An angle grinder is often the tool used to caveat bike lock reviews; “it’s robust, but nothing will be able to fight against a determined thief with an angle grinder.”
UK brand Hiplok has decided that that's not good enough; enter the Hiplok D1000. Launching via a Kickstarter campaign today, the brand says that it is "the first truly portable U-lock built to withstand a severe, sustained angle grinder attack."
Of course, when Hiplok sent us a lock designed to withstand an angle grinder attack, our inclination at Cycling Weekly was to attack it with an angle grinder.
Notably, our initial press release referred to this lock as 'the first portable angle grinder bike proof lock', this later changed to 'the first portable anti-angle grinder lock', we tested the lock to the initial standard, but do note that the wording change is more accurate.
The results of the test are below, but first, an explainer on the tech and ratings...
Hiplok D1000 and Sold Secure ratings
As Hiplok's founders note in a joint letter, "motorized angle grinders are now frequently used to steal bikes. They can cut through even the highest rated locks in seconds – a fundamental problem that has, until now, seemed too difficult to solve."
The Hiplok D1000 is Diamond rated by independent testing company Sold Secure and uses a graphene composite Ferosafe; Hiplok says this material’s physical and chemical qualities make it resistant to the dreaded angle grinder.
A hardened steel core with a square profile is resistant to attacks from more traditional tools, such as bolt croppers.
The lock has a rubber cover, to prevent damage to paint work, and uses anti-rotation double locking tabs so that a thief would need to cut through both sides to be successful.
Sold Secure is an independent lock rating expert, it hands out its standards based upon how long a lock takes to fail, and what tools were required.
Hiplok's rep told us that none of the bike locks currently rated as “Bicycle Diamond Sold Secure” have been tested against the powers of an angle grinder, whilst in order to receive a “Motorcycle Diamond Sold Secure” rating, a lock has to withstand a 90 second attack.
The D1000 is not light, it weighs 1942g. The RRP will be £250, though the Earlybird Kickstarter price is £150.
Putting the Hiplok D1000 to the test
To carry out our test, we used a Bosch 750W 240V 115mm Corded Angle grinder (PWS 750-115). Note this is mains powered, something most thieves won't have access to.
We also secured the lock in a vice, which again makes success significantly more likely as most bike locks will not be held in place.
As a control, we used Hiplok's Sold Secure Silver rated D-lock. This is still a solid lock, the Silver rating is given to products that offers a balance between resistance to attack and portability.
Our angle grinder cut through this lock in 48 seconds.
Moving on to the D1000. We did get through the material. However, in the process, we ground down five complete discs. Not only this, but the process created plumes of smoke, dust and sparks - which would no doubt draw attention from the public. The process took over twenty minutes.
We only made one cut, as opposed to the two the brand said would be required due to the anti-rotation double locking tabs - but we found we could "stretch" the gap made my one cut to around 39mm.
Whilst the D1000 is not 'angle grinder proof' (as per the initial press release I received, before launch), it is certainly resistant to attack.
The D1000 launches was launched via a Kickstarter campaign, on September 30.
Cycling Weekly's Tech Editor Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining the two with a career in cycling journalism.
When not typing or testing, Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Favourite bikes include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6.
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