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The Best U-Locks for Bikes

best u lock for bike

U-locks are your best friend that keeps your bike secure wherever you are. That’s why having one is a must to keep it from the hands of thieves or burglars. However, picking the best one is no easy feat considering there are lots of them flooding the market.

But today, your search ends here. Listed below are the best U-lock for bikes I picked just for you. Do keep in mind that these reviews are based on my real-life experience of the products. So before you grab your wallet, sit back, relax, and let’s have a look at these best bike U-locks.

Best U-Lock for Bikes Reviews

1. Via Velo 234100 Bike U-Lock

Simplicity and durability are two things that make the Via Velo Bike U-Lock stand out. The first time I held this one, I could already feel its durable build. The hexagonal PVC cover of this lock makes it weather-proof. So no matter what kind of weather may come in the way, this U-lock will surely withstand a beating.

I also find it very convenient that you don’t need extra tools to install this lock. But what I love about this one is the 180cm cable. With that cable’s length, you can always park your bike anywhere as you see fit without hassle. Additionally, I have no complaints about the design because I like its simplicity compared to complicated ones.

And to test its full potential, I parked the bike in an open area to see if thieves will try to steal while I’m keeping an eye on it. Turns out there is someone who tried to break the lock open using a pair of bolt cutters. But to my surprise, the bolt cutters weren’t able to break the lock apart even if this is affordable.

My one complaint, however, is the lock’s keys are somewhat faulty. I only used it for about two weeks and the keys start to show their age. But I really hope this is just because I got a faulty variant and may not be present on others.
Pros
  • Durability at its finest
  • Weatherproofing is a big plus
  • Hassle-free installation
  • Long 180cm cable is a godsend
Cons
  • Faulty keys depending on the unit/variant
The Via Velo Bike U-Lock is a great option for those looking for bike locks with all the basics. This lock ticks all the right boxes without a price that will cost you a fortune. And if you prefer simplicity over form, this one’s for you.

2. SIGTUNA FBA_Wodan 16mm Bike Lock

This SIGTUNA did live up to its name because of its durable build. This is all thanks to its 16mm high-performance steel that can hold the bike into place. So rest assured that your bike will be locked into place using this one without the worry of burglars breaking it apart.

What I really love about this one is that the lock has an anti-picking locking mechanism. Thus, it prevents thieves from unlocking your bikes using lockpicks. And since I know a bit about lockpicking, I decided to try it out myself.

The results were impressive because I wasn’t able to unlock it after 15 minutes of trying it out. This gave me a sigh of relief that my bikes will be safe from thieves even if I leave them anywhere I want. This U-lock is indeed a “heavy-duty” one, as the name suggests.

And for the extreme bikers out there, the weatherproof coating is a huge bonus for you. The coating is located on both sides of the keyhole that runs around the base adding an extra layer of protection to your bike.

Not to mention, its lightweight size makes it easy to carry this lock anytime, anywhere. My only gripe is that it doesn’t come with an extra backup key just in case you lost the current one. So you better find a locksmith as soon as you purchase this lock just in case you’ll lose it.
Pros
  • 16mm steel build quality for strength like no other
  • Resistant to lockpicks
  • Weatherproofing coating
  • It’s a lightweight bike lock
Cons
  • No extra key included in the package
The SIGTUNA Heavy Duty U-Lock is made for those who are always up for an adventure. Even its durable build alone is enough to make you buy one. Pair this with its anti-lockpicking mechanism and weatherproof coating, then you are definitely in for a treat!

3. UBULLOX Sturdy U-Lock For Bikes

If you want a small U-lock that ups the ante when it comes to durability, then this is the one you are looking for. The UBULLOX Sturdy U-Lock is made to survive harsh weather and the hands of stubborn thieves.

The alloy steel material makes the lock resistant to cuts, leverages, and drills. So no matter what kind of tools burglars use, this lock surely keeps your bike safe. And it doesn’t end there! The pure-grade copper blade also allows the lock to stay still when someone tries to break it.

I was hesitant at first about these features and thought that it’s just marketing talk. So I tried to use the lock on one of my expensive bikes and parked it in a public place. While spying from afar, I can see multiple thieves eyeing on my bike and trying to break the lock.

