This is the best solution I’ve found for carrying a U-lock on a bike.
I discovered the hard way that a steel cord bike lock is NOT secure and can be cut in seconds, so I switched to a U-lock for my bike. I’ll never rely on a cable to lock my bike up again! But, a U-lock is pretty heavy so carrying it is a bit of a challenge.
Why the Included U-Lock Bracket Sucks
My U-lock came with a plastic bracket that clamped to my bike frame:
After about a year though, the plastic cracked and fell off. But much worse, it permanently marred my bike frame where it attached, because I had to clamp it down so tightly to carry the weight of the lock. When I discovered that damage, I was not happy.
If you go online, you can find all kinds of clumsy contraptions people have come up with to attach their U-locks to their bikes. One creative one was made of PVC pipe. I’ve also seen guys stick the U-lock in their pants or belt! (I’m wondering how they sit).
After doing some research online, I found a great solution! Bontrager makes a $40 bike rack that has a slot that perfectly fits my U-lock. Was this on purpose? I don’t know, but it seems too perfect to be chance. The opening is wide enough for the “U” section of the lock to slide in, but stops at the actual cylindrical lock section. Furthermore, there is a metal flap that stops the lock from hitting your spokes.
The rack is much lighter than it looks – it’s amazing how little it weighs. So, you’re not adding a lot of mass to your bike with this.
I was also concerned that the rack would look dorky, but I think it looks fine and is barely noticeable since it’s the same color as my bike.
Securing the Lock
This solution was great except for one thing – the lock would rattle and jump around as I rode on rough surfaces or went over bumps. The solution to that was to add an 18-inch length of bungee cord to hold it down. It still rattles if I go over something big like a curb, but that’s fine with me.
Removing the lock is pretty easy – just lift the bungee slightly and pull out the lock!
And, unlike clamping brackets, this rack won’t crack and won’t mar your bike’s paint job!
This rack is very expensive on Amazon, but you should be able to find it cheaper at your local bike store or direct from Bontrager. But make sure it fits your lock! I recommend taking your U-lock to your local bike store and testing the fit before purchasing.
Have you found a better solution to hold your bike U-lock? Please comment below! – Brian