Best Bike Locks

You want to protect your bike from thieves and during your research, you may have come across U-locks and chain locks. You might think that both locks secure your bike from getting stolen and there isn’t much difference between them.

But sadly, you are wrong. There are a lot of differences between both these locks.

In this guide, we are going to dive deep into what are the differences between U-locks and chain locks, general FAQs about bike locks and much more.

So without wasting any time, let’s get started!

Differences between U-locks and Chain Locks

As we’ve mentioned earlier, there are a lot of differences between the U-lock and chain lock. It is important to understand the differences so that you’ll be able to make an informed decision on purchasing a particular lock based on your requirements.

  • When you are looking for a bike lock that is portable and you generally secure your bike in the street, then it’s better to go with a U-lock. And on the other hand, if you are planning to purchase a bike lock to protect your bike at your home and in your work place, then you must get a thick and strong chain lock.
  • Chain locks can be very heavy and they are mostly used for stationary security. In other words, you have to keep it either in your home or at your work place where you park your bike. U-locks are generally lighter and they are easy to carry around and use. You can easily fasten them around your bike.
  • You should note that there are lighter chain locks and heavier U-locks available in the market.
  • There are several options available when it comes to chain locks. They are flexible. And although you have several options to get the best U-lock for your bike, they aren’t flexible.
  • If you are using a ground anchor to secure the lock of the bike, then chain locks are better suited to be used than the U-locks, thanks to their flexible nature.
  • There is a very visible weakness that can be exploited by seasoned thieves in a U-lock. Certain equipments such as crowbar or piece of scaffolding will be inserted into the D-shaped space of the U-lock and with enough leverage, it can break apart most of the models. But with a quality, thick and properly hardened chain lock, you can avoid this issue. Always go for a high-quality U-lock and fill the D-shaped space as much as possible to avoid the lock from getting broken.
  • Both U-locks and chain locks will be defeated by angle grinders, so always go for a thicker and quality model.
  • When you leave chain lock of your bike close to the ground, there is a high possibility that the lock can be attacked with a cold compressed air to make it brittle and then with the help of a hammer, it’ll be smashed against the floor. To avoid this scenario, keep the lock off the ground and lock it as tight as possible with the bike.
  • Most U-locks are susceptible to leverage attacks, so buying one with a thick shackle is very critical.
  • Portable chain locks are vulnerable to power tool attacks and hence, a thicker, stationary chain lock will provide significant security to your bike.
  • When you consider pricing, U-locks are cheaper than portable chain locks. And portable chain locks are priced lesser than the stationary chain locks. The main reason for the expensive nature of chain locks is that you have to pay for the extra metal that comes with it. U-locks don’t come with extra metal than the actual lock, so they are less pricier.
  • Chain locks often comprise a padlock and a long, thick and hardened steel chain attached with it. With the long chain, it becomes that much easier to secure your entire bike. When it comes to U-locks, they are made of solid metal shackle with a removable cross bar. You can rap the U-lock around the frame of your bike or the bike rack to secure it.
  • Chain locks can be suitable for a wider range of bikes. But U-locks are for the most part, lighter and cheaper, so you can’t expect the toughness and security of a chain lock and they can fit into certain models only.


We really hope that our guide on the differences between the U-locks and the chain locks would have provided you answers for some of your questions. Both these locks have advantages and disadvantages and hence, keeping your needs in mind is essential before you spend your hard earned money in purchasing a particular lock to secure your bike.

Want to add your thoughts about this guide? Share away in the comments section below!

FAQs on Bike Locks

What are the things you need to consider when you are planning to purchase a bike lock?

Here’s a list of things you need to consider very carefully when you are planning to purchase a bike lock.

  • The level of security it offers to your bike.
  • How strong the fastening system is.
  • How resistant the keyhole is towards break apart attacks.
  • Ease of use and portability.
  • What kind of steel it is made of.

What are Some Additional Things you can put in Place to Secure Your Bike?

Here’s a list of additional measurements you can take to safeguard your bike from getting stolen.

  • Make sure the lock is tight around your bike.
  • Consider using multiple locks if your budget permits.
  • Replace the quick release components of your bike to a lockable ones to stop thieves from stealing the parts of it.
  • Register your bike with the appropriate authorities of the local area in which you live.
  • Make your bike less appealing for thieves by covering several parts with tapes and stickers.
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Lara Herrington
With over 12 years of experience, she is a proficient content writer and editor specializing in a diverse range of subjects, including technology news, country news, arts, science, travel, and automobiles.


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