Discussing the heated debate topic of using the U-Lock versus the Chain lock can divide owners of two-wheelers. Be ready to hear voluble opinions from both users.
If you’re looking for a portable lock to protect your bike in the every day, then you’re most likely best off with a U-lock. While if you only aim to buy a lock for the security of your bike at work and home, then the Chain locks is a good option. What really needs to be taken into consideration is the durability of the locks and the safety it provides to your vehicle. So which lock is best for your bike?
How easy are the locks to use? This is a pertinent question and the size and weight of each lock needs to be taken into consideration. The U-locks are quite hefty which makes it a little difficult to transport around. They can be carried in your bag although some U-locks can be quite troublesome to carry even in your bag. You can largely depend on your frame mount to carry the lock around.
Portable chains are always a good option as they are flexible and less difficult to transport around. They can be wrapped around your seat post or the top tube. Portable chains are actually heavier than U-locks. When it comes to security, the thicker the lock, the better security and resistance it provides. The Almax Immobiliser Series III chain and the Kryptonite New York Lock Standard U-lock are 16 mm thick and neither can be cut with bolt cutters.
Leaving less space inside the lock minimizes the chances of theft. A U-lock which contains a 13 mm shackle can only be broken by the incredibly big bolt cutters. When it comes to Portable Chains, the locks are prone to attacks where the lock is made fragile due to compressed cold air. The major security issue that is posed with portable chains is the thickness of the link. It must be noted that even portable chains can be cut with a bolt cutter. Stationary chains are resistant to bolt cutters and are very difficult for attackers to deal with. These are probably the most secure of the bike locks available in the market.
U-locks are found to have more intrinsic security problems as opposed to chain locks that can work with a good locking technique. A good idea would be to keep your bike as elevated from the ground as possible and filling up the areas in your U-lock system with your bike. When using chains, you can also keep the vehicle above the ground, but chains are usually more vulnerable to bolt cutters. Thus, in terms of security the U-lock is the best lock for your bike.
In terms of pricing, U-locks are usually cheaper than the chain locks and the chain locks are cheaper than the stationary chains. This is because buying the U-lock is actually equivalent to buying a padlock of a big size. A chain lock involves buying the padlock as well as a steel chain. Basically you end up paying for more metal with the chain lock system which makes both a good option.