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I recently moved away from NYC to the suburbs. In NYC, I always locked up my bike with the New York Lock, which is a super heavy duty U-Lock. With a plethora of signs and parking meters, NYC works amazingly well for a U-Lock. Now however, the security is overkill and also there's very few signs and no parking meters in the suburbs. I find that I spend at least 10 minutes when I get places trying to identify a U-Lock compatible location to lock up.

I'm looking for a bike lock that isn't a U-Lock but is still fairly secure. I might not need such high security still, but you know the old saying... (You can take a man out of the city but you can't take the city out of a man.)

My one requirement is that whatever chain/cable lock I end up with needs to have a mount for the bike. I don't want to be carrying this or draping it on the bicycle.

I've found tons of cheap, really insecure locks with mounts. I can't find anything that's both secure and mountable.

Cost is no obstacle here. A bike theft would cost much, much more.

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I actually used to own a cable lock that mounted, but I can't find it online anywhere. –  Apreche Jun 17 '11 at 12:47
    
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4 Answers 4

Any specific lock recommendation is going to be out of date in a year, so I'll focus on identifying the best kind of lock:

Any cable locks are going to be insecure by nature, but it's unfortunately the only other kind of lock available just now. (I'm not counting big-ass chains with giant locks; those are more for show than for security.)

One of the heavier Kryptonite cable locks is probably your best bet. To beef up the security, I'd get two of them and lock up different parts of the bike. I'm told that keyed locks are harder to crack than combination locks.

However, have you considered getting a smaller U-lock and a long cable? You'd get the best of both worlds that way. Since places to lock up are scarce, you'd usually end up using it as just a cable lock, but it'd give you flexibility in the event you find a good sign or bike rack.

Bike mounts: These tend to fall apart rather quickly. I recommend focusing on a small pag to carry your locks, rather than use a frame mount. There are triangle frame bags and small trunk bags that do the job nicely. However, cable locks have a great advantage over U-locks--you can coil them up and hang them from your handlebars. Unless you have smaller drop bars, it's amazingly convenient.

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I wouldn't lump the cable locks with the heavy chains. Since the chain doesn't need the metal to be flexible, it can be made from much harder and stronger steel than cables. The weakest part in chain locks is usually the lock itself, and if you get a tiny U-lock, that's pretty secure. Might be as heavy as your bike, but it is much better than a cable. –  zigdon Jun 18 '11 at 18:01
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A couple of months ago, I purchased an OnGuard link-plate lock which claims to be as tough as some u-locks. It mounts easily to the bicycle and has thus far served me well. It feels pretty durable and will go around more potential anchors than a u-lock.

Mine came with a plastic case that attaches to the downtube using velcro straps. It looked kinda cheesy right out of the package, but I must say that I use it every day and it has been just fine.

Here's the manufactuer's description: http://www.onguardlock.com/?page_id=329

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Might also be worth noting that since it folds so small, it might fit in much more places than even the smallest U-locks. –  zigdon Jun 18 '11 at 17:55
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You should check out the ABUS extreme editions of their folding bike lock:

ABUS

See how it packs away:

ABUS2

They also do a twinset version so that you can have two rings of steel around both of your wheels and working off a common key.

I don't own one myself but I know people that do own them. I think that something in the ABUS 'Bordo' range will be perfect for you being able to put your mind at rest when off-bike, yet easy to carry when on-bike.

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I just got this one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00165S5FK. I don't know how secure it is yet, since I haven't used it, but it does come with a frame mount.

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That cable looks quite flimsy coming from a New York Lock... –  David Pfeffer Jun 17 '11 at 17:38
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Cable locks take about 5 seconds to cut with a small tool, I wouldn't lock anything I care about with one of those. –  zigdon Jun 18 '11 at 17:58
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