Best Kids Bike Locks.webp

Best Kids' Bike Locks

By Eric Awwy, 12 Oct 2020

By the time you are done reading this article, you will be at peace that your kid’s bike won’t be stolen. This article will help you make up your mind for the best bike lock for your kid's bike.

Notably, Kids’ bikes, whether balance bikes or pedal bikes are a great investment. For young girls and boys, bikes are by far one of the most precious toys.

So how can you secure their bikes against theft? It’s simple; by fastening them with a good bike lock.

A bike lock is clearly of importance but just how do you find the right one for your kid’s bike?

Well, truth be told, the most secure locks tend to be the heaviest and least portable while the most portable ones open doors for theft. Therefore, finding the right balance between portability, weight, and security is key.

The best locks are designed to lengthen the time it would take an opportunistic thief from taking advantage yet still practical enough for riders to use/carry on a day to day basis.

Take a look at our trusted review of the best locks for kids’ bikes in the market today.

1 Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini heavy-duty bike lock

Kryptonite New York Lock Fahgettaboutit Mini Review
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Shackle thickness – 18mm

Weight – 4.5 pounds

The Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini is a lock like no other.

After locking a bike up, you can rest assured that you will literally “forget about it’ as the name suggests; and you’ll do so because this is one strong lock.

It’s a u-lock whose strength is accounted for by its 18mm dual-locking hardened shackle. This thickness enables it to hold up really well against cutting attacks. In fact, of all the locks in our review, this particular lock ranked as the hardest to succumb to cutting attacks; even with a powered cut-off tool.

Now, while it will really take some time and effort for a thief to grind through it, the strength of the lock comes at a cost and that is that the lock is quite heavy; weighing 4.5 pounds.

But that’s just about when it comes to its shortfalls.  

The ‘fahgettaboudit Mini’ further banks at being very secure as it uses a disc-detainer mechanism which in comparison to a wafer lock is much harder to pick. That means that this lock is prepared to not only fight against cutting attacks but also against picking attacks.

And in terms of length, it is just ideal as the lock sufficiently covers the frame and wheel of a bike!

In low-risk areas, this lock will still ease your mind of the worry of losing the bike. But in high-crime areas, the Kryptonite ‘fahgettaboudit Mini’ is pretty much non-negotiable.

What more could you ask for?

Kryptonite just has a way with designing the strongest locks and the ‘New York fahgettaboudit mini’ is nothing short of that description.

  • Highly secure 18mm dual-locking hardened shackle
  • Disc-detainer locking mechanism
  • Comes with a free year of Kryptonite’s anti-theft protection coverage
  • Quite heavy

2 Titanker bike chain lock - Best Chain Bike Lock for Kids' Bike

Titanker bike chain lock review
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Length - 3.3 feet

Weight - 1.4 pounds.

Titanker is known for its expertise in manufacturing bicycle security equipment and this chain lock is one such example of just how great and well thought-out their products are.

Made of heavy-duty steel with chain links that are 6mm thick, you can take our word for it; this chain lock is extremely hard to cut through and require double the effort and time to cut.

You see, the thing about chain locks is that they are basically harder to attack with power tools as compared to cable locks. Plus with the need to cut the links twice means that at best, chain locks are a great way to secure bikes from theft. 

With an overall length of 3.3 feet long, this length is very convenient as the chain can be secured around a variety of objects. Plus, being advantaged by its flexibility means that the lock can easily be carried on the seat post, backpack, or bike basket. The choice is the riders to make but either way the lock is easy to carry.

Its user-friendliness is also top-notch. For instance, the locking and unlocking mechanism are separate in that rather than locking with the use of a key; you just need to snap the ends of the lock in place and go! However, the key is needed to open it.

True to Titanker’s reputation, there are a number of pro-active measures placed to in turn enhance its lifespan.

These include a thick zinc-plated coating to prevent scratching of the bike and chain, a protective cloth sleeve to deter damaged by prolonged exposure to water and dust, and a dust cover that protects the keyhole further.

