Combination Lock: Review & Recommendations

Welcome to our big combination lock test 2020, where we present you all the bicycle locks we have tested in detail. We have put together detailed background information for you and also added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We want to make your purchase decision easier and help you to find the best combination lock for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer you interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page which you should pay attention to if you want to buy a combination lock.

The most important facts in brief

  • No bicycle lock, not even the most expensive of the most famous manufacturers guarantees absolute security. However, it can deter potential thieves and make their work more difficult.
  • The most important purchase criteria is the weight and the number of digits of the combination lock. As these two are the indicators of the security level of the bicycle lock.
  • Basically, for the correct care of the bicycle lock, only the regular greasing of the metal parts on and in the lock body is necessary.

Combination lock test: Favourites of the editorial team

  • The best combination lock with steel chain
  • The best combination lock with shackle
  • The best folding combination lock

The best combination lock with steel chain

The chain lock of the brand WOTEK is a bicycle lock with a combination lock as locking system. According to the manufacturer, it is equipped with an excellent 6mm thick chain, weighs a light 890g and is a practical 90cm long.

The strong chain is covered by a neon green fabric and makes the bike lock visually beautiful while protecting the frame from scratches. In addition, the code, consisting of five digits, can be set very easily. So all in all this product offers a very good price-performance ratio.

The best combination lock with shackle

The U-lock is made of hardened zinc and has a PVC cover to protect it from scratches. According to the manufacturers it has a very comfortable net weight of less than 1 kg, which is half the weight of the average U-lock. The lock can be unlocked easily with a four-digit combination code.

For little money you can get a good stable bicycle lock suitable for everyday use. Also included in the purchase is a special holder that can be easily attached to the frame of the bicycle. Thus this U-lock gets a large portion of practicality.

The best folding combination lock

The folding lock has the usual length of 90 cm for the normal user with a weight of about 1.2 kg. The individual segments measure 13 x 6.5 cm and are covered with rubber. The combination of numbers consists of four digits, which guarantees a relatively high level of security and makes it unnecessary to carry a key.

The high-quality manufactured bicycle lock is compact and flexible, which makes transport much easier. In addition, it is easy to install and with the name ABUS you can expect German security and stability.

Guide: Questions to consider before buying a combination lock

Is a bicycle lock with a numerical code more secure than one with a key?

First of all, the security of a bicycle lock does not depend on how you close it, but on other factors explained below.
Thus, the choice of lock type between combination lock or key depends on personal preferences. The obvious advantage of a combination lock is that it can be opened and closed without a key, which can easily be lost or misplaced.
All you have to do is set and remember a code with a sequence of three to six digits. At the same time, this is also the disadvantage, because in today’s world, where every normal citizen has to remember countless PINs for smartphones, bank accounts, etc., it is easy to forget your combination of numbers.

It is also important not only to lock your bike but also to connect it. For example, it is best to lock it to a bicycle stand, traffic sign or similar, so that the bicycle cannot be taken away by thieves and be quietly unlocked at another place.

It is also important to mention here that no security device on the bicycle guarantees absolute security from thieves.

The safety device only increases the effort and, consequently, the time required to break the bicycle lock. The longer it takes the more time the langfinder will need, the higher his risk of being caught.

Can I build a combination lock myself or is the purchase really necessary?

The short answer is theoretically yes, you can build a combination lock yourself and even completely your own bicycle lock.
For a bicycle lock itself, only two components are necessary. Namely a lock body and a form of chain that can be opened and closed by the body.
The lock body can be a standard padlock, which can be bought everywhere at a hardware store like Obi, Bauhaus or Hornbach, and you can also look for a metal chain in the same stores.
Are you looking for the perfect padlock for you? Then we have linked our comparison of the best padlocks for you here.

Locks
Padlock
07/02/20

But if you really want a combination lock, you will not have it so easy anymore. But there are enough instructions on the Internet about the construction and function of a combination lock, and with the right hands, a working combination lock can be constructed.

