OnGuard Bulldog MINI 5013TC Bike U-Lock Review

From $22 Best

An inexpensive option for cyclists looking for a lock that is secure but also lightweight and easy to carry around, it also comes with a mounting bracket. Users like that its small size makes it hard for thieves to work around.

OnGuard is another well-known bicycle locks brand, and its smaller OnGuard Bulldog MINI 5013TC Bike U-Lock (starting at $22, Amazon) discourages thieves with big tools from trying to bust it open. The shrunken size (3.5 x 5.5 inches and weighing only 1.7 pounds) of the OnGuard Bulldog MINI also makes it incredibly portable. The accompanying mounting bracket makes it even easier to cart around. Built with 13mm ultra hardened steel, this cheap shackle U-lock employs a lock system similar to the kind used in pricey European cars that only opens when the key is put in correctly, and a dual steel bar lock mechanism that the company claims delivers 10 tons of pull strength. OnGuard Bulldog MINIs come with four laser-cut keys and one key that lights up (it's powered by a LED, so it doesn't need replacing) for use at night. Vinyl coating on the lock protects your bike from scratches and the lock from wet weather. An earlier version of the OnGuard Bulldog MINI, the standard-size OnGuard Bulldog STD U-lock (starting at $22) earned a favorable review on Slate.com from a dedicated bike rider, who asked a bicycle shop manager to try breaking it; the experiment failed.

OnGuard Bulldog MINI reviews are overwhelmingly positive. On Buzzillions, one user writing a review used the lock while working as a bicycle messenger in New York City and says it's ideal for securing his bike for short periods of time throughout the day. Another rider who lives in San Francisco says in his bike lock review on the same site that it handily survived a theft attempt. Bicycle owners who had been looking for a small, cheap, dependable lock will be more than satisfied with the OnGuard Bulldog MINI, according to bicycle locks reviews on sites like Buzzillions and Amazon.

The OnGuard Bulldog MINI 5013TC seems like a tiny package but it provides big protection for bike riders. Small U-locks are harder to break than bigger ones, and the lighter weight makes it transportable and usable anywhere.

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Kryptonite KryptoLok Series 2 Standard Review

From $28 Best

This key lock combines the sturdy U-lock with a flexible cable and earns high marks from users for keeping their bikes safe and for its good warranty. The 13mm hardened performance steel shackle resists cutting while the 10mm braided steel cable provides additional security for accessories.

Kryptonite is a big name in the bike lock industry (this is the company that introduced the U-lock in the 1970s), and Kryptonite KryptoLok Series 2 Standard Bicycle U-Lock with 4-Inch Flex Cable (starting at $28, Amazon) holds true to the brand's reputation. This is a seemingly impenetrable U-lock with the added bonus of a flexible four-foot long cable to better and more fully secure your ride. Consumer confidence in this cheap bicycle lock derives from its hardened high-grade carbon alloy 1/2-inch steel shackle -- said by KryptoLok Series 2 reviews on Epinions to work like the mythical kryptonite in its ability to withstand a thief's hand tools -- and high-security disc-style cylinder with lock in the center. The cable is made of braided steel, which is what the experts recommend in bicycle locks reviews.

From the quiet suburbs to the mean, bike-stealing streets of New York City, bicycle locks reviews across the board laud this lock for its impenetrability and durability. One user is comfortable leaving her bike locked up on her college campus all day, according to a KryptoLok Series 2 review on Amazon, while another says the lock has been going strong for two years. Reviews on Epinions echo these reports, even noting you can rely on the U-lock alone (that is, minus the cable that wraps through wheels and around a post) to keep your bike safe and secure. Some KryptoLok Series 2 reviews carp about the lock's 3.6-lb. weight, but it does come with a mounting bracket and anti-rattle bumpers (little rubber devices that keep the "U" and crossbar parts of the lock from knocking against each other while you ride). Like most Kryptonite locks, the KryptoLok 2 comes with a $1,250 anti-theft protection warranty and a key protection deal that guarantees replacement keys if they break or go missing.