But all convenience measures aside, this chain lock is the true definition of ‘anti-theft security’.

  • Sturdily constructed to resist attacks
  • Secure, lightweight, and highly portable
  • Is enclosed in a weather-resistant fabric
  • Lock works smoothly
  • Value for money
  • Although sturdy it is still vulnerable to cutting attacks

3 SIGTUNA 16mm Heavy Duty Bike Lock

SIGTUNA 16mm Heavy Duty Bike Lock
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Shackle thickness - 16mm

Weight – 3 pounds

This 16mm Sigtuna lock is the most accurate definition of hardcore security for kids’ bikes.

With a very appealing black and yellow color scheme, you will find that aside from the overall look, every single bit of this Sigtuna lock is appealing!

This is a specialized u-lock made of hardened ABS steel with a thickness of 16mm for the shackle.

Second, to the aforementioned kryptonite lock, this shackle thickness offers such great holding power against cutting and leverage attacks. This diameter is just appropriately large and would require much force to break down- which is what you want for your kids’ bike.

You get double the protection with an additional 4-foot steel cable to secure the wheels and other accessories such as a helmet.

With a disc-style cylinder and double-bolt locking mechanism, no opportunistic thief can get through this lock and even with a bolt cutter it would still take some time to get through it.

Although this lock is quite heavy; for the security, it offers it’s worth the sacrifice.

Not to mention that manufacturers also incorporated measures to protect the lock’s components such as the rubberized coating on the keyhole against the elements. It is just the perfect protection when it rains and the rider needs to get on in a hurry!

In addition, the installation of the mounting bracket it comes with is so seamless and its push-button application is even better!

Given the cost, this bike lock is a must-have!

  • Solid security with added cable
  • Mounting bracket is easy to install
  • Takes seconds to lock
  • Comes with three keys for peace of mind
  • Heavier than most locks
  • There were few complaints that the lock jammed after a while

4 Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 Standard Heavy Duty Bicycle U-lock

Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 Standard Heavy Duty Bicycle U-lock Review
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Shackle thickness- 13mm

Weight - 3.56 pounds

Dimensions (Internal) – 4” x 9”

You can always expect high-quality locks from Kryptonite and the kryptolok “series 2” is one of the most popular u-locks. But not for nothing; this u-lock has an abundance of high-quality features.  

Kryptonite avails two versions of the Kryptoloks, the first being the “series 2” and the newer version known as the ‘New-U”.

The two differ in that while the “series 2” features a 13mm shackle made from Kryptonite's ‘max performance steel” the ‘new-U’ has a 12.7mm shackle made from a ‘lower performance’ steel.

Furthermore, the “series 2” shackle only locks into the crossbar on one side while the “new-U” locks on both sides.

In essence, the two locks are highly secure but having a thicker shackle made from ‘stronger’ steel, the “series 2” is better prepared to fight against cutting attacks while the “new-U” is more resistant to twisting attacks.                                                                           

The ‘Series 2’ is accompanied by a double loop cable to further secure the bike’s components such as the front wheel and/or other accessories.

Its 13mm shackle is truly a hard bargain for opportunistic thieves as it is kept in place by new double-deadbolts which increase its holding power against attack.

Rather than a combination mechanism, this lock features a center keyway that defends the bike against leverage attacks.

As for the cylinder of the lock, it’s a high-security disc-style that is both pick and drill-resistant. And to protect it from the elements that would otherwise weaken its ability to secure bikes, it features a rotating dust cover just for that.

Moreover, the lock comes with a new flex frame u-bracket that really expands the choice of transit locations on the rider’s bike.

Ultimately, we were impressed with how the manufacturers incorporated anti-rattle bumpers in order to minimize noise while the lock is transported on the bike. This just makes this lock hold an edge over its competitors in terms of noise reduction!

  • 12.7 hardened performance steel shackle
  • Double protection with 4 feet kryptoflex double loop cable
  • Anti-rattle bumpers
  • New transit flex frame
  • Flimsy mounting bracket
  • Heavier than most

5 Via Velo heavy-duty Bike U-Lock with Cable – Best Bike Cable lock

Via Velo heavy duty 14mm Bike U-Lock with Cable review
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Paragraphs and descriptions here.

