Category Archives: Bike Locks

Top Bike Maintenance Tips

Bike Maintenance Tips

photo by Alex Bruda

Maintaining your bike is just as important as when you were learning how to ride it. Like balancing (which requires subtle body interactions), keeping your bicycle in top shape calls for a balance of skills too. In this case, the knowledge needed is in the areas of parts and maintenance. Below are some of the most favored tips to keep your bike in good running condition:


Bicycle tires are probably one of the most important things that riders are most concerned about. A well-maintained set of tires can mean the difference between riding home or walking home. A deflated set of tires would mean heavier pedaling. Air pressure should be checked regularly to make sure that it meets the manufacturer’s specifications. A gauge that’s attached to the pump is used to measure the air pressure. Normal readings are between 50-100 psi. If a gauge is not available, a simple touch and feel should be enough for you to measure the hardness of the tires. Also check for signs of wear and tear. Like the soles of your shoes, tires lose traction over time.

You’ll know when the brakes work if you squeeze the handles and the bike stops while you are rolling it ahead. The bicycle’s brake system has 3 basic parts – the lever, the pedal and the pad. If you have trouble squeezing the lever or if you feel it takes more effort than usual, check for loose cables or worn out pads. In some cases, it may be time to replace them.

The bicycle chain gives the bike a smoother movement. It should be lubricated regularly so that it continues to operate consistently. Otherwise, the rust would increase the chances of the chain getting stuck during the ride. Chains also lengthen due to deterioration. They can cause “skipping” when pedal ling under pressure.

A bike lock is essential in highly populated cities like New York. It is a deterrent to thieves. It works by fastening the bike’s frame to a bike rack, fence or any other object that’s sufficiently strong. Bicycle lock manufacturers categorize their locks based on security rating and size. The bigger the lock and the higher its rating, the more secure it is. Locks require regular maintenance too. They are prone to freezing or jamming and will need machine oil to defrost them. Always bring a WD-40 with you so that you can just spray away when it happens.

Top Bike Locks from OnGuard

OnGuard is a company specializing in bike locks. It is famous for its combination U-locks and its policy on stolen bicycles. Depending on the lock model that you buy from them, each product comes with an anti-theft protection plan that covers bikes costing up to $5,000. A registration fee is required for the policy to be activated.

OnGuard also created several lock technologies that are currently being used in its product lineup:

  • X2 Power Dual Lock Down Deadbolt Locking Mechanism – provides high pull resistance holding power second to none.
  • X2 Power Double Bolt Locking Mechanism – provides added strength and high pull resistance by locking tight 2 sides of the bar.
  • X4 Power Quattro Bolt Locking Mechanism – provides unequaled strength by locking the cross bar to the shackle on four sides, maximizing pull resistance.
  • Steel Ball Click-Combo-Gear-System – offers high security with superior protection from pick and pull attacks
  • Z-Cylinder – offers high pick protection and features BumpBlok technology rendering bump keys useless. Lock mechanism is encased in ultra-hardened steel to resist drilling or pulling.
  • M-Cylinder – similar to tumbler systems found on high-end European autos and has over 100,000 possible key combinations and features BumpBlok technology. Additionally, the tumblers will not turn unless the key is properly inserted protecting both key and tumbler from damage due to misuse. For more protection, the lock mechanism is completely encased in ultra-hardened steel to resist drilling, picking or pulling while an integrated dust cover protects internals from moisture and debris.


  • 5 disc tumblers dramatically increase picking difficulty
  • Renders bump keys useless
  • Ultra-steel encased mechanism defeats drilling

Let’s take a look at the top bike locks from this brand:

OnGuard Brute STD 5001 Bike U-Lock – about $70

OnGuard Brute STD 5001 Bike U-Lock

The Brute STD 5001 contains a unique cylinder that provides optimum resistance against physical attack and picking. It is also equipped with the Quattro Bolt Locking Mechanism. Additional features include:

  • 16.8mm massive ultra-hardened steel shackle provides maximum cut resistance
  • Reinforced sleeve over crossbar and cylinder for additional security
  • Triple layer steel crossbar
  • Rotating dust cover protects cylinder
  • Protective vinyl coating on shackle
  • Double rubber coating on crossbar
  • Anti-theft protection plan

Based on the reviews, this bike lock has proven itself to be heavy duty. The locking mechanism has to be regularly lubricated with a WD-40 or similar products like a sewing machine oil so that it doesn’t freeze. Being a full-fledged and bulky U-lock, it isn’t closely fitting like its “mini” counterparts. The plastic casing was also an issue to some due to its delicate assembly.