Kryptonite seems like a brand you can trust, and we particularly like the fact that this lock offers the dual-sturdiness of a U-lock and the length (and flexibility) of a cable lock for less than $30. Given all the security you get for the price, the lock literally seems like a steal (no pun intended).

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Wordlock Cable Bike Lock Review

From $13 Good

If you're looking for a simple cable lock, this low-cost model is easy to use (the combination lock opens with letters instead of numbers) and its five-foot length is enough to secure your bike, wheels and all. Users suggest you may want to pair it with a sturdier U-lock for added protection.

If you have a preference for cable locks, the Wordlock Cable Bike Lock (starting at $13, Amazon) is what you want: 5 feet of tough, braided steel (vinyl-coated so it won't scratch your bike or be ruined by the elements) that can securely attach most parts of your bike to any object. A letter-based combination lock, with 10,000 possible combinations you can reset as needed, suits riders who may have trouble remembering numbers. The cable is self-coiling and can be mounted and carried on an accompanying seat-post bracket.

In a Wordlock Cable Bike Lock review on Target, one user raves about the length of this cable, noting how easy it is to attach the bike to a thick tree, in the event that you can't find a bike rack. Even teenagers, who otherwise can't be bothered to carry, let alone use, a bike lock they find too cumbersome, willingly use the Wordlock Cable Bike Lock, according to a blogger posting a bicycle locks review on Bikediva.net. In a review on the DailyGrommet, which reviews innovative products, this bicycle lock gets a thumbs up for its reliance on letters and what the expert review site calls a heavy-duty consistency.

The Wordlock Cable Bike Lock gets three out of five stars in a bicycle locks review in About.com's bicycling guide, which says its chief downfall is shared by all cable locks; that is, not being durable enough for serious protection. But for low-theft areas or inexpensive bikes, this cheap bike lock is solid and easy to use. Its range of colors (bright red, pink, and blue, in addition to the standard black,) also appeals to kids, which may usher in a new generation of bike riders who won't be lazy about protecting their wheels.

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Abus Steel-O-Chain 685 Bicycle Lock Review

From $25 Good

At 2.5 feet long and weighing less than 2 pounds, this chain lock is sturdy yet not too heavy, and long enough to secure your bike in a variety of settings. The Abus Steel-O-Chain 685 uses an integrated automatic locking padlock with a coded reversible key. It loses points with consumers for providing just a general warranty, not an anti-theft one.

As far as chain locks go, the Abus Steel-O-Chain 685 (starting at $25, Amazon) is a doozy. At 2.5 feet long and just under 2 pounds, it's lighter in weight than most standard chain locks and easily wraps around the seat post, making it extremely portable. The 7mm chain links are made of hardened steel, precisely what expert bicycle locks reviews at Galttech say you want in a chain. It features an automatic locking padlock, which directly engages the padlock's shackle with the tumblers, and a coded reversible key. In addition, the chain itself is covered with fabric to protect your bike from scratches.

Abus is a German company and not as well-known as OnGuard or Kryptonite, but cheap bicycle locks expert reviews commend the quality of its locks. Riders are generally satisfied, noting in Abus Steel-O-Chain 685 reviews on Amazon that this sturdy chain is well suited to environs where the risk of theft is not high, but suggest pairing it with a U-lock for added security. Its hardier sibling, the Abus Steel-O-Chain 880 (starting at $37, Amazon), weighs just about 3.5 pounds, measures 3 feet, 7 inches, and likewise earns words of praise. Users posting reviews on Totalbike.com appreciate the ease of carrying it around; one rider is thrilled with its weight-to-security ratio after using it daily for months without a hitch. Bicycle lock reviews on SJsCycles.co.uk recommend this cheap bike lock for bicycles facing a "normal" risk of theft.

If the chain lock is your thing, the Abus Steel-O-Chain 685 will give your ride the security you want at a price you can afford and a size and weight you can take anywhere.

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Bell Hands Off Bike U-Lock Review

From $10 Think Twice

This key lock may be cheap, but it doesn't get the job done or come with a warranty. Consumers report bikes being stolen and locks freezing and rusting.