  • Dual security mechanism with u-lock and cable lock
  • A tough double-bolt crossbar locking mechanism
  • 360-degree lock, allows you to get at it from any angle
  • Weather-resistant
  • Includes mounting bracket
  • Quite heavy hence advisable for older kids
  • Flimsy mounting bracket

6 The Club UTL810 by Winner International

The Club UTL810 Utility Lock Bicycle review
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Weight – 3.4 pounds

This product by Winner International is one of the more unique ones. It features a patented design in that it isn’t necessarily a D-lock but it functions somewhat similarly.

To be honest, we always welcome modifications that can better the results of a product and that is exactly what you get from this utility lock. It is essentially a u-lock but it beats the weakness that most u-locks usually have; which is an inability to maneuver and lock at awkward angles.

With a square-like shape, this lock can be angled to lock the bike to the post even in the trickiest positions.

Made of tempered steel, it’s a heavy-duty lock so it’s going to be very hard to wreck it free from the bike. In fact, its manufacturers affirm that it can withstand more than 1500 pounds of pressure so you can trust it protect your little one's bike.

Plus its length can be adjusted from around 13 inches to approximately 20 inches for securing a variety of larger items as you please.

Other impressive features are its hassle-free keyless lock design as well as its vinyl coating which protects it from scratches and scrapes.

Our only complaint about this lock is that it is fairly weather resistant. As such the cylinder area and gets harder and harder to part especially when exposed to rain. However, if well-stored then it’s a highly effective product for the youngest riders.

In addition, it is a bit heavy so carrying it on is a better option rather than pocketing it. Plus its thick frame limits its use in smaller spaces.

Otherwise, if you are in the market for a multi-purpose heavy-duty lock for your kid’s bike then this is just the lock for you.

  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Versatile use
  • Patented design enables an adaptable reach for awkward angles
  • Easy lock and key system
  • Fairly weather resistant
  • Thick steel frame limits use in smaller space

7 Master lock street cuff

Master lock street cuff. Review
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SPECIFICATIONS- 21- ½ inch overall length

                                  3-inch diameter cuffs

The Master lock street cuffs is one of a kind lock in our review. This bike lock pretty much looks like handcuffs and they function similarly.

This cuff lock is made of hardened laminated steel whose toughness just makes cutting almost impossible in addition to pliable soft-touch bumpers which protect the bike’s finish.

 

Being made of 9 hardened steel links that accumulate to 21 ½ inches long, it is not only exceptionally secure but also entirely easy to tie to immobile objects such as poles.

The pivoting links allow awkward tying positions as the links can be manipulated for awkward angles.

In addition, the lock leaves little room between the frame and the cuffs which means that a jack or pray bar can’t be positioned to force it open. Plus, with a patented keyway little to no chance of picking and drilling.

One of the most convenient features about this lock is that it features a push-button locking which eliminates the need for a key to lock the cuffs.  However, the biggest advantage to cuff locks is that they fold in half making storage and transportation a breeze.

So what could possibly be wrong about such a well-constructed bike lock? Well, it is unfortunately quite heavy so it’s a better option for older kids. Plus looping it around bigger wheels is also tricky.

Nonetheless, this is a great security measure for kids’ bikes.

  • Convenient storage eased by hand-cuff design
  • Compact and extremely lightweight
  • Push-button keyless locking
  • Hard to loop around bigger wheels

8 Titanker Bike Cable Lock

Titanker Bike Cable Lock Review
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4 feet x ½ inch

Diameter - ½ inch (12mm) with vinyl shell

Length - 4 feet (1200mm)

Priding itself in its sturdy construction and ease of use, the Titanker bike cable lock is easily one of our favorites.

This cable lock is strongly constructed with flexible braided steel which makes it highly cut resistant. Aside from the interwoven steel, some it’s most premium components include the solid zinc alloy lock cylinder and lock plug with ABS shell which make the lock more durable and safe.

