You want your bike to be safe, but it can be a hassle lugging around a lock that's super heavy. That's why the best lightweight bike locks are a game-changer. No lock is 100 percent theft-proof, and typically, the most lightweight locks aren't going to be the most secure options. However, they can be great for deterring crimes of opportunity during shorter periods of time. They can also be a second line of defense for a more robust lock, allowing you to secure easily removable bike components, like the seat and wheels.
So, what should you look for in a bike look? The most secure locks will be made with tough, durable components, like solid or multi-layered steel and Kevlar. Additionally, a reinforcement such as Santoprene or PVC plastic coating will help protect your bike from scratches.
You'll also want to consider the locking mechanism itself. If it relies on a key, does it easily glide in and out, or does it tend to stick and jam? If it's a combination lock, is the code easy to set, and do the numbers turn easily? The best way to determine this is to read reviews, when possible. Most importantly, remember that whatever option you pick won't do you any good if you don't secure your bike lock properly.
To help you make a decision, I've researched the best lightweight bike locks and arranged them below, from the heaviest to the lightest (the heaviest ones being the most secure). Read on to find the lock that's best for your needs.
1. The Overall Best: A Lightweight U-Lock And Cable Set
Weight: 2.7 pounds (combined)
While most U-locks weigh in the neighborhood of 4 to 5 pounds, this lightweight bike lock from White Rock Gear clocks in at well under 3 pounds. It's made with solid steel that's 16 millimeters thick, and it comes with a compatible cable as well. The waterproof coating makes it fully rust-proof, so it can handle getting caught in the rain, and the included mount lets you keep the lock out of the way while you're riding.
On top of that, it has an easy-glide locking mechanism that's triggered with three simple keys. The tradeoff to it being so light is that it's much smaller than other U-locks, so if you use it without the cable, you'll need to lock it to smaller fixtures. Still, at nearly half the standard weight, it's a more than reasonable sacrifice.
2. The Runner-Up: The Best Triangle Clip Lock
Weight: 0.9 pound
If you want something even smaller and more lightweight, this clip-style bike lock features a sturdy disc lock cylinder with tough PVC coating to prevent scratches and dings. Although it comes with two keys, they aren't required to engage the lock, as it features an easy, push-button design. According to reviewers, the included hardware makes it easy to secure to your bike when not in use, and it doesn't bounce around when you ride. "This lock is really, really light!" wrote one Amazon reviewer. "It weighs under a pound and I can carry it in the pocket of my jersey or even my pants."
3. The Best Secondary Bike Lock
Weight: 0.39 to 0.57 pound
Although this coil-style bike lock doesn't offer as much security as the first two choices, it's nevertheless a fantastic option for shorter lockups, or to use as a secondary lock — and it's significantly lighter. It's constructed with a blend of multi-layer steel and Kevlar bands that are coated in anti-scratch Santoprene plastic. With a coil that can be expanded to almost three inches in diameter, it's small enough to easily store on your bike or even stash in your pocket. Instead of a key, it locks up with a simple, three-digit combination.
4. The Most Lightweight
Weight: 0.22 pound
At less than a quarter of a pound, this whisper-light bike lock is the lightest on the list by far. It's built with a tough, 2-millimeter inner cable that's covered in strong, scratch-resistant PVC plastic. It has a zinc alloy locking hook component and an easy-to-use combination lock. Although it's not secure enough to use as your primary lock, it's a wonderful option for quick lockups in highly trafficked areas.
As one reviewer wrote: "I'd find that while out on my rides I'd want to run in a store quick but was nervous about leaving my bike out for someone to run off with. This was the perfect solution because it's light and I didn't mind hauling it around like I would a larger lock. It's just enough to deter someone who might otherwise see your unlocked bike as an opportunity to make some quick cash."
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