It’s every cyclist’s nightmare: casually strolling back to the rack where you left your bike, only to realize that it’s no longer there. A determined thief can get through just about anything, but as long as your ride has a bike lock that’s more secure than the one next to it, the extra effort is sure to pay off.
There are plenty of devices out there designed to protect your wheels, and whether you’re one of the hordes of folks who purchased a shiny new toy last year or you’re a longtime cyclist who’s fed up with replacing stolen lights, quality bike security is definitely a worthwhile investment.
Here’s some of the best gear to prevent your bicycle—or any part of it—from getting lifted.
Kryptonite New-U New York Fahgettaboudit Mini U-Lock
Don’t scrimp on the basics: A burly bike lock is a must if you live in a high-theft area. Kryptonite has a handy matrix to help you figure out how much lock you need depending on where you’re going to be and how long your bike will be parked. A quick stop in the suburbs, for example, isn’t too risky, but leaving your bike in a major city while you’re at work all day is a different story.
This beast of a U-lock features a disc-style cylinder, which is more secure than other locking mechanisms, as well as an 18mm hardened shackle. Its small size also leaves little extra room for would-be thieves to insert bolt cutters or a saw.
Pinhead Front Wheel Lock
Generally speaking, you should prioritize the components that you lock by value: The bike’s frame, then the back wheel, and then the front wheel. If you don’t have (or don’t want to carry) a chain bike lock that secures all three, your front wheel will be vulnerable—especially if it uses a quick release skewer.
To prevent someone from walking off with it, install a locking skewer like this one from Pinhead. Each one comes with a unique key, and the keys are also compatible with additional locks that Pinhead sells for your rear wheel, headset, frame, and more.
[$50 with new key; pinheadlocks.com]
Sparse Fixed Light System
Lights aren’t as crucial as wheels, but riding without them at night is dangerous and often illegal. These sleek cast zinc lights install permanently, so you don’t have to remember to put them on and take them off every time you ride. The front one attaches to the stem, between your handlebars and frame, while the rear clamps onto the seat post.
Hexlox Saddle Lock Security Set
To prevent somebody from swiping your seat post, you’ll want to secure it to your frame with a bolt that only you can unfasten. A number of companies, including Pinhead, manufacture such security bolts, but to avoid replacing your existing bolts, use Hexlox. These small magnets attach to regular steel bolts, creating a blockade that prevents thieves from loosening them. Of course, you can remove them with a special key.
Seatylock Comfort Classic Black
Saddle stealing is perhaps the most frustrating bike theft experience because most saddles aren’t even very valuable. If you want a more elegant alternative to simply tethering your seat to your frame, try Seatylock, an innovative saddle that converts into a lock. (Depending on where you live, though, you might want to use this in addition to a tougher lock, like the Kryptonite mentioned above.)
For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!