The PVC coating works to prevent scratching to the cable as well as to the bike.

This lock conveniently coils for easy storage but what we love the most is that it locks and unlocks through a 4-digit combination. We can guarantee that this system is extremely secure as it has over 10000 possible number combinations yet only the right one works so it is very hard to crack.

The rider is free to set their own personalized combination number. Just be sure that they don’t set a repetitive code that any thief would easily guess!

Moreover, the convenience of this cable lock even runs to its release mechanism! It just hooks one end to the other when the cable is not in use then uses an easy release button to unhook it for use.

Plus the lock comes with a complimentary mounting bracket that is significantly bigger than the ordinary mount (the mount attaches to seat or frame posts of one inch in diameter). More importantly, it eases transportation of the bike lock so you don’t have to have it on you.

Lastly, this isn’t just a tool for two-wheelers! On the contrary, the versatility of this lock means that aside from bicycles it can also be used to secure skateboards, scooters, grills and fences! 

  • Comes with a complimentary mounting bracket
  • Coils compactly so it doesn’t take up much storage room
  • Resettable combination locking mechanism
  • Sturdily constructed with braided steel
  • Susceptible to bolt cutters

9 REVERE Vault folding steel bike lock

REVERE Vault folding steel bike lock Review
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Weight – 1.6 pounds

The Revere Vault lock is another one of the more unique locks that made it to our review.

This lock is constructed with a folding mechanism that resembles cuffs and impressively offers high security.

It is constructed with a 3mm thick hardened steel lock that is really hard to cut through so you can expect it to be resistant to saws, bolt cutters and leverage attacks just in time for you to get back from your errands.

It is also vinyl-coated so it won’t scuff your bike

This lock uses with a 4 digit combination system that is resettable. The system is pretty straightforward and convenient for the especially for forgetful kids who might have a hard time with keys.

As the name suggests, this lock folds for compact storage and transportation. What’s more, it includes a snap-in mounting bracket to ease use and transportation.

Like we’ve highlighted before, ‘compact, lightweight and strong’ are just the magic three words for a kid’s security lock. And that’s what you get with this lock!

In fact, common to most folding locks the only complaint we established was that it can be a pain to loop it around your wheels. But once it’s in place it fits snugly and does its job.

For such an affordable lock, we were extremely thrilled with its performance.

  • Robustly constructed with hardened steel
  • Easy to transport
  • Folds compactly for storage
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Somewhat difficult to loop around wheels

10 Sportneer bike lock

Sportneer bike lock review
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Weight- 1.48 pounds         

Size- 39’ L x 0.27 ‘D

The Sportneer bike lock has the convenience of a keyless lock mechanism featuring an advanced five-digit resettable combination in place of a key cylinder.

The five-digit combination broadens the available codes makes it much harder to crack than a three-digit or a four-digit combination mechanism. To put it into perspective, while a four-digit code system has around 10000 possible combinations, a five-digit code has around 100,000.

And that’s not all there is to this bike lock; it is constructed with an extra-thick (0.27inch) and extremely strong manganese steel used to make this lock is highly secure and resistant to cuts. With a protective zinc-coating to shield from scratches, solid zinc alloy cylinder and a strong lock plug constructed with ABS shell; the supremacy of this lock speaks for itself.

The 3.2 feet long chain further weighs 1.5 pounds which is just convenient for hassle-free transportation. The length allows it to maneuver around the bike components intended to be secured with ease.

Its flexibility also makes it ideal for use with ladders, gates and fences.  

Lastly, you can be sure of its durability as it comes with a protective cloth sleeve that extends its life span by protecting it from being damaged by either water or dust.

What we loved the most about this lock is that it features a five-digit combination which just ups its ability to secure bikes from unarmed thieves.

