Recommendations For A Theft-Proof Lightweight Lock
May 23, 2017
Nobody knows how fast the weight of saddle bags and backpacks can pile up like a daily commuter or delivery rider.
It doesn’t take long to load on the essentials; a water bottle, your work gear, a pair of clip-less shoes, your lunch, a clean shirt and extra deodorant for the get together after school, your laptop and phone with chargers, and your emergency kit that includes your hex wrenches and an extra inner tube. Now you’re already carrying more weight than you ever wanted to transport.
Because all of these things add up so quickly, you will want to cut weight everywhere you can. A smaller laptop, a lighter backpack base weight, a refillable water bottle that will get you from one stop to the next, lunches consisting of gel packs and sandwiches instead of thermoses and heavy pieces of fruit. As you learn to think like a commuter, you will start paring down items like your bike lock as well.
Bike locks can weigh a lot. The gargantuan Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain and New York Disc Lock weigh in at over 12 lbs.
Twelve. Ten pounds and then add two more.
Yeah. You don’t want to carry that in your book bag. May as well just carry a brick to throw at a bike thief because you will be too fatigued to walk out of throwing distance.
So, in general, leaning towards a titanium U-lock is the best option, because cables are almost impossible to find truly resistant to bolt cutters. BUT there are a few shackle styled chain locks that add the flexibility of a cable lock to a shortened chain, making them a lighter version of the heavy duty chains.
My favorite lightweight bike lock options I can recommend are:
1. Abus Mini Round Shackle OR Super Ultimate
The Abus Mini U-lock weighs in at just 2.2 lbs and includes a holder that clips to your bike, so that essentially becomes a part of your get-up. It is small enough to fit in your back pocket. Literally. The downside to that is that you can only secure it to smaller poles and racks, and can’t improvise in situations where neither are available.
The Super Ultimate is the big brother to the mini and is a much larger U-Lock which can be used for more variations, but still, weighs in at 4 lbs.
2. The Amazer 12mm Heavy Duty Combination Bike U Lock
At 1 lb, 13oz, this zinc alloy shackle is lightweight but packs a loot of security into less than a couple of lbs.
1. Squire Mako Congor
As a super short chain cased in quality PVC, this 4.2 lb option marries the best of the chain world to the U-lock world in a flexible yet super strong combination.
2. Zefal K-Traz A-25
The shorter chain cuts the weight on this one down to 3.8 lbs from the longer K-traz chains — but is still long enough to deal with a lamppost situation where a rack or meter isn’t available.
Good luck choosing! The most important thing to remember in keep your bike safe, though, is awareness. Don’t leave it, regardless of lock type, in neighborhoods that are untrustworthy or at bad times of the day. Put your lock through the main frame of the bike AND the wheel, not on the wheel fork or seat post.
Of course, staying aware of where you lock your bike and checking in on it frequently will be your best defense.