I called a local hardware store and asked if they sold chain by the foot. They did. I also made sure they sold padlocks. I wasn’t expecting it to cost as much as it did. I went with 10′ (a bit over 3 meters) of chain and a decent padlock. Seeing how hard it was for the employee to use large bolt cutters to cut the chain impressed me. The padlock is probably easier to bust through the chain.
I rarely leave my bike unattended, but as my last U-lock I bought for this bike started having issues on the second time I used it, I was careful not to leave it where I couldn’t keep an eye on it so I was walking a lot more for the last two weeks. To make it more difficult for U-lock keys to be counterfeited, the companies go with a complicated key design that is prone to serious issues. In my case, it took 10 minutes of fiddling with the key to unlock it and another 10 minutes to lock it on my second and subsequent uses of the lock. Finally, about a week ago, I could turn the lock to the open position, but the bar wouldn’t slide off the end. At present, it’s stuck on my bike. I’m hoping to take it back to Wally World and get a refund. I kept the receipt and the packaging after seeing too many negative reviews on various websites about issues with the U-lock. This seems to be common regardless of what company makes the U-lock.
The cool thing is the chain I purchased is somewhat thicker than the U-lock. The U-lock appears thicker because it’s covered in some rubber or plastic cover, but that’s more to discourage inexperienced thieves.
Dad used to say “Locks are for honest people” and I agree. A dishonest person will figure a way around the best lock you can find. I watched TV shows where people will walk down the street and if the card doors are locked, they will skip them. However, there are usually several car doors that aren’t locked on most streets. Those are the ones the thieves target first.
The reason I bring up buying a new lock is because a neighbor had two of her sons’ bikes stolen because they didn’t lock the bikes up. They were at a nearby convenience store and weren’t in the store long, but when each one came out, the bike was gone. This happened over a several month period. That’s why when I went to the same convenience store, I kept my bike at home once the U-lock stopped working. Tonight will be my first time going there on my bike with the new lock and chain.