There are plenty of lightweight bicycle locks out there. The challenge is finding one that offers the best protection from thieves. In this article, we’ll give you 11 options for the best lightweight bike locks.
The obvious advantages of these bike locks are they’re compact, light, and easy to travel with. The downside is their lightweightness could negatively affect security and usability. Remember: The heavier they are, the harder for thieves to cut them.
But, hold on a second! This doesn’t mean there’s no best lock ever out there.
So, here they are—our top picks for the best lightweight bike locks on the market.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Lightweight Bike Locks Review
- 1.1 TiGr Mini+ Titanium Bike Lock & Mounting Clip
- 1.2 Titanker Bike Lock
- 1.3 West Biking Folding Bike Lock
- 1.4 Sportneer Bicycle Chain Lock
- 1.5 Allnice ET-152 Mini Portable Anti-Theft Resettable 3 Digit
- 1.6 Master Lock 8143D Combination Bike Lock
- 1.7 Kryptonite Evolution 11-14mm U-Lock with FlexFrame-U Bracket
- 1.8 Bike U Lock with Cable – Via Velo Bike Lock Heavy Duty
- 1.9 UBULLOX Bike U Lock Heavy Duty
- 1.10 AFHT Password Bike Lock Security
- 1.11 UBULLOX Bike Chain Lock 3FT/4FT
- 2 How to Choose Good Lightweight Bike Locks
Best Lightweight Bike Locks Review
TiGr Mini+ Titanium Bike Lock & Mounting Clip
The TiGr Mini+ Titanium Bike Lock & Mounting Clip isn’t the cheapest in our list, but weighing at 1.06 lbs., it’s one of the lightest mini bike locks out there. On top of that, it’s small, so you can easily fit it into your backpack. (It won’t probably fit in your pocket, though.)
Like what the name suggests, the TiGr Mini+ is made of titanium, a metal that’s known for being extremely light and tough (tougher than stainless steel). However, while it could withstand most leverage attacks, it doesn’t mean that it would be perfect for areas at high risk of bike theft.
Another thing you’ll probably love about the TiGr Mini+ is it’s easy to use. Just fit it around any frames or wheels, and if necessary, unlock it at a simple press of a button.
If you’re looking for a titanium-made lock that’s light, convenient, and a good thief deterrent, this one’s for you. However, if you own a fat tire bike, there’s no way it could fit around both tires. It only has a locking area of 8 inches long and 4 inches wide.
- Lightweight (weighs around a pound)
- Sturdy titanium lock
- Incredibly convenient
- Fits most medium frames and wheels
- Not a good choice if you have a fat tire bike or women’s bike
- Can be difficult to unlock
Titanker Bike Lock
While not as durable and cut-resistant as TiGr Mini+, the Titanker Bike Lock is still worth the consideration. It would make a good secondary lock, especially if you live in a low-to-moderate-crime area.
The braided cable is made from durable zinc alloy, with an outer shell made from tough and heat-resistant ABS thermoplastic. This flexible bike lock is 4-foot long, so it’s easy to fasten bicycles, electric scooters, skateboards, lawnmowers, and so much more.
Weighing only 0.7 lbs., you can barely feel this lock when it’s mounted to the bracket holder or wrapped around your bike frame. And it’s relatively easy to release the cable lock from the mounting bracket with just a push of a button.
The Titanker Bike Lock has around 10,000 possible password combinations that you could choose from. The default password is 0000, but you can easily change it. Everything you need to know about setting or changing the number combination is clearly outlined in the instruction manual.
- Easy to setup different combinations to form a 4-digit code
- Doesn’t scratch most bike frames
- Long enough to fit around most bikes
- Sturdy lock and thick cable
- Can be difficult to unlock (even if you use the correct security code)
- Easy to cut the cable
West Biking Folding Bike Lock
The West Biking Folding Bike Lock weighs around 1.3 lbs., which makes it slightly heavier than a soccer ball. After folding (50 mm x 70 mm), it fits neatly into a top tube bag, saddle bag, or backpack. It also comes with a bracket or holder that you can easily attach to your bike for your convenience.
