We’ve been keeping an eye out for alternate bike locks for years, ever since stuffing heavy u-locks down our waistbands or having their plastic frame mounts rattle and fail. Several weeks ago we spotted a different solution in what looks like a more flexible lock from upstart Litelok that makes use of a series of layers of lightweight materials, which combine together with an easy to use locking mechanism to offer pretty solid security (and resistance to attack) at a fraction of the weight we are used to.
Plus, that day-glo green is pretty cool too. Click past the break quickly as their Kickstarter only has a couple of days to go, and get some more details on the Litelok and its options…
The key to the this new lock being brought to reality through Kickstarter is a small flexible strap that joins will a solid clasp to make it easy to use locking to all types of frames and fixed objects. The material of the multi-layer strap is they key; called Boaflexcore, each layer was optimized for security against typical thieves’ tools and adding them together yields a very secure lock that remains light and flexible.
Combine the strap with an almost indestructible hardened steel latch housing, and you get a secure and easy to use lock, which clicks shut to lock without key. The Boaflexcore is apparently strong enough to withstand sustained attack from your typical thieving tools-of-the-trade, like cable and bolt cutters, hacksaws, car jacks, hammers, and lightweight torches. Litelok even has some fun attack GIFs and videos over on their Kickstarter page showing how long the lock held up in their testing.
The lock is 736mm/29″ long from clasp to clasp. This becomes the effective circumference when it is looped around an object, meaning a 234mm diameter, or just over 9″. That makes it a little bigger inside than most u-locks we’ve used, but the benefit comes mostly in being able to bend around trees, fences, and other unusual objects (like bike frames and wheels.)
The Litelok is available on Kickstarter in the white and black Herringbone and Boa Green above, plus a shiny all-black option. Each one will come with a pair of soft straps to mount it to the frame for transport, either looped and locked as above, or straight extending along the toptube for example. One lock weighs just under 1kg/2.2lbs, making it almost half the weight of our standard 22cm/9″ long u-lock and about 1/5 of our chain lock which is about 30% longer (and presumably more secure.)
An option named Twin Litelok lets you double the fun, by using one lock for each wheel, using two next to each other to double the time to defeat it, or linked together daisy-chain-style to reach and lock around bigger objects. Another nice thing about the Twin Liteloks is that they are keyed the same with matching locksets. And since each lock comes with 2 keys (2 keys for a single lock, 4 for the double), it would be convenient for two people to share locks that either one can open.
Pricing on the Kickstarter is £80 for one, £155 for the twinsies. Delivery will be in August 2015. We got in touch with the designer Neil Barron, an industrial designer in London with 25+ years of aerospace experience, and he was pleased with how things have gone. The funding campaign was better supported than expected, which means this will definitely be making it off the drawing board into production. He went in with a £20,000 goal and the project now has over 1,600 backers and £180,000 in seed money to really get this off the ground and up and running. How distribution will happen after the Kickstarter backers receive the first locks this summer is up in the air, but Neil promised to keep us in the loop, and we’ll be curious to hear more from him.
Now there are only 2 days to get in on their Kickstarter campaign, so jump on it now. The project will be funded on Thursday, Apr 23 2015 23:00 Europe time, 5pm on the east coast in the US.