OK. It’s the battle of the angle grinder resistant bike locks. The Hiplok D1000 vs the Litelok X1. Which lock is the most secure? Which lock is the easiest to use. And which bike lock, ultimately, deserves a considerable chunk of your money?
At first glance, it might seem like a difficult decision between two very similar locks.
But in reality, they’re quite different, so the decision (which should always be based on your personal circumstances), should also be relatively easy.
Let’s get into it…
The Hiplok D1000 is significantly more secure, but also significantly more expensive and may be too small for many cyclists.
Width: 3.97" (10.1 cm)
Width: 3.62" (9.2 cm)
Length: 7.7" (19.6 cm)
Length: 6.1" (15.5 cm)
3.7 lb (1.7 kg)
4.2 lb (1.9 kg)
Litelok X1 vs Hiplok D1000: Which is most secure?
Both locks are extremely secure, being two, of only three locks that have been awarded Sold Secure's top level Motorcycle Diamond rating.
They both have shackles that lock on both sides to prevent leverage attacks. And both shackles are way over the minimum thickness necessary to ensure that they won’t be cropped by bolt cutters.
In the case of the Litelok X1, it’s a 16 mm circular profile shackle. While the Hiplok D1000 has a 15 x 20 mm rectangular profile shackle.
Like most high security u-locks, neither lock is going to be defeated by anything except power tools. And in reality, when we’re talking about the power tools that are used by real thieves on real streets, we’re talking about angle grinders.
Of course, the USP of both of these locks is their resistance to angle grinder attack. However, they achieve this goal in different ways…
In the case of the Hiplok D1000, the whole shackle (and the cover of the body), seems to be made of a “graphene reinforced ceramic composite” material called Ferosafe. And this material is specifically designed to disintegrate angle grinder discs.
The Litelok X1, on the other hand, features a standard hardened steel shackle (and body) with a layer of ceramic composite material they’re calling “Barronium” fused onto the surface. Again, this ceramic material is designed to disintegrate angle grinder discs.
So both locks are employing ceramic composites, just in different ways.
But enough waffle. Which lock, is most resistant to angle grinder attack, the Litelok X1 or the Hiplok D1000?
It’s the Hiplok D1000.
I’ve tested both locks (as well as the forthcoming Litelok X3, more on this lock later), in as close to laboratory conditions as I could knock up in my backyard. And you can see the results in the table below…
Time to cut
For further comparison, I’ve also included the time it took to cut the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Mini, which was undoubtedly the most secure bike lock you could buy, up until the launch of the Litelok and Hiplok.
If you can bear the noise, you can also watch videos of my tests below. But before you do, some important information:
These tests were not designed to replicate a real life theft in the street, where the thief would be using a battery powered angle grinder and wouldn’t have the benefit of a clamp to eliminate any movement that might slow them down.
These tests were designed to compare the angle grinder resistance of the different locks.
And in order to make this as accurate as possible, I wanted to eliminate any variables outside the of fundamental strength of the shackles.
- Used a mains powered angle grinder to reduce variability in power (due to different battery levels)
- Clamped the locks to reduce variability in movement
To be clear: in the street, with a battery powered angle grinder and without the benefit of a clamp, it would take much longer to cut the two locks.
Litelok X1 vs Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit Angle Grinder Test Video
In fact, in the video, you can see what happens when my clamps fail to hold the lock still as I’m trying to cut the second side of the Litelok X1: the movement of the lock makes it so difficult to cut, that I go through three more discs, without getting through the lock!
Litelok X3 vs Hiplok D1000 Angle Grinder Test Video
The bottom line is this:
- Fahgettaboudit: I only needed 1 disc to go through both sides in a total of 32 seconds
- Litelok X1: it took 1:10 min and to go through one side, with 1 disc
- Hiplok D1000: it took 2:50 min to go through one side, with 3 discs
Both the Litelok X1 and Hiplok D1000, will need multiple disc changes to go through both sides
We can definitely say that the D1000 shackle is 2.5 times more resistant to an angle grinder attack than the Litelok X1. And when you take into account the time to change the discs, in a real world situation, it will take much more than 2.5 times as long to beat the Hiplok as the Litelok.
So, if the Hiplok D1000 is significantly more secure than the Litelok, shouldn’t we all be buying the Hiplok?
No necessarily. For 2 reasons
Let’s look at usability first.
Litelok X1 vs Hiplok D1000: Which is easiest to use?
Usability in bike locks is all about how easy a lock is to carry around (while you're cycling), and how easy it is to fasten around your bike (when you get to where you’re going).
Which lock is easier to carry around, Hiplok D1000 or Litelok X1?
In my experience, the Litelok X1 is much easier to carry around than the Hiplok D1000. For starters, it’s lighter.
Yes, they’re both heavy locks…
The Litelok X1 weighs 3.7 lb (1.7 kg), which is about the same as 4.5 cans of Coke. But the Hiplok D1000 weighs 4.2 lb (1.9 kg), which is more than 5 cans of Coke. So whichever way you choose to carry your lock, you'll feel the weight of Hiplok more.
But much more significantly: the Litelok X1 comes with a pretty decent frame mount, while the Hiplok doesn’t come with any frame mount at all.
The Litelok X1 frame mount uses an innovative “twist in and out” system, that in my tests worked really well
Much like the infamous Kryptonite frame mount, you need to make sure it’s really tight against your frame, to prevent it moving about.
And one particular annoyance for me was that the bands that are designed to keep the tightening straps tidily out of the way (once the mount is installed), are weak and prone to snapping, causing the straps to stick out in an ugly way.
