About this project
Even though bikes are getting lighter and lighter, secure locks are getting heavier and heavier. That’s because they’re made using heavy metal chains and tubes and it’s the thickness of the metal that’s meant to provide additional security.
I thought there had to be a better option.
Hi, I’m Professor Neil Barron, an industrial designer and entrepreneur with a background in Aeronautics and Astronautics and over 25 years of experience running my own design and innovation company.
My team and I decided to take a radical new design approach to solve this problem. By harnessing the unique security properties of multiple innovative lightweight materials we created a composite strap called Boaflexicore®. Each layer provides additional security, meaning it can withstand sustained attack from tools like cable cutters, bolt croppers and hacksaws.
We have combined Boaflexicore® with a patented inline lock to create Litelok®, a revolutionary new bike lock that is lightweight, flexible, and super secure. It weighs less than 1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) and unlike D and U locks, is flexible and easy to secure around fixed objects. Plus, it snaps securely shut without the need for a key.
After several years of extensive research, design, development, engineering and testing, we’ve been able to turn an idea into a fully working prototype that we are extremely excited about.
Now we need you to help us bring the world’s first lightweight, secure bike lock to market.
As featured by:
Here's some of what they've been saying:
‘Litelok breaks the old rule about bike locks, is both light and strong’ - Treehugger.com
‘The Litelok provides a great solution to the existing problem, wherein people who want the security of a U-lock have to accept the discomfort of lugging several extra pounds around’ - Trendhunter
‘The ability to securely lock it while coffee and cake are consumed, removes the need to sit right by the window and keep an eye open for miscreants’ - the washing machine post
‘This new “Litelok” thing looks very promising. light, flexible, and very strong. ' - BikePortland
‘Light. Strong. Flexible. Easy to carry. Sounds like the ideal bike lock?’- Artcrank
‘This looks a superb product! Could it be the best ever #touring bike lock design’ - Cycle Tour Store
‘Best of both worlds?’- BikeRadar
‘The dudes at Litelok invented a brand new composite material with a name that's almost as cool as what it does, Boaflexicore.’ - Pure City Cycles
‘A lightweight lock that's actually worth using?’ - Boneshaker Magazine
‘Bike locks have never looked so good!’ - Bare Conductive
As a designer with an aerospace engineering background, researching and using strong, lightweight materials has always been a primary focus. This has given me the experience and knowledge with which to develop Litelok®.
Weighing under 1 Kg (2.2 lbs), Litelok® is significantly lighter than every other secure bike lock currently on the market. Sure, there’s light cable locks out there but they can be cut in seconds.
As you can see in the video, Litelok® is lighter than even the smallest secure D-locks and chains.
There’s currently nothing on the market that offers the flexibility and security of Litelok®. This flexibility means it’s easier to secure around a much wider array of fixed objects such as tree trunks, lamp posts, concrete posts, fencing, railings, sign posts than D or U locks.
It also allows the lock to be attached easily to both your bike and your backpack.
The launch Litelok® is 29 inches or 736mm long (or circumference when it becomes a circle). We have optimised this through user testing in most common situations but in the future will be able to offer different lengths.
Litelok® is so strong it can withstand sustained attack from all of the tools commonly used by bike thieves such as cable cutters, bolt croppers, hacksaws, jacks and hammers.
This is due to the composite nature of the Boaflexicore® strap and virtually indestructible hardened steel alloy lock housing. The strap includes multiple innovative lightweight materials, each of which provides a different and additional layer of security against the various tools and the lock cylinder and mechanism is well protected by the innovative lock casing design.
Litelok® meets all British and International lock quality standards and in-house testing has proven that it takes well over five minutes to cut or break the strap and lock. This exceeds the highest level of security rating awarded by the independent testing and certification houses for security products.
Here's a compilation of some of our in-house testing:
Our technology and designs are protected by a number of patent applications and trademarks.
Litelok® has been designed and engineered to simply click closed without the need for a key, making it faster and easier to secure. A key is only used to unlock your bike.
The patent pending in-line lock has been developed with a well-known UK lock manufacturer and has been tested and trialled to ensure it is the most reliable and secure lock possible.
Litelok® is easy to carry - we supply two wrap straps with each Litelok® so you can attach them wherever you like on your bike. We suggest attaching it securely to your bike frame as shown in our film, but you may have a rack or brackets already fitted so it's up to you.
We’ve also designed a custom frame bag, which attaches to your bike frame via hook and loop fixings. As it’s light and flexible Litelok® is also easy to pop in or on your bag or backpack.
Our innovative in-line lock allows us to offer Litelok® in twin-lock format - ie a multi-pack of two Liteloks which operate from the same unique key.
You can use the two Liteloks together (in parallel or on separate wheels) for extra security, or joined together (in series) for extra length.
You may even want to have a pair of locks for your children, or one for you and your partner or one for your urban commuter bike and one for your weekend ride, all that can be opened with the same key.
We think you are going to love this feature.
Litelok® comes in three water and dirt resistant colours: Reflective Boa Green, Crow Black and Herringbone.
We think there's something here for everyone but are happy to listen to other suggestions and develop our colour range going forwards. In the Litelok® team, we each have our favourite – let us know which is yours?
Litelok® pledge colour key:
Why do we need you?
Your generous pledges will go towards tooling, accreditation and the initial production run.
Litelok® was founded at the end of 2013 by Neil Barron and Will Riley, two old Southampton University friends, to develop and commercialise the Litelok® lightweight bike lock idea.
Prof Neil Barron is an industrial designer and entrepreneur with a degree and background in Aeronautics and Astronautics (Rolls-Royce) and over 25 years experience running Gusto Design Ltd, a design consultancy working on the design and development of many award winning products for international markets.
Neil has an MA in Industrial Design and a postgraduate research degree (MPhil) from the Royal College of Art. He is also a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor of Innovation at Queen Mary University London as well as part time Senior Tutor at The Royal College of Art Innovation Design Engineering department with Imperial College, London.
Will Riley held brand and marketing management roles in the UK and New Zealand before setting up Apollo Marketing in 1997. Under Will’s leadership Apollo became the most awarded and successful activations agency in Australasia. Apollo was acquired by Aegis Media, for whom Will worked until late 2011. As well as Litelok®, Will is also a Director and co-founder of The Idea Shed, an independent ideas and innovations agency based in Sydney, Australia.
Litelok® operates between London and South Wales, UK.
Neil, Will and the Litelok® team are well qualified to turn the dream of a lightweight, secure bike lock into reality.
Special thanks to Baljit, Esmond, Claudia, Jane, Jelena, Nathan and Rhys at Zipline, Wheelies, Mick, Ben and of course Matt and Erik!
Risks and challenges
To ensure that we deliver a product of the highest quality, we have extensively tested prototypes for performance and durability both in house and through a lock certification agency.
We will continue to consistently test our products against all of the standard tools that a bike thief will use to make sure that Litelok® is as secure as it can be, without compromising lightness and flexibility.
Due to the complexity and cost of making a lock this light, there is a small possibility that the final specification may change but we will make sure we update you on our progress.
If we receive a very large amount of backing, there is a possibility that there could be a small delay in production, however, the quality of Litelok® will never be compromised.
We have many years of experience in developing innovative new products and so we are confident about managing the production process and any issues that may arise.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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