Close this search box.

We independently review everything we recommend. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

The Best Cheap Bike Locks | 8 Budget High-Security Bike Locks

Whilst it would massively reduce the rate of bike theft worldwide, not every cyclist has the budget to afford an angle grinder-resistant bike lock

Most cyclists want a bike lock that’s affordable and provides good levels of theft protection for their bike.

With this in mind, we tested and reviewed the performance of the 15 best cheap bike locks to help anyone searching for an affordable bike lock that also provides excellent levels of security. 

Below, we’ve narrowed the list down to our top 8 cheap locks.

The 8 best cheap bike locks
Most of the time, cheap security products aren't as secure as they appear. The locks we've featured in this review are reasonably priced, quality bike locks, that will keep your bike secure if used properly.

Every lock included in this guide has been thoroughly tested by us and Sold Secure (an independent security testing organisation).

At a minimum, all 8 of the best cheap bike locks received the Sold Secure Pedal Cycle Silver Rating or higher. 

This means the locks we recommend below are all designed to (in Sold Secure’s words):

Provide resistance against an enhanced tool list (aimed at preventing more determined attacks)“.

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Brief Summary

    For anyone not interested in the key details regarding the best cheap bike locks, here are our most recommended locks from the list:

    The Best Cheapest Options

    Master Lock 8278EURDPRO

    Master lock 8278 review

    With its Sold Secure Pedal Cycle Diamond rating (the highest bicycle security rating), the Masterlock 8278 is one of the most secure U-locks on the market. 

    Alongside being the best value lock in this review, it’s compact, portable and thwarts most methods of attack.

    Best bang for buck & Editor’s Choice. Read More.

    OnGuard Brute

    OnGuard Brute review

    We’ve recommended the OnGuard Brute for years now, and other manufacturers have struggled to beat its incredible security-to-price ratio.

    It’s a little more expensive than the Master Lock 8278 and less compact, but it offers improved security and more locking room for chunkier bikes.

    Great all-rounder & a BikeLockWiki-approved product. Read More.

    Why Are There So Many Cheap Bike Locks?

    A quick Google search of “cheap bike locks” reveals countless cheap bike locks from obscure brands, many of which claim to provide high levels of security.

    The reality is that almost all of these low-cost bike locks provide little to no security for your bike. 

    Bike locks selling for under $15 (£10) are typically made with low-quality materials and lack basic features, which makes them fiddly to use and likely to deteriorate quickly over time.

    Sadly, since many cyclists prioritise the price of a bike lock over the security it offers, cheap and flimsy bike locks are very popular.  

    Cyclists unfamiliar with bicycle security often fall victim to these cheap locks, resulting in bikes being stolen or a replacement lock being required after the originals stop working. 

    What Is The Best Style of Cheap Bike Lock?

    There are four main styles of bike locks:

    • U-locks (D-locks)
    • Chain Locks
    • Folding Locks
    • Cable Locks

    Cable locks are unsuitable for use as primary bike locks since they offer no real security and can sometimes be broken by hand alone.

    There are plenty of chain locks that offer excellent levels of security.

    However, due to the large amount of metal and machining required to produce a chain lock, good options are typically more expensive than other bike lock types. 

    Folding bike locks are similar to chain locks since they require a lot of machining to produce and are, therefore, typically more expensive for the reliable options.

    Which leaves us with U-locks (otherwise known as D-locks). 

    U-locks feature a solid steel shackle, which is cheaper to manufacture than the links of a chain lock. 

    Additionally, U-locks feature fewer moving parts than folding bike locks, making them considerably cheaper on average. 

    This means when shopping for the best cheap bike lock, U-locks will almost always provide you with the best bang for your buck. 

    The 8 Best Cheap Bike Locks

    (In No Particular Order)

    Master Lock 8278EURDPRO

    The Best Value High-Security U-Lock

    Master lock 8278 review
    Ease of Use

    Without beating around the bush, we recommend the Master Lock 8278 for anyone looking for a super portable, high-security bike lock.

