Test of bicycle locks

Squire Paramount

In May 1997 "Total Bike Magazine" had a controlled test of bicycle locks. Brian supplied lock breaking knowhow. Brian is not a bike thief - he is a cyclist who discovered that most locks on the marked just weren't up to the job. He has made it his life's work to highlight the flaws and press for improvements. A junior hacksaw, pliers, a small hatchet, a hammer and a steel bar were the tools used.

Locks that survived more than 5 minutes

Locks that survived 3 minutes, but not 5 minutes

Locks that not survived 3 minutes

The winner security/cost

Our comments

All the Kryptonite bike locks have circular locks with round keys. They are easier to pick. They are also less tamper proof and more likely to be left unusable by failed thefts attempts. The best ABUS locks have an ABUS-Plus 7 disc cylinder that offers 250,000 key options. It is very difficult to pick.

The only cable to come out with any credibility in this test was the ABUS Steel-O-Flex Granite. They can lock the cable around a larger diameter post than the U-locks. The test panel could not penetrate the armoured steel outer, and after all the abuse, the locking mechanism still worked flawlessly. We do believe that this is the best cable lock, but in a Norwegian test April 1998, the test panel could open it after 1 minute and 50 seconds.

The test panel could not open the Kryptonite New York Chain A high quality chain lock is probably the most secure bicycle lock. The chain locks are heavy, but if you live in a high-crime area you have to invest in a top-quality lock. In New Your city, the so-called bike-theft capital, cyclists have begun pairing an U- lock with a chain lock. We do not believe that Kryptonite New York Chain is the best chain lock. The triple-heat-treated-steel monster chain with square-link design gives extra high security, but the padlock has an exposed shackle. The St. Pierre Quadrachain lock has no exposed U-type shank that can be cut with bolt cutters. The ABUS Granite Power Chain motorcycle lock has a 11-mm hexagonal section chain providing maximum resistance against bolt croppers, but is just too heavy to be practical.

Squire Paramount

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Last modified: Sun Apr 26 14:35:20 MET DST 1997