Reviews You Can Rely On

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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ABUS Chain Lock 1200 Web Review
Credit: Rebecca A. Eckland
Price:  $18 List
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Manufacturer:   ABUS
By Rebecca Eckland ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 26, 2022
53
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 23
  • Security - 40% 2.5
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 9.0
  • Ease of Use - 20% 7.0
  • Versatility - 15% 4.0

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 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 review for low-security needs.
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight
Easy-to-carry
Easy-to-use
REASONS TO AVOID
Minimal security
Can be compromised with the right tools quickly
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.

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Bottom Line Among the lightweight, low-security options, this lock is a steal and one of our favoritesAbove average security in a large, versatile lock that's let down a bit by difficult to use key and annoying mountA low level of security, but well designed and available in lengths up to 25 feet, make it versatile and nice to useNot a bad cable lock that's lightweight and well made, but suffers from lack of versatility due to small sizeNot recommended for your sole source of security, but you can use this lock in a variety of ways
Rating Categories ABUS Chain Lock 120... Kryptonite KryptoLok DockLocks Anti-Thef... Kryptonite KryptoFl... Hiplok Z Lok
Security (40%)
2.5
7.5
1.5
1.5
1
Ease of Transport (25%)
9.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
10.0
Ease of Use (20%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Versatility (15%)
4.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
2.0
Specs ABUS Chain Lock 120... Kryptonite KryptoLok DockLocks Anti-Thef... Kryptonite KryptoFl... Hiplok Z Lok
Type Chain U-Lock + cable Combo cable Combo Cable Reusable zip tie
Time to Defeat Lock 3 seconds 20 seconds 1 second 1 second 1 second
Measured Weight 0.5 lbs 2.5 lbs 0.7 lbs 0.6 lbs 0.1 lbs
Locking Dimension 43" circumference U-lock: 4" x 9", cable 5' 60" circumference 60" circumference 16.5" circumference
Primary Materials/Thickness 4mm hardened steel 12.7mm hardened steel 10mm steel cable 8mm coiled steel Steel core security tie
Included Keys N/A 2 keys N/A N/A 1 key
Defeated by Tin Snips Yes, requires two cuts to defeat No Yes Yes Yes
Defeated by Hammer No No No No Yes
Defeated by Hacksaw No No Yes, easily Yes, easily Yes, easily
Defeated by 36" Bolt Cutters Yes, but not very easily. Requires two cuts No Yes, easily Yes, easily Yes
Number of Angle Grinder Cuts to Defeat Lock 2 cuts 2 cuts 1 cut 1 cut 1 cut

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


abus chain lock 1200 web - 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!
Credit: Rebecca A. Eckland

Security


Unlike other lightweight bike locks from our lineup, 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.

The bolt cutters made quick work of the relatively thin Abus Chain Lock 1200.
Credit: Jon Oleson

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.

abus chain lock 1200 web - 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.
Credit: Rebecca A. Eckland

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.

We love how easy this lock is to use! it's flexible and lightweight!
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...
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 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.

abus chain lock 1200 web - 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!
Credit: 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 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).

abus chain lock 1200 web - 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.
Credit: Rebecca A. Eckland

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.

abus chain lock 1200 web - 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.
Credit: Rebecca A. Eckland

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.

abus chain lock 1200 web - 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.
Credit: Rebecca A. Eckland

Rebecca Eckland