The ’80s and ’90s saw an arms race between lock makers and bike thieves that eventually settled down when lock makers figured out how to make locks that would resist everything but hefty portable power tools. Here’s our selection of the locks that have the right stuff.
A sufficiently determined thief can breach any lock. However, for the best locks ‘sufficiently determined’ means ‘carrying a portable angle grinder’. That’s not a cheap tool in itself, and while it’s quick, it’s also very conspicuous.
One technique of your professional thief is therefore to damage the lock so you can’t open it, and then come back late at night with the big guns. If you find your lock mechanism made unusable — filled with glue, for example — break the lock yourself. Hiring an angle grinder will cost you about £20 for the day.
That’s about the only way you’ll quickly get through most of our lock selection here. The more you pay, on the whole, the longer it takes to breach a lock with unpowered brute force attacks, to the point where a thief won’t bother with the best locks, but move on to easier pickings. It’s a sad truth that the basis of on-street bike security is to make your bike too much trouble so a thief will nick someone else’s.