OnGuard PitBull MINI DT 5008 Bicycle U-Lock – about $40

OnGuard PitBull MINI DT 5008 Bicycle U-Lock and Extra Security Cable

The PitBull U-Lock has two variants, the PitBull Mini U-Lock 3.5″ x 5″ and the full 4.5″ x 9″ version. Both feature a massive 13mm hardened ultra steel shackle. They also come with 5 keys, one of which is lighted for nighttime use. The PitBull is equipped with a Double Bolt Locking Mechanism.

Many users who provided feedback had issues with the mounting bracket. Since it is made of plastic, it tends to break after some time.

OnGuard Akita 5041 Bicycle Combination Cable Lock – about $14

OnGuard Akita 5041 Bicycle Combination Cable Lock

The Akita 4041 uses a Steel ball combo locking mechanism and includes a 6-foot vinyl-covered flex cable in the package. OnGuard positions this product towards students and small town bikers. In other words, the lock is ideal for medium security areas. With a combo lock, users need not worry about freezing locks, lost key or machine oil. To reset the combination code, pliers or a similar tool is needed.

Based on the reviews, the locking mechanism and the cable is strong enough. Although one reviewer had issues with the plastic number wheels during regular use. There were also times when the lock failed to open even with a valid combination. Nevertheless, the price is justified at a little over $14.

Best of the Best Bicycle Locks from Kryptonite

Kryptonite Logo

Kryptonite is the leading manufacturer of bicycle locks in the United States. It created the bicycle u-lock in 1971 which set the standard for the modern u-lock designs that we see today. As a result of its commitment to security, it has gained several awards and recognitions from different parts of the world. They include an Emmy Award for outstanding commercial announcement, a Museum of Utilitarian Art Award in Germany for the K-4 lock, a Good Housekeeping’s Best Lock award and a Good Design Prize in Japan for the K-4 lock.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best bike locks from Kryptonite. If you’re looking for the ones that are under $50, then head over to this article which discusses the Evolution Mini Bike U-lock widely used by bike messengers.

Kryptonite 997986 Black 18mm New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock

Kryptonite 997986 Black 18mm New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock

The Fahgettaboudit is probably the most popular in Kryptonite’s product lineup. The company has its own security rating system ranging from 1 to 12, and this product is rated at a maximum of 12. Its 18-mm hardened steel shackle can resist most attacks, including bolt cutters. It also has an oversized hardened steel sleeve over crossbar for double security. The key lock is flat which is quite difficult to duplicate. At around $70, this is a heavy-duty lock and a deterrent to thieves who would rather pick on easy-to-defeat locks. With a couple of hundred reviews, there’s definitely something about this lock that gives a lot of customers peace of mind.

Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 Standard Bicycle U-Lock

Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 Standard Bicycle U-Lock

The Evolution Series 4 is a tough bicycle U-lock designed for places with medium to high crime rates. It has a 14mm hardened max performance steel shackle that’s more than enough to endure cutting and leverage attacks. It also has a double deadbolt locking mechanism with a disc-style cylinder. This kind of cylinder allows for more than a million key variations, thus giving thieves a very challenging and time consuming undertaking. If the Fahgettaboudit is rated at 12 on Kryptonite’s own security rating system, this particular U-lock is rated at 9 (of 12). At $67, it’s a decent lock for its price.


Kryptonite New York Standard Bicycle U-Lock

Kryptonite New York Standard Bicycle U-Lock

Also known as the New York MC 3000 U-lock, it promises to provide the ultimate bicycle security in high theft areas. This model is also the company’s flagship bicycle U-lock. Its steel sleeve is constructed in a “crossbar over crossbar” manner. Its “Kryptonium” steel shackle is extra-thick as well. Due to the popularity of this model, a newer one was released. The Kryptonite New York Standard Bicycle U-Lock with Transit FlexFrame Bracket is priced at $70 and is rated at 11 (of 12) in Kryptonite’s 12-rating system.


