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ABUS Chain Lock 1200 Web Review

If you're in the market for a highly portable and lightweight lock but without much security, this one has your name on it
ABUS Chain Lock 1200 Web
Photo: ABUS
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $17 List | $14.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Lightweight, easy-to-carry, easy-to-use
Cons:  Minimal security, can be compromised with the right tools quickly
Manufacturer:   ABUS
By Rebecca Eckland ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 17, 2019
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55
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 17
  • Security - 40% 3
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 9
  • Ease of Use - 20% 7
  • Versatility - 15% 4

Our Verdict

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 defeat than you might think. The nylon sheath that covers the chain not only protects your bike's paint job will require a thief to not only have a steel-breaking tool, but also a knife to cut through the sheath. Cyclists looking specifically for something ultra-portable for low-security situations, this lock might be something you should look at more closely. Do not get this lock if you have significant security needs. But if you only need the most minimal deterrent, or will keep your bike in sight, this tiny lock keeps cost and weight low, earning it our Top Pick for Low Security needs.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award   
Price $14.99 at Amazon$69.99 at Amazon$58.95 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$38 List$12.59 at Amazon
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Pros Lightweight, easy-to-carry, easy-to-useVersatile, light (for a U-Lock), easy to use, valueInexpensive, more secure than many in its price range, high qualityAffordable, easy to transport, nice frame mountLightweight, flexible, easy to use
Cons Minimal security, can be compromised with the right tools quicklySlightly less secure than other U-Lock models, bulkyLocking mechanism stuck a few times, lackluster frame mountLow security, lacks versatility, can be tricky to feed through bike partsToo 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 itA versatile U-lock and cable combo that provides strong security at a favorable price pointThis inexpensive U-lock offers versatility and security that is likely to fit the needs and budgets of many cyclists and commutersFor low security needs, this lock works and packs into your bag easilyGreat for preventing the "snatch and grab" while you pit stop, these ties do little to prevent a real bike thief from swiping your ride
Rating Categories ABUS Chain Lock 120... Evolution Mini-7 U-... Kryptonite Kryptolo... 8 Joints Alloy Stee... Hiplok Z Lok
Security (40%)
3.0
7.0
6.0
3.0
1.0
Ease Of Transport (25%)
9.0
5.0
5.0
8.0
10.0
Ease Of Use (20%)
7.0
7.0
5.0
8.0
7.0
Versatility (15%)
4.0
5.0
5.0
4.0
2.0
Specs ABUS Chain Lock 120... Evolution Mini-7 U-... Kryptonite Kryptolo... 8 Joints Alloy Stee... Hiplok Z Lok
Measured weight (lbs) 0.5 lbs 3.5 lbs 3.2 lbs 1.6 lbs 0.1 lbs
Type of lock Chain U-Lock + cable U-Lock + cable Folding Cable/ Key Lock
Lock dimensions 23.6" x 0.16" U-lock: 9.4"x 5.6" (13mm thick U), 4' cable U-lock: 11.1" x 5.4" (13mm thick U), Cable: 4' 28" x 1" unlocked and extended 16.5" x 0.4" (0.125" thick)
# of keys included N/A 3 keys (one with HID light) 2 keys 3 keys 1 key
Primary materials Hardened steel 13mm hardened "max-performance" steel with braided steel cable Steel 5 mm steel plates Steel cable
Warranty/Manufacturer programs None $2,500 Theft Protection (does not cover cable), Limited Lifetime Warranty; Key Safe Program $1,700 Theft Protection None Lifetime Warranty
Unique Features Steel chain with textile sleeve (available in different colors) LED light on one key; cable in addition to U-Lock; dust cover on keyhole Includes 4 foot cable n/a Zip-tie style design
Tin Snips Yes, requires two cuts to defeat Cable: Yes; U-lock: No No No Yes
Hammer No No No Yes Yes
Hacksaw No No No No Yes, quick
Bolt Cutters, 36" Yes, but not very easily. Requires two cuts Cable: Yes, U-lock: No No Yes Yes
Angle Grinder Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Number of cuts required to free lock 2 cuts 2 cuts 2 cuts 1 cut 1 cut

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


Our testers fell in love with this little lightweight lock that can...
Our testers fell in love with this little lightweight lock that can be easily carried on the seat post of every kind of bike. Keep your trike secured while you shop for houseplants!
Photo: Rebecca A. Eckland

Security


Unlike other lightweight bike locks out there, the ABUS Chain 1200 deserves a special shout-out. Typically, our testers are able to defeat the lightweight locks with one cut and one tool. The 1200 Chain defies this standard because of the material it is made of: the steel chain and its nylon sheath. And, before you go PSHA! Nylon can't protect my bike, give us a chance to explain. Even on a low-priced product, ABUS provides a small innovation.

When compared to other lightweight locks, the Chain Lock 1200 takes...
When compared to other lightweight locks, the Chain Lock 1200 takes longer to defeat than other lightweight options out there.
Photo: Rebecca A. Eckland

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 contract, 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 way! 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 so 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.

The ABUS 1200 chain fits securely (and discreetly) on the seat post...
The ABUS 1200 chain fits securely (and discreetly) on the seat post of any bike, and you won't notice it's there.
Photo: Rebecca A. Eckland

If you're looking for a lock to secure your bike 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 not only for the added security it provides but 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 extremely easy 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. (And that's another detail we super-appreciate. People tend to respond--and remember--information that is presented in threes.)

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

While it's not the smoothest combination lock we've encountered, there's nothing wrong 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.

Using this lock is painless. Just find a secure place to lock your...
Using this lock is painless. Just find a secure place to lock your bike, wrap the ABUS Chain around the rack, your frame, and wheel, and five seconds later you're ready to grab that cup of coffee!
Photo: Rebecca A. Eckland

Versatility


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 wont' 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 ABUS Chain Lock is versatile enough to accommodate all kinds of...
The ABUS Chain Lock is versatile enough to accommodate all kinds of bikes... even the kind with tassels.
Photo: Rebecca A. Eckland

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 you need to lock your bike to a tree, this lock won't be much 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).

Whether you're locking your bike to a rack, park bench, or other...
Whether you're locking your bike to a rack, park bench, or other immovable structure, the ABUS flexes and adapts to many different shapes. It's circumference isn't the greatest, though.
Photo: Rebecca A. Eckland

Value


This lock definitely won't break the bank. When compared to other lightweight locks in this review, the ABUS 1200 Chain offers a much bigger bang for your buck. Its value, though, also depends on how you'll use it. For securing your ride in a rural area, or mid-security area for a cheap bike, it has a lot of value. However, if you just want a little extra security for your saddle or front wheel in addition to a more secure lock, this is a very affordable, smart choice. You can easily spend 3x more money on a number of other bike locks with similar (or less) security and similar weight savings.

This lock is fine in urban parks as long as you keep an eye on it.
This lock is fine in urban parks as long as you keep an eye on it.
Photo: Rebecca A. Eckland

Conclusion


If lightweight and portability are what you're looking for, the ABUS Chain Lock 1200 Web delivers without asking you to fork a bunch of cash. 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. If you're locking your bike up for hours, though, check out our more secure options.

Get this lock if you just need a simple, low-security lock to hold...
Get this lock if you just need a simple, low-security lock to hold your wheels for short amounts of time in the daytime.
Photo: Rebecca A. Eckland

Rebecca Eckland