This unique bike lock is made of alloy steel, with steel rivets to make folding easy. The manufacturer used ABS rubber lacquer for the outer shell to protect it from the harsh weather elements. They’ve also added an anti-impact bumper to silence lock rattle and prevent damage to your bike’s frame.
The manufacturer provides three stainless steel keys. Each key has a distinctive mouth design and serial numbers for easy identification and replacement.
- Long enough to lock the rear tire and frame to a pole
- Seems to be sturdy
- Perfect for strep-through bikes
- Compact and quiet
- Can be a little awkward to position when mounting on a bike
- Couldn’t be used to wrap around different types of poles
Sportneer Bicycle Chain Lock
Keep your bike protected against would-be thieves with the Sportneer Bicycle Chain Lock. This lightweight lock, which weighs 1.48 lbs., is made of 0.27-inch thick manganese steel chains that are coated with zinc for rust and abrasion resistance.
What’s so special about manganese steel? Some of the advantages of manganese steel are its high-impact strength and resistance to abrasions, without becoming increasingly brittle.
The manganese steel chain is protected by a cloth sleeve to prevent scratching and increase its lifespan. With a total length of 3.2 feet, it’s long enough that you can easily wrap it around the middle of your bike frame or seatpost and secure it to posts or racks easily.
The 5-digit combination lock produces 100,000 possible codes, which no sane thief would even attempt to crack. As long as you don’t forget your lock’s code, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your bike’s secure while you make a quick stop to your favorite shop.
- Large and easy-to-read number combination dials
- Padded chain prevents scratching of your bike frame or seat post
- Easy to use lock, with clear instructions
- Thick and strong lock and chain
- A little heavy (weighs around 1.48 pounds)
- Can be difficult to unlock at times
Allnice ET-152 Mini Portable Anti-Theft Resettable 3 Digit
The Allnice ET-152 Mini Portable Anti-Theft Resettable 3 Digit is a good security tool if you’re only going to use it to do tasks that’ll only take a few minutes (e.g., grab a cup of coffee and take your clothes from the cleaners). But for better security, pair it with a more heavy-duty bike lock.
The lock hook is made from zinc alloy. It can be a very strong material, but it’s not as strong as stainless steel.
The braided steel cable is enclosed in good-quality PVC to prevent premature rusting and scratches. The “not so good thing” about the cable is it’s only 2 millimeters thick, which isn’t thick enough to give thieves a hard time.
The main selling points of the Allnice ET-152 Mini Portable Anti-Theft Resettable 3 Digit are its size and weight. It’s only 3.5 oz. (0.22 lbs.), and it’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.
This is a keyless lock, so you can set your own password. But as a 3-digit lock, it only has about a thousand different combinations.
- Easy to fit into a jersey pocket or small saddle bag
- Easy to set your password
- Lightweight cable bike lock (120 grams)
- Thin cable
- Not long enough (but has no problem securing one bike)
Master Lock 8143D Combination Bike Lock
The Master Lock 8143D Combination Bike Lock is for people who only want a portable bike lock to deter thieves and don’t mind dealing with the occasional jams. It’s a low-cost and sturdy lock that does the job better when used together with a high-security U-lock or chain lock.
Unlike the other keyless bike locks in our review, this lock doesn’t have a programmable code. It comes with a small metal tab, which lists the code assigned to your lock. Make sure you take note of it—perhaps on your phone, laptop, or desktop computer—just in case you lose the metal tab.
The braided steel cable is 4-foot long and 8-millimeter thick. It’s enclosed in a PVC vinyl coating to prevent abrasions on your bike’s external structure and protect the chain from harsh weather elements.
- Long enough to secure your bike to your car’s roof rack
- A lightweight bike lock that’s easy to carry anywhere
- Relatively easy to lock and unlock
- A good and affordable bike lock from a reputable manufacturer
- Doesn’t allow people to set their own number combination
- Unlocking it takes around 30 seconds longer
Kryptonite Evolution 11-14mm U-Lock with FlexFrame-U Bracket
The Kryptonite® Evolution is 3.55 lbs., so it’s not exactly the lightest u lock out there. But remember that a heavy lock isn’t totally a bad thing. If this is too light, you should doubt if this is really made in all hardened steel or not. Nevertheless, the size and weight of this lock won’t make you struggle to control your bike while riding.