After many unsuccessful attempts, the thieves just gave up and my bike was left unscathed. That convinced me that this lock is definitely the real deal in terms of durability alone. And just like other U-locks, this affordable choice has a weatherproof coating too.

One exciting feature of this U-lock is that a silicone cover covers it. Thanks to this material, it is no doubt that your lock is protected from scratches, and as a result, it will prolong the life of your u lock.

My only complaint is the cable of this U-lock. After a week of usage, the sheathing on both ends starts to wear off. Thus, leaving the weirs inside exposed. This will become worse during colder seasons where the cable can easily break because of the weather. I guess the durability is only applied to the lock and not on the cables themselves.
Pros
  • Alloy steel material makes the lock thief-proof
  • Weatherproof coating just like other U-locks
  • Affordable pricing
  • Protects from scratches due to silicone cover
Cons
  • The cables can wear off and break easily
The UBULLOX Sturdy U-Lock is all about durability. If you live in an area where stolen bikes are prominent, then you better get this one. Just always keep an eye on the cables for any signs of wearing off. And always keep them in a cool and dry place too.

4. Kryptonite Evolution U-Lock

Even Superman can’t handle this U bicycle lock with his bare hands. Kidding aside, the Kryptonite Evolution U-Lock has everything you need for bike locks. The 13mm shackle has hardened double-deadbolts that increase its power to hold on tight. Kryptonite U-locks are all about quality, and this one is a prime example of that.

I’m also surprised that Kryptonite also offers a “Key Safe Program”, which allows you to register the keys online. Once registered, Kryptonite will ship you free two additional keys in case you lose your current ones.

One notable thing about this product lies in its new “pass-thru” crossbar design. Specifically, this design comes with anti-rotation features. This enhanced feature offers advanced protection against not only twist but also single-cut style attacks.

Speaking of keys, the package comes with three stainless steel keys with the third one is a LED replaceable key fob. The brand also offers another service called “anti-theft protection” aside from its great cut-resistant cables.

At first, I thought it was some kind of extra coating or mechanism on the U-lock itself. However, it turns out to be an online program where you have to register the lock online.

Although such “online” features are nice for a change, I wish the company should have implemented this stuff on the product itself. The names sounding like an extra functionality for the lock, which turns out to be an online registration program is a bit misleading.

But this is only my opinion. And I’m pretty sure that others will find this useful and very aesthetic thanks to its colorful design. Overall, the U-lock still works as it should be and I don’t have any problems with the cables too. Moreover, I just hoped it is priced a bit lower but I guess this is fine.
Pros
  • Durable 13mm steel shackles for extra durability
  • Offers a “Key Safe Program”
  • Double deadbolts enhance the locks holding power
  • Has a new “pass-thru” crossbar design
Cons
  • Price is too costly for an average U-lock
The Kryptonite Evolution U-Lock is a good one if you don’t mind the price and optional registration stuff. It does the job well and I don’t see any problems with it.

5. Amazer HQQ-09-01 Bike U-Lock

Want an anti-theft lock without putting a dent in your wallet? Then the Amazer Bike U-Lock is the one for you. This U-lock uses a four-digit combination instead of the usual key locks featured from the products above.

The combination lock also has a dedicated password reset switch and a dust cover release button. The former helps you quickly reset your password using a dedicated key that you can keep, while the latter prevents dust from accumulating inside the cylinder.

What I like is that the lock’s cylinder is made out of special steel out of a zinc alloy. This keeps the cylinder sturdy enough to withstand a beating. So if you’re looking for the best combination of U-locks, then this is the perfect choice to get.

As a clumsy person myself, the combination lock helps me get that peace of mind knowing there are no more keys to keep. The PVC coating on the lock makes it resistant to scratches and other kinds of damages too.

However, there are times where the combination lock will have a mind of its own. For example, after using it for two weeks, it won’t unlock even if my combination pattern is already correct. I contacted Amazer about the matter and the brand gave me a replacement one immediately.

I hope that this problem can be fixed in the long run. There’s nothing worse than having an almost perfect product only to be ruined by a specific feature. Nonetheless, this U-lock is still amazing in protecting your bike. And it’s also priced well without putting a dent in your wallet.
Pros
  • The combination lock is a breath of fresh air from traditional key locks
  • PVC coating for extra protection
  • Dedicated dust cover that extends the lock’s lifespan
  • Reasonably priced
Cons
  • A combination lock does not work well sometimes
These combination U-locks are almost near perfect. But I still highly recommend this one because of the simplicity, and Amazer’s customer service is top-notch too. Rest assured that they always have your back whenever you experience any problems with this product.

