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How to keep your bike secure with growing bike theft in Australia

The last thing you want after buying a nice new bike is for it to be stolen. Here's all you need to know about bike locks and which type is right for you.
by Kale Griffiths - April 30, 2023
How to keep your bike secure with growing bike theft in Australia

One of the cyclists in our cycling community unfortunately had their bike stolen recently. This has sparked much interest in improving bike security from our riders. Many of you have come to us asking for advice, so we thought we would compile some information and products that will help keep your bike out of the grubby hands of thieves.

Table of Contents

Where is it safe to lock up your bike?

The biggest mistake people make is leaving their bike somewhere unsafe. The first step to make with bike security is picking a good place to lock up your bike.

Avoid low traffic locations. While it might seem safer to keep your bike out of sight, it also keeps a potential thief out of the public eye. Storing your bike somewhere visible to the public with a sturdy lock makes it much more difficult for a thief to discreetly attempt to brake or cut the lock securing your bike.

Ensure sufficient locking capabilities. We see it all the time – a wheel locked to a rack with no bike attached. You must keep in mind that your wheels AND frame are valuable targets. Locking your frame is the most important, but where possible, locking your wheels is also ideal.


Be smart about your cycling habits – don’t be an easy target!

A common mistake is repetitive behavior. If your bike is left for extended periods of time in the same place, same time, every Wednesday, someone may notice this and know they have plenty of time to get away before you return, looking for your bike.

Try to store your bike in more secure locations when left for long periods. Commuters should see if they can keep their bike stored indoors. Educational facilities often have dedicated bike lockers.

While a big enough tool can break any lock, making your bike “too difficult” to steal is generally a good enough preventative. A lock that can resist mechanical cable cutters is often enough to deter most thieves.

Keep the value of your bike in mind. Since the explosive growth of eBikes, many people have become more aware of the value of some bikes. Thieves are willing to bring bigger tools and spend longer attempting to steal a well-secured bike if the value is high enough.

Most of our customers buying $600 bikes are willing to spend $40, yet customers buying $5k bikes will often spend little to no more on their locks.

You don’t always need a bigger lock, but make sure it’s big enough. If you never leave your bike unattended, you may not need a bulky lock. Sometimes a retractable cable lock that can fit in your pocket is perfect to stop someone riding off with your bike while it’s within line-of-sight.


What’s better – Key or Combo Locks?

Most people purchase either key or combo locks based on convenience more than security. If you carry keys with you, you can forgo needing to remember the combination; or, if you don’t carry keys with you, sticking with combo may be the way to go.

So, are key or combination locks more secure? It depends. Almost all theft involves cutting the lock until the locks get beefy enough that cutting through them isn’t viable. If you’re buying a cheaper, deterrent lock, just get whichever is most convenient for you.

Some cheap combo locks can be brute-forced as they often have a tactile notch when setting it correctly. This makes them very easily to “guess” the combo given a bit of time. More expensive combo locks don’t have this issue.
Combo locks can also be luckily guessed if you aren’t thorough with resetting the combination when locking up the bike.

My preference is a key lock where possible. While cheaper key locks are easy to pick, decent key locks take very specialized tools to pick and even experienced locksmiths may take an hour to open them.

Most locks do come in both key and combo options so you often have the choice.


Bike Trackers & Alarms

We can all go to the most extreme methods to locking up our bikes… but there’s always the question of, “What if it does get stolen?” A bike tracker is a must-have for any bike worth more than a few hundred dollars. While we do prefer to stop it getting stolen in the first place, being able to track it at all times will help you recover it when you thought it was gone for good.

Alarms are also a great way to deter thieves and alert others that your bike is being stolen. An added bonus is if it notifies your phone when it gets moved.


Knog Scout Bike Alarm & Tracker

Knog Scout Bike Alarm & Tracker

The Knog Scout Bike Motion Alarm & Tracker is the ultimate technology to prevent your bike being stolen.  It detects any motion and will not only emit a really loud alarm (85 decibels), you can accurately track your bike as the has a built in Apple tag. This allows the user to trace the location of their bike using their Apple device and Apple's 'Find my' app technology.