The highlight of this bike lock is its crossbar, which features a new “pass-thru” design to add an extra layer of protection against single-cut and twisting attacks. That means thieves would have to be more creative and cut through the lock with an angle grinder at least twice.
There are three stainless steel keys that come with the Kryptonite® Evolution. One of the three keys features a high-output LED bulb and replaceable battery. So, if you register your keys, Kryptonite® will replace them for free—that is, if ever you lose them.
- Big enough to lock your bike to most racks and posts
- Easy to install the mounting hardware
- Smooth-operating (if lubricated properly) keys and locking mechanism
- Sturdy and reasonably priced lightweight bike lock
- Can be difficult to remove after a few uses (which can be solved by lubricating it)
- Secure but noisy bike frame mount
Bike U Lock with Cable – Via Velo Bike Lock Heavy Duty
The Via Velo Bike U Lock with Cable is something you’ll most likely use in areas that have a low to medium risk of bike theft. If you use this correctly, it should perform reasonably well—unless a would-be thief is armed with saws and sophisticated power tools.
To be fair, it can survive attacks that involve heavy-duty bolt cutters, hammers, and tin snips. It features a double bolt locking design, which enhances the lock’s pull resistance and strength. Meaning, a thief has two cut through both sides of the bar to defeat the lock.
While it’s not the strongest compared to other U-locks, the Via Velo Bike U Lock with Cable’s weather performance is great. The PVC coating makes sure dirt, dust, and water won’t cause rusting, thus extending the life of your lock.
Like the Kryptonite® Evolution, it’s not the lightest U-lock with cable. (It weighs 3.2 lbs.) But it’s compact and comes with a high-quality mounting bracket, so it’s still convenient to bring with you wherever you go.
The woven steel cable (5 ft. and 10 in.) with smoke-grey PVC coating can easily secure your bike’s wheels, frame, and more. Although Kryptonite® could’ve made the shackle an inch or two longer to give you more locking options.
- Can survive attacks from a hammer and a bolt cutter
- Doesn’t easily rust
- Slightly shorter, so it’s harder to pry open with a crowbar
- Comes with a big cable that’s hard to cut through
- Color-code keys would be a welcome change
- Key doesn’t fully turn after a few months of use
UBULLOX Bike U Lock Heavy Duty
The UBULLOX Bike U Lock Heavy Duty offers great value at a reasonable price. It’s relatively light (2.75-3 lbs.), sturdy, and easy to use.
This lock is tough! It has an impressive 0.63-inch alloy steel shackle that can resist heat and up to 12 tons of hydraulic shear. (A U-lock shackle should be at least 16 millimeters thick, so it can’t be cut through easily.) The lock cylinder is made of C grade pure copper (rarely used material) to make sure it’s difficult to pick.
The heavy-duty shackle is wrapped in 0.10-inch silicone to protect your bike from abrasions, while the steel cable (4 feet) is protected from rusting by a PVC material. The cable features double-looped ends to make it easier for you to secure your bike to lamp posts, racks, and other permanent fixtures.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of free storage space on your bicycle. The UBULLOX Bike U Lock Heavy Duty is compact enough to fit under any bike seat. (Note: This lock comes with a mounting bracket.)
- Made of high-quality alloy steel that’s not easily cut or drilled
- Comes with three keys
- Compact and small enough to fit under the bike seat
- Encased in soft silicone cover to prolong the life of the lock
- Needs to improve on the design of the mount
- Not big enough for most street signs
AFHT Password Bike Lock Security
Are you looking for a light lock for your bike that’s flexible and compact like a chain lock and sturdy like a U-lock at the same time? If that sounds like you, the AFHT Password Bike Lock Security might be something you’ll like.
The eight thick bars are made of waterproof steel and joined by steel rivets to ensure the lock can withstand cutting and sawing. The folding design takes up little space on your bike. It comes with a well-designed mounting bracket for easy transport of your lock while cycling.
This 4-digit lock has 10,000 possible password combinations, decreasing the chances of cracking the code by 1/10,000. If you’re forgetful, don’t worry. It’s easy to change the code, so you can create a more memorable combination.
