10 Best U Locks for 2021

Stuart Wellbert
Written by
Last update:

A theft data for the year 2014 from Transport for London made some interesting findings.

The top ten most stolen bikes in London were:

  • Specialized Camber
  • Specialized Stumpjumper
  • Carrera Villanueva
  • Norco Six
  • Burner B1300
  • Hong Fu Single Speed Foldable Bike
  • Felt Z95
  • Kona Dawg
  • Scott Specced XCR
  • Pake French 75

Out of these, the most stolen bike was the Specialized Camber, with 168 thefts reported in London alone. The next most stolen bike was the Specialized Stumpjumper with 137 thefts, and the Norco Six with 101.

Further recent data by Transport for London indicates that bike thefts have risen by 40% in the last 3 years.

Honourable mentions go to:

  • Gary Fisher Cobia (84 thefts)
  • Trek Fuel EX (80 thefts)
  • Pake French 75 (72 thefts)
  • Kona Dawg (71 thefts)
  • Scott Specced XCR (67 thefts)

The data above is based on thefts recorded around TFL bus and rail stations from November 2014 to October 2015. I suspect some of the bikes were stolen elsewhere and dumped around a TFL station.

NameCategoryProduct
Kryptonite New York Lock Fahgettaboutit Mini 18mm U-Lock Bicycle LockBest OverallKryptonite New York Lock Fahgettaboutit Mini 18mm U-Lock Bicycle Lock
Bell Catalyst U-LocksBudget PickBell Catalyst U-Locks
Kryptonite New York Standard Heavy Duty Bicycle U Lock Bike LockUpgrade PickKryptonite New York Standard Heavy Duty Bicycle U Lock Bike Lock

1. Kryptonite New York Lock Fahgettaboutit Mini 18mm U-Lock Bicycle Lock

Our rating: 9 / 10

Kryptonite New York Lock Fahgettaboutit Mini 18mm U-Lock Bicycle Lock

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Very heavy weight
  • Features a 4 foot long steel braided cable with a steel sleeve over it
  • 53 mm hardened Kryptonium shackle
  • Easy to put on and lock quickly
  • Waterproof and weather resistant
  • Very portable
  • Has a 14 mm hardened Kryptonium shackle
  • Made of super strong and durable 18 mm steel tubing
  • Comes with a dust cover over a box-shaped design

Cons:

  • It can be a little bit difficult to carry around
  • A little bit expensive than other brands

If you’re looking for a good quality lock, then Kryptonite N450 would be one of the best locks you’ll find in the market. It is the gold standard in u-locks.

This gold standard lock can be lashed to your frame or slipped in your bag. It comes in 660’s, 950’s, or 1250’s sizes. You can attach it with a cable, too, if you want to use two bikes.

2. Kryptonite New York LS Heavy Duty Bicycle U Lock Bike Lock

Our rating: 9 / 10

Kryptonite New York LS Heavy Duty Bicycle U Lock Bike Lock

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Totally new design from Kryptonite
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty vs. 5-years from the Kryptonite New York Series
  • You can customize the length of the u-lock
  • 5.5 feet long and can fit around more than just your frame
  • Very sturdy

Cons:

  • Takes some time getting used to operating it
  • The packaging can be difficult to remove the lock from
  • Only works with Kryptonite KryptoLok Series

This Kryptonite solution is definitely the PERFECT security solution for anyone who rides an expensive bike. This bicycle lock is 59 inches long and weighs 1.5 lbs. It has a hardened steel body for that ultimate protection. It has a 96-hour lock-out protection feature, depending on how hard the crooks try to crack your bicycle lock. Approximately one billion simulations have been run on this lock and it has passed with flying colors. In fact, this is the best and most advanced lock Kryptonite has ever made.

3. Bike U Lock

Our rating: 9 / 10

Bike U Lock

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Has a long cable
  • Commonly used width shackle
  • An accompanying cable with a mount
  • Small, compact, and lightweight

The Via Velo heavy duty bike defenseless lock is a common, everyday, affordable, and pretty simple lock for cycling but it’s still made from strong material and built to keep your bike safe.

The product has a steel lock for added protection and measures 14mm thick, with a cable that’s long enough to hook onto your frame, or anywhere on your bike for an added layer of security.

The lock is lightweight and small and even comes with a mounting bracket.

4. Kryptonite Evolution 11-14mm U-Lock

Our rating: 8 / 10

Kryptonite Evolution 11-14mm U-Lock

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Super affordable
  • Decent protection level
  • Lightweight
  • Easy and fast to lock your bike
  • Good quality construction

Kryptonite updated their evolution series lock with some new and exciting features and we couldn’t be happier. The rounded style of the shackle adds a unique look to the lock.

It uses flexframe universal bracket to provide an added level of flexibility. This new “quick-release” system allows you to easily and efficiently lock and unlock your bike. The shackle is crossbar compatible and it comes with pre-drilled holes to make drilling the rest of the holes easier.

It’s also compatible with disc brake mounting, so you don’t have to worry about your disc brake getting damaged when the bike gets locked. It’s made from hardened steel with a black powder coating.

5. Kryptonite New York Standard Heavy Duty Bicycle U Lock Bike Lock

Our rating: 8 / 10

Kryptonite New York Standard Heavy Duty Bicycle U Lock Bike Lock

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon
  • 12 mm nominal shackle
  • 6 ft long
  • 8 mm side plates
  • Weather resistant
  • Water resistant
  • 0.6 kg weight
  • Life time warranty

Cons:

  • Complaints of scratching on the paintwork
  • Keys can be hard to use with gloves on

4-Feet.

Bike security is very important nowadays, with bike thieves is a major issue in some bike areas. However, Kryptonite’s New York standard U lock is an excellent way to protect your mountain or road bike. This lock comes with a 6 ft long cable to ensure you have enough reach to secure your bike to a couple of bike racks.

This lock comes with a 12 mm diameter in the shackle, providing excellent security against bolt cutters or hacksaws. The 6 ft long cable is thick to prevent the cable from being snapped or cut. To secure the cable, it comes with a locking mechanism, to ensure the mechanism is secure, the lock comes with a sliding dust cover over the locking mechanism. This is a great idea and something I haven’t seen before.

6. Bell Catalyst U-Locks

Our rating: 8 / 10

Bell Catalyst U-Locks

Check Price on Amazon

These U locks are the perfect theft protection for your bike. They are smaller than the Brooklyn U locks so you have more room to maneuver the lock around your bike. The Bell U lock is designed to be lightweight, but it’s definitely not going to slip out of your hand.

These U locks are easy to use and extremely sturdy. You can place the lock on the ground in order to stand your bike up, which is especially useful if you have your bikes up against a wall so you can�t access them from the ground. These locks also come with a ribbon cable as well as a plastic cover for the keyhole to make sure your lock stays waterproof.

The best thing about the locks is that you can buy them in either the 6 inch or the 12 inch size. The 12 inch lock is obviously a lot more secure, but it’s also a lot bulkier to carry in a backpack, so it just depends on how much room you have. I just make sure I use the smaller lock when I park my bike in a crowded area.

7. Kryptonite Kryptolok 12.7mm U-Lock

Our rating: 8 / 10

Kryptonite Kryptolok 12.7mm U-Lock

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Secure
  • Affordable
  • Made of high-grade steel
  • Great for cutting through by bolt cutter
  • Fits most standard frames

If you’re not a big fan of carrying a pocket-sized lock with you everywhere you go, then this could be the best anti-theft lock for you.

The extra thick (12.7mm) chain on this lock is hard to cut through with a standard bolt cutter.

Another awesome feature is the anti-wobble feature, which helps you from accidentally pinching your bike tire during locking or unlocking your bike or rack, and allows you to take the lock out of the bracket during locking.

8. ONG: 8001 Brute STD U-Lock 4.37"x7.96" W/X4 Lock

Our rating: 8 / 10

ONG: 8001 Brute STD U-Lock 4.37"x7.96" W/X4 Lock

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • High-quality lock
  • Hardened Anti-Drill Plate
  • Weather Resistant
  • Tool Free Mounting
  • 15 mm or 8mm Cable Available
  • 4.37"x7.96"

Cons:

  • Easily Breached
  • Heavy

9. ABUS U-Lock Granit X-Plus 540 Bike Locks

Our rating: 8 / 10

ABUS U-Lock Granit X-Plus 540 Bike Locks

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Strong build quality
  • Doesn’t use keys
  • Resists rusting
  • Shackle is double bolted to the lock body
  • Hardened to be resistant to cutting and prying
  • Comes with a mount for your bike

Cons:

  • It reflects a lot of light, so it’s easily noticeable if you’re trying to keep your bike hidden.