This lock should be a good one -- its shackle and crossbar are made of eight inches of hardened steel and coated with vinyl to keep from nicking your ride. The Bell Hands Off Bike U-Lock (starting at $10, Amazon) also comes with a carrying bracket with quick release and two keys, one of which has a light to use at night.

But in Bell Hands Off Bike U-Lock reviews on Buzzillions, this lock barely gets two stars. The main complaint seems to be that riders who used it had their bikes stolen. Even consumers whose bikes didn't disappear gripe about the lock rusting and the key casing breaking. This report about the key comes as no surprise; as one bicycle lock review on Sports Authority points out,the "head" of the key is just plastic, not metal. With no anti-theft warranty, this cheap lock could actually cost you hundreds of dollars.

Our bottom line: there are better U-locks out there that sell for bigger bucks but take away much of the worry that seems to follow you around whenever and wherever you secure your ride.

Where to buy

Buying Guide

Some cyclists recommend spending 10 percent of the value of the bicycle on a lock; for a $500 bicycle, then, a $50 lock would be reasonable. Accordingly, locks range in price from a few dollars to well over $100. High-priced bike locks are made of high-quality components to make them harder for thieves to pick, cut through, or bust with a tool. But you don't need to spend a fortune on complicated locks. We found cheap bicycle locks that can safeguard your bike for less than $30.

Cheap Bike Locks Buying Guide

Experts say that an ideal bicycle lock is easy to transport while you ride, can be affixed to various different objects, is hard to cut through, and is long enough to secure both the frame and the wheels. Top brands include OnGuard, Bell, Kryptonite, and Master Lock.

Types of Bike Locks.

The most common types of bicycle locks are cable, chain and U-locks. And the best cheap bike lock you should buy depends on where you live, play, and/or work. If you routinely park your bike in a low-theft area, a cable lock should do just fine. But if you live in an urban center (New York City is considered by some to be the bike-theft capital of the U.S.), you'll need a heavier duty U-lock, possibly in conjunction with a chain lock for maximum security. Note that the better chain and U-locks tend to cost more because they're made of hardened steel; cable locks are less costly because they're made from less expensive braided wire.

Cable locks

, such as the Wordlock Cable Bike Lock (starting at $13) and the Avenir Coil Combo Cable Locks (starting at $11), are the lightest and most flexible of the three main types of locks. The Avenir Coil Combo lock features 6 feet of covered, flexible coiled cables and a four-digit combination lock; the Wordlock cable is made of 5 feet of braided steel and boasts a letter-based combination lock. The best cheap cable bike locks have multiple thin braided wires that are more difficult to cut through than thicker, unbraided wires. Cable locks typically come with a pin and barrel locking mechanism that is opened with a combination. Regardless how they're made, cable locks are considered the least secure and are recommended only for those times when you make a quick stop. Being lightweight and flexible, though, they're easy to carry and wrap around guardrails, bike racks, and the like.

Chain locks

come in two varieties -- woven cable and chain link. The cheaper woven cable locks, such as the Club Security Series 5 Ft Cable Lock (starting at $20), are lighter and easier to use than chain link, but are also the easiest to break. If you opt for a chain link lock, make sure it has some sort of cover to protect your bike frame from scratches. Chain locks are usually 3 to 4 feet long, and the chain link versions are generally made of hardened steel, as is the Abus Steel-O-Chain 685 (starting at $25), which closes with a padlock and coded key. The best cheap chain locks are made from thick, hardened steel with barely any space between the links and covered with a protective sleeve. The Abus Steel-O-Chain 685 and the OnGuard Beast 5017 Bicycle Chain Lock (starting at $55) are two examples. By the way, experienced riders suggest using a heavier chain at night if you lock up outdoors.

