Best of both worlds? Litelok claims light weight with heavy security

Professor puts flexible lock with 'Boaflexicore' on Kickstarter

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.

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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