You probably already bought multiple bike accessories such as bike lights
, bike baskets
, bike horns
and so on, especially if you are a professional bike rider and you spend a lot of time on two wheels. Well, it is a good idea to add one more accessory to your bike gear, and that is a bike chain lock. Such an item is designed to provide utmost protection for your bike and possibly save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars. All responsible bike riders have a lock for their bike, so why shouldn’t you?
If you know a thing or two about bike security systems, you are probably aware that there are plenty of options at your disposal such as bike U locks, bike combination locks, etc. How is a bike chain lock different? Well, it can provide increased protection because you can use the chain to wrap it around the frame and wheels of your bike, keeping it safe as a whole. A U lock, for example, provides excellent protection, but a thief with the right tools might just disassemble the wheel it is attached to, and steal the rest of your bike. With a chain lock, you are safer and have more peace of mind.
We strongly encourage you to spend a couple extra bucks on a quality chain lock as you will not regret your decision. As you probably already know, robbers attack properties or steal personal valuables that are less defended, so by buying a bike chain lock, you are already deterring most of them. This guide will help you learn more about such defensive items and how to choose a suitable one, so read on!
You might be pleasantly surprised to find out that the price of a bike chain lock is not that high nowadays, and when you take into account that it can potentially save you headaches and thousands of dollars, it actually provides the best bang for your buck. For example, most high-quality bike chain locks are priced between $15-$20 and $200 for a super-tough model that cannot be damaged easily. We advise you to stay away from cheap bike chain locks (usually priced around 10 dollars) for obvious reasons. Not only that you are wasting your money on such products, but your bike might get stolen easily too.
Although bike chain locks are pretty straightforward and simple, some of them have extra bells and whistles. In this section of our guide, we are going to discover the basic features of a bike chain lock, so that you will know what to look for when buying.
- Length - this is an important factor, the longer the chain, the more protection you can give to your bike as you can wrap more of it around its frame. Still, keep in mind that a longer chain is also heavier, so don’t skip your gym days if you choose a longer one
- Locking Mechanism - some chains have incorporated cylinders, others come with an additional padlock made from a durable material
- Materials - when it comes to chain locks, we are only talking about "Schwarzenegger-type" materials here such as hardened steel, reinforced titanium, manganese steel, carbon alloy steel and so on
- Color - the actual color of the chain is less important, but in most cases, this type of lock is protected by a nylon sleeve. This sleeve usually comes in various colors, so if you are a girl, you can even get a pink bike chain lock for your precious bicycle
Remember, these are the basics when it comes to chain locks, so that you can get yourself the big picture. Feel free to browse and pick a lock with more bells and whistles if that's what you need, just make sure it comes from a reputable manufacturer.
Construction and Design
When it comes to construction, we pretty much covered the main aspects, so you should expect to see chains made from hardened steel or similar materials. These locks are designed to resist picking methods, bolt cutters and drilling machines, so even the most experienced thieves will have a hard time trying to break your lock and steal your bike.
It is important to talk about the thickness of the chain, too. Some of them can be almost a quarter of an inch thick (which is still pretty tough), whereas others can go close to half an inch in thickness. Remember, we are talking about the thickness of the links which are usually made from steel or even stronger materials! The thicker the chain, the better, and this will definitely give you more peace of mind, even if you are leaving your bike out in a quite dangerous neighborhood where bikes are "borrowed" frequently.
In most cases, this thick chain is covered by a nylon or canvas sleeve to protect the paint on your bike and to give the chain a less rough visual appeal. Bike chain locks are supplied with keys which can be used to lock and unlock the built-in cylinder or padlock. Of course, if you go for a combination lock, you don’t need a key at all! In some cases, a padlock is not supplied, leaving you to buy your own favorite locking mechanism to attach to your chain.
Performance and Ease of Use
Just as mentioned earlier, chain locks tend to be quite heavy, but some of them come with carrying cases or they can wrap around your waist, making them easier to carry. When it comes to the keys which are supplied, some of them might feature an LED light – a wonderful idea – making it easier for you to lock and unlock your bike during the night. Still, if you think that the lock is too heavy, you can always put it in your backpack and built a stronger back over time.
Before wrapping it up, multiple high-quality bike chain locks also come with warranty periods, some manufacturers even offer lifetime warranty. It is up to you to get informed about this to be able to make the best possible decision when picking a bike chain lock. Good luck!
The benefits of a chain lock are numerous, and as you can see, it is not that difficult to pick a suitable one. Now that you know the basics, let's explore the five contenders in our list and find out which one is the best for you.
Kryptonite makes locks for more than 40 years now, and its experience is vast and overwhelming. It currently sells a wide variety of locks such as regular locks, U locks, pad locks, bike locks, chain locks and even security wheel nuts for your bike. This brand is popular on multiple countries and its products are made from some of the toughest materials out there including hardened steel, carbon steel and even titanium.
