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Guide To U-Lock Bike Mounts – Easy Ways TO Carry Your Anti-Theft U-Lock

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Keen bike thieves can steal almost any bike left unattended, regardless of the lock. But the lock is vital because thieving types never like to loiter. You can deter them.

Many of the best bicycle locks on the market are U-locks, but they’re not something you can wrap around the seatpost. How do you carry them?

The easiest way is by fitting one of various available U-lock mounts to your bike.

In this article, you’ll find out why U-locks are worth carrying, how and where to mount them on your bike frame and which ones are best.

Why Mount A U-Lock Onto Your Bike?

Firstly, why would you even bother fixing a U-lock mount to your bike when it’s so easy to carry a chain or cable lock? It’s a question of your intended use and how much security you need.

U-lock vs Chain vs Cable Locks

If you’re locking your bike up outside a 7-eleven convenience store with full-fronted windows and a 360-degree CCTV camera, chances are a professional thief with bolt cutters or less discreet tools isn’t going to target it.

Conversely, if you were going to some out-of-the-way dental appointment or bank meeting, you’d leave your bike for longer and wouldn’t be able to watch it. That’s when you need a more robust lock.

Take the value of the bike into consideration, too, when evaluating risk. Most full-time thieves steal bikes they can sell quickly.

The robustness of the lock makes a huge difference to bike “stealability”.

Bolt cutters of concealable size can go through cable locks and weak chains in seconds. Hacksaws also work and may be carried in a backpack. Crowbars, car jacks and hammers are common tools of the thieving trade, too.

Video: Kryptonite New York Standard – a Market-Leading U-Lock

Weight Comparisons

Obviously, the weight of different bike locks varies from product to product, but here are some typical examples:

  • Lightweight better-then-nothing “cafe” lock: from 2 oz to 8 oz.
  • Average chain or cable combination lock: 10 oz to 1lb.
  • U-locks: 2.5 lb. to 4.5 lb.
  • Heavyweight chain: 10 lb.

The Best Places To Mount A U-Lock

Once you’ve bought a good U-lock, where on the bike are you going to mount it?

Many cyclists mount U-locks on one of the three tubes:

Attach u-locks to different parts of your bike framePin

Seat tube – on the seat tube, the lock is conveniently behind your legs. Normally, the lock will occupy the space of the frame’s front “triangle”, but a smaller U-lock can also point rearwards. The latter is especially useful if bottle cages are inside the triangle.

Top tube –on the top tube, the lock will always occupy the main triangle space in the frame. Bear in mind this position is more hazardous if you need to move your hands into the triangle for a drink or to change gear on old-fashioned bikes. In that instance, a small U-lock at the rear of the top tube could work.

Down tube – the most unlikely position for anyone that keeps a bidon (drink bottle) on their bike. It could still be viable for anyone who doesn’t need to drink on the go and maybe has a pannier or basket for refreshments.

Other possible places include behind the saddle, over the handlebars and stem, or on a bike rack.

Note that a small or narrow U-lock is sometimes an advantage. If you lock a bike tight to a railing or post, you leave less room for a thief to move tools into position.

Read more: Bike seat locks

Top 5 Best U-Lock Mounts Reviewed

1. Dill Pickle Gear U-Lock Tote Bike Lock Holster (Best Overall)

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CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

A perfect combination of style and functionality exists in the Dill Pickle Gear U-Lock Tote Bike Lock Holster. Thoughtfully designed by a cyclist, this vinyl tote is suitable for carrying most U-locks.

You can attach the tote either to a bike rack or to the frame itself. A large Velcro strap holds the lock’s crossbar in place. Other features include drainage holes at the bottom corners of the bag and a reflective strip.

What we like

  • Quality – excellent manufacturing with durable and water repellant vinyl.
  • Secure – strong Velcro straps hold the lock securely in place.
  • Versatility – several options for positioning on the bike.
  • Visibility – horizontal reflective strip.

What we don’t like

  • Concern – almost too stylish to leave on the bike.

2. Oopsmark U-Lock Holster For Kryptonite Bicycle Locks (Best Value)

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Another stylish and well-designed solution to carrying U-locks is the Oopsmark U-Lock Holster. Handmade in Montreal with genuine vegetable tanned leather, this holster fits to bike racks or saddle loops.

The holster works with most Kryptonite U-locks and other U-locks. Note: it is not suitable for Kryptonite New York models.

