|Sunlite Cable Keyed Lock|
If you are going to ride your bike and stop and leave it for a while out on the road, you need to get a lock. There are three types to consider:
Cable locks look like the one shown above. They are typically coiled so they are relatively compact when not in use. They have a plastic coating around the steel cable so they won't scratch your bike. Chain locks typically have a fabric covering the chain for the same reason. U-type locks consist of a U-shaped shackle that fits into a cylinder with a locking mechanism. I have always used the cable type. Both cable and chain type locks allow you to lock your wheels (They are very easy to steal if you have quick-release) as well as your frame. They also allow you to lock your bike around a tree or other object for extra security.
When selecting a lock for your bicycle, you generally have to decide how important cost, weight and security are to you. In many situations, you should be fine as long as someone can't get on your bike and ride away, but sometimes you may need greater security. Keep in mind that for greater security, you will need a thicker cable or change, which makes the lock costlier and heavier.
Locks can be either combination or keyed. Whichever type you use, always stored your lock in the locked position. This will keep you from locking your bike out on the road, then finding out that you don't have the key or can't remember the combination.
If you are looking for a good, reasonably priced lock, check out this 12 mm thick, 6 foot long cable & lock from Sunlite. If that doesn't fit your needs, check out the rest of our Bicycle Locks.