Best kids bike locks
A child's bike is a symbol of freedom and fun, but it's also an investment worth protecting. In this article, we'll dive into the world of the best kids bike locks, designed to secure your child's bike and give you peace of mind.
We'll explore key features and top recommendations to help you choose the right lock for your little rider. Let's ensure their bike stays safe, so the adventures can continue.
Locking up a bike is essential and needless to say this is even more important with lightweight kids’ bikes, which someone could easily pick up and walk away with.
If you usually cycle with your child, you probably lock their bike up to your own bike, but if they park their bike at school or you want to leave it somewhere, you will need a child-friendly bike lock.
In this guide to the best kids bike locks, we’ve included three different types: combination locks, cable locks and D-locks.
Best kids bike locks 2023
Bike locks come in many different shapes, sizes and price tags. We have listed three different types of bike locks for you; combination locks, cable locks and D-locks.
Combination locks are usually chain locks that can be secured and opened with a combination of digits, instead of a key.
Cable locks are made up of a flexible cable with a metal core which coils up when not in use.
D-locks, sometimes called U-locks, are rigid locks where you take the ‘U’ off to put it through your bike frame and bike stand and attach it again to make a ‘D’.
If you're not sure what type of lock is best for you and your child, look at the information further down on the page.
Combination locks require a row of digits to be put in the correct order to open the lock and therefore don’t require a key to open it. This can be a major advantage if your child is going to use the lock without you around.
Combination locks are easy to use for the smallest of kids and you can select a code that they can remember easily, like their house number and age for example.
Added advantage is that you can give the code to others, for example to other family members or friends, in case they pick up your child (and their bike) from school or a club.
Weight: 654 g
Length: 61 cm
Sold Secure rating: not rated
This woom combination lock with four digits is a chain lock that comes with a protective fabric (in red or black) around the chain to protect the bike from scratches. You can put the chain in a rucksack or around the seatpost of the bike.
The chain is 61 cm long, which is a decent length to lock a frame and wheel to a bike stand.
Weight: 70 g
Length: 43 cm
Sold Secure rating: not rated
This is a 3-digit cable-tie type lock which is very lightweight and small. It is very easy to chuck in a bag or put around the frame of a kids bike.
This is a very short lock and is therefore not suitable to lock a frame and wheel to a bike stand, but could be used to lock a frame to a bike stand or the wheel to the frame, to prevent someone from walking off with the bike.
This lock may also come in handy to lock smaller items to your kids’ bike, like a helmet or a bag.
Weight: 800 g
Length: 75 cm
Sold Secure rating: not rated
This lightweight chain lock features a four digit combination lock and can be worn around your (or your child's) waist. With its hi viz flu yellow colour, it will add visibility to your child's outfit. This bike lock is also available in black.
Hiplok recommends this wearable lock for a waist size of 26 inches up, so this would work for tweens and teens from around 10, 11 or 12 years onwards.
Cable locks consist of a metal core with a plastic outer casing and the cable coils up into a spiral.
These types of bike locks are cheap, lightweight and fairly easy to use. However, they are not a very secure type of bike lock and are most prone to being cut through.
Using a coiled up cable lock does require a bit of strength and our 8 year old tester didn’t get on with using a cable lock for this reason.
For older children this shouldn’t be an issue and it would work fine if you are the person locking up your child’s bike.
Weight: 790 g
Length: 180 cm
Sold Secure rating: not rated
The Kryptonite Kryptoflex bike lock is 180 cm long and is the longest bike lock we’ve featured.
This will allow you to use it to lock both wheels and frame to an immovable object in most cases.
Weight: 932 g
Length: 110 cm
Sold Secure rating: Bronze
This slightly more expensive cable lock has been rated Sold Secure and therefore may be a good solution if you are after a bike lock to satisfy insurance requirements, but don’t want to use a D-lock.
D-locks or U-locks are seen as a very secure option but they can be heavy and sometimes tricky to use because the bike needs to be very close to an immovable object like a bike stand.
Parking a bike in a way that it can be locked up with a D-lock requires skill and practice, which your child may be lacking.