  • Advanced five-digit combination code mechanism
  • Durable and cut-resistant
  • Flexible for use on awkward bike angles
  • Built to last
  • Comes with a waterproof and dustproof cover
  • Although strong it is still susceptible to bolt cutters

11 Schwinn Cable bike lock

Schwinn Cable bike lock review
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Dimensions – 10 x 6 x 1 inches

Overall weight – 295 grams 

Length - 8mm 

There’s a lot to like about the Schwinn cable bike lock.

For starters, this has to be one of the lightest bike locks you can find in the market. It comes just short of a pound in weight, so you can be sure that your child won’t have trouble carrying it around.

This heavy-duty 8mm braided self-coiling cable has the perfect length for kids bikes at 6 feet long.

 One of our most favorite things about this lock is how easily it coils for use and for storage.

Young riders will have no qualms maneuvering the cable to secure their bikes even from awkward lengths and as for storage; being a self-coiling lock that coils tightly compactly comes as a huge bonus!

It really takes the least amount of room for storage!

We were particularly thrilled with how easy and straightforward the operation of this lock is. To lock the cable, one need only snap its ends together but you need the key to unlock it.

And to protect it from the weather, a tough vinyl cover covers the length of the cable. 

That said, the only downside to this lock is that it is not built to withstand a lot of force. The biggest flaw with cable locks is that they are just underprepared for cutting attacks. Any bolt cutter will easily cut through it in a matter of seconds.

But in essence, this cable is designed to protect against the opportunistic thief. Which is why this lock is an appropriate candidate for adults looking to use it for quick stops or children who are mostly securing the bike in already safe environments.

  • Ultra-lightweight hence easy to transport
  • Perfect length for kids’ bikes
  • Coils tightly for compact storage
  • Highly cost-effective
  • Highly susceptible to cutting attacks

12 Ottolock Cinch Steel & Kevlar Combination Bike lock

Ottolock Cinch Steel & Kevlar Combination Bike lock review
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Sizes- 18 inch, 30, 60

Weight – 0.3 pounds

Colors - flash green, otto orange, stealth black

The Ottolock cinch is such an interesting lock.

Manufactured using multiple layers of steel and Kevlar bands, the Ottolock cinch is secure and sturdy.  

It comes in three sizes, 18 inches, 30 inches and 60 inches. The 18 inch secures a single tube to a small post while the largest is able to hold the frame and both wheels of a bike or tie several bikes together to curb theft.

The 18 inch which we tested is an appropriate size for small bikes.

Why will your kid love it? Because this lock really wins at being one of the lightest. Weighing a mere 0.3 pounds, even the youngest rider can carry it on them without feeling overwhelmed.

In addition to being ultra-lightweight, this lock can be coiled to the compactness of 3 inches, which they can easily pocket or carry on their backpacks.

Aside from that, it is easy to lock. With a three-dial combination, they’ll be no need to walk around with a key; all they have to remember the combination. And if any reason calls for a change then they can easily reset the password.

Strong as it is, it is probably a better fit for older kids who are stronger and have better dexterity to deal with the buckles.

And while secure, this is also a more appropriate lock for riders who either only intend to make quick in and out stops in busy areas or those who reside in low-risk areas.

Although it will put up a decent fight against bolt cutters, it will eventually lose out.

Our verdict? While the Ottolock cinch wins at having the most convenient size and weight, this is a lock that would secure your kid’s bike against an opportunistic thief but we wouldn’t trust it against persistent thieves with serious tools.

The good news is that that is exactly what the product is designed for.

  • Keyless and customizable combination
  • Compact and portable (rolls to 3-inch diameter)
  • Super lightweight
  • -Not suitable for long periods or against organized theft

13 ABUS 1100/55 mm combination cable lock

ABUS 1100 55 mm combination cable lock review
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Size – 6mm x 55 mm

Weight – 2.08 ounces

Dimensions- 8.86 x 6.69 x 0.79 inches

Like the Ottolock cinch cable lock, the Abus combination lock is another bike cable designed to protect against opportunistic theft.

Made with a 6mm high tensile cable that is protected with a plastic sheath, you can rely on this lock even in poor weather conditions as no water or dirt can permeate it.

