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When it comes to any product, you can pretty much spend as little or as much as you want. However, as a rule of thumb, the more you decide to fork out, the better quality you (usually) receive.
But how much should you spend on a lock for your bike – does it matter? Overall, it does matter and there are also a few key factors that need to be considered before splashing out on a lock to keep your bike safe.
How to Properly Lock a Bike
- Make sure that the lock mechanism works and isn’t damaged
- Lock your bike to something that is secure (eg. allocated bike parking or a lamppost)
- Ensure you lock your bike up in a busy area, with ample light and (preferably CCTV in the area)
- Avoid locking your bike up in quiet areas as this makes things easier for thieves
- If you have a D style, chain, or cable lock then it’s best to place the lock around both the frame and a stable object (as mentioned)
- Make sure that you also lock up components of your bike that are easily taken off by passing a longer cable or chain through them (eg. wheels are often taken off of bikes and stolen)
- It’s also important to take any valuables with you that could also catch a criminal’s attention (such as bike computers, lights, and e-bike batteries if possible)
How Many Bike Locks Do I Need?
The amount of bike locks that you need will depend on the lock you decide to purchase. There are many different styles of locks, therefore you may need two to if you want to err on the side of caution. For most cyclists, one may be adequate. For example, some very good D style locks will come with an attached cable to place through the wheels.
It may also be worth looking into getting special skewers (suitable for certain wheels) that are basically a lock at each end instead of a classic, quick release style skewer. These making stealing wheels from your bike much harder, either rendering the criminal unable to do so or just putting them off.
Another factor to consider when asking yourself how many bike locks you may need is “does my lock protect all the areas that I want to secure?” For instance, if you have a chain lock that’s very long and can pass through both your frame and wheels, then you should be ok with just the one lock.
However, if you do decide to have a couple of locks to ensure maximum protection of your bike, then you should be aware that carrying locks around can be a lot of added weight. Luckily, many locks can be attached and mounted to your bike, to help ease the weight of carrying one (or two) in your backpack.
Is One Bike Lock Enough?
As we’ve previously mentioned, one lock should be enough in order to keep your bike protected and safe while you go about your day. Generally speaking, if you’re only leaving your bike for a very short period of time then it shouldn’t be any problem to just use the one.
On the other hand, if you’re leaving your bike locked up for any prolonged period of time then having two locks may be something to consider, as it will act as a deterrent to potential criminals looking to make off with your bike. They don’t want a scene, two locks is double the hassle and take double the time to break through.
Therefore, one good quality lock of a high standard that is robust and hard (or impossible) to cut through should be more than adequate if you’re leaving your bike for a short period of time. But for longer periods, consider doubling up on two good quality bike locks just for peace of mind and to put thieves off.
How Much Should I Spend on a Bike Lock?
Knowing how much to spend on a bike lock can be a little confusing, given the sheer amount of options currently on the market. But, the answer is, the amount you should spend on a lock will differ depending on a few different factors.
First off, if you’ve taken out insurance for your bike (something which I’d highly suggest everyone who rides a bike should do) you may notice that a lot of bike insurers will insist on having your bike securely locked up when you aren’t present.
Not only is this required by most insurance companies, but they also often have a set standard of lock that they want you to use when you lock your bike up. This is because certain locks are better than others, and thus make stealing your beloved machine far harder.
Therefore, insurance companies will understandably expect you to spend a little more on a lock if you want them to pay out in the event of a bike theft, as the more expensive the lock, the higher the quality, and the harder it is to break or cut through.
A good way to know if a lock is high quality is to look for the Sold Secure Gold or Diamond rated sign. This sign helps to identify the locks that are more heavy duty, and will do a better job – either deterring potential thieves or stopping them in their tracks altogether.
These Gold and Diamond level Sold Secure locks can range from anywhere between £40 to £100+, a little pricer than your basic combination bike lock. But, it’s far cheaper and easier in the long run in comparison to having to fork out for a new bike because your lock rendered your bike insurance void.
Therefore it’s highly advised to do a little research on which bike lock is suitable for you, as well as check terms and conditions of your bike insurance before buying a lock, and leaving your bike unattended with any old option.