  • Track your bike with Apple Find My technology
  • An 85-decibel motion alarm which can be armed and disarmed either on the device of via the app
  • Motion notifications directly to your phone – too far to hear the motion alarm? Get push notifications when the bike is armed and moved without your knowledge
  • A 6-month battery life so you don’t have to worry about charge the tracker every day
  • IP67 waterproof rating
  • Only 25 grams for the weight-weenies


Mini Locks

Mini Locks can be the answer to stopping someone easily riding off with your bike but without the weight or bulk of standard locks. Any cable lock can easily cut through them, but if the bike will always be nearby, these may be enough.

Abus Combiflex Retractable Combo Lock

Abus Combiflex Retractable Combo Lock

The Abus Combiflex will keep your bike safe while you pop in for a coffee. It is really compact, neat and lightweight, so you can chuck it in your back pocket, and you wouldn't even notice it is there. You can also secure your helmet to your bike and have peace of mind while you enjoy your caffeine hit after the ride.

  • Sized similarly to a mobile phone
  • Automatic retracting cable
  • 65cm long cable


BBB MiniSafe Coil Combo Lock

BBB MiniSafe Coil Combo Lock

A quick drink after the ride with your friends? Make sure your bike doesn't get stolen and you can ride back home on it. The MiniSafe is so small that you can always fit it in your pocket or your saddle bag, but is just enough to make it difficult to steal your bike.

  • Extra compact and lightweight bicycle lock
  • 3-combination numerical changeable code
  • Tough and durable steel cable gives impressive security
  • Long pin code lock can also be used to secure zippers

Cable Locks

Cable locks are an extremely popular middle-ground between a serious lock and something that’s just a deterrent. They are generally thick enough that you need large cable-cutters to have a chance of getting through them. They aren’t considered all that tough, but hand-sized cable cutters won’t be able to get through these.

Magnum Bicycle Coil Cable Key Lock

Magnum Bicycle Coil Cable Key Lock

The Magnum Bicycle Coil Cable Key Lock 180cm x 12mm has a double bolt lock mechanism for extra pull resistance. It also includes a quick release, multi-positioning mountain bracket and has a vinyl coated, heavy duty self-coiling cable to protect the bike frame and comes with 5 micro light lazer cut keys.

  • Double-bolt locking mechanism
  • Lazer cut keys
  • 180cm long cable
  • 12mm thick vinyl coated steel cable

Abus Steel-O-Flex™ Microflex 6615k

Abus Steel-O-Flex™ Microflex 6615k

The Albus Steel-O-Flex™ Microflex 6615K Cable Lock provides secure protection due to the 15mm overlapping steel shells and the Snap Cage bracket. This is more than just a steel cable, it offers double protection, making it harder for thieves to get away with your bike. It comes with a mount so you can snap the lock onto your bike and keep the lock with the bike at all times. It has a thick plastic coating to protect the paintwork on your bicycle.

  • 15 mm thick, overlapping steel shells protect the internal steel cable
  • Plastic coating to prevent damage to the bicycle’s paintwork
  • 85cm long cable
  • Included bike mount


D/U Locks

U Locks are the highest security type of lock you can get. The only reason we don’t see these on every bike is their weight and bulk. These are a must when regularly leaving your bike in one place for an extended length of time.

Anyone riding an eBike should be locking up their bike with a U Lock. The added weight of the lock and storage for the lock are easily compensated for by the motor. It’s not worth the risk of leaving your precious bike with a cheap cable lock.

Abus Granit™ Plus 640 Lightweight Bicycle U-Lock

Abus Granit™ Plus 640 Lightweight Bicycle U-Lock

The Abus GRANIT™ Plus U-Lock makes things really difficult for would-be thieves. This lightweight, but effective lock weighs in at just 860g, so it is light enough to keep with you, so that you can lock your bike when it is in a dodgy area, where the theft risk is high.

