Hands-on Gear Review

INBIKE 8 Joints Alloy Steel Folding Lock Review

INBIKE 8 Joints Alloy Steel Folding
Price:  $38 List
Pros:  Affordable, easy to transport, nice frame mount
Cons:  Low security, lacks versatility, can be tricky to feed through bike parts
Bottom line:  For low security needs, this lock works and packs into your bag easily.
Editors' Rating:   
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Weight of lock (lbs):  1.56 lbs
Lock dimensions:  28" x 1" unlocked and extended
Type of Lock:  Folding
Manufacturer:   INBIKE

Our Verdict

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.

If you're drawn to folding locks, the ABUS uGrip Bordo 5700 has a similar design with better execution. It's a tad heavier and larger, yet it's more secure, easier to use, and more versatile. When it comes to a bargain basement price coupled with reliable security, you can't beat the Cocoweb Armbar Combo. For less than 30 bucks, you get a versatile U-lock and chain, providing a great deal more security.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Ross Robinson

Last Updated:
Sunday
September 24, 2017

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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 retails at $38 and offers minimal security.

Performance Comparison


The lightweight INBIKE is compact and easy to transport around town with a solid mounting bracket.
The lightweight INBIKE is compact and easy to transport around town with a solid mounting bracket.

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.

Defeat by hammer. It only took one solid blow.
Defeat by hammer. It only took one solid blow.

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. If you need to save money but demand a lot more security, see the sub-$30 Cocoweb Armbar Combo.

The INBIKE lock was the only model to go up in flames after 15 seconds of an angle grinder attack.
The INBIKE lock was the only model to go up in flames after 15 seconds of an angle grinder attack.

Ease of Transport


Ease of transport is where the INBIKE Folding Lock shines. Weighing 1 lb. 8.9 oz, it's the second-most lightweight model reviewed behind the OnGuard Akita 8041. 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 simple and small mounting bracket works extremely well when screwed into the holes most bikes have for a water bottle cage.
The simple and small mounting bracket works extremely well when screwed into the holes most bikes have for a water bottle cage.

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.

Purchase third-party zip ties that are more robust if your down tube doesn't have water bottle screw holes, or if you don't want to sacrifice your water bottle storage.

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 Cocoweb Armbar Combo or Kryptonite New York Standard.

The several rotating plates of the INBIKE lock provide flexibility  but can also be frustrating to control from flopping around when locking.
The several rotating plates of the INBIKE lock provide flexibility, but can also be frustrating to control from flopping around when locking.
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.

If you care about your paint job, be careful when releasing the locking mechanism with your key. The lock springs open, which might send the metal plate slamming into your bike.

The INBIKE comes with 3 keys. With no key replacement program  that's all you'll ever get.
The INBIKE comes with 3 keys. With no key replacement program, that's all you'll ever get.

Versatility


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.

The folding nature of this lock increases its versatility  yet it still scored lower than most in this metric due to its small size.
The folding nature of this lock increases its versatility, yet it still scored lower than most in this metric due to its small size.

Best Application


This lock is best used in low crime areas, or for very short-term parking while running into a shop or other errands. Do not leave it in areas of mid to high crime for extended amounts of time.

Value


With a price of $38, 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 folding lock isn't the key to urban security  but it offers more protection than cable locks.
The INBIKE folding lock isn't the key to urban security, but it offers more protection than cable locks.

Conclusion


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

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Most recent review: September 24, 2017
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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