Kryptonite 999515 Black 12mm x 39″ (1210) New York Chain and Evolution Series-4 Orange 14mm Disc Lock

Kryptonite 999515 Black 12mm x 39" (1210) New York Chain and Evolution Series-4 Orange 14mm Disc Lock

Also known as the New York 1210, this lock is part of the Evolution Series 4 lineup and is a high security bicycle chain lock with an oval crossbar disc design. The chain is 12mm thick and is made of maximum-strength 3t hardened manganese steel. To protect and extend the cylinder’s life, the lock is equipped with a sliding dust cover. It is positioned towards big city riders in moderately high crime areas. It has a security rating of 10 (of 12). This lock costs $68.30. Many customers who have used this product stated that it really lives up to its claim, but it’s also very heavy.


3 of the Best Bike Locks Under $50

When it comes to the best bike locks available in the market today, it’s not surprising that the Kryptonite brand often comes on top. Since the early 1970’s, the company has developed a wide range of security products for bicycles, snow sports and power sports at different price points. Aside from Kryptonite’s reputation, it also prides itself in its legendary customer service, having replaced hundreds of thousands of locks for free as a testament to its commitment to provide truly secure products.

In this article, we’ll check out three of the finest bike locks for under 50 USD. Aside from the price, they were also selected based on hundreds of customer reviews.

Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 Standard Bicycle U-Lock with 4-Foot Flex Cable

Kryptonite Kryptolok Series 2 Standard Bicycle U-Lock

This particular model from Kryptolok Series 2 comes with a Transit FlexFrame Bracket for easy mounting to the frame tubing. It also rotates 360 degrees in order to align with the bike’s frame more effectively. Moreover, it is made from 13mm hardened performance steel shackle which can resist cutting and leverage attacks. It’s disc-style cylinder is resistant to picking and drilling. At around $37, this is the best bike lock for it’s price point.


  • The U-lock is sturdy as advertised. Crooks will have to bring a chainsaw with them to be able to cut through the metal. In other words, it will take them a while to get through the lock.
  • The price is a steal!


  • The instruction manual is difficult to follow. It definitely needs improvement. You’ll be better off looking up for clearer instructions on YouTube.
  • The plastic mounting hardware isn’t easily replaceable and may also easily break.
  • At 3.6 lbs., it does add weight if you plan to carry the lock instead of mounting it.

Kryptonite Evolution Mini Bike U-Lock

Kryptonite Evolution Mini Bike U-Lock

The Evolution Mini Bike U-Lock from Kryptonite has an EZ-mount bracket as well as a lighted key for nighttime use. All in all, the package includes 3 keys (one is lighted and battery can be replaced). Like the Kryptolok Series 2, it also features a disc-style cylinder to better protect against picking and drilling. The steel shackle is made of 1/2 inch hardened high-grade carbon alloy. It has a short crossbar and shackle for a compact fit and better security. For a little less than $47, you’ll get a compact yet secure bike lock from one of the leading brands out there.


  • At 2.3 lbs., it is lightweight and small enough (3″ x 5.5″) to fit in your back pocket – it’s greatest selling point.
  • Because it’s small, thieves will have a hard time getting through the lock with their tools.


  • Will rust if left in the rain for prolonged periods.
  • The mounting bracket is sub-par and does not stay secure.

Master Lock 8291DPS Tuff Links Keyed 3-Foot Chain Lock

Master Lock 8291DPS Tuff Links Keyed 3-Foot Chain Lock

This bike lock features a hardened steel chain that’s reinforced with boron and titanium. It is then covered with a black nylon sleeve for additional protection. The keyway cover keeps the lock dry during rainy season. The package includes 2 keys. At $30, this is one of the best chain locks at its price point.


  • The 3-foot chain is sturdy as advertised.
  • The locks is sufficiently durable that it can manage to soak in water for extended periods.


  • At 5.4 lbs., it’s certainly heavy.
  • Key can potentially get jammed halfway in. Key in and key out carefully.
  • The sleeve is sub-par and can tear off easily.