With a new angle grinder resistant material, rubber coating and a nice mount for your bike, the Litelok X1 is a really great product. Coming in at £149.99, it costs more than many people’s commuter bikes but if you want to keep your bike safe, it seems worth the spend.
Lightweight and easy to carry
Good range of accessories available
Rubber outer layer protects your frame from scratches
More expensive than some second-hand bikes...
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Angle grinders are the weapon of choice for many bike thieves these days; many ostensibly tough D-locks can be made light work of using these power tools. And so, to guard against these attacks, the Litelok X1 makes use of the brand's new, patent pending, material: 'Barronium' - which is supposed to be resistant to angle grinder attacks.
Litelok claims the X1 is “at least 5 times more” resistant than the best bike locks on the market - D-locks in particular - all without adding extra weight or much bulk. It's a bold claim to make, but then that is reflected in the price, which at $179.99 / £149.99 is rather higher than most competitors.
Litelok X1: construction
When it comes to locking up your bike securely, the location and object that you're securing your bike in and to are both very important. Making up the final point of the triangle, though, is a high quality and robust that's able to resist attack - and that's where the Litelok X1 comes in.
In the construction is Litelok’s own 'Barronium' composite, developed by Litelok's CEO, Professor Neil Barron. The outer layer of this material is covered by a plant-based ecological rubber, which helps prevent frame damage.
Naturally, a robust lock still needs to be reasonably lightweight and portable enough for it to actually be used on a regular basis, whether that's locking your bike up at work after a cycle-commute in or by the cafe or pub when meeting up with friends.
The Litelok X1's 1,7 kilos are noticeable, there's no getting around that. But considering the size of the lock and its security rating, that's a respectable weight. It's possible to get a Sold Secure Gold rated lock for around a kilo, but those tend to be bordering on impractically small.
With a lockable area of 101x196mm, the Litelok is more generously sized and it boasts a full Diamond rating for both bicycles and motorbikes - the highest level rating that Sold Secure will award.
Practically, this means that locking the frame, a wheel and a thick bike rack was never an issue. The lock is an adequate size for all locking during the review process. I did not come across a bike rack or U lock outside a shop that was too large.
Locking and unlocking the Litelok X1 is easy, it comes with two keys (and a key replacement service) and the lock is covered with a flexible rubber dust cap keeping the lock free from debris. Due to its locking circumference, it was easy to lock the bike up in all of the different places that I needed to and in general, the Litelok X1 was a pleasure to use.
When attached to the twist-and-go frame mount, the lock is held steadfastly in place. None of Southampton’s curbs or potholes were able to dislodge the lock from the mount and, as a result, I didn't really notice the weight of the lock too much when riding at a leisurely speed.
I didn't take an angle grinder to this lock (stay tuned for something on that later!), but a one-off cut by a single reviewer doesn't actually tell you that much. Testing this side of things is better when standardised and repeated across hundreds of locks - and also systemically testing other elements as well, such as resistance to lock picking.
That requires a whole lot of resources, but fortunately there are independent companies which do that - Sold Secure being prominent amongst them. So, in earning the Diamond rating, I'm quite satisfied of the security of this lock - it goes beyond the Gold standard which is what most insurers require for bikes that have their worth in the thousands.
Value and conclusion
At $179.99 / £149.99 this is not a cheap bike lock. The On-Guard Brute similarly has a Diamond Sold Secure rating, but comes in at only $89.95 / £60.00. Then again, the Diamond rating only tells us that both locks have hit a particular standard - it doesn't say how far past the standard either lock landed. If your bike is irreplaceable - even if insured - then the Litelok X1 might still be the better choice.
It did certainly have an excellent build quality and together with the sturdy bracket, the Litelok X1 was a pleasure to use.
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Tom Epton is a freelance writer and data scientist. Originally training as a scientist after completing his studies in physics he realised that cycling was what he wanted to spend his life thinking about. Now he works with manufacturers, athletes and teams using cutting edge data science methods to find performance gains. Tom writes primarily about sport-science and tech!
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