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FAQ: What type of bike lock should I get?

When it comes to securing your bike, there's no simple answer to finding which lock suits you. What lock you choose is largely dependent on where you're locking up your bike, how long for and the value of your bike. Below we'll go through some of the common lock types that we offer and what situations they are best suited for.


U Lock 

The classic U lock (also known as a D lock) is the most tried and tested lock in our range. We carry a few different version and sizes, such as the larger Abus Granit and Granit XPlus, as well as the compact Abus U-Mini and the Ulac Soloist. This style of lock is known for its strength, making them the ideal to deter theives when you have an expensive bike that you have to leave your for extended periods.

They do have a couple downsides however. They are not as portable as other locks and their rigid form factor means they can have issues fitting around some tube shapes. Both of these issues are solved by our following type of lock.



Bordo locks are a more modern design from reknowned lock brand Abus, in which they aimed to combine both the flexibility of a chain lock with the strength of a U lock. However, there is quite a large amount of variation between the seperate locks within this range with some being much easier to get through then others. 

For ebikes or cargobikes we recommend the Bordo Combo, Alarm, Granit XPlus and Big models. This is because they are made from hardened steel, meaning they are virtually impossible to be cut with bolt cutters. For less expensive bikes, the Bordo Lite and UGrip locks are good options for compact and convienient security, but are still significantly less secure than their bigger siblings or compact U lock counterparts.



Chain locks  have been around for a long time and for good reason. They're flexible, work with a range of frame shapes and can be a really solid way of securing your bike.

Some issues that you may run into are that a big chain isn't very portable and will be heavy to carry. If you decide to go for a thinner chain to avoid these issues, you're more likely for someone to have a go at it with bolt cutters, as the form factor of a chain is ideal for cutting.

For these reasons we usually recommend that if you have an expensive bike, you'd be better off going for a U lock or a solid Bordo lock.



Coil locks are the most popular affordable lock that we see around, which is largely due to their low cost, compact nature and flexibility for attaching to a range of objects. These locks are made of a flexibile metal cable which is how they're able to flex, which comes at the cost of them being significantly easier to cut then all of the locks mentioned above. They're only really suitable if you have an old bike that you're not overly dependant/attached to or as a secondary locking solution for something like a front wheel.



Wheel locks are quite popular in Europe and are less common here, but make great secondary locks. They require specific mounting points on the frame, but if they can be fitted they're are great as they stop the bike being rolled away. They work by running a rod through the wheel between the spokes so if the bike was to be ridden away it would break all of the spokes in the wheel, making it unrideable. However, they only really work as a secondary lock since there's nothing to stop someone picking up your bike and walking away.


Reuseable Zip-tie

These are a relatively recent creation and allow you to quickly attach something to your bike before you head off. The Z Loks that we carry have a little key that allows your to release the zip, perfect for attaching your helmet to the bike or for stopping someone from walking away with your front wheel. However, they are very thin and their keys are standardised, making them pretty easy for someone to get through. Definitely not recommended as a main solution for locking up your bike.


To conclude this post, I want to reiterate that none of these locks will make it impossible to get your bike stolen. With the right tools you can get through any of the locks mentioned above.

However, higher quality locks will take significantly more time and effort to get through and will act as a great deterrent. The best way to protect you bike from being stolen is by locking your bike up properly (which you can read more about here) and minimising the amount of time you have it out on the street. At home always store your bike inside and out of sight, ideally locked up in a garage that is also secured.



You can read more tips about locking up your bike and get more tips about cycling in Wellington using the link below: