With bike theft on the rise, travelling with a bike lock has never been more necessary. But where do you put your bike lock when riding? Some locks are bulky and too awkward to keep on your handlebars when riding, so where is the best place to keep them?
Let’s find out.
Different bike locks can be transported in different ways, some could be carried on your handle bars, some around your waist and some need to be kept in a rucksack.
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Overview - Where to Put Your Bike Lock When Riding
Many cyclists don’t know where to keep their bike lock whilst riding and end up cycling with their bike lock locked around their handlebars or bike frame. This is likely to damage your bike over time and is completely avoidable.
Most bike locks, when purchased new come with a mount, specifically designed for ease of transport. A bike lock mount is the best place to put your bike lock whilst riding.
For bigger and bulkier locks where using a mount isn’t an option, why not leave your lock at your destination? Or If there’s enough room, in your backpack, although this won’t be hugely comfortable!
Three Main Types of Bike Lock
The three main types of bike lock are:
1. Chain Locks
Whilst riding, these bike locks can be stored in various places. There are other bike locks available that might not fall into these categories, cable locks are a great example.
Cable locks don’t provide enough protection for your bike, and can easily be cut with bolt cutters. This is why you won’t find cable locks recommended anywhere on BikeLockWiki.
So those are the three main types of bike lock, but where can you put them while riding?
Where to Put Your D Lock When Riding
D locks are a fantastic choice of bike lock and offer great levels of security, but are slightly bulkier than folding bike locks.
D locks tend to weigh around 3.3lb (1.5kg), which isn’t too heavy, but they can cause a nuisance if they are stored in the wrong place whilst riding.
So where’s the best place to keep a d lock when cycling?
The Best Places to Put Your D Lock When Riding
Transport Your D Lock On a D Lock Mount
Most D locks come with mounts, that allow you to attach them directly to your bike. Whilst not all D locks are supplied with one, mounts can be purchased separately.
When you’re cycling, mounts will keep your D lock out of the way and make it very accessible for quick lock ups.
Even larger D locks like the Trelock U6 can be stored on a mount. If you’re using a D lock and need a place to put your lock whilst cycling, get a mount that works for your lock. The Kryptonite Transit H-Bar Carrier is a great option as it works for so many D locks.
Keep Your D Lock In Your Rucksack/ Backpack
The Classic. Storing your D lock inside a rucksack can be a great option. As long as it’s not too bulky or heavy, you should be fine to put a D lock inside a rucksack.
The Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Mini is one of the heavier D locks on the market weighing 4.55lb (2.06kg). Despite its weight, was able to slip this lock inside my bag, without it taking up too much room.
Obviously if you don’t want to carry a bag when cycling, this isn’t the best option for you!
Put Your D Lock Over Your Handlebars
I’ve already mentioned the Kryptonite Transit H-Bar Carrier. This mount attaches most D locks directly onto your handlebars and will prevent them rattling around or damaging your bike.
If you are going to loop your d lock around your handlebars, be careful it doesn’t scratch your bike whilst riding!
It shouldn’t be an issue to transports your D lock on your handlebars once or twice, but I wouldn’t suggest this as a permanent option.
Put Your D Lock Through Your Belt Loop/ Belt Strap Holder
Some D locks will be able to be fitted through your belt loops or down the inside of your belt for easy transportation. The D lock can be kept on the belt loop whilst riding and shouldn’t get in the way.
You can also buy a holster attachment for your belt that allows you to store your D lock on your belt. A D lock holster will provide a more secure fit for your lock and will make this method more comfortable whilst riding.
Both of these are great places to put your bike lock whilst cycling.
Put Your D Lock In a Pannier bag / Bike Basket
If you use a pannier or basket on your bike, you should be able to fit your D lock in here. Panniers and baskets are fantastic; they allow you to transport multiple items at once without having to carry them on your back in a rucksack.
You should be able to fit almost any D lock into a pannier bag or basket. This makes these very good options when looking for a place to store your bike when cycling.
Keep Your D Lock at Your Destination
If you are commuting to work or cycling to school, college or university every day, why not leave you bike lock locked up at your destination?
This will save you carrying it home every day, which can make your ride much more comfortable. If you need to use your bike lock at home, it may be worth investing in a second lock so that you don’t have to carry it everyday.
Lock it to a bike rack at your destination and unlock it and secure your bike upon arrival.
It doesn’t get much better than this. Your destination is the best place to put your bike lock whilst riding!
Where to Put Your Folding Bike Lock Whilst Riding
Folding bike locks are the most practical bike locks. Folding locks provide a large, adjustable shackle that can lock your bike to most objects. Once you’re ready to get back on the move, simply fold you lock down and stow it away.
The average folding bike lock weighs around 3lb (1.4kg) which makes them relatively easy to carry when you’re on your bike.
But where’s the best place to put a folding lock when cycling?
The Best Places to Put a Folding Bike Lock When Riding
Use Your Folding Lock Mount
Every folding bike lock that I’ve used and tested has come with a mount. This is the easiest and most convenient place to put your folding lock whilst you travel.
Put Your Folding Lock Into Your Rucksack
If you use a folding bike lock, and it didn’t come with a mounting device, your backpack can be a great place to put it whilst you cycle.
Folding locks fold away into a small, convenient size which means they won’t take up a huge amount of room inside your bag and won’t weigh you down at the same time!
Keep Your Folding Lock In Your Pocket
Most folding bike locks are small enough to be slid into a pocket if you don’t have a mount for them.