6. Titanker U-Lock Bike Lock

Want to experience the best of both worlds of affordability and functionality? Then look no further with the Titanker U-Lock Bike Lock. Just like the previous one I reviewed above, this has a combination lock that I really love.

I am digging the all-black design of this one because the whole combination lock is covered by quality PC material, which looks pleasing to the eyes. Moreover, thanks to this material, you can be assured that your U-lock is protected from scratching. On the other hand, the convenience of this U-lock is worth mentioning. You do not need to get your keys and figure out which is the right way to open it. Instead, this one lets you quickly unlock with a push of a button.

It’s generally easy to use, that’s why I highly recommend this to first-timers. The thickness of the bar, which is also coated with damage protection, fits just right. Not to mention, the dust cover covers a combination lock to be effective in keeping dust at bay.

After testing this lock for weeks, I haven’t encountered any problems regarding the combination lock. My only concern is that the mounting bracket seems to be pretty unstable and flimsy.

Upon carefully investigating the bracket, it seems like it is made from plastic. Nonetheless, I hope this lock will still last for months. But considering the lock’s price, there’s no doubt that the manufacturer will use that material for this one.
Pros
  • Easy to use without the need for tools
  • Affordable
  • Convenient combination lock
  • Dust cover for keeping dust away
  • A quality PC material for a good looking and protection
Cons
  • Low-quality mounting bracket
The Titanker Secure U-Lock is for people who are looking for bike locks without spending too much. Although there are some compromises in the material quality, usability is still pretty good so far as long as you take good care of this U-lock. I highly suggest handling this lock with care because of its cheaply-made mounting bracket.

7. BELL Catalyst Bike U-Lock

The BELL Catalyst Bike U-Lock is made for students or casual bikers who are just strolling around the neighborhood. And judging from the looks alone, you can see and feel that this is categorized as a cheap one.

This U-lock is as basic as it gets. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles just like the products I reviewed above. The package comes with the lock itself and a pair of keys where the other serves as a backup.

If you’re wondering why this feels so basic, then it will probably cut costs since the whole package is priced low. I believe this U-lock is made for the masses who are eyeing affordable bike locks without breaking the bank.

Even though this U shape bike lock comes at a low price, this U-lock bike is still functional. Upon some testing, I was pretty satisfied with the performance so far. Moreover, this product is covered by Vinyl coating to protect a lock from scratching. However, I already see signs of corrosion only after a week of using it.

In case your bike got stolen while using this U-lock, BELL’s anti-theft program will pay you up to $500 maximum to cover up your loss. You can also get free keys in the event of losing both that are included in the package.
Pros
  • Most affordable U-lock to date
  • Simple yet functional
  • An extra backup key just in case you lost one
  • Comes with an anti-theft program
Cons
  • Signs of corrosion after a week of using
This BELL Catalyst Bike U-Lock is not as good as other products in this reviewing list. However, if you are looking for a low price product with basic features, then this bike U-lock is the one you should get.

8. Kryptonite 152067 Evolution Mini-7 Bicycle U-Lock

I have a soft side for Kryptonite’s U-lock products so don’t be surprised that I’m reviewing another one from them. And this time, it’s about the Evolution Mini-7 Bicycle U-Lock. This mini U-lock is like an upgraded version of the previous one I reviewed above, so many people stated that this one is considered as one of the best mini U-lock.

It still has the same 13mm steel shackle that can withstand cuts and drills from thieves or burglars. What’s new is the “pass-thru” crossbar design of the lock that provides easy rotation and extra protection from forceful twists and cuts.

The sliding dust cover is now vastly improved as well and effectively removes dust with ease. It also has the usual key safe and anti-theft program, which is already a staple for Kryptonite products. I immediately registered both the key and lock on Kryptonite’s website in case they got stolen or lost.

Upon testing, this mini U-lock is indeed versatile because it fits well on my bikes. And if the 4-meter cable is a bit short for you, a 7-meter variant is available for purchase directly at Kryptonite or at authorized stores that sell Kryptonite products.