    This lock packs a lot of security into a compact package, weighing just 0.9kg (2.0lb), making it easy to carry in a backpack and small enough to fit into deeper pockets. 

    We recently reviewed the best lightweight bike locks, and to our surprise, the Master Lock 8278 came out on top.

    You’d expect to pay a fortune for such an impressive lock, but Master Lock have opted for a very affordable price for the 8278, making it accessible to all cyclists.

    This compact U-lock received the Sold Secure Pedal Cycle Diamond rating, the highest security rating possible for pedal-powered bicycles.

    The 8278 uses a 14mm hardened steel shackle, which isn’t as thick as the OnGuard Brute’s but is still designed to resist the harshest of attacks and is better value than the Brute. 

    The only downside of this high-security, super-compact bike lock is it offers less internal locking space, so it’s unsuitable for bikes with chunkier frames and wheels.

    Use the info table below to determine if this lock will work for your bike; if not, we recommend reading about the OnGuard Brute next. 

    At such an affordable price point, this is a bike lock every cyclist should consider. 

    Learn more in our 8278 complete teardown review.

    Master Lock 8278 Info
    Weight: 0.9kg (2.0lb)
    Shackle Width: 8.25cm (3.25")
    Shackle Length: 15cm (5.9")
    Shackle Diameter & Material: 14mm Hardened Steel
    Security Ratings: Sold Secure Pedal Cycle Diamond

    Kryptonite Keeper Standard

    The Cheapest Lock Featured, Still Secure

    Ease of Use

    With its Sold Secure Pedal Cycle Silver rating, the Kryptonite Keeper STD (Standard) is the lowest security lock featured in this list, but it’s also one of the cheapest options. 

    Locks with the Silver Rating are suitable for securing less valuable bikes in low-medium risk areas such as quiet towns and villages. 

    So, if you’ve invested good money into your bike or if it holds a lot of sentimental value, this isn’t the lock for you. 

    The Kryptonite Keeper is considerably cheaper than the Kryptonite Kryptolok and Evolution Mini (featured below) but is less secure and features more plastic components.

    The Keeper is an excellent option if you ride a cheap bike and need a reliable bike lock to secure it while you’re in the shops or attending a lecture.

    Riding a cheap, unattractive bike is one of the best steps you can take to prevent bike theft, so if that’s you, good job!

    We wouldn’t recommend using the Keeper to lock your bike overnight in public areas, but this lock will work fine if you lock your bike in a private bike park or bike shed.

    If cheap cheap cheap is what you’re after, but you need the most secure lock possible, the Burg Wachter 1600 HB retails for a similar price to the Keeper and earned a higher security rating at Sold Secure Gold. 

    Needless to say, a very reasonably priced medium-security bike lock. 

    Kryptonite Keeper STD Info
    Weight: 0.9kg (1.99lb)
    Shackle Width: 9.93cm (3.91")
    Shackle Length: 20.2cm (7.96")
    Shackle Diameter & Material: 13mm Hardened Steel
    Security Ratings: Sold Secure Pedal Cycle Silver

    OnGuard Brute

    Highly Secure & Surprisingly Affordable

    OnGuard Brute review
    Ease of Use

    This chunky U-lock from OnGuard is exactly what it says on the tin: a brute. 

    Jokes aside, the OnGuard Brute is the only lock featured in this list that can be considered “bolt cutter proof”. 

    For a lock to be totally bolt cutter proof, its shackle or links must be at least 16mm thick.

    The OnGuard Brute sports a 16.8mm thick, hardened steel shackle, surpassing this requirement and earning it the Sold Secure Pedal Cycle Diamond rating

    It’s less compact and slightly more expensive than the Master Lock 8278, but the Brute offers increased locking room for chunkier bikes. 

