Locking up your bike trailer while out an about is probably the last thing you consider.
But when you’re taking a ride to the grocery store or library, it’s important to know how to properly lock up your bike trailer without bringing along a heavy lock.
I don’t personally enjoy bringing a heavy lock with me whenever I ride with a bike trailer, but I do occasionally do need to lock up when going to the grocery store or library.
If you do not have a bike lock, the best way to secure a bike trailer is to remove one wheel and bring it with you or place the wheel inside the trailer. If you do have a bike lock, the safest way to lock a bike trailer is to use a standard bike lock to secure the trailer’s wheel to a stationary object.
If you prefer not to bring a bike lock or you forgot it at home, then simply removing one of the trailer wheels will be enough to discourage someone from taking the trailer.
Read on to find out some creative ways to use a bike lock to secure your bike trailer and also some recommended bike locks!
How to lock a bike trailer WITHOUT a bike lock
My recommended method to lock up a bike trailer requires no heavy bike lock. Simply remove one of the wheels from the trailer and leave it inside the bike trailer or bring it with you.
This method does not require you to bring a bulky, heavy, and cumbersome bike lock with you everywhere you go. As with all bike trailers, the lighter the better. You will need the weight savings!
I would recommend just leaving it inside the bike trailer and closing the trailer cover. Doing this alone will be enough to discourage anyone from potentially stealing the bike trailer.
After all, the chances of someone even considering running off with a bike trailer are so low that this method will be enough.
If you want to be on the safer side, then you can bring the wheel with you in your bag or just carry it. Again, I would prefer to just leave it in the trailer, but it’s up to you.
How to lock a bike trailer WITH a bike lock
If you do prefer to bring a bike lock with you, then the way to do it depends on whether you also have a bike with you.
If you have a bike and bike trailer, then remove one wheel from the trailer and lock up both the wheel and your bike using the bike lock. This will ensure that both the trailer and the bike are secure.
If you have just the bike trailer, then you can just secure the trailer to a sturdy object using the bike lock.
Should I lock up my bike too?
Locking up both the bike trailer and the bike will offer the most security.
If you have a bike lock with you, then you can lock the wheel of the bike trailer to the bike to secure both the bike and the trailer at the same time.
This is the most secure and recommended method if you have a bike lock handy.
The best way to lock up both your trailer and bike is to remove one wheel from the bike trailer and secure it to your bike’s wheel using a bike lock.
Is it even worth locking up your bike trailer?
Bike trailers are generally not a huge target for theft, according to members of bike trailer communities. I have asked in several different group forums (including the popular Rascal Rides Facebook group) if anyone has experience bike trailer theft. As I suspected, no one responded with any stories of theft.
The main reason bike trailers are not often stolen is because they are cumbersome to run off with and they are simply not high-value items for people that would even consider stealing a bike trailer.
In addition, the areas in which people generally use bike trailers are typically low-crime public areas, such as parks, grocery stores, libraries, and schools. The chances of someone walking off with a bike trailer in such pubic areas in the middle of the day are so low that I have never even considered locking up our bike trailers.
I personally have never locked up my bike trailer in over 6 years of using them with our two kids. And it’s not like we lived in a very safe area either! We used our bike trailer in a densely-populated city of New Jersey primarily to go to libraries, public parks, and grocery stores.
Not once did I ever lock up our bike trailer and not once did I ever feel it was in danger of being stolen.
Best bike lock to secure a bike trailer
If you wish to secure your bike trailer from theft with a bike lock, then the best bike lock would depend on what type you prefer.
Specifically for securing a bike trailer, I would highly recommend a lightweight cable lock. When it comes to pulling bike trailers, the lighter the better. You don’t want to be hauling around a bulky u-lock or heavy chain.
In my experience of riding around with a bike trailer in the busy areas of New Jersey and New York, it is not necessary to get the most heavy-duty bike locks. A simple cable lock will do just fine.
Best cable bike lock
Titanker Bike Lock Cable – Around $8 (check price on Amazon)
The Titanker cable lock is a minimalist security lock that gets the job done at a super affordable price.
If you’re not particularly worried about someone bringing a saw to steal your bike trailer, then this is a great option. If someone were to bring along a cable cutter or a saw to carefully remove your bike trailer, then a cable lock will not be the best option. But how likely is that!
The Tintanker cable has over 6,000 helpful reviews on Amazon and an average 4.2-star rating.
The main appeal of a cable type bike lock is that it’s lightweight. Bike trailers are already heavy and hard to pull around, so a lightweight lock is that much more appealing.
Price: Around $8 (check price on Amazon)
Best bike u-lock
Kryptonite Evolution U-Lock – Around $60 (check price on Amazon)
If you want the most security for your money, then a u-lock is the undisputed king of security. No one will mess with a bike and trailer sporting this bad boy.
The Kryptonite Evolution is a mega heavy-duty u-lock bike lock. This u-lock in particular comes with a handy 4-foot cable that you will definitely need to securely lock up your massive bike trailer and bike.
It has over 6,400 reviews on Amazon and an average 4.6-star rating.
Kryptonite is a solid, recognizable brand for bike locks that you can’t go wrong with.
The main drawback of using a u-lock is that it is the heavies of the options. At 3.55 lbs, this bike lock might not seem so heavy, but with bike trailers, the weight adds up quickly with children, cargo, toys, and other stuff. Not to mention u-locks are bulky and take up a lot of space on your bike or in your cargo bag.
Price: Around $60 (check price on Amazon)
Best bike lock chain
Kryptonite Keeper Lock Chain – Around $30 (check on Amazon)
Another top-notch bike lock from Kryptonite, the Kryptonite Keeper chain lock is another good option for securing a bike trailer and bike.
The Kryptonite Keeper has over 3,700 reviews on Amazon and an average 4.6-star rating.
The main drawback of using a chain lock is that they are typically very short, with this one just 33.5 inches. If you need to secure both your trailer and bike, then I would go for a longer cable bike lock (mentioned above) or a u-lock and cable combo (mentioned above).
Price: Around $30 (check price on Amazon)
From my experience of riding with bike trailers for 6+ years in very densely-populated areas of New Jersey, bike trailers are not big theft items. I would not worry too much about using a bike lock, and instead just remove one of the trailer wheels to make it significantly less appealing to steal.
But if you do wish to use a bike lock or live in an area that is prone to theft, then consider getting a cable lock as the least secure option (but the lightest) or a u-lock as the most secure option (but the heaviest). It’s a trade-off either way! So just assess your risks and make an informed decision.
Need help finding the right bike trailer?
If you need help finding the right bike trailer for you, my recommended trailer for most people is the Swhinn Joyrider, which is an affordable double-seater that converts beautifully to a stroller. Check out my full review with photos here.
Check out the Ultimate Guide to Buying a Bike Trailer for more help with choosing a trailer. I also have compiled a list of the top bike trailers for every common situation, which you can check out here.