When it comes to bike locks, you have two main options: lightweight models that aren't very secure, or heavy-duty locks that are a pain to carry. But what if you could have the best of both worlds? According to its inventor, Litelok offers just that – it's said to weigh just 1kg (2.2lb) but be able to "withstand sustained attack from tools like cable cutters, bolt croppers and hacksaws".
Neil Barron, a design professor at the Queen Mary University of London, is an aeronautical engineer by trade and a cyclist by passion. He has worked on the design for years, he says, and has now put Litelok on the the crowdfunding site Kickstarter in an attemmpt to raise £20,000 / US$29,500 to get it into production. As of today, Litelok is more than halfway to its goal.
"Litelok harnesses the unique security properties of multiple innovative lightweight materials to create a composite strap called Boaflexicore," Barron said. "Each layer provides additional security."
As well as being light, Litelok can wrap around fixed objects – definitely an advantage over heavy-duty U locks.
Litelok has a patented inline lock that was developed with UK manufacturer Henry Squire and Sons Ltd, which snaps shut without a key.
If and when it launches, Litelok will be available in three designs – reflective green, black and herringbone black and white pattern – with two custom Velcro straps for attaching it to a bike.