Chain lock vs U lock - Which is the best option for keeping your bike safe?

U-lock and chain lock comparison image
(Image credit: Josh Ross)

If you've been doing your research on locks you are probably wondering what is the better choice between chain locks and U locks. It's an obvious question but it's not a simple binary yes or no. There are reasons you might choose one over the other. 

There are several lenses through which you might look at locks to decide which is best for you, with the most obvious one being security. Given that thieves stealing bikes takes a lot of forms, it can be easy to fall into a rabbit hole of never-ending research looking for the absolute most secure lock on the market. That's exactly what we did as we prepared to bring you our lists of the best bike locks and the best e-bike locks available. During that time, we leveraged every resource we had to bring you the best options available. Part of that was understanding what the most secure lock actually looked like. 

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Josh Ross

Josh hails from the Pacific Northwest of the United States but would prefer riding through the desert than the rain. He will happily talk for hours about the minutiae of cycling tech but also has an understanding that most people just want things to work. He is a road cyclist at heart and doesn't care much if those roads are paved, dirt, or digital. Although he rarely races, if you ask him to ride from sunrise to sunset the answer will be yes. Height: 5'9" Weight: 140 lb. Rides: Salsa Warbird, Cannondale CAAD9, Enve Melee, Look 795 Blade RS, Priority Continuum Onyx