    The flimsy plastic mounting system supplied with the Brute is its only letdown. We found that, as with most U-locks, it works better with the Huldit Universal Mount

    We’ve been using our OnGuard Brute for over four years, and it’s still going strong. 

    The materials the Brute is made from aren’t as high-quality as the Kryptonite Kryptolok Mini-7’s, which is also slightly cheaper than the Brute but has a lower security rating at Sold Secure Pedal Cycle Gold.

    Alongside the Masterlock 8278, the Brute is the highest security lock in this list and will protect your bike from even the most determined attacks. 

    If you want to learn more about the Brute, read our deep-dive review.

    OnGuard Brute Info
    Weight: 1.64kg (3.54lb)
    Internal Shackle Width: 11.19cm (4.41")
    Internal Shackle Length: 20.2cm (7.96")
    Shackle Diameter & Material: 16.8mm Hardened Steel
    Security Ratings: Sold Secure Pedal Cycle Diamond

    Kryptonite Kryptolok Mini-7

    Gold-Rated, Compact & Made With Quality Materials 

    Kryptonite Kryptolok Mini-7 Review
    Ease of Use

    If you liked the look of the Kryptonite Keeper STD but were put off by its lower security rating and use of cheaper plastic materials, the Kryptolok Mini-7 is the next step up.

    Earning the Sold Secure Pedal Cycle Gold rating, the Kryptolok Mini-7 is suitable for locking medium to high-value bikes in high-risk areas. 

    Weighing just 0.94kg (2.06lb), this is another highly portable lock, which can be quickly attached to your bike using the Kryptonite Transit mount or carried in a backpack without noticing its weight.

    Additionally, of all the mounting systems used by the best cheap bike locks, the Transit mount is by far the top performer. 

    The Kryptolok Mini-7’s shackle is 12.7mm thick, ever so slightly thinner than the Evolution Mini-7’s, but it’s cheaper, lighter and has the same Sold Secure rating. 

    This lock also has an anti-rotation shackle, meaning it’s resistant to twist attacks, a common form of attack where thieves twist a bike lock until the pressure forces it open.

    The shackle is also secured on both sides, requiring two cuts before a bike can be removed from within. 

    If you’re after a cheap bike lock, this lock has all the trimmings of a top-of-the-range bike lock but retails at a very affordable price and will last you a lifetime thanks to Kryptonite’s lifetime warranty. 

    Kryptonite Kryptolok Mini-7 Info
    Weight: 0.94kg (2.06lb)
    Internal Shackle Width: (8.5cm) 3.45"
    Internal Shackle Length: 18cm (7.09")
    Shackle Diameter & Material: 12.7mm Hardened Steel
    Security Ratings: Sold Secure Pedal Cycle Gold

    Via Velo Mini Gold U-Lock

    Competitively Priced, Highly-Secure

    Via Velo Mini Review
    Ease of Use

    Via Velo are well-known in the cycling community for manufacturing several affordable yet secure bike locks. 

    The Via Velo Mini Gold is their most secure bike lock and their first lock to receive the Sold Secure Pedal Cycle Gold rating. 

    This U-lock isn’t quite as secure as the Master Lock 8278 or the OnGuard Brute, but it’s available worldwide and is more than capable of securing your bike in high-risk areas. 

    It’s also one of the cheapest locks featured in this review, so if cash is tight and you need a reliable bike lock that’ll last for years, the Via Velo Mini is a great option.

    The Via Velo Gold has soft silicone padding to protect your bike’s paintwork, something the Master Lock 8278 lacks.

    This is a reliable lock, which uses the same locking mechanism as the OnGuard Brute and is much easier to transport thanks to its low-profile design. 

    If you were considering the Kryptonite Keeper STD, this is the next step up in terms of security and overall finish. 

    Easily cementing its place amongst the best cheap bike locks.