Not only is it well-made but it is also appropriately lengthy and the perfect way to fix the bike to a solid standpoint for short-term security.  

So why is this a perfect match for your kid? For one, the combination mechanism helps activate their minds and two because the lock does what it promises; which is protecting the bike.  

The combination itself is very easy to set and the mechanism of unlocking it is pretty self-explanatory.

Lastly, this lightweight lock is perfect for the youngest riders who would experience difficulty carrying larger locks. It is light enough to be portable yet strong enough to secure against opportunistic theft.

We should however warn that this lock does not work as a replacement for a u-lock and is, therefore, best used as an added layer of security.

We just wouldn’t count on it for longer-term safety but you can be sure that it will definitely resist the underprepared thief.

Which is why this is one of the best locks for locking single post to the frame or as a secondary lock for the wheel to the frame and a perfect tool for highly secure areas.

  • Portable
  • Lightweight and convenient
  • Weather-resistant
  • Highly affordable
  • While it is secure, it can be cut in half with ease

14 Knog party Frank bike cable lock

Knog party Frank bike cable lock review
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Dimensions - 26.2 x 1.7 x 1 inches

6 colors-red, grape, indigo, rose, turquoise, white

First things first, if you live in a sketchy neighborhood, this just isn’t the lock for you.

The Knog Party Frank cable lock can accurately be described as ‘lightweight, easy-lock and compact.’ And to the best of our knowledge, that is exactly the kind of lock you want for your kid. Especially so if you intend to use for local and short-term use such as locking up their bikes outside school.

This cable lock is made with braided steel with fiber core and is enclosed using industrial grade UV stable silicone. This means that not only is the cable sturdy enough to resist attacks but also highly protective over any unintended markings or scratches to the ride.

We were excited with the really cool color selection that the cable has and we are certain that kids will absolutely love its bright, cheery and fashionable look.

Other than being highly fashionable, this minimalist lock also banks on convenience. It easily hitches around a post and securely wraps kids’ bikes.

Because it coils, it doesn’t take up much room when stored in packs and it also conveniently wraps around the frame of the bike with no chance of it even scratching and diminishing the finish of the bike.

We love that it comes with three sets of keys so you won’t panic when one inevitably gets lost.

Unfortunately, we had complaints about the keys quickly they became dysfunctional. Either the lock part simply came apart or the keys cracked after some time.

Now listen, a lot of thought went into the construction of this lock so if the keys work then you can count on it to effectively secure kids bikes against opportunistic thieves.

Sure, this isn’t the most secure lock ever but if your bikes are mostly stored indoors then this lock will be a perfect tool for securing them for short errands such as grabbing water from the store or lengthier periods in more secure areas such as in school.

  • Constructed with braided steel to resist cutting attacks
  • Variety of kid-friendly colors to choose from
  • Extremely kid-friendly
  • Lightweight and highly portable
  • - There were some complaints about a dysfunctional key system

15 SANWO security bike lock

SANWO security bike lock review
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Weight – 0.3 pounds

Dimensions – 21.6 x 0.5 x 0.5 inches

Colors - Black, blue, green, orange, pink

If you are looking for a simple yet sturdy lock to protect your little one’s bike then this cable lock from SANWO perfectly fits the description.

Composed of steel and ABS coating, this lock is both repellents to thieves and resistant to the elements.

The material further makes it protective against scratches to the bike so you can rest assured that your child will use it for several years without incurring damage to the bike.

The cord itself is two feet long so they will be able to lock up the bike with ease regardless of the location.

To secure it, it is designed with a four-digit combination which is convenient as your little one won’t have to keep track of the location of the keys. Plus the code is resettable so not only is the lock easy to use but also easy to maintain.

The advantage to this lock is that it is just about the lightest we have come across. At 4.8 ounces, children can easily carry it around and tie it to their bikes with no significant added weight.

With five fun and vibrant colors to choose from, your kids will definitely love this one!

