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TECH NEWS

New Litelok X locks “offer unparalleled resistance to angle grinders”

Is this really the world’s most angle grinder-resistant and pick-proof bike lock?

Litelok has launched a range of lightweight D-locks that are armoured with what's called Barronium, a new material that “offers unparalleled resistance to angle grinders”, it claims.

Litelok says, “Fully armoured with patent pending, anti-angle grinder technology, Litelok X is up to 15 times more secure, yet lighter than the best performing D-locks already on the market.”

Litelok says that Barronium is “a brand-new composite armour that is fused to a hardened fine-grain high-tensile steel core and covered with a soft plant-based eco-rubber outer layer to provide an unprecedented three layers of protection”.

2022 Litelok X - 1 (1)

“All Litelok X D-locks contain three levels of protection, but it’s the layer of Barronium that makes them unique,” says Litelok. “Barronium is a patent pending composite material that resists angle grinder attack by turning the grinder's energy and force on itself. Layers of Barronium are permanently fused to the lock’s core in a specific geometry. Attempts to attack it with an angle grinder wear down multiple grinder disks, batteries and, ultimately, the grinder motor itself.”

> Litelok launches 'toughest, flexible lock for bikes' in wearable and mounted options 

The Litelok X1 (£149.99, available now) weighs 1.7kg and has internal dimensions of 101 x 196mm. It comes with an ART4 accredited cylinder (ART is a Dutch organisation that provides approval ratings for locks, up to five stars). Litelok calls the X1 “the world’s lightest, most practical and convenient angle grinder resistant bike lock”.

The Litelok X3 (£279.99, available in November) weighs 1.9kg and has internal dimensions of 99 x 194mm. It features an Abloy Sentry lock cylinder which Litelok describes as “the most pick-proof locking mechanism available and the only example fitted to a bicycle or motorcycle lock”. 

Both come with Litelok’s Twist + Go mount that fixes to any style of bike. Litelok has also collaborated with fellow British brand Restrap to create a co-branded lock holster for Litelok X.

Get more info from www.litelok.com

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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40 comments

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Sriracha | 1 year ago
0 likes

In terms of preventing them riding your bike away, I wonder whether a simple (Dutch style) frame lock is not more effective - especially as it will always be with you. I don't suppose you can actually bring an angle grinder to bear on a frame lock. Obviously they could cart your bike away, but for lower end bikes that don't attract gangs on mopeds? Coupled with an ordinary D-lock I think that'd put off most thieves, provided they noticed the frame lock to begin with.

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chrisonabike replied to Sriracha | 1 year ago
1 like

Agree - I'd go with your idea combined with an addition - the plug-in chain lock.  That just stops the nuisance of kids wheeling it down an alley then dumping it.  As you say maybe a (cheap-ish, cable) second lock for the front wheel.  After all if the owner *has* used a hundred-pound lock, maybe what's locked is valuable?

Edit - this chap agrees with you.

For best effect the simple frame lock should be combined with a simple Dutch bike (English Roadster).  So that's heavy and if a step-through is awkward to carry.  Not "cool" (mostly...).  Ideally should be old and beat up.  Or a "bike-shaped-object" e.g. bottom of the range hard-tail mountain-style bike.

If you're a thief with transport / are looking to grab several bikes every day I imagine you move around to maximise your rewards - the above won't cover your costs!

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Ratfink replied to Sriracha | 1 year ago
0 likes

It's easy to angle grind a frame lock cut it on the left hand side and the spring pulls the bar back into the lock.

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Sriracha replied to Ratfink | 1 year ago
0 likes

Maybe on some, but I'm told the better ones lock at both ends, so you would have to make two cuts. Depending on how it's mounted, it could be quite delicate manoeuvring a beefy angle grinder in there without slicing the frame.

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Ratfink replied to Sriracha | 1 year ago
0 likes

Never seen one like that but the standard AXA locks i've cut through with a plug in angle grinder loads of times without damaging the frame.(I'll leave you wondering why but i wasn't stealing bikes).

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NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
1 like

Once it gets properly tested and (if) it proves to be truly angle grinder proof I'll be buying one, although at 3 days wages it's pretty expensive!

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Sriracha | 1 year ago
6 likes

£280? The lock is supposed to prevent theft, not embody it.

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Fignon's ghost replied to Sriracha | 1 year ago
1 like

Ha!

Perhaps next we'll see a lock made of Mithril silver. A snip at just under 2 Grand

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chrisonabike replied to Fignon's ghost | 1 year ago
4 likes

Given the weight I'd imagine it should be physically tough at least.  Always a compromise - the SAF lock is supposed to be very grinder-resistant but is massive and extremely heavy.

It's all moot 'till the LockPickingLawyer's had a chance to poke it.  Previous investigations have found locks where to get it down to a price point the "Mithril" can actually can be cut with cheap tin snips (or maybe simple croppers).  Or the Mithril's good but the lock is made out of marshmallow, or held in place with plastic, or secured by screws hidden under plastic...

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ktache replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
1 like

Has he had a go at an abloy sentry?

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chrisonabike replied to ktache | 1 year ago
2 likes

Don't think so but he's done the "Enforcer" and I believe that has a more difficult / specialised core.  There are some videos out on the Sentry which appear to show it would go with "the pick which Bosnian Bill and I made".

The one to go for - given the tone on here - would clearly be the skunk lock, he's got a video on that one too.  Or maybe a Squire Stronghold and a motorbike chain - although that is apparently vulnerable to rifle-calibre armour-piercing bullets if you can get enough ammo.

