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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.
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Price:  $15 List | $14.99 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
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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58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 16
  • Security - 40% 3
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 9
  • Ease of Use - 20% 8
  • Versatility - 15% 5

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.


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Pros Lightweight, easy-to-carry, easy-to-useVery secure, mounts to bike, convenient size for locking upLarge and strong U-lock, relatively lightweight, beefy mountWearable design, solid security, easy to useVersatile, light (for a U-Lock), easy to use, value
Cons Minimal security, can be compromised with the right tools quicklyHeavy, bulky to transportNot the highest security possible, expensiveNot lightweight, uncomfortable with some backpacks, priceySlightly less secure than other U-Lock models, bulky
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 is our favorite all-around lock for high security needs.If you prefer top-shelf quality, this German-made lock delivers a great product.The innovative design of this wearable chain lock increases this heavy lock's portability, which is great news for regular bike commuters.If you're looking for a U-Lock that will keep your front tire on (and you aren't in a dangerous area) and your budget balance, this is probably the lock for you.
Rating Categories ABUS Chain Lock 1200 Web New York Standard U-Lock ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U-Lock Hiplok Original: Superbright Evolution Mini-7 U-Lock
Security (40%)
10
0
3
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
Ease Of Transport (25%)
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
6
Ease Of Use (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
Versatility (15%)
10
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5
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
Specs ABUS Chain Lock... New York Standard... ABUS Granit X-Plus... Hiplok Original:... Evolution Mini-7...
Measured weight (lbs) .46 lbs 4.49 lbs 3.28 lbs 4.31 lbs 3.51 lbs
Lock dimensions 23.6" x .16" 4" x 8" (16 mm" thick) 9" x 4.25" (13mm thick) 1.5' long x 2" 9.35"x 5.6"x 1.6" (U-Lock); 4' cable
Type of lock Chain U-lock U-lock Chain U-Lock + cable
# of keys included N/A 3 keys (one with HID light) 2 keys (one with LED light) 3 keys 3 keys (one with HID light)
Primary materials Hardened steel 16mm Hardened Steel 13mm hardened steel 8mm hardened steel chain, 600D polyester sleeve 13mm hardened "max-performance" steel with braided steel cable
Warranty/Manufacturer programs None $4,000 Theft Protection, Limited Lifetime Warranty, Key Safe Program None 1-year manufacturer warranty $2,500 Theft Protection (does not cover cable), Limited Lifetime Warranty; Key Safe Program
Unique Features Steel chain with textile sleeve (available in different colors) Keyhole cover, LED light on one key; dust cover over keyhole Automatic keyhole cover, LED light on one key Reflective sheath, curve key LED light on one key; cable in addition to U-Lock; dust cover on keyhole
Tin Snips Yes, requires two cuts to defeat No No No Cable: Yes; U-lock: No
Hammer No No No No No
Hacksaw No No No No No
Bolt Cutters, 36" Yes, but not very easily. Requires two cuts No No No Cable: Yes, U-lock: No
Angle Grinder Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Number of cuts required to free lock 2 cuts 2 cuts 2 cuts 1 cut 2 cuts

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


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!
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!

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 longer to defeat than other lightweight options out there.
When compared to other lightweight locks, the Chain Lock 1200 takes longer to defeat than other lightweight options out there.

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

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.)

We love how easy this lock is to use! it's flexible and lightweight!
The lock comes with this little "key" announcing the three-digit combination to the lock.

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 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!
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!

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 bikes... even the kind with tassels.
The ABUS Chain Lock is versatile enough to accommodate all kinds of bikes... even the kind with tassels.

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 immovable structure  the ABUS flexes and adapts to many different shapes. It's circumference isn't the greatest  though.
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.

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.

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


Rebecca Eckland