We were pleasantly surprised by this little 7.3-ounce lock. Granted, the ABUS Chain Lock 1200 Web doesn't require sophisticated tools to defeat it, but for its size, it's more of a pain to conquer than you might think. The nylon sheath that covers the chain protects your bike's paint job and will require a thief to have a steel-breaking tool and a knife to cut through the sheath. Cyclists looking for biking gear, specifically something ultra-portable for low-security situations, this lock might be something you should consider. Do not get this lock if you have significant security needs. But, if you only need the most minimal deterrent, this tiny lock keeps cost and weight low, making it a stand out among the competition in our best bike lock review for low-security needs.Editor's Note: We updated this gear review on January 25, 2022, with new sections that share our stance on whether or not you should purchase this product and others to consider.
ABUS Chain Lock 1200 Web Review
Cons: Minimal security, can be compromised with the right tools quickly
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|Pros||Lightweight, easy-to-carry, easy-to-use||Secure, includes 5 keys, price is nice||Inexpensive, more secure than many in its price range, high quality||Inexpensive U-lock, durable, good quality||Lightweight, flexible, easy to use|
|Cons||Minimal security, can be compromised with the right tools quickly||Clunky mounting hardware, heavy||Locking mechanism stuck a few times, lackluster frame mount||Lacks the security of better U-locks, clunky design, mount is not our favorite||Too small, minimal security|
|Bottom Line||If you're in the market for a highly portable and lightweight lock but without much security, this one has your name on it||This lock provides great security and versatility at an affordable price, and while not our absolute favorite, it's pretty close||This inexpensive U-lock offers versatility and security that is likely to fit the needs and budgets of many cyclists and commuters||The Bulldog DT is large and accommodating, but if you need a U-lock for higher security needs, this one might not be the best option||Great for preventing the "snatch and grab" while you make a pit stop but does little to prevent a real bike thief from swiping your ride|
|Rating Categories||ABUS Chain Lock 120...||OnGuard Brute STD||Kryptonite Kryptolo...||OnGuard Bulldog DT||Hiplok Z Lok|
|Ease of Transport (25%)|
|Ease of Use (20%)|
|Specs||ABUS Chain Lock 120...||OnGuard Brute STD||Kryptonite Kryptolo...||OnGuard Bulldog DT||Hiplok Z Lok|
|Measured weight (lbs)||0.5 lbs||3.6 lbs||3.2 lbs||3.0 lbs||0.1 lbs|
|Type of lock||Chain||U-Lock||U-Lock + cable||U-Lock + cable||Reusable zip tie|
|Primary materials/thickness||4mm hardened steel||16.8mm hardened steel||12.7mm hardened steel; braided steel cable||13mm steel; braided steel cable||Steel core security tie|
|Locking dimension||43" circumference||7.5" x 10.5"||U-lock: 4" x 9"; Cable: 4'||U-lock: 6" x 11"; Cable: 4'||16.5" circumference|
|# of keys included||N/A||5 keys||2 keys||5 keys||1 key|
|Tin snips||Yes, requires two cuts to defeat||No||No||No||Yes|
|Hacksaw||No||No||No||Yes, eventually||Yes, quick|
|Bolt cutters, 36"||Yes, but not very easily. Requires two cuts||No||No||No||Yes|
|Number of cuts to free lock||2 cuts||2 cuts||2 cuts||1 cut||1 cut|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Unlike other lightweight bike locks from our lineup of our favorite bike locks, the ABUS Chain Lock 1200 Web deserves a special shout-out. Typically, our testers can defeat the lightweight locks with one cut and one tool. However, the 1200 Web defies this standard because of its steel chain and its nylon sheath. And, before you say, Nylon can't protect my bike!, give us a chance to explain. Even on a low-priced product, ABUS provides a small innovation.
Most locks are kaput after tin snips, or bolt cutters cut them — the cut opens the lock, allowing the thief to remove your bike. In contrast, this ABUS chain hangs on stubbornly because the thick nylon is still wrapped around your tires and frame and whatever object you've locked it to. We seriously struggled to get through the sheath with tin snips or bolt cutters. We had to use the blade of a pocket knife to get through it. So, the ABUS 1200 chain requires a second step to steal the bike. Either the thief fumbles with tin snips or wire cutters to get through the nylon (which takes forever!), or they have to use another cutting device to go through a thick textile fabric.
Is it undefeatable? No. But, it does require an extra step that provides additional deterrence. And that, we think, is something… especially for a lock of this size and weight.
Ease of Transport
In terms of portability, this lock rocks! Because it's so light and flexible, you can coil the lock around your seat post, and you'll hardly notice it's there. It can also go up front (if you don't mind looking at your bike lock while you're riding), or it tucks easily into a purse, murse, messenger bag, backpack, pannier bag, or saddlebag.
If you're looking for a lock to secure your bike and gear on pit stops, you won't notice the extra 7.3 ounces on climbs (alas, it doesn't give lighter riders much assist on the downhills). It could easily fit in a jersey pocket, too, if you had to.
We also appreciate the nylon sheath for the added security it provides and the extra layer of padding that keeps the lock from scraping up the paint job on your frame.
Ease of Use
We appreciate the ABUS Chain Lock because it is straightforward to use. The lock comes with a little "key" (it's not functional, just a fancy sort of tag) that tells you the lock's three-digit combination. That's another detail we super-appreciate; people tend to respond and remember information presented in threes.
While it's not the smoothest combination lock we've encountered, there's nothing wrong with it. The lock itself is flexible enough that you can always move it around to get the combination lock at an angle that is easy to manipulate. Of all the locks we tested, this one's simplicity stands out near the top of the pack.
Because the ABUS Chain is (no surprise here) essentially a chain, it's able to accommodate a variety of locking situations and bikes while offering an extra layer of protection due to the nylon sheath that won't scratch up your bike frame. Because it's so light, we also gave this lock extra points in this category because you really can carry it just about anywhere, and you'll hardly notice it's there.
The lock lost points in this category because, even if you can carry it with you everywhere, it's not the most appropriate lock for ALL situations. If you're a mountain biker and need to lock your bike to a tree, this lock won't help. Likewise, if you have a fat bike with really thick tires, chances are this lock will not enable you to lock both wheels to the frame (as we recommend you do).
Should You Buy the ABUS Chain Lock 1200 Web?
The ABUS Chain Lock 1200 Web offers a much bigger bang for your buck compared to other lightweight locks in our lineup. We love it for low-risk situations — like a pitstop on a long ride or small-town, daytime use. The lightness of the lock combined with its easy-to-use combo lock and ability to be stashed pretty much anywhere made it a favorite of our testers who just needed something to keep their rides safe for a dash into the local coffeehouse.
What Other Bike Locks Should You Consider?
If you're locking your bike up longer than a few hours, check out more secure options, such as the OnGuard Brute STD, which offers the most security per dollar spent on a bike lock. Or, if cost isn't an issue, go for the Kryptonite New York Standard U-Lock, which is the best bike lock for urban bike life when high security is a must.
— Rebecca Eckland
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