It’s also nice to compare ONGUARD vs Kryptonite locks. But note that my only problem is that the keys can sometimes be stuck inside the lock. It’s a bit odd since I never experienced this kind of problem on the first one. Nevertheless, the U-lock still works like a charm as long as you don’t mind its high price tag.
Pros
  • An upgrade worth buying for
  • Premium durability
  • Pass-thru functionality for an added layer of protection
  • Offers key safe and anti-theft program
Cons
  • Too expensive (as expected from a brand like Kryptonite
The Kryptonite New-U Evolution Mini-7 looks and feels awesome both in paper and reality. It’s categorized as a premium U-lock hence the high price. But if you have the cash to spend, then go for it.

9. Master Lock 8170D Durable U-Lock Bike

Top-notch quality doesn’t have to be costly. And this is where the Master Lock Durable U-Lock Bike stays true to its name. For the budget-conscious who are looking for other affordable options, you might want to try this one.

This lock is the epitome of simplicity and durability. I am having doubts the first time I got a hold of it. But when I used it for myself, I was surprised how well the lock stays put into place on my bike.

The double shackle functionality of this U-lock is working well upon testing. I also love the vinyl coating. Not only does it make the lock easy to grip and hold, but it also makes it resistant to water and cuts too.

However, my only concern is the keyhole of the lock starts to jam after 2 weeks of usage. I don’t know if this is the case for other people so keep in mind that this is only based on my experience. Good thing the customer support service is very attentive to my concerns. And they actually gave me a replacement in less than a week.
Pros
  • Budget-friendly
  • Double-shackle feature for added protection
  • Vinyl coating adds an extra layer of security
  • Stellar customer support
Cons
  • The quality of the keyhole is a hit or miss
The Master Lock Durable U-Lock Bike is best for those looking for U-locks that cover the basics. However, if you want more functionalities and features without considering paying a higher price, then looking for other options is your best bet.

10. ONGUARD 8005 PITBULL U-Lock

This product is the most aesthetically pleasing of the bunch. I love how the black and yellow colors blend well together on both the lock and the braided steel cable bundled with it.

ONGUARD has its own lock mechanism called “XP4 locking”, which claims to offer superior protection compared to its competitors. To prove that this is not all just marketing talk, I tried to test and break the lock myself.

And to my surprise, it does the trick on protecting my bike. Because the lock resisted any kinds of tools I used while I’m trying to break it apart. But if you still have trust issues, ONGUARD has an anti-theft plan where they pay you in the event your bike got stolen while using this U-lock.

Going back to the design, the aesthetics of this U-lock alone is enough as a head-turner. I love that the manufacturer added a handgrip on the center that provides extra comfort while carrying this lock around.

Although it looks heavy on photos, I was surprised how lightweight it is when I got my hands into it. I can even carry this lock inside my bag without the added weight. So for people concerned about the weight, this is one of the best U shaped bike locks that won’t give you any problems.

My only gripe is that I hope it’s a little wider so it can cover both the tires and the frame. Also, upon testing, the lock only goes through the side which is fine for me but might be a big deal for others. Not to mention, the bundled cable is a bit short too.
Pros
  • A lightweight U-lock for bikes
  • New XP4 locking mechanism made solely for this U-lock
  • Solid build that is almost unbreakable
  • Dedicated anti-theft plan in case your bike got stolen
Cons
  • The bundled braided cable is a bit short
This U-lock has plenty to offer that is unique to this product alone. The XP4 locking mechanism is a nice touch that makes the lock more secure. And the design is also like a breath of fresh air compared to the traditional black-colored U-locks.

11. Sportneer Heavy U-Lock

And last but not least is the Sportneer Heavy Duty U-Lock. When it comes to durability and functionality, you can never go wrong with this one. This is because it uses premium materials for both the lock and cable.

The cylinder is the heart of every U-lock. And Sportneer was kind enough to use a zinc alloy material to make the cylinder as strong as possible. Inside this cylinder, there is also a complex mechanical system that prevents thieves from lock picking it.

The braided five feet steel cable is also resistant to cuts and shears. Talk about getting the best material builds for both the lock and cable, I really enjoyed using this one even though it doesn’t have the extra bells and whistles such as the combination lock but it’s fine.

