8 Best Bike Chain Locks | March 2017

We spent 33 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Bravo to you for using your bicycle as transportation. Seeing as you're helping to save the planet, we'll help you keep your vehicle from getting stolen. Keep your bicycle secure wherever you leave it with one of these impressively strong bike chain locks. Skip to the best bike chain lock on Amazon.
8 Best Bike Chain Locks | March 2017

Overall Rank: 3
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 7
Best Inexpensive
The Allnice Manganese is a combination lock that requires a passcode and key. Plus its waterproof cover prevents the links from rusting, and it is resistant to drilling. The actual lock is a bit bulky, though, and tough to pack.
The Kent Heavy Duty is made with torus-shaped oblong links which have almost zero space between, them making them impossible to fit a cutter through. The head also rotates freely to make it easier to wrap around tricky spots.
The Oxford OF157 features a heavy-duty chain and double locking padlock that can also serve as a disc lock for motorcycles. Plus it's the right size to fit under the seat of most motorcycles, while still weighing a good 5.4 pounds.
The ONGUARD Mastiff is a throwback to traditional combo bike locks, but with heightened security features, like a steel ball combination unit and square links. It's also long enough to wrap around the bike frame.
  • easy to set the code
  • made from titanium reinforced steel
  • the sleeve slips down over time
Brand OnGuard
Model 45008022C
Weight 3.4 pounds
The Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit protects your bike in any neighborhood with higher security disc-style cylinders. It's so heavy that some users carry it as self-defense in dangerous neighborhoods.
  • six-sided chain links
  • intimidating appearance
  • the key lock can jam
Brand Kryptonite
Model pending
Weight 14.8 pounds
The Trimax THEX5060 Set features a hardened steel lock that cannot be hammered or pried open. It can resist 6 tons of pull force and 11 tons of cutting force, so nobody can break into this without drawing attention to themselves.
  • one key comes with a mini flashlight
  • toughest type of lock core to pick
  • 5 feet in length for multiple bikes
Brand Trimax
Model THEX5060
Weight 10.2 pounds
The Mighty Click Wearable takes away the hassle of finding a good spot on your bike for transport, since you can just wrap it around your waist and go. It also has reflective strips to make you more visible during night rides.
  • convenient zipper pocket for valuables
  • fits waist sizes from 26" to 40"
  • sturdy solid brass padlock
Brand Mighty Click
Model pending
Weight 3.3 pounds
The Abus Granit Extreme Plus is one of the strongest locks available on the market, featuring a 12 mm chain covered by a fabric sleeve that prevents it from chipping the bike's paint. Plus the chain cannot be cut by bolt cutters.
  • made of special hardened steel
  • manually operated keyhole cover
  • fully covered locking mechanism
Brand ABUS
Model 56559
Weight 10.1 pounds

Why Bicycle Locks Are Needed

Unlike many other types of property theft, bicycle theft has risen in recent years. This is most likely due to two reasons; the increasing popularity of biking as a means to commute to and from work, and the growing interest in road cycling as a sport. Another probable reason that bicycle theft is on the rise is that police departments put very little precedence on finding stolen bikes or punishing the thieves. So despite the fact that criminals often have to sell the stolen bicycle for pennies on the dollar, the limited risk still makes them an attractive target. It is estimated that over 1.5 million bicycles are stolen every year in just the U.S. alone.

If we look at the bicycle theft statistics for New York between 2011 and 2014, we can see almost a 70% increase over this four year period. In 2011, 2,894 bicycles were stolen in New York. In 2012, 3,503, in 2013, 4,249 were stolen, and in 2014, 4,849 were stolen. To make matters worse, only about 2% to 3% of reported stolen bicycles are ever recovered.

Your riding habits and where you leave your bike locked up are directly related to the chances of your bicycle being stolen. Students should be particularly concerned as bicycle theft statistics for college campuses are extremely high. Active cyclists, defined as those who use their bicycle nearly every day for commuting, face some of the highest risks. Nearly 50% of active cyclist have a bicycle stolen at some point in their lives, and many have two or even three stolen. During a study on bicycle theft, McGill researchers found that from 961 respondents who were victims of bicycle theft, a total of 1,890 bicycles were stolen.

Understanding The Three Most Popular Types Of Bicycle Locks

When it comes to buying a bicycle lock, there are many different kinds to choose from, each of which has distinctive benefits and drawbacks. One of the most popular types is a U-lock, sometimes referred to as a D-lock. These are comprised of a rigid metal ring in the shape of a U and a crossbar that locks onto the two points of the U. To lock a bicycle, one can either hook the lock around their frame and a pole or other object that is securely grounded.

Unfortunately this leaves the front tire unsecured, and if somebody has a quick release mechanism on their tires it can be easily stolen. Another option is to lock the frame to the front tire, but when locking a bicycle in this manner, there is nothing to prevent somebody from picking it up and walking away with it. The benefit of a U-lock though is that they are extremely hard to break, offering your bicycle a higher level of protection.

Chain locks are comprised of just a chain and a lock, which can either be a key of combination model. The security of a bicycle chain lock is directly tied to the thickness and hardiness of the chain. Smaller chains, while easier to transport, can be cut relatively quickly with a pair of standard bolt cutters. Extra thick and hard chains may require the use of an angle grinder or other power tool to break the chain. Most chain locks are large enough to loop around the frame, through the front wheel, and around some type of grounded pole. The flexibility of a chain also makes them easier to loop around unusually shaped objects, which might not be possible with a U-lock.

Cable locks are similar to chain locks in style and functionality, but instead of using a chain to secure the bicycle, a heavy-duty steel cable is used. Cable locks tend to be lighter in weight than chain locks, making them easier to transport. Some also coil up tightly, so they can be stored in places where U-locks and chain locks cannot fit. Unfortunately, cable locks are one of the easiest to cut, which only makes them suitable for low-risk areas and daytime use.

Biking For Good Health

Despite the increased risk of bicycle thefts active cyclists experience, the health benefits of regular cycling are well worth it. Any type of regular cardiovascular exercise can lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and more. Many such exercises, like running and HIT training, are often high impact. High-impact exercise can lead to knee and ankle joint pain later in life. Cycling, along with swimming, are two of the best low-impact, high cardio exercises one can perform. They are also suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels.

In addition to physical health, studies have shown that regular cycling can improve mental health as well. One such study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research stated that scientists found that participants scored higher on memory, reasoning, and planning tests after 30 minutes of cycling than before cycling. They were also able to complete the tests quicker. Another study found that individuals who regularly participated in high levels of physical activity had a significantly decreased risk of developing clinical depression. Research has also shown that both high and low-intensity exercise can reduce levels of anxiety.

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Last updated: 03/22/2017 | Authorship Information