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Abus Steel o Chain Lock

McHattieMcHattie Posts: 146
edited January 2009 in Commuting chat
I've been using a coil cable lock for a while, but I'm nervous sometimes when I leave my bike for a while. I was thinking of upgrading to a chain lock, and saw the review of the Abus Steel o Chain in Cycling Plus, which rated it 9/10. The article said it weighs 776g, which seemed reasonable to me, as I don't want to lug around anything too heavy.

I checked this on the Abus website though, and it says the chain weighs 1700g, which is way too heavy for me to carry regularly. I presume the Abus website is accurate.

Any views on this? Does anyone have one? Any ideas on lightweight chains?

Posts

  • There are 2 lengths of it, which might explain the difference...

    I have an Abus chain lock - it's a short one but pretty good so far!

    It's this one:

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/abu ... k-ec009036
  • McHattieMcHattie Posts: 146
    Abus say the two lengths are 1700g and 2050g.

    Your chain looks very chunky, lost-in-thought, - and I'm sure, pretty safe. How is it for carrying around with you?

    Having fretted over 50gs here and there on my road bike, wrapping a 2 kilo chain around the seatpost isn't something I want to contemplate. Nor, of course, is having my bike stolen - and therein lies the dilemma.
  • McHattieMcHattie Posts: 146
    I clicked on your FCN 7 link.

    Worked out that I'm an FCN 4. Hence my fear of the 2 kilo chain. :(
  • I either have in in my panniers or wrap it around my handlebars, and it's fine. I have no idea how much is weighs though! I take it everywhere - I often see things I want to buy and need to lock my bike up... ;)

    I don't know, I guess it's about finding a balance! I had my last fixie nicked out of my garden where it was locked, and when I got the new one I immediately bought a more serious lock!
  • That CityLock is quite expensive considering you can buy the exact same Abus 9mm hardened chain with a stainless steel Abus Diskus padlock for £20-30. Probably more convenient though - getting the chain on to the padlock whilst wearing gloves is a pure nuisance.
    Trek XO1
    FCN4
  • blackworx wrote:
    That CityLock is quite expensive considering you can buy the exact same Abus 9mm hardened chain with a stainless steel Abus Diskus padlock for £20-30. Probably more convenient though - getting the chain on to the padlock whilst wearing gloves is a pure nuisance.
    I have the same, I think, plus another Abus for extra paranoia, but I don't carry either around with me. I must say, I've never had any problems myself, but I don't wear super thick gloves.

    I bought it mainly for the disc lock. I've been a member of enough rowing clubs to know that if you want to secure something inviting, fragile and expensive, these are good locks to have.

    A fairly common approach for locks might be to have a beast of a lock left permanently where you most often leave your bike, with a smaller "pop into the shops" lock to carry around with you.

    I personally wouldn't want to carry either Abus around with me although I used to wear one across my shoulders (under a vest - you don't want to hang yourself with it in an accident).

    Hope that helps!
  • I must've become too mollycoddled by the push-to-lock type of lock, 'cos I don't wear thick gloves either and, compared to a nice easy push--click, the heavy padlock and chain often feels like I need a third hand, especially in nasty weather.

    Obviously a sign that it's MTFU time :lol:
    Trek XO1
    FCN4
  • McHattie..

    I agonised over locks for ages, as I ride all over London with a 1000 quid road bike, so naturally I'm very paranoid about someone giving it the eye.

    I had some pretty serious Abus D-locks, but they are a PITA to carry in a rucksack (I have no pannier lugs) and strapping it to my bike messed up it's responsiveness.

    In the end I realised the cycle couriers had the best solution and it was the Abus Steel-O-Flex 1000. For someone with an average build, it sits perfectly around the hips when riding and doesn't get in the way of rucksacks. It's not in your bag so no weight on your shoulders, and your bike still feels the same. Even though the lock is nearly 2kg, I can hardly feel it.

    Definitely a good all rounder.
  • I looked at those steel-flex lock thingies, and the possibility of having one round my waist/hips while riding...

    I was probably being immensely paranoid, but as I got knocked off at speed last year and bashed myself up quite a bit, I found myself thinking what would have happened if I'd landed on the most solid bit of that lock wrapped round my middle...

    I have to say, the one I got in the end has many more options for carrying - the steel-flex ones are a pain to put in a rucksack/bag compared to the chain ones.

    AT makes a valid point about getting a beast of a lock to leave where you lock your bike - seeing as my offices are above the Israeli embassy (not ideal right now) there are armed police about 24/7, I think someone would have to have some serious gall to nick it from under their noses so I don't bother!
  • I looked at those steel-flex lock thingies, and the possibility of having one round my waist/hips while riding...

    I was probably being immensely paranoid, but as I got knocked off at speed last year and bashed myself up quite a bit, I found myself thinking what would have happened if I'd landed on the most solid bit of that lock wrapped round my middle...
    I used to worry about mine getting snagged on things as well.

    I only stopped having the chain around the seat post / bars when I had a nde when my chain came undone and got trapped in my spokes one time. Clearly this was entirely a result of my own stupidity (I was in my teens) but since I can't legislate against my own stupidity I stopped carrying locks this way. :oops:

    Now I don't carry a lock at all.
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    I have seen plenty of youtube videos of how easy the steel oflexes are to cut open so I bought the abus city X I think its called. Its about 1500g in weight and pretty tough. Good locks cost for a reason. My next lock will be a top o the range D when I have the funds
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    9mm chains are just a joke tbh, there's not one that can't be cut with manual bolt croppers (there's an English Chain Co 10mm chain that can't be cropped, but only because it's overhardened to the point of brittleness and can be shattered like glass with al hammer). Basically, if you're using one of these chains and a professional bike thief wants your bike, he'll have it, they offer no meaningful protection against anyone who actually has the tools used to steal bikes. Thatcham and Sold Secure are just as much of a joke, they test with angle grinders and blunt force, but NOT with the large manual croppers which are actually used by the criminals, then say "Hmm, impressive, took 3 minutes to grind through, we'll call that a Gold". It's like testing a bullet proof vest with a power drill.

    If you want actual meaningful protection, the only crop-proof chain marketed specifically to cyclists is the Almax Immobiliser, but it's a 16mm link chain so pretty impractical for most people. A big quality u-lock offers better protection, though still not impervious.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • Northwind wrote:
    9mm chains are just a joke tbh, there's not one that can't be cut with manual bolt croppers (there's an English Chain Co 10mm chain that can't be cropped, but only because it's overhardened to the point of brittleness and can be shattered like glass with al hammer). Basically, if you're using one of these chains and a professional bike thief wants your bike, he'll have it, they offer no meaningful protection against anyone who actually has the tools used to steal bikes. Thatcham and Sold Secure are just as much of a joke, they test with angle grinders and blunt force, but NOT with the large manual croppers which are actually used by the criminals, then say "Hmm, impressive, took 3 minutes to grind through, we'll call that a Gold". It's like testing a bullet proof vest with a power drill.

    If you want actual meaningful protection, the only crop-proof chain marketed specifically to cyclists is the Almax Immobiliser, but it's a 16mm link chain so pretty impractical for most people. A big quality u-lock offers better protection, though still not impervious.

    I think you in danger of forgetting that if the chain is strong enough, the thing it is chained to probably isn't.
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    Northwind, I think tbh that a dedicated thief or not - if someone wants your bike, just as if they want your car - they will find a way to take it regardless. The best you can do is buy the best, park sensibly and dont leave the bike for too long in the open. Secure lockups with cctv help... not everyone has access to them sadly.

    I think a big lock is a good deterrant to those casual glances in a public place.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    That's exactly my point- there's no point in i nconveniencing yourself with an ineffectual chain lock when you could just as good a result with a cable lock. They're both going to deter an opportunist and achieve nothing against a pro, so the simpler and lighter option makes more sense. If you want to at least annoy the pro, then a good u-lock will slow them down, and sometimes that's all you need- people think that parking somewhere busy will help but I've seen CCTV of an entire motorbike stolen in 40 seconds- 3 guys jump out of van, 2 cut a chain each (big £150 chains) and then all 3 throw it in the van, gone in less than 60 seconds.

    I'm not talking up big chains, I'm talking down bike security ;) Mostly it's a confidence trick from the lock manufacturers. As you say, unless it's chained to a proper hardened ground anchor, it's often just as easy to take out the thing you're locked to (or, if it's a bike with lots of valuable components, sometimes to just cut the frame :roll: Increasingly common with motorbikes now, you come back and find a 4 inch chunk of bike and an untouched chain.

    Just basically saying, be realistic. Don't waste £70 on a chain that offers no more real protection that a wire lock which is far more convenient.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    Northwind wrote:
    That's exactly my point- there's no point in i nconveniencing yourself with an ineffectual chain lock when you could just as good a result with a cable lock. They're both going to deter an opportunist and achieve nothing against a pro, so the simpler and lighter option makes more sense. If you want to at least annoy the pro, then a good u-lock will slow them down, and sometimes that's all you need- people think that parking somewhere busy will help but I've seen CCTV of an entire motorbike stolen in 40 seconds- 3 guys jump out of van, 2 cut a chain each (big £150 chains) and then all 3 throw it in the van, gone in less than 60 seconds.

    I'm not talking up big chains, I'm talking down bike security ;) Mostly it's a confidence trick from the lock manufacturers. As you say, unless it's chained to a proper hardened ground anchor, it's often just as easy to take out the thing you're locked to (or, if it's a bike with lots of valuable components, sometimes to just cut the frame :roll: Increasingly common with motorbikes now, you come back and find a 4 inch chunk of bike and an untouched chain.

    Just basically saying, be realistic. Don't waste £70 on a chain that offers no more real protection that a wire lock which is far more convenient.
    Okay, sorry. That makes sense.
    I got mine because I think the visual deterrent is helpful - it looks like the lock that motorcyclists use, which I hope equates as "1. motorbikes = difficult to nick 2. that bike is as difficult to nick as a motorbike" in a rudimentary mammalian brain.

    I also vainly hope that opportunist theives are much less likely to regard (for example) £100 pedals as being valuable than any given part of (for example) a motorbike. It is REALLY easy to disassemble some annoyingly valuable parts from a bicycle using a multitool and an adjustable spanner.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    Yup, absolutely, it's just like swimming with sharks- you just have to make sure you're not the slowest swimmer :lol:
    Uncompromising extremist
  • blackworxblackworx Posts: 123
    Northwind wrote:
    That's exactly my point- there's no point in i nconveniencing yourself with an ineffectual chain lock when you could just as good a result with a cable lock.
    Unfortunately insurers often force these things on you, especially if your bike cost more than a Halfords cheapie.
    Trek XO1
    FCN4
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    Meh, my bike's covered on my home insurance. But it's a fair point, just like with bike insurance Thatcham and Sold Secure are pretty well in bed with the industry :cry:
    Uncompromising extremist
  • don_dondon_don Posts: 1,007
    I have a steel-o-chain; definitely nearer 2kg, not 800-ish grams.

    I also have a steel-o-flex which I wrap over my head/shoulder a la a courier bag. Not sure if this is wise but I've never had a problem with it.

    At risk of making assumptions on space/money etc - would it be worth considering a cheap 2nd hand hack for commuting, so you won't be so worried about it?
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,701
    Everything I've read suggests cables are the weakest lock type of them all. Chains can be better as long as they and the lock are well off the ground (so can't be cropped so easily) but you still need a strong one and a good lock. Look at the comment re. steel-o-flex here. One piece of advice I read for high risk areas was to use two different types of lock, as they would require two tools instead of one.

    I decided I needed peace of mind when I leave my bike in town so I bought a Kryptonite Series 2 U-lock and cable from Parker for £18. I am impressed with the solid feel. It will fit around the seat stays and rear wheel when parked against a Sheffield stand and weighs 1100g. Don't be taken in by Kryptonite's anti-theft offer - it only lasts 1 year and claiming would be more hassle than it's worth IMHO.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    Cables are worse than chains it's true, but... Well, what's worse, being poked in the eye with a sharp stick or a blunt stick? Doesn't matter, either way you're blind ;) The thing about keeping your chains off the ground is a bit of a myth, it's not really any harder to cut a chain with big croppers whether it's on or off the ground. It does stop people using a hammer, but that's not common anyway.

    OK, these vids are from an Almax chain supporter so you might doubt the accuracy of the claims ;) But here's Zanx from the motorbike forum Visordown, often seen chopping up some bike chains at a motorbike show, using chains bought from companies advertising at the show, or brought in by curious show-goers.

    English Chain Co 13mm chain, not a bad bit of kit, probably stronger than any cycle-specific chain... Thatcham and Sold Secure Gold. Effectively no defence
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=aQSk4O5cgfs

    That Steel-o-flex...
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=fFaLmVqQibo&feature=channel_page
    Heh, the comment on the bikeradar review is from zanx, he gets around.

    This one's got various clips, showing cutting the chains on the floor or up in the air.
    Uncompromising extremist
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