With the price of gasoline at all-time highs, many people are parking the cars and getting out their bicycles. Not only are bikes a great form of exercise, but they also don’t require anything to operate — other than strong legs of course.
Because of the costs driving, riding a bike can be a great alternative. If you’re a college student, you know that money can be pretty tight; bikes are a great way to get around for free. But having a bike means having the best (read strongest) bike lock.
Chain locks are some of the most secure locks available. The chains are very thick, and they typically are covered with some sort of sheathing to make it difficult for thieves to cut the links.
Since chain locks are so thick, they are often very heavy and relatively difficult to transport. Because of this, most people use chain locks when they will be leaving their bike parked for a long period of time or over night.
You can keep the lock in your dorm room or locker and lock your bicycle when you arrive.
One of the most popular bike security devices that you will see around college campuses is the U-lock. Just as the name implies, these simple but sturdy U-shaped locks are very easy to operate. You just clamp the bike to the parking stile with the lock from behind.
The U-lock is also easier to transport than the chain lock. They are lighter and many come with frame bracket that allows you to keep the lock out of the way until you need it.
They are usually made from strong forged steel and would take a while for the lock to be picked. However, like the chain lock, U-locks are only capable of securing one spot of the bicycle — for instance, the frame. For bikes with detachable wheels or seats, you’ll need to use the U-lock together with other U-locks are cable locks to make sure you secure all parts of your ride.
Cable locks are the simplest and least expensive type of lock, and they are fast and easy to use. If you are in the market for the lightest bike locks, this should be your obvious choice.
There are two different types of cable locks: one that requires the use of a pad or combination lock, or an inclusive cable lock that locks to itself by means of a combination lock.
Again, some bike riders around campus choose to use a couple of them, just to further detour theft. They are made of heavy-cage braided steel cable that is encased in a layer of rubber, which is less likely to scratch the bike.
These types of locks can be difficult to cut because of the hardness of the steel, but they are weaker than either the U-lock or the chain lock. For this reason, it’s more common for cyclists to use a combination of chain locks, U-locks, and cable locks for maximum protection against bike theft.
Which is the best/strongest bike lock for you?
Of these three types of bike locks, the best one will depend on your situation. Are you locking it up to go to class? Are you locking it up for the night? When and where you need to secure your bike will determine what your lock strategy will be, and often the best bike lock for college will be a combination of a few different locks.