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Verdict: 
An innovative and secure lock that's impressively wearable and not too heavy
Weight: 
1,460g
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Litelok Gold Wearable
8 10

The Litelok Gold Wearable Bike Lock is a well-made, strong, wearable and innovative lock. It works well, though it's not ideal for all locking situations.

  • Pros: Light (relativey speaking), strong, easy to wear
  • Cons: Limited locking situations

One of the elements that annoys most urban cyclists is the need to constantly lug around heavy locks, so Litelok, which began life on Kickstarter in 2015, aimed to create a lock that was both light and easy to carry around. The latest iteration of this idea is the Litelok Gold Wearable, which I tried out around the streets of London.

> Find your nearest dealer here

At 1460g, the lock is pretty light. A direct comparison would be the Hiplok Gold Superbright that I reviewed last year, which comes in almost 1kg more at 2,400g. This is also 'wearable' and has the same basic wrap design.

Litelok Gold Wearable Bike Lock - lock.jpg

Litelok Gold Wearable Bike Lock - lock.jpg

The Abus Bordo Granit X-Plus, meanwhile, comes in at 1,658g – 2g off being a full 200g heavier – and not wearable. The regular D-lock that I use, the Kryptonite New York 3000, is 340g more.

> Read more road.cc reviews of bike locks

In terms of wearability, the Litelok Gold works well, with what Litelok calls its Lock Stopper system, meaning you can close the lock relatively securely without it being locked, so it's simple to just pull apart, lock and walk away. It also sits nicely around my waist thanks to the sizing element – the locks come in three lengths – and the medium didn't slip down or up too much because it can't.

Litelok Gold Wearable Bike Lock - worn.jpg

Litelok Gold Wearable Bike Lock - worn.jpg

The locking system works with the barrel beneath the main lock underneath a rubber cover, which helps to prevent striking attacks. There are also no real exposed edges around the lock where real force can be applied. I tried twisting, sawing, cutting and hammering the lock, and apart from some cosmetic damage to the outside I wasn't close to being able to break it. Perhaps you could get through it with an angle grinder, but it should thwart the more opportunist thief (and I don't own an angle grinder to test it).

Litelok Gold Wearable Bike Lock - lock 2.jpg

Litelok Gold Wearable Bike Lock - lock 2.jpg

This is thanks to the six separate bands of hardened patented Boaflexicore material that sit inside a band of what feels a little like Teflon. It certainly seems very strong and I wasn't surprised that it's been given Sold Secure Gold status by Sold Secure.

One of the slight downsides of the design is that it isn't great for all types of locking situations. For instance, at work I have vertical bike stands which lock at the bottom and because of the shape this couldn't fit around all of the various bends needed to lock properly. However, in all other situations I tried it and most bike racks this wasn't an issue.

> Beginner's guide to bike security – how to stop bike thieves and protect your bike

At a penny under £100, the Litelok seems a pretty decent price for a gold rated lock with some innovative features. The Hiplok Gold Superbright is £10 cheaper but almost double the weight, while the Abus Bordo Granit X-Plus is the same price but weighs about 200g more and is less practical.

Overall, the Litelok is really well designed and well made, deflecting all my attempts to break it while still being light and comfortable to wear when necessary. It would be nice to be able to use it in more awkward locking positions, but ultimately if you could it could fundamentally change some of its strengths.

Verdict

An innovative and secure lock that's impressively wearable and not too heavy

road.cc test report

Make and model: Litelok Gold Wearable

Size tested: Large

Tell us what the product is for

Litelok says, "Litelok Gold Wearable is our new, longer range of unisex bicycle locks that can be safely worn around your hips while you cycle. They sit comfortably around your body and don't get in the way of your cycling."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Litelok lists these features:

Sold Secure rating: Gold

Construction: Made from Boaflexicore®: a super tough & hard to cut material

Size:

Length - 925mm, Waist 30" - 32"

Length - 1000mm, Waist 32" - 34"

Length - 1075mm, Waist 34" - 38"

Lock: Flexible

Locking system: Click to lock

Unlock Method: Key to unlock

Keys: 3x keys on a stainless steel cable keyring

Mounting: 2x hook & loop WrapStraps

Extra Features: 1x Lock Stopper

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10

Really well made; I tried to get through it with a few tools and failed miserably.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

Did everything I expect from a lock, plus was easy to wear and take around.

Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10

Couldn't get through it at all, and the rubber surrounding the metal elements means it's not going to rust any time soon.

Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
8/10

Notably lighter than most similar locks I've used while still providing decent security.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
6/10

Not as comfortable to wear as a regular belt, but still not bad.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Not cheap, but about where I would expect it to be in terms of price.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Performed well, although would perhaps be nice to be able to lock it to more diverse objects.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The wearability element is good, and the lock stopper feature works really well.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Not being able to lock it to some objects.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes – if the rack at my office was a different design.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

A well-made and innovative lock that is comfortable enough to wear around town, simple to use and tough. It would be nice if it could be used in a few more diverse situations, but it's still impressive.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 29  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: Cinelli Gazzetta  My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking

George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc. 

When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.  

14 comments

Avatar
Peowpeowpeowlasers [604 posts] 4 weeks ago
5 likes

It'd be a shame if someone posted the sorry tale of a Litelok owner who found that his lock was so easily broken it was practically useless.  And it'd be a shame if that story also mentioned that Litelok, who don't want the publicity, took his YT video down.

https://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=13076261

Avatar
George Hill [26 posts] 4 weeks ago
0 likes

I tested the lock, admittedly I'm not a bike thief so the exact methodology of the most effective method of breaking a bike lock alludes me. I stuck a crowbar in it and twisted with no effect, I took a metal saw to it and I guess I could have maybe got through it with several hours of sawing, there's not really anywhere to use a hammer on it either, so those seem to be the most common methods and it was fine. 

So are you claiming that I am simply a pawn in the 'big bike lock' game? I can assure you I have no relationship with Litelok,  never taken any money from them and wouldn't even know who to ask if I wanted to. 

Avatar
hawkinspeter [1958 posts] 4 weeks ago
4 likes

Wow - LiteLok seem to have gotten a lot of YouTube videos removed due to "defamation". Here's a reddit thread talking about them: https://www.reddit.com/r/bicycling/comments/5f8s47/litelok_bike_theft_in...

It appears that the locks are susceptible to a twisting attack as the cable ends are crimped into the lock. Due to its flexibility, the twisting attack would concentrate the force on one side of the band until it got pulled out.

I understand that all locks have weaknesses (I've done a little bit of sport lock-picking), but this looks like quite a design flaw to me. What is more worrying is that LiteLok are getting videos removed and disallowing comments on their videos (though YouTube comments are typically a cesspool). And apparently SoldSecure response to a complaint was that they don't test all the locks!

Pic is of an alledged twisted LiteLok's frayed end:

 

Avatar
ktache [825 posts] 4 weeks ago
3 likes

Locks are a deterent to theives, for example no lock can withstand an angle grinder for too long.  This fault seems to be equivelant to the kryptonite barrel lock biro fault, not good.

Liteloc seem to be punishing the messenger and denying the message, Kryptonite had to do a worldwide product recall.

 

Avatar
Peowpeowpeowlasers [604 posts] 3 weeks ago
4 likes
George Hill wrote:

So are you claiming that I am simply a pawn in the 'big bike lock' game? I can assure you I have no relationship with Litelok,  never taken any money from them and wouldn't even know who to ask if I wanted to. 

I didn't mention any of those things and I don't know why you've written that.  I simply pointed out that Litelok is a crap design and that when people have demonstrated this on YouTube, Litelok have had the videos removed for "defamation".

Litelok are a shitty company with a shitty product.

Avatar
Peowpeowpeowlasers [604 posts] 3 weeks ago
3 likes

BTW, here's the "defamation" video.  You can't watch it in the UK because Litelok apparently think they're being defamed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJWh0piHSdc

But that's ok, because if you paste the url into this site...

http://convert2mp3.net/

...you can download and watch at your leisure.

Avatar
George Hill [26 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like

Peowpeowpeowlasers wrote:

George Hill wrote:

So are you claiming that I am simply a pawn in the 'big bike lock' game? I can assure you I have no relationship with Litelok,  never taken any money from them and wouldn't even know who to ask if I wanted to. 

I didn't mention any of those things and I don't know why you've written that.  I simply pointed out that Litelok is a crap design and that when people have demonstrated this on YouTube, Litelok have had the videos removed for "defamation".

Litelok are a shitty company with a shitty product.

