The 10 Best Bike Chain Locks

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This wiki has been updated 30 times since it was first published in June of 2015. If you are using a motorbike or bicycle as your primary mode of transportation, security is most likely a major consideration. A high-quality lock will help you save your two-wheeler from tampering and thieves. These chain locks range from simple, budget-level options to heavy-duty ones, and can be secured either with a key or a combination code to suit your preference. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Abus Granit X-Plus

2. Kryptonite New York Noose 1213

3. Trimax Thex 5060

Editor's Notes

April 08, 2021:

The greatest advantage a chain lock has over other types, such as U-locks or disk brake locks, is that their greater length gives versatility in securing them around a fixed object. However, the longer and thicker the chain, the heavier the lock, so this is an important consideration when choosing the best option.

Many factors come together to ensure a lock is truly secure. The thickness and material of the chain links, whether they are welded or not, the type of padlock, and the locking mechanism and how it connects to the chain are all potential weak points that a thief will look for. During this update, we ensured that the selections in this ranking provide the highest levels of security possible.

If you need to secure your bike to a large object then a long chin will be necessary. The Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit is a reasonable five feet in length and includes a lock with disc-style cylinders and a solid steel, oval crossbar. The OnGuard 8019L Mastiff has a six-foot chain made from titanium-reinforced steel, however, the extra length does make it rather heavy at 10 pounds. The Kryptonite New York Noose 1213 features an innovative cinch loop design that makes the most out of its 4 1/4-foot length and includes their evolution series, four-disc lock with a 14-millimeter steel shackle. We also included the Abus Granit X-Plus, which is notable for its unique locking mechanism that offers direct and covered assembly onto the chain. A 5 1/2-foot, hardened steel chain and a pick-proof lock make this a good all-round choice for bicycles and motorcycles alike.

January 02, 2020:

Given the right tools and a little time, thieves can break into any bike lock, whether that is a chain lock, folding bike lock, or anything else; however, we think the models included here offer enough protection to give most users peace of mind. At the more secure end of the spectrum are the Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 1016 and the Kryptonite New York Noose 1213; these have all the features you could want, from a manganese steel construction to a lighted key to make using them in the dark that much easier. We've also opted to add the relatively expensive Artago Secure Maximum, which is robust enough for motorcycles and scooters, too. But we've removed the Etronic M10 Tuff, which just isn't strong enough, even for its low price tag. If your budget is feeling crunched, consider the Sportneer Secure, instead. It won't withstand every type of attack, but in low crime areas, it should keep honest people honest. Finally, we have decided to keep the Hiplok Gold, even though it is on the shorter side. It's a good choice for those who are trying to cut the weight they have to lug around.

Special Honors

Linka Original Chain Whether you already own the Linka Smart Lock, or you need to buy one, the Linka Original Chain will make a sound investment. It comes in standard and heavy-duty versions, both of which complement the sophisticated Linka keyless auto-unlocking bike lock.

Tex-Lock Textile Lock Technically, the Tex-Lock Textile Lock isn't a standard metal option; rather, it boasts a fabric construction that is remarkably strong and flexible, as well as lighter than typical metal chains. You can say goodbye to accidental scratches and to unnecessary weight.

4. OnGuard 8019L Mastiff

5. Artago Double Function

6. Guard Security Steel

7. Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit

8. Hiplok Gold

9. Kryptonite Keeper

10. Sportneer Secure

Why Bicycle Locks Are Needed

Students should be particularly concerned as bicycle theft statistics for college campuses are extremely high.

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 much less than its worth, 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.

Extra thick and hard chains may require the use of an angle grinder or other power tool to break the chain.

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.

Chris Gillespie
Last updated by Chris Gillespie

Starting his career in the building industry, Chris built and managed a plumbing and heating company in northern England. After 13 years, seeking a more fulfilling lifestyle, he moved to southeast Asia, eventually settling in Vietnam, where he teaches writing and comprehension at a number of international universities. Drawing on his previous experience, and his passion for kitesurfing and windsurfing, Chris is knowledgeable in all things water related both recreationally and within the construction industry.

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