The Best Bike Chain Lock
Buying a bicycle can be a hefty investment, the last thing you want is to become a victim of bicycle theft.
We can’t always avoid leaving our bicycle out in public, whether we are popping to the local shop or leaving it outside work, however we can try to deter thieves by making sure our bikes have chain locks.
Not only does this ensure you have a peace of mind but also stops people looking for an easy steal, that’s why we have rounded up the top bicycle chain locks and compared them to find the best bike lock for you.
Our Top Pick! – Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit 999492 Bicycle Chain and New York Disc Lock, 14mm x 60″ – Black/yellow
Kryptonite is well-known in the bicycle lock industry for making durable designs such as their Kryptonite evolution series 4. This Kryptonite New York model in particular has 14 mm six-sided chain links made out of hardened 3T manganese steel for ultimate anti theft protection.
This model comes with a maximum security disc lock attached to the chain with its 15 mm steel shackle and double deadbolt design for ultimate holding power.
This Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit design also has a sliding dust cover for protection, along with three stainless steel keys, including one LED key which is replaceable as long as you register your product online.
The weight of this Kryptonite New York bicycle lock is 15.25 pounds (around 7kg) meaning it is extremely heavy duty and would resist drills and picks with ease.
Overall, this locking system is one of the top on our list due to its durable and high quality design, making it perfect if you have to leave your bicycle locked up in a public place. Its 14 mm hard manganese links on its chain make it near impossible to break or bend.
However, notable downfalls of this design have to be its weight, it comes in at nearly 6.5 KG meaning this would be suitable as a stationary lock only, not to transport around.
The locking system itself may also be susceptible to damage if someone has the right tools such as an angle grinder. This model is also very expensive.
- Strong design.
- Made of hardened steel.
- Three keys included and replacements available.
- Deadbolt design for anti theft protection.
- Sliding dust cover.
- Heavyweight makes it difficult to transport.
BIGLUFU Bicycle Chain Lock, Motorbike Motorcycle Locks, 150mm / 15mm, 100cm / 11.5 mm Heavy Duty Bicycle Lock – Number Two
The Biglufu bike lock is one of the most affordable heavy-duty models on our list. The design of this model has a strong manganese 3T hardened steel 15 mm chain, meaning even the toughest of bolt cutters will fail to cut it.
It can withstand 8K tension and 17KN shear force, making it one of the best bike locks for anti-theft attacks on our list.
The length of this model is 150 cm and can be used to lock multiple bicycles together or even other kinds of equipment such as lawnmowers.
Lock wise, this model has U-lock which has a small size of 14 mm and is made of a hard zinc alloy shackle with thick PVC coating, making it perfect to reduce the amount of space between your bicycle and the lock, preventing crowbar attacks from thieves.
One of this bike locks best features is its water-resistant nylon sleeve which is scratch proof, preventing any unwanted marks on your bicycle and property. Its U-lock also comes with two ergonomic keys made out of durable steel to prevent bending after long-term use.
The weight of this design comes in at 4.5kg meaning you could transport this lock easily by using a bracket attachment. There is also a three-year warranty included if you are not satisfied with the lock’s performance.
Overall, the Biglufu model is very budget friendly but still gives a heavy-duty performance, meaning for a lesser price you can still get maximum security. Its U-lock design is one of the best locking systems on our list with its hardened steel for theft protection, along with its mid-weight enabling you to transport this lock if need be.
The downfalls of this model has to be its lack of spare keys, meaning if you go through the two given it will be a hassle to get more.
- Very affordable.
- U-lock design.
- Not a heavy weight meaning portability.
- Long length.
- Made with hardened steel.
- Lack of spare keys.
Yale YCL3/10/180/1 – Maximum Secure Chain Bicycle Lock 1800mm – Heavy Duty Protection – 4 Keys including 1 with micro-light – Number Three
Yale is no stranger in the security market industry, this maximum secure locking system is made of titanium enforced hexagonal hardened steel for added protection and has a total length of 1800 mm.
