8 min read
If you’re interested in discovering the Seatylock Viking’s features, you’ve come to the right place.
In this Seatylock Viking review, I cover everything there is to know about this bicycle chain lock, from the security it offers to the materials it’s made from.
I’ll let you in on the Viking’s strengths and weaknesses, alongside teaching you the most effective way to secure your bike with the Seatylock Viking.
Additionally, I’ll compare the Viking’s features to several similar bicycle chain locks to help you decide which works best for you.
Towards the bottom of the article, I also include a bicycle security hack that renders nearly every form of attack useless. So keep an eye out for this!
I’ve also put together a Seatylock Viking video review, which you can watch below if you’d prefer.
Without further ado, here’s the Seatylock Viking review.
Overview - Seatylock Viking Review
The Seatylock Viking received the Sold Secure Gold rating, making it Seatylock’s most secure bicycle chain lock to date.
Its 10mm (9.6mm when I measured) hardened steel links provided a good level of resistance against all of the tools in our destruction test.
Additionally, the Viking shrugged off and completely warped our pair of 36″ bolt cutters, with alarming ease. Something we weren’t expecting.
This said, the Viking’s chain links aren’t thick enough to be considered “bolt cutter proof” and could be cut with a top-quality pair of the largest 42″ bolt cutters (like most chains under 16mm thick).
There are some small improvements that I’d like to see from Seatylock, which I cover in the review below. That said, this is one of my favourite chain locks that I’ve used to date.
The Viking packs in many functional features, but its 2.84kg (6.26lb), 110cm model isn’t comfortable to carry whilst cycling. So leaving the Viking locked up at your destination will be your best bet if you commute to work by bike.
If your bike was expensive ($1,200+(£1000+)) or has sentimental value to you, I’d recommend using the Viking alongside another bike lock. Using two locks will discourage thieves who’re targeting more expensive bikes.
Find out more in the Seatylock Viking review below.
|Seatylock Viking 110 Specs:|
|Lock Weight:||2.84kg (6.26lb)|
|Chain Length:||110cm (43.3") *|
|Link Material:||9.6mm Hardened Steel|
|Security Ratings:||Sold Secure Bicycle Gold|
*90cm (35.4″) and 140cm (55.1″) lengths also available.
Seatylock Viking Video Review
If you’d prefer to watch a video review of the Seatylock Viking, I’ve included two detailed videos below, which talk you through the Viking and its features.
In the first video, you’ll see how the Viking compares to the well-known ABUS CityChain 1060 and how they both performed in my extensive destruction testing.
Worth a watch.
How Secure Is the Seatylock Viking?
Seatylock gave the Viking 17/18 on their in-house security scale, which means next to nothing because it makes financial sense for them to rate their product as high as possible.
After two weeks of meticulous testing and using this lock with my bike, I’ve developed a good understanding of the Seatylock Viking’s security features and the level of protection it offers for your bike.
Below we’ll start by looking at the Viking’s physical features that protect your ride, followed by any security ratings obtained from independent security testing companies.
The two primary security features to pay attention to when deciding on a new bike chain lock are:
- Individual chain link thickness
- Locking mechanism
Compared to similar chain locks, the Seatylock Viking offers good protection levels for both criteria.
The Viking’s hardened steel chain links are 9.65mm thick, thinner than the 10mm advertised on the Seatylock website, but they provide good levels of protection against most tools thieves will carry on the streets.
Whilst 9.65mm isn’t thick enough to be considered “bolt cutter proof”, the Seatylock Viking completely deformed the jaws of my large 36″ bolt cutters, which I was not expecting.
The bolt cutters I used were almost brand new but were clearly significantly weaker than the Viking’s links.
A top-of-the-range pair of bolt cutters would have cut this chain. However, it’s unlikely that a thief would use high-quality bolt cutters, so they’d probably have the same experience I had.
I’ll now need to go and get a better set of bolt cutters for my next review.