    Via Velo Gold Info
    Weight: 0.98kg (2.16lb)
    Shackle Width: 8.96cm (3.53")
    Shackle Length: 14.6cm (5.75")
    Shackle Diameter & Material: 14mm Hardened Steel
    Security Ratings: Sold Secure Pedal Cycle Gold

    Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7 & Cable

    Gold-Rated Complete Security Bundle

    Ease of Use

    Of the three Kryptonite locks featured in this review, the Evolution Mini-7 is the most secure. 

    Offering the Sold Secure Pedal Cycle Gold rating, it sits in the same security category as the Kryptolok Mini-7.

    However, the Evolution uses a thicker hardened steel shackle and thicker protective housing for the locking mechanism, making it more resistant to brute force attacks. 

    Its solid construction makes the Evo Mini-7 more durable than other locks this cheap, and if you’re looking for a lock that’ll last, you’ll be pleased to hear that Kryptonite offer a lifetime warranty with this U-lock. 

    Unlike any of the other best cheap bike locks, the Evo Mini-7 is also supplied with a cable extension, giving you a complete security bundle. 

    Cable extensions are great for securing additional components, such as wheels and seatposts, providing extra peace of mind when locking up. 

    Weighing 1.08kg (2.38lb), the Evo Mini-7 isn’t the lightest lock in this review, but it’s supplied with Kryptonite’s Transit Mount, which allows seamless transportation of the lock when riding.

    It’s not quite as secure as the OnGuard Brute or Master Lock 8278, but it’s a better all-round package and retails at a similar price. 

    Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7 Info
    Weight: 1.08kg (2.38lb)
    Shackle Width: 8.51cm (3.35")
    Shackle Length: 18cm (7.09")
    Shackle Diameter & Material: 13mm Hardened Steel
    Security Ratings: Sold Secure Pedal Cycle Gold

    Burg Wachter 1600HB

    Chunky 16mm Hardened Steel Shackle, Affordable on a Budget

    Ease of Use

    Next up, one of the best value locks in the review. 

    Burg Wachter have been a player in the security market for over 100 years, so it’s fair to say they know what they’re doing. 

    Their speciality is high-security, low-cost locking solutions, and they’ve achieved exactly that with the 1600 HB.

    This lock uses a whopping 16mm hardened steel shackle, which shrugs off bolt-cutter attacks with ease. 

    The mechanism housing of the 1600 HB is 3mm thick, which provides good protection against blunt impact attacks aiming to smash the lock open. 

    This chunky U-lock rivals the Zefal K-Traz U17 in terms of security and earned the Sold Secure Pedal Cycle Gold rating, which is surprising considering how cheap it is. 

    There are several variations and sizes of the 1600 HB available online.

    One of the best bundles includes a cable extension, giving you the ability to secure your front and back wheels along with your bike’s frame. 

    The one issue with a lock this affordable is it can be a bit clunky to use. That said, we’ve used these for over two years, and they’re still working perfectly.

    Learn more about the 1600HB in our in-depth review.

    Burg Wachter 1600HB Info
    Weight: 1.5kg (3.31lb)
    Shackle Width: 10.6cm (4.17")
    Shackle Length: 21cm (8.27")
    Shackle Diameter & Material: 16mm Hardened Steel
    Security Ratings: Sold Secure Pedal Cycle Gold

    Zéfal K-Traz U17

    Budget-Friendly Security

    Ease of Use

    Last but not least, the Zefal K-Traz U17 is one of the only locks to make it into our best cheap bike locks review for the third year running. 

    Under its plastic housing, the Zefal K-Traz U17 is almost the same lock as the OnGuard Brute.

    It uses the same quad-locking shackle design, the same keys and the same flimsy mounting system.

    However, since it uses a thinner 14mm hardened steel shackle, it doesn’t have the same Diamond security rating as the Brute, but is priced accordingly. 

    At 14mm thick, the U17’s shackle will resist most forms of attack and is resistant to theft attempts using saws, bolt cutters, and leverage. 