The design of this model in particular has a four point locking mechanism with its heavy duty cross bar giving max pull protection, the lock itself is also resistant to being picked or attacked in many types of ways. The design has an anti scratch double rubber bump to protect your bicycles paintwork.
Not only is this Yale model extremely durable and reliable, it’s also independently rated, sold secure gold and has a lifetime guarantee. Key wise, this product comes with four sets making it great if you lose any keys. The weight comes in at 3 kg making it perfect for security but not too heavy for transporting.
Overall, this Yale model is not only very affordable but also very reliable, its strong design and four point locking mechanism can give you the ultimate peace of mind when locking up your bicycle.
Downfalls of this Yale bicycle lock have to be its links which compared to other models on our list may be more susceptible to being broken with bolt cutters etc. The weight of this model is also still on the heavier side which may mean it is more suitable for stationary locking.
- Yale brand.
- Four sets of keys.
- Four point locking mechanism.
- Made of hardened chains.
- Anti-pick and attack resistant.
- Anti-scratch rubber bump.
- Sold secure gold rated.
- Could be susceptible to bolt cutters.
- Heavyweight means less ease when transporting.
Kohlburg massive security lock for motor bicycle with 13mm Titanium-steel chain & 140cm length – 6.4 Kg chain lock – Number Four
This Kohlburg locking system is one of the more mid-priced models on our list. It has an extra long 140 cm chain which is 13 mm thick, meaning you can securely lock your bicycle to even the widest of trees or posts. The 14 mm thick locks shackle is made out of titanium-chrome steel, giving this lock a 10/10 security rating.
Inside of this Kohlburg padlock is a robust multi-disc cylinder, this offers a high protection against bike thieves due to its resistance to picking, it can even be used as a disc brake lock without the chain.
Weight wise, this model is very heavy weighing around 6.5 kg, making this chain very reliable security wise. It also comes with three keys spare for its locking mechanism.
Therefore, this Kohlburg massive security bicycle lock is definitely one of the top models on our list due to its heavy-duty design and thick lock shackle. This product is also a reasonable price and would protect your bicycle against all kinds of attacks.
The downfalls of this model however has to be its heavyweight, the weight might be very good security wise but can only be used stationary, you would most likely have trouble transporting this lock with you on your bicycle.
- Very thick and durable chain.
- Made out of titanium-chrome steel.
- Multi-disc cylinder.
- Can be used as a disc brake.
- Strong links.
- Heavyweight means no portability.
LOCM009 – Bike It Mammoth Lock and Chain 1.8m – Number Five
The Mammoth security bike lock comes with 10 mm square links and has a total chain length of 1.8m. It also comes with a hardened steel shackle for ultimate theft protection.
The Mammoth model has a double bearing lock mechanism with two keys. The protective sleeve on this lock not only prevents scratches on your bicycle’s wheels and paintwork, but also acts a visual deterrent to warn off thieves.
The weight of this model is 4kg, ensuring a heavy-duty finish and can be portable too.
To conclude, the Mammoth security chain lock is a very affordable and reliable option for keeping your bicycle secure. Its vibrant colour and double bearing lock will deter thieves and keep your bicycle safe.
Downfalls of this model have to be its lack of spare keys and smaller sized chain links, this could make the lock more vulnerable to being bent or cut.
- 1.8m length.
- Double bearing lock.
- Steel shackle.
- Protective green sleeve.
- Not too heavy.
- Not as strong of a chain as other models.
- Lack of keys included.
ABUS Steel-O-Chain Iven 8210 Bicycle Lock – Number Six
Next up on our list is the Abus sold secure silver bicycle lock. Abus are known for some very reliable locking models such as their Abus granit lock.
This lock in particular has a 8 mm strong square chain with a length of 1100 mm for securing your bike, followed by its hardened steel construction to increase security.
Lock wise, it has an ergonomic and impact resistant body which prevents scratching due to its soft casing. The lock is also pick resistant.
This model also comes with a flexible fabric sleeve and two sets of keys for securing your lock.