You can watch the bolt cutter test in the video at the top of the review.
Using my angle grinder, I cut through the Viking’s links in 24 seconds.
I cut the ABUS CityChain 1060 for comparison and was able to cut through in 25.44 seconds.
Where the time difference here is so marginal, it’s hard to draw any firm conclusions from this test, apart from the fact that they can both be cut with an angle grinder.
Bear in mind that I had these chains clamped in place when I was cutting them. On the street, a chain would be tough to hold still, preventing a thief from making a clean cut, and significantly increasing the time and effort required to cut the chain.
A 3.5mm thick hardened steel casing protects the internal locking mechanism of the Viking from heavy impact attacks with hammers and other objects.
As you can see above, I smashed up the housing of the Viking with a 1.8kg lump hammer, but it held firm and didn’t unlock during the hammer test.
Later in this review, I’ll teach you how to lock your bike correctly with the Viking, using a method that makes it virtually impossible for a thief to break the lock with a heavy impact attack.
Next, we’ll examine the Viking’s security ratings and what these mean.
Seatylock Viking Security Ratings
Sold Secure, an independent security rating company, awarded the Seatylock Viking their Bicycle Gold rating. The Gold rating means this bike chain can prevent dedicated attacks carried out with a more extensive toolkit.
Many insurance companies require you to secure your bike with a Sold Secure Gold rated (or higher) bike lock, which makes the Viking suitable, though double check with your policy to ensure.
All in all, the Viking’s security features and its respectable Sold Secure Gold rating, make this chain suitable for use in higher-risk areas where thieves are operating.
How Practical Is the Seatylock Viking?
Weight and Size
Weighing 2.84kg (6.26lb) and measuring 110cm (43.3″) long, the Seatylock Viking teeters on the edge of portability.
But there are several lengths of the Viking available If you’d prefer a longer or lighter weight chain.
At 2.8kg, you’ll notice the weight of the Viking 110 in a backpack, but this shouldn’t be a problem for most cyclists over shorter journeys.
Additionally, thanks to the generous length of the Viking 110, I was able to secure two bikes at the same time to a bike rack or bulkier immovable objects such as lampposts (streetlights).
If you don’t need to secure multiple bikes, the Viking 90, measuring 90cm (35.4″), is shorter and offers increased portability compared to the 110, weighing 2.5kg (5.3lb).
If you need a chain lock suitable for securing two or more bikes, the Viking 140 offers an extra 30cm of chain, measuring 140cm (55.1″) long and weighing in at 3.4kg (7.5lb).
Is the Seatylock Viking Portable?
I wouldn’t want to carry the Viking while cycling every day.
It’s slightly too heavy for portable use, and it became uncomfortable when carrying it in my backpack over long distances.
But don’t let that put you off, as there’s a simple workaround.
If you commute to work by bike each day, leaving the Seatylock Viking locked at your destination is a great way to access a practical and high-security lock upon arrival.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a highly portable bike lock that still offers the Sold Secure Gold rating, check out the Foldylock Forever, or for Sold Secure Diamond security, the Seatylock Mason is a top-quality D-lock from Seatylock.
The Foldylock Forever is Seatylock’s newly-released folding lock and happens to be the most secure folding lock on the market.
I don’t enjoy carrying chain locks over my shoulder as I don’t find it comfortable, especially when cycling on bumpy roads and paths.
I stay fit and exercise daily too, so unless you know the over-the-shoulder method will work for you, I’d stick to transporting this lock in a backpack (if you must) or using it as a stationary bike lock, as advised above.
Quality of Materials and Maintenance Requirements
I’ve always been impressed by the attention to detail that Seatylock’s design team pay to each lock they create.
Unlike many other lock manufacturers, Seatylock pushes the boundaries with each new lock and take extra measures to make them as functional and user-friendly as possible.
The Seatylock Viking is the first chain lock that I’ve used that utilises a protective neoprene sheath. Like any other chain sheath, this prevents the Viking from scratching your bike’s paintwork.