My only concern is the keys. The manufacturer states that the keys are resistant to rust but upon a week of usage, I can see signs of corrosion already. Therefore, I highly advise that you should keep the keys inside your bag at all times to avoid moisture buildup.

At first glance, I thought maybe it’s just the problem with my unit. So I ordered another set to see if my guess is correct. However, the same problem persists on the new one after using it for a week. I wish the brand will address this key corrosion problem in future products.

Setting negativity aside, the lock is reasonably priced. I find it surprising how rigid it is for a price tag like this. Unlike other companies, where they have to make compromises in terms of quality to cut costs.
Pros
  • Rigid and sturdy material build
  • Simple but functional
  • Anti-lockpick cylinder mechanism
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Keys can corrode easily
The Sportneer U-Lock covers all the basics at a price that won’t break the bank. As long as you keep the keys in a cool and dry place, then this is truly a bang for your buck.

What is the Best U-Lock

best-bike-u-locks

There’s no definitive answer on which is the best bicycle U-lock. And with thousands of U-locks available in the market today, determining which one is the real deal can be a daunting experience. After all, it still depends on the user’s experience since each of us has different views when using a U-lock.

There’s a bewildering array of U-locks that comes from different manufacturers. And all come in various shapes, colors, and material quality. We have mini U-lock, big U-locks, light or heavy U-locks, and more.

That’s why reading U-lock reviews and trying them for yourself is the best way to know which is best. A favorite among the masses are brands such as Abus, Kryptonite, and ONGUARD. But if you want to go on a U-lock spree and try various brands, then go for it as long as you have the money to back you up.

What to Look for When Buying U-Lock for Bikes

Still confused about what U-lock to get after my intensive review of the products above? Here are some things to keep in mind to help you out.

Lock style

U-shaped bike locks come in various locking styles. The traditional key lock is still widely used by manufacturers, and the combination lock that feels like you are locking/unlocking a safe. Although both are good options, opt for a lock style that is the most convenient for you.

Material quality

Since U-locks are made to protect bikes, then choose one that has a rigid build quality. There’s no point in buying a U-lock if they can be easily tampered with by thieves. So make sure to buy one that is durable enough to withstand shearing and cuts.

Cable length

U-locks are bundled with steel cables. However, each of them comes in different lengths depending on the manufacturer. Before you buy, take a look at the product description and see how long the bundled cable comes with the package.

Brand

There are a plethora of U-lock brands that are flooding the market to date. However, not all of them are the same quality-wise. So only choose a brand that is already well-known and trusted by the masses. And if you want to try new brands, make sure to check out the reviews first before diving in.

Size

Different locks, different sizes. Choose a size that is compatible with the proportions of your bike. The size of the U-lock will also depend on the price, the functionalities, the extra bells and whistles that come with it.

Abus vs Kryptonite U-lock: Which Brand is Better

Among all the U-lock brands, Abus and Kryptonite are the ones who sit high on top. The competition between these two U-lock brands is always heating up. However, both of them have their own ups and downs. Let’s discuss further by looking at this short breakdown below.

Quality

Both Abus and Kryptonite are almost equal in terms of quality. However, an Abus U-lock takes it up a notch in this department. All their bike locks are made to withstand extreme weather conditions and lock picking tools.

Kryptonite also has these qualities, but is not as on par with Abus. And if you judge it from the looks alone, you’ll never guess that Abus is the strongest U-lock one among the two since they are quite similar in build and bulkiness.

Pricing

Kryptonite is reasonably priced compared to Abus. This is why a majority of buyers choose Kryptonite over Abus because of its affordability. But it’s no surprise that Abus is the more expensive one because of its rigidness.

Do keep in mind that pricing will vary in the country. For example, most U-locks in the UK are priced differently than the rest of the world.

However, some bike owners who have used both brands claim that there is only a slight difference between Abus’ and Kryptonite’s build quality. This makes the additional cost of Abus’ U-locks not worth it only because of slight differences.

Customer support

Abus and Kryptonite are equally amazing for customer support. Both companies offer key replacement services in case you lose them. While Abus lets you buy keys anywhere because of franchising, Kryptonite has a special online key replacement program where you can register your keys.