- A compact bike lock
- Folding circumference gives you lock-up options
- Sturdy like a bolt lock
- Can deter most thieves
- Difficult to remove and take out of the lock position
- Sturdy but heavy (weighs around 2.5 to 3 pounds)
UBULLOX Bike Chain Lock 3FT/4FT
The UBULLOX Bike Chain Lock 3FT/4FT is another good “in the middle” choice. Its flexibility and light weight make it easy to transport with you. And while it’s not going protect your bike from a seasoned thief with handheld power tools, its 0.24-inch alloy steel chain is thick and durable enough to resist drilling attacks and manual unlocking.
The zinc alloy lock cylinder is also equally durable. The PE plastic lock head of the UBULLOX is smooth to make sure you can turn the lock precisely, without blocking.
To better protect your bike, it comes with a 5-digit locking mechanism. It allows up to 100,000 possible combinations, which is guaranteed to give an amateur thief a splitting headache.
- Long enough to lock the front wheels of two 50cc scooters that are parked side by side
- Easy to use and set the combination
- A thick and sturdy bike lock
- Relatively easy to bring along
- Not going to protect your bike from seasoned thieves
- Lacks a secret key or pin to help you reset and release it
How to Choose Good Lightweight Bike Locks
The good news is there’s no shortage of choices of the lightest bike locks. The downside of this is that it’s going to be harder to find the right lock for your needs. To help you narrow down your options, we’ll explain below the different key features to look for on your next purchase.
Weight matters, regardless if you’re interested in lightweight bike locks or not. The rule of thumb is the heavier a lock is, the harder it is to break. However, that also means it’s not something you’ll love to bring along with you.
The weight of bike locks will depend on several factors, like the type of lock (U-lock, chain, folding, or cable), the material they’re made of, and the thickness. Some bike locks weigh a little more than a 2-liter bottle of soda, while others weigh the same as a 12-ounce can of soda.
For instance, the TiGr mini weighs only around 0.9 lbs. The Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 weighs around 2.85 lbs.
To find the right lightweight bike lock for your needs, it’s important to strike a balance between the need for portability and security. Think about it this way:
- The extra weight is beneficial if you want to give thieves a tough time stealing your expensive-looking bike, especially if you’re going to leave it on the street all day. However, it’s not going to work to your advantage if you’re going to frequently ride up steep hills.
- Risking stating the obvious, compact and lightweight bicycle locks are more convenient to carry around with you. The only problem is many of them aren’t strong enough to protect your bike from the attack of a power-tool-wielding thief.
If you only need low-level security, you can opt for a café bike lock. Café locks are the best choices for you if you plan to park your bike within a few meters from where you are.
Café locks weigh almost next to nothing. Some of them weigh less than a pound, and they’re usually small enough to easily fit into a jersey pocket.
The Level of Security
You’re investing on a bike lock because you expect it to keep your $600 bike safe from amateur and seasoned thieves. That means you need to be ready to pay for a more expensive bike lock, especially when you usually ride in high-crime areas.
Note: When we say high quality bike locks with the “highest level of security,” we mean they slow down or frustrate, not defeat, ‘tooled up’ thieves. So, if a lightweight bike lock can do that, then it’s money well spent.
One way to identify high-security locks is to look for the ‘Sold Secure’ logo. This decent guide categorizes security products into three categories:
- Gold – Locks belonging to this category provides the most resistance when it comes to making it harder for a thief to pry open or cut through them. Ideally, they may buy you five minutes of time. They’re the types of locks you’ll buy if you live or frequented places that have high cases of bike theft.
- Silver – Locks with this rating are usually more affordable (than Gold-rated locks) but still offers a decent level of security. On paper, it would take around three minutes for thieves to overcome them. They’re more suitable for mid/low-risk places.
- Bronze – These locks could protect your bike from basic attacks. They’re only meant to convince would-be thieves to think twice and look elsewhere.
The Type and Design
The four main types of bike locks are chain locks, U-locks (called as D-locks in the U.K.), folding locks, and cable locks. Each lock offers unique features and is appropriate for various situations.
Let’s see the upsides and downsides of these four types of bike locks:
Like chain bike locks, the thickness of U-locks (also known U-bolts) will determine how fast someone could cut through them. They’re usually resistant to attacks from thieves using high-leverage hand tools, like a bolt cutter. They won’t survive an angle grinder attack, though.