Weight wise, this model only comes in at around 2.5kg, perfect for portability and wrapping around your seat pole when cycling.
Therefore, this ABUS steel chain model is a great buy if you are looking for a more portable but still high security bicycle lock.
The downfalls of this lock however has to be its lack of keys, shorter length and smaller chains, compared to other models on our list we think you could get better features for a similar price. If you are looking for an Abus model which is stronger we recommend the Abus granit model.
- Hardened steel construction.
- Not too heavy.
- Scratch resistant design.
- Flexible fabric sleeve.
- Two keys.
- Not very long in length.
- Not as strong as other models.
- Lack of spare keys.
- Can be easily cut with angle grinder or other tools.
Which Bicycle Lock Is The Best?
To conclude, the bike lock best in strength, value and reliability has to be the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit 999492 bicycle chain, this lock is not only long in length but is made of high quality and durable links.
For a stationary lock this model’s best features are its weight and 3T manganese steel body, preventing easy theft even with the right tools.
Therefore, with all these high quality features combined, the Kryptonite New York has to be the best bike lock on our list to prevent bicycle theft.
Next up is the more affordable but still very high quality Biglufu bicycle locking system, this locks design and U-lock system make it one of the best chain locks for all kinds of theft attacks, whether they are using a crowbar or power tools, this chain locks durable design will slow attackers down and deter them to an easier option.
The reason we placed the Biglufu model in second place is mainly due to its lack of spare keys, this can become an inconvenience if you end up losing the two you are given or if they bend over long-term use.
Third on our list is the well-known Yale YCL3/10/180/1, this bicycle locking chain has a great length meaning you can secure your bicycle to a variety of different objects such as trees or posts with ease, its four point locking mechanism and sold secure gold certification also gives this model high reliability.
We placed the Yale model lower on our list due to the fact it’s chain is of lower quality when compared to the Kryptonite New York, making it more vulnerable for theft with the use of an angle grinder or other power tools.
In fourth place is the mid-priced and extremely secure Kohlburg lock, the thick shackle and chain offers extra security for your bicycle, along with its multi disc system within the locking which will also make sure its resistant to picking and impact theft.
We placed this Kohlburg model lower down on the list because of its very heavy weight, this lock would only be used for stationary purposes.
Next is one of the longest chain locks on our list- the LOCM009 Bike It Mammoth lock, this model is seriously the best choice if you’re on a budget or are looking to lock two bikes at once due to its extra long length.
We placed this Mammoth model fifth however because of its lower quality chain links which can be more vulnerable to bolt cutting, it also lacks spare keys.
Last but not least is the ABUS Steel-O-Chain Iven 8210 bicycle locking system, this model is great in terms of security due to its hardened steel construction, however we placed it last due to its lack of features and durability.
In conclusion, the best bicycle lock has to be the Kryptonite New York model due to its high quality material and durability. All these models can be found on Amazon.co.uk.
What Types of Bike Locks are There?
Now we have covered the best bicycle locking systems and compared them, it’s good to know there are a lot of different types on the market too.
Chain locks are like the locks we compared above, they are good for theft protection and can be portable depending on their weight.
These chain locks however are not as powerful as U or D lock systems which use a shackle.
Cable locking systems are lightweight options which are good for transporting, allowing you to use them on the move, take on commutes and even wrap around your waist like a belt.
However, these locks do tend to be very easy to cut with an angle grinder or another tool, so even though they may earn you freedom, your bicycle is not as protected as if you used other locks.
U locks or D locks
These are the most durable locking systems on the market, most have a sold secure gold rating and use a small U design which reduces the space between your bicycle and the lock, this may earn you more time before your bicycle can be stolen.
Folding locking systems are your best bet if you like to take your bike on adventures, not only are they lightweight and compact for transporting, they also have the ability to be locked onto a variety of different awkward places.
Folding locks are not as strong as others on our list.
Why Is a Bike Lock Important?
Having a bicycle lock is so important, whether you are using Kryptonite locking systems or heavy duty U shaped shackle locks, having that extra layer of security on your bike can save you worrying and a lot of money in the long run.
