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Where to Put Your Bike Lock When Riding

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 can be carried on your handlebars, some around your waist, and others need to be kept in a rucksack.

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    Overview - Where to Put Your Bike Lock When Riding

    Most bike locks, come with a mount when first bought. These mounts are 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? Otherwise, a backpack is a great place to keep a bike lock whilst you ride.

    Below are the best and most common places to put your bike lock when riding:

    • On a Bike Lock Mount – Designed solely for lock transportation, this is the best place to keep your lock whilst you cycle
    • In a Pannier or basket – Bulkier than a bike lock mount but still a great place to keep your lock whilst riding
    • In a Backpack – A comfortable and practical way to carry your bike lock whilst you ride
    • At Your Destination – Instead of carrying your lock with you, why not keep it at the place you secure your bike each day

    Whatever you do, make sure you don’t transport your bike lock wrapped around the frame of your bike, as this will cause damage to your paintwork over time.

    You should also never keep your bike lock in your hand whilst you ride. This is dangerous as you require your hands to control your bike.

    Three Main Types of Bike Lock

    In this article we’ll cover the best places to carry the three main types of bike lock when riding. 

    Click your chosen lock type below to find out where to put it when riding. 

    The three main types of bike lock are:

    Whilst riding, all of 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 apart from when used to secure additional components. 

    So those are the three main types of bike locks, 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?

    1. 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.

    Oxford Alarm Max Duo review mounted on bike
    D lock mounts will keep your D lock out of the way whilst you're cycling.

    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.

    If you’re looking for a universal D lock mounting system, check out the two best & most reliable mounts below.

    I use my Huldit mount to transport my D locks when I'm riding.

    The best universal bike lock mount is the Huldit Bike Lock Holder. The Huldit works well alongside any D lock and comes in several different sizes. Read my complete review here

    The Oopsmark U lock holster is another great option. It’s a naturally tanned leather bike holster and looks best on retro bikes, but works nicely with other bikes too!

    Unlike cheap plastic mounting systems, both of these mounts are designed to last for years. They’re made from high-quality materials and come in several sizes and colours. 

    2. Keep Your D Lock in Your Rucksack/Backpack

    The Classic. Storing your 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 any lock inside a rucksack.

    Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Mini bike lock in rucksack
    This bag is relatively small, but we were easily able to fit the Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Mini inside.

    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!

    3. Put Your D Lock Over Your Handlebars

    You should only store a D lock on your handlebars if you know it’s not going to get in the way or cause a nuisance.

    I’ve already mentioned the Kryptonite Transit H-Bar Carrier. This mount attaches most D locks directly onto your handlebars and will prevent them from rattling around or damaging your bike.

    where to put your bike lock when riding, over the handlebars

    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 we wouldn’t suggest this as a permanent option.

    4. 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.

    D locks can be kept on your belt loop whilst riding and shouldn’t get in the way.

    Bike lock mounted to hip using Restrap Lock Holster
    Most D locks will fit under your belt, very convenient!

    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.

    5. Put Your D Lock In a Pannier bag / Bike Basket When You Travel

    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.

    6. Keep Your D Lock at Your Destination When Riding

    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 good-quality second lock so that you don’t have to carry it every day.

    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 your 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?

    1. Use Your Folding Lock Mount When You're Cycling

    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.

    ABUS Bordo Granit X-Plus 6500

    The Foldylock Compact is a fantastic choice of folding lock, when it’s placed into its mount it doesn’t rattle or make a sound whilst you cycle which is very nice!

    2. Put Your Folding Lock Into Your Rucksack When Cycling

    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.

    Foldylock Compact Folding Bike Lock
    You shouldn't have any issue fitting a folding lock into your rucksack, they're tiny!

    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!

    3. Keep Your Folding Lock In Your Pocket Whilst Riding

    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.

    Foldylock Compact folding lock stored in a pocket
    The Foldylock Compact easily fits into your pocket.

    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!

    4. Put Your Folding Lock In Your Pannier/Basket When Cycling

    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 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?

    1. Keep The Chain In Your Rucksack When Cycling (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.

    OnGuard Mastiff 8019 in backpack
    I was able to fit the OnGuard Mastiff 8019 into my backpack, it was noticeably heavier to carry than other locks, but would be a reliable way to transport a chain whilst riding your bike over shorter distances.

    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 the most practical choice.

    2. Put Your Chain Around Your Waist/Shoulder When Riding

    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.

    Girl cycling with bike chain over shoulder

    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 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.

    3. Keep Your Chain In Your Pannier/Basket Whilst Riding

    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!

    4. Leave the Chain Lock at Your Destination When Riding

    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.

    How to transport the OnGuard Mastiff
    Whilst you can carry the OnGuard Mastiff in your backpack, it's easier to leave it locked at your destination.

    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.

    We’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.

    1. 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!

    2. 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.

    Don't fancy ending up like this? Keep that lock away from your wheels!

    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.

    3. 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.

    Parts of a bike frame

    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.

    4. 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 handful of bike lock, it will make all of these actions harder.

    Keep your hands empty whilst you cycle. If you’ve already learnt this one the hard way, you won’t repeat this mistake!

    5. 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.

    In case you missed it, the best place to put your bike lock when riding is in a bike lock mount. If your lock didn’t come with a mount, check out the Huldit Universal D-lock mount. 

    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 top-quality bike lock, read about these 5 uncuttable bike locks, or if you’re on a budget, check out the best cheap bike locks.

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    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.

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