A possible reason you’ll choose U-locks over chain bike locks is their portability. Chain bike locks are heavy! If you travel by bike a lot, U-locks are more convenient to bring with you every day, without sacrificing too much of their ability to keep your bike secure.
One of the main disadvantages of a U-lock is it’s rigid, which will limit your choices for solid fixtures to lock your bike. For instance, you can’t use a U-lock to secure your bike to a big and awkwardly shaped railing or post. And since it’s inflexible, it’s more vulnerable to hydraulic bottle jack attacks.
If you often leave your bike in public spaces for periods of time, chain locks are for you. Good-quality chain locks are usually made of hardened steel alloy, which offers superior protection against cutting and pulling attacks. Since they’re flexible, you can secure them to a lot more places.
However, their strength and flexibility come with a price. They’re usually heavy and bulky, so they’re inconvenient to carry around daily on your bike.
Aside from the material used and the thickness, the length or number of links also affects the weight of chain locks. If you only need to secure your bike’s frame, you could probably get away with using a shorter (and lighter) chain lock.
Folding locks are good alternatives to U-locks and chain locks. They’re not as secure as the two, but they do offer several advantages:
- They’re lighter than chain locks, but slightly heavier than U-locks. A good example of a lightweight and sturdy folding bike lock is the Foldylock Compact, which weighs only around 2.2 lbs. (1 kg.).
- They’ll fit around more fixed objects, like bollards and light poles, than U-locks.
- They’re more compact than U-locks because of their folding design, so they’re not a hassle to bring along with you.
Many of the lightest bike locks on the market are cable locks. They usually weigh less than a pound. Their flexibility allows you to easily loop them around objects, like your handlebars, or store them in your pocket or bag.
The major downside to cable locks is they’re less secure. Thieves could easily defeat them with a single snip of their bolt cutter.
So, should you completely avoid cable locks?
Not really. They’re still a good deterrent if you live in a low-crime area or use them in combination with other types of locks. There are cable locks that offer a higher level of security by enclosing the wire cable (with vinyl coating) in a steel jacket.
Many of the bike locks on the market are made of stainless steel or zinc alloy. Both are heavy and strong, but stainless steel tends to be stronger. Simply put, you want these heavy materials. The heavier they are, the better security they provide.
If you’re willing to spend more than a hundred dollars, titanium bike locks are good investments. Titanium is twice as strong as stainless steel. So, even if a titanium bike lock is thin, it’s still very resistant to cutting and prying attacks. The only way to cut through a titanium lock is by using a handheld power tool for angle grinding.
The major selling point of a titanium bike lock is its amazing weight to strength ratio. It’s incredibly light and strong at the same time.
The type of material isn’t the only thing you need to consider. You also need to look at the thickness of a lock’s core, minus its sheathing. Properly hardened, good bike locks should be at least 16-millimeter thick to have a good fighting chance against any manual bolt cutter.
Chances are your lightweight u lock or chain lock is likely to be exposed to varying weather conditions. If it’s raining or cold outside, there’s a possibility that water may freeze inside your bike lock and jam it—or worse, cause it to rust inside.
Therefore, the best lightweight bike locks shouldn’t only keep your bike safe from thieves. They should also be resistant to the effects of the weather. Fortunately, most outdoor security locks for bikes have weather-proofing features, like watertight seals around openings, vinyl covering to prevent rust, and sealed looped ends.
Tip: We don’t expect these locks to be completely immune to freezing, moisture, or rust, but there are a few things you can do to keep them functioning longer. One of the things you could do—if you’re not already doing it—is to apply a high-grade lubricant, like powdered graphite or WD-40, to the chain or keyhole.
The bottom line is there’s no perfect bike security lock. If you prioritize lightweightness and portability, you’re bound to sacrifice the level of security a lock provides.
The truth is there’s no lock that a thief with conviction won’t be able to cut through. The ultimate purposes of these light bike locks are to keep honest people honest and draw attention to thieves.
Using two types of bike locks to secure your bike is ideal, that is, if you have the budget. In that way, thieves would look for another target because it takes longer and require more tools (or skill sets) to remove both locks.