  • Keyless convenience
  • Extremely lightweight and flexible
  • Designed with a keyless 4 digit resettable combination
  • Resistant to the elements
  • Although sturdy it is still vulnerable to cutting attacks

How to Choose a Bike Lock for your Kids' Bike - A Guide

A guide for selecting the best bike lock for your kid's bike

Care to find out exactly what to look out for when looking for a bike lock? Here is a reliable buying guide.

1. Type of Bike Locks

There are several types of locks; each differing in terms of size, weight, security, practicality and even ease of use. You will find that some are easily portable while others not so much but all in all they all have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Let’s have a look at each one of them.

(a) U-locks/ D-locks

A u-lock is basically a giant padlock that gets its name from the metal that forms the letter ‘U’ or ‘D’ where it attaches to the crossbar section.

It works by fastening it around your bike or whatever item you want to secure and a solid and firm objects such as a bike rack, pole or parking meter.

They work best when attached to a rigid object as opposed to just tying the frame to the wheel. This is because while the opportunistic thief cannot break them in time, they can easily carry the whole bike to a separate location where they have time to break the u-lock-free.

The advantage of a u-lock over other locks is that they are highly resistant to cutting with the use of power hand tools such as bolt cutters. However, they are unfortunately susceptible to leverage attacks by jacks especially if there’s enough room between the locks and the item being secured.

For this reason, the best u-locks are those that are extremely hard and therefore highly resistant to grinding. Their keyholes are also designed to resist attack by drilling.

When in use it is advised to leave little to no room to allow for a jack or crowbar to be inserted and forced open with enough force.

Although u-locks are very reliable they are also limited in size and shape such that they are not as flexible as chain, cable and folding locks which can be maneuvered to secure more objects or from awkward angles.

Ultimately, this rigidity further makes them more difficult to carry than other types of locks.

(b)Chain/Coil Locks

Chain locks consist of a long metal chain and a key or combination lock attached on one end.

They are usually accompanied by a protective sleeve to prevent damage to the bike’s paintwork as well as to secure the chain itself from the elements.

Their main advantage is their strength and length. Those made of hardened steel are the best and toughest to cut. For this reason, they are appropriate for high-crime areas.

The cheapest chains are made of basic iron or steel and are thereby the easiest to cut.

A long chain lock can attach the bike to an immobile object and still wrap around the frame and wheels of the bike.

Another thing to note is that the padlock needs to be just as sturdy as the chain lock itself if it doesn’t come with a locking mechanism. Otherwise, a thief may easily cut through a thin lock and free the bike.

Compared to other locks, chain locks are disadvantaged in that they are also quite heavy and therefore a hassle to transport. Although their length and flexibility ease this by a notch in that they can be wrapped around a wider range of objects- widening their use in comparison to u-locks.

For bikes, we recommend chain locks with a thickness of less than 12mm and thicker chains for stationary locks.

(C) Cable Locks

Cable locks consist of a length of cable wrapped in protective material.

They usually already have a permanently integrated locking mechanism being either a combination or key lock

Cable locks are similar to chain locks in terms of length and flexibility but they are better in that they are more portable due to their ultra-lightweight nature.

These locks work best in low-crime areas as they can, unfortunately, be cut quickly with bolt cutters (especially when the cable is unprotected). They are however a great weapon against the opportunistic thief who isn’t usually equipped with such tools.

Plus the more robust ones are usually protected with overlapping steel jackets threaded over the cable in order to make cutting the central cable more difficult.

They also work great as secondary security measures used to secure removable bike components such as the wheels or saddle. Otherwise, for high-risk areas, you are better off combining them with a u-lock for the frame of the bike.

(d) Folding Locks

Folding locks are the most innovative locks in the industry right now. They consist of a series of metal plates linked together through attachment bolts

As the name suggests, they usually fold into a compact form for storage and unfold to fasten around the bike.

The locks are by far the easiest to carry and are lighter as well as more flexible than u-locks. However, they just aren’t as durable nr as strong as the unmatchable u-locks.