U-locks

, such as the Kryptonite KryptoLok Series 2 Standard Bicycle U-Lock with 4-Inch Flex Cable Bicycle U-Lock (starting at $28), is considered by some experts to be the design that offers the most protection for your ride. U-locks are U-shaped hardened steel with a locking bar that cuts across the top of the U; make sure that both the U and the bar are made from the same metal -- preferably hardened steel -- for equivalent durability. The lock on the bar is usually opened with a key; according to experts at Bellaonline.com, U-locks with two locking mechanisms, one on each side of the bar, are the most secure. Products with double locking mechanisms, such as the Kryptonite NY Fahgettaboudit U-Lock (starting at $65), which features a double-deadbolt crossbar and three keys, are generally beyond the Cheapism range.

Bicycle Lock Portability.

Whenever the lock is doing its job, you're not carrying it around. But when you're in transit, you need to carry the lock along, either in a bag on your bike or your back, or wrapped around the bike itself. That makes weight a critical factor.

Cable locks are fairly light and flexible, easy to roll up and easy to transport. Chain locks can be a bit harder to tote around because of their heft and bulk. The Avenir Coil Cable lock weighs less than 2 pounds, for example, compared to the OnGuard Beast 5017, which weighs in at 10 pounds. U-locks can also be cumbersome to carry; some weigh as much as 5 pounds, although the Krytolok Series 2 weighs in at just under 3 pounds. The experts at BicycleSource.com suggest that if you opt for a heavy chain or U-lock, consider keeping it secured to the post or rack where you always park (i.e., at work or at home) and carry around a light chain or cable lock to use for brief stopovers. The longer (3.7-foot) version of the Abus Steel-O-Chain 880 (starting at $37) is described by one review on Amazon as light enough, at 3.4 pounds, to ride around with; it's cousin, the Steel-O-Chain 685, is only 1.8 pounds and incredibly light for a chain.

Some locks also come with a bracket for mounting them to your bike frame for easier transport. The OnGuard Bulldog STD U-lock (starting at $22) comes with this feature.

Bicycle Lock Attachability.

The National Bike Registry recommends locking your bike to a fixed object, like a lamp post or bike rack that's cemented in place. Always avoid securing your bike to anything that can be tampered with or removed, and don't put your lock near the ground where someone can use a tool or some other object to bash it.

Although U-locks are harder to cut through or pop open, cable and chain locks have one thing going for them that U-locks don't: flexibility. With a cable or chain lock that's at least 2.5 feet long, you can secure your bicycle to stationary objects while wrapping the chain or cable around the frame and through the front or back wheel; both the Abus Steel-O-Chain and Wordlock Cable bike locks meet this length requirement.

The U-lock design, on the other hand, makes it hard to attach your bike to objects like lamp posts and trees. U-locks also can't secure both the wheels and frame together, so you may need a second lock for maximum security. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition suggests using a U-lock to loop through the back wheel and frame and a separate lock to secure the front wheel to the frame. The KryptoLok Series 2 Standard Bicycle U-Lock with Cable, for example, includes both a U-lock and a short cable lock that give you some locking options. BicycleSource.com says if you opt for just a U-lock, choose the smallest one you can find and close it around as many parts of your bike as possible, making it harder for thieves to jam their tools into the lock to bust it open.

Features Comparison Buying Guide continues below table

(from $28)
Material Hardened steel shackle and 10mm braided steel cable for extra security
Size 3.6 pounds
Portability Mount transportation bracket and anti-rattle bumpers to reduce noise during transport
Lock Mechanism Features a high-security disc style cylinder and has a center keyway
Warranty $1,250 anti-theft protection warranty and key protection that guarantees replacement keys if they break or are lost
(from $22)
Material 13mm hardened ultra steel shackle with reinforced sleeve over crossbar and cylinder for added security
Size Small size makes it hard for thieves to work around
Portability Quick-release mounting bracket to carry lock
Lock Mechanism X2 double bolt locking mechanism, which supplies extra strength and pull resistance by locking to two sides of the bar
Warranty Free 1-year $1,251 anti-theft guarantee
(from $25)
Material Hardened 6mm-thick steel
Size 2.6-feet long, long enough to secure important parts of bike
Portability 1.8 pounds, lightweight for a chain
Lock Mechanism Integrated automatic locking padlock with a coded reversible key; cylinder locks automatically
Warranty n/a
(from $13)
Material Made of braided steel
Size Five-foot length is enough to secure your bike wheels and frame
Portability Easily detachable seat post-mounted lock holder
Lock Mechanism Uses a letter combination instead of numbers
Warranty n/a

Bike Lock Reviews

When researching bike lock reviews we found out that although some cycling websites provide input about bicycle locks, most reviews are written by riders themselves. Here's what users say about cheap bike locks.