However, merely having a functional frame mount, which is included in the price, and enables you to easily carry the lock around, is a big bonus as far I’m concerned.
While the Hiplok D1000 doesn’t come with a frame mount, you can buy one separately.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t available when I bought my Hiplok D1000, so I haven't been able to test it.
But it uses a fabric pouch like system that you strap to your bike or even your belt. I’m not a big fan of these pouches or holsters, as I find them quite ugly, and they are easily stolen (as they can simply be unstrapped).
I also tested the Litelok belt strap and found the X1 too big and heavy to be comfortably carried like this, so I’d imagine the Hiplok pouch would be equally unpractical for me, at least.
However, the truth is, it’s difficult to design an effective carry system for such heavy locks. If I wasn’t going to use the frame mount of the X1, I would just throw it in a backpack. And I would probably do the same for the D1000.
That you get the option of a decent frame mount included in the piece makes it the clear winner here.
Which lock is easier to fasten around a bike, Hiplok D1000 or Litelok X1?
This will very much depend on the type of bike you ride and where you habitually lock it up. And it’s related to the internal measurements of the locks…
The Litelok X1 measures 3.97” (10.1 cm) wide and 7.7" (19.6 cm) long, which makes it more or less the same size as a standard size u-lock such as the Kryptonite New York Standard (it’s the same width, but about 1.5 cm shorter).
The Hiplok D1000 measures 3.62” (9.2 cm) wide and 6.1” (15.5 cm) long, which makes its internal measurements more like a mini u-lock (although the bulk of the rest of the lock makes it much bigger overall).
In fact, the Hiplok D1000’s dimensions and weight make it very much like the Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit New York Mini.
The smaller your bike lock’s internal measurements, the more difficult it will be to get around your bike and whatever you’re trying to lock it to.
When I tested these two locks on my skinny hipster bike, there was no difference when locking it to an empty Sheffield stand bike rack; every way I locked it with the Litelok, I could lock it with the Hiplok.
However, it was tighter with the Hiplok, and in a busy bike stand, that would make it more difficult. And if I was locking any other type of bike (other than a skinny wheeled, skinny framed city or road bike), I might have to compromise the way I locked the bike.
For example, with many bikes, you won’t be able to get the Hiplok around the frame and rear wheel and the immovable object. Now, although this is accepted best practice on how to lock your bike, it’s certainly not the only way.
It’s perfectly acceptable to just lock the frame to the immovable object and use other ways to protect your wheel.
However, as a side note: don’t be tempted to just lock the top tube to the rack. As locks get more resistant to angle grinder attacks, thieves will just start cutting through the racks. So make sure you lock the bike in a way that will at least stop them riding the bike, without cutting the lock too.
So the bottom line is: if you ride a skinny (frame and wheel) bike in a city, you should be fine with either the Hiplok D1000 or the Litelok X1. If you ride a bigger bike, or don’t use bike racks, you may have to adapt your locking technique if you want to use the Hiplok D1000.
And it may still be frustratingly difficult.
My advice here is: consider the places you lock your bike and the techniques you want to use, and choose or adapt accordingly.
Litelok X1 vs Hiplok D1000: Which is the best value for money?
Both the Litelok X1 and the Hiplok X1 are expensive, compared to any other high security bike lock.
However, while the Litelok X1 is moderately more expensive (coming in around $180 or £150), the Hiplok D1000 is eye-wateringly more expensive (retailing at around $300 or £250, check price on Amazon).
The extra expense of the Hiplok may be because it’s based on someone else's technology (Ferosafe was developed by a company called Tenmat and Hiplok will presumably have to pay them extra to use it). Or it may be because of the extra material used (there is more metal in the Hiplok).
And of course the Hiplok D1000 is significantly more secure, so the price is certainly justified in that respect.
But $300 is more than my bike cost!
And the question everyone needs to ask themselves is: just how much angle grinder resistance do I need to protect my bike?
Because the best value lock will be the one that provides sufficient protection for the lowest price.
How much time and how many discs is enough?
A thief is going to need to change angle grinders at least once to defeat either lock. And depending on the power of the angle grinder and how much the lock moves around, that could be several discs, even in the case of the Litelok X1.
Hiplok D1000 vs Litelok X1: Conclusion
So while these are the first two angle grinder resistant bike locks to come to market, they’re actually very different.
If you decide that you need the very highest level of angle grinder resistance, then the Hiplok D1000 is the one to go for. You just need to make sure it’s big enough to use on your bike, and also think about how you’re going to carry it around.
If you decide that a moderate level of angle grinder resistance is enough, then the significantly lower price, easy portability and generous internal dimensions of the Litelok X1 will be the better choice.
For a lot of people, I think the Litelok X1 will be the more sensible option, which is why I’ve made it the best bike lock in 2023!
But as ever, it will depend on your own individual circumstances.
Alternatives to the Litelok X1 and the Hiplok D1000
If you’re not happy with the compromises, you have to make with both the Litelok X1 and the Hiplok D1000, then there is one worthwhile alternative.
In my tests, the Litelok X3 was as secure as the Hiplok D1000, but has the same dimensions as the Litelok X1.
Unfortunately, there’s no frame mount (it’s just too heavy). So you'll have to use their belt strap or your own bag to carry it around. And at around $350 or £280 it’s a bit more expensive than the Hiplok D1000.
But if your main issues are with the Litelok X1’s reduced security and the Hiplok D1000’s smaller locking circumference, then the Litelok X3 addresses both those issues, and is definitely worth looking at.
They actually have a special offer for pre-orders at the moment, where it’s the same price as the Hiplok D1000, so check it out now!