  • Hardened 12 mm round shackle
  • The shackle, the lock body and the structural parts of the locking mechanism are manufactured using specially hardened steel
  • Priority given to the use of weight-optimised special alloys and lightweight materials
  • ABUS Plus cylinder including automatic cover for maximum protection against attempts at manipulation, e.g. picking

Abus Granit™ XPlus™ 540 Bicycle U-Lock

Abus Granit™ XPlus™ 540 Bicycle U-Lock

Take your bike security to the next level with the Abus Granit XPlus 540 U-Lock. This lock will seriously discourage any would-be thieves as it is made with specially hardened steel. The power cell technology will also protect the lock against impact and anyone trying to force open the lock.

  • 13 mm hardened square shaft parabolic shackle
  • ABUS power cell technology offers the highest level of protection against impacts and attempts to break open the lock
  • The shackle, housing and the structural parts of the locking mechanism are made of specially hardened steel
  • ABUS XPlus cylinder for the highest level of protection against tampering, e.g. picking
  • Automatic keyhole cover to protect against dirt and corrosion


Folding Locks

Folding locks are a popular option that tries to bring the strength of a U Lock into a smaller form-factor. The thick steel bars fold up into something that could fit into your jersey pocket.

Abus Bordo™ Lite 6055 Key Folding Lock

Abus Bordo™ Lite Mini 6055K/60 Key Folding Lock

At only 400 grams, the Bordo Lite Mini 6055K/60 is the perfect balance of weight and security. Abus designed the Bordo lock series with weight, size, and security in mind. With coated 5mm steel bars, you'll never have to worry about your bike again.

  • Special steel construction with colour-coordinated plastic coating to protect against paint damage
  • The bars and the housing are made of particularly light materials and steel alloys
  • Connection of the bars by special rivets
  • Optimal compromise between safety and weight
  • Including holder (SH or SH Selle Royal)
  • Ideal for the jersey pocket

Abus Bordo™ 6000 Plus Key Folding Lock

Abus Bordo™ 6000 Plus Key Folding Lock

The Abus Bordo 6000 Key Folding Lock offers the strength and stability of a U-Lock as well as the flexibility of a cable lock. Make it difficult for thieves to rob you of your precious bike! It is really easy to use and provides top quality protection against theft.

  • 5 mm bars with extra-soft two-component casing to prevent damage to paintwork
  • The bars and body are made of specially hardened steel
  • Bars are linked with special rivets
  • ABUS Plus cylinder for a high level of protection against tampering, e.g. picking

Wearable Locks

Many of our road cyclists have aero bikes and would hate to mount a lock. They also don’t have any panniers or bags to stores a lock – the obvious solution is generally a mini, but what if you need something more secure?

Wearable locks turn a chain lock into a belt, keeping the weight and bulk off your bike and at your center of mass. These are very secure chain locks that are certified by companies like Sold Secure.

Hiplok Lite Wearable Chain Lock

Hiplok Lite Wearable Chain Lock

Make security easy - the Hiplok LITE is a wearable chain lock that meets Sold Secure Bronze & SBSC Security ratings. The weight of the lock on your hips instead of the bikes avoids unbalancing the bike and keeps you stable even at high speeds. The Superbright option gives you extra visibility while out on the road.

  • Sold Secure Bronze & SBSC Security Ratings
  • Eurobike Design Award-winner
  • Adjustable Fit (26″-44″)
  • Wearable Design – Safe + Removable
  • Locking Length: 75cm
  • Weight: 1kg



There are heaps of different types and security levels of locks. Picking the right lock can be as simple as determining which type is most suitable for you, and then selecting the option most appropriate relative to the value of your bike.

Don’t make the mistake of buying a cheap lock for an expensive bike. Most people buy one lock that lasts them a decade, the investment is worth it.


In this article, we covered:

  • How to choose where to lock your bike up,
  • Improving your habits to avoid being an easy target,
  • The difference between key and combo locks,
  • Bike trackers/alarms, and
  • The different types of bike locks you can buy


We hope to see a reduction of bike theft as bike security is taken more serious among cyclists.

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