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Sriracha replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
5 likes

Thing is, LPL himself uses a bike lock that he can pick within seconds. Because as he knows, the scum don't pick locks, they use angle grinders.
https://youtu.be/SpVOTEOMRuE

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chrisonabike replied to Sriracha | 1 year ago
1 like

Indeed and that's why he's a good source - he understands the trade-offs and can point at the flawed examples.  Those are not always obvious to the rest of us.  For me it's a case of "all other things being equal".  I'm really paying to "keep honest people honest" with a side order of "if some opportunist (armed with the internet and stolen tools but not an angle-grinder) sees my bike, they'll go elsewhere".

After destroying one lock plus its hype LPL did point out that it could have "better than nothing" uses e.g. stopping a kid grabbing one and riding off.  I believe that has happened to a certain pro!

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TheBillder replied to Sriracha | 1 year ago
0 likes

My first D lock (Kryptolok, 1988) was over 10% of the cost of the whole bike, even after adding a rack and mudguards. At £280, you might well go for this one for an e-bike. I suspect most £2800 road bikes are locked with much less but only left in public at cake time.

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brooksby | 1 year ago
0 likes

(edit)

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the little onion replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
3 likes

It's worse than that - I believe that stuff was called unobtanium. A classic case of blowing the budget on the special effects, and forgetting to buy a script.....

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Zazz53 | 1 year ago
3 likes

I have wondered why someone can't invent a lock which is hollow and filled with a superglue that is air and/or heat activated.  It could ruin angle grinders before the lock was compromised.  If you added a permanent and traceable dye to the mix then you might be able to use it in evidence as well.  

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hawkinspeter replied to Zazz53 | 1 year ago
7 likes
Zazz53 wrote:

I have wondered why someone can't invent a lock which is hollow and filled with a superglue that is air and/or heat activated.  It could ruin angle grinders before the lock was compromised.  If you added a permanent and traceable dye to the mix then you might be able to use it in evidence as well.  

A better tactic is for the police (or what remains of them) to use GPS tagged honeypot bikes. Put them in well known thievery hotspots, wait for it to be nicked and then go catch whoever has the stolen bike.

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jaymack replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
2 likes

They do and then, as reported in Cycling Weekly a long, long time ago in what seems like a galaxy far away, the CPS slap money laundering charges on the mother's/girlfriends into whose bank accounts the n'er do well paid the funds received from selling the bikes on. That put a smile on my face but was of course in the days when we were encouraged to try fresh ideas and had a few pennies to spend on them. 

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hawkinspeter replied to jaymack | 1 year ago
1 like

jaymack wrote:

They do and then, as reported in Cycling Weekly a long, long time ago in what seems like a galaxy far away, the CPS slap money laundering charges on the mother's/girlfriends into whose bank accounts the n'er do well paid the funds received from selling the bikes on. That put a smile on my face but was of course in the days when we were encouraged to try fresh ideas and had a few pennies to spend on them. 

In theory, it's an easy crime to foil as there are well known places that the thieves operate whereas house burglary would be harder to stop as the police wouldn't know where the burglars would be striking next.

With the police being deprived of resources, I wonder if a collective could work? Maybe get a bunch of cyclists to donate some cash and that cash would then be spent on obtaining some honeypot bikes, GPS tags and employing some people to do the legwork. Of course, there would still need to be police involvement unless some kind of vigilantism was used.

If we're happy with vigilantism, then an alternate scheme would be to obtain honeypot bikes, explosives and remote triggers. Stuff the explosives into the bike tubes/tyres and detonate some time after the bike is stolen. Maybe have it on a timer so that it explodes five minutes after the bike is stolen.

However, it's generally frowned upon by law experts to be setting traps for people and certainly I don't believe that property is more important/valuable than people's lives. It's a fun idea, though.

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
2 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

[...] certainly I don't believe that property is more important/valuable than people's lives.

Communist!

EDIT News just in suggests that communists may hold that certain state property is more important/valuable than people's lives.  Sorry Ivan, it's expensive to get another tank...

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Gimpl | 1 year ago
3 likes

All fine and dandy until you lose the key like my Son did the other week outside the gym!

Rather worryingly I managed to cut through his with a pair of tin snips!!

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Bungle_52 replied to Gimpl | 1 year ago
5 likes

I think that once you're down to one key it's time for a new lock.

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Gimpl replied to Bungle_52 | 1 year ago
4 likes

Bungle_52 wrote:

I think that once you're down to one key it's time for a new lock.

Completely agree - now if you can tell me how to re-aquaint a 19 year old with the common sense he was born with...............

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Bungle_52 replied to Gimpl | 1 year ago
2 likes

A fair point. Patience is the only answer I'm afraid.

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Simon_MacMichael replied to Gimpl | 1 year ago
1 like

Gimpl wrote:

All fine and dandy until you lose the key like my Son did the other week outside the gym!

Rather worryingly I managed to cut through his with a pair of tin snips!!

That reminds me, I do need to get another spare key for my Litelok when I get back.

It's a wearable one ... I was pretty much at the tube station heading for the Eurostar to start my current trip when I realised it was still round my waist, it is currently being looked after by my local pub  1

 

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Hirsute replied to Simon_MacMichael | 1 year ago
1 like

Not sure about these wearable ones since Rendell pointed out the damage to yourself on coming off.

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Hirsute | 1 year ago
0 likes

1.9 kg !!

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Steve K replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
3 likes

hirsute wrote:

1.9 kg !!

That's how much the Hiplok D1000 weighs.  Having said that, I was glad this morning that I had one.  My bike was untouched, but...

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cherryredDMs replied to Steve K | 1 year ago
1 like

Second Hiplok user here. Only had it a few months. It's not got the longest range and is quite hard to secure to objects, so tend to use in conjunction with a litelok.

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