Introduction: Bike Lock Cleat

The Problem

U locks turn 50 in 2021, and so do complaints about how to carry them on a bike. Lock makers have tried, and so have third party makers, but there’s really been no easy, reliable way to carry your u lock on your frame. Typically, somewhere on a rear rack (if you have one), hanging from the seat, or dangling from the handlebars are the work-arounds, but they have their limitations. People have devised other solutions, including some here on Instructables. (shout out to tmiron for


After messing around for years, I finally stumbled on this design, which I am submitting as my first Instructable. I already carry plenty of weight on the back wheel, so I wanted to move my lock and tools up front. I also wanted to make putting the lock on the mount fast and simple, and ideally not require using the key to lock or unlock the, uh, lock.

The Bike Lock Cleat sits on the left or right side of the top tube, clamped in place with a single hose clamp. Hook the lock over the cleat with the U shape at the top. The lock sits on the side of the top tube, not directly beneath it. The straight section of the lock hangs down, and is strapped to the down tube.


Step 1. Position the tire piece and cleat on the top tube where you want the U lock to be when you ride. You may want to put it well forward so that sudden dismounts do not cause any surprises. It can be on the left or right side of the top tube, according to your preference and the location of any other things on your top tube. Cyclocross style bikes, for example, often have shift cables and the rear brake cable on the top of the top tube. No worries.

Step 2. Wrap the hose clamp around the cleat, being careful to not interfere with any brake or shift cables running on your top tube. Happily, hose clamps are very low profile, and should fit nicely under any cables.

Step 3. Check clearance and function of cables, brakes, and derailleurs, and if everything is good, tighten the hose clamp so that the cleat does not move when the lock is on it.


Tilt the U Lock to hook it over the cleat and then straighten it until it seats. Cinch down the straight end to the down tube so the lock will not rattle or bounce lose. Reverse steps one and two to retrieve your lock.


1. A U-lock

2. A 4 inch nylon cleat, available at most marine supply stores, or maybe in your basement with your kayak parts.

3. A short length of bike tire or inner tube to help hold the base of the cleat in position and minimize scratching of your top tube's fine paint job. Technically optional, but worth the extra effort.

4. Hook and loop cinch strap, webbing strap, bungee cord or similar to hold the u-lock in position and eliminate rattling.

Step 1:

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