D-locks can also be awkward to carry because of their weight, although they can sometimes be mounted to the frame of a larger kids bike.
Mounting brackets don’t always work for smaller kids bikes and mountain bikes due to the lack of space on the bike frame.
Sold Secure rating: Gold
This is a roomy D-lock with enough room to lock a kid’s bike frame to a bike stand. With some practice, you will be able to lock a wheel and frame to an immovable object.
This lock includes a clever bracket to attach the D-lock to the frame of your kid’s bike. The mounting bracket allows you to mount the D-lock on the outside of the frame, which would work on smaller kids bikes.
Sold Secure rating: Silver
This D-lock features long clips which can be used to clip it on to clothing or a rucksack. It is a very compact D-lock with a small locking area which may be tricky to use. However, because it's so small it fits easily into a child's bag.
This lock comes with three keys.
How to choose from the best kids bike locks
When choosing a bike lock for your kids bike, these are the key things to consider:
- Weight: It needs to be light enough for your child to be able to carry it themselves, whether it’s in a pannier or rucksack, or mounted to the bike frame.
- Ease of use: It should be simple for your child to use, and if you’re worried about lost keys, then a combination lock is the best option.
- Security level: Think about where the bike will be left, and how much security you’ll need. Do you just want to deter opportunistic thieves, or are you leaving it in a high-risk area (e.g. a train station)?
What’s the best type of kids bike lock?
The best type of bike lock for your kids’ bike will depend on your and your child’s needs and requirements.
A combination bike lock is easy to use for children and can be found on chain and cable locks. However, we couldn’t find any combination locks with a Sold Secure rating.
Cable locks are fairly lightweight and the cable is usually a decent length, which can be useful if you want to be sure you can lock a wheel and frame to a bike stand. It is fairly easy to find a Sold Secure-rated cable lock for a good price.
D-locks or U-locks offer good security against theft, but come with a small lockable area which makes them tricky to use, especially for younger kids.
How much should I spend on a kids bike lock?
It can be hard to decide how much to spend on a kids bike lock, but the good news is that you don’t have to spend lots of money to lock up your kids bike securely.
As a starting point, aim to spend around 10% of the replacement value of your child’s bike.
If your child’s bike would cost £300 to replace, it’s reasonable to spend £30 on a bike lock. If your child’s bike is particularly expensive, consider getting multiple locks to deter opportunistic thieves.
Consider the location and other factors as well, such as the length of time you’ll be leaving the bike somewhere.
If you’re not sure where to start, look for a bike lock with the best Sold Secure rating for your budget.
Sold Secure bike lock ratings
Some bike locks are rated according to the Sold Secure rating and the ratings are Bronze, Silver, Gold and Diamond. Sold Secure is a company which charges manufacturers to rate their locks independently.
Most cycle (and home contents insurance) will only allow you to claim on your insurance if your bike is locked according to the insurance policy’s requirements, which usually includes a lock’s Sold Secure rating.
Make sure you buy a lock that has been rated by Sold Secure with the correct level of rating and keep the (electronic) receipt of the bike lock in case you need to provide evidence to your insurer.
A bike lock rated Sold Secure Diamond will offer the highest level of security. Diamond-rated bike locks are very expensive and you would probably not look for this standard of rating for a kid’s bike lock. You can check the Sold Secure product database here.
How to lock a kids’ bike
Locking a kids’ bike isn’t any different to locking an adult’s bike. Make sure you follow these simple rules:
- Lock the frame together with the rear wheel to an immovable object
- If this is not possible, lock the frame together with the front wheel to an immovable object
Make sure you don’t:
- lock the front or rear wheel only, especially if they’re quick release wheels
- lock the seatpost
Locking other cycling accessories like trailers
If you've got smaller kids you may be looking for a lock to lock your trailer or a child seat.
For a trailer, we'd advise to detach your bike trailer and place it next to your bike and thread a lock through the frame of the trailer to your bike or a stand. Bear in mind that you'll need a slightly longer lock for this or a second bike lock.
If you're looking to lock accessories such as helmets to your kids' bike, you can thread the bike lock through the strap triangle. Or you could get a small second lock, like a lockable zip tie lock from Hiplok.
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