Because you are saying that either I've deliberately not written about the negative elements or I've not tested this properly and that because you've seen some Youtube videos and read a couple of forum topics that I've not done my job as a reviewer. I used this lock every day for 6 weeks, tested with multiple tools to try and break it, and it was fine. If there is an obvious fault in the lock then I couldn't find it - perhaps if this is the case that there was an unsafe element it could have been a batch issue, because it's not something I found in my review - otherwise I would have written about it. 

Avatar
hawkinspeter [1958 posts] 3 weeks ago
4 likes
George Hill wrote:
Peowpeowpeowlasers wrote:
George Hill wrote:

So are you claiming that I am simply a pawn in the 'big bike lock' game? I can assure you I have no relationship with Litelok,  never taken any money from them and wouldn't even know who to ask if I wanted to. 

I didn't mention any of those things and I don't know why you've written that.  I simply pointed out that Litelok is a crap design and that when people have demonstrated this on YouTube, Litelok have had the videos removed for "defamation".

Litelok are a shitty company with a shitty product.

Because you are saying that either I've deliberately not written about the negative elements or I've not tested this properly and that because you've seen some Youtube videos and read a couple of forum topics that I've not done my job as a reviewer. I used this lock every day for 6 weeks, tested with multiple tools to try and break it, and it was fine. If there is an obvious fault in the lock then I couldn't find it - perhaps if this is the case that there was an unsafe element it could have been a batch issue, because it's not something I found in my review - otherwise I would have written about it. 

It seems to me that your being a bit too sensitive about this. I don 't expect a review to cover every possible aspect and if you didn't know about the twist/leverage attack then you can hardly be blamed for not trying it.

Avatar
Peowpeowpeowlasers [604 posts] 3 weeks ago
4 likes
George Hill wrote:

Because you are saying that either I've deliberately not written about the negative elements

No, you're doing the usual internet thing of trying to gain upper ground by inventing something that didn't happen.  I haven't said anything about your review, not one thing.  But you've managed to infer, albiet not using logic, that I have.

But you know what?  You're certainly doing a good job of suggesting to some people that you have something to hide, by repeatedly mentioning, completely unprompted, that you have nothing to hide.

George Hill wrote:

tested with multiple tools to try and break it, and it was fine.

Get an angle grinder on it, it'll last about 20 seconds.  Or use a crowbar's full length to twist the lock out of shape, so the strap is pulled directly out of the lock mechanism.  Which is exactly what the thief in the video above did.  Litelok are very keen to hide that simple fact - that their lock is badly designed.

We use gears on our bicycles so we can easily climb a steep hill that would otherwise be impossible.  The thief in the video above used exactly the same principle - a small levering force on one side of the pole, using the lock to exert a much larger force on the other.

Avatar
kil0ran [913 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes
Peowpeowpeowlasers wrote:

BTW, here's the "defamation" video.  You can't watch it in the UK because Litelok apparently think they're being defamed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJWh0piHSdc

But that's ok, because if you paste the url into this site...

http://convert2mp3.net/

...you can download and watch at your leisure.

Hmm, requires Flash, that'll end well...

Avatar
Jetmans Dad [46 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like

I'll be honest, given that my bike would be less than £350 to replace with a new one, like for like, I don't see the point in spending £100 on a lock, but if I was going to spend that much, I would want to be reassured that it was significantly more robust and secure than my current £30 lock.

Looking at the general feeling on these particular locks, I don't get that ... but I do like the idea of being able to wear the thing around my waist. 

Avatar
hawkinspeter [1958 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes
kil0ran wrote:
Peowpeowpeowlasers wrote:

BTW, here's the "defamation" video.  You can't watch it in the UK because Litelok apparently think they're being defamed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJWh0piHSdc

But that's ok, because if you paste the url into this site...

http://convert2mp3.net/

...you can download and watch at your leisure.

Hmm, requires Flash, that'll end well...

That's strange - I didn't get any issues and I'm running Firefox on Ubuntu Linux, so it would have balked at running Flash.

Avatar
CXR94Di2 [2110 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes
Peowpeowpeowlasers wrote:

BTW, here's the "defamation" video.  You can't watch it in the UK because Litelok apparently think they're being defamed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJWh0piHSdc

But that's ok, because if you paste the url into this site...

http://convert2mp3.net/

...you can download and watch at your leisure.

 

If you have a vpn, set it to usa server, watch video 

Avatar
Richard D [129 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes

I was able to use that site to watch the YouTube video on an old iPad, which really doesn't play nicely with things like Flash.

 

wasnt worth the effort, though, as I couldn't see how the lock was attacked or defeated.