Because neoprene is padded, it also reduces the clinking noise of the chain links to a minimum, meaning you won’t be waking up the neighbourhood when securing your bike late at night.
Whilst we’re on the subject of the neoprene sleeve, I wasn’t hugely impressed with the way Seatylock secured it to the chain.
Underneath the silicone covers on either end of the chain, two small lengths of wire are bound around a thin stretch of the neoprene.
After two weeks of use, these wires have loosened revealing part of the chain underneath.
This poorly executed element makes the waterproof quality of the neoprene redundant since any water that enters the sheath will struggle to get out for some time.
It’d take some feat for the heat-treated steel to begin to rust, but trapped condensation will make the neoprene sleeve smell funny over time if it doesn’t dry out.
The locking chain link and the mechanism housing are covered by a soft silicone sleeve which prevents damage from knocks and drops.
Furthermore, the Viking also features an automatic keyhole cover, which stops unwanted debris from entering the locking mechanism, reducing the need for maintenance to a minimum.
If you’re planning to use the Viking chain lock daily, I’d recommend cleaning and lubricating the locking mechanism every other month, especially if you’re using it to secure your bike outdoors.
Keeping your lock lubricated and clean will increase its lifespan and prevent it from jamming whilst locked to your bike. Learn how to lubricate your bike lock properly here.
Locking Mechanism and Operation
Seatylock’s range of locks uses the same locking cylinder and slider keys, which offer good protection against picking and manipulation, whilst also operating smoothly.
The famous lockpicking Youtuber Bosnian Bill struggled to pick this locking mechanism and said it’s a “very complex lock” and that it was “really, really well done”. So enough said on that front.
Three coded keys are supplied with the Viking, which can be replaced if lost at a very affordable price.
Over four years of using Seatylock’s products, I haven’t had a single problem with the locking mechanism. It operates smoothly and requires minimal maintenance.
As previously covered, the automatic keyhole cover prevents dirt from entering the mechanism, prolonging the life of your lock.
On top of this, the Viking utilises powerful magnetic locking assistance. I’ve not come across magnetic locking before, but I hope to again as it dramatically increases the ease of use when securing your bike.
When the end chain link is inserted into the mouth of the mechanism, the high-strength magnet pulls the link into place. Then, all you need to do is turn the key.
Additionally, when unlocking your bike, the magnet holds the chain together until you’re ready to release it. Whereas on many cheaper chain locks, as soon as you unlock the mechanism, the chain falls out and can easily dent or chip your bike’s paintwork.
Good thinking Seatylock.
Is the Seatylock Viking Worth Its Price?
Compared to similar bicycle chain locks, the Viking retails at a fairly high price.
That being said, most chain locks with the Sold Secure Gold rating aren’t cheap due to the large amount of metal required to form their links.
You can find the latest price available for the Seeatylock Viking here [Amazon Link].
The ABUS CityChain 1060 is more expensive than the Kryptonite Evolution Series 4 chains, which is usually available at a slightly lower price [Amazon Link], but neither can compete with the Viking’s innovative features.
Alternatives to the Seatylock Viking Chain Lock
Kryptonite Evolution 1055 Mini Chain - More Affordable & Lightweight
Kryptonite’s 1055 mini is one of my favourite portable bike chain locks.
It’s affordable, offers Sold Secure Gold rated security and comes with all the features that you’d expect for a lock of its price, and more.
A good alternative for those who’re considering the Viking, but have a tighter budget.
You’ll miss out on several luxuries such as the magnetic auto-locking mechanism and an automatic keyhole cover. But if you can remember to close the cover, you shouldn’t have any issues with this chain.
Read my review here.
Foldylock Forever - Increased Portability
I recently reviewed the Foldylock Forever and was extremely impressed with its performance.
Seatylock’s original product was their folding bike lock which doubled up as a bike saddle, a product which they still produce, but one that’s taken more of a backseat in recent years. And for good reason.
