The 10 Best Bike Chain Locks

Updated May 16, 2018 by Sam Kraft

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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Bravo to you for using your bicycle as a primary mode of transportation. Seeing as you're helping to save the planet, we'll help you save your two-wheeler from thieves. Stay relaxed with the knowledge that your ride is secure wherever you leave it with one of the chain locks we’ve listed here, which range from simple, budget-level options to heavy-duty ones. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best bike chain lock on Amazon.

10. Etronic M10 Tuff

With a set your own number code feature that’s simple to operate, the Etronic M10 Tuff combines the convenience of a combination with the strength of hardened steel. At four feet, it’s long enough to use with gates, fences, lampposts and more.
  • low-cost value option
  • sports a vibrant color
  • weighs less than 2 pounds
Model M10
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. Foneso Security

Good luck to any thieves attempting to break into the Foneso Security, as they’ll have to go through 100,000 potential number combinations. While it is lightweight and portable, it is still effective in resisting sawing and drilling.
  • protective cover to avoid scatches
  • 1-year warranty
  • arrives adequately lubed
Brand Arespark
Model pending
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

8. Sportneer Secure

The Sportneer Secure is an inexpensive cut-resistant combination model. Its waterproof cover prevents the links from rusting, which is nice in wetter climates, and it's small enough to throw into a travel bag when you don't need it wrapped around your spokes.
  • ideal for quick stops
  • is prone to jamming
  • may give in to strong bolt cutters
Brand Sportneer
Model SP-Bikelock
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Kryptonite Keeper

Thanks to its impressive and professional look and feel, the Kryptonite Keeper serves as an effective theft deterrent. Its robust locking mechanism is smooth and easy to use, and the extra key that’s included provides a nice backup.
  • 4 colors available
  • built with manganese steel
  • reliable end pin-link design
Brand Kryptonite
Model LK4087-P
Weight 3.1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Trimax Thex 5060

The Trimax Thex 5060 features a hardened steel lock that cannot be hammered or pried open. It can resist six tons of pull force and 11 tons of cutting force, so if somebody does want to try and steal your ride, they’ll need to draw attention to themselves.
  • mini flashlight on one of its 3 keys
  • 5 feet in length
  • pick-resistant lock core
Brand Trimax
Model THEX5060
Weight 10.1 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Hiplok Gold

The ability to wear the Hiplok Gold around your waist as a belt is testament to the ingenuity of its design. Besides being spared the burden of lugging it to and fro in a backpack, you can also rely on the strength of its mighty 12mm hardened steel shackle and 10mm chain.
  • doesn't feel heavy when wearing
  • comes in three different colors
  • a little too short
Brand Hiplok
Model LK5018-P
Weight pending
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Guard Security Steel

It’s not quite as heavy-duty as some of the more expensive models, but the Guard Security Steel offers quality protection for your bike, scooter or motorcycle at an affordable price. The sleeve is riveted on both ends to enhance rigidity and prevent movement.
  • resilient zinc coating
  • welded links for pry-resistance
  • corrosion-resistant over long term
Brand Guard Security
Model 968
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

3. OnGuard 8019L Mastiff

The OnGuard 8019L Mastiff is one of the strongest models available. It features a 6-foot chain covered with a nylon sleeve that prevents it from chipping a bike's paint. While it is a monster to carry around, it's very difficult to cut through.
  • lifetime warranty
  • steel links are titanium reinforced
  • led flashlight key
Model 8019L
Weight 10 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit

Built with disc-style cylinders and a solid steel crossbar, the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit offers a dependable layer of defense no matter what neighborhood you are parked in. It is a reasonable five feet long, which allows it to be attached to various structures.
  • withstands 16 tons of cutting force
  • anti-theft insurance
  • hardened double-deadbolt lock
Brand Kryptonite
Model pending
Weight 14.8 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Kryptonite Evolution

The Kryptonite Evolution is fairly short, at just under three feet, making it best suited for daily use at your regular bike stand, but it is reliably resistant to most forms of theft attempt. It comes with an LED light on one of the three keys provided.
  • dust cover on the lock
  • weather-resistant nylon sleeve
  • coils compactly for easy carrying
Brand Kryptonite
Model 000808
Weight 6.2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

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 on May 16, 2018 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.

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