What we like

  • Functional – works well and is unlikely to be stolen despite stylish design.
  • Versatile – fits in multiple positions on bike, including front rack, rear rack or saddle tabs if there is sufficient room.
  • Convenient – keeps the main frame triangle clear for bottles or bags.
  • Choice – available in brown, tan or black.

What we don’t like

  • Geometry – this holster won’t fit behind the saddle on all bikes (check before buying).

3. Huldit U-Lock Holder (Easiest To Carry)

CHECK PRICE AT REI

Made in the USA, the Huldit U-Lock Holder is a well-designed mount that secures the lock in two places with polypropylene and rubber woven straps. With this system, you tie the lock to the top tube and seat tube simultaneously.

The main top-tube Huldit mount comprises a horizontal front strap to secure the crossbar of the lock, while two vertical straps fix the whole ensemble to the frame. Note: this mount is suitable for top tubes of 6.8 inches or less in circumference.

What we like

  • Simplicity – a well-designed strap mount that works.
  • Secure – two straps on different parts of the frame hold the U-lock firmly.
  • Silent – strap material between the lock and the frame cuts out any rattling.
  • New York – carries Kryptonite New York models (not all mounts do).

What we don’t like

  • Fat Top Tubes – this won’t work with some oversized carbon top tubes.
Video: Installing a Huldit U-Lock Holder

4. SKS Anywhere Mount (Best Extra Features / Versatility)

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CHECK PRICE AT AMAZON

Okay, so we’re not looking at a dedicated U-Lock mount here, but the manufacturer says this Anywhere Mounting System is good for securing locks to your bike. It includes two adapters and two durable hook-and loop-fastener straps.

The mount comes from SKS: a respected 100-year-old German manufacturer famous for robust products like the Rennkompressor pump.

What we like

  • German design – comes from a revered German bike-accessory brand.
  • Versatile – allows mounting on any suitable part of the bike and can mount innumerable other items.
  • Kind on paintwork – rubberized adapters protect bicycle paintwork.

What we don’t like

  • Long – excessive 330 mm length for this purpose (may need cutting to size)

5. TwoFish Lockblocks U-Lock Mount (Best Budget Option)

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Simple in its design and effective in use, the TwoFish Lockblocks U-Lock Mount can lock a U-lock to a stem and handlebar or a seat tube and top tube (the manufacturer intends the former).

The TwoFish system comprises three blocks and Velcro straps. The straps hold the blocks (and your lock) in place. Inexpensive though it is, this product is used by some to carry a Kryptonite NY lock, which is too big for many other mounts.

What we like

  • Solution – suits some of the big U-locks that don’t fit into all other systems.
  • Price – you won’t lose too much money if it doesn’t work out.
  • Improvise – can feasibly act as a mini front rack when fitted on the handlebar.

What we don’t like

  • Time – undoing three lock points is not quick-release.

U-Locks: Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Mount A U-Lock Bracket?

U-lock brackets are typically mounted using Velcro straps, often with rubber shims or adapters for a more secure fit. A tote bag or holster may be buckled to the bike.

Are U-Locks Better Than Cable Locks?

They are unquestionably better than cable locks, which can be cut with bolt cutters in seconds. A U-lock with a 16mm+ shank resists bolt cutters of any size.

Are U-Locks Heavy?

U-locks are heavier than most low-grade chain locks or cable locks, but they offer the best combination of portability and security.

We’re Done! Time To Lock Up

Among our reviewed products, the Dill Pickle Gear U-Lock Tote Bike Lock Holster comes out a clear winner for its careful design. Attention to detail from an individual cyclist makes this stylish product stand out.

Runner’s-up spot goes to the Huldit U-Lock Holder for its simplicity and because it holds Kryptonite NY U-locks. That’s one of the most secure and popular models on the market.

Third on the podium is the SKS Anywhere Mount for its versatility. Though sold by vendors mainly as a bottle-cage holder mount, its two adapters and strong straps can be backed onto one another to hold anything, anywhere.

That’s it. All locked up.

There’s other ways to store these locks (and other types. Read more about them here.

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Mark Whitley
Mark Whitley
I’m a cycling enthusiast, and the founder and chief editor of Bike Push. If I’m not working on this website, then I’m out on the bike clocking up the miles. I want to help others get the most out of cycling.

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