The Foldylock Forever is the most secure folding bike lock that I’ve used to date. If you’re unfamiliar with folding locks, these bike locks provide a similar number of locking options to a chain lock, whilst matching or beating the portability of a D lock.
The Forever, like the Viking, is Sold Secure Gold rated, and is worth a look if you’ve liked the sound of this so far.
Read my in-depth review here.
Are Seatylock a Sustainable Company?
As I’ve mentioned before, I take it as part of my responsibility to pressure the businesses I work with to lessen their environmental impact.
After speaking to Michael Shenkerman, the CEO of Seatylock, I can conclude that Seatylock could be doing much more to promote sustainability.
Michael told me they’re working to remove plastic blister packaging from their products. A step in the right direction, but by the sound of it, there’s more that can be done.
I’m looking forward to seeing their progress within this avenue.
Seatylock Viking Warranty
Despite what the fob says that comes with Seatylock’s slider keys, the Viking comes with a three-year warranty.
Three years is generous compared to most manufacturers, who typically offer two in line with EU consumer regulations.
Regardless of their warranty, I’ve used Seatylock’s products for over four years and have never had a mechanical or manufacturing issue with any of their locks.
If you have an issue with any of your Seatylock products, Michael told me that you shouldn’t hesitate to get in touch, and the Seatylock team will be happy to assist wherever possible.
I only have good things to say about their customer service so far.
What's Included In the Box?
- Seatylock Viking
- 3 x Slider keys
- Key code card
- 2 x Seatylock stickers
How to Lock Your Bike With the Seatylock Viking
Locking your bike/bikes with the Seatylock Viking is a piece of cake.
When securing your bike, it’s crucial to lock components in order of value, as thieves will target the most valuable parts first.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, the frame will be the most valuable component of a bike, so you want to prioritise securing this before anything else.
One of the reasons why I chose the Viking 110 was that it offers more than enough locking space to secure the frame and rear wheel of my bike. The rear wheel of your bicycle is usually the second most expensive bike part.
With a chain lock, it’s beneficial for it to hang relatively loose when securing your bike. A loose chain will be able to bend and flex, significantly increasing the cutting difficulty of the chain with an angle grinder and other tools.
As mentioned towards the top of the article, I said I’d provide a hack to render bolt cutter almost useless against chain locks, so here it is:
When locking your bike with any chain lock, keep it as high as possible from the ground as possible, your bike included!
Thieves like to use the ground as leverage when using bolt cutters. This allows them to use their body weight to cut through your lock and reduces the strength required to do so.
Position your lock as high as possible and send thieves looking for an easier target.
Additional Security Tips for Using the Seatylock Viking
Knowing how easy it is to remove wheels from a bike, quick release or not, I always like to secure both bike wheels.
Seatylock sell a great cable extension cord that works seamlessly alongside the Viking chain locks.
Pass the cable through your additional bike components, then secure it by threading it around the Viking chain.
Alternatively, if you have the budget to afford it, using two different bike locks allows you to secure both wheels and your frame. Whilst heavily deterring any theft attempts.
Conclusion - Seatylock Viking Review
I’ve enjoyed using the Seatylock Viking for the past few weeks. I’ve felt confident using it to secure my bike in high-risk areas.
If you’re planning on using the Viking to secure a more expensive bike ($1,200+(£1000)), I’d recommend utilising another lock, such as a high-security D lock, since the Viking’s links aren’t thick enough to be considered “bolt cutter proof”.
That said, the Viking’s hardened steel links broke my brand-new 36-inch bolt cutters, which I expected to cut through like a knife through butter!
If you want a different lock recommendation or a secondary lock to use alongside the Viking, check out the Seatylock Mason.
As always, it’s worth using a good-quality bike lock to secure your bike.
Also, if you haven’t already, read this guide for several tips on how to increase your average cycling speed.
Lock it or lose it.
Ciao for now.