This is especially important in high crime or city areas, having a lock deters thieves to find an easier option to steal.
However, it must be noted that every locking system is breakable, so it’s important you invest and choose the best model possible so as to give your bike a higher chance of protection against being stolen.
Best Features to Look Out for In a Bicycle Lock?
As you already know, choosing the best locking system for your bicycle is very important, as this can be the deciding factor between a thief leaving your bicycle alone or taking it with ease.
There are some key things to look out for when choosing your model, whether it’s a Kryptonite evolution series 4 or Abus granit system, you need to ensure you are getting the right amount of protection needed.
Casing or sleeve
The top models should have a protective casing over their links or be made of high quality materials to stop your lock damaging or scratching your bike.
These can also come in bright colours to deter thieves or soft housing to prevent it damaging other things when storing.
Is it thick enough?
The thickness of your bike lock is an important factor to consider when purchasing, this will ultimately determine how easily a thief can break into the lock.
Cable locks can be easily cut with bolt cutters, while U-locks and chain locks with thick links, body and shackle can withstand these cutters, such as the Kryptonite New York model on our list.
How much does it weigh?
The weight of your bicycle lock will determine how you use it and how often you use it. If you are looking for a lock you can take with you all the time on commutes then don’t go for something too heavy.
If you are looking to use it for stationary purposes only then choose a heavier weight, this can often offer more heavy-duty security too.
Just like the weight, the overall size of your model matters. If your security locking system cannot fit around your bike or whatever you are locking it too then it’s pointless!
Ensure you pick a tight-fitting lock to reduce space for thieves, make sure there is little room between the shackle and your bicycle.
It may sound obvious but you really need to look into the reviews before purchasing your lock. A product may be of high quality and look nice on paper but if it doesn’t last in the real world it won’t last on your bike either!
Check for points such as an easy locking mechanism or a sold secure gold/silver rating.
Type of opening
You should consider what type of locking mechanism your model uses. There are options of using standard keys, combinations or electronic locks.
Using keys is better than forgetting a combination to your lock, you can even keep spare sets around in case you lose one.
However it can be very annoying if you forget them.
Electronic locks for your bike are great technology wise, you can even connect them up to your phone or get them to sound off alarms.
Downfalls of these locks however are their very expensive price.
These locks are great options if you are someone who forgets keys often, however the design can be broken quite easily and common combinations can even be guessed.
We touched on ratings previously within our review section earlier, theses are the different ratings that bike locks on the market can have. For example, there is; bronze, silver or gold.
These locks are all tested by a company called sold secure and then rated accordingly.
Gold – can withstand over 5 minutes of trying to be broken into with a variety of tools offering the highest security.
Silver- can withstand 3 minutes and offer medium security
Bronze – can withstand one minute and offer the lowest security protection for your bicycle.
You should check for these ratings depending on your make of bicycle and how often you leave it. For example, if you live in a city area, your bicycle model is expensive and you leave it for longer than an hour then you should get a gold rating lock and vice versa for a silver.
The cost of your locking system will ultimately depend on how much security you want. If you can spend more you will get a better locking system that can offer your bicycle more security such as an Abus granit model, a cheap budget will get you a less reliable lock, thus offering a lower level of security for your bicycle.
Tips For Anti-Theft Protection
Now as you must know, all locks can be broken into with the right amount of persistence and power tools, however there are also some other practices we can be doing when leaving our bicycle to help reduce the likelihood of theft.
Don’t park it in the same place!
If a thief sees your bicycle repeatedly in the same place at the same time every day they are going to workout the best times to nick it.
On the other hand if you try to keep it locked up in a variety of places its unlikely a thief will be able to know how long you will leave your bicycle unattended for.
Using a GPS
Nowadays there are neat little tracking devices that you can hide on your bicycle’s handlebars. This is great for tracking your bicycle if it gets stolen and can be used by the police to find your bicycle.
This is worth investing in if you have a popular model of bike.
