With bike theft at its highest rate ever, Sold Secure, the most popular testing house for high end bicycle and motorcycle security chains and locks have recently tightened up their approval for categories and introduced a new "Diamond" standard category. How does the new Litelok Core, marketed as their "Ultimate E-Bike Lock" combat rising bike theft?
Litelok Core Bicycle Locks - Expensive accessory or necessary against evil?
We recently ran an article on the benefits of tracking devices for ebikes and in the process, discovered that more than 285,000 bicycles are stolen in the UK each year. Better quality locks could have thwarted many of these thefts. A simple combination cable lock just isn't enough of a deterrent anymore and not locking it up at all is just an open invite.
The first step in securing any bike should be a good quality physical lock. Whether your bike costs £100 or £10,000, the annoyance and inconvenience of a theft can often linger for longer than it takes a clever or entirely brazen thief to make off with your wheels, especially if you rely on it for transport rather than just for leisure.
While a tracker is useful tool to recover a stolen bike, making a potential theft as long winded, difficult and noisy as possible is the key to deterring a determined thief from getting away with the bike in the first place. Thieves are more likely to be disturbed in the act if the theft takes longer to carry out. You might be unlucky enough to have a half cut lock, but at least you'll still have your bike!
It used to be widely advised to spend "at least 10% of the value of your bike on a locking solution" but with some electric bikes now costing upwards of £10,000, spending £1000 is actually quite difficult and a recent article on cyclist.co.uk suggests that if you can't find a lock worth 10% of the value of your bike, it's "probably too expensive to leave unattended", and we would agree!
A very good quality bicycle lock is an absolute must and the very first battle in the fight against theft.
What makes the Litelok Core better than other bicycle locks?
To begin here, its useful to know that there are four classifications from Sold Secure for bicycle locks. These are Bronze, Silver, Gold, and the new Diamond category which the Litelok Core has attained.
These categories each have their own minimum criteria in strength, resilience and construction. These are to meet what insurance companies expect to be used, based on the value of the bike. Its widely expected by bicycle and home insurance companies that for any bike over £1,000, a Sold Secure Rating of Gold is the very minimum standard that should be used, and they will normally ask for proof that you own a lock of this standard.
The Litelok Core is one of the very first products to have achieved the new Sold Secure Diamond rating. It achieves this through its construction and innovative use of multiple materials.
Its no longer enough to use a simple cable lock, or as in many cases, a D-Lock which can be cut through in just a few seconds with the bikes thieves current favourite weapon. The battery operated angle grinder - portable, but packing a huge amount of rotary cutting power they make many locks a sub 10 second job, cutting through them like cheese.
Litelock Core Construction
The "Core" of their new locking solution is where lies its strength, and how it achieved its Diamond rating. Each and every component material of the Litelok range is carefully considered for its design property.
Working from the inside out, the multi filament inner core of the lock is made from fine steel filaments. This type of construction provides a super strong core but retains a great deal of flexibility. Outside of this is a fine grain steel exoskeleton which absorbs energy from sustained hammer blows.
Moving out another layer, the polymeric matrix further enhances the security and protects the integrity of the inner layers while offering the steel internals the weatherproofing and corrosion resistance required to make this a long lasting locking solution. Finally, the braided outer sleeve protects the lock and your bike from abrasion. You don't want your new lock to damage your shiny new frame!
The locking mechanism has been overhauled with a hardened steel casing and a weather and shock resistant polymer outer layer. Both sides of this two piece lock are attached to the Core using two drill resistant stainless steel rivets. Inside, the key operated and pick resistant disc retainer locking mechanism is made from stainless steel and protected by a protective sliding key hole cover.
Litelok - Versatility at its Core.
Bicycle locks can sometimes be a bit of a hassle when it comes to transporting them. Unless you have a frame mounted D-Lock, often they end up loosely wrapped around a frame, clattering and banging with every bump in what can just about be called "roads" in some counties in the UK.
The Litelok Core range, as with their previous "Wearable" product, will have multiple transport or stowage options. Lots of commuting riders might use a backpack or pannier bag. If you don't have or want to use either of these, the Core has two of its own options.
The first is its "wearable" strap. Rather than providing multiple length locks to suit riders of all sizes, the wearable function is achieved using a width adjustable strap. Placing the lock around your waist, one side is secured to the other with a strap, fastened with Velcro.
The second are the stowage straps. Because bikes come in all shapes and sizes, these too are adjustable with Velcro closings. They also feature a rubberised thread band to stop it moving around, and also protects your frame. They've thought of everything!
How does the Litelok Core compare to its competitors?
The name Litelok points in a key direction. Traditionally, the heaviest locks were the strongest, because they were made out of the strongest materials. Litelok, with their unique choice of materials and clever construction have managed to outperform some of the strongest locks on the market, at a fraction of the weight. Comparing the 100cm Litelok version above to the "Brand C" option, Litelok does everything and more, at half the weight!
Its currently hard to compare the Core to competitor products because so few have managed to obtain the Diamond rating. In time, more companies will improve their locks to stay "current", but we're confident Litelok will still be the lightest. At the moment though, the Litelok Core, with its Diamond rating, is still lighter than locks with a lower rating. A real testament to the level of innovation in design and manufacturing process in this proudly British Made product.
Litelok in the Press
Litelok have been revolutionary in everything they've done, right since their very first Kickstarter. Racking up plenty of attention in related media and publications, they've also picked up a few awards along the way. This year, Litelock received the 2021 Red Dot award for Product Design. A highly sought-after award, it recognises products with with outstanding designs.
How much is it?
The new Litelok Core comes in two models and three colourways including the new Orange option.
The lock itself is available as either a 75cm length at £119.99, or 100cm length at £129.99 and both are available in Boa Green, Crow Black and Blaze Orange.