Starting as a Kickstarter campaign in 2015, the Litelok Gold bike lock is now fully fledged and available to everyone. Taking a flexible approach to bike locks rather than the rigid D-lock types, this by no means it is a featherweight contender; in fact this is one big, strong super heavyweight opponent to the bike thieves out there.
I’m often left bemused by riders that will happily spend several thousands of pounds on the latest carbon bike with all the bling, yet will still leave their bike unlocked or locked with the most minuscule of devices whilst they go and have the obligatory bacon roll and coffee. It is a sad fact, but bike theft is all too common. You may have had a bike nicked yourself. Or you may have had a friend who’s pride and joy was ripped out of their possession. A once shimmering beacon of happiness, now stripped down to its bare bones, destined to end up on eBay or some Facebook buy/sell/swap page.
Prevention is always better than relying on your insurance, and a quality lock is a very good place to start.
When I received the Litelok Gold I was immediately impressed with the quality and robustness of it. This isn’t a weak pale ale, this is a strong stout that needs character and determination to sink. The Likelok Gold is available in three colours; Crow BIack, Herringbone or Boa Green. I am a fan of the bright Boa Green colour as it draws your eyes to it and will hopefully help deter the casual thief from trying to whip the bike away.
Some insurance companies stipulate a minimum standard of lock; the Litelok Gold has a Sold Secure Bicycle Gold rating, the highest available from the independent testing organisation. With its Boaflexicore, it can apparently ‘withstand well over 5 minutes of sustained attack from common theft tools’. I’m not going to doubt this, and from my experience of the Litelok Gold I think that is not an unreasonable claim. There are videos on the internet supposedly showing the lock being broken far quicker but I treat these with caution; as a consumer the Sold Secure rating is first on my checklist, it would be great to see it also tested and rated by ART.
I have used the lock in two main ways; the first to secure the bike to the car bike rack and the second through the rear wheel and frame preventing the bike from being wheeled anywhere easily, or certainly not without drawing attention. One limitation is that the lock is only 736mm (29-inches) long so, when wrapped into a circle, it is not that big (25cm diameter). This restricted it to only being used if the bike was on the inner position of my car bike rack and it was a struggle to fit it around some broader lamp posts. You can buy a set of two Liteloks (for a reduced £160) that link together not only solving that problem but also giving you greater flexibility. In addition, order together and the keys will open both locks – handy. Before you wince, £160 is only 6.4% of the value of a £2500 bike…
Strength generally is met with a weight cost but a single Litelok Gold only weighs 1.1kg; not something you can just put in your pocket but it comes supplied with two WrapStraps to help secure it to your frame, or you can stick it in a backpack/pannier comfortably. It’s still a very reasonable weight compared to other Sold Secure Gold rated locks. Also included are three keys (only needed for unlocking so make sure you have one before clasping together…) and a drawstring carry bag. A neoprene Litelok Skin is also available that is easily removed to wash if you are precious about things getting dirty.
At 53mm wide it can get a bit tight between spokes so it’s a good idea to be gentle when placing it through wheels and around the frame. Although the bulk is covered in rubber, the clasps are made of hardened steel so not hitting it hard against your frame is a good idea to not risk damaging the paintwork. Likewise, don’t rush removing it as it can spring open to its favoured flat position, again threatening the frame or your hand. These shouldn’t be read as negatives as it makes any thief’s job even harder, it just needs a bit of care from the user. There are great videos on the Litelok website that demonstrate the best way of fitting, removing etc.
A very secure, Sold Secure Gold rated bicycle lock that doesn’t weigh a ton and is more flexible than a D-lock. With various ways of securing your bike, high visibility, no-key-to-lock ease and serious stout I would get two from the start allowing more options to secure to objects. Expensive? Not compared to a new bike, insurance premiums or the latest ‘must have but don’t really need’ accessories. And that means the Litelok Gold gets my vote.
|Tested:||by Tom Nash for 6 weeks|