Can You Bring Bicycle Locks on Planes?

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A red bicycle lock

Carry-on bags

Yes, with conditions

Checked luggage


Rules for Flights in the USA

In the United States, bike locks are generally allowed in hand and cargo baggage. However, TSA recommends packing bike locks, particularly if they are big or heavy, in checked baggage. 

Although most bike locks are allowed through airport security, chain locks and d-locks might trigger a warning and are better off in checked baggage. Cable locks, combination locks, and folding locks are less likely to represent a concern when going through airport security. Still, the TSA agent makes the final judgment and decides if they can or can’t go through security.

Rules for Flights in Other Countries

Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand

On Canadian, European, United Kingdom, Australian, and New Zealand flights, the flight authorities don’t mention bicycle locks specifically as banned items. But, their rules are almost identical to the US, and bicycle locks are allowed in cabin baggage as long as they aren’t a threat to other passengers. Chain locks and d-locks are likely to be perceived as blunt weapons and should be packed in checked baggage. Cable, combination, and folding locks are more likely to be accepted in hand baggage.


On flights within China, bicycle locks aren’t mentioned specifically as banned from the cabin, but similar items like chains aren’t allowed in carry-on baggage. Therefore, you should travel with heavy locks in checked baggage.


In India, bicycle locks aren’t listed as banned or allowed in carry-on luggage. However, general metal items are forbidden in the cabin. So, metal bicycle locks must travel in checked baggage exclusively.


Sources: For writing this article, we took information only from official sources, like airline regulators, government websites, and major airlines. If you want to confirm that our information is accurate and up to date, click on any of the links mentioned above. We linked out to where we found this information for each country.

Disclaimer: The final decision of whether you can bring bicycle locks on planes always rests on the security officer. Some airlines also have additional rules that may be different.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bringing Bicycle Locks on Planes

Are all types of bicycle locks allowed on planes (chain, cable, d-lock, etc.)?

Theoretically, all types of locks are allowed on planes in the United States. TSA doesn’t list bicycle locks as banned items, and therefore, they are welcomed in cabin and cargo luggage.

However, security agents might deem heavier bicycle locks like chains and d-locks as dangerous potential weapons. While combination, cable, and folding locks have a better chance of going through airport security without any problems, they could also be seen as dangerous to other passengers. So, overall, it’s best to pack them in checked baggage whenever possible.

Are metal bicycle locks also allowed on planes?

Metal bicycle locks are generally allowed on planes in the United States with certain restrictions. Metal bicycle locks aren’t specifically listed as banned from cabin luggage, but for their weight, they might be flagged as a potential bludgeon weapon. Therefore, it’s best practice to pack them in checked luggage.

Should I pack bicycle locks in my hand or checked luggage?

Overall, you should pack your bicycle locks in checked luggage when traveling in the United States. Although bicycle locks aren’t exactly prohibited in cabin baggage, heavy locks could be considered blunt weapons and get confiscated by airport security. To prevent losing your lock, pack it in your checked baggage.

What other bicycle accessories are allowed on planes?

Most bicycle accessories are allowed on planes in the United States. Bike pumps, helmets, pedals, bicycle chains, bike tubes, and patches are generally welcomed in hand and cargo baggage. Water bottlers are allowed in hand and cargo baggage too. But, if they are traveling in a carry-on, they must be empty when going through airport security. You can refill it after passing the security checkpoint. Tire levers are mostly allowed on planes, but steel tire levers might trigger a security alarm if they are packed in hand baggage. Therefore, it’s best to pack them in checked baggage too.

Bike tools that have sharp edges or can be used as blunt weapons won’t be allowed in hand baggage and should be packed in cargo baggage instead. Small multi-tools without sharp tools might be allowed onboard a plane. CO2 cartridges are completely banned from carry-on and checked baggage in the United States.

There are also multiple requirements for traveling with glue. First, the glue shouldn’t be flammable or have any of the toxic chemicals banned on airplanes. Second, if you pack your glue in hand baggage, it should follow TSA’s 3-1-1 liquids rule, and be under 3.4 ounces / 100 milliliters.

What bicycle tools should you carry when traveling?

Cycling enthusiasts should carry a bike pump, a helmet, a multi-tool, a patching kit, and a spare tube when traveling. A CO2 inflator is the best bike pump to travel with. However, you either need to buy the CO2 cartridges at your destination or buy them online. The multi-tool shouldn’t have any sharp edges or knives that could be considered weapons. If they do, or you have any concerns about getting them confiscated, then it’s best to pack them in checked baggage. The glue of your patching kit shouldn’t be flammable. Although most equipment and tools are permitted in hand baggage, it’s more convenient to pack the items that could be flagged by security in cargo baggage.

Find Out the Packing Rules for Similar Items

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