Bicycle Lock Security.

Again, the type of lock you purchase should depend on where and how you use it. Some riders park their bikes temporarily while running errands in suburban settings and others lock their bikes overnight in urban centers. A bike lock comparison on Slate that assesses security, portability, and value awards the OnGuard Bulldog STD U-Lock highest grades for security. Its smaller sibling, the OnGuard Bulldog MINI 5013TC Bike U-Lock (starting at $22), is rated highly in bicycle lock reviews on Buzzillions, with one user noting that it's too small for thieves to fit tools around and the double locking barrel is harder to break.

The Kryptonite KryptoLok Series 2 U-Lock (starting at $28) receives praise for the security and peace of mind it provides, according to reviews on Amazon. One person reports the KryptoLok Series 2 kept a bicycle safe for three days on the streets of New York City, although another rider suggests it might not be sufficient for high-end bikes in some neighborhoods. The KryptoLok sans cable gets the green light in bike lock reviews on Epinions, where users say it's very secure and durable.

The longer version of the Abus Steel-O-Chain lock earns endorsements on the security front in bike lock reviews, including one by a rider posting on Amazon who lives in New York City and prefers it to the Kryptonite brand. One Target customer describes the Wordlock Cable lock as strong in reviews on the vendor's website, while a biking blogger says it was secure enough to protect her teenage daughter's bike while locked outside a store. The lock gets a mixed review in About.com's bicycling guide, which asserts it doesn't fare too well against a determined thief but is adequate for low-theft areas.

The OnGuard PitBull DT 5005 U-Lock (starting at $31) and cable is dissed by a user writing on Amazon, who explains that someone cut clear through the cable and snatched his bike. Several riders who bought the inexpensive Bell Hands Off Bike U-Lock (starting at $10) likewise report bikes were stolen despite the lock, including two who posted reviews on Sports Authority's website. But don't be fooled by price alone: one of the most expensive locks we found -- the Kryptonite New York Chain (starting at $58) -- only earns lukewarm praise in bicycle lock reviews at Amazon, where one rider notes the lock was broken and the bike stolen.

Ease of Use.

Aside from wanting a lock that's impossible for a thief to bust, you want one that's easy to use. When it comes to attaching the frame and wheels of your bike to different objects, the 5-foot-long Wordlock Cable Bike Lock (starting at $13) stands out, according to a review at Bicycling.com. The Wordlock Cable Lock also scores high among users for its easily detachable seatpost-mounted lock holder and for a locking mechanism that uses letter combinations instead of numbers. Bicycle lock reviews on Target.com indicate that consumers generally like the length of Wordlock's cable and letter-combo lock, although one says his was a lemon, as neither the combination nor the lock worked. A few reviewers posting on Amazon say the locking mechanism on the Kryptonite KryptoLok can be finicky, although one user appreciates having the secondary cable lock, which lets her secure the bike to those of her friends. A reviewer posting on Buzzillions likes that the lock is strong and durable, but adds that it's too heavy for his bike. The Abus Steel-O-Chain 685 (starting at $25) is easy to use, according to a review on Amazon. And a cyclist posting a review at bike site TownsandTrails.com, who is still mourning the loss of a stolen bike, has mostly positive things to say about the OnGuard Bulldog MINI, the lock he purchased for his replacement ride. He describes it as lightweight and easy to pack and carry.


Bicycle Lock Durability.

