How to wisely choose your bike lock?
Bicycle theft is on the rise, so it’s important to protect your bike. But what are the best lock solutions on the market?
In this article you will find the different options available to you.
Between traditional locks and new technologies, you can easily protect yourself from the risk of theft.
1. The different types of padlocks, how to choose?
There are many different types of padlocks on the market. They all have their pros and cons depending on what you are looking for. Here is a list of the main types of padlocks you can buy.
Padlocks with key
- U-chains : As the name suggests, this is a U-shaped lock, usually made of hardened or high-strength steel. It is easy to use and provides good protection for your bike.
- Folding padlocks :Easier to carry than a U-lock, they can be attached to your bike frame.
- Frame lock : This horseshoe-shaped lock is positioned to lock the rear wheel. It is easy to use to secure your bike and is ideal for quick stops. However, it is not ideal for longer stops.
- Boa : The Boa, halfway between cable and chain locks, is stronger and less cumbersome. However, it is less effective than the U-shaped padlock.
- Combination locks : You don’t need a key. You simply enter a code to unlock your bike. The downside of this type of lock is that they can be easily picked if the code is found.
- Connected locks : With a mobile app and Bluetooth you can unlock your lock without a key. You even have an option to geolocate your bike.
2. How to properly secure your bike?
How to choose the right location?
When parking your bike, there are several things to consider:
1- Safety: Ideally, you should lock your bike in a well-lit and busy area to reduce the risk of theft.
2- The locking bracket: Choose a location where there is a suitable locking bracket for your bike and lock. This could be a pole or a roll bar for example.
3- Surveillance: If possible, lock your bike in a place where there is a surveillance camera. Your bike will be safer.
4- The regulation : Check that the location you have chosen is not subject to any restrictions on bicycle parking.
How to secure your bike?
Always hang your bike on a fixed point and by the frame for both long and short stops.
It is also advisable to mark your bike. A unique number will be engraved on the frame of your bike and it will be referenced in a national file.
There are several marking solutions:
- Bycicode : a European marking solution
- Mybike.brussels : a marking solution for the Brussels-Capital Region. Simply register your bike’s details online at Mybike.brussels to receive a sticker to stick on your bike.
- Velopass : An international marking solution. The advantage of Velopass.com is that it links to national registers. Once your bike is registered, you will receive a sticker with a QR code to stick on the frame. By not engraving your bike with a national identification number, you don’t lose the warranty with the buyer and you can resell your bike easily. There is even the possibility of transferring the ownership of the bike in case of sale.
These solutions not only deter theft but also increase the chances of finding your bike if it is stolen.
To choose your lock, you can also look at the lock certifications✅ :
- SRA certification : Every year, the association Sécurité et Réparations Automobiles (SRA) checks and certifies the models of locks on the market. An anti-theft device obtains SRA certification when it is capable of resisting any type of attack for about ten minutes.
- Sold Secure : This certification classifies locks into 3 categories of resistance: Bronze, Silver and Gold.
– A Gold padlock offers very good security
– A Silver padlock is a compromise between security and cost
– A Bronze lock offers the minimum security required to protect your bike.
- FUB Certification: The Federation of Bicycle Users (FUB) publishes a list of the most resistant locks every year. FUB carries out a series of tests whose objective is to reproduce the most common theft techniques on locks. There are two levels:
– the “1 wheel” level, which includes all locks that are resistant to attacks by light tools in a short period of time.
– Level “2 wheels”, which includes locks that are resistant to more aggressive tools.
- ART Label: The label gives a rating between 1 and 5 stars:
–⭐ : minimum security for bicycle
– ⭐⭐ : Good bicycle lock
– ⭐⭐⭐ : Moped friendly lock
– ⭐⭐⭐⭐ : Ideal for short term parking of a motorbike
– ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ : Allows you to park a motorbike for a long period of time
3. An alternative: eDock
Nowadays, you can also find connected parking facilities to park your bike safely. This is the case of eDock, a Belgian company, which offers a connected parking solution for bikes and scooters. This solution also allows you to charge your bike while parked.
The eDock stations work with an application. Simply create an account and you can lock and unlock your bike easily.
The Bycicode tag
Certification of locks