Best Bike Chain Lock To Prevent Theft

Whether you live in a big, crowded city or in a small and quiet town, whether you have an old and ugly bike or the latest racing model, bicycle theft is a problem that regards all bikes and cyclists. For this reason, investing in a good bike chain lock is a must.

Over the time, we have spoken about this issue on the pages of our blog, but today we want to tell you how to choose the bike locking system. If you don’t feel like reading, just use the links below to check which are the best bike chain locks on the market.

Bike theft is such a diffused phenomenon that insurance companies have designed policies that cover the theft of a bike. This should make you think seriously about the methods to protect yourself and your vehicle from such an unfortunate event.

Both bike manufacturers and other specialized companies have invested in the production of more and more performing anti-theft systems, yet locking the bike with a chain is still the most popular solution. This guide aims to show you how to choose the best bike chain lock that is really able to keep your bike safe.

How To Choose A Bike Chain Lock

Warning: before choosing any bike chain lock keep in mind that you shouldn’t save on this purchase. It is always better to spend some more but buy a reliable and durable item capable of keeping your bike safe at all times!

1. Material

The most important thing to consider when choosing a bike chain lock is the material. A good chain lock must be manufactured with high-quality materials. Among the best, we should mention the manganese steel or nickel-chromium-molybdenum steel alloy. Make sure the alloy is suitably cemented and hardened or the lock might be easy to break.

When choosing the bike chain lock you should keep in mind that size is not always proportional to quality. If the material is weak even the biggest chain or padlock will be useless. However, there are some guidelines to follow.

For instance, the minimum diameter of the bike chain lock should be 10 mm. As far as the profile is concerned, choose a lock that is square or hexagonal.

2. Chain’s Sheath

The sheath of the chain lock is important for several reasons. On one hand, it protects the bike’s frame from scratches or other contact damages. On the other hand, it has the function of hindering the action of cutting devices. In fact, the synthetic material of some sheaths doesn't allow the saw to cut directly on the metal, forcing the thief to lose time.

Fabric sheaths have the advantage of making the chain more flexible compared to the plastic or rubber sheaths. However, they are more susceptible to wear and less effective as a protective component.

When choosing the bike chain lock, pay attention to the thickness of the sheath. Cheap chain locks may be coated with a thick plastic sheath that gives the impression of a solid and robust chain when in practice you’ll invest in a weak and thin piece of metal.

3. Lock

Obviously, the lock is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a bike chain lock. This is a key element to assess the security of your bike anti-theft system. The two major categories of locks are those that require a key, and those that require a combination of numbers to unlock.

The latter is often used for the cheaper chains and it is less secure compared to the locks that require a key.

This lack of safety is not given by the thief’s ability to guess the combination, which is rather remote, but by the way these locks are built. In fact, combination locks are usually made of a plastic case that houses an unrefined mechanism which is easy to break.

Regarding the traditional padlocks, don’t be fooled by the size but control the material and shape. Cheap and unsecure padlocks often have large plastic covers designed to impress the potential customers. The best choice is a padlock made of steel or brass.

You should also choose a round padlock, which is harder to hold fixed in a position.

4. Weight and Size

A bike chain lock is an accessory that you’ll often carry with you. For this reason, the weight and size of the item are also important to consider. Many chain locks are long enough to allow you to hook the whole frame of the bike, which means that they can reach considerable weights and dimensions.

It is advisable to invest in a high-quality chain lock system compromising on weight and size, rather than investing in a less secure but more lightweight option.

5. Safety

Trying to minimize costs, some manufacturers create products that seem safer than they are. As mentioned above, some bike chain locks are made of thin chains covered by thick sheaths, and experienced thieves can easily recognize these products.

When choosing the system, pay attention to both the chain and the lock, as the bike anti-theft system is as strong as its weakest component.

Best Bike Chain Lock On The Market

1. UShake Bike Lock Cable

Although it uses a combination lock system, UShake bike lock cable is a popular and well-made bike chain lock that boasts a 4-digit combination locking mechanism that is easy to set and convenient to use, compared to the key systems.