Use more than one lock
Try doubling up on your locks, a U-lock and a combination for ultimate security. This makes your bicycle look unappealing to thieves due to the lengthy process of trying to steal it!
For max results use one to secure your frame and one for your wheel.
After locking your bicycle, always double check it to see if it’s actually locked, sometimes when we are in a rush we can do these things mindlessly and this would be a big price to pay!
Register your bicycle at your local police station, this a great way to find your bike if you ever need to, due to its model and name being registered to you to begin with.
Leave little space
When locking up your bicycle try to leave little space in between the lock and your actual bike, this makes it harder for thieves to use tools such as crowbars, and they are more likely to move on from your bicycle than spend the time trying to break into it.
Park it with others
Do not park your bicycle in a place with limited people, isolated areas or backstreets are high targeted areas for this kind of crime, instead keep your bike parked with another bike!
This reduces the likelihood of theft and makes your bicycle a less likely choice too due to the amount of other bicycles parked with yours.
Don’t take any risks
Don’t leave your bicycle parked outside overnight, don’t leave it for two minutes while you pop in the shops.
It’s not worth it, if you take these risks then it’s likely your bike will get nicked within a matter of seconds one day, always lock up your bike no matter how small of time you’re planning to leave it for. It’s better safe than sorry!
The Proper Way To Lock Up Your Bicycle
Now you know to make your bike look less appealing by parking it with a lot other bicycles, there are also ways to actually lock your bike properly which can deter thieves too.
Put the U-lock through the back wheel
By using this method of putting the U-lock through the back wheel and the inside rear triangle of the frame, you end up being able to lock the frame and the wheel without actually having to lock the frame, this is because it’s impossible to pull the frame from the rear wheel.
Secure the front wheel with a second U-lock
This will ensure maximum protection, you can just put a cable or chain lock on the front instead but a U-lock offers max security. However it must be noted this can prove heavy to carry around, so we would only use this method for very unsafe areas or if you had to leave your bicycle for a prolonged period of time.
What is the best type of locking system to buy?
The best bicycle locking system has to be a U or D lock, these locks can be opened with only one key and reduce the proximity between the lock shackle and your bike, making it a tiring option for thieves, some notable brands that offer this are Abus granit and Kryptonite locks.
Next up are chain locks, these can be combined for ultimate protection with a U-locking system and are great if they have wide links.
Even if I get a lock, I’m still concerned my bicycle may get stolen?
Unfortunately, thieves are always there, however if you use two locking systems at once and follow our tips above you can reduce the chance of this happening to your bike greatly.
Remember, keep your bike parked with others and never leave it unlocked, even for a minute!
Is there an unbreakable locking system?
No, every model is unfortunately breakable, however they differ in how long it can take a thief to break into them. The longer it takes, the more likely the thief will move on and leave your bicycle.
A pretty nearly unbreakable brand to look into would be the Kryptonite locks or Abus granit model which are sold secure gold rated.
How can I keep everything else on my bike safe?
You should take your lights and other accessories such as your saddle with you, these are easy things for thieves to take.
Wheel wise you can consider buying locking axles or anchors to prevent your bicycle from being able to be moved forward.
How can I know how strong a bicycle lock is?
Go for a thicker model with a good rating. A thicker model will mean a strong lock and links, look for lock diameters ranging between 14 mm and 16 mm, these will require very large bolt cutters and will be tiring to try and cut through.
Where should I lock my bike for safety?
Lock your bicycle with other bicycles or even next to better looking ones, thieves won’t go for your bicycle if there are better options. You can also try and lock your bicycle where there is CCTV for extra protection.
How do I carry my locking system with me when cycling?
This all depends on the kind of bicycle locking system you have. Some D/U locks can be attached to your bicycle via a bracket. You could also try and screw it to your seat tube where your upright bottle would have been.
Wherever you decide to attach your lock you should make sure it stays a distance from your brakes and tyres to avoid any accidents happening when cycling.
For chain and cable locks you may have to store these on a pannier rack or in a backpack if you have one.