Although the most critical performance issue for a cheap bike lock is security, you also want a lock that will last. The Abus Steel-O-Chain wins an endorsement on Amazon from a user who has been using the lock daily for five months without problems and further notes that he likes the weight-to-security ratio. Ditto from a user reviewing the Steel-O-Chain 685 on Amazon, who maintains that it's more secure than a cable lock.

Still, users report some durability problems with cheap bike locks. Two bike lock reviews on Sports Authority claim bikes were stolen while locked with the Bell Hands Off Bike U-Lock (starting at $10) and a consumer review on the Target website says the mounting bracket that came with the lock broke soon after purchase. User reviewers on Amazon grumble about what they perceive as a bit of false advertising on websites, where the cable on Master Lock Cable locks is described as being thicker than it seems. All seven bike lock reviews on Epinions mention the Kryptonite KryptoLok as being durable and secure, but a consumer posting on Amazon says the keys are flimsy and seem likely to break or be damaged. The About.com bicycling guide cautions that the plastic housing surrounding the tumblers in the Wordlock lock could pull away. And users of the OnGuard Bulldog MINI posting on Buzzillions like its durability, but several complain that the lock rusts.

Anti-Theft Warranties.

Many cheap bike locks, including some on our list, feature a free one-year, anti-theft warranty worth at least $1,000. The value of the warranty usually increases with the price of the lock, and you need to fill out paperwork to register and activate the warranty. But note that some anti-theft warranties have special stipulations in New York State. Kryptonite, for example, offers New York residents a one-year, non-renewable group insurance policy equal to the amount of the anti-theft protection offered in other states.

Kryptonite's KryptoLok U-Lock comes with a $1,250 anti-theft protection warranty and key protection that guarantees replacement keys if they break or are lost. In several user reviews, Kryptonite wins applause for its solid warranty, although users on Bikeforums.net say it's a hassle to use the warranty on a stolen set of wheels. The OnGuard Bulldog MINI 5013TC (starting at $22) carries a free one-year $1,251 anti-theft guarantee, while Abus bicycle lock warranties cover manufacturer defects, not misuse or normal wear and tear. Wordlock carries a limited lifetime warranty if the lock fails, but mentions nothing about theft.

Additional Products We Considered

Kryptonite NY Fahgettaboudit U-Lock Review

From $62

This heavy duty lock is Kryptonite's monster. Weighing 5 pounds and made with 18 millimeters of hardened steel, the Kryptonite NY Fahgettaboudit U-Lock boasts the largest diameter shackle of any mini U-lock on the market, making it virtually impossible to break with tools. The crossbar is equally menacing with its disc-style cylinder lock, a double deadbolt locking mechanism, center keyway, and even more hardened steel in a sleeve that covers the steel shackle to prevent scratching. As if the lock could be busted, Kryptonite offers a $4,500 anti-theft protection warranty just in case.

Bike Magazine champions the Fahgettaboudit; in his Kryptonite NY Fahgettaboudit U-Lock review, the writer says he's used this bicycle lock for three months with no problems but recommends combining it with a cable lock to harness the wheels. Following a comparative test of bike locks, a bicycle lock review on Slate.com rates this lock tops in security, giving it a 19 out of 20 only because of a loose spring inside the crossbar. This review approvingly notes that it's small and easy to carry but appears daunting to thieves; the reviewer seconds the comment in Bike Magazine about the Kryptonite NY Fahgettaboudit U-Lock being too small to secure the bike's wheels.

This is one excellent lock. If only it were a cheaper we could add it to our list of top picks.

Where to buy

Avenir Coil Combo Cable Locks Review

From $11

Avenir's Coil Combo Cable lock (starting at $11, Amazon) is made of covered coiled cables with an integrated four-digit combination lock. It comes with a bracket for easy transport, but at 1.2 pounds, carrying it around won't pose too much of a problem. The presence of a combination lock also means you don't need to tote around a key or worry about losing it.