The chain is made of steel and it has a diameter of 0.5 inches. The chain is covered by a vinyl shell, it has a length of 4 feet and it weighs 0.7 pounds. Thanks to these characteristics, this bike chain lock will not add a lot of weight to your bike and it will be easy to fit it in the under-the-saddle bag.

UShake Bike Lock Cable, 4-Feet Bike Cable Basic Self Coiling

The protective coating is strong enough to protect the frame of your bike from scratches. On the other hand, the cable is made of flexible braided steel that is easy to maneuver and tie in the desired position around the frame or wheels of the bike. Thanks to the structure, the cable is also difficult to cut.

Regarding the locking system, there are 10.000 possible combinations, making the lock nearly impossible to crack. On the other hand, the mechanism is made of quality steel and is sturdy enough to resist physical maneuvers.

Things We Liked
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    Resettable locking mechanism: setting your own 4-digit combination is easy, thanks to the resettable combination locking mechanism.
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    Resistance: the cable is made of flexible braided steel that is hard to cut through and almost impossible to break.
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    PVC coating: the cable is coated with a PVC sheath that protects the bike from scratches while maintaining the resistance and durability of the cable.
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    Multipurpose: the cable is perfect to secure bikes, gates and fences, gardening or sporting equipment, and more.
Things We Didn't Like
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    The lock seems to work just fine, but a few details of the design, such as the part where the combination mechanism attaches to the cable, can be improved to increase resistance and durability.

2. Master Lock Standard Combination Bike Lock

Master Lock Cable Lock, Standard Combination Bike Lock

Master Lock Standard Combination Bike Lock is also considered one of the best bike chain locks on the market. The lock is made of a braided steel cable with a length of four feet and a combination locking mechanism that uses a four digits combination.

Like the model described above, the locking mechanism uses a fixed 4-digit combination, and the system locks the cable in place with a keyless combination.

Regarding the cable, it has a diameter of 0.31 inches and it is protected by a vinyl coating that prevents scratches and increases the durability of the cable. Thanks to the braided steel, the cable is resistant to tearing and difficult to cut.

The lock cable has many indoor and outdoor applications. It is best used to secure bicycles and other small objects.

Things We Liked
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    Design: this bike chain lock has a durable design thanks to the protective vinyl coating. The braided steel is also really resistant.
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    Ease of use: the lock mechanism is easy to use, thanks to the fixed 4-digit combination. The combination is preset and you won’t be able to choose your own.
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    Colors: the cable is available in two colors, black and pink. You’ll be able to match it to your bike or personal taste.
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    Brand: Master Lock manufactures padlocks and security products since 1921, and their combination bike lock is manufactured with high-quality materials and attention to detail.
Things We Didn't Like
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    The joint part where the locking mechanism is attached to the cable is rather weak.

3. Lumintrail Heavy-Duty Security Cable with Sealed Looped Ends

Lumintrail Heavy-Duty Security Cable with Sealed Looped Ends is a great heavy-duty bike lock chain made of braided steel and coated with a vinyl covering that protects the cable against weather elements and the frame of the bike from scratches.

The braided steel construction, on the other hand, provides both strength and flexibility to the cable, along with a strong cut resistance that shouldn’t be underrated. For this reason, the cable is ideal to secure your bicycle but also other equipment or tools.

Lumintrail 12mm (1/2 inch) Heavy-Duty Security Cable

The security cable is available in four different lengths. All versions are made of the same type of braided steel cable with a diameter of 0.5 inches, and the lengths available are 4, 7, 15, and 30 feet.

Regarding the locking mechanism, the manufacturer doesn’t provide any, but the sealed loop ends allow you to use the cable in various ways. The best advice is to invest in two strong padlocks and use them to secure the cable both on the front and at the rear of the bike.