(e) Looped Locks

Like we’ve said, many cable locks are better used in conjunction with u-locks; which is how looped cable locks were created. They basically consist of a u-lock with an additional length of cable that has loops on each end.

The cable is intended to secure the wheel or saddle.

2. Security 

The second thing you need to consider when choosing a u-lock is level of security needed.

The strength of the lock should match the level of security you seek. For instance, if you reside in highly insecure areas where you intend to leave the bike unattended for long periods then you will definitely need a stronger lock as compared to a lower risk area.

This is especially if the bike is pretty rad or expensive and thereby appealing to on-lookers.

Mid-security locks work great for low-risk areas where you intend to leave the bike for less than an hour.

So then, how do you determine how strong a lock is? Because remember, this is essential in determining whether or not the lock will provide the level of protection you need.

Keep in mind that all bike locks, regardless of the type, are susceptible to being broken off. What you want to do is choose one that lessens the probability of theft or the time it would take.

With just enough time and the right tools, any thief can steal.

That said, with u-locks and chain locks, the strongest locks are usually the thickest.  U-lock shackles and chain links whose diameter measures less than 13mm will most likely succumb to medium-sized bolt cutters.

Therefore the thickness of 13mm and above (say 15mm) are more secure/ resistant to breakage. Although the biggest bolt cutters will still do the trick.

For maximum security, chain links and u-lock shackles with a 16mm diameter are practically impossible to cut.

There are several online security testers such as SOLD SECURE or ART which are non-partial and use standardized methods to measure the performance of a lock. These include machine tests (such as tensile strength, torsion strength, resistance to corrosion, freeze tests etc.) and test engineers for the brute and intelligent attacks for combination locks.

 At the end of their test, they rate the locks with pertinence to the security they offer.

But that’s not all there is to the strength of a lock. Read on to find out what else determines the strength of a lock.  

3. The Combination Mechanism

A lock really is just as strong as its weakest link. And truth be told, even with the strongest and thickest locks, the locking mechanism can end up being the weakest link.

Combination locks allow the user to set their own personal code. They are usually accompanied with instructions on how to set the code.

The great thing about this type of locking mechanism is that one doesn’t have to carry a key with or experience the worry of either losing or forgetting to carry one.

All you have to do is to remember the code.

With the lowest quality combination locks, thieves can easily peer into the grooves between the disks and decipher the unlock combination. All they have to do is cycle through the individual numbers on each disk and easily unlock the mechanism.

And the risk of this happening is even higher with a lower number of disks.

Keyed locks are susceptible to lock picking tools although the best key locks are designed to counter this.

They can either use flat keys or cylindrical keys; both of which are highly secure. The great thing about them is that are usually equipped with two or more keys to serve as a backup in case one gets lost.

4. Security

Away from the strength of a lock, you also want to consider how much it weighs.

For kids, you want a lock that doesn’t add too much weight to the backpack which inevitably strains their backs depending on what else they are carrying.

Cable locks are therefore appropriate for the youngest riders while u-locks and chain locks that are heavier are more suitable for older kids.

5. Durability

Listen, while you want to protect the bike from theft, you don’t want to do so while imposing damage on the frame of the bike. That is why you need a lock that has measures against this.

The durability of the bike and the lock itself shouldn’t be compromised while the lock is in use. So you want a lock that is highly resistant to water and extreme weather damage.

The metal of the lock itself could be engineered to be this way or it could feature thick vinyl coverings for this purpose.

Conclusion

What we have in this article is not only the list of the best kid-friendly bike locks but also some advice on how to select the best bike locks for your kids’ bikes.

A bike lock may not be the most exciting tool to purchase but they are worth every penny. The truth is that a great bike lock will serve you many years even as the kid graduates to the next bike

And here’s what most parents need to hear; the wrong decision might cost you their favorite bike.

With that in mind, you want a lock that’s highly secure yet easy enough to use on a day to day basis. In essence, a great balance of security, portability and ease of use. And you can look for that in each of our reviewed locks.

So choose one and secure your peace of mind!

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