We're always on the lookout for budget products that steal the show, so we decided to take a chance on the INBIKE 8 Joints Alloy Steel. The list price is intriguing, plus it's lightweight, folds to a compact size, and comes with an excellent mount. It's one of the best models for easy transportation and its flexibility allowed us to lock up to some awkward racks. Unfortunately, this lock proved to be just a half step above cable locks regarding security, succumbing to most tools in our thievery toolbox. It can also be a pain to snake through spokes and frames with all eight rotating pieces swinging around. Despite its bright spots, there are better locks around for the money.
INBIKE 8 Joints Alloy Steel Folding Lock Review
Cons: Low security, lacks versatility, can be tricky to feed through bike parts
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INBIKE 8 Joints Alloy Steel Folding Lock
|Price||$38 List||$107.95 at REI|
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|$38.00 at Competitive Cyclist|
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|Pros||Affordable, easy to transport, nice frame mount||Very secure, mounts to bike, convenient size for locking up||Large and strong U-lock, relatively lightweight, beefy mount||Wearable design, solid security, easy to use||Versatile, light (for a U-Lock), easy to use, value|
|Cons||Low security, lacks versatility, can be tricky to feed through bike parts||Heavy, bulky to transport||Not the highest security possible, expensive||Not lightweight, uncomfortable with some backpacks, pricey||Slightly less secure than other U-Lock models, bulky|
|Bottom Line||For low security needs, this lock works and packs into your bag easily.||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||8 Joints Alloy Steel Folding...||New York Standard U-Lock||ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U-Lock||Hiplok Original: Superbright||Evolution Mini-7 U-Lock|
|Ease Of Transport (25%)|
|Ease Of Use (20%)|
|Specs||8 Joints Alloy...||New York Standard...||ABUS Granit X-Plus...||Hiplok Original:...||Evolution Mini-7...|
|Measured weight (lbs)||1.56 lbs||4.49 lbs||3.28 lbs||4.31 lbs||3.51 lbs|
|Lock dimensions||28" x 1" unlocked and extended||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||Folding||U-lock||U-lock||Chain||U-Lock + cable|
|# of keys included||3 keys||3 keys (one with HID light)||2 keys (one with LED light)||3 keys||3 keys (one with HID light)|
|Primary materials||5 mm steel plates||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||n/a||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||No||No||No||No||Cable: Yes; U-lock: No|
|Bolt Cutters, 36"||Yes||No||No||No||Cable: Yes, U-lock: No|
|Number of cuts required to free lock||1 cut||2 cuts||2 cuts||1 cut||2 cuts|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The INBIKE 8 Joint Folding Lock consists of eight pieces 5mm-thick steel plates connected by rivets which rotate 360 degrees. The bars are coated in rubber paint. This lock offers minimal security.
The INBIKE lock does not have a security rating from any widely-accepted third-party security rating agencies like ART or Sold Secure. It offers more security than a cable lock but is an inferior deterrent compared to the U-locks and chain locks in this review. The unique and less common design of the U-lock might deter confused bike thieves, but 5 mm of thickness is much less daunting to break than 13 - 16mm of hardened steel found on most U-locks.
This lock was defeated by one strike of a 3-pound hammer, and when we applied the bolt cutters, the plate popped off its rivet joint like a hot kernel of corn. It does, at least, resist wire cutters, and we were surprised that the hacksaw struggled against the steel of this product. We estimate it would have taken 20 minutes of vigorous sawing to get through. The angle grinder sliced through the INBIKE model in under 15 seconds. With so many tools available to destroy this lock, if a thief wants to steal your bike, he or she won't have much trouble beating this lock. The other folding lock in this review, the ABUS uGrip Bordo 5700, fared better in our bust testing, resisting compromise by a hammer.
Ease of Transport
Ease of transport is where the INBIKE Folding Lock shines. Weighing 1 lb. 8.9 oz, it's much less weight than a chain or U-lock. It weighs less than the other folding locked reviewed, the uGrip Bordo 5700. Folded up, it's 5"x 2.125" x 1", small enough to slide into most men's trouser pockets and some women's pockets too. Being so small and light, it's super easy to stuff in your pocket (ok), toss in your bag (great), or slide into its frame mount (our favorite), leaving fewer excuses for not bringing your lock. It also provides more security than cable locks like the Akita or Kryptonite KryptoFlex.
The folded lock slides into its mount/holster and takes up little room on your frame. A rubber strap holds the lock in place as you cruise down the road or bike path, ensuring the lock will not fall out. The mount comes with two options for attaching to the frame; either screw the mount into water bottle carrier holes on your down or seat tube or employ the included zip ties to attach the mount anywhere you please on your bike's frame. We prefer the former, which secures the mount quickly and without issue. The latter approach to attachment was disappointing. The zip ties did not pull tight around our frames, and if we could manage to fasten them securely, they loosened with pressure or riding the bike down the road, causing the mount to fall.
Ease of Use
The folding nature of the INBIKE lock allows for greater flexibility than U-locks, which is helpful when encountering awkward bike racks and immovable structures. When faced with wide structures to lock up your bike, this model was easier to lock up the frame and both wheels (front wheel removed and locked with the back one) than U-locks on the short side, like the Kryptonite New York Standard.
On most bike racks, though, the consensus among our testers is that folding locks aren't easier to use than U-locks or chains. The eight independent plates of the INBIKE rotate and flip around, which is annoying when reaching your fingers through the spokes, trying to catch the other end of the lock. The ABUS uGrip Bordo 5700 was more manageable. It has six plates, minimizing the number of rotating parts you have to wrangle.
Remove the front wheel and move it to the back to lock it up with the frame and rear wheel on most bike racks. It takes some finagling, but it's possible with thin road tires. Fat tires will not fit. In almost all circumstances, it will be too tight to also loop through the stays of a removed bike saddle. Best take that with you if it's a concern. In this metric again, the uGrip Bordo 5700 was easier to manipulate around two tires and a frame.
This lock offers moderate value. It's not our favorite folding lock, but if you need a theft deterrent for short-term parking, this is relatively inexpensive and transportable.
The INBIKE 8 Joint Alloy Steel Folding Lock is for folks in rural areas or otherwise low-risk neighborhoods. It's inexpensive and a breeze to transport, decreasing the chances of leaving it behind because it's too heavy or big to bring along. If you are considering a cable lock for their price and low weight, purchase this model instead.
— Ross Robinson