    The Zefal U17 does use a flimsy plastic outer shell, but underneath this sits a dual-reinforced mechanism housing, which prevents the lock from being smashed open. 

    An automatic keyhole cover prevents dirt and grime from clogging up the U17’s keyhole, something we don’t see from many of the other best cheap bike locks. 

    If you liked the sound of the Kryptonite Evo or Krypto Mini-7 but need more locking space, the U17 is a cheaper alternative (for European residents).

    Read more about the U17 in our detailed review.

    Zefal K-Traz U-17 Info
    Weight: 4.1lb (1.86kg)
    Shackle Width: 11.6cm (4.57")
    Shackle Length: 23.3cm (9.17")
    Shackle Diameter & Material: 14mm Hardened Steel
    Security Ratings: Sold Secure Pedal Cycle Gold

    Best Cheap Locks Comparison Table

    Lock Model Security Ease of Use Value
    Master Lock 8278 8.0 7.5 9.0
    Kryptonite Keeper 12 6.0 7.0 6.5
    OnGuard Brute 8.5 7.0 8.0
    Kryptonite Kryptolok Mini-7 7.0 8.0 8.0
    Via Velo Mini Gold 7.0 8.0 8.5
    Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7 7.0 8.0 7.0
    Burg Wachter 1600HB 7.5 6.0 8.0
    Zefal K-Traz U-17 7.0 6.5 7.0

    Best Cheap Bike Lock - Summary

    The best cheap bike lock is currently the Master Lock 8278 EURDPRO. It’s compact & highly portable, uses a chunky 14mm hardened steel shackle and is the lightest Sold Secure Diamond-rated U-lock on the market. 

    Alongside being the best cheap bike lock, the 8278 also finished top in our review of the best lightweight bike locks

    We’re aware that the 8278 is difficult to get hold of in countries outside of Europe, in which case we’d recommend the OnGuard Brute, which offers the same Diamond Sold Secure rating and an even chunkier bolt cutter-proof shackle. 

    Just the sight of the Brute’s 16.8mm shackle will be enough to deter most thieves. 

    At the end of the day, it’s essential to understand that no lock is undefeatable. 

    With the right tools and enough time, any lock can be defeated, so it’s important that you also learn how to lock your bike properly so that it’s not left vulnerable. 

    We’ve recently published a guide covering affordable steps you can take to increase the security of your bike; it’s worth a look as we included plenty of cheaper options. 

    Additionally, whatever bike lock you choose, it’s important to learn how to clean and lubricate it properly, as this will prevent corrosion in the long term. 

    These steps are especially important to learn when using a cheap bike lock, as these are often more susceptible to rust. 

    Finally, don’t be tempted by the cheapest lock you can find.

    Look for a lock with a Sold Secure rating of at least Silver or, ideally, Gold, and your bike will be much safer when left unattended. 

    Recent Updates:

    Author of This Post:
    Picture of James Grear (Lead Editor)
    James Grear (Lead Editor)

    Understanding how devastating it is to have a bike stolen, I've researched & immersed myself in the world of bicycle security since 2013.

    I then built BikeLockWiki in 2019 to share everything I'd learned with the worldwide cycling community so that cyclists can improve their bike security skills and make informed decisions when purchasing new products and services.

    Learn More about Me & BikeLockWiki here.

    Recommended Posts

    2 Responses

    1. Schlage 12mm Cinch Ring Security Chain is a much better value.
      12 mm thick 3T manganese links.
      59 inches long.
      Can be cut in half (or to suitable length) with a grinder for a 2-location use, if ever needed.
      Add a Schlage American-type padlock instead of u lock and you are all set for compact heavy duty security.

      1. A very reasonable price for a 12mm 3T chain indeed! Worth a look if you don’t require a Sold Secure rated setup.

        Thanks for sharing Mike,


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *