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Litelok Gold Wearable Review

This lightweight lock can feel insecure while riding, but offers a wearable option if you don't mind the price tag
Litelok Gold Wearable
Photo: Litelok
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Price:  $150 List | Check Price at Amazon
Pros:  Wearable, lightweight, security, very convenient
Cons:  Not confidently secure around waist, not adjustable fit
Manufacturer:   Litelok
By Rebecca Eckland ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 20, 2020
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63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 17
  • Security - 40% 6
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 5
  • Ease of Use - 20% 8
  • Versatility - 15% 7

Our Verdict

If you've grumbled about mounting a U-lock to your bike frame or carrying a heavy lock in your pack, the Litelok Gold Wearable offers an alternative way to carry your lock — wear it! The lock, which comes in three non-adjustable sizes, looks like a reflective belt (and adds to your visibility on the road) and offers security for medium to high-risk areas. We also loved the versatility offered by this lock, which easily accommodates two wheels (front wheel removed) and the frame of your bike in most situations. We think this lock is almost amazing, but a few things kept our enthusiasm at bay. First, the mechanism to keep it secure around our waist doesn't inspire confidence while riding — it sometimes felt like it could fall off our bodies. Second, it's expensive. If Litelok were to improve the wearability of this lock and maybe drop the price, we'd be all in.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Litelok Gold Wearable
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $150 ListCheck Price at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$109.99 at Amazon$69.99 at Amazon$58.95 at Amazon
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Pros Wearable, lightweight, security, very convenientVery secure, mounts to bike, convenient size for locking upWearable design, solid security, easy to useVersatile, light (for a U-Lock), easy to use, valueInexpensive, more secure than many in its price range, high quality
Cons Not confidently secure around waist, not adjustable fitHeavy, bulky to transportNot lightweight, uncomfortable with some backpacks, priceySlightly less secure than other U-Lock models, bulkyLocking mechanism stuck a few times, lackluster frame mount
Bottom Line This lightweight lock can feel insecure while riding, but offers a wearable option if you don't mind the price tagThis is our favorite all-around lock for high security needsThe innovative design of this wearable chain lock increases this heavy lock's portability, which is great news for regular bike commutersA versatile U-lock and cable combo that provides strong security at a favorable price pointThis inexpensive U-lock offers versatility and security that is likely to fit the needs and budgets of many cyclists and commuters
Rating Categories Litelok Gold Wearable New York Standard U... Hiplok Original: Su... Evolution Mini-7 U-... Kryptonite Kryptolo...
Security (40%)
6.0
9.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Ease Of Transport (25%)
5.0
4.0
8.0
5.0
5.0
Ease Of Use (20%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
Versatility (15%)
7.0
6.0
7.0
5.0
5.0
Specs Litelok Gold Wearable New York Standard U... Hiplok Original: Su... Evolution Mini-7 U-... Kryptonite Kryptolo...
Measured weight (lbs) 2.4 lbs 4.5 lbs 4.3 lbs 3.5 lbs 3.2 lbs
Type of lock Wearable belt U-lock Wearable chain U-Lock + cable U-Lock + cable
Lock dimensions Size Medium: 37.9" circumference, 1.9" strap width 4" x 8" (16 mm thick U) 33.5" circumference, 2" width U-lock: 9.4"x 5.6" (13mm thick U), 4' cable U-lock: 11.1" x 5.4" (13mm thick U), Cable: 4'
# of keys included 3 keys 3 keys (one with HID light) 3 keys 3 keys (one with HID light) 2 keys
Primary materials Boaflexicore 16mm Hardened Steel 8mm hardened steel chain, 600D polyester sleeve 13mm hardened "max-performance" steel with braided steel cable Steel
Warranty/Manufacturer programs $13,500 Theft Protection available for purchase separately $4,000 Theft Protection, Limited Lifetime Warranty, Key Safe Program 1-year manufacturer warranty $2,500 Theft Protection (does not cover cable), Limited Lifetime Warranty; Key Safe Program $1,700 Theft Protection
Unique Features Wearable design Keyhole cover, LED light on one key; dust cover over keyhole Reflective sheath, curve key LED light on one key; cable in addition to U-Lock; dust cover on keyhole Includes 4 foot cable
Tin Snips No No No Cable: Yes; U-lock: No No
Hammer No No No No No
Hacksaw Yes, but unrealistic No No No No
Bolt Cutters, 36" No No No Cable: Yes, U-lock: No No
Angle Grinder Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Number of cuts required to free lock 1 cut 2 cuts 1 cut 2 cuts 2 cuts

Our Analysis and Test Results

Cycling is a sport that's really all about shedding weight: the lighter the bike frame (and the lighter the rider) the better. If you're a commuter, though, you've got to pack around a bike lock to keep those wheels safe. Most of the time, this means you've got to carry around an awkward and (most times) heavy lock that may or may not mount to your bike frame, or that will smash your backpack contents.

Enter the Litelok Gold, a lock that doubles as a belt and offers you pretty great versatility in terms of where and to what you can lock your bike while taking away the pain of mounting a lock to your frame or carrying your lock in a bag. It flexes to stretch around your waist, but is otherwise rigid, which our testers didn't find all that comfortable.

Performance Comparison


The Litelok is a wearable bike lock which makes it pretty easy to...
The Litelok is a wearable bike lock which makes it pretty easy to carry around. We also loved how easy it was to use.
Photo: Laura Casner

Security


This lock receives a Gold rating from Sold Secure, a third-party lock security assessment company. For the weight, this is the lightest lock we have tested with this rating.

The external cover adds another level of difficulty when cutting...
The external cover adds another level of difficulty when cutting through this lock.
Photo: Rebecca A. Eckland

This lock easily withstood our attacks using a hammer, bolt cutters, tin snips, and wire cutters, just as we expected. It will eventually succumb to a hacksaw, but you'd have to be a pretty dedicated thief to cut through the Litelok with this tool — it can be done, but you're looking at a twenty-minute effort. It takes one cut to defeat with an angle grinder. The addition of power tools sped the process up considerably, but it still took 20+ seconds of sparks flying and that metal-burning smell to get through the lock, which is sure to grab some attention. For comparison, heavy-duty U-locks weigh a pound or two more but take about double the amount of time to cut through with an angle grinder. Also, many of the high-end U-locks require two separate cuts to free your bike from a bike rack, increasing the time required and attention to the crime. The Litelok offers above-average security, but also not the most of all locks.

One cut with an angle grinder took us about 20 seconds on the Litelok.
One cut with an angle grinder took us about 20 seconds on the Litelok.
Photo: Rebecca A. Eckland

Ease of Transport


In general, we appreciate wearable locks. Wearing a lock like a belt is a pretty cool idea, and we dug the fact that we didn't have to give up one (or both) of our bottle holders to install a mount for the Litelok Gold. Once the actions are familiar, many of our testers found that wearable models decrease the time spent messing with the lock when locking up and getting back on the bike. This model also has a reflective cover around its hardened steel core, allowing you to be seen when underway on the road. It's impressive that Litelok is able to produce such a lightweight lock with high security. The low weight feels better around the waist, but its rigidity didn't feel as comfortable as more flexible wearable locks we have tested.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

We also love that you don't need a key to lock it around your body. On its own, this is an awesome advantage. To secure this model without locking it, a plastic buffer needs to be moved to cover the locking mechanism (to prevent it from fully locking and requiring the key). The lock actually snaps into place, and there's an additional elastic strap to keep the Litelok in place. It's very convenient to snap together and pull back apart, all without pulling the key out of our pocket.

The plastic buffer that prevents the locking mechanism from fully...
The plastic buffer that prevents the locking mechanism from fully locking, allowing you to snap the lock together and pull apart without a key for transportation purposes.
Photo: Ross Robinson

Our only problem is that the theory is better than the reality. In practice, our testers discovered that the lock had a tendency to come "halfway undone" while riding (see images), which really felt like it was hanging on by a hair. This is nerve-wracking, to say the least, and because it requires both hands to secure the lock again around the waist. Based on our experience, we feel that this could be a potentially dangerous design flaw especially if your commute involves rough roads. We are glad to report that the lock didn't ever fall off our bodies during a ride, but we see the potential for this to happen, and it distracted us multiple times from focusing on the road and traffic. Furthermore, one of the toggles on the elastic band broke as well, which might not seem like a big deal, but if you're spending a considerable sum on a bike lock, nothing should break after three weeks of use, as it did for us. We were bummed that what makes this lock so attractive didn't work out for us in the real world. Improvements here would skyrocket this lock to one of our favorites ever.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

The plastic toggle meant to help keep this lock around our waist...
The plastic toggle meant to help keep this lock around our waist during transport broke within a few weeks of use.
Photo: Ross Robinson

If you're not into including a bike lock into your ensemble as a fashion accessory, the lock definitely becomes more awkward. It's actually quite rigid, and it doesn't pack down into a smaller shape, so trying to fit this in a bag can become an Olympic sport. The lock is sold with a simple pack for transporting the lock on your back, but we never used it, as it is unattractive and felt cheap. We would rather Litelok didn't include this little extra and pass the savings on to the consumer to help reduce the high price of this lock. It also comes with two straps to attach the lock to your frame or to strap it to a rack. Our recommendation: you might want to add some bungees to keep the lock secure. The two straps that came with the lock didn't really do the job sufficiently, according to our testers.

If you don't plan on wearing the Litelok Gold, it comes with straps...
If you don't plan on wearing the Litelok Gold, it comes with straps that can allow you to mount it on your frame or rack. We didn't find this method of transport all that great.
Photo: Rebecca A. Eckland

Ease of Use


If there's one word to describe the Litelok Gold, it would be "convenient." The ability to secure the Litelok to your body without using the key make putting it on and taking it off quick and easy. It also locks without a key. You only need the key to unlock this model. This was especially appreciated by our testers on days when they were running late. We are fans of any lock that speeds up the process of using it. The locking mechanism is smooth, and we didn't experience any jams over weeks of daily use. It comes with three keys, which makes us less anxious about losing one.

The Litelok comes in three sizes (small, medium and large), so make...
The Litelok comes in three sizes (small, medium and large), so make sure you get one that fits. It will not fit all bodies.
Photo: Laura Casner

Our only quip here is that the Litelok's rigidity made it difficult to use in some situations. Unlike other locks that can flex on multiple planes, this one only bends one way. Additionally, the lock has a determined propensity to straighten itself out, which was annoying when our testers were trying to lock up their bikes. If we lost our grip, it would spring out of our hands and sometimes smack against our bike.

Versatility


The Litelok follows the basic idea that the larger the space is, the more stuff you can cram into it. Unlike U-locks that offer a limited area (typically 11" x 5"), the Litelok offers a considerably larger diameter in which you can fit the front and bike tires along with your bike frame, which is the optimal configuration for security. This means you aren't necessarily limited to only locking your wheels to bike racks; the larger size of the Litelok opens other possibilities.

The size Medium we tested has plenty of room for two wheels, a bike...
The size Medium we tested has plenty of room for two wheels, a bike frame, and most bike stands.
Photo: Ross Robinson

One caveat to consider before purchasing this lock is also the available sizes it comes in. As a wearable lock, you have to take into account not only if the lock will accommodate your bike, but if it will accommodate your waist. Smaller riders who order a smaller size will likely find this lock less versatile for this reason. Be sure to check the size charts to ensure the lock matches your waist, or resort to carrying this lock in an alternative manner.

Value


While there is something to be said for the correlation between the quality of a product and its price, to us the latter still exceeds what the Likelok has to offer. It offers great security, but it also a couple of flaws that keep us from whole-heartedly recommending this product…for now. With a few upgrades and revisions, however, the Litelok could definitely be a top contender in this review. Mostly, we just wish they'd fix the latch so that it doesn't come loose from your midsection when you're pedaling. Maybe adding a bit of flexibility-- so that it can collapse in a bag or bend on more than one plane-- would also be useful. Of course, a lower price would increase this lock's value as well! But, if the above improvements could be implemented, even the high price could be worth it to many commuters.

The bright green nylon adds a nice dash of visibility for commuters...
The bright green nylon adds a nice dash of visibility for commuters riding in low-light situations. There's a lot to like about this lock, but a few issues as well. We look forward to design improvements, as we see a lot of potential with this lock.
Photo: Laura Casner

Conclusion


The Litelok Gold Wearable impressed us with its security and portability. If you're constantly on the go, we liked how convenient this was to lock and unlock. However, if wearing a bike lock is just not your style or you don't fit the sizes offerings, this lock might not "fit" your needs (or, more importantly, you). The latch also needs some serious attention so that it stays where it's supposed to be, even if only for peace of mind.

Rebecca Eckland