It would be great to live in a world where you knew your bike would still be where you left it in the morning without having to dress it up like the backdrop of an I K Brunel portrait. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
Bike security comes in many forms, from simple chains and padlocks, to ground anchors, disc locks, brake lever locks and datatags. The best security at home may not be feasible to transport around, and lighter protection might not do the job where you park up overnight.
With that in mind, here’s MCN’s pick of some of the best bike security in a range of categories to keep your pride and joy safe from the b*stard bike thieves.
Chain and lock:
Abus Granit Extreme Plus - around £200
Former MCN Feature Writer, Andy Davidson used the Abus Granit Extreme plus for two years:
"After two years of heavy use the Abus chain is still as rugged as the day I got it. Abus rate it at level 25 – their maximum security rating, it’s beefy and has proved to be extremely hard wearing. Despite being chucked about, scraped along the ground and rained on day and night it’s still in great condition.
"The metal hasn’t worn or chipped and the fabric protecting the chain hasn’t ripped. The lock slots into the plastic case surrounding the locking mechanism, which gives it a secure, solid feel and saves faffing around linking the two ends together. The plastic has a few scratches, but has held up well.
"The pricetag is hefty, one of the highest on the market, but you get what you pay for and this is a quality product from a very reputable security brand."
Mammoth Security - around £54.99
MCN Senior Production Editor, Simon Brown used the previous version of the Mammoth Security chain for two months. Although it was cheaper, it was also not Thatcham approved:
"You can’t argue with sub-£40 (new version around £54.99) for a decent length chain. There are two bikes in my garage at the moment and at 1.8 metres the Mammoth is easily long enough to fix both machines together – hopefully making them more of a challenge for would-be thieves.
"I loop the chain through the fork legs on both bikes, which saves having links trailing on the garage floor where they are more vulnerable to attack. The nylon sheath protects the finish on the bikes and also helps the lock work as a visual deterrent if you chain up at the roadside.
"The padlock itself is plastic-coated, feels hefty and has a cover to prevent muck getting inside the mechanism. Also, you can’t take your keys out while the lock is open – which does help make sure you remember to lock up properly."
Oxford Trip Wire - around £26
MCN Chief Road Tester, Michael Neeves used the Trip Wire for three months:
"This lock is perfect for keeping your bike secured when you’re out and about and don’t want to carry a heavy, bulky chain lock. It consists of a 1.6-metre-long, plastic-coated, 15mm thick high tensile steel cable and a hardened steel padlock with a double locking mechanism and high-security key.
"It’s light and easy to coil up to carry in a rucksack or tankbag. You have to secure the lock with a key, so there’s no danger of snapping it shut in Spain when the key is still at home.
"A cable is never going to be as strong as a sturdy chain, so if a thief really wants your pride and joy, they’ll find it easier to cut the cable. But it will put off the opportunist and if it’s in a line of bikes that aren’t locked, yours should be left alone."
Abus Detecto - around £131.99
Former MCN Senior Reporter, Andy Downes used the Detecto for three years:
"As long as I have a little bit of room available in a bag, pannier, under the seat or in a topbox this disc lock goes with me as a visible and audible deterrent to scumbag thieves. It’s got great build quality, the key is small but sturdy and the storage bag means it doesn’t bash the bike if stored under the seat.
"The alarm is 110dB and there is a flashing LED light and a stretchy cable to attach to the handlebars so I don’t ride off with it the lock still in place. It can also be carried in the locked position without the movement sensor triggering and the alarm going off.
"It’s not cheap but then it’s cheaper than an insurance claim excess and the resulting rise in premium if my bike gets stolen."
Oxford Anchor Force - around £50
MotoGP and road racing reporter, Simon Patterson used the Anchor Force for four months:
"This is a solid bit of kit – if I were a bike thief, I’d be put off just by the look of it! Two pieces of hardened steel, four expanding bolts, and steel plugs and ball bearings to cover the bolts mean it’s not going to be easy to remove it!
"It holds my Oxford Monster chain easily, and shows no signs of moving. The installation was relatively straightforward, with my un-mechanically minded flat-mate and I getting it installed in under an hour, having rented a large drill from a local hire shop.
"It’s been in the garden for four months now, in all weather conditions, yet still looks brand new."
Oxford Protex Stretch outdoor cover - around £74
Senior Designer, Simon Relph used the Protex for four months:
"I love a well thought out product and something as simple as a bike cover can get overlooked. Just pick up this Oxford cover and it feels good, soft on the inside to avoid scratching paintwork and a stretchy material to help the cover cling to the bike.
"Even in high winds, when I have forgotten to connect the adjustable belly strap, it has remained snugly over the bike and at the same time kept it dry. The elasticated bottom edge helps to keep it in place too.
"If you’re covering your bike up in a location where the numberplate must be visible, there is a plastic window in the rear of the cover with what I can only describe as a roll-up blind that can be left up or down. Both ends of the cover have very handy pouches to keep padlocks off the ground.
"Other details include neatly seamed lock holes to thread a chain through, and a panel in the top that can house an Oxford solar battery charger panel. Then there are reflective panels to help make sure your bike is seen at night as well as air-vents to reduce condensation. It’s a quality product."
Dguard - around £500
Senior Online Reporter, Dan Sutherland fitted the Dguard system to his own Kawasaki ZX-6R:
"I was fortunate enough to test the very first road-going Dguard emergency call system in the UK. Fortunately, I have not been able to test the bike’s ability to independently call for help in the event of an accident, but I have grown to be quite dependant on the system for the security of my bike.
"When you install the product, you create an account using a handy mobile app, which doubles up as a remote to control the sensitivity of the in-built security sensor. This is very intuitive and makes creating your perfect personal security settings a doddle!
"I was worried that the Dguard unit would look bulky and obvious and spoil the look of my Kawasaki ZX-6R and so I was pleasantly surprised to find the only obvious trace of it being fitted was the SOS button on the top yoke.
"If the system detects unauthorised movement, it will send a notification to your phone. If you forget to switch this off and take it somewhere where it is likely to move a lot (a garage for example), your phone is then spammed with alerts to tell you your bike has apparently been stolen."