Foldable Chain Lock VS U-Lock

Foldable Chain Lock VS U-Lock

U lock vs folding bike lock is a very interesting topic. These two styles of bike lock have many different features. Below we will explore these pros and cons of either lock and hopefully find out which works best for you! 


What is a foldable chain lock?

Folding bicycle locks are fairly new, and have been designed to solve some of the problems with more traditional u-locks and chains. They're made from a series of connected steel plates that can be shaped to give you loads of locking options and then folded down into a compact package that's really easy to carry around.


Advantages of Folding Bike Locks

Folding bike locks tend to be slightly heavier than u-locks that offer the same internal locking space and the same level of protection (although they're much lighter than the equivalent chains). But because of the way they can be shaped (by folding the plates in one direction or the other), they'll give you loads more locking opportunities than any u-lock.

Since the folding chains fall down into a compact package, they are super easy to carry around. Whether you throw them into a bag or use the supplied frame mount, they're the least hassle to transport. Whichever the case, their transport will be super easy. When carried in a bag, they take up a lot less room than the U-lock. There will be no movement and it will not fall off the bag or the frame.

Folding bike locks have quickly become a popular choice within the cycling community because of their practical, compact, folding design. No one wants to lug around a bulky bike lock whilst out riding. Heavy locks are awkward to transport and even if you were to stow one away in your rucksack, it would be uncomfortable to car. 


Disadvantages of Folding Bike Locks

Although folding bike locks are more practical than u-locks and chains, it can take a bit longer to lock or unlock your bike as you manoeuvre the plates into position, depending on how busy the bike rack is. Their construction is more complex, they’re less likely to function as well after they’ve repelled a vigorous attack. Damaged rivets or bent plates won’t stop the lock protecting your bike, but they might stop it folding up properly!

Most importantly, folding bike locks are generally at the lower end of the security ratings that they’ve been awarded. So they tend to be slightly less secure than u-locks that have the same Sold Secure rating. This is because the plates are thinner than u-lock shackles and the rivets are susceptible to drilling or shearing attacks.


What is a U-Lock?

The U-lock, or D-lock as it is alternatively known, is the classic bike lock. The design consists of a solid metal shackle with a removable cross bar. They loop around your bike frame and a post (e.g. railing, bike rack) to secure your bicycle. Essentially giant padlocks, they also usually come with a cable to loop through your quick-release wheels.  


Advantages of U-Lock

The benefits are the strength for its size and relative portability. The downsides are the slightly awkward shape if you want to lock more of your bike into it. You’ll want to add in an accessory cable or second lock to cover everything.


Disadvantages of U-Lock


One main disadvantage is that it has difficult looping through some bike frames. Another one is that stiff shape can also make carrying U-locks harder. Furthermore, smaller size can make them harder to fit around larger posts.

In general, both types of chains protect your E-bike. Therefore, you need to consider what you want from the bike lock before making your final decision. A U-lock is a cheaper option, but foldable chains are a more effective visual deterrent.

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