The Foldylock Clipster is the first wearable folding bike lock on the market and it (along with the Foldylock Compact) can easily slide into your pocket and be kept there whilst you cycle.
Some of the larger folding bike locks may be slightly too big to put in your pocket, so if yours wont fit, try one of these other options!
Put Your Folding Lock In Your Pannier/Basket
Your folding bike lock will easily fit into a pannier bag or a basket on your bike. If it’s not secured in place, it may rattle around whilst inside, which doesn’t make for an enjoyable ride!
That being said, having your folding bike lock in a basket/pannier bag is more comfortable than having to carry it In a backpack!
Where to Put Your Chain Lock When Riding
Chain locks are the bulkiest type of bike lock, which means there are fewer options when choosing where to put them them whilst cycling. Chain locks can weigh up to 20kg, which means only the smaller chains are worth trying to carry around.
So your options are limited, but where is the best place to keep a chain lock when riding your bike?
Keep The Chain In Your Rucksack (If You Feel Strong!)
Most good quality chain locks are going to be heavy. A good quality Sold Secure Gold chain lock is likely to weigh 6.6lb+ (3kg+). If you’re feeling strong, you may be able to put your chain lock into a backpack whilst you cycle.
This definitely isn’t the most comfortable option, and chain locks will take up a good amount of room in your backpack, making this not hugely practical either!
Put Your Chain Around Your Waist/Shoulder
Some chain locks, such as the Hiplok Gold are designed to be worn around the waist. This is a great place to put your chain lock whilst cycling because the chain will be easily accessible for a quick lock-up, once you’ve arrived at your destination.
The Kryptonite Messenger and Moly Lock is another lock that is designed to be worn. This lock can be worn over the shoulder. Bear in mind this option isn’t very comfortable when riding!
I also wouldn’t advise this as a permanent solution. If you were to fall off your bike whilst riding with a chain over your shoulder/round your waist, you could sustain serious injuries from the tough metal links.
If you’re able to put your chain in a rucksack, do it. It’s safer and is likely to be a more comfortable alternative.
Keep Your Chain In Your Pannier/Basket
Keeping a heavy chain lock in a pannier or basket can be a good idea. However, if the chain is really heavy, it can also be dangerous.
If the chain was put in a pannier bag on the left side of your bike, the uneven weight distribution may make it harder to control your bike whilst riding.
Similarly, if you were to put your chain into a handlebar basket, it may cause issues when trying to steer, especially if the weight is unevenly distributed.
You should be fine to put smaller chains in your pannier bag or basket, but make sure they wont affect your control of your bike before cycling away!
Leave the Chain Lock at Your Destination
For bulky chain locks, your destination is the best place to put your chain whilst you cycle. This may mean you need to invest in a second lock so that you can keep one at home and one at work, but it will be worth it.
Strong, secure chain locks tend to be very heavy. This can cause issues when travelling with one and it will make your journey much more enjoyable if you keep it at work. The strongest chain locks are the most secure bike locks, so this is a great option if you have the budget to allow it!
Bad Places to Keep a Bike Lock When Riding
You’d think people would have enough common sense to avoid some of these ridiculous places of storing a bike lock. I’ve seen most of these done before, some of these can cause damage to your bike, and most of them could also cause damaged to you!
Don’t put your bike lock in these places.
Never Put a Bike Lock Around Your Neck
If you transport your bike lock around your neck, you may want to think again. Putting anything around your neck provides an accident waiting to happen. If the lock managed to snag onto something as you cycle past, it could cause severe injury.
I think you can avoid putting a lock around your neck in almost every situation. If you have no mount for your lock, put it on your handlebars or in a rucksack until you have an alternative method of transport!
Don't Transport Your Lock Too near your wheels
If a lock were to snag in your spokes whilst you were cycling, the results wouldn’t be pleasant. You’d be very likely to sustain injuries and your bike would probably be badly damaged.
Mounts that come with some locks can be attached almost anywhere on your bike’s frame. This does not mean that it’s a good idea to put your bike lock on the chain stays or seat stays of your bike.
If you can avoid mounting your bike lock here do it. It’s likely to get in the way whilst you cycle and could cause a serious problem if it gets caught by the spokes.
Don't Keep Your Bike Lock Near your pedals
As explained above, if you mount your bike lock too close to your pedals, its likely to get in the way and cause a nuisance.
If you’re mounting your bike lock onto your bike’s frame, mount it high in the seat tube, the middle of your down tube or on the underside of the top tube.
This will keep your lock out of the way and will make sure it’s still accessible for convenient usage.
Never Ride With a Bike Lock in Your Hand
Whilst cycling, you constantly need to use your hands. To signal/indicate, to change gears and most importantly to break! If you have a hand full of bike lock, it will make all of these actions harder.
Keep your hands empty whilst you cycle. I learnt this one the hard way and won’t repeat this mistake!
Don't Forget Your Bike Lock!
What good is a bike lock to you if you don’t have it with you, or at your destination? It only takes five seconds for someone to steal your bike, so make sure you take a bike lock with you, wherever you go!
Summary - Where to Put Your Bike Lock When Riding
Having a bike lock to hand whilst cycle is essential. You never know when you’ll need to lock your bike up and leave it, so make sure to carry one with you when cycling.
Above, I’ve covered the best places to put your bike when riding. Some work better than others, so be sure to choose one that suits you best.
If you haven’t already got a bike lock, now’s your time to get one! Without using a good quality bike lock, you’ll be leaving your bike vulnerable to theft.
If you’re looking for a new bike lock, check out my recommendations below.
Lock it, or lose it!