This is one of the best U-locks available. It weighs around 3 kg, making it fairly heavy, so it’s definitely not a lock you’ll want to carry around, but the extra weight brings extra strength. This is a solid lock that offers fantastic protection against bolt cutters and prying.

This is a lock that you won’t end up having to replace because your bike was stolen. It’s resistant to car break-in tools and tough enough to withstand anything short of heavy duty power tools.

10. SIGTUNA Bike locks

Our rating: 7 / 10

SIGTUNA Bike locks

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • The bike lock provided by SIGTUNA is one of the best value U locks you can buy.
  • This solid, strong, and reliable model can be mounted to your bike in a few easy steps.

When mounted, the lock will stay in place, not only during transport but also while you’re exercising, running, or doing anything requiring the use of your hands. It can wrap around your bike frame, seat post, and even the crossbar, depending on where you want to attach it and how you want to secure it.

The material is strong and resistant to attack. The lock comes in a rectangular shape with a 16 mm squared shackle. The lock’s body is made of high-grade hardened steel, and the shackle is covered by a thick vinyl coating to prevent rust.

The lock comes with two high-security keys in case you lose one or both. It also comes with a sturdy metal chain which can be used to attach it to your bike.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the strongest bike lock?

There is no doubt that Kryptonite's New York L-026 U-lock is the best bicycle lock on the market today.

It does everything a high end bicycle lock is supposed to do.

Makes you feel completely invincible.

Keeps crooked bikes locked up tight.

And does a good job protecting against the sole-purpose of bicycles, if you know what I'm talking about.

However, for those who are not living in a major metropolitan area, or who are simply looking for a cheaper alternative, there are great options for you as well.

We took a look at the Big Dummy line of Kryptonite products to see which U-lock was the best based on price. It was a close race.

In the end, we selected the Kryptonite KryptoLok Series 2 Standard U-Lock as the best budget buy.

What are the most secure bike locks?

The best bike locks are ones that can not be broken with common tools. Most common bike locks can be broken with nothing more than a strong pair of pliers. Our top bike locks are some of the toughest to break, but they still aren't perfect. Luckily, when installed properly on a stationary object, they do a very good job of protecting your bike.

The best protection you can get for your bike is a two-stage lock. These are always best for security.

What is the best U lock?

In this section, you'll learn about some of the highest rated and most popular products in the U lock market.

However, first, we wanted to point out an important thing to consider when selecting a U lock.

You'll eventually need to choose between a heavy duty U lock and a more lightweight, yet less secure, U lock.

Our advice is to first decide if you want your U lock for protection, or if you want it as a means simply to lock up a bicycle.

If you want to protect your bike from theft while it is left out on the street, such as at the office, shopping mall, or elsewhere, then you should immediately choose a heavy duty lock that is both protected with thick steel and has an over-sized shackle.

However, if you are looking for a lightweight lock that you can take with you when you ride, then you can get away with a smaller, yet lighter duty, lock.

Are cable locks any good?

Cable locks work great for protecting bikes. You don't need to lug around a heavy chain and they are not that much more expensive. As long as you wrap the cable around the bike and an immovable object, it will lock your bike.

But it isn't just the protection aspect that makes them so good.

Cable locks are also a great tool for securing your bike. Unlike chains, which can be cumbersome to carry, locking your bike with a cable is easy. This comes in handy if you are ever riding your bike and need to stop at the store. Cable locks are easy to carry, because they coil up nicely and easily fit in a bag.

Conclusion

We'll help you narrow down your options for the best U locks based on your budget. We have all the features that you should look for in a U lock in addition to our recommendation on what to get based on your budget. We hope that you're able to find the right lock for your needs from this guide. After all, the right lock will make sure that your bike and other belongings remain safe and free from thieves.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Kryptonite New York Lock Fahgettaboutit Mini 18mm U-Lock Bicycle LockBest OverallKryptonite New York Lock Fahgettaboutit Mini 18mm U-Lock Bicycle Lock
Bell Catalyst U-LocksBudget PickBell Catalyst U-Locks
Kryptonite New York Standard Heavy Duty Bicycle U Lock Bike LockUpgrade PickKryptonite New York Standard Heavy Duty Bicycle U Lock Bike Lock