There are 4 common categories of locks:
1. Coiled cable locks
On these locks, typically the cable bit is around as thick as your little finger. They are cheap, lightweight, versatile in terms of what you lock your bike to, easy to carry but not very secure as they can be cut with hand tools like bolt cutters. These locks are good for locking your bike for short periods of time in a location that is fairly safe. For example https://www.goodcycles.org.au/product/onguarddobermancoilcombolock/
2. Armoured Coil locks
Armoured Coil locks are thicker and heavier than the above. The inner cable has a shield of solid metal plates around it to prevent almost all hand tools from getting through it, while some have a coating designed to jam an angle grinder blade. They are much heavier than the smaller cable locks but still have the same versatility but are harder to carry on the bike. Example: https://www.goodcycles.org.au/product/lockonguardrottweiler8024/
D-Locks (also called U-locks or shackle locks) are the most secure locks. They are typically solid steel and need to be cut twice (rather than once) to free your bike. Usually heavy, fairly expensive, and a bit unwieldy to carry, but the best option for security. You can get mini D-locks which are lighter and easier to carry but their versatility in terms of what you lock your bike to are reduced. Great for locking your bike for long periods of time. We suggest locking your rear wheel and frame to the bike hoop or post. Example: https://www.goodcycles.org.au/product/abusultra410d-lock230mmx105mm/
4. Folding plate locks
Folding plate locks, probably our favourite and most popular lock. Almost as secure as a D-lock but has the flexibility of a cable lock and carries well on the bike, they are fairly heavy though and not cheap. Good for commuting as most come with a good mount to hold the lock on your bike where a drink bottle cage would go. Example: https://www.goodcycles.org.au/product/abus-folding-lock-ugrip-bordo-5700-2/
When choosing a lock consider these key questions
- Where and for how long are you locking your bike?
- How secure does your lock have to be?
- How will you carry your lock?
- Could you leave at work if you don’t make stops to and from work?