These are the best bicycle locks according to the Stiftung Warentest

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  • The consumer organization Stiftung Warentest tested bicycle locks for the 27 April 2021 edition.
  • A total of 20 bicycle locks were tested – including U-locks, frame locks, chain locks, folding locks and textile coat locks.
  • Half of the bicycle locks were declared good, the rest contained too many pollutants, i.a.

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Stiftung Warentest states that according to police crime statistics, around 260,000 bicycles were stolen in 2020. At first glance, this sounds like a lot. The number of bicycle thefts has continued to decline in recent years. One of the reasons for this may be that new bike locks are becoming more and more secure. Reason enough that the testers from Stiftung Warentest tested bicycle locks and decided the best of them.

Bicycle locks at Stiftung Warentest: This is how it was tested

A total of 20 bicycle locks were examined by the Stiftung Warentest. The categories were U-locks, frame locks, chain locks, folding locks and textile coat locks. Only ten of the castles received a good rating. The reason: A high level of pollutants was detected in many castles.

The bicycle locks have been tested in the areas of escape safety, handling, durability and harmful substances. The most important thing for the tests was, of course, the escape safety category, which received 70 percent in the overall rating. Handling was weighted at 20 percent, durability and pollutants at five percent each.

Buying a bike lock: what should you be aware of?

The test aspects of Stiftung Warentest already give a good indication of what you should consider when buying a bicycle lock. But we go a step further and explain what you should also think about. First of all, think about it: How much security do you want from the product? Do you often leave your bike in public places while you are at work, or do you prefer to drive from the yard to the bike cellar and back? It is dangerous in busy places such as train stations, bridges and squares – here professionals are mostly at work at night, but also during the day.

So the price should not be a top priority when buying, rather ask yourself how much the bike is worth to you and then decide on a lock with good craftsmanship. Branded bicycle locks are usually also protected against being broken up with picking tools. This can not be said with certainty about simple locks equipped with a lock cylinder without DIN standard. Therefore pay attention to the markings DIN EN 1303 and 18252.

Which bike lock is the safest?

Basically, one can say that folding and U-locks are the safest bike locks on the market as they make it difficult for thieves to steal a bike quickly. For models with a folding mechanism, however, you must pay attention to high-quality material, otherwise the joints become weak points that can be easily broken. Variants with a hoop often deter thieves with their massive character – as the curved material is difficult to break up, most casual thieves steer clear of it. With the inflexible lock, however, you also have a harder time finding a suitable place to connect it in everyday life.

And how secure is a combination lock? You need to know about this: Combinations of numbers do not provide adequate protection and can be easily broken. An integrated frame lock provides no protection as only one wheel is normally blocked. It can simply be lifted and the bike is gone. And cable locks also make it pretty easy for thieves armed with bolt cutters. They crack quickly and should therefore only be used as an extra lock.

What do the security levels for bicycle locks say?

There is no standardized process for assessing the safety of a bicycle lock. Each manufacturer can decide for itself how to assess the robustness of its models. Well-known manufacturers such as Kryptonite and Abus do this, for example, and give points from one to ten and one to 15, respectively. So you can only compare the individual bicycle locks from one manufacturer to find out which lock they think is more secure.

What should a good bike lock cost?

If you buy an expensive bike, do not save on the bike lock. It’s a little different with a used bike unless you’ve become particularly fond of it. Are you dependent on your means of transport or does it have a special sentimental value for you, then go for a high quality lock that costs about ten percent of the bike’s purchase price. This way you can keep the thieves at bay for at least three minutes. That is how long it takes on average for thieves to give up.

U-locks: These are the test winners from Stiftung Warentest

According to Stiftung Warentest, U-locks mainly owe their stability to their safety. They often have a massive construction and rigid elements. However, flexibility suffers as a result, U-locks can be difficult to adapt to bicycles, which is why there may be difficulties in attaching some models. Abus Granit Plus * was the winner of the U-lock test for Stiftung Warentest. In the test, it convinces with good safety against being forced open and a really good durability, which is probably due to the high stability. The handling is only satisfactory due to the lack of flexibility.

folding locks: These are the test winners from Stiftung Warentest

According to Stiftung Warentest, folding locks are usually quite practical because they can be folded in and out like folding rules. They are easy to transport and flexible when connecting the bike. As a result, they are apparently less burglar-proof than chain and U-locks and therefore easier to break. A test model even failed completely. The best performance is the Kryptonit Kryptolok folding lock *, which also has good anti-theft protection. The handling is only satisfactory here.

chain locks: These are the test winners from Stiftung Warentest

According to Stiftung Warentest, chain locks have similar properties to padlocks, they are generally stable and difficult to break, but are therefore often heavy and less easy to handle. The Decathlon B’Twin 900 Chain L chain lock * was named the winner of the award-winning performance of all bicycle locks tested by the Stiftung Warentest. At a price of only 30 euros, the handling is only satisfactory due to the points mentioned, but the security against being forced was rated as good and the handling even as very good.

Frame locks: These are the test winners from Stiftung Warentest

Without an extra chain for locking, frame locks are more of a kind of immobilizer than a bicycle lock. The bicycle cannot be ridden in this way, but it can be taken with you. The Trelock RS 453 Protect-O-Connect * even offers a carrying case for this. In conjunction with the Trelock ZR 455 protection chain *, the test winner offers good protection against being forced open, but only adequate handling. The durability is very good.

Textile coat locks: These are the test winners from Stiftung Warentest

With textile jacket locks, the metal core is encapsulated in several layers of textile, which results in greater stability. As in the previous categories, a high level of stability here also leads to greater stubbornness, and the locks are often more difficult to fasten. As a result, the test winner, Litelock Gold Wearable *, in this category, Litelok Gold Wearable, has only adequate handling. But good safety and good durability.

Conclusion: What compromises you need to make with bike locks

One thing has become clear with all types of locks: A stable and robust design leads to a high level of security, but the handling suffers as a result. Folding locks, for example, are easy to transport and can be folded up, but they are usually easier to break. Above all, U-shaped and chain wrenches are usually very robust and stable, but they are harder to attach to many bikes and are less flexible. With all the test winners shown here, you can be sure that your bike is well protected against theft, no matter which variant you choose.

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