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    Sizes: the cable is available in four different lengths, which is great for different uses. The weight of the cable varies with the length.
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    Double-looped: the security cable boasts two sealed loop ends that can accommodate a wide variety of disc locks, padlocks, or U locks.
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    Heavy-duty use: the chain lock is made of braided steel cable with a diameter of 0.5 inches.
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    Vinyl cover: the cable is covered with a vinyl sheath that protects it from rust and weather elements. The coating also protects the bike from scratches.
Things We Didn't Like
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    The loops are rather big and this might be an obstacle if you want to use only one, fairly small padlock to secure both ends.

4. Amazer 4-Feet Bike Lock

UShake Bike Lock Cable, 4-Feet Bike Cable Basic Self Coiling

Amazer 4-Feet Bike Lock is another bike chain lock to consider if you’re looking for an affordable yet durable and resistant locking mechanism. The lock uses a 4-digit customizable locking mechanism that delivers are a keyless convenience, while the cable comes with a free mounting bracket designed for easy transportation.

Setting a personalized number combination to unlock the mechanism is easy, while the flexible steel cable provides a strong cutting resistance.

The cable, made of braided steel, is coated with a PVC sheath. The coating has a double function and it prevents scratching while maintaining the cable more durable. With the coating, the cable has a diameter of 0.5 inches.

Last but not least, we should also mention the length of the cable. The bike chain lock has a length of four feet, it is flexible and durable.

Things We Liked
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    Easy to set mechanism: the locking mechanism comes with a default combination that is easy to change in three simple steps.
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    Durability: the cable is made of braided steel which is durable and resistant. The cable is hard to cut through and it can safely protect your bike from theft.
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    Coating: the vinyl coating has a double function. On one hand, it protects the surface of the bike from scratches. On the other hand, it increases the strength of the cable.
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    Free mounting bracket: for easy transportation, the manufacturer offers a free mounting bracket that matches the diameter of most bike bars.
Things We Didn't Like
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    The combination lock is not really secure and it is quite easy to open.

5. Blusmart Bike Lock Cable

Blusmart Bike Lock Cable is also a combination bike chain lock but it stands out thanks to the longer security lock that requires a combination of five digits instead of four. The digit combination is customizable and easy to set.

On the other hand, the cable itself is heavy-duty and hard to cut through. The cable is made of a strong and durable twisted metal cables covered with a transparent rubber coating. A great feature of the cable is that it is made of waterproof metal which doesn’t need protection from the weather elements.

Bike Lock Cable, 6-Feet Bike Cable Basic Self Coiling

For this reason, the coating is only convenient because it protects the frame of the bike from scratches. This is great, as the cable is really resistant on its own.

Regarding specifications, the cable is 6 feet long and it has a diameter of 0.5 inches. Although long, the weight is rather low, of only 1.4 pounds. The cable comes with a limited 1-year warranty and a comprehensive video shows you how to set the combination and use it safely.

Things We Liked
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    Compatibility: the cable is 6 feet long but if you need a longer cable you can simply merge two cables together.
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    Smart security lock: the cable comes with an integrated 5-digit resettable security lock, that is easy to set.
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    Flexibility: the cable is suitable to secure not only your bike but many other objects, thanks to its flexibility.
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    Mounting bracket: the cable comes with a convenient mountain bracket that holds the cable tight when not in use.
Things We Didn't Like
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    Although flexible, the cable is hard to maneuver and handle. However, it is really strong and does its job wonderfully.

Conclusion & Final Pick

There are many great bike chain locks out there, this is why we have chosen our best based on its popularity. As a result, the best bike chain lock on the market is the UShake Bike Lock Cable. This cable uses a 4-digit combination locking mechanism, it is made of heavy-duty braided steel and it has a length of 4 feet.

The cable is strong enough to protect your bike from eventual theft. The braided steel is hard to cut through while the PVC coating increases the resistance of the cable. Moreover, the coating also protects from scratching.

Although the manufacturer could improve some manufacturing flaws, this bike chain lock is overall great. It does its job exceptionally well and it comes at a more than affordable price. Without a doubt, this is a bike chain lock to consider to prevent theft.

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