Bike lock vs. angle grinder
There’s no denying that angle grinders are an issue for bike owners. Whether you’re a cyclist or motorbiker (or both) you’ve likely had a run-in with a bike thief. Hopefully, this isn’t the case, but chances are someone may have tried to attack your bike security with an angle grinder at some point. We can only hope they weren’t successful.
Up until recently, bike locks able to withstand attack by angle grinder didn’t exist. Almost all bike and motorcycle locks can be cut in less than 30 seconds, making it very easy for a thief to get away with your bike. Angle grinders have become cheaper, more powerful and readily available, making them the tool of choice. That’s where we stepped in. We saw a problem that needed a solution, seemingly something the biggest security companies in the world didn’t spot. And so, the LITELOK X range was born.
Whilst we aren’t the first to release an angle grinder resistant bike lock, only a small number of people stepped up to find a solution. However, our technology differs from what’s already available. Barronium® is something we developed over a five-year period, working with leading UK material scientists to create a compound that turns an angle grinder’s energy back on itself.
What tools do bike thieves use?
Understandably, there isn’t much in the way of data to show which tools are being used during bike thefts. However, we’d hazard a guess that thieves will go for the quickest, cheapest and most convenient way of stealing a bike. You only have to do a quick search online to see bikes targeted by thieves with angle grinders, most in broad daylight in busy areas. People will rarely stand up against the kind of person brandishing an angle grinder in the middle of the day (for good reason).
Certain thieves opt for a more stealthy approach, but overall, they will go for what they perceive to be the easiest target, or the one that will net the most profit.
How do bike locks get tested?
Here at LITELOK, we put our locks through extensive testing, this is before it even leaves us to go to the likes of Sold Secure for independent accreditation!
Whether it’s us or an outside agency, locks are tested against specific ratings. These differ by organisation. For example, Sold Secure have bronze, silver, gold and diamond. ART has a 1-5 star rating system, rated against how well a lock withstands an attack.
Sold Secure don’t divulge precisely what happens with their tests, but they do work closely with the police and insurance companies to stay up to date with the methods that are being used by thieves. From freezing to bolt cutters, locks undergo a barrage of tests based on the rating they are being approved for. If you’re curious about what the ratings are, we wrote a handy guide on that here.
Do bike thieves pick locks?
There isn’t much in the way of data to back this up either way, but from our experience, thieves will opt for destructive methods over something skilled like lockpicking. If it’s a major concern, we’d recommend our X3, it’s been equipped with an ABLOY® SENTRY lock, something virtually unpickable. But for most of us, lockpicking is something you’ll rarely encounter.
Of course, there are many locks that are quick and easy to pick. Many don’t require much, if any skill to crack, but as mentioned, this is something that is considered during production to make sure our locks stand up to what our locks will be up against.
Won’t thieves just cut what the bike is locked to?
Whilst there have been instances of this happening, and we are advocates for better bike storage in city centres, this happens less than you’d think. Again, we don’t have stats on this, but through conversations with different police forces and local government bodies, they tell us they’ve rarely had to replace bike stands. Thieves don’t have to target the racks because so many locks can be snipped off, and thieves can be away in seconds.
Whilst the rise in angle grinder resistant locks may see this increase, it takes quite a while to cut through railings or bike stands. Now, we’re not saying this doesn’t happen, of course it does. If a thief wants your bike they will do everything they can to get it. So, where possible, use more than one lock, don’t leave it for too long, and if you can, bring it with you wherever possible.
Is there a bike lock that can’t be cut?
No, unfortunately not. All locks can be cut, it’s just a matter of how long it takes. No bike lock is unbreakable, but the technology has vastly improved in the last five years. The reality is, angle grinders have become one of the most commonly used tools by bike thieves. Perhaps the most concerning thing is the fact most locks can be cut through in a matter of seconds. It’s one of the reasons we developed our X range.
The reality is, all locks can be cut, even if they say they are angle grinder proof. Our X1 and X3 have varying levels of our Barronium® armour. The X1 will take a lot longer to cut than many of the leading D-locks on the market, and the X3 even more so.
So why buy one? You’re essentially buying peace of mind. You can leave your bike knowing that whilst it may be targeted, thieves will likely give up before they get close to getting through. The time it takes to get through the locks means there’s more chance of them being discovered.
Want peace of mind? Try our X range. The X1 is ideal for those who want a high-security lock that’s easy to carry. The X3 is for those who want the ultimate security. Perfect for those with high-value bikes. Not sure which one to buy? See a comparison from Bennetts here.
If you have questions about any of our bike locks, get in touch! We’re more than happy to advise on what might work best. Let us help you find your perfect lock.