Bicycling is an established sport enjoyed by millions. There are many road races and more casual biking clubs readily available, and it is also a fast-growing family exercise as well.
With the many opportunities to enjoy biking, the price of bikes has risen quickly, and with the rising prices of bikes the theft of bikes has quickly risen as well.
Bike locks are a very reliable and relatively inexpensive way to secure a bike. A quick search of Amazon.com shows a good quality bike lock can be purchased for around $50.00 (less than 10 percent of the average cost of a good bicycle).
The Average Cost Of A Bicycle Lock:
There are several different types of bike locks on the market with the top selling styles being, chain or flex cable lock, folding lock and a “U” lock. There are also variations and combinations of each style of lock.
A flex cable or chain lock is essentially a hardened coil cable or chain that can be weaved through the wheels and frame of the bike and locked to a bike rack.
This style comes either with a built-in combination lock or with two loops at either end of the cable or chain allowing the owner to supply a pad lock or combination lock of his choice.
Cost of Chain Lock:
A good flex cable or chain lock is readily available on Amazon.com for around $20.00. Purchasing a flex cable or chain lock in pairs is recommended to allow the bike owner to secure front and rear wheels and the bike frame to a stationary object. Click here to read more about chain locks.
Cost of Folding Lock:
Another option is a foldable bike lock. This style lock comes in various lengths allowing the owner options depending on how and to what the bike is to be secured.
Often purchased in pairs, the foldable lock is designed to secure both wheels of the bike to the frame and the valuable bike frame to an immovable bike rack.
By securing the entire bike the owner prevents a potential thief from either rolling the bike away or stealing the valuable wheels.
Foldable locks are typically more expensive than a flex cable or chain lock. The average price of a foldable lock ranges between $50.00 and 100.00 but are available with carrying cases and costing up to $200.00 on Amazon.com.
Foldable locks also come with built-in combination locks or loops to allow the owner to supply the lock of choice. Click here to read more about the folding locks.
Cost of U Style Lock:
A third option for bike security is the “U” style lock. As with the other types of bike locks, a quality U style lock comes in hardened steel that is nearly impossible to cut through without a cutting torch.
The U style lock should also be used in pairs securing the front wheel to the bike’s frame and the rear wheel and the bike’s frame to a cut-proof, stationary object.
U style locks typically come with a keyed locking mechanism, but some are available with a combination locking mechanism as well.
U style locks typically cost $60.00 for a top-quality lock. A quick search of Amazon reveals U style locks for as little as $31.00 and combination U style locks and flex cable locks selling for a little over $100.00.
U style locks are often purchased with a flex cable lock allowing the owner to secure the front wheel to the bike’s frame. Check out our guide on U style lock here.
Bike locks should be a percentage of the value of the Bike
Much like bike helmets or reflectors, a good quality bike lock should be standard equipment for bikers. A bike owner should evaluate the price of the bike and make the bike lock a percentage of the value of the bike.
If the owner has invested in having the bike customized and calibrated to the preferred style of riding, the time and expense of the customized job should also be factored into the price of the bike lock.
Serious bike riders often pay more than a thousand dollars on a carbon fiber, ultra-light racing bike. A moment to stop for cold water can turn into a nightmare in just a few seconds if a thief takes the opportunity to toss an unsecured bike into their vehicle and make off with it.
In less than a day the thief can unload the bike at a pawn shop or on-line with the new owner never the wiser of where the bike came from. A quality bike lock can prevent a good ride from becoming a biking nightmare.