And in the event that you lose such keys, Kryptonite will directly send you new ones with no additional charges. Do keep in mind that this free key replacement is only possible if you register the keys in the package. But you can still buy another one in authorized Kryptonite key providers.

Are U-Locks Better Than Cable Locks

small-ulock

The debate between u bolt bike lock and a cable lock has been going on for years. However, this all boils down to your own personal preference in locking your bike. But if you are a person who is always on the move, then U-locks will do wonders for you.

But if you only want to protect your bike while at home, then a chain lock will suffice. Both lock types are better in their own way in protecting your bike. Do keep in mind that U-locks can only lock a single bike whereas a cable lock can do two or three depending on the length.

The strength of a U-lock lies in the material used by the manufacturer. Most U-locks today are made out of metal or zinc alloy, which manufacturers claim to be anti-theft. This prevents burglars from breaking the lock using tools such as bolt cutters or drills.

Cables, on the other hand, have some special coating to prevent them from getting cut. But it’s not the same level in terms of rigidness just like a U-lock. If you want both types of locks, most U-locks are now bundled with cables in a single package.

This gives you versatility and freedom in which lock you are going to use for your bike. There are also U-locks that are sophisticatedly designed to be combined with a cable. Thus, giving you double the protection without the hassle of interchanging between the two.

Cable quality is just as important as the U-lock’s quality too. Check the material of the cable and see if there are any kinds of protective PVC coating. Such cables are made out of braided steel which is resistant to cuts and any kinds of tampering.

How Do You Use Bike U-Locks

There are two types of ways of locking your bike using a U-lock. Follow this guide to learn how.

U-lock only (no cable included in the package)

This method helps you lock the bike via the back wheel. Take the shackle (the U) and wrap it along the frame and back wheel. Ensure that the shackle can reach the cylinder (also called the crossbar) and connect them.

U-locks have different ‘locking mechanisms’ depending on the brand. Once the shackle is connected to the cylinder, secure the U-lock using the key or the combination passcode you have set.

U-lock and cable

This method also lets you secure the front wheel of your bike. Connect the cable on the shackle first then run the cable around the front wheel. Once done, connect the other end of the cable back to the shackle before securing it using the cylinder/crossbar.

If you have multiple bikes and want to secure them too, consider purchasing a longer cable that can cover the front wheel of your other bike/s. Doing so saves you cash from buying multiple U-locks.

Few things to keep in mind

For the ultimate security for your bike, always use U-lock to secure it in a stationary object in a well-lit area. Ensure that you cannot lift the bike up and over this object/s. Such an example is trees, long poles, or streetlights. And also, well-lit areas help discourage thieves from trying to unlock your bike because of exposure.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I maintain my U-lock?

Store your U-lock in an area away from moisture to prevent corrosion buildup. Although most U-locks have a special protective coating that makes them rust-free, taking precautionary measures just to make sure is still a must.

My U-lock won’t lock my bike properly, what should I do?

Check the cylinder/crossbar if there is dust accumulating on the inside. These cylinders have a dedicated dust removal switch that cleans the insides in just a push of a button. If the problem still persists, contact the manufacturer immediately and request for a replacement.

What happens if I lose my U-lock keys?

Most U-lock keys have a dedicated serial number that you can register online via the manufacturer’s website. And in case you lost one of your keys, the manufacturer can send you another one for free. As a side note, this is only available for premium U-locks and not on cheap ones. But this also depends on the manufacturer if they offer such a service.

The cable that is bundled with my U-lock is too short, what should I do?

U-locks are compatible with almost any type of cable. You can buy another one locally and make sure to test it out first before purchasing. You can also buy directly from the manufacturer’s website if you don’t mind the additional shipping fees.

My bike still got stolen while using the U-lock, what now?

Just like keys, the U-locks themselves also have a dedicated serial number that you can register on a manufacturer’s “anti-theft service.” So if your bike was stolen while using the U-lock, the manufacturer will give your money back or offer you a free replacement.

Conclusion

There are countless amounts of U-locks that are flooding the market in recent times. And I hope this intensive U-lock review article helped you in choosing the best U-lock for bikes. Now you don’t have to scroll lengthy reddit threads because this article alone got you covered. Should you have any extra concerns and queries, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll be glad to discuss it with you.

5/5 - (5 votes)