Bicycle Lock

How to Choose the Best U-Shaped Bicycle Lock

U-shaped locks (also called D-shaped locks) are mostly large in size and consist of two parts. The arc of durable material joins the straight bar and grabs the selected object and resembles the shape of the letter U/D.

For the first time this lock was released by Kryptonite in the seventies and had a high level of security, becoming an excellent alternative to heavy chains. Today, many manufacturers of bicycle locks offer U-shaped locks, including OnGuard and Abus.

If you intend to purchase only one lock (I would recommend to take a pair), then, of course, the arc-shaped lock will be a good choice. These locks unite in themselves three main points – excellent security, practicality and price.

Chain locks can provide more options in choosing a place on the street to secure the bike, but they are very heavy in themselves. Cable locks provide minimal protection for your bicycle. For someone who purposefully specializes in the theft of bicycles, such protection is very conditional.

But which choice will be right? Many companies produce a huge number of locks, which differ in size, severity and cost. You can compare different types of U-locks by reading this article. But before you make a purchase, you need to learn more about U-shaped locks.

The dimensions of the U-locks depend on the area of ​​their construction and not on the thickness of the alloy. The smaller the lock size, the better. Small padlocks weigh little and are also easy to carry. Due to the fact that such locks have a decent thickness, they have higher protection properties.

The thickness of the U-lock (attached to any object), the less choice remains to use tools for cracking. When we talk about a lower-caliber padlock, thieves can insert a metal tool into the gap and try to crack it. Massive U-locks can be cracked with a hydraulic cylinder.

Therefore, try to choose a lock that fits exactly to the frame, to the wheel, and to anything to which it is normally attached. The disadvantage of the small size, of course, is to limit the choice of objects to which you can attach the vehicle. For example, lamp posts, traffic signs and wide railings are not suitable. This can also apply to a too thick bicycle frame. Here, however, you have the choice of how you want to attach your bike and ensure its safety.

How thick should the U-shaped bicycle lock be?

u-shaped bicycle lock on a bicycle

In this case, it depends on the diameter of the U-shaped arch. The bigger the lock, the stronger it is. However, the type and strength of the material is very important, so these things are mainly made of steel.

Very often locks with a diameter of less than 13 mm are torn with bolt cutters and with a diameter of 13 to 15 mm with the largest bolt cutter, but it is unlikely that the thief has such a tool. Some may have such a tool, so locks with a diameter of 16 to 18 mm are paramount for safety reasons that can not be opened even with such equipment.

Even these locks can be cracked with a power tool. There’s only one way out – Buy a good and durable lock at a reasonable price and eliminate all hacking options with a power tool that any thief can use!

So it’s best if your U-lock is big. It goes without saying that the lock becomes heavier the thicker the material is.

The transport of the U-shaped bicycle lock

There are fasteners such as Transit-FlexFrame bracket-on-bike for U-locks, which vary in size and weight. The convenience of transport depends on the quality of the fasteners on the frame. As a rule, these are plastic clips whose clips snap into place before they are moved.

Depending on the type of bike (and other items attached to it), the bracket can usually be mounted in various locations, including the upper and lower frame tubes, the seat tube, and the upper rear fork or steering wheel.

I have to admit that many companies that produce these products often pay little attention to the design of the brackets and many consumers are dissatisfied with their quality. This is especially true for the inexpensive product. The reliable arm holds the lock and ensures its immobility while driving.

However, many complain about bad fasteners, so that the lock rattles while driving or even fall down! So if you want to transport comfortably, choose a lock with a high quality bracket.

Of course, the bracket supplied with the lock does not need to be used. Put it in a backpack. However, it should be noted that in this case there is a likelihood that it will get wet and dirty. Some U-locks are heavy and uncomfortable to carry on the back.

Another possibility is to put it in a basket or, if available, to attach it to the boot. You can even put a small lock in your pocket! Since most conventional brackets are not very good quality, there are several solutions to this problem. For example, attached to the belt special holster and attached to the steering mounts.

For example, you can guide your U-bolt through the seat rails and then snap it between the seat post and the frame tube. So you can safely attach it to the side. This method depends on the location where the lock is attached and its dimensions. But if his arms are too short, you can attach them to the seat with Velcro straps at any time.

Before buying, it is very important to think about the way of transporting the bicycle lock. If you do not have the option you want, you probably reject it completely.

Should i use two bicycle locks?

The requirements for a U-shaped lock depend on whether it is primary or optional. The main lock is responsible for the safety of the frame. If you do not use the “Sheldon method” to block (it is not advised), the lock should be large enough to lock onto the frame, the wheel, and so on.

A secondary lock that normally serves to prevent theft of another wheel. Considering the mounting option, only one additional lock is needed to connect the frame to the wheel, in which case it can be much smaller.

Do you need to buy both locks? You can talk about this topic for a long time, but I generally agree that your chances of not losing your bike will increase significantly.

u-shaped bicycle lock double security

Choosing the best U-shaped bicycle lock

U-shaded bicycle locks are probably the best way to protect your bike on the road and provide the most comfortable balance between safety, price and functionality. However, choosing the best U-shaped lock for your bike is difficult. How big and how thick the lock should be depends on where you lock your bike, how long you leave it unattended, how risky this place is in terms of street crime.

The safest U-shaped locks are small, thick and relatively expensive. If you need to attach the bike to a large object, you will need a larger padlock. Therefore, choosing the best U-Lock depends on your circumstances.

The best U-shaped bicycle locks for your circumstances

Kryptonite New York Lock Fahgettaboutit

Undoubtedly the most reliable padlock available. The thief should have a lot of paranoia to work on your bike despite of these circumstances. But maybe this lock is too heavy or too expensive for your needs.

  • 18mm hardened 
  • MAX-PERFORMANCE STEEL SHACKLE Patent-pending HARDENED DOUBLE DEADBOLT design gives additional protection against twist and cut attacks
  •  Patented STEEL SLEEVE over cross bar for double security. Center keyway defends against leverage attacks 
  • HIGHEST SECURITY DISC-STYLE 
  • CYLINDER is pick and drill resistant Sliding dustcover to PROTECT FROM DIRT AND DEBRIS 
  • 3 STAINLESS STEEL KEYS – including new design and one LED REPLACEABLE KEY FOB 
  • Key Safe Program 
  • Protective vinyl coating

ABUS Granit XPlus 540/160 HB 230

The best lock for all purposes. It is not as secure as the Fahgettaboudit Mini, but it is much larger, much easier and adequately protected.

  • Original German Product
  • High Picking protection, Security Level: 15
  • Double locking, High Pulling resistance, Includes “Lighted Key!
  • Outer dimensions (width/length/height): 7″ x 11.6″ x 1.6″
  • Inner dimensions (width/length): 4.25″ x 9″

ONGUARD Brute Mini Lock

Mini Brute is the equivalent of OnGuard for Fahgettaboudit Mini. It is not that thick and safe, but it costs less than half the price of the brands presented above! While the standard OnGuard Brute is comparable to the Granit X-Plus 540. The build quality may not be that good and it’s a lot harder, but the price is extremely seductive.

  • X4P Quattro Locking Mechanism for four-sided protection
  • Longer 90x140mm (3.55×5.52”) Tri Radius shackle
  • Security Rating: 97
  • Snap Lock Quick Release multi- position mounting bracket 5 laser cut keys
  • X4P Quattro Locking Mechanism for four-sided protection, longer 90x140mm

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