A lot of riders like this lock for its six-foot length, with one saying in an Avenir Coil Combo Cable lock review on Amazon that it's long enough to wrap around a front tire, the frame, and a thick pole. The length, however, was what some other riders don't like about it; in another bicycle lock review on Amazon one user says it's annoying to uncoil, hard to carry on her bike, and the mounting bracket doesn't fit. The locking mechanism also receives mixed reviews for usability, with one user commenting on Padbuilder that the numbers turn simply, the combination is easy to change, and the cable stays coiled but another claiming the lock is hard to set up.

Some riders report their bikes were stolen while secured with the Avenir Coil Combo Cable lock, which is why it didn't make our list. If you do settle on this one, follow the advice of other cable-lock users and pair it with a U-lock for better protection.

Where to buy

OnGuard Beast 5017 Bicycle Chain Lock Review

From $55

The OnGuard Beast 5017 (starting at $55, Amazon) gets top security rating for protection in high crime areas, so urban cyclists might want to consider springing for this one. With a price tag of about $55, it's outside our Cheapism niche but within range of other hefty chain locks.

Indeed, the OnGuard Beast 5017 lives up to its name. It weighs nearly 10 pounds, measures 3 feet, 7 inches, and is a 12-millimeter titanium-reinforced steel chain with short hexagonal links that can thwart thieves who try inserting their nefarious tools. The lock itself has the recommended double-lock mechanism and a reinforced protective sleeve on the crossbar and cylinder for added durability. Rubber end caps and vinyl finishes keep all that metal from messing with the paint on your ride. The OnGuard Beast 5017 is also water- and heat-resistant, and sports a rotating dust cover that protects the lock cylinder.

Where to buy

OnGuard PitBull DT 5005 U-Lock Review

From $31

With its U-lock and accompanying cable, the OnGuard PitBull DT 5005 (starting at $31, Amazon) ostensibly doubles your bike's security. The OnGuard PitBull DT 5005 features a 13mm ultra-hardened steel shackle, with what the company claims as 8.4 tons of pull strength, along with a cylinder that's supposed to protect against lock-picking, and a reinforced sleeve over the crossbar for extra durability. The Pitbull DT 5005 also comes with five keys, one of which is LED-lighted, and an all-tubequick release mounting bracket for carrying.

OnGuard offers a $2,251 anti-theft protection guarantee, which you might need to draw on because some customers report in OnGuard Pitbull DT 5005 reviews on Totalbike.com that their bikes were stolen when secured with this lock. Other reviews on Forcycling.net report the lock flat out broke when accidentally dropped on the ground and the plastic mounting bracket is useless.

This lock didn't secure a place in our list of top picks because there's not much to recommend it. Indeed, for a few dollars less, you can get the same type of U-lock with a security cable that will better protect your bike. OnGuard has other products out there that are far more worthy of your consideration.

Where to buy

Kryptonite New York Chain Review

From $58

This 9-pound chain is made of 10-millimeter, four-sided triple heat-treated boron manganese steel. Among its other heavy-duty features is a narrow inner-link width, which gives tool-wielding thieves less room to jimmy the lock free. The lock's name comes from the four-disc lock of 14mm hardened MAX-performance (Kryptonite's special brand of hardened and flexible steel) steel shackle and a trusty double deadbolt locking mechanism. The Kryptonite New York Chain (starting at $58, Amazon) also has an oval crossbar design and a reinforced anti-drill/pull cylinder protection system on the locking mechanism, the weatherproof/anti-scratch covering that you want when using a chain, a sliding dust cover to ensure long cylinder life, three keys, and the Kryptonite anti-theft protection and key replacement.

This chain earns high marks from users along virtually every dimension and works as well for bicycles as for motorcycles, according to Kryptonite New York Chain reviews on Motorcycle-superstore.com. Users say in reviews on Amazon that the price is worth the peace of mind they have knowing that no one will try tampering with their bike. Some customers write in bike lock reviews on Roadbikereview.com that they would prefer more than the 5 feet, 6 inches the New York Chain supplies. Common complaints concern its weight and price.

This chain lock sits just outside the Cheapism range but suits those with bikes, dirt bikes, or motorcycles who can spare a few extra bucks.

Where to buy