10, available in several colors and displayed at an affordable price, it will be perfect for protecting your urban bike during your short-term parking.
For the tightest of budgets, the Kryptonite Keeper 12 STD is the most affordable U-lock in the Kryptonite line.
The Kryptonite Keeper 585 and 510 folding locks with a length of 85 cm and 1 m for the second offer a level of security of 5/10 and can be stored after use in their case screwed to the frame. The Kryptonite Kryptolok 685 and 610 folding locks are distinguished from the previous ones by a higher level of protection due to the greater thickness of the hardened steel links.
Many channels are also available. The Kryptonite Keeper 785 and 712 bicycle chain locks are classic chains with a length of 85 cm and 1.20 m with key closure. The Kryptonite Keeper 790 Combo coded bike lock is lockable by code.
The range of Kryptonite bike locks is extensive and we stock a huge selection. However, if the model of your choice is not online on our site, do not hesitate to contact our customer service who, subject to supplier availability, will order it for you.
In addition, Kryptonite, certain of the quality of its products and its locks, offers the ATPO program. It's simple: If your bike is stolen following the opening or breaking of the lock by force, Kryptonite undertakes to reimburse the cost of your bike excluding tax and accessories, in accordance with the amounts granted defined within the framework of the program provided you have previously registered on the Kryptonite site and are eligible (according to the terms and conditions of the contract).
More information available here: ATPO Program
Founded in 1924 in Germany, the Abus brand manufactures bicycle locks that are easy to use and particularly robust. Again, the range of this prestigious manufacturer is extensive. You will find in the catalog, among other things, the U-shaped bike lock Abus Ultra Mini 410 : With a security level of 8 out of 15, it will be ideal for securing your bike in the medium risk locations.
The U-lock Abus Ultimate 420 U-shaped bicycle lock , of the same dimensions, benefits from a protection level of 12 out of 15. It is however slightly heavier due to its construction more robust.
At the level of larger U-shapes, the U-shaped bicycle lock Abus Granit XPlus 540 wins the prize for solidity with a protection index of 15 out of 15. It is the strongest bike or VAE lock in our catalog.
The Abus Granit Plus 470 bike lock of similar dimensions is easier to transport due to its reduced weight. Its level of protection is a very respectable 12 out of 15.
Another top-of-the-range means of protection from the German manufacturer, the Abus Bordo Granit XPlus 6500 folding bike lock has a security level of 15 out of 15. Its ingenious folding design makes it very easy to use, even for the most voluminous e-bikes on the market.
IV- How to protect the parts of your urban bike?
Although attached to a fixed point by means of a solid bicycle lock, your bicycle can still be robbed of its essential parts and peripherals. It can be the wheels of the saddle and its stem as well as the handlebars and the stem, among others.
For peace of mind, we recommend the Hexlox anti-theft solution.
This is a very efficient system which makes it impossible to unscrew the elements of your bike by obstructing access to the screws with hexagonal recesses with which the bikes are fitted with a coded magnetic insert . Only a coded key can then unlock the insert.