Bike Locks Buyers Guide

If you've splashed the cash on a top of the range bike, or just don't fancy leaving your mode of transport open to thieves, then a bike lock is a cheap and easy way of making sure nobody makes off with your wheels. Our cycle locks buying guide will take you through the different options and help you to choose a bike lock that will keep your bike safe and secure.

How do bike locks work?

Different bike locks do different jobs, but most commonly they help to deter thieves from attempting to steal bikes in a couple of ways:


The easiest way to make off with someone's bike is to jump on and pedal it away. If you've got a bike lock that feeds through the wheels and stops the bike from moving, then it makes it harder for someone to ride off on it!


By securing your bike to an immovable object, thieves will have a hard time simply picking it up and taking it away.

In most cases, a bike lock will fasten around the bike (either through the frame or through both the frame and wheels) and then lock in place, using either a combination lock that is locked and unlocked with a number code set by the user, or a conventional lock that uses a key. You can then fasten the lock to a lamppost, bike rack, railing or even bench - just make the whole bike and lock can't be lifted over whatever it is you're fasting to!

Which is the best bike lock?

There isn't a straight answer to this one, as different types of bike lock all provide varying levels of security for various scenarios. The thing to look out for however is the security rating, and ensuring its right for your bike use.

The bike locks we sell at Halfords all come with either a standard security rating, or a Sold Secure rating. Products with the Sold Secure rating have been tested externally by Sold Secure and then given a bronze, silver or gold rating based on how well they performed under various tests. These tests are carried out annually and determine how well the product protects against tampering or intentional damage, and are based on the time it takes for the lock to be removed using hand tools and eventually power tools.

Halfords test their locks in a similar way, using various tools commonly used by criminals and ranking them accordingly on a 1-10 scale, with locks rated 10 lasting the longest.

It's important to note that no lock, no matter how secure, its 100% thief-proof. Locks will only ever act as a deterrent to a committed thief, but the tougher the lock, the stronger the deterrent.

Bike lock types

D locks

As one of the most popular bike lock variants, D Locks use a strong, curved tube of steel that can be slotted between wheel spokes or around the bike frame and then hooked to a bike rack, railing, piece of street furniture, or secure unit. A locked bar is then added to each end of the tube to keep it in place, with a key or combination code used to secure everything in place. Most D locks come with a frame that can be attached to your bike so you can easily ride with your D lock without having to carry a bag around.

This Kryptonite Evolution D Lock even has an additional heavy duty wire that can be fastened through the wheels or used in combination with the locks to make it even harder to remove!

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Chain locks

Chain locks use a set of heavy duty chain links with locking mechanisms at each end to keep it in place. Again, the chain can be fed through the bike frame or around a wheel and then fastened around a bike rack or alternate mooring. The bonus of a chain lock is that it can easily be wrapped around your bike frame whilst you ride, making it much easier to transport.

A Kryptonite Evo Series 4 1055 chain lock will leave thieves struggling even with power tools, plus there's a handy nylon webbing to prevent your bike from getting scratched.

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Cable locks

Using a specially twisted steel cable, these locks work in exactly the same way as a chain lock, but are much lighter and flexible, potentially being wound through both the frame and wheels before securing to a bike rack. Historically, they aren't as secure as other bike locks, but can be used in addition with a D lock to deter thieves even further, or used to secure your accessories to a bike. This BikeHut combination lock is a great addition, and you won't need to worry about losing your key!

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Anchor lock

If you park your bike in your garden shed or garage, then an anchor lock may be a good solution. Using a heavy duty ring that fastens to a wall or even into the ground, cyclists can then feed shackles or a chain around their bike frame or wheels to moor it in one place.

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Best bike lock brands

Halfords | Bike Hut

Halfords locks offer enhanced bike security while providing great value for money. They're tested using both our rating and the SoldSecure rating, so you'll be able to see exactly how durable they are on the packaging or product page on our website.

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Magnum manufactures heavy-duty bike locks that are designed to stand up to advanced theft techniques like saws and bolt cutters.

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Kryptonite is one of the world's most trusted bike lock brands, featuring premium build materials and innovative security systems.

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Our top bike security tips

Look out for CCTV or security staff

Look out for cameras or other forms of security when choosing a location to store your bike. A thief will be less likely to target an area that's being watched!

Use a high-rated lock in addition with other security products

By using a locking system with a higher security rating alongside another bike lock, the chances of a thief giving up or simply walking away without trying increase considerably thanks to the additional time needed to remove one or more locks. The easy formula to remember is more locks = less chance of your bike being stolen!

Lock your bike with other bikes

Dedicated bike parking areas or bike racks are more likely to deter thieves, thanks to the increased chance of someone turning up just as they're attempting to get your bike lock!

Register your bike

Make life easier for the authorities if your bike does get stolen by adding it to BikeRegister. This police database makes it very hard for thieves to sell on your bike and helps to reunite you with your bike should it be found. Marking up your bike with a registration number and a warning label also puts off thieves from taking your bike.

Make sure your grab one of our marking kits so you can add your registration number to your bike.

Get your bike register kit

Make sure your bike is harder to steal by following our top tips, and investing in a decent, highly rated lock. If you catch someone stealing your bike or return to find it has been stolen, then always let the police handle the situation - it's much safer and you'll stand a better chance of getting your bike back.

If you're still looking for more ways of securing your bike then don't forget that you can always ask one of our in-store bike experts - just head to your local Halfords store and we'll be happy to help!

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