The Evolution 4 Integrated Chain Bicycle Lock from Kryptonite is available in several sizes such as 5.25 inches, 21.5 inches or 35.5 inches and is probably the right security solution for your beloved bike. This chain lock has chain links made from manganese steel and its cylinder is pick and drill resistant, so even the most ambitious thieves will have a hard time breaking this lock.
It is supplied with three steel keys and one of them features an LED light which is highly convenient in low-light conditions. The chain itself is covered with a protective nylon sleeve which makes this lock appear more eye-catching and at the same time, it protects the paint on your bike. If you really care about your bike and want to have more peace of mind, this lock is probably the right investment to make!
Just like Kryptonite, Abus is also a brand which specializes in quality locks. It makes bike locks, chain locks, U locks, pad locks and multiple other defensive systems. If you live in a particularly dangerous neighborhood, you might want to look at the surveillance cameras made by Abus as they are highly popular and practical. This company tries to cater to all your security needs, helping you sleep better at night.
For example, the Abus Grip 585/100 Bicycle Chain Lock is available in several color options such as black, lime, grey or blue and it is available in several sizes. The model we are reviewing today is 5mm thick (approximately 0.2 inches) and 1 meter in length (approximately 40 inches). This means that you can use it for almost all types of bikes to ensure proper protection and security wherever you are.
When it comes to materials, the chain and the locking mechanism itself are made from a special type of hardened steel which cannot be broken easily, even when using cutting tools or drilling devices. In the package, you will find two keys for locking and unlocking this product and best of all, the lock is covered with a canvas/nylon sleeve that prevents scratching your bike. At the end of the day, this lock is an ideal and highly recommended investment which will definitely deter most thieves and robbers out there.
This is not the first time when we are reviewing a product from OnGuard as this company is a big name in the locks and defensive mechanisms business. It produces a wide variety of chain locks, pad locks as well as u locks which can be used to secure different valuables, particularly your bike. On top of that, OnGuard also makes cable locks and tools such as lamps and PVC boots.
For now, let's focus on the Beast Chain Lock with X4 Padlock from OnGuard as this is definitely a "beast" among bike chain locks. It is available in 2 sizes such as 110cm x 14mm (roughly 43 inches long and 0.5 inches thick) or 180cm x 14mm (approximately 71 inches long and 0.5 inches thick). You would want to go for a longer chain lock if your bike is larger or you really want to secure it completely near a lamp post, so that no thief would even dare to attempt stealing it!
Not only that the chain is so thick, but it is also made from reinforced titanium, so it is pretty pointless to try to cut it, even with power tools or sophisticated bolt cutters. The shackle itself is also made from hardened steel and it can be opened with one of the five keys you will find in the package. One of the keys comes with an LED light, so unlocking this item during the night will be easier. Before wrapping it up, we want to mention that this is one of the toughest chain locks out there (the Pitbull of locks if you want), so you shouldn’t be surprised to find out it is a bit heavy, but this is a minor drawback to pay.
We were surprised by Hiplok and its products because this brand makes some of the most attractive, practical, and sturdy locks out there. You can use them mostly for your bike, but you can also protect other personal belongings with them. Among other products, we liked the reusable zip ties and wearable combination locks from Hiplok and you might want to check them out too.
In the meantime, let's focus on the Gold Wearable Chain Lock which is available in several color options such as black, camo or superbright. This lock comes with a 10mm (approximately 0.4 inches) thick chain made from hardened steel and a 12mm (roughly 0.5 inches) shackle which is very difficult to break.
The beauty of this lock is that you can wear it around your waist and use it as a normal belt. It offers an adjustable fit, so whether you are a bit rounder on the belly or have a slim physique, you'll still be able to use this lock. When you arrive at a coffee shop, you park your bike outside and use this chain lock to secure your precious ride. The Gold Chain Lock can also be used as a fashion accessory as it is quite eye-catching.
As the name implies, Guard Security is all things security and protecting your personal valuables. It specializes in bike locks and other defensive systems, but it also makes Philips screwdrivers, door chains and bolts, U locks, pad locks and multiple other products. We liked this brand because its products are reasonably priced and you have a wide variety of options to choose from.
The Heavy Duty Hardened Steel Square Link Bike Chain we picked for this review is an excellent chain lock for most bike types. It features professionally welded, hardened steel links that are almost impossible to break or cut with a power tool. The chain itself is approximately 35 inches, which is enough for most people to secure their bikes.
This lock is also covered with a canvas/nylon protective sleeve which, as you probably already guessed, protects your bike's paint and makes the chain look a bit more visually pleasing. This sleeve is weather resistant, so don’t worry that it will get damaged by rain or excessive sunlight. At approximately 4 pounds, it is also relatively heavy, but that means you are buying a durable chain lock which can take a lot of wear and tear.
These are just a few of the best bike chain locks out there, but there are plenty others if you have different needs of preferences. Remember that it is better to be safe than sorry and a good-quality chain lock will help you sleep better at night!