If you do not have a talent for craftsmanship or you are a little unsure whether your homemade bicycle lock works properly, you should rather access the work of professionals. Especially if that non-professional look attracts rather than discourages the thieves.

What does a combination lock for bicycles cost?

Due to the different types and other factors, large price differences are evident. It can vary from a very cheap 5 Euro to a high quality combination lock with a price of 200 Euro.

The first question you should ask yourself is how much is my bike worth? After all, the lock is there to protect the parked bike from thieves.

According to experts, the price of a bicycle lock should be about 10 to 20 percent of the bicycle.

The decisive factor for the price is the security level, which logically demands a higher price for a higher value.

Where can I buy a combination lock for bicycles?

Bicycle locks can be found in specialist shops, DIY stores, sports shops and even discounters like Aldi. Of course you can also find them in the online shop.
Bicycle locks with a combination lock are offered in the following online shops:
– amazon.com
– ebay.com
– real.com
– otto.com
– globetrotter.com
– landi.ch
All bicycle locks with a combination lock presented on this page have a link to at least one online shop. You can access and order one immediately!

What alternatives to combination locks for bicycle locks are available on the market?

Basically, only the well-tried key is available as an alternative and in itself you are just as well advised with this locking system.
As mentioned above, both types are secure and the choice is yours alone.
However, it is important to note that in today’s world with the strong involvement of technology start-ups are creating new bicycle locks that can be opened with your smartphone via the Internet.
As with any innovation, the electronic bicycle lock still needs time to establish itself in the market and the bicycle owners lose their shyness about the new technology.

Decision: What types of combination locks are there, and which one is right for you?

Every bicycle lock is available in a version with a combination lock or key as locking system. Both are equally good and much more powerful than the locking system is the type of bicycle lock.

Basically there are four types you can choose from:

  • Cable lock
  • U-lock
  • Chain lock
  • folding lock

What distinguishes a cable lock and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A cable lock consists of a lock body and a steel wire rope, which is usually sheathed in plastic. The sheathing serves on the one hand to protect the frame of the bicycle from damage such as scratches and on the other hand it makes it weatherproof.

As a protective device, a cable lock is characterized by its light weight and very reasonable price. Above all, it is very practical for stowing away and you can easily put it in your backpack without it weighing a great deal.

Exactly because of the light weight it is also less safe and is not really suitable to protect the expensive road bike for a long time. For a short stop at the supermarket with the old city bike it is more suitable.

Advantages

Affordable
Very light

Disadvantages

Less safe

What distinguishes a U-lock and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

As the name suggests, a U-lock consists of a shackle and a lock body. Both parts, the shackle and the body, are made of steel and make the bicycle lock very stable and therefore very secure.

The fact that it has no moving parts also contributes to safety. This means it has no weak points that are particularly susceptible.

However, the rigidity can cause minor problems, because connecting the bike to a solid object becomes somewhat more difficult. But if the correct size of the bicycle’s frame triangle is measured before purchase, the lock can be fitted perfectly.

Due to the high weight it is also not practical to take it with you and simply put it in your rucksack.

But from a purely visual point of view, it is intimidating and discourages possible bicycle thieves.

Advantages

Very stable
Deterrent

Disadvantages

Heavy
Bulky

You can find more details in our article about U-locks. Here we have included a link to it.

Locks
U-lock

What distinguishes a chain lock and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A chain lock consists of a lock body and a hardened metal chain. Usually the chain is covered with a protective cover to make it weatherproof.

The chain is largely dependent on the security of the lock, because the stronger and heavier the chain, the more secure it is.

The advantage of the chain is obviously its flexibility, as it is easier to attach to a fixed object.

However, the chain links may not be as thick, which reduces the safety level.

Advantages

Stable

Disadvantages

Impractical
Heavy

What distinguishes a folding lock and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A folding lock consists of individual movable segments and thus combines the stability of a shackle lock with the flexibility of a chain lock.

The individual parts are connected by a kind of joint that cannot be easily separated. They can be folded out and are flexible enough to be connected to a fixed object such as a street lamp or fence.

The hardened steel parts offer enough resistance and also deter potential thieves.

Advantages

Stable
Flexible

Disadvantages

Relatively expensive

Locks
folding lock

Purchase criteria: You can compare and rate combination locks based on these factors

In the following we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate combination locks. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular combination lock is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • digits
  • Weight
  • Material
  • Length

In the following paragraphs we will explain in detail what is important for the individual criteria.

digits

The number of digits indicates how many digits a person must know or guess to open the system. Logic already says, the more places, the more difficult it is

Usually the number of digits ranges from at least three to six, with four and five being the most common. One digit can be set to the number 0 to 9 and with each additional digit the combination possibility increases by 10, i.e:

Weight

The weight is an indication of the strength of the bicycle lock and thus of the security level. In general, a higher weight indicates more security, since a thicker lock cannot be broken open so easily with pliers.

Of course there are other factors that could influence the weight, such as the length of the chain.

You must be aware that more weight but also less comfort, because you have to carry the bike lock with you while riding. We are talking about weights of under 1 kg to 2 kg.

In principle, U-locks are the heaviest and cable locks the lightest bicycle locks.

Material

Basically most bicycle locks are made of steel. They only differ in different degrees of hardness and alloys.

Often the inner layer and the outer layer are made of different degrees of hardness or alloy to be able to withstand cold spray.

For the buyer the question of the material is less important. Unless it is a material that is not steel. Because caution is required there.

Another question is the material of the sheathing that protects the metal from the weather and the frame of the bike. It hardly contributes to the actual protection and does not influence the security level.

Length

The length is a criterion for the flexibility of the protection structure and is important in that it facilitates connection to a fixed object and increases “parking” possibilities.

Rigid bicycle locks like a U-lock have a short length of only about 23 cm. While chain locks and cable locks reach up to 200 cm. Folding locks with its about 100 cm is exactly in the middle.

Trivia: Worth knowing facts about the combination lock

How do I care for my combination lock correctly?

The most important thing you can do for your bike lock is to grease it regularly with lubricant. This will reduce the likelihood that it will jam and your lock may not open.

Because nobody wants a bicycle lock that cannot be opened by the owner himself.

The metal of the bicycle lock is coated with plastic or other materials to protect it from the weather conditions. Therefore you do not necessarily have to intervene in this respect.

Now for cleaning the bicycle lock: it should only be cleaned with water in exceptional cases, as it can lead to rust formation inside. If water is used, then with detergent.

What options do I have if I have forgotten my code?

A forgotten code is only one thing, like many unintentionally forgotten things, namely very annoying and frustrating. Because now your own protection prevents you from accessing your property.

The first tip would be to call the manufacturer directly and ask for help. Often you will not have time to wait for their help, if they can help at all.

The second tip is now to try to crack the combination lock yourself and the wonderful internet has enough step by step instructions and video tutorials. You will have an easier game with cheaper copies, because they have a worse workmanship. So that you can hear the clicking of the individual positions when you listen carefully.

You could also open the bike lock by force if you have the right tools with you. In any case, expect a few astonished spectators and a possible police arrest.

In short, any method of opening the bike lock without a code takes up far too much time and is extremely cumbersome. Therefore, you are well advised to write down your code on your smartphone, for example, so that you can easily look it up in case of an emergency.

How do I set a different code for my combination lock?

There are two cases where you have to set your code. When you first set it and when you want to change it.

Initial setting

By default the number combination is set to 0, so you have to hold the open slider or reset button at the beginning. Then you can insert the new code and when you release the slider the combination will be saved.

Code change

Changing